Worms & Germs Blog

Archives: Vaccination

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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

Autism/vaccine link study now fully retracted

Posted in Vaccination
The medical journal Lancet has fully retracted the flawed 1998 study that raised a link between MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccination and autism in children. This study fueled incredible debate and was a driving force in the anti-vaccination movement, and subsequent declines in vaccination rates were a key reason for the resurgence of measles. It also… Continue Reading

Rabies post-exposure prophylaxis for dogs

Posted in Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
If an unvaccinated person is exposed to rabies (usually by a bite), they undergo post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), consisting of an injection of anti-rabies antibodies and a series of 4 or 5 vaccines. (It used to be 5, but it was recently recommended to drop this to 4). This is a highly effective protocol which basically… Continue Reading

Rabies in vaccinated dogs and cats

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
A study in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (Murray et al 2009) investigated the rabies vaccination history of dogs and cats diagnosed with rabies in 21 US states between 1997 and 2001.  264 rabid dogs and 840 rabid cats were identified. 4.9% of rabid dogs and 2.6% of rabid cats had a history of… Continue Reading

Herd immunity is not just for cows

Posted in Vaccination
Herd immunity is an important infectious disease concept. Basically, it involves trying to ensure that a high enough percentage of a population is resistant to an infectious disease so that the disease cannot be spread easily through the group. Ensuring that a large percentage of the population is vaccinated helps protect individuals that cannot be… Continue Reading

The “Truth” about vaccinations?

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Vaccination
Norfolk, VIrginia’s MyCityTalk.com has an article entitled "The Truth About Pet Vaccinations". It’s basically the same as hundreds or thousands of other articles available on the internet purporting to try to set the unwary pet-owning public straight about pet vaccines. Here are some of the highlights. The evidence against vaccinating, however, is overwhelming. What evidence?… Continue Reading

Rabies in Bali… Still

Posted in Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
In April, I wrote about an ongoing rabies outbreak in the popular tourist destination of Bali. Because of widespread rabies in stray dogs and fatal human infections, there were calls for the government to take aggressive action and for tourists to be aware of the risk. Apparently, things haven’t improved much since then. At least 9… Continue Reading

Hendra virus vaccine: For horses or people?

Posted in Horses, Vaccination
In the wake of the death of Dr. Alister Rodgers from Hendra virus, there have been increasing calls for the Australian government to put significant resources into Hendra virus research. Various areas need to be investigated, including how this virus is maintained in the bat population, how it is transmitted from bats to horses, ways… Continue Reading

Rabies bait safety

Posted in Dogs, Other animals, Rabies, Vaccination
Rabies baiting is a common and effective way of controlling rabies in some wildlife populations, particularly skunks, raccoons and foxes. It involves dropping edible rabies vaccine, by airplane or by hand, into targeted areas. Millions of rabies baits are used across North America and baiting programs have been cited as a key aspect of wildlife… Continue Reading

Rabid horse in Maryland

Posted in Horses, Rabies, Vaccination
A horse in Harford county Maryland has been euthanized because of rabies. The horse first starting showing signs of disease in mid-July, which manifested as "striking changes in behaviour." The report doesn’t say when the horse died, but animals typically die within a few days of the onset of neurological disease. The horse was transferred… Continue Reading

Rabies vaccine access exceptions

Posted in Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
In Canada, access to rabies vaccine for animals is restricted to veterinarians (i.e. only vets can buy the product itself and administer it to people’s animals). In general, this is an excellent approach because it ensures that the vaccine has been handled and stored appropriately, animals have been vaccinated properly and accurate vaccination records are… Continue Reading

Horse ownership and tetanus exposure

Posted in Horses, Vaccination
Here’s a question I received the other day: "Do people who work with animals and who work in barns need a tetanus shot as a result of this type of work?  We have Therapeutic Riding Programs in the region and there is a sense that perhaps the volunteers and those who frequently tend the horses need… Continue Reading

Kids exposed to rabies from stray kitten

Posted in Cats, Rabies, Vaccination
Two kids and one adult are undergoing post-exposure treatment for rabies after having contact with an infected kitten. One child saw the stray animal and went to give it some food, and he was bitten in the process. The kitten then proceeded to bite the boy’s mother and another child in the neighbourhood. Fortunately, the… Continue Reading