In some ways, the approach to rabies vaccine is easy. In other ways, it’s complicated. To some degree, the medicine is easy, but other considerations (like regulatory requirements) cloud the picture.

The medicine:

Rabies vaccines are highly effective. A single initial dose provides at least 1 year of protection. The first dose is supposed

We are looking to recruit Canadian veterinary clinic staff who have had COVID-19 themselves for a study to learn more about the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from people to their own pets (dogs, cats, ferrets). This study is being performed by Drs. Scott Weese and Dorothee Bienzle from the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph.


I’ve spent a lot more talking about mink in the past few months than I ever thought I would. In regard to SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19 in people), mink and ferrets (their close relatives) are a fascinating story, but I’ll try to be brief about it. Mink have become important because of the

We’ll put this in the “interesting but not really surprising” file.

When you have people with COVID-19 and they have contact with animals, there’s some risk of infecting the animals. The risk varies by animal species, but this virus seems to have the ability to infect a few different species beyond our own.

SARS-CoV-2 has

Based on what we knew from the original SARS virus and the similarity with SARS-CoV-2 (the cause of COVID-19), we expected ferrets to be one of the species that could be susceptible to infection with the latter. When ferrets were infected with the SARS virus, they got sick (unlike cats that just shed the virus).

Viruses need to attach to cells to infect them, and they do this by binding to specific receptors on the cell. If a virus can’t attach, it can’t infect. Some receptors are very specific to an individual animal species, while some are more general. These differences in receptor binding explain why some viruses only infect

The first true confirmed canine influenza virus (CIV) was the H3N8 canine flu that evloved from  H3N8 equine flu. That’s the virus that spread to and amongst dogs in various parts of North America. The general consensus has been that only this strain should be called CIV, since it’s been the only true dog-adapted influenza virus