What is OAHN?

Disease surveillance is more important now than ever before, and the Ontario Animal Health Network (OAHN) is dedicated to early detection and response to emerging infectious disease in our province’s animal populations. 

What is OAHN?

The Ontario Animal Health Network (OAHN) is a collaborative way of looking at animal health and disease in Ontario.

Vision

Public trust and confidence from a collaborative animal health network in Ontario.

Mission

Coordinated preparedness, early detection, and response to animal disease, through sustainable cross-sector networks.

OAHN seeks to form a regular line of communication with as many veterinarians across Ontario as possible, both to collect information about disease seen in practice (in a manner that is easy for practitioners), and to share pertinent health and disease information regularly. The desired outcome is to enable veterinarians to make more informed diagnostic and treatment decisions based on current disease information in Ontario.

How does it work?

  • Each species sector has an expert network, consisting of veterinarians from: private practice, OVC, the AHL, and OMAFRA. Some networks also include members from producer groups or other government groups. Veterinary representatives are elected by their peers.
  • For most networks, a quick, species-specific survey is distributed quarterly to veterinarians to identify syndrome prevalence (e.g., increased cases of neurologic signs).
  • Lab data is also compiled quarterly noting top pathogens/diseases affecting each species from AHL (all sectors), Gallant Labs (swine) and IDEXX (equine).
  • Species Expert Networks meet quarterly to discuss and interpret the lab data and to review clinical observations from the veterinary surveys and from the network member veterinarians. They discuss implications for animal health, for veterinarians and for industry.
  • Network discussions focus on trends, risks and actionable items for each industry (e.g., continuing education needs, research needs, emergency preparations)
  • Reports and/or other communications (infographics, podcasts, fact-sheets) summarizing current disease risks and network observations are created and distributed to veterinarians. Some networks also create a report specific to owners or producer/industry groups.
  • Research projects are initiated to allow quick investigation into disease trends, based on the networks’ analysis of available data and veterinary observations. These projects provide insight into animal health in Ontario, and help vets make decisions based on current risks and geographically relevant information.
  • The Expert Network may be involved with outbreak risk assessments with OMAFRA or urgent matters where consultation with veterinarians is required. Pertinent disease alerts and crucial information is distributed to veterinarians when outbreaks occur.

Expert Networks

Species-sector networks are comprised of:

  • Two co-leads (one OMAFRA lead veterinarian and one private practice veterinarian or industry representative) jointly facilitate network activities.
  • Three to four private practice veterinarians (*species experts may be elected in place of a veterinarian if not available, for industries such as bees).
  • AHL specialist
  • OVC species specialist
  • OMAFRA epidemiologist
  • Network coordinator

Some networks also include members from other government or industry organizations.

 

OAHN’s Links to Animal Health and Disease Surveillance Organizations (National and Provincial)

OAHN Network Members

Below, please find a link to the members of each OAHN Network:

Alternative Species
Bees
Bovine

Companion Animals
Equine
Fish
Poultry
Small Ruminants
Swine
Wildlife

Research Projects, Resources, Publications, and Reports

OAHN Research Projects

Resources

Publications and Presentations

To access the reports for a network, scroll to the top of the page and hover over “Network Reports” and select the desired species network. Note that you must be registered and logged in to view veterinary reports and resources.

Continuing Education through Social Media

We are constantly posting interesting and informative veterinary articles on our social media accounts. These help veterinarians to understand what is happening in the broader veterinary world without spending a lot of time searching.

Contact Information:

Network Coordinator: Dr. Kate Todd

519.824.4120 ext. 53364

oahn@uoguelph.ca

Website

Where We Are:

Building 89
419 Gordon Street
Guelph, ON
N1G 2W1

Facebook page:

Disease alerts and information for veterinarians

Twitter: @OntAnHealthNet

Podcasts:

Audio recordings about disease/issues for veterinarians

iTunes:

(search Ontario Animal Health Network)