Worms & Germs Blog

Monthly Archives: September 2010

Prairie dog flea control

Posted in Other animals
In response to a case of plague in prairie dogs in Saskatchewan’s Grasslands National Park, park officials are dusting prairie dog burrows with insecticide to try to control fleas. A single case of plague, a serious bacterial infection caused by Yersinia pestis, was identified in a prairie dog in the park earlier this summer. Plague is… Continue Reading

Psst…Wanna vaccinate your dog?

Posted in Dogs
To me, a good general rule is "avoid buying things that are offered for sale at discount prices by a guy in a parking lot." Unfortunately, many people can’t seem to pass up a "bargain" and can end up paying more in the end. A good case in point is a man who was offering… Continue Reading

Chinese rabies vaccine fraud

Posted in Dogs
Among the most despicable of the recent consumer frauds in China is the sale of counterfeit rabies vaccine. Eight people in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region have been arrested for producing fake vaccine that may have resulted in the death of one child, and threatened 1000 other people. The fake vaccine was identified during… Continue Reading

Lyme disease in Australia?

Posted in Other diseases
The world is certainly getting "smaller," especially in terms of infectious diseases.  One example is the renewed controversy this month over the existence of Lyme disease in Australia.  A Sydney man was recently diagnosed with the disease following his death, and now a doctor from Laurieton claims to have "absolute proof" of at least two… Continue Reading

Classroom squirrel

Posted in Other animals
A Rosedale, California high school has welcomed a new pet into the classroom: a squirrel. CJ Addington, a physics teacher, caught a baby squirrel that some students spotted outside the school. I have some (just a few) issues with this: In most areas, catching and keeping wildlife is illegal, for good reason. A baby squirrel wandering… Continue Reading

Rabies vaccination of kids in the Philippines

Posted in Rabies
The Philippine Information Agency has issued a press release detailing a rabies vaccination program for 5000 public school children in the province of Camiguin. This is prophylactic (preventive) vaccination, not post-exposure treatment. Routine rabies vaccination is recommended for people at increased risk of exposure. Classically, this involves veterinary personnel, people working with wildlife, people working with… Continue Reading

Vaccine reactions: Real and imagined.

Posted in Horses
The other night, my daughter woke up yelling that she was "scratchy." She was quite upset and it continued for a while, despite my best attempts to calm her down. She had a bit of a fever and shortly after broke out in a good case of hives all over her body. How is this… Continue Reading

Equine rabies vaccination poll

Posted in Horses
TheHorse.com’s latest reader poll asked the question "If you knew rabies had been found in wildlife in your area, would you vaccinate your horse for it?" 79% of respondents said they already vaccinate against rabies annually. 16.5% said they don’t currently vaccinate but would if it was found in wildlife in the area. 4% still… Continue Reading

Ohio animal regulations (or lack thereof) under scrutiny

Posted in Other animals
An attack by a bear that killed a caretaker in a Cleveland, Ohio suburb has ignited discussion about the complete lack of regulation of ownership of large and potentially dangerous animals in many jurisdictions. Despite numerous serious injuries and deaths caused by dangerous exotic animals, some places like Ohio have had no means of restricting… Continue Reading

Fatal dog bite

Posted in Dogs
The family of a Washington state man is suing a dog owner after the man was bitten and developed a fatal infection. News reports are somewhat sketchy and contain some inconsistent information, but it appears that Kenneth Bock was bitten by Buddy, a coon hound, at his place of work. There are conflicting stories about… Continue Reading

Petting zoo disease prevention

Posted in Other animals
Around here, fall fair season is getting into full swing. Fall fairs can be a lot of fun for kids and adults alike, with midway rides, livestock shows, horse events, lots of good (and bad for you) food… and petting zoos. Petting zoos can be entertaining and educational, but they are also the source of… Continue Reading

Expensive dog poop

Posted in Dogs
It may just be that the Brits write about it more, but it certainly seems that there is a lot more concern and indignation among Brits regarding people who fail to pick up after their pets. Some of their magistrates also seem to share that concern, much to the chagrin of a UK man. Adrian… Continue Reading

Giardia in London (UK) shelter

Posted in Dogs
A recent paper in the journal Veterinary Parasitology (Upjohn et al 2010) described a study looking at Giardia infections in dogs in a central London shelter. The researchers collected a fecal samples from dogs within 1 day of arrival and tested them for Giardia. 21% of dogs were shedding Giardia on arrival at the shelter. Shedding… Continue Reading

Pets in the workplace…good or bad?

Posted in Dogs
Pets at work are an often contentious issue. Some people would love to take their pets to work with them to avoid leaving them home alone all day, to save money on doggie daycare, to be able to socialize with their pet during the day, and because they think "everyone will love seeing my dog."… Continue Reading