Today's Veterinary Practice

MAR-APR 2018

Today's Veterinary Practice provides comprehensive information to keep every small animal practitioner up to date on companion animal medicine and surgery as well as practice building and management.

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LONE STAR TICKS RISK TO DOGS, RISK TO HUMANS. ONYINYE IWEALA MD, PhD, University of North Carolina THOMAS MATHER BS, MS, PhD, University of Rhode Island SCOTT COMMINS MD, PhD, University of North Carolina BRIAN HERRIN DVM, PhD, DACVM, Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine LONE STAR TICKS CAN TRANSMIT PATHOGENS. RED MEAT ALLERGIES: A UNIQUE RISK FOR HUMANS. While ticks are certainly an unpleasant sight for pet owners, hygiene is far from the primary concern. Lone star ticks can carry several pathogens that may be transmitted to the host during feeding. It's important to have a standardized plan throughout your clinic for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of each tick-borne disease. Lone star ticks can transmit both E. ewingii and E. chaffeensis. In-house antibody tests do not distinguish between E. canis and other species. Consider clinical signs and CBC/ platelet count to help determine if there is an active infection before making treatment decisions. Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness (STARI) is associated with the feeding of lone star ticks, although the causative agent is unknown. STARI mimics the target lesion of Lyme disease in humans but is not known to cause clinical disease in pets. A 2009 study linked a series of allergic reactions in Virginia and Missouri to consumption of red meat. 2 Patients who had eaten red meat without a problem in the past now developed symptoms 3 to 6 hours after meat ingestion. Comparison of geographical distribution of red meat allergy cases, tick-borne diseases, and tick distribution suggested a connection between lone star tick bites and red meat allergies. ALPHA-GAL EHRLICHIA SPP. While lone star ticks have been shown to carry R. amblyommii and R. montanensis, they have also been shown to infrequently transmit R. rickettsia, which causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever. 1 Antibody tests can't distinguish between these three pathogens, so clinical signs are very important to help diagnose Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Antibiotic therapy should not be delayed in a patient with signs suggestive of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. RICKETTSIA SPP. STARI Galactose-α-1,3-galactose (alpha-gal) is a carbohydrate normally present in the tissues of most mammals (except for humans and apes). After being bitten by a lone star tick, some individuals develop an allergic immune response to alpha-gal. A person who develops this allergy can have a severe reaction after ingesting red meat. Thus, the common name for this condition is "red meat allergy," or sometimes "alpha-gal syndrome." Blood tests have been used to identify patients with this allergy. This feline pathogen can lead to potentially fatal disease. Infected cats may be jaundiced and painful on splenic palpation. Diagnosis can be confirmed with blood tests. CYTAUXZOON FELIS I m a g e d e p i c t s E . e w i n g i i I m a g e d e p i c t s t i c k h e m o c y t e s

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