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Airport Dog Bite

Posted in Dogs, Rabies
While waiting in line to check-in for a flight in Orlando, a JetBlue passenger was bitten by a dog. This raises lots of issues and questions, and for the bitten individual, she’s dealing with a pretty nasty bite and also the potential need for rabies post-exposure prophylaxis. She was bitten while checking in, so it… Continue Reading

WHO Guidelines on Use of Medically Important Antimicrobials in Food-Producing Animals

Posted in Other animals, Other diseases
The World Health Organization has released new guidelines on the use of “medically important antimicrobials” (MIAs) in food animals. Here’s a list of their recommendations, along with the strength of each recommendation and quality of evidence behind it. We recommend an overall reduction in use of all classes of medically important antimicrobials in food-producing animals (Strong… Continue Reading

Antibiotics and Dairy Calves

Posted in Other animals, Other diseases
From CANresist.blog: Reducing Antibiotic Use in Dairy Calves This topic’s huge, and there’s always a risk of trying to oversimplify the problem or solutions. However, some solutions for some issues might be fairly straightforward. Whether it’s on a farm, in a hospital or in a doctors office, there are situations where I think it’s widely… Continue Reading

Petland Campylobacter Outbreak Update

Posted in Dogs, Other diseases
The CDC has posted an update on the outbreak of Campylobacter infections in the US linked to puppies from Petland, a pet store chain. Here are the highlights: The case count is now up to 67, in 15 states (see map and graph of case occurrence below). The true number of infected people is unknown, since it’s reasonable… Continue Reading

Ontario Rabies Update

Posted in Rabies
As expected, rabies continues to be an issue in Ontario following the emergence of raccoon rabies in the Hamilton area in late 2015, and a separate emergence of fox rabies northwest of there around the same time. Hopefully raccoon rabies will be eradicated, as it was the first time it entered the province (1999-2005), but… Continue Reading

Bat Rabies Death, Florida

Posted in Rabies
A couple times in the past few weeks, I’ve had questions along the lines of “Bat rabies isn’t really a big deal, is it?” and “How common in rabies in bats? It’s not really that common, right?” We don’t know how common rabies is in the bat population, since most testing of bats is sporadic… Continue Reading

Infections From Backyard Poultry

Posted in Birds, Salmonella
Hardly a week goes by that I don’t get a question (or a dozen) about backyard poultry. As more cities consider or enact laws allowing urban poultry, the debates about and around this issue increase. It’s also becoming a big business, with ample options for people to buy chicken coops (or high end chicken condos),… Continue Reading

Piranha Bite Response

Posted in Other animals, Other diseases
Yes, piranha bite response is a pretty niche topic. Nevertheless, it’s interesting (at least to me). A recent paper in Pediatric Emergency Care (Berkowitz and Goldsmith. An unexpected fish bite. 2017) covers this topic. It starts off this way: A 22-month-old boy presented to the pediatric emergency department with a missing right fourth distal phalanx… Continue Reading

Croc Stories, Times Two

Posted in Other animals, Other diseases
When I think about bad things that can happen from interacting with a crocodile, infectious diseases don’t jump to the top of my list (ingestion and amputation being the two first things that come to mind). That leads me to the first crocodile story (thanks Stephen), a rather light-hearted description that everyone but the bitten… Continue Reading

Campylobacter Outbreak From Puppies

Posted in Dogs, Other diseases
Cute. Frustrating. Cuddly. Biohazardous All of these apply to puppies. It’s well recognized that puppies (and kittens) pose increased infectious disease risks, for a few reasons. These include a higher likelihood of shedding various pathogens, greater environmental contamination when they poop on the floor (or anywhere else) and a tendency to cause minor bites and… Continue Reading

Ontario Rabies Update

Posted in Other animals, Rabies
Here’s the latest map of the terrestrial rabies cases in southwestern Ontario.  Raccoon-variant cases still centre on the Hamilton area.  It was never assumed that this particular outbreak would be eliminated quickly, given the case numbers seen in the first several months and the additional challenges of trying to control the spread of the virus in… Continue Reading

Psittacosis From A Horse

Posted in Horses, Other diseases
I’ve had this paper from One Health (Chan et al 2017) on my “to blog” pile for a while, since it’s an interesting story. Like any case report, it’s a bit of an oddball infection, and not likely indicative of a major or new risk. However, there are often a few good general take-home messages from… Continue Reading

Close Encounters of the ‘Tick’ Kind…Your Pet, Pathogens & Lyme Disease

Posted in Dogs, Horses, Other diseases, Parasites
Guest Blog by Dr. Michelle Evason DVM DipACVIM, and current PhD student researching Lyme disease in dogs Recently, an interesting article on pet ownership and human tick risk was published (Jones et al, Zoonoses and Public Health 2017). The study looked at risk factors for “tick encounters” in people living in Lyme disease endemic states in the… Continue Reading

Rabid Horse: Minnesota

Posted in Horses, Rabies, Vaccination
If a horse comes into the hospital at this time of year and has some difficulty standing, incoordination and mild fever, the first thing on my list of likely causes is probably equine herpesvirus type I (EHV-1) infection. Next would be West Nile virus encephalitis. However, we consider all sudden onset neurological disease cases in… Continue Reading

Echinococcus multilocularis: Alberta, Canada

Posted in Dogs, Parasites
Several news articles have been written lately about the recently-described cases of Echinococcus multilocularis infection in four people in Alberta. The cases of alveolar echinococcosis have occurred over the past 4 years, and raise significant concerns. Echinococcus multilocularis is a small tapeworm but it causes big problems. Why? It’s a potentially nasty parasitic disease that can act a lot… Continue Reading

Things Not To Do With Raccoons

Posted in Parasites, Rabies
1) Pick up baby raccoons and take them away Rarely does this end well. It’s illegal in many areas (including Ontario). Raccoons don’t do well long-term in households for various reasons (their curious and destructive nature being a big one). And, they are potential sources of a number of zoonotic diseases (rabies being a big one but not… Continue Reading

A Perfect Storm for Canine Flu

Posted in Dogs, Other diseases
There were several more reports over the weekend in follow up to the canine influenza outbreak at dog shows in Florida early last week.  Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, associated cases were then found in North Carolina, and have now been reported in 11 states, no doubt  from dogs that were at the shows in Florida… Continue Reading

Rabies in Northern Quebec

Posted in Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
Two rabid dogs have been identified in Whapmagoostui, a Cree community in a remote region of northern Quebec. Rabies is very rare in dogs in Canada, and in recent years, much of the concern has revolved around rabies in dogs from northern communities. Rabies is endemic in Arctic foxes, and dogs can be infected from… Continue Reading

Bandicoots, Sandboxes and Salmonella

Posted in Other animals, Salmonella
A playground in New South Wales, Australia, has been closed because its sandpit was linked to salmonellosis in two children. Sandboxes are a potential source of a few different infectious diseases since they can be used as litterboxes by animals such as cats, raccoons, and apparently, bandicoots. In the Australian incident, two kids were diagnosed… Continue Reading

Human Rabies: Virginia

Posted in Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
Every few weeks I get a call or an email about travel-associated rabies exposure concerns. It’s usually from someone traveling to southeast Asia or India who has been bitten by a stray dog. Most of the time, it’s an unvaccinated person and the dog isn’t available for monitoring or testing. Since rabies is endemic in… Continue Reading

New Guidance for Human Exposure to Rabies: Ontario

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Other animals, Rabies, Vaccination
This month, Public Health Ontario released a new Rabies Guidance Document for Healthcare Providers. It’s nothing particularly new but a good review of the recommended response to rabies exposure from various animal species, something that’s unfortunately often messed up or made more complicated than necessary. It includes some nice flowcharts, such as the one below. The full… Continue Reading