Worms & Germs Blog

Archives: Other animals

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Zika virus and animals

Posted in Other animals
I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Zika virus and animals. It’s great to see that people are thinking more broadly about infectious diseases (but it isn’t doing much for my productivity this week). To recap, Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus related to West Nile virus and dengue virus. Most people that are… Continue Reading

Rabies in a calf: Ontario

Posted in Other animals, Rabies, Vaccination
In a rather unusual development, a calf in Ellice Ward, Ontario has been diagnosed with rabies. It’s the first case of rabies in any animal species in Perth County since 2012, and looking at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency surveillance records, it’s the first rabid bovine in Ontario since 2011. Rabies has been in the… Continue Reading

Rabies in a chicken

Posted in Other animals, Rabies
There are very few absolutes with infectious diseases. The minute we think we are sure about something, a new angle becomes apparent. Regarding rabies, we always say that its host range is mammals, but basically only mammals. Maybe not. There have been occasional (poorly corroborated) reports about rabies in birds, but when I first read headlines about this… Continue Reading

Get Smart About Antibiotics Week

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Horses, Miscellaneous, Other animals
Since their discovery in the mid-1900s (which really wasn’t that long ago in the grand scheme of things), antibiotics have revolutionized human medicine, veterinary medicine and even food production.  They save lives and prevent illness, helping to make both people and animals healthier, happier and more efficient at what they do.  But if we want… Continue Reading

New Ontario rabies website

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Horses, Other animals, Rabies, Vaccination
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has launched its new (and long-awaited) rabies website.  The site includes a section for the public which is an ideal resource for clients, and a section for veterinarians with detailed information about reporting, risk assessment, sample submission and testing, and post-exposure management (for companion animals and… Continue Reading

Groundhog zoonoses?

Posted in Other animals
According to Groundhog Day lore, if the groundhog sees its shadow, you’re in for six more weeks of winter. If it doesn’t spring is around the corner. So, what does it mean when the critter draws blood? Sun Prairie, Wisconsin residents will find out this year, after Jimmy the Groundhog bit the town’s mayor. After… Continue Reading

Fake service animals in action

Posted in Other animals
I go on periodic rants about people abusing service animal rules to take their pets places they cannot normally go (while potentially compromising the critically important need for true service animals to have unfettered access). Sometimes, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one. A recent article (pointed out by a writer from the VIN… Continue Reading

More hatching chick associated salmonellosis

Posted in Other animals
The salmonellosis outbreak in the US associated with hatching chicks continues to expand. The outbreak, ironically associated with Mt. Healthy Hatcheries in Ohio, has now sickened at least 344 people in 42 US states and Puerto Rico with a variety of Salmonella serotypes (S. Infants, S. Newport and S. Hadar). The outbreak shows no sign… Continue Reading

FDA releases 2011 antimicrobial resistance data

Posted in Other animals
The US Food and Drug Administration has released the 2011 NARMS (National Antimicrobial Resistances Monitoring System) executive report. It’s a good-news/bad-news outcome, which may be as good as can be expected, but at least there’s some good news. Here are some areas that were highlighted by the FDA. Eighty-five percent of non-typhoidal Salmonella collected from humans… Continue Reading

Exotic animals in hospitals

Posted in Other animals
What zoonotic microorganisms do pangolins commonly carry? Are some pangolins higher risk than others? What infection control measures should be used? I don’t know, and from a cursory review of the literature, I don’t think anyone really knows. So, do we really want to be exposing them to some of our most susceptible individuals –… Continue Reading

Monkey bites and rabies quarantine

Posted in Other animals
"A monkey was placed under a six-month quarantine on Tuesday after it reportedly bit a woman at a Beaumont restaurant on Sunday…" Oh, where to start… Why do people feel the need to have monkeys as pets? I realize that they’re fascinating critters, but is it in the best interests of the monkey and the… Continue Reading

More on MERS-CoV and the camel link

Posted in Other animals
MERS-CoV, the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, continues to cause infections (often fatal) and confusion. For a while now, there’s been speculation that camels are the source of this virus, based in part on how commonly antibodies against the virus (or a related virus) are found in healthy camels. It always seemed strange, though, for… Continue Reading

Bad time to be a camel

Posted in Other animals
Camels are getting a lot of bad press on the infectious disease front lately. There’s been the ongoing question of their role in the epidemiology of the very serious Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). This enigmatic virus (like the similarly deadly SARS coronavirus) is a tremendous public health concern, with high deaths rates in… Continue Reading

Attack of the marauding pine weevil

Posted in Other animals
That’s a great title that I can’t take credit for. A colleague (and regular supplier of papers for blog posts) Dr. Stephen Page send me a paper from the Journal of Clinical Microbiology with a more convoluted title “The Capnocytophaga canimosus isolate that caused sepsis in an immunosufficient man was transmitted by the large pine… Continue Reading

It’s that time of year…

Posted in Other animals
April showers bring May flowers. …and I can’t come up with a good rhyme for salmonellosis. Nonetheless, it’s Salmonella season, courtesy of cute but biohazardous baby poultry. You can buy chicken, turkey and other bird eggs to hatch every spring. Our local feed mill had the order forms out a while ago, and you can… Continue Reading

Boo Boo gets pardoned, but so much for stress relief

Posted in Other animals
Let’s put this one in the "smart people doing stupid things" file. Some well-intentioned people at Washington University in St. Louis thought they’d help relieve stress during exam time by bringing in a petting zoo – that unfortunately included "Boo Boo" the biting bear. As you can likely guess, problems ensued. 18 students sustained skin-breaking… Continue Reading

Raccoons in the bed

Posted in Other animals
There’s been some controversy in the past regarding allowing pets to sleep in or on the bed. I don’t get too worked up about it, since I think it’s very low-risk in terms of disease transmission for most pets and households, but a variety if reasons for prohibiting this practice have been given. I haven’t… Continue Reading

H5N1 flu in Canada…a cause for concern?

Posted in Other animals
The first North American case of H5N1 avian influenza ("bird flu") was confirmed in an Alberta resident last night, causing much concern but posing little true risk. The affected person had just returned from a trip to China and began showing signs of illness during the flight from Beijing to Vancouver. After spending a few… Continue Reading

Maybe I should buy a hat

Posted in Other animals
These days, there’s more and more doom-and-gloom information about multidrug-resistant bacteria. They’re in our hospitals, medical tourists, people on the street, our pets, our food, and pretty much anywhere else you can think of. We can now add crow poop to the list too. It’s almost to be expected, really. We know that birds can… Continue Reading

Projectile penguin poop

Posted in Other animals
In my line of work, I deal with feces from a lot of different species. Never once, however, have I thought to model defecation pressure and distances. Maybe I’m just strange. A few years ago, German researchers felt the need to model the defecation habits of penguins. The title of the paper, published in Polar… Continue Reading

Brucellosis from Aussie pigs

Posted in Other animals
Australian Elmer Fudds beware… there are concerns that feral pig hunting is a risk factor for brucellosis in New South Wales. Brucellosis is a rare disease, but a report like this raises concern because it can be nasty, and it can also be hard to diagnose (or it’s not considered right away). We don’t have… Continue Reading