Worms & Germs Blog

Archives: Miscellaneous

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Rabies in a horse

Posted in Horses, Rabies, Vaccination
A horse in South Carolina was recently diagnosed with rabies. While rabies is common in some animal species in some regions, it’s a pretty rare disease in horses, so it’s a noteworthy event. This case has a couple of important takeaway messages. Rabies can be sneaky. Rabies (especially in horses and cattle) isn’t always obvious… 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 baits and feral cats

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
The incursion of raccoon rabies in the Hamilton ON area reached a total of 10 confirmed cases as of last week.  A map of the current MNRF control zone is available on the OMAFRA website.  This is the area where the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) has spread oral rabies vaccine (ORV) baits… Continue Reading

Imported canine rabies…US

Posted in Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
Rabies is a hot topic around here lately, with the recent identification of raccoon rabies in the province. The virus probably inadvertently arrived in Hamilton via a raccoon hitching a ride across the border. Intentional importation can also lead to introduction of rabies to different areas – I don’t mean intentionally importing rabies (people do… 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

Leptospirosis vaccination risks

Posted in Dogs, Vaccination
Vaccination discussions can get pretty heated. It’s not as bad with animals as with humans (thanks in part to the discredited (and formerly Dr.) Andrew Wakefield). Yet, there is still a reasonable number of people who are opposed to vaccination of pets, and probably a bigger number who are wary. There are various reasons for… Continue Reading

Canine respiratory disease precautions

Posted in Dogs, Vaccination
If you’re one of the many (many) people asking about what to do in the midst of a canine respiratory disease outbreak, or someone who just wants to know what to do to reduce everyday risk of CIRDC, here are some basic pointers: The microbes that cause respiratory disease in dogs are primarily spread by… 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

Rabies socks

Posted in Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
When I  saw “rabies socks“, my first thought was “someone’s going to be cursing their autocorrect“. Apparently not. The Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians (OAVT) Rabies Response Program (RRP) World Rabies Day socks (they might want to come up with a shorter name) are on sale now, with a portion of the proceeds going to the… Continue Reading

New USEF equine vaccination requirements

Posted in Horses, Vaccination
Mandatory vaccination for horses entering shows, other events and sales has been a surprisingly contentious issue for years. Some groups have required equine influenza vaccination for a long time, and it’s an accepted measure. Attempts to mandate vaccination for some other groups or events have often been met with resistance, even when those attempts were… Continue Reading

West Nile virus in Ontario

Posted in Horses, Vaccination
The season has arrived. Right on schedule, the first case of West Nile virus (WNV)  infection in an Ontario horse has been identified, prompting an advisory from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). The affected horse was from Sudbury, Ontario, and was euthanized because of progressive and severe neurological disease. It… Continue Reading

More dog travel issues

Posted in Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
Importation issues, Part 1 A Facebook post was forwarded to me the other day. It reads “Drove to the airport today to pick up this lovely little girl [puppy] who flew all the way to Montreal from Baku Azerbaijan. Spent the afternoon with her romping around in Westmount Park. She will be up for adoption… Continue Reading

Equine infectious disease research: Call for Ontario participants

Posted in Horses, Miscellaneous
Are you an Ontario horse owner? University of Guelph researchers now recruiting for new equine project! Horses travel frequently, and the nature and extent of these travel patterns can contribute to the introduction and spread of diseases. The University of Guelph is conducting a study to determine how these movement patterns can influence new disease… Continue Reading

Hand Hygiene for Vets and Vet Students

Posted in Miscellaneous
Hand hygiene is an incredibly basic every-day infection control measure, and one of the most important means of preventing the spread of infectious pathogens.  Hand hygiene should be used at home, at work, and especially in healthcare environments where there may be more bugs and more susceptible individuals.  That includes veterinary clinics.  Also keep in… Continue Reading

Are we too clean?

Posted in Miscellaneous
A recent episode of the popular TVO current affairs show "The Agenda with Steve Paikin" explores the topic of “Our Relationship with Cleanliness" – an informative, yet fun look at the topic of germs. Panelists (including yours truly) take a cultural, historical, psychological and sociological look at the microorganisms on us and around us –… Continue Reading

Canadian human antimicrobial use report, 2012/2013

Posted in Miscellaneous
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has released the 2012/2013 Human Antimicrobial Drug Use Report. Why write about this on a site dedicated to zoonotic diseases and diseases of animals? For a few different reasons, actually. One is that we have to realize that antibiotics (and bacteria) don’t care if drugs are used on… Continue Reading

How to fix an iPad

Posted in Miscellaneous
Sorry… nothing to do with zoonotic diseases, but still entertaining. Our two iPads stopped working over one weekend last October. Figuring they were destined for recycling, I came across some internet posts that said “whack it.” I figured that I had nothing to lose and if nothing else, I’d get the satisfaction of beating on… Continue Reading

International Society for Companion Animal Infectious Diseases (ISCAID) symposium, 2014

Posted in Miscellaneous
The International Society for Companion Animal Infectious Diseases (ISCAID) and International Feline Retroviral Research Symposium have joined forces for a combined conference in 2014. This meeting, which would be of relevance to veterinary researchers and veterinary clinicians with an interest in infectious diseases, will be held in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario (Canada) Oct 19-22. More information can… Continue Reading

From the archives….the mysteries of the 100 acre wood

Posted in Miscellaneous
Another popular post from the archives, and a nice light topic for the holidays! (Original post date 25-Nov-2010). Pardon my straying from the zoonotic disease realm, but here’s a little light reading… Medical Mysteries of the 100-Acre Wood Children around the world have been entertained by activities in the 100-acre-wood for decades. But at what… Continue Reading

Zoonoses for physicians

Posted in Miscellaneous
I just read a recent Medscape article entitled Human-Animal Interactions: a primer for clinicians. I assumed it would be one more relatively generic article about zoonoses, focusing on agriculture. Some of those aspects were there, but it had a lot more depth than I expected and went beyond the same old superficial talking points. The… Continue Reading

The Twelve Days of Zoonoses

Posted in Miscellaneous
For the complete song lyrics, see below.  For the grand finale by the Worms&Germs singers (otherwise known as members of the Rainbow Chorus of Waterloo-Wellington – more details below!), click on the YouTube video. On the first day or Christmas, my true love gave to me, A dog with lepto in its pee. On the… Continue Reading

The Trouble With Gloves

Posted in Miscellaneous
When it comes to hand hygiene, there is an unfortunately all-too-common misconception that wearing gloves makes hand washing or using alcohol-based hand rub unnecessary. In veterinary and human medicine, gloves, like hand hygiene, are typically used for two reasons: to prevent spread of germs or chemicals from a patient/person/object/surface to a person’s hands, and/or to… Continue Reading

Mythbusters: Pandemics and new diseases

Posted in Miscellaneous
I read an interesting article earlier this week that I felt was worth sharing. The article, which appeared in the Huffington Post, is entitled “7 common myths about pandemics and new diseases” written by Dr. William Karesh, executive VP for health and policy with the EcoHealth Alliance. It talks about several misconceptions a lot of… Continue Reading