Worms & Germs Blog

Monthly Archives: July 2011

More on dogs and Hendra virus

Posted in Dogs
Neil Fearon and his family have lost three horses to Hendra virus, and are concerned about one other. They are now dealing with the implications of their dog, a Kelpie named Dusty, having tested positive for Hendra virus antibodies in its blood. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the presence of antibodies in the blood of… Continue Reading

Hendra virus in a dog

Posted in Dogs
Adding a new twist to the already very concerning situation in Australia, Hendra virus infection has now also been identified in a dog. It’s been a bad year for Hendra virus in Australia, with larger numbers of cases of this highly fatal disease in horses in a geographic range that seems to be expanding. Spread… Continue Reading

Human rabies in New Jersey

Posted in Dogs
A 73-year-old New Jersey woman has died of rabies after being bitten by an infected dog. The woman was visiting Haiti in April when she was bitten, and she developed signs of neurological disease in late June. Family members and healthcare workers are being assessed to determine whether they may have been exposed to rabies… Continue Reading

Bat cull for Hendra virus prevention?

Posted in Horses
As Australia faces a particularly bad year for Hendra virus, with possible expansion of the range of this serious disease, there have been calls for a mass cull of flying foxes (fruit bats).  These bats are the reservoir of the virus but also a protected species. The virus lives in the bats and is spread… Continue Reading

Rabies quarantine lawsuit

Posted in Dogs
A Chapel Hill, North Carolina woman is suing Orange County in response to quarantine of her dog because of possible rabies exposure. This lawsuit highlights some of the inconsistencies in application of current rules, along with some misunderstandings. In February, her dog Russell was barking at something under her deck, and that something ended up… Continue Reading

Puppy seizure on Vancouver Island

Posted in Dogs
The British Columbia SPCA has seized 71 dogs, including 43 puppies, from a Vancouver Island woman and is planning on recommending cruelty charges. The dogs were seized from Green Acres Kennels because of various health problems that were believed to be the result of bad breeding and inadequate care. Numerous congenital abnormalities were identified, strongly suggesting… Continue Reading

Staph food poisoning…possible pet reservoir

Posted in Cats
When it comes to public health concerns about staphylococcal bacteria from pets, most of the attention gets paid to methicillin-resistant strains like MRSA. That’s not surprising considering how important MRSA is in human medicine. However, staph that aren’t methicillin-resistant can also be a problem, since they can cause the same types of infections that resistant types… Continue Reading

Exotic pet problems

Posted in Other animals
I’ve written numerous times about risks (mainly infectious disease risks) associated with some types of exotic pets. I’m not against all exotic pets, but I am against keeping improper pets and doing so in improper situations. The latter largely involves keeping species at high risk for certain pathogens like Salmonella in households with high-risk people… Continue Reading

Record settlement for pet store-associated infection

Posted in Birds
An Irish woman has won a record, multi-million Euro settlement after developing severe disease while working at a pet store. Patricia Ingle was a healthy 19-year-old when she was working in a Limerick, Ireland pet store. Then she developed psittacosis, an infection caused by the bacterium Chlamydophila psittaci, which she most likely contracted from a… Continue Reading

Urinary tract infection treatments guidelines: Dogs and cats

Posted in Cats
Urinary tract disease is a common reason for use (and misuse) of antibiotics. In veterinary medicine, one thing that we lack is clear clinical guidelines (particularly regarding antimicrobial use) to help manage specific types of diseases. In human medicine, there are some excellent guidelines of this kind (e.g. the Infectious Disease Society of America guidelines)… Continue Reading