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Newsletter 01/2018
We are pleased to welcome you to the monthly BattLab newsletter. This newsletter will bring you the latest news and information about our laboratory and all tests that we can offer to all our clients.
Free evening seminar at BattLab
BattLab is happy to announce the first of a series of free evening seminars that will take place this year in BattLab. Our new clinical pathologist, Selda Cursteit, will focus on the diagnostic approach to canine mast cell tumours and will provide all the information a veterinarian needs to know when a mast cell tumour is diagnosed in a dog.  Limited spaces are available.
The CPD includes a light buffet before the talk and can also be counted as CPD hours.

For booking please send an email to 
ALABAMA ROT DISEASE: an update on two recent cases from the Warwickshire
This year in Warwickshire there has been two confirmed cases of Alabama Rot disease, one from a dog in Henley in Arden in March and a recent one in Rugby last November. BattLab received bloods from the latter case for analysis. Sadly, since this is a fatal disease, and its presentation is very typical, we thought was appropriate to give you the basic information needed to promptly recognise the signs and the symptoms.
Alabama Rot, technically called cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy, is a disease of unknown aetiology described in dogs of all breeds, with no predisposition of age, sex or weight. It has been initially reported in the ’80s in the USA, mainly affecting Greyhounds dogs; however, more recently several cases have been described in Europe and in most areas of England.
The disease starts with characteristic ulcerative lesions, often involving the distal limbs, and is followed by pyrexia and acute kidney injury, accompanied by severe azotaemia. The major renal histopathological lesion reported in this disease is thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA). This causes damage to the vascular endothelium, leading to the widespread formation of thrombi and resultant consumptive thrombocytopenia, microangiopathic anaemia and multiorgan dysfunction. Definitive diagnosis is based on histopathological examination of kidney and skin lesions.
This disease carries a poor prognosis and all thirty dogs from a recent UK study died or were euthanised in a short period of time from the diagnosis. As the cause is unknown, there is no specific treatment for this disease and most cases are managed with supportive therapy, typically consisting of intravenous fluids and antibiotic therapy.
If you suspect a dog has this disease, an initial blood investigation is useful for an initial presumptive diagnosis. BattLab can provide this service for you with same day results if you are based in the West Midlands area.
For more information about the disease and for an updated map of the most recent cases check this link or feel free to contact us.
TRITRICHOMONAS FOETUS: a common cause of chronic diarrhoea in the domestic cat
Aetiology. Tritrichomonas foetus is a protozoal parasite determined to be a causative agent of chronic diarrhoea in the cat.
Transmission. Feline trichomonosis is a disease with a faecal-oral route of spread. T. foetus is incapable of prolonged survival outside the host (<1h), but can survive for several days in moist stools.
Clinical signs vary from subclinical to intractable large bowel diarrhoea. T. foetus-associated diarrhoea waxes and wanes, is semi formed to a soft, unformed consistency rather than liquid, and is not associated with signs of systemic illness. Clinical signs are reported to persist for several months from the time of diagnosis. More than half of the cats that go into clinical remission will have PCR evidence of infection (asymptomatic carrier), and many of these cats will relapse for a short duration, often with worse diarrhoea. Mortality is extremely rare and only reported in kittens.
Co-infections. A detail analysis of enteropathogen co-infection in UK cats with diarrhoea showed infection with T. foetus in cats can be associated with infection by Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium spp.
Risk factors. T. foetus infection should be considered as a possible differential diagnosis in a cat with recent clinical signs of chronic large bowel diarrhoea. Collectively purebred is a risk factor for T. foetus infections in general, and Abyssinians, Siamese, Bengal and Norwegian Forest in specific.
Diagnosis. Diagnosis of infection is made by either examination of the direct faecal smear or culture (both with low sensitivity), or by the use of PCR faecal samples.
PCR testing has excellent sensitivity, but false negative results may occur. Possible reasons for failure to detect infection include:
  • Intermittent shedding of the parasite
  • Use of old, dried out, non-diarrheic, or litter-contaminated faeces
  • Cat is currently or has recently received antibiotics (<7d)
  • Insufficient quantity of sample submitted (submit at least 1g of faeces)
  • Numbers of T. foetus are below the detection limit of the test
Sample requirements. 3 days pooled diarrheic faeces and possibly free from litter, as formed stool rarely tests positive even if a subclinical shedder.
PCR testing for T. foetus is available at Battlab on 3 day pooled faeces samples, with the turnaround time of 1-2 working days only. BattLab also offers a very complete service of gastroenterology testing, including PCR for enteropathogenic E. Coli and customised E. Coli vaccines.
For more information check our website
FECAVA-LABOKLIN Travel Bursary: an opportunity not to be missed!
In order to improve the understanding of companion animal veterinarians in Europe at “grass root” level, the FECAVA, the Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations, launched in 2014 the FECAVA-LABOKLIN Travel Bursary, together with our partner company LABOKLIN. The Bursary which is granted once a year will enable two groups of small animal practitioners from two different parts of Europe to visit each other, to observe each other’s daily work, to enjoy their local culture and to learn from another.
All details about the bursary and how to apply can be found at this link.
The scholarship, totalling € 2,000 per year will support the exchange visits between the two groups selected each year.  The recipients of the Scholarship will be announced at the FECAVA Euro Congress.
Yours sincerely,
The BattLab team
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