CANINE
HEALTH
Parvo made its first appearance in the 1970's, Parvo type 2.  In 1980's Parvo type 2a and 2b
emerged.  Recently there has been some discussion concerning a new strain Parvo type 2c.
Scientists in Italy, Vietnam and Spain have reported in
scientific literature about the new
strain.  A new strain really means a genetic variant; only  of its 5000 nucleotides needs to be
different than current strains.  CPV-2c diffrees from CPV-2b by only  nucleotide so it is
99.98% identical to CPV-2b according to Dr. Hatler.  This small change allows it to survive
and affect dogs better than the old strain.

Oklahoma State University
has isolated a NEW strain of Canine Parvo Virus, named 2c Parvo from kennels and
reported it at The Western States Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas.  It has not appeared
in US scientific literature at this point.  Until more is known, it is extremely important for you
to be diligent about your Parvo vaccination protocol.  If you have struggled with Parvo in the
past it may be time to switch to another brand of vaccines and review when you are giving
the Parvo vaccine.  If your vaccination protocol is working - don't change.  
Oklahoma Animal Disease
Diagnostic Laboratory

Hot Topics

Canine Parvovirus

  • • Canine parvovirus (CPV) remains the most frequent
infectious disease condition investigated at OADDL
in the canine species (see Animal Health Update Fall
’06).

  • • Of current interest at OADDL is the identification of
numerous 2c and 2b variants in the VP2 region of the
CPV genome. The importance of these genetic differences
in CPV is uncertain with respect to vaccination
and immunity at this time.

  • • The findings may help to explain the endemic occurrence
of CPV in Oklahoma, in the face of vaccination.

  • • Further work on this virus is planned in 2007; and
confirmation of CPV cases using PCR amplification
of viral product in fresh tissue along with histopathology
is recommended in “outbreak” situations.
Naylor MJ, Walia CS, McOrist S, Lehrbach PR, Deane EM, Harrison GA.
School of Science, Food and Horticulture, University of Western Sydney, Penrith South DC,
New South Wales, Australia. m.naylor@garvan.org.au

Canine coronavirus (CCV) UWSMN-1 was originally identified from an outbreak of fatal
gastroenteritis in breeding colonies. In this report, we examined whether UWSMN-1
represents a novel divergent strain or is the result of recombination events between canine
and feline coronavirus strains. Sequencing of various regions of the spike and polymerase
genes confirms that UWSMN-1 is widely divergent from other CCV and feline coronavirus
strains. These data raise the possibility that this strain is the
first member of a novel third
subtype of CCV
.

PMID: 12202609 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Care, Health Issues, and Life Expectancy

The Kelpies coat is relatively care free. It's a wash and wear type coat. A quick brushing gets rids of
anything collected in the hair.

The Kelpies are said to be one of the healthiest breeds in the world. Kelpies are selected, bred and are
used for the purpose of working livestock. Unfortunately, if the dog can not work due to physical or
genetical defects or does not work effectively or efficiently, it is often times put to sleep. This practice
removes the sickly, physically and genetically impaired dogs from the gene pool so those defective genes
are not passed on generation after generation. Some owners, however; just neuter and spay their dogs to
avoid passing on their physical and genetic defects.

Some years ago,
Cerebellar Abiotrophy was discovered in the Kelpie breed. Research traced the
genetic defect to two dogs (male and female) in the Tamworth (Australia) area. Cerebellar Abiotrophy is
strongly suspected to be an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance and affects the cerebellum part of
the brain. The cerebellum is the part of the brain that regulates the control and coordination of movement.
In this condition, cells in the cerebellum mature normally before birth, but then deteriorate prematurely
causing clinical signs associated with poor coordination and lack of balance. The Purkinje cells in the
cerebellum are primarily involved; cells in other areas of the brain may also be affected.

Symptoms of cerebellar abiotrophy (CA) include ataxia or lack of balance, an awkward wide-legged
stance, a head tremor (intention tremor) (in dogs, body tremors also occur), hyperreactivity, lack of
menace reflex, stiff or high-stepping gait, apparent lack of awareness of where the feet are (sometimes
standing or walking with a foot knuckled over), poor depth perception, and a general inability to determine
space and distance. The symptoms are, taken as a group, fairly unique and not easily mimicked by other
illnesses, though certain types of injury and infection do need to be ruled out. However, verifying the
diagnosis in terms of laboratory evidence is only possible by examining the brain post-mortem to
determine if there has been a loss of Purkinje cells.

Most affected animals have normal intelligence and mildly affected animals can, in theory, live out a
normal lifespan. However, affected animals are prone to falling and other accidents, and for this reason
many affected animals, are euthanized for humane reasons. Dogs may need lifetime assistance with
tasks such as climbing stairs, stepping up and over objects, and may fall easily.

CA cannot be prevented, other than by selective breeding to avoid the gene, and it cannot be cured. In
some dog breeds, symptoms appear to progressively worsen, but research is not consistent on this point.
There also is some evidence that affected animals learn over time to partially compensate for the
condition and appear to improve because they are less accident-prone.

Routine diagnostic tests are normal with this condition and a definitive diagnosis can only be made by
brain biopsy or on post-mortem. MRI may be helpful in dogs in which there is gross cerebellar
malformation; however generally with this condition, the cerebellum appears grossly normal.
Histopathologic abnormalities are often minimal and do not seem to correlate with the severity of
cerebellar signs.

There is no treatment for this condition. Dogs do not recover from this disorder and usually at some point
(depending on the rate of the progressive deterioration that occurs), euthanasia becomes the best option.

Dr. Alan Wilton has begun to look for a mutation in the Kelpie genome that is causing this disease.
Eventually, it is hoped that a sample of blood can be used to discern the affected, carrier and clear-of-
gene status in every dog sampled. The Working Kelpie Council (Australia) is the registry for Working
Kelpies. At the WKC October Board meeting it was agreed, in principal, that the WKC would help fund a
project to develop a "DNA Test" for Cerebellar Abiotrophy (sometimes called Ataxia) in Working Kelpies
under the stewardship of Dr Allan Wilton working at the University of NSW .

Any Kelpie owner wishing to submit samples or make a donation to keep the research going
should contact Dr. Wilton
.
Alan Wilton
School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences
University of New south Wales
NSW 2052
Phone +61 2 9385 2019
Fax + 61 2 9385 1483
Mobile 0422 736 425


UPDATE:
From the WKC “News Bulletin”, November 2007, No 513

ATAXIA (CA) PROGRESS REPORT.

Dr Alan Wilton advises:

“The cerebellar abiotrophy research is on track.  Half of the 15 ataxic dogs and 15 controls
have been typed successfully for the 50,000 DNA markers and the remainder will be done
before the Melbourne Cup.  Recent publications in the journal Nature Genetics show that
this technique works well for as few as 10 affected and 10 controls so we are expecting to
have a location for the gene in a few weeks time.  Then we need to search the disease
gene region for the DNA defect that causes CA.  This requires looking for one difference in
millions of bits of DNA.  Since we do not know what we are looking for, it is not always a
simple task, but with luck and persistence we will be able to develop a test by early in
2008.  We greatly appreciate the support of the WKC and donations from breeders that
allow us to continue this work, especially the funding from Terry Snow that has allowed us
to take the fast track and develop a test over months instead of years.”



WKC Editorial note:            This progress report is very encouraging and we look forward
to having the answer in the not too distant future and to being able to guide breeders with
a program to gradually  eliminate the disease from the working Kelpie breed.  We take this
opportunity to thank all members who have supported with the supply of samples from
affected and/or suspected affected and donations to help cover the on going costs of the
research.

            As members are aware the WKC entered into a three year funding agreement with
Dr Alan Wilton and  the NSW University. Under the terms of the agreement the WKC was
committed to 3 annual amounts comprising cash and  “in kind” contributions.  With Terry
Snow’s extremely generous donation that enabled the use of the very latest technology
equipment research has been sped up and  the WKC has been brought forward and is
handing over its  2008 funding commitment in advance.

            Whilst we are not actually handling the receipt of donations we have nevertheless
received and have handed over $1000.00 from Swedish Working Kelpie fans, $60 from
one of our American members and a $19.00 donation from a local member. Dr  Alan Wilton
advised that he had received a generous donation of over $1000.00 from a WKC
breeder/member in Queensland and a number of other amounts.

            Research of this nature is a very expensive process and members generally are
encouraged to assist by sending in donations, no matter how small - an investment which
will be in the best interests of all who rely on  sheepdogs in the everyday management of
stock.

Donations are still needed to continue this very valuable research.  Any Kelpie owner wishing
to submit samples or make a donation to keep the research going should contact Dr. Wilton.
Alan Wilton
School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences
University of New south Wales
NSW 2052
Phone +61 2 9385 2019
Fax + 61 2 9385 1483
Mobile 0422 736 425
Reproduction


Over the years I've heard many misconceptions concerning the heat cycle of the dog.  First, dogs have an estrus
cycle, not a menstrual cycle.  Only primates have menstrual cycles.  Second, females can have a false pregnancy
or "pseudocyesis".

The female comes into heat every 6 to 8 months depending on her age; a cycle at 24 months has been observed.  
The exception to this are the African breeds, such as the Rhodesian Ridgeback and Basenji; they cycle once per
year.  Female dogs also do not go through menopause, they do not stop cycling just because they get older ---
their cycles do often become more erratic and unpredictable.  Do not base fertility on what happens during the first
heat.  Split heats are common during the first estrus.  The bitch bleeds, stops bleeding and then returns to heat
around 6 weeks later. Fertility is normal for these heats, however.  Do not breed on first heat. Breeding on the first
heat may increase the risk of dystocia.  Delayed puberty is rare in the bitch.  Nutritionally delayed puberty has a
poor prognosis for future fertility.  Induction of the first estrus can sometimes be hastened by housing the bitch with
a kennel-mate that is in proestrus.   

Let's discuss the estrus cycle first.  There are f
our phases of the estrus cycle - Proestrus, Estrus, Diestrus,
and anestrus.   ALL females are different, so it will greatly depend on the individual female.   If a female's  
Estrus cycle lasts more than 35 days, advise from a Veterinarian should be sought.  If she appears to
bleed more heavily than normal, a Veterinarian should be contacted.  

Proestrus is the first phase of the cycle and sometimes called "pre-heat" stage.  It is characterized by a
swollen vulva, a bloody vaginal discharge, and attraction of male dogs.  She will play with the male and
act silly, but will not let him mount her.  In menstruation, the sloughing of the walls of the uterine lining
occurs - in the estrus cycle, the blood comes from the walls of the vagina.

Some females, as they near the Proestrus cycle become irritable, quick to scuffle with other dogs, some
become nervous, some become very loving, and some act fearful.  Every dog is an individual and will act
differently.

Some females, although rare, prolapse their vagina during this time.  Prolapse is when the vagina
protrudes out the opening.  The prolapse is caused by the hormonal change she is experiencing.  A
Veterinarian should immediately be contacted.

This phase usually lasts 9 days; 3-17 days has been documented.

Estrus is the second phase of the cycle and is characterized by the change of the vaginal discharge from
bloody to "straw colored".  It is during this time that the female allows the male to mount her.  She will "flag
her tail" allowing access to the vagina.  The change from Proestrus to Estrus is when ovulation occurs.   
At this time, the female is the most fertile.  Ovulation occurs 24-48 hours after a luteinizing hormone (LH)
surge (day 3-4 of estrus).  The fertile period of breeding is generally recommended as the 3rd to the 5th
days of estrus, or every other day of estrus.

Estrus averages 9 days in duration, but can be as short as 3 days or as long as 21 days.     

Diestrus is the third phase of the cycle and is characterized by a slight discharge, vagina returns to
normal size, and the female's reluctance to allow the male to mount her.  

Regardless of whether or not she is pregnant, she is "hormonally pregnant".  In other words, her body
thinks she's pregnant (progesterone is lower in the non-pregnant bitch, than in the pregnant bitch).  During
this time, a structure in the ovary called the "corpus luteum" produces progesterone which maintains the
pregnancy.  The corpus luteum is produced by ovulation when the eggs (ova) are released.  The pituitary
gland of the pregnant female secretes two important hormones: Prolactin and Luteinizing hormone (called
“LH”).  Both of these hormones nourish and sustain the corpus luteum.   

If the female is pregnant, the corpus luteum remains intact for 63 days during her pregnancy.  Between the
28th day of pregnancy to about the 35th day of pregnancy it is possible to feel lumps in the uterus
representing individual embryos.  The skeleton begin to calcify at around 45 days, it's possible to feel the
growing puppies when palpating the abdomen.  It is now that the puppies can be seen on a radio-graph
(x-ray).      

If she is not pregnant, then the corpus luteum dies, or wears out.  The wearing out period is 70 days or
longer.  It is a slow process, this is why after a heat cycle the female's mammary gland may swell (some
develop milk), her belly may enlarge, and some will nest and mother soft toys --- because all the
hormones are there, just not the puppies > her body thinks she's pregnant.  After the corpus luteum wears
out, she will go back into hormonal inactivity (everything is back to normal).

The duration of diestrus is about 60 days, whether or not the bitch is bred and/or pregnant.

Anestrus is the fourth phase (or the first stage - of a continuous cycle) of the cycle and the period of
reproductive quiescence.  During this phase the female is not attracted to the male, nor is he attracted to
her.   The endometrium is being 'repaired' after the progesterone effects during diestrus for the preceding
60 days.  True anestrus lasts 90 -150 days post whelping, or post diestrus.  Interestrus (anestrus +
diestrus) lasts 150 - 210 days after the last estrus.  Fertility is low if at least 90 day anestrus (or a 150
interestrus interval) is not attained. This is because the uterus has not repaired enough to maintain
pregnancy.        
Aujeszky's Disease - Pseudorabies
Click here to read the article

It is strongly suggested that you never feed your dog meat from feral (wild) pigs.  
If you use your dogs to hunt feral hogs, you may be interested in this article.
Two short paragraphs from the article above:  
"Aujeszky’s disease (pseudorabies) is a highly contagious, economically significant
disease of pigs. This viral infection causes central nervous system (CNS) signs
and high mortality rates in young animals, and respiratory illness in older pigs. Other
species may be infected when they come in contact with pigs, resulting in a universally
fatal CNS disease. Aujeszky’s disease can result in trade restrictions where it is
endemic. Eradication programs are underway or have been successful in many countries.
In the United States, all states are now considered to be free of the virus in domesticated
swine, and a surveillance program is ongoing.
The presence of the virus in feral pigs remains a concern.

Pigs are the natural host for Aujeszky’s disease virus and the only animals to become
latent carriers.
However, the virus can infect nearly all domesticated and wild
mammals including cattle, sheep, goats, cats and dogs.
It does not infect humans or
the tailless apes, and infections in horses are rare".