Because of the weather, Southeastern Indiana is canceling their MAB trial that was scheduled for Feb 28th. Please pass the message on to anyone you know who may have been planning to attend.. They still have 4-6” of snow on the ground, and it is going to be at 1° both Thursday and Friday night. Sorry for canceling but it would be very hard on all, dogs, judges, handlers.
Boondoggle or Bona Fide? A Question on the Appalachian Cottontail
By John Gibble
Those of us born in the 1960s and 70s were the children that were going to save the planet. In school, we were versed in conservation of resources, promoting clean water, preserving forests, and reducing air pollution. We remember the pesticide, DDT and the effects it had on eagles and ospreys. Forty years later we are now celebrating the de-listing of the bald eagle from the Endangered Species list. We have a Clean Water Act, a Clean Air Act, recycling, and numerous environmental programs that promote conservation of the land, water, and air. Some of these programs have been unqualified successes; other programs might cause a thinking person some questions.
The Endangered Species Act is one of those programs that is often questioned, as well as state programs that mirror the Act on a smaller scale. Here in the eastern U.S., from New York’s Hudson Valley, south through the Appalachians into Alabama, state wildlife agencies, prompted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and several international watch groups are asking questions and making assumptions about the range and abundance of the Appalachian cottontail, Sylvilagus obscurus. Unlike the plentiful Eastern cottontail, Sylvilagus floridanus, the Appalachian cottontail is limited to high elevations with coniferous and heath (laurel, rhododendron, blueberry) habitats. It is found in forest openings and clear-cuts and old growth forest with sufficient ground cover.
Pennsylvania’s State Wildlife Action Plan assigns the Appalachian cottontail a priority status, “high level of concern”. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources lists it as “near threatened”. Most states within the range of the Appalachian cottontail are now investigating the populations and requirements for the species within their boundaries and developing action plans to save the species. Major threats to the Appalachian cottontail are reported to be habitat fragmentation and maturation of forests, proliferation of invasive plant species, and encroachment by the larger Eastern cottontail. A Species Survival Commission stated one threat could be indiscriminate hunting resulting from lack of knowledge by sportsmen. The South Carolina Wildlife Conservation Service suggested that “Hunting is not known to adversely affect the species in South Carolina; however pregnant and lactating rabbits have been captured in February before the end of hunting season.” Several sources added that the release of Eastern cottontails into the habitat of Appalachian cottontails remains a threat of undetermined proportion. It is likely in coming years we will see states list the Appalachian cottontail as threatened or endangered. Depending on the results of current population surveys, we may even see the species listed as threatened or endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The remainder of this article can be read starting on page 24 of our March issue.
Canine Anaplasmosis – A Tale of Two Bacteria
By Luke Peterson, DVM
Recently, one of our club members Keith Turnquist had a beagle treated for an acute Anaplasmosis infection. Anaplasmosis is a tick-borne disease, but is not as well-known to as many as Lyme disease. There are four predominant tick-borne bacterial infections in dogs: Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Central and Northern Wisconsin have been endemic areas for Lyme and Anaplasma for as long as either of these diseases have been identified (early ‘80s for Lyme, Mid ‘90s for Anaplasma). Ehrlichiosis is present in the southernmost part of the state and appears to be making its way north, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is rarely seen. By the numbers, from 2007-2012, one diagnostic company had 41,000 Lyme positive results, 22,000 Anaplasma positives, and 1200 Ehrlichia positives with the number of Anaplasma cases continuing to increase with each year.
Anaplasma has been a catch all for tick-borne disease caused by either Anaplasma phagocytophilum or Anaplasma platys. These bacteria are transmitted by different tick species and cause different clinical illness with A. phagocytophilum being the more common of the two. A phagocytophilum is transmitted by deer-ticks (the same as Lyme) whereas A. platys is transmitted by wood ticks. Not surprisingly, the geographical distribution of Lyme and A. phagocytophilum in the United States are nearly the same, predominately Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Upper Northeast. Also, it’s not uncommon to see dogs co-infected with A. phagocytophilum and Lyme disease.
A. phagocytophilum infected dogs vary in their severity of disease with the average onset of disease occurring 1-2 weeks following transmission from the tick. Many infected dogs will never show any signs and clear the infection on their own. Mild signs may be very subtle to identify and are seen as decreased stamina or performance and a mild decrease in appetite. The most common clinical signs are lameness, joint pain, fever, complete inappetence, and lethargy. Less commonly, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, and labored breathing may be seen, and most rarely, some dogs will also have seizures.
A. platys infected dogs experience cyclic changes in their platelets. This bacterium invades platelets which are then destroyed by the dog’s immune system in an attempt to clear the infection, ultimately resulting in low platelets. With low platelets, dogs will spontaneously ooze blood from blood vessels. The most common clinical signs seen are bruising and bleeding. Bruising is most often seen on the skin near the groin or abdomen where less hair is present. Bleeding may occur from the nose, mouth, gastrointestinal tract, or from the urinary tract. Dogs with gastrointestinal bleeding may vomit dark liquid which is digested blood, have black-tarry diarrhea (digested blood), or have red blood in their stool of bleeding from the colon.
Be sure to finish this article on page 8 of our February issue!
Preparing An Emergency First Aid Kit For Your Hound
By Treyton Jai Diggs, DVM
I was recently engaged in conversation with Mr. Jerry Wheat at Playtime Kennels and we were speaking of various things about hunting dogs. And we began to discuss how much of a risk we take every time we cast them into the woods whether it be to train them or to hunt them. So I asked myself, “What are some ways that I can help my fellow houndsmen to be prepared if their hounds encountered a field emergency or field injury?” After several hours of pondering, the best thing that I could come up with is a “field first aid kit” for the hunting or sporting dog.
For your box I would recommend purchasing a tackle box or a tool box with compartments. The size of the box depends on how much you plan to keep in the box. The boxes I use are big enough to fit in the top storage of my dog box.
* Triple antibiotic ointment (Neosporin or something similar). This works great for open minor wounds.
* Ear Ointment (RX) Animax, Panalog, Mometamax, or Surolan. Keep one of these ointments on hand in case a hound is shaking his ears or sustains an ear injury.
* Eye Ointment (RX) Triple antibiotic eye ointment helps if there is an eye injury. I DO NOT recommend keeping one with steroids in your box because it can delay healing if used improperly.
* KY Jelly or Sterile Lubricant- Apply to open wounds after they have been cleaned, once the lubricant has been applied cover the wound until it can be closed or veterinary care is sought.
* Sterile water or sterile saline- This can be used to clean or rinse wounds. (If this can’t be found just carry along unopened bottles of drinking water).
* Betadine Solution- Mix 1% solution, add Betadine to a sterile bottle of water until it looks the color of iced tea. It usually takes about 4 ml Betadine to 1 liter of saline to get the desired solution. Use 20 cc syringe + 18 gauge needle to flush wounds, this gives optimal psi to clean the wound without further traumatizing the tissue
* Chlorhexidine Gluconate soap (Hibiclens)- Use to wash your hands prior to cleaning a wound. Use this mixed with water to clean wounds if you don’t have Betadine solution.
* Sterile Eye Wash- used to clean out eyes
* Ear cleaner or wash (use those recommended for use in dogs) – I like Epi-otic, Triz- Edta or Triz- Ultra.
* Syringes and needles of various sizes
Syringes 20 ml, 12 ml, 6 ml, 3 ml, 1 ml Needles 18 gauge, 20 gauge, 22 gauge
* Cotton Applicators- Q-Tips work great. They are used to clean, remove, or apply things.
* White Goods:
Gauze, telfa pads, cast padding( good for splinting and wrapping wounds), cotton balls, rolled gauze
*Coban or Vetrap- or an ACE bandage is great for the outer most layer of a bandage.
* Tape of various types-
1″ porous tape
3″ waterproof tape- great for wrapping wounds for short periods of time that need to stay dry
2″ or 3″ Elastikon-great bandaging tape.
* Plastic Kitchen Wrap (Saran Wrap)- Good if there is a gunshot wound to the chest wrap around the dogs chest and transport to the nearest veterinary clinic immediately.
To see the rest of this list along with some photos of examples, check out page 32 of our January issue.