Worms & Germs Blog

Monthly Archives: June 2009

Rabies quarantine

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
There are two situations when animals may be quarantined because of rabies concerns: After biting a person. After potentially being exposed to a rabid animal. The time frame for quarantine in these two situations is quite different because of what the quarantine is meant to accomplish. Animals that have bitten someone are quarantined for 10… Continue Reading

Canine influenza vaccination

Posted in Dogs, Other diseases, Vaccination
A canine influenza virus vaccine has recently been released. Canine influenzais a virus that originated from a horse influenza strain and is now circulating in some dog populations. (To my knowledge, we have yet to find it in Ontario. We didn’t find any evidence of it in an earlier surveillance study). It typically causes mild… Continue Reading

Antibiotics: how about a dose of common sense

Posted in Miscellaneous
Antibiotic resistance is a major problem. Anyone that denies that is delusional. Anyone who thinks that antibiotic use in veterinary AND human medicine don’t contribute to resistance are similarly clueless. Most people do understand these basic facts. However, what people feel should be done about the problem is quite variable, ranging from doing nothing to proposing… Continue Reading

More on service animals and access

Posted in Dogs, Other animals
Recently, I wrote a commentary about the need to better define what service animals are because of potential abuse of regulations regarding service animals and the possibility that illegitimate use of the term could impact true service animals. Here are some good comments from a reader. As a service dog user and trainer who sometimes… Continue Reading

A need for a better definition of service animals

Posted in Animals, Dogs
Because service animals are so important to the people they assit, they have much greater access to various venues than other animals. In the US, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifically addresses service animal access issues. It was a landmark act that ensured appropriate access for these animals so that people who require them… Continue Reading

Dog bites and MRSA

Posted in Dogs, MRSA/MRSP
There’s been a lot of talk (hype) in the press about pet bites and MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). This relates to a paper in Lancet Infectious Diseases regarding infections associated with pet bites. Some press articles are more sensational than others, but most are taking the bite infection paper and building in unrelated comments about MRSA in… Continue Reading

Mycobacterium bovis… don’t blame the cows?

Posted in Other diseases
I recently wrote about Mycobacterium bovis, the cause of bovine TB and a pathogen that can be transmitted to people and rarely to pets. A reader made the following comment: "Having come across your very interesting blog, I was questioning/wondering whether your statement regarding Mycobacterium bovis, "whose main natural reservoir is cattle", is in fact… Continue Reading

More about turtles and Salmonella

Posted in Reptiles, Salmonella
In response to recent posts about Salmonella and turtles, a reader posed these questions: Okay, so turtles and tortoises can carry salmonella.  Does that mean that all do?  Not all, but a lot of them do. Aquatic turtles are probably a greater risk than tortoises. If a vet analyzes a poop sample from my Russian… Continue Reading

“The other TB” Mycobacterium bovis

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Other diseases
Tuberculosis (TB) is an incredibly important disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It’s a huge problem internationally, and the problem is getting worse in many areas. Another cause of "tubercular" (or tuberculosis-like) disease is Mycobacterium bovis, a related microorganism whose main natural reservoir is cattle. Mycobacterium bovis is cause of bovine TB. It can also infect… Continue Reading

EFSA Statement on MRSA in animals and food

Posted in MRSA/MRSP
The European Food Safety Authority, along with the European CDC and European Medicines Agency, have released a report about methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in livestock, pets and food. There’s nothing too earth-shattering in it, and nothing more than what we’ve been saying all along, but some of the points are worth repeating. While food may be… Continue Reading

Meningitis in a baby linked to pet cat

Posted in Cats, Other diseases
A paper in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology back in 2000 described a case of Pasteurella multocida meningitis in a one-month-old baby that was linked to a pet cat. Pasteurella multocida is a bacterium that can be commonly found in the mouth of healthy dogs and cats – 90% or more of healthy cats may have… Continue Reading

Another dog cull in China

Posted in Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
At the same time that the country is drafting an animal welfare law that would ban widespread killing of dogs, a Chinese city has killed 36 000 stray and pet dogs in an effort to eliminate rabies. Since late May 2009, more than 6 000 people in Hanzhong have been bitten or scratched (presumably by… Continue Reading

Red eared slider turtle rebuttal

Posted in Other animals, Salmonella
Following a report on black market turtle sales in Maryland, a letter to the Baltimore Sun by Maryland veterinarian Dr. Jeffery Rhody wanted to "set the record straight". "All reptiles carry salmonella as part of the normal bacterial population in their body." Not really true, however Salmonella can commonly be found in healthy reptiles, so… Continue Reading

Black market turtles in Baltimore

Posted in Reptiles, Salmonella
There is apparently a thriving black market for baby red-eared slider turtles in Baltimore. The sale  (and possession) of small turtles is illegal in Maryland, like many other regions, largely because of public health concerns regarding Salmonella. Over 100 hatchling turtles have been seized in the past 2 weeks. Baby turtles offer a good profit… Continue Reading

Watch your step in Dutch parks

Posted in Dogs
I recently wrote about a Dutch study of zoonotic parasites in pet feces and pets’ haircoats. As part of that study, they asked pet owners about certain behaviours in their pets, and got some interesting answers. 60% of pets visit the bedroom (I’m surprised that’s not higher), with 45% of dogs and 62% of cats allowed… Continue Reading

Parasite exposure from pets

Posted in Cats, Deworming, Dogs, Parasites
A recent study from the Netherlands investigated the prevalence of zoonotic parasites in pet feces and on pets’ haircoats. The authors sampled feces and fur from dogs and cats, and looked for Toxocara (roundworms), Toxoplasma, Giardia and Cryptosporidium. All these parasites are of concern from a public health standpoint because they can be found in… Continue Reading

Are all Giardia created alike?

Posted in Dogs, Parasites
Giardia is a protozoal parasite that can cause diarrhea in multiple animal species. This microscopic parasite is a zoonotic pathogen that can be transmitted between animals and humans, and there are conerns about the role of pets in human disease.  Various studies have evaluated the presence of Giardia in healthy dogs and, to a lesser degree,… Continue Reading

Infection control best practices: French version

Posted in Miscellaneous
A comprehensive infection control document entitled "Infection Prevention and Control Best Practices for Small Animal Veterinary Clinics" was released last fall. A French translation has been completed and it now available on the Worms & Germs Resources page, as well as by clicking here. This document is an excellent resource for small animal veterinary practices… Continue Reading

Alternative heartworm treatments

Posted in Dogs
Here’s a recent question: "We have a ‘new’ boxer age 2. The breeder believes in the raw food diet, and not many vaccinations or preventitive treatments. Recently the boxer has been shown to be heartworm positive, and she (the breeder) wants us to take a "holistic" approach to management. Are there any randomized trials to… Continue Reading