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March 01, 2020

In Short

Published on February 12, 2020

Scientists find dog aggression–gut microbe link

Researchers at Oregon State University have identified a link between gut microbes and aggressive behavior in dogs.

Aggressive dogTheir study, published Jan. 9 online in PeerJ, stops short of saying the composition of a dog’s gut microbiome causes aggressiveness or vice versa, only that statistical associations exist between a dog’s behavior and the microbes it hosts.

Researchers looked at 31 pit bull–type dogs, 14 male and 17 female, rescued from a dogfighting operation. Each animal was screened by an animal welfare agency and categorized as aggressive or nonaggressive. Fecal samples were collected and analyzed.

Firmicutes, Fusobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria were the dominant phyla among all stool samples, but their abundance differed between aggressive and nonaggressive animals. Proteobacteria and Fusobacteria were more abundant in relative terms in nonaggressive dogs, whereas Firmicutes was relatively more abundant in dogs showing aggression, according to an OSU press release.

Other microbiome differences between aggressive and nonaggressive dogs were observed at the operational taxonomic unit.

Airvet, VSG partner on telemedicine

Airvet announced a new partnership in mid-January to be the telemedicine platform of choice for the 1,400-plus member practices of Veterinary Study Groups Inc.

Based in Los Angeles, Airvet uses cloud-based technology to offer an app that enables veterinarians to connect with their clients via live video, audio, and chat. Airvet also includes a built-in triage service available 24/7 to pet owners.

VSG consists of veterinary management groups. Each group is made up of 16-22 individuals and meets biannually to share information, data, and management experiences.

“We are excited about this strategic partnership as we look to help our independent veterinary practices further leverage new technologies and implement telemedicine to prepare to meet the ever-changing expectations of their clients,” said Steve Curvey, VSG chief operating officer, in an announcement about the partnership.

Brandon Werber, Airvet CEO, said, “Our focus is and will continue to be on leveraging technology to create new efficiencies in a practice’s daily workflow, and provide a seamless continuity of care for clients, all without taxing an already busy practice.”

Study links order of treatments, drug resistance

When treating recurring bovine respiratory disease, the order of antimicrobials used may influence the likelihood of drug resistance.

Treating BRD with bacteriostatic antibiotics, which inhibit bacterial growth, followed by bactericidal ones, which kill bacteria during a growth phase, may increase the risk of selecting for drug-resistant bacteria, according to study results published in December through PLOS One.

The article, citing a 2011 feedlot study, indicates about 15% of feedlot cattle receive multiple treatments for BRD, and more than 90% of those subsequent treatments involve a different class of antimicrobial. The authors of the 2019 article examined connections between drug class selection and antimicrobial susceptibility among Mannheimia haemolytica, Pasteurella multocida, and Histophilus somni isolates.

Their examination used isolates that were sent to the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory over three years along with case histories with documented treatments.

The authors found associations between increasing numbers of treatments and increasing antimicrobial resistance. They also found more frequent resistance when cattle received subsequent treatments with antimicrobials that had different mechanisms.

Treating an M haemolytica infection with tulathromycin, which is bacteriostatic, followed by ceftiofur, which is bactericidal, was associated with the highest probability of drug resistance.

The research team is associated with Iowa State University, Kansas State University, and Drake University.

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