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The role of microfilaremia in dogs with episodic weakness in Greece
Episodic weakness in hunting dogs in a dirofilaria-endemic region. In 50 dogs showing this symptom 10% were positive for Dirofilaria imminitis and 30% for Dirofilaria repens. But are heartworms really responsible for the weakness? The control group with clinically normal hunting dogs has also interesting blood results...

Blood samples from 50 dogs with episodic weakness and 50 clinically normal dogs, all belonging to hunting breeds, were examined for microfilariae using the modified Knott`s method.

The prevalence of microfilaraemia in dogs belonging to the episodic weakness group was 10% for Dirofilaria immitis, 30% for Dirofilaria repens and 8% for Acanthocheilonema reconditum.

In the clinically normal group, the figures were 14% for Dirofilaria repens and 4% for Acanthocheilonema reconditum.

The overall percentage of dogs with microfilaremia in the episodic weakness group was 44 and that of the clinically normal group 16, with a statistically significant difference (P < 0.01).

The prevalence of microfilaremia due to the nonpathogenic filarial species (Dirofilaria repens, Acanthocheilonema reconditum) was 34% and 16% for the episodic weakness group and the clinically normal dogs, respectively, with no significant difference.


Source: Papazahariadou MG, Koutinas AF, Rallis TS, Haralabidis ST. (1994): Prevalence of microfilaraemia in episodic weakness and clinically normal dogs belonging to hunting breeds. In: J Helminthol. 1994 Sep;68(3):243-5.




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SMALL ANIMAL PRACTICE

The expression of Vitamin D receptors in dogs
There is growing evidence linking low blood vitamin D concentration to numerous diseases in people and in dogs. Vitamin D influences cellular function by signaling through the vitamin D receptor (VDR). Little is known about which non-skeletal tissues express the VDR or how inflammation influences its expression in the dog.
The objectives of this recently online published study were to define which non-skeletal canine tissues express the VDR and to investigate expression in inflamed small intestine.

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