Concern that TB cases in companion animals are going undiagnosed

28 Nov 2020

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By Arabella Gray

There are potentially hundreds of cases of tuberculosis (TB) in cats and dogs in the UK that are failing to be identified every year.

According to vet researchers, TB infections are becoming increasingly common in dogs and cats – particularly in the latter – in the UK, but many of these cases are still being missed by vets in practice.

Unlike the management of TB in their farmed counterparts, there is no legal obligation to report the majority of suspected cases of TB in domestic animals to Defra/APHA (although a suspected case of Mycobacterium bovis in any mammal carcase is notifiable), and subsequently only a small number of TB infections in cats and dogs are recorded each year in the UK.

Speaking at the recent virtual official veterinarian conference, Conor O’Halloran, a researcher at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Edinburgh, said these low levels...