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Spatial, demographic and clinical patterns of Angiostrongylus vasorum infection in the dog population of Southern England
  1. T. R. W. Blehaut, BSc BVSc MRCVS1,2,
  2. J. L. Hardstaff, MPharmacol, PG Dip, MSc, PhD3,
  3. P. S. Chapman, BVetMed, DipACVIM, DECVIM-CA, MRCVS4,
  4. D. U. Pfeiffer, DrMedVet, MANZCVSc, PhD, DipECVPH3,
  5. A. K. Boag, MA, VETMB, DipACVIM, DipACVECC, FHEA, MRCVS5 and
  6. F. J. Guitian, LV, PhD, FHEA, DipECVPH3
  1. 1Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, The Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hatfield, Herts, AL9 7TA, UK
  2. 2Fitzalan House Veterinary Group, 31 Fitzalan Road, Littlehampton, West Sussex, BN17 5ET, UK
  3. 3Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, The Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hatfield, Herts, AL9 7TA, UK
  4. 4Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, The Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hatfield, Herts, AL9 7TA, UK, Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center, 301 Veterans Highway, Levittown, PA 19056, USA
  5. 5Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, The Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hatfield, Herts, AL9 7TA, UK, Vets Now, Penguin House, Castle Riggs, Dunfermline,
    KY11 8SG, UK
  1. E-mail for correspondence: jguitian{at}rvc.ac.uk

Abstract

A retrospective study was carried out to provide updated knowledge of the spatial pattern of Angiostrongylus vasorum infection in Southern England and to investigate associations between selected host characteristics (age, breed, sex), risk of infection and clinical presentation (cardiorespiratory signs v haemorrhagic diathesis). One hundred and forty-one cases diagnosed between April 1999 and July 2012 were compared with a control population of dogs referred to the same hospital. A significant association was found between haemorrhagic diathesis and breed but not for other host characteristics and clinical presentations. Younger dogs and certain breeds of dog (Jack Russell terriers, Cocker Spaniels, Springer Spaniels, Cavalier King Charles spaniels and Staffordshire Bull Terriers) had significantly higher odds of angiostrongylosis than other breeds in the study. A significant cluster of cases was found in Southern England. Animals presenting with cardiorespiratory signs or haemorrhagic diathesis in Southern England, especially if they are young or of a breed associated with angiostrongylosis, should be given special consideration with regards to possible A. vasorum infestation. Our results should be interpreted bearing in mind that they are based on the retrospective exploration of dogs seen at a referral centre.

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