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Yet another reason not to feed raw chicken

Posted in Dogs, Other diseases
As if another reason was needed, a recent study from Australia (Martinez-Anton et al. 2018 J Vet Internal Med) found a strong association between dogs that consume raw chicken meat and a serious neurological condition known as acute polyradiculoneuritis (APN).  APN is comparable to Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) in humans.  The main objective of the study… Continue Reading

Salmonella in kids linked to raw pet food

Posted in Dogs, Salmonella
When we have discussions about the risks of feeding raw meat to dogs and cats, a frequent refrain is “where are the published reports of people getting sick?” While we know some illnesses occur, they tend not to get investigated to the level that they are published, which is problematic when trying to demonstrate the… Continue Reading

WHO rabies vaccination update

Posted in Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
The World Health Organization has issued new rabies vaccination and post-exposure prophylaxis recommendations. Here are some of the highlights: Post-exposure prophylaxis People who have not been previously vaccinated against rabies should receive immunoglobulin (antibody) promptly, followed by a series of rabies vaccines. Immunoglobulin can be given after vaccination has started, if logistics require that; however, it… Continue Reading

Petland puppy Campylobacter update

Posted in Dogs, Other diseases
I was talking to someone today about their new puppy, their puppy’s diarrhea and (take a guess) the fact that they developed diarrhea shortly thereafter. Odds are pretty good that puppy and owner both have campylobacteriosis. While this infection isn’t related to the ongoing US multistate Campylobacter outbreak linked to puppies from Petland stores, it’s… Continue Reading

Updated US rabies map

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Horses, Rabies
Here are updated versions of the US rabies maps from yesterday’s post, with the addition of some more data. Pennsylvania’s looking more biohazardous now but that’s because we got a lot more data for that state. If we get more data from other areas, the maps will be updated accordingly.… Continue Reading

US rabies map: 2017

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Horses, Rabies, Vaccination
We track a few different diseases, both for research and for general education, including rabies. The maps below provide an overview of rabies in dogs, cats and horses in the US in 2017. It’s not a complete representation of cases, since we don’t have access to everyone’s surveillance data. It’s compiled through monitoring various reports… Continue Reading

One more reason to avoid rattlesnake pills

Posted in Reptiles, Salmonella
Not that I needed one more reason to avoid them, but a recent CDC release warns about the risk of Salmonella infection associated with rattlesnake pills.  These pills, a literal variation of the old “snake oil” remedies, are apparently marketed as a cure for a variety of ailments, including cancer and HIV. Yet, the best evidence… Continue Reading

Fossil fuels and antibiotics: An analogy

Posted in Animals, Birds, Cats, Dogs, Horses, Other animals, Other diseases, Pocket pets
The post below is reproduced from CANresist.blog. It applies equally for veterinary medicine. I think most people buy into the concept of fossil fuels being finite resources. Someday, they’ll run out or logistics and cost of extraction will make them impractical. Accordingly, we’re thinking about ways to reduce and improve use (to delay the end of the… Continue Reading

Please avoid DIY head removal for rabies testing

Posted in Dogs, Rabies
A dog attacks someone and is shot by police. Unfortunate, but sadly it happens. The sheriff’s investigator notifies the county health department, which says the dog needs to be tested for rabies. Good. That sometimes gets missed. The investigator then tells the owner that he has to remove the dog’s head or he’ll face a charge… Continue Reading

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