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Drunk raccoons?

Posted in Rabies

Rabies and distemper are the two things that come to mind first when a raccoon is acting strangely. Rabies is a big concern because it can also be transmitted to people. Distemper is also a viral infection, caused by canine distemper virus, and is transmissible to dogs and some wildlife species, but is not zoonotic.… Continue Reading

Rabies in a dog, Ontario

Posted in Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination

It’s easy to get complacent about rabies, even when you live in an endemic region. While we have ample bat rabies, Arctic fox rabies and raccoon rabies in Ontario, spillover into domestic animals is relatively rare. Success can breed complacency, though. When control measures work, it’s easy to forget why they are so important. That’s… Continue Reading

Leftover zoonotic disease Q&A, Part 1

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Rabies

I did a talk recently for Third Age Learning in Guelph, and there was an abundance of questions. I didn’t get through them all at the time, so I figured I’d address some of them here: Do mice carry rabies? Mice aren’t rabies reservoirs like raccoons, skunks or bats, as they don’t have a rabies… Continue Reading

Rabies vaccine conspiracy

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination

Before the emails start rolling in… yes, it’s from a satire site. See Dr. Sarah Boston (veterinary cancer surgeon extraordinaire)’s take on how veterinarians are misleading people into protecting people. EXPOSED – Vaccination of Pets Found to be Part of Larger Plot to Prevent Rabies in Humans… Continue Reading

Raw pet food recall and human illness, Minnesota, USA

Posted in Dogs, Salmonella

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has recalled some lots of raw pet food from Woody’s Pet Food Deli, after linking them to a human infection. The link isn’t definite, but was obviously enough to prompt a recall. The situation involves a person who developed salmonellosis and, as is typical, an investigation of possible sources ensued.… Continue Reading

Echinococcus multilocularis: Ontario, Canada

Posted in Deworming, Dogs, Parasites

Echinococcus multilocularis, a small tapeworm with a big name, is causing big concerns in Ontario, an area that was until recently considered free of this parasite. This tapeworm is normally found in the intestinal tract of wild canids (e.g. coyotes, foxes) and can also infect dogs. That itself isn’t a problem, since the intestinal form… Continue Reading

Rabies knowledge of vets and physicians

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Rabies

I spend a lot of time answering questions about rabies exposures, and sometimes trying to clear up misinformation. Rabies is a very important infectious disease but in many regions (like here) it’s fortunately rare in domestic animals and people. However, rarity can breed complacency or lack of (or loss of) knowledge. That creates problems when… Continue Reading

Holiday bites

Posted in Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination

No, we haven’t changed to a cooking blog, I’m talking about bites of the canine variety. I can’t think of any specific data that would show it, but I wonder whether bites are more common around the holidays, with disrupted schedules and more visitors (and a potential midnight intruder in a red suit). The rabies-related… Continue Reading

Update: Canine influenza, Ontario (December 3)

Posted in Dogs, Other diseases

I’m once again prepared to call Ontario (and Canada) canine influenza-free… for now, at least. The latest cluster, associated with another importation of the virus from China, seems to have been contained. The last new positive case was identified October 30, with the likely date of exposure being October 23. We are now beyond the… Continue Reading

Raw pet food and human salmonellosis

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Salmonella

We’ve known for some time that there are human health risks from feeding pets raw meat-based diets. Most of the evidence of this has been anecdotal, as published reports have been sparse. A few better documented reports have started to appear, including the fatal E. coli O157 infection I wrote about recently. A few days… Continue Reading

CDC didn’t actually say “don’t dress up your chickens for Halloween”…but don’t do it anyway

Posted in Other animals, Salmonella

Lots of media reports have been saying that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned people not to dress up their chickens for Halloween. Yes, chickens. I wouldn’t have thought that policing chicken fashion would be high on the CDC’s to-do list, but the concern is obviously related to the perpetual outbreaks… Continue Reading

Pet therapy dogs and MRSA

Posted in Dogs, MRSA/MRSP

My email and phone have been lighting up over the past few days about news reports describing a study presented at a recent scientific meeting in San Francisco. I wasn’t there and the results aren’t published, so I don’t have a lot to go on, but here are some highlights from the news article on… Continue Reading

A new Staph on the block

Posted in Dogs, Other diseases

It’s probably not actually a “new” bacterium but rather recognition of a species that we’ve been mixing up with something else, but regardless, a paper in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (yes, that’s an actual journal) describes a new Staphylococcus species, Staphylococcus cornubiensis (Murray et al. 2018). Here’s what we know: The… Continue Reading

Bad headlines

Posted in Dogs, Other animals, Rabies

I realize headline writers are trying to attract attention, and sometimes they don’t know much about the content. As a result, some headlines are quite over the top, and that can freak people out. Here are some examples from the past couple of days: 4 year old girl catches life-threatening infection by trying on shoes… Continue Reading

Human rabies death, Delaware, US

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Other animals, Rabies, Vaccination

Human deaths from rabies are common in some developing countries (where tens of thousands die from canine rabies every year) but rare in developed countries. It’s an almost invariably fatal disease, but at the same time it’s almost completely preventable because of the quality of vaccines and post-exposure prophylaxis available. Getting those treatments to the… Continue Reading

Ontario hits 10 000 dRIT rabies tests since 2015

Posted in Other animals, Rabies

Today’s post comes from Rachel Gagnon, Rabies Science Transfer Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), highlighting some of the amazing work being done in Ontario in the ongoing battle against wildlife rabies. Ontario’s rabies control program is a world leader when it comes to controlling and eliminating rabies. The MNRF… Continue Reading

Canine and feline antiparasitics

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Parasites

Negotiating the world of antiparasitics for dogs and cats can be daunting. With the wide range of products, similarly named products with different ingredients and differently named products with the same ingredients, it’s hard to keep up. The Ontario Animal Health Network as put together some useful tables that outline antiparasitic products available in Canada… Continue Reading