Worms & Germs Blog

Monthly Archives: July 2010

Is Staphylococcus schleiferi zoonotic?

Posted in Dogs
Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-resistant S. pseudintermedius (MRSP) get a lot of media attention because of the ever increasing numbers of infections in dogs and cats, and concerns about transmission to people. However, there are many other methicllin-resistant staph of varying relevances. One is an interesting related bug called Staphylococcus schleiferi. There are actually… Continue Reading

Frozen mice recall: Salmonella

Posted in Reptiles
MiceDirect, a company that sells frozen mice, rats and chicks as reptile feed, has issued a recall because of Salmonella contamination of their product. Contaminated critters have been sold across the US (except Hawaii) through mail order and pet stores, and recalled product codes can be found in the FDA recall notice. Contamination isn’t a… Continue Reading

Iams recall: Salmonella

Posted in Cats
Proctor and Gamble has announced a recall of two lots of Iams’ Veterinary Formulas Feline Renal, a prescription dry cat food. The lot numbers are 01384174B4 and 01384174B2. Anyone that has this food should stop using it immediately. Since these are prescription diets that should only be available through a veterinarian, affected customers should presumably… Continue Reading

Pet therapy: What about the risks to the animals?

Posted in Cats
There’s an interesting article in today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about Scooter, a paralyzed cat in a custom-made cart, that visits patients at HealthSouth Harmarville Rehabilitation Hospital. It’s a nice story and it’s easy to see the potential appeal of a paralyzed animal whipping around a rehab hospital as an inspiration to patients. Obviously, people like having… Continue Reading

Occupational “oops”

Posted in Dogs
A couple people have learned the hard way that mixing dogs and their jobs isn’t necessarily a good idea. 1) A Peterborough (Ontario) Regional Health Centre employee has been disciplined for performing an ultrasound on a pregnant dog in the hospital’s emergency department. This raised various concerns, including: medical equipment being used while people were… Continue Reading

More animal smuggling

Posted in Other animals
Mexican officials searching a man at the airport with a bulge under his shirt identified 18 monkeys hidden beneath his clothes. Apparently, investigators became suspicious when the guy became very nervous when questioned. (I would have thought the stench associated with having 18 monkeys plastered to your body would be another tip-off.) He was detained for… Continue Reading

Rabies update

Posted in Dogs
ProMed has a new list of recent rabies incidents. The whole report can be seen by clicking here, but these are some examples of common or important issues they touch on: – Roaming pets + wildlife = bad news: One person’s dogs killed a raccoon while out for their "romp around the yard." The raccoon… Continue Reading

I have Clostridium difficile…Should my dog be tested?

Posted in Dogs
I get this question surprisingly often. In one way, that’s good because it shows increasing awareness of the potential for interspecies transmission of microorganisms. In some situations, when a person has an infection, the pet should be considered in case it was the source of the infection and/or in case it’s at risk of becoming… Continue Reading

Internet advice: The good, the bad and the ugly

Posted in Dogs
The internet can be a strange place at times. You can find great, reputable and unbiased information right next to complete garbage. Often, the garbage is pretty apparent, but sometimes it’s dressed up well or mixed in with some good information. That’s a problem with veterinary advice and information sites. Among the creative myths identified… Continue Reading

New service dog scam?

Posted in Dogs
Miami-Dade County, like some other regions, has banned pit bulls. We have the same ban here in Ontario. While there’s a lot of debate over the quality and usefulness of such bans, the law is the law… until you find a loophole.  That appears to be the case in Miami-Dade, where a growing number of… Continue Reading

Trap/neuter/release controversy

Posted in Cats
Trap/neuter/release (TNR) programs involve trapping feral (stray) cats, then spaying or neutering and vaccinating them. Some cats are adopted, while the majority are released. The goal is to reduce the feral cat population by limiting the number of breeding animals, and to increase overall vaccine coverage in order to reduce illness and deaths. One such TNR… Continue Reading

Turtle on a plane…but not for long

Posted in Reptiles
It’s not likely going to spark a Hollywood movie, but a turtle on a plane triggered a lot of angst and controversy in the US recently. A 10-year-old girl was traveling with her pet turtle, Neytiri, on an AirTran flight from Atlanta to Milwaukee. The airline has a no-reptiles policy (actually, a no-pets-at-all-in-the-cabin policy) and… Continue Reading

Biohazardous cell phones

Posted in MRSA/MRSP
It’s amazing how attached people are to their cell phones. Many people will answer them without any thought of what else is going on. It’s something I’ve seen in veterinary hospitals where wireless or cell phones are the primary mode of internal communication. The natural tendency to answer the phone often overrides the thought process… Continue Reading

MRSP infection in a person

Posted in Dogs
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP) is becoming a huge problem in dogs (and to a lesser degree cats). I think it can easily be called an epidemic, and probably even a pandemic, considering the degree of spread, the massive increase in cases and the international distribution of this multidrug-resistant bacterium. Public health concerns regarding MRSP have… Continue Reading

Famous Fox bitten by rabid cat

Posted in Cats
Former British pop star and I’m a Celebrity-Get Me Out of Here reality TV character Samantha Fox was bitten by a rabid cat while vacationing in Thailand. Fox was feeding stray cats near a restaurant and was attacked. Having contact with stray animals is a high risk activity, particularly in regions where rabies is very… Continue Reading

Infection control…how things have changed

Posted in Other diseases
Infection control is a constantly evolving and expanding area – for the good. Paying close attention to infection control in human hospitals is a relatively recent phenomenon, and the advances in infection control are now having an impact outside of hospitals. Pandemic H1N1 influenza drove a lot of changes, but there’s been a general increase… Continue Reading

Salmonella recalls

Posted in Dogs
A couple of more Salmonella recalls have occurred recently. Feline’s Pride Natural Chicken Formula, a raw chicken diet, has been recalled, as has Natural Balance Sweet Potato and Chicken, a kibble diet. Finding Salmonella in commercial raw diets is expected and I’m surprised about the recalls that have happened. If you buy raw meat, you need to… Continue Reading