Wild boar offal as a probable source of Aujeszky’s disease virus for hunting dogs in Poland

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Abstract

Introduction: Aujeszky’s disease (AD), most often related to infection of domestic and feral swine, may also concern other mammals, including dogs. The disease in carnivores, related to consumption of raw meat or offal contaminated with AD virus, is manifested by severe neurological disorders and inevitably leads to animal’s death.

Material and Methods: Karelian bear dog was euthanised due to nervous symptoms that started two days after participation in wild boar hunting. After exclusion of rabies the dog’s carcass was subjected to standard necropsy. Tissue samples were collected for histological examination. Samples of the brain were tested for ADV by real-time PCR and virus isolation. Samples of the liver were collected for toxicological examination.

Results: The presence of ADV was confirmed by real-time PCR and virus isolation. Toxicological examination revealed anticoagulant poisoning. This is the first case of Aujeszky’s disease (AD) in a hunting dog in Poland after exposure to ADV from offal of wild boar.

Conclusion: This infection should be taken into consideration in differential diagnosis of syndromes of neurological disorders in dogs. Since AD is found in both domestic pigs and wild boar in Poland, special care must be taken to prevent spread of infection to other species.

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