Thursday, 12 September 2013

Circovirus in Dogs - Ohio - latest - brave veterinarians

The latest report from Ohio gives us the feeling that things are not so different with North America’s veterinary establishment. Take on the orthodoxy and you get trod on. Veterinarians in the English speaking world, with good reason,  are often scared stiff of their own.

What price freedom if you are a veterinarian or dare criticise them?

Anyway, this confirms what we have been saying about Circovirus, the precursor to the epidemics of CSF (Classical Swine Fever) and FMD (Foot and Mouth) in 2000 and 2001. The dating is right and also consistent with the immediate source of British Porcine Circovirus being Canada. The importance of co-infections is clearly stated.

It has not yet been proved that it is the same disease in dogs and from, past experience, there will be an extreme reluctance to admit any connection with pigs, if indeed there is one.

But Ohio is pigs, and we have not overlooked the many mysterious, still unexplained,dog deaths, some even on the Queen's Sandringham estate, in an Eastern England, also thick with pigs and riddled with Porcine Circovirus.

There are corrupt dangerous vets, in very senior posts, with a taste for intimidation. Dangerous circovirus was, and is, being played down and covered-up, critics, even witnesses to Parliament were and are harassed and threatened .

Anyway, the Akron Beacon are to be congratulated. We give just the highlights, be sure to read in full here.

Researcher: Healthy dogs as well as sick ones can shed virus

By Kathy Antoniotti 
Beacon Journal staff writer

Melanie Butera in this Jan. 2013 file photo. Butera has been instrumental in the pursuit to find answers about the canine virus. (Karen Schiely/Akron Beacon Journal)

A retired Ohio State University veterinary immunologist and pathologist who 15 years ago helped identify a deadly pig virus is praising a former student for raising concerns about dogs dying of a mysterious disease.

Dr. Steven Krakowka said it took courage for Dr. Melanie Butera to alert authorities when she saw something new and disturbing at her Canal Fulton veterinary practice.

“She took a big chance. If she’s wrong, she could get her head chopped. But she’s not wrong,” Krakowka said this week from his Ohio State office where he continues to conduct research part time.

He knows firsthand the risks of stepping out.

Krakowka and researchers John Ellis of Canada and Gordon Allen of Ireland discovered porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2) in 1997. They had trouble getting the U.S. swine industry to believe they had discovered a new disease and spent more than four years traveling the world talking about how to deal with it.

“Finally, the U.S. swine producers and particularly the swine infectious disease veterinarians had to admit that this disease was real and we had it in swine populations and that we — John, Gordon and myself — were absolutely correct,” Krakowka said...

Today, the vaccine developed to control the disease is given to pigs born worldwide, saving pork producers an estimated half a billion to a billion dollars a year in potential lost revenue.

The questions in today’s mystery are large: Is this the pig virus and has it jumped species? Are dog deaths in California, Cincinnati and Canal Fulton due to the same virus? Is the virus making dogs ill on its own, or is it working in conjunction with something else?...

...The UC-Davis results indicated that circovirus, alone or in co-infection with other pathogens, might have contributed to illness. On Tuesday, the Veterinarian Information Network, an online community for veterinarians, reported that samples from three infected Ohio animals had been delivered to Dr. Patricia Pesavento, an associate professor of pathology, microbiology and immunology at the university. One tested positive for DogCV...

...Pesavento said previous researchers identified 10 animals that are infected with canine circovirus...

...Krakowka said the distinction that researchers gave the virus an individual name is telling.

“The California doctors have isolated and sequenced this virus and compared it. I don’t know how close it is to porcine circovirus 2. My guess is it is sufficiently distinct to get the name ‘canine circovirus’ rather than ‘pig circocvirus in dogs,’ ” Krakowka said.

Now, he said, the question is whether the virus itself makes the dogs ill, or whether the virus acts in conjunction with something else.

“In other words, is circovirus itself causing the disease or is the dog sick of something else and it happens to be carrying circovirus?” said Krakowka, among the most cited veterinary research scientists in the world, according to Science Watch International...

...If the new virus is found to parallel PCV2, healthy, normal dogs might be carriers that shed the virus through feces and respiratory tracts for several weeks and months, Krakowka said....

...State involvement

On Friday, the Ohio Department of Agriculture posted a notice on its website asking veterinarians to contact the Division of Animal Health if they suspect any patients are suffering from the same symptoms affecting dogs in the Akron-Canton area and Cincinnati...

...He called Butera “a very astute clinician to separate normal sickness from something else.”

“The fact that she’s in private practice rather than in an academic environment makes it even more amazing because there is almost no incentive to think outside the box when you are a practitioner and you are trying to make a living,” he said.

He sees a parallel between his experiences and those Canal Fulton veterinarian Butera is going through after notifying authorities of her suspicions.

“That’s a huge leap of faith to have the mental and the emotional courage to get out in front of this because nobody else has told you about it. And there you are, right on the leading edge, saying we got something new. And people paid attention,” he said.