Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protein tests to diagnose pet food-poisoned dogs

09.01.2006


While dogs keep dying from eating pet food tainted with aflatoxin, Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine is announcing it has developed protein tests that accurately indicate a dog’s liver failure caused by the toxin.



In late December, some dogs from the Eastern and Southeastern United States have become either seriously ill or have died after eating dog food manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods. The dog food was tainted with aflatoxin. About 17 severe cases of aflatoxin poisoning came to the Cornell University Hospital for Animals.

The Protein C Activity Assay -- a human protein test that was modified at Cornell over the past three years for animal use -- is one of several tests Cornell veterinarians have been using to detect liver damage in seriously poisoned dogs. The blood test results are available within a day. Aflatoxin curtails the production of cholesterol and many proteins that profoundly affect blood clotting.


The Protein C Activity Assay indicates levels of protein C made by the liver. Dogs poisoned with aflatoxin have only 10 to 15 percent of normal amounts of protein C, says Marjory Brooks, DVM, of Cornell’s Animal Health Diagnostic Center. "A progressive fall in protein C levels appears to be a sensitive indicator," Brooks says. This test panel including protein C is only available at Cornell. For testing, veterinarians draw blood from the dog and send it overnight to Cornell’s Animal Health Diagnostic Center.

For detection of seriously affected dogs, Sharon Center, DVM, Cornell professor of veterinary medicine who specializes in liver function and disease, says a combination of tests should be administered. She suggests testing for the liver enzyme ALT to detect damage to the liver, serum cholesterol and total bilirubin concentration (bilirubin examines for jaundice) and the activity of the anticoagulant proteins antithrombin III (ATIII) and protein C.

Even though Diamond, Country Value and Professional dog food brands have been recalled for containing highly toxic aflatoxins, the tainted food has caused at least 100 dog deaths nationally in recent weeks, say Cornell veterinarians, who are growing increasingly concerned about a lack of public awareness about the problem. Some consumers and kennels remain unaware of the tainted pet food problem, they say, and as a result, dogs around the nation, and possibly in more than two dozen other countries, are continuing to be fed food containing a lethal toxin. (See related story.)

The Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine is continually updating its Web site (http://www.vet.cornell.edu/news/articles/diamondPetFoods.htm) to keep the public and veterinarians informed as new information on the poisonings (such as the effectiveness of the Protein C Activity Assay) emerge. It also is analyzing blood and liver samples from sick dogs around the country, testing suspected dog food, conducting necropsies and examining as many samples of liver tissue as possible from deceased dogs to confirm causes of death, tracking dogs that have died and following up on the health of dogs that have survived the food poisoning -- all of this in an effort to assess the problem, help develop solutions and get useful information to veterinary professionals and the public.

Blood, tissue, liver and food samples can be sent to the Animal Health Diagnostic Center, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, phone (607) 253-3900.

To report animals that might have died recently from the food poisoning, send an e-mail to diagcenter@cornell.edu, and Cornell researchers will follow up to gather more information.

Blaine P. Friedlander Jr. | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vet.cornell.edu/news/articles/diamondPetFoods.htm
http://www.cornell.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht 127 at one blow...
18.01.2017 | Stiftung Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Leibniz-Institut für Biodiversität der Tiere

nachricht How gut bacteria can make us ill
18.01.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Explaining how 2-D materials break at the atomic level

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Data analysis optimizes cyber-physical systems in telecommunications and building automation

18.01.2017 | Information Technology

Reducing household waste with less energy

18.01.2017 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>