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Campylobacter Outbreak From Puppies

Posted in Dogs, Other diseases
Cute. Frustrating. Cuddly. Biohazardous All of these apply to puppies. It’s well recognized that puppies (and kittens) pose increased infectious disease risks, for a few reasons. These include a higher likelihood of shedding various pathogens, greater environmental contamination when they poop on the floor (or anywhere else) and a tendency to cause minor bites and… Continue Reading

Ontario Rabies Update

Posted in Other animals, Rabies
Here’s the latest map of the terrestrial rabies cases in southwestern Ontario.  Raccoon-variant cases still centre on the Hamilton area.  It was never assumed that this particular outbreak would be eliminated quickly, given the case numbers seen in the first several months and the additional challenges of trying to control the spread of the virus in… Continue Reading

Psittacosis From A Horse

Posted in Horses, Other diseases
I’ve had this paper from One Health (Chan et al 2017) on my “to blog” pile for a while, since it’s an interesting story. Like any case report, it’s a bit of an oddball infection, and not likely indicative of a major or new risk. However, there are often a few good general take-home messages from… Continue Reading

Close Encounters of the ‘Tick’ Kind…Your Pet, Pathogens & Lyme Disease

Posted in Dogs, Horses, Other diseases, Parasites
Guest Blog by Dr. Michelle Evason DVM DipACVIM, and current PhD student researching Lyme disease in dogs Recently, an interesting article on pet ownership and human tick risk was published (Jones et al, Zoonoses and Public Health 2017). The study looked at risk factors for “tick encounters” in people living in Lyme disease endemic states in the… Continue Reading

Rabid Horse: Minnesota

Posted in Horses, Rabies, Vaccination
If a horse comes into the hospital at this time of year and has some difficulty standing, incoordination and mild fever, the first thing on my list of likely causes is probably equine herpesvirus type I (EHV-1) infection. Next would be West Nile virus encephalitis. However, we consider all sudden onset neurological disease cases in… Continue Reading

Echinococcus multilocularis: Alberta, Canada

Posted in Dogs, Parasites
Several news articles have been written lately about the recently-described cases of Echinococcus multilocularis infection in four people in Alberta. The cases of alveolar echinococcosis have occurred over the past 4 years, and raise significant concerns. Echinococcus multilocularis is a small tapeworm but it causes big problems. Why? It’s a potentially nasty parasitic disease that can act a lot… Continue Reading

Things Not To Do With Raccoons

Posted in Parasites, Rabies
1) Pick up baby raccoons and take them away Rarely does this end well. It’s illegal in many areas (including Ontario). Raccoons don’t do well long-term in households for various reasons (their curious and destructive nature being a big one). And, they are potential sources of a number of zoonotic diseases (rabies being a big one but not… Continue Reading

A Perfect Storm for Canine Flu

Posted in Dogs, Other diseases
There were several more reports over the weekend in follow up to the canine influenza outbreak at dog shows in Florida early last week.  Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, associated cases were then found in North Carolina, and have now been reported in 11 states, no doubt  from dogs that were at the shows in Florida… Continue Reading

Rabies in Northern Quebec

Posted in Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
Two rabid dogs have been identified in Whapmagoostui, a Cree community in a remote region of northern Quebec. Rabies is very rare in dogs in Canada, and in recent years, much of the concern has revolved around rabies in dogs from northern communities. Rabies is endemic in Arctic foxes, and dogs can be infected from… Continue Reading

Bandicoots, Sandboxes and Salmonella

Posted in Other animals, Salmonella
A playground in New South Wales, Australia, has been closed because its sandpit was linked to salmonellosis in two children. Sandboxes are a potential source of a few different infectious diseases since they can be used as litterboxes by animals such as cats, raccoons, and apparently, bandicoots. In the Australian incident, two kids were diagnosed… Continue Reading

Human Rabies: Virginia

Posted in Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
Every few weeks I get a call or an email about travel-associated rabies exposure concerns. It’s usually from someone traveling to southeast Asia or India who has been bitten by a stray dog. Most of the time, it’s an unvaccinated person and the dog isn’t available for monitoring or testing. Since rabies is endemic in… Continue Reading

New Guidance for Human Exposure to Rabies: Ontario

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Other animals, Rabies, Vaccination
This month, Public Health Ontario released a new Rabies Guidance Document for Healthcare Providers. It’s nothing particularly new but a good review of the recommended response to rabies exposure from various animal species, something that’s unfortunately often messed up or made more complicated than necessary. It includes some nice flowcharts, such as the one below. The full… Continue Reading

Petting Zoos, Outbreaks and Denial

Posted in Other animals, Parasites
I think petting zoos can be great. I’ve taken my kids to many and think they’re a great way for people to see and interact with animals they would not normally encounter. However, there’s always some risk, and petting zoos range from exceptionally well run to horrible. It seems like there’s been steady improvement over… Continue Reading

Canine and Feline Respiratory Infection Treatment Guidelines

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Other diseases
The latest set of clinical treatment guidelines from the International Society for Companion Animal Infectious Diseases have been published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Lappin et al 2017): Antimicrobial Use Guidelines for Treatment of Respiratory Tract Disease in Dogs and Cats: Antimicrobial Guidelines Working Group of the International Society for Companion Animal Infectious… Continue Reading

Rabies and Bite Responses

Posted in Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
There tends to be confusion about what happens when an animal bites or is bitten, and rabies is being considered. Most of the confusion revolves around how long an animal is quarantined or observed. Yet, it’s actually pretty straightforward if you think about why quarantine/observation is being performed and some basics about the virus and… Continue Reading

2016 Rabies Compendium

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Horses, Other animals, Rabies, Vaccination
The 2016 Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control has been released by the US’s National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV). This version has updates in a few different areas, such as some changes to recommendations for dogs, cats and ferrets that have potentially been exposed to rabies. It can be downloaded directly here or be found… Continue Reading

Is MRSP zoonotic?

Posted in Dogs, MRSA/MRSP
I’ve written about this many times (probably because I get asked about it almost every day), but there’s not really a simple answer to the question “Does methicillin-resistant Staph. pseudintermedius pose a human health risk?” My typical answer is along the lines of “Yes, but…” with discussion about how rare Staph pseudintermedius (SP) infections are in… Continue Reading

Rabies from a mongoose bite

Posted in Other animals, Rabies, Vaccination
Every few days, it seems, I get an email or call that goes something like “I was just bitten by [insert various mammals here]. Do I need to worry about rabies or do anything?” The answer’s pretty similar every time. While the relative risk posed by different animal species in different geographic regions varies, you… Continue Reading

Backyard poultry…knowledge, attitudes and practices

Posted in Salmonella
The backyard poultry debate continues in many areas. It raised is head again in Guelph recently, with more city government debate about how far you have to keep your backyard chickens from your neighbours. There are a number of issues to consider, like potential for spread of zoonotic bacteria (e.g. Salmonella), avian flu, noise, smell… Continue Reading

Bats, rabies and a hospital NICU

Posted in Rabies
When a bat is found in a household, the response can be quite variable.  Many public health units may consider it a potential rabies exposure if the bat was in the house overnight, on the assumption that a bite could have occurred without being noticed (I have personal experience with that).  Based on the large… Continue Reading