Dlab Updates

For Veterinarians and Pet Owners Concerned about Trifexis

The UGA Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Athens conducted a necropsy on a single puppy that was reported to have ingested Trifexis. Based on this single case, we do not have any information regarding the toxicity, or lack thereof, of this drug. Pet owners or veterinarians who want to report an adverse reaction to an approved drug should report the problem directly to the drug’s manufacturer, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Elanco, which manufactures Trifexis, has created a phone hotline for consumers: 888-545-5973. Click here to read a statement released by Elanco on Nov. 11, 2013.

Veterinarians with questions may contact Elanco Chief Veterinarian Dr. Steve Connell at 317-433-5488 or connell_stephen_a@elanco.com

-- Posted Nov. 13, 2013

UGA labs conduct testing for FDA’s pet food surveillance program

UGA labs conduct testing for FDA’s pet food surveillance program

(Athens, Ga.) — The University of Georgia Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories, located in Athens and Tifton, are collaborating with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network to evaluate diagnostic samples from companion animals in suspect cases of exposure to contaminated foods or drugs, to help protect human and animal health.

On October 22, the FDA released an update to its ongoing investigation into pet illnesses and deaths associated with jerky pet treats from China. Since 2007, the FDA has investigated over 3,000 reports of pet illnesses related to consumption of jerky treats, the agency said. According to the FDA, as of September 24, 2013, more than 3600 dog cases, 10 cat cases, and more than 580 deaths have been reported. The treats are sold as jerky tenders or strips and are made with chicken, duck, sweet potato, dried fruit, and in combinations of these ingredients. So far, no specific cause has been determined for these illnesses. For more information, click here.

The UGA Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories, part of the College of Veterinary Medicine, will test sick animal samples as well as suspect jerky treats for potential bacterial pathogens. The laboratories also will conduct autopsies on any dogs or cats that die after consumption of a jerky treat. The tests and autopsies will be performed at no cost as long as the criteria outlined below are met.

Pet owners with suspect cases should contact their veterinarian about submitting samples to the laboratories. Pet owners living in the greater Athens area may visit the college’s Community Practice Clinic for consultation or contact the clinic at 706-542-1984.

What to look for in your pet:
Pets that have consumed potentially contaminated food or drugs may exhibit the following symptoms within hours to several days following consumption: decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes with blood or mucus), increased water consumption and increased urination.

Internal case definition criteria:
1. Animal species: dogs and cats.
2. Timeline: must have consumed jerky treats 7-21 days ago.
3. Type of treat: treats made from chicken, duck, sweet potato, and dried fruit or combinations of these ingredients.
4. Clinical signs: ~60% of cases — gastro-intestinal (anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea); ~30% of cases — urinary (polydipsia, polyuria, Fanconi syndrome); ~10% of cases — other signs (convulsions, tremors, hives, and skin irritation).

FDA pre-approval is required before we can test jerky pet treats at no expense. Testing at a fee is not available. Please, call the FDA (1-888-463-6332) to obtain pre-approval prior to submitting samples to us.

Information to be collected by clinicians in addition to general case history should include:

    • Lot number(s) of the specific suspect jerky treat(s).
    • How long the owner has been feeding the treat.
    • How did the owner give the treat or food to their pet – entire piece or broken?
    • What else the pet has been eating (all treats, human food, and pet food), including how much is given daily of all items.

Samples to collect for testing: Cases meeting the above criteria can be tested by the UGA Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories at no expense to the client. Samples to submit include:

    • Feces: for Salmonella testing.
    • Urine: for conducting routine urine analysis and to freeze one sub-sample (to be used in case of follow-up).
    • Blood: for routine blood work for liver and kidney injury.
    • Sample of the jerky treat consumed by the patient (both opened and unopened samples, if possible).
    • Entire carcass for autopsy if the patient dies.

Veterinarians or pet owners with questions may call our labs:

    • The Athens Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory: 706-542-5568
    • The Tifton Veterinary Diagnostic and Investigational Laboratory: 229-386-3340

Centaur Coggins ELISA Kit Recall

Centaur Inc has issued a STOP SALE of its Equine Infectious Anemia (Coggins) FP ELISA II kit due to false negative results on horse sera of some EIA strong positive reactor status. The manufacturer is recommending that another USDA approved test be used to confirm negative results. The Athens Veterinary Diagnostic Lab would like to assure its equine clients that any Coggins ELISA results reported are valid and accurate. It is standard procedure in our lab to run any sample submitted for Coggins ELISA on the Coggins AGID test for confirmation of results. All ELISA samples run on Centaur FP ELISA II were confirmed negative through AGID testing and no further testing is required.

Want discounted UPS shipping?

The UGA Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories in Athens and Tifton have worked with UPS to come up with a discounted shipping solution for you:

  • Call our lab to request labels (Athens: 706.542.5568; Tifton: 229.386.3340).
  • You will receive a supply of pre-printed Ground and/or Next Day Air shipping labels and address pouches.
  • Package your samples and place the shipping label in an address pouch; adhere the address pouch to your package.
  • You may take your package to a UPS drop-off location, or, hand it to the driver if the driver is already scheduled for a pickup at your location.
  • If you have additional questions, call one of our labs for help.

In 2012, EEE diagnosed in 8 Georgia counties; WNV in equines diagnosed in 4 counties

The Tifton Veterinary Diagnostic and Investigational Laboratory (TVDIL) has diagnosed 8 cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis and 4 cases of West Nile Virus in horses, since summer began. EEE and WNV are mosquito-borne viral disease prevalent in the eastern United States; both cause serious disease in horses, humans and birds. These diseases are the most serious mosquito-borne diseases in the U.S. Clinical signs in horses include fever, anorexia, depression, hyperexcitability, blindness, ataxia, recumbency, convulsions, and death. For diagnosis, TVDIL tests serum samples from live animals for IgM; from deceased animals, a PCR, histopathology, or virus isolation on brain is recommended. Mosquito control and vaccination of horses is highly recommended to prevent these fatal diseases. EEE has been detected in the following Georgia counties: Brantley, Lanier, Pierce, Thomas, Jefferson, Wayne, Irwin, Johnson. WNV in horses has been detected in the following Georgia counties: Seminole, Tift, Appling, Lowndes.

AVDL and TVDIL were featured in the 2011 VMES Report

The Georgia Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories were featured in the 2011 Veterinary Medical Experiment Station (VMES) Annual Report. Click here to read the article.

Test results available by e-mail and online

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