|Welcome to the American Whippet Club|
1989 American Whippet Club Whippet Annual
Pages 27 through 50
MYCOPLASMAS AND UREAPLASMAS:
WHAT IS THEIR ROLE IN CANINE REPRODUCTIVE FAILURE?
DONALD H. LEIN, DVM, PH.D.
CORNELL UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE
Mycoplasmas and Ureaplasmas are classified as the smallest free living microorganisms. They lack a rigid cell wall and are pleomorphic in shape, but like bacteria, they can live and reproduce on synthetic media. There are both pathogenic and nonpathogenic strains and many are opportunistic, developing long carry states on the lining membranes of the nasopharyncal oral cavity and/or genital tract with no clinical expression of disease until "opportunities" created by "stress" develop. Infections tend to be species specific with few exceptions, thus canine species usually will not affect other species such as man or cat.
Urogenital disease caused by mycoplasmas and ureaplasmas have been recognized for years in man and cattle. They have been the cause of infertility in both males and females resulting in abortion, post-parturient septicemia, weak and diseased newborns, female and male genital tract disease and poor conception. Poor semen quality has been associated with these organisms in both human and cattle infertility cases and in both, venereal transmission is recognized.
Mycoplasmas and ureaplasmas most often cause disease of mucus or serous membranes, and often involve the lungs, joints, urogenital tracts, mammary glands and eyes of affected animals. Mycoplasmas in the dog have caused or been associated with diseases of the lung, heart, urogenital tract, intestinal tract, eyes and tonsils. Special medias for transport of suspected specimens and growth of these microorganisms is needed for diagnosis. Serological diagnosis by blood test is not reliable since many of the infections are on surface linings and not systemic. Because they are very fastidious to grow and recognize, few laboratories are equipped, trained and capable to isolate and identify these microorganisms.
A recent survey of the mycoplasma flora of the dog by Rosenthal (1) revealed eleven Mycoplasma spp., one Acholeplasma spp., and four serological groups of ureaplasma. Mycoplasma spp. have been recognized and associated with canine reproductive disease for the last few years. Research workers have experimentally induced chronic orchitis and epididymitis in male dogs and uterine disease in female dogs with Mycoplasma canis. Recently, Canadian workers (2) have found association between canine ureaplasmas and infertility in stud dogs and breeding bitches. They have found a high correlation between isolation of ureaplasmas from the semen or preputial cavity of male dogs with infertility and poor semen quality.
Our laboratory and clinic have confirmed theirfindings in the bitch and by clinical studies recognize a syndrome of infertility characterized by poor conception, early embryonic death, embryo or fetal resorption, abortion, stillborn pups, weak newborn and dying pups. We have isolated mycoplasmas and/or ureaplasmas from all phases of this syndrome. This syndrome is most frequently seen in bitches that are in kennels, grouped close together, thus intensifying the numbers of these organisms in their environment and providing an opportunity for larger numbers of these organisms to affect the bitch and stud dogs. Intensive husbandry and large numbers of animals grouped closely together is also the common denominator in ureaplasma - mycoplasma infertility in cattle. The single house pet or small, less intensive managed kennel is less likely to be affected. h some infected kennels, several bitches will be involved and fertility rate will drop drastically. Clinical normal dogs can also harbor these agents and be reproductively normal. Affected bitches and stud dogs may show no clinical manifestations of overt urogenital infections, but pups may become affected inutero or at the time of birth resulting in this syndrome.
Mycoplasmas, and to a lesser degree ureaplasmas, probably because of their more recent recognition, have been associated with individual canine urogenital diseases, such as vaginitis, endometritis, pyometritis in the bitch and balanoposthitis, epididymitis, and orchitis in the stud dog. These organisms may be in association with other bacteria, such as Eschericha coli Stre ptococcal sop., Staphylococcal sop. and others.
Kennels that are affected with this syndrome are difficult to treat since there appears to be little immunity developed in the urogenital tract against these organisms and the syndrome continues through repeated breeding periods. The best control in affected kennels is to alter the husbandry and management by isolating the dogs into smaller groups. This disperses or dilutes the population and contact so that the microorganism numbers can be reduced. All dogs in the units, females and males, are treated systemically over a period of 10 to 14 days, in an attempt to eliminate the organism, with broad spectrum antibiotics, usually of the tetracycline group, since this family of antibiotics are most effective against mycoplasma agents. Systemic treatment versus local topical treatment is preferred since both the urogenital tract and nasopharyngeal area of affected animals will harbor these organisms. Records of pregnancy rate, litter size and weaned puppy number are then watched closely for improvement and routine periodic culture of the deep vaginal cavity of breeding bitches and the prepuce of stud dogs prior to mating is necessary to check for reinfection of mycoplasmas and/or ureaplasmas.
Research is needed to establish the definite role of these agents in breeding dogs and provide methods to prevent, treat or control these infections. Mycoplasma and ureaplasma diagnosis should be a part of every canine infection infertility examination along with other known agents, such as Brucella canis Eschericha coli and other common bacterial agents such as streptococcal and staphylococcal infections that can cause canine infertility.
CANINE MYCOPLASMA AND UREOPLASMA:
RALPH KOVACH, MD
We recently became acquainted with mycoplasmas as another cause of canine infertility and associated problems with the urogenital tract. We were about to breed one of our Pembroke Welsh Corgis and one of our Whippets when a phone call from a close friend informed us that her Corgi bitch was diagnosed as harboring mycoplasma. We asked, "What is mycoplasma?" And how is it transmitted? Her Corgi had whelped a litter of five a year previously and the entire litter died within a week. She recently had her bitch examined and she was found to harbor mycoplasma on vaginal culture.
We, therefore, had our two bitches cultured and sent one to Canada for breeding and arrangements were made to ship the Whippet for breeding. The cultures came back positive and the breedings were never carried out, thus avoiding potential significant problems and heartaches for us as well as the owners of the studs.
The most important fact regarding this problem is that appropriate treatment is available, easy to administer and not inordinately expensive.
Mycoplasmas and ureoplasmas are classified as the smallest free-living microorganisms. They both require sterol for growth. They lock a rigid cell wall and thus vary widely in shape or morphology. Like bacteria, they can be cultured. They can be carried as normal flora on the membranes of the nasopharynx or urogenital tract with no clinical symptomatology until the right conditions or numbers of organisms are present.
Urogenital disease caused by these organisms has been recognized for years in humans and cattle. Infertility caused by these microorganisms can result in male and female genital tract disease, poor conception, early embryonic death, fetal absorption, abortion, postpartum septicemia and weak and diseased newborns. Carrier states and venereal spread are common.
Eleven species of mycoplasma and five groups of ureaplasma were reported in the dog in 1982. They most often cause disease of mucosal epithelium or serous membranes, i.e. the surface lining of body cavities, and are often associated with diseases of the lungs, joints, urogenital tract, mammary glands, eyes, intestinal tract, heart and tonsils. Mycoplasmas and ureaplasmas have been isolated from animals in all phases of the syndrome, including dead neonates. Mycoplasmas and concomitant bacteria can cause kennel cough. The single house pet is less likely to be affected than the larger kennel.
Infertility caused by these organisms in the bitch and stud dog should be suspected when a history of infertility is present and is characterized by reduced conception, early embryonal or fetal death, abortion, stillborns, fading puppies, or neonatal deaths. Individual animals with urogenital discharges and upper respiratory infections are also suspect.
The diagnosis is made by isolation of the organisms by making a deep vaginal swab for culture from the affected bitch with a special guarded culture swab. No lubrication should be used. The culture swab should be processed within minutes or placed in special transport media, refrigerated and sent on ice to a laboratory capable of culturing these microorganisms.
Swabs of the prepuce, semen or prostatic fluid for suspect dogs can be submitted for culture. Serologic or blood tests are not reliable. Since these organisms are very fastidious and need special media and different atmospheres for growth, laboratories should be consulted to see if they are able to isolate and identify these agents. Cultures can take up to two weeks before results are final.
Treatment with chloramphenicol or tetracycline, the drugs of choice, should be given for ten to fourteen days. Erythromycin and ampicillin are not at effective. Repeat culture two to three weeks after discontinuation of antibiotic treatment is indicated to assure eradication.
Looking for infection with these organisms should be part of every diagnostic workup in cases of infectious canine infertility.
These questions were asked of Dr. Donald Lein, Director of the Diagnostic Laboratory,
1. How did my animal get it?
Mycoplasmas and ureaplasmas can be normal bacterial flora of the urogenital, oral, nasal and ocular openings of dogs. Transmission can be by contact (dog to dog), sexual contact, or contaminated environments that contain several housed dogs.
2. What part does stress play?
Stress can cause reduced defense mechanisms in any animal, allowing opportunistic agents to increase in number and infectivity.
3. Is there an incubation period?
The incubation period for any disease caused by mycoplasmas or ureaplasmas has not been scientifically answered yet. That work needs to be done. Since long term carrier states at low levels can eventually cause problems in the susceptible individual dog, it is difficult to give incubation time.
4. Do I have to treat my cat too?
There are some strains that are common to both cats and dogs, but this means that each isolate must be speciated. This is not routinely done in the laboratory, but eventually needs to be established. Research in developing quicker methods for speciation is required.
5. Should I treat my spayed bitches and neutered dogs?
if l don't treat them and they are part of one's colony of dogs, could they infect the other dogs?
6. Does cold weather (outside) kill it?
Dilution, space and air will help reduce carrier state numbers. This organism will not live in dry and light conditions, but will live short periods of time in moist and dark conditions.
7. Does it affect the bitches' seasons?
Scientific work needs to be carried out with experimental infections to answer this question.
8. Are there any physical outward signs?
Mycoplasmas and ureaplasmas, as well as other bacterial carrier states, may show no outward signs, and still if the numbers of organisms are high enough, cause infertility by poor conception, early embryonic death, fetal death, resorption, abortions or neonatal deaths. Bitches may have frank clinical signs with abnormal vulvar discharge caused by vaginitis, endometritis/pyometritis caused by these agents.
9. How bad is bad?
Mycoplasma, ureaplasma, or other opportunistic bacteria, either as a single agent or mixed agents, can cause infertility in an individual, or a complete kennel, with a drastic reduction of the number of puppies born or weaned.
10. Does coming in season bring it on?
Coming into season should not enhance the carrier state number of organisms.
11. How young can you treat a dog?
A dog can be treated at any age for mycoplasma or ureaplasma infections or high carrier states. Mycoplasmas alone, or in combination with other agents, can be the cause of bronchial pneumonia in puppies. This would require treatment.
The Whippet News Annual wishes to thank Dr. Donald Lein for allowing us to reprint his articles on canine infertility and canine mycoplasma and ureaplasma, and for answering questions for us, and Dr. Ralph Kovach for helping put it in terms we can understand more easily. We also thank Erma Kovach and Kay McLain for their assitance in compiling this important information for our readers.
HE IS THE SIRE OF THE YOUNGSTERS PICTURED
SIRE: Eng.Ch. Nevedith Paperweight DAM: Sakonnet Alfalfa
Best of Breed over Specials from the Open Class in an entry of 52 at the Whippet Club of Eastern Canada Specialty and Best Puppy in Breed. B.O.S. in Sweepstakes (Judge James R. Gray, MD) at the AWC Midwest 32 Specialty (Western Reserve KC) and Fourth in the Open Dog Class (21 entered). Born 10/24/87.
B.O.B. over 5 specials for 4 points at Baton Rouge KC.
Now has 12 points, litter sister also to above dog, these puppies are owned by Bente Opsahl and Jerry
We send congratulations to their breeders and owners.
FLASH!! Guy's daughter, Nutshell of Nevedith (in England) also finished her championship a few weeks ago.
Under the guidance of handler and "second mother" Carol Strong, Brett finished in September. Thanks to judges Bonnie Clarke, Dee Hutchinson (AWC Supported Entry), and John Shelton for his majors, and to Alfred Treen and Herman FeIlton for BOB awards. Brett now passes the baton to his sister Neka.
Neka - her classic elegance and sound movement finally convinced us you're never too old to begin a new career. Thanks to judge Roxanne Mahan for confirming our opinion by awarding our lady Winners Bitch at her first show, over major-pointed, breed-winning bitches.
Congratulations to the 1988 RAYBAR Champions:
CH. AYMES N RAYBAR'S ALTHEA - Owned by Raybar
(A-Few Stone Mountain x Am.Can.Ch. Raybar's On The Brink) CH. RAYBAR'S ONE NIGHT STAND - Owned by Jo and Carl Lagg
(Ch. Raybar's Rimshot x Raybar's Bottom Line)
CH. RAYBAR'S SCANDAL SHEET - Owned by Raybar
(Ch. Aymes N Raybar's Scuttlebutt x Raybar's Bottom Line)
And in the Field:
AYMES N RAYBAR'S DESERT STORM, LCM - Owned by Julie and Barry Smith (Ch. Bitterblue's Prairie Fire, CD, LCM x Am.Can.Ch. Raybar's On The Brink) AYMES N RAYBAR'S KIT KAT, F.CH. - Owned by Terese Ray
AYMES N RAYBAR'S MILKY WAY, F.CH. - Owned by Cindy and Jeff Hatcher AYMES N RAYBAR'S STARBURST, F.CH. - Owned by Raybar
( Ch. Carbeth The Candy Man, F.Ch. x Am.Can.Ch. Raybar's On The Brink)
We're keeping our fingers crossed for a 1989 litter by Ch. Raybar's Rimshot (age 9) out of Ch. Raybar's A Star Is Born, F.Ch. (age 7). More information and complete pedigree available upon request. Rimshot is the sire of the popular "Futurity Boys" at the 1988 Midwest Specialty. Star is the dam of Northwind's Lucky Star, Best in Sweepstakes at the 1988 Midwest Specialty.
RAY & BARBARA PARSONS
"HANDSOME" - A WHIPPET SIRE WORTHY OF CONSIDERATION
CONTINUING THE TRADITION OF DUAL TITLED CHAMPIONS, SHOW AND FIELD!
THE AMERICAN WHIPPET CLUB
"REGISTER OF MERIT"
At the Board of Directors meeting during the 1988 National Specialty weekend, it was decided to initiate a "Register of Merit" for influential Whippet sires and dams. Upon application, the AWC will grant the title "Register of Merit" (ROM) to any Whippet sire whose offspring have earned a minimum of 15 AKC champion and / or ARM titles, and to any Whippet dam whose offspring have earned a minimum of 5 AKC champion and / or ARM titles.
During its August meeting, the Board further decided to add a "Register of Merit - Excellent" (ROM-X) award to any Whippet sire whose offspring have earned a minimum of 25 AKC champion and / or ARM titles, and to any Whippet dam whose offspring have earned a minimum of 10 AKC and / or ARM titles. Furthermore, it was decided to design and print a certificate which will be awarded to those owners of sires and dams which have qualified for the award, and who have applied for it.
The first ROM's will be awarded at AWC's Awards Dinner during the 1989 National Specialty in Dallas: well over 50 certificates have been applied for by owners of current top producing sires and dams, and by some owners of past top producers also.
Following is a list of sires and dams which qualified for their ROM's based on champions published by the AKC up through 1986; please note that later champions and ARM winners are not included in this list. If you know of a Whippet which qualifies for its ROM title, please drop me a note and I'll send an application form. If you won't make it in time for the Awards Dinner at the 1989 National Specialty, you will at least have plenty of time until the equivalent in 1990.
Please write to :
ROM Director Bo N. Bengtson, P.O. Box 30430, Santa Barbara, CA 93130
RETROACTIVE "REGISTER OF MERIT" PRODUCERS
RETROACTIVE "REGISTER OF MERIT" PRODUCERS
REGISTER OF MERIT
"THE COACH" IS A DREAM COME TRUE!
Co-owned with Dr. John Burger
Gold-Dust's Champagne Parti is co-owned with Sporting Fields (doing maternal duty).
This litter is now 1 1/2 years old, by Ch. Delacreme De La Renta x Ch. Gold-Dust's Satin Finish.
(Ch. Delacreme de la Renta x Ch. Gold Dusts Satin Finish)
What a year it was for Lulu! In 1988, she thrilled us with her showing at the Midwest Specialty, going Reserve Winners Bitch Saturday and Sunday, over entries of 117 and 132, judges Lee Canalizo and Nadine Johnson. She thrilled us at Santa Barbara Weekend in July, capturing Winners Bitch at the Channel City show, judge Mrs. Jan Buchanan. She did her stuff again at Somerset Hills, winning Best in Sweepstakes, judge Cynthia Schmidt. She finished her title with a four-point major under Dr. Josephine Deubler, winning the Breed from the classes.
There were many other wins. Lulu always seemed to capture the judge's eye, with her classic outline and flowing movement.
Many thanks to Joan and Bob Goldstein for sharing the thrills with me and for their encouragement and support of Lulu's career.
And many thanks to Gale McCullough for her gentle hand and loving care of Lulu.
(Ch. Hardknott Maestro of Bohem x Ch. Whippoorwill Quiet Fox)
In 1988, Capri proved in every way that she is an exceptional whippet. Throughout the year, she mixed her wins in the show ring with wins on the lure coursing field, and even startled us with an exceptional performance in the Uval track!
Then Capri did the one thing I always dreamed of - won a major and BOS at Trenton Kennel Club, my hometown show, with all our family, friends, and neighbors cheering us on!
Thanks to Barbara Henderson for helping me choose Capri from a lovely litter, and thanks also for the good advice and encouragement, and for taking phone calls late at night in order to give it!
Capri started her career owner-handled and finished it with Gale McCullough, when the pressures of finishing my first book kept me from the show ring. (Hot Weekends in Miami, Bantam Books, due out in August 1989.)
1st litter by Ch. Bo-Bett's Wild Tobiano whelped 4-8-87
2nd Litter Whelped 10-9-88 • 5 dog, 1 bitch by Ch. Bo-Bett's Wild Waylon
FLASH !! Bar'O's April Breeze finished 12/16/88!
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