Worms & Germs Blog

Archives: Vaccination

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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

Rabies quarantine

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
There are two situations when animals may be quarantined because of rabies concerns: After biting a person. After potentially being exposed to a rabid animal. The time frame for quarantine in these two situations is quite different because of what the quarantine is meant to accomplish. Animals that have bitten someone are quarantined for 10… Continue Reading

Canine influenza vaccination

Posted in Dogs, Other diseases, Vaccination
A canine influenza virus vaccine has recently been released. Canine influenzais a virus that originated from a horse influenza strain and is now circulating in some dog populations. (To my knowledge, we have yet to find it in Ontario. We didn’t find any evidence of it in an earlier surveillance study). It typically causes mild… Continue Reading

Another dog cull in China

Posted in Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
At the same time that the country is drafting an animal welfare law that would ban widespread killing of dogs, a Chinese city has killed 36 000 stray and pet dogs in an effort to eliminate rabies. Since late May 2009, more than 6 000 people in Hanzhong have been bitten or scratched (presumably by… Continue Reading

Oprah’s Parvo Pups

Posted in Dogs, Other diseases, Vaccination
The latest issue of Oprah’s magazine "O" features the icon talking about her recent puppy dog adoption drama involving canine parvovirus. It just goes to show that even the pets of the biggest celebrities in the world are not beyond the reach of common microscopic infectious pathogens. A couple of months back, Oprah adopted two… Continue Reading

Rabies quarantine in Flagstaff, Arizona

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
Quarantining animals that have potentially been exposed to rabies is a standard practice, but quarantining a whole town is new to me. Because of a large increase in rabies cases in the Flagstaff, Arizona area, a rabies quarantine was established on April 8th by the Coconino County Board of Supervisors. The quarantine requires all dogs… Continue Reading