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 Fine organic particles in the atmosphere are more often solid glass beads than liquid oil droplets
21.04.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie

nachricht Study overturns seminal research about the developing nervous system
21.04.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>