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Archives: Other animals

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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

Human health impact of antibiotic use in animals

Posted in Other animals
Antibiotic use in animals, and the impact on humans is a controversial area. At a conference a few years ago, one of the organizers posed the question, "What percentage of resistance in human pathogens is attributable to antibiotic use in animals?" They had people write their answers on cards, and later in the day they… Continue Reading

The Darwin saga continues

Posted in Other animals
Darwin’s back in the news. He’s a young macaque who is often called the "Ikea Monkey" since he was found wandering around a Toronto Ikea parking lot one day last winter in a designer winter coat. He was seized because of a Toronto bylaw prohibiting monkeys as pets, and transferred to a local primate sanctuary.… Continue Reading

African dwarf frog Salmonella outbreak recap

Posted in Other animals
I’ve written about the African dwarf frog and Salmonella issue before, but it’s worth a recap since an overview of the 2008-2011 outbreak was recently published in the journal Pediatrics (Mettee Zarecki et al 2013). The fact that reptiles and amphibians can carry Salmonella is nothing new, nor is the fact that outbreaks of disease… Continue Reading

Beware the mongoose

Posted in Other animals
I’ve been bitten lots of times, some on the job (including the last dog I saw when I was in general practice) and some off (including a dog down the road a couple of years ago). Fortunately, I haven’t suffered any serious consequences. That’s what happens most of the time. However, bad things can and do… Continue Reading

Petting zoo ramblings…

Posted in Other animals
Today, we went to the University of Guelph‘s annual open house, College Royal. As per usual, we only covered a fraction of the events, but had to do the traditional visits with the animals and get some of the Food Science milkshakes (even thought it was -2C outside). Animals are a big part of College… Continue Reading

Hedgehog Salmonella update

Posted in Other animals
I’m just back from vacation (luckily, with no infectious disease stories to write), but now I have to catch up on a few posts. One easy one that was waiting for me in my inbox was about Salmonella and hedgehogs. I’ve written before about biohazardous hedgehogs, and more details about the US 2011-2013 multi-state Salmonella… Continue Reading

Wash your hands…Moe’s watching!

Posted in Other animals
One on the things we try to do with the blog approach to getting zoonotic disease and infectious disease information out is to put a personal spin on stories. Whether it’s new puppy issues, a rabid bat in my house, zoonotic disease issues at my kid’s daycare or something more mundane, that personal touch sometimes… Continue Reading