Worms & Germs Blog

Tag Archives: Other animals

Antibiotics in animals: ACVIM consensus statement

Posted in Cats
Every year, the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) commissions "consensus statements" on specific topics. They’re developed by an expert panel, put up for review by ACVIM members (board certified veterinary internal medicine specialists), and published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Hot off the (electronic) press is the 2015 ACVIM Consensus Statement… Continue Reading

Groundhog zoonoses?

Posted in Other animals
According to Groundhog Day lore, if the groundhog sees its shadow, you’re in for six more weeks of winter. If it doesn’t spring is around the corner. So, what does it mean when the critter draws blood? Sun Prairie, Wisconsin residents will find out this year, after Jimmy the Groundhog bit the town’s mayor. After… Continue Reading

Canadian companion animal Ebola guidance

Posted in Dogs
Concern (paranoia?) about Ebola in animals has died down lately, which is a good thing. In the meantime, guidelines have been developed to help handle potential animal Ebola-exposure issues, which is also a good thing. While I’ve been slow posting them, Canadian guidance for management of companion animals potentially exposed to Ebola virus and for… Continue Reading

Hazardous guinea pigs?

Posted in Pocket pets
All animals pose some risk of infection to people, to one degree or another, but the risk varies a lot between animal species. I guess I’ve always considered guinea pigs to be relatively benig, with a few zoonotic disease concerns but with bites probably being the biggest risk. I still think that’s true, but a… Continue Reading

2013 US rabies recap

Posted in Rabies
It’s that time of year. No, not for snow (although it is snowing here at the moment). It’s time for the annual US rabies surveillance report in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (Dyer et al. Rabies surveillance in the United States during 2013). The highlights… Over 5800 rabid animals were identified in… Continue Reading

Animal Ebola guidance documents, hot off the press

Posted in Dogs
Today, guidance documents coordinated by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Veterinary Medical Association were released. CDC descriptions of the two documents are below. Click on the title to get the document. Interim Guidance for Public Health Officials on Pets of Ebola Virus Disease Contacts This document provides interim guidance… Continue Reading

Fake service animals in action

Posted in Other animals
I go on periodic rants about people abusing service animal rules to take their pets places they cannot normally go (while potentially compromising the critically important need for true service animals to have unfettered access). Sometimes, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one. A recent article (pointed out by a writer from the VIN… Continue Reading

More hatching chick associated salmonellosis

Posted in Other animals
The salmonellosis outbreak in the US associated with hatching chicks continues to expand. The outbreak, ironically associated with Mt. Healthy Hatcheries in Ohio, has now sickened at least 344 people in 42 US states and Puerto Rico with a variety of Salmonella serotypes (S. Infants, S. Newport and S. Hadar). The outbreak shows no sign… Continue Reading

FDA releases 2011 antimicrobial resistance data

Posted in Other animals
The US Food and Drug Administration has released the 2011 NARMS (National Antimicrobial Resistances Monitoring System) executive report. It’s a good-news/bad-news outcome, which may be as good as can be expected, but at least there’s some good news. Here are some areas that were highlighted by the FDA. Eighty-five percent of non-typhoidal Salmonella collected from humans… Continue Reading

Exotic animals in hospitals

Posted in Other animals
What zoonotic microorganisms do pangolins commonly carry? Are some pangolins higher risk than others? What infection control measures should be used? I don’t know, and from a cursory review of the literature, I don’t think anyone really knows. So, do we really want to be exposing them to some of our most susceptible individuals –… Continue Reading

Monkey bites and rabies quarantine

Posted in Other animals
"A monkey was placed under a six-month quarantine on Tuesday after it reportedly bit a woman at a Beaumont restaurant on Sunday…" Oh, where to start… Why do people feel the need to have monkeys as pets? I realize that they’re fascinating critters, but is it in the best interests of the monkey and the… Continue Reading

More on MERS-CoV and the camel link

Posted in Other animals
MERS-CoV, the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, continues to cause infections (often fatal) and confusion. For a while now, there’s been speculation that camels are the source of this virus, based in part on how commonly antibodies against the virus (or a related virus) are found in healthy camels. It always seemed strange, though, for… Continue Reading

Bad time to be a camel

Posted in Other animals
Camels are getting a lot of bad press on the infectious disease front lately. There’s been the ongoing question of their role in the epidemiology of the very serious Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). This enigmatic virus (like the similarly deadly SARS coronavirus) is a tremendous public health concern, with high deaths rates in… Continue Reading

Attack of the marauding pine weevil

Posted in Other animals
That’s a great title that I can’t take credit for. A colleague (and regular supplier of papers for blog posts) Dr. Stephen Page send me a paper from the Journal of Clinical Microbiology with a more convoluted title “The Capnocytophaga canimosus isolate that caused sepsis in an immunosufficient man was transmitted by the large pine… Continue Reading

Rabies confusion and clarification: Ontario

Posted in Cats
Following the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (rather mind-boggling) abandonment of the rabies response portfolio, there’s been a scramble by provinces to figure out what to do. The CFIA will still perform testing, but will not have any role in sample collection, sample shipping or investigation. I’m not sure what most provinces are doing (and based on… Continue Reading

It’s that time of year…

Posted in Other animals
April showers bring May flowers. …and I can’t come up with a good rhyme for salmonellosis. Nonetheless, it’s Salmonella season, courtesy of cute but biohazardous baby poultry. You can buy chicken, turkey and other bird eggs to hatch every spring. Our local feed mill had the order forms out a while ago, and you can… Continue Reading

Boo Boo gets pardoned, but so much for stress relief

Posted in Other animals
Let’s put this one in the "smart people doing stupid things" file. Some well-intentioned people at Washington University in St. Louis thought they’d help relieve stress during exam time by bringing in a petting zoo – that unfortunately included "Boo Boo" the biting bear. As you can likely guess, problems ensued. 18 students sustained skin-breaking… Continue Reading

Raccoons in the bed

Posted in Other animals
There’s been some controversy in the past regarding allowing pets to sleep in or on the bed. I don’t get too worked up about it, since I think it’s very low-risk in terms of disease transmission for most pets and households, but a variety if reasons for prohibiting this practice have been given. I haven’t… Continue Reading

Animal Health Laboratory Zoonotic Diseases Report

Posted in Dogs
The University of Guelph’s Animal Health Laboratory recently published a summary of selected zoonotic disease diagnoses in its monthly newsletter. It’s an interesting summary of what’s gone through the lab in the last year.  It also helps to remind us of the zoonotic potential of all of these pathogens, some of which are relatively common… Continue Reading

H5N1 flu in Canada…a cause for concern?

Posted in Other animals
The first North American case of H5N1 avian influenza ("bird flu") was confirmed in an Alberta resident last night, causing much concern but posing little true risk. The affected person had just returned from a trip to China and began showing signs of illness during the flight from Beijing to Vancouver. After spending a few… Continue Reading

Maybe I should buy a hat

Posted in Other animals
These days, there’s more and more doom-and-gloom information about multidrug-resistant bacteria. They’re in our hospitals, medical tourists, people on the street, our pets, our food, and pretty much anywhere else you can think of. We can now add crow poop to the list too. It’s almost to be expected, really. We know that birds can… Continue Reading

HIV and pets

Posted in Cats
A little knowledge can be a bad thing. We see that with zoonotic diseases. Awareness is great. However, a little bit of awareness can be a problem if it’s enough make people paranoid but not enough to help them understand the real risks. This can lead to excessive and illogical responses (often ending with "…get… Continue Reading

Projectile penguin poop

Posted in Other animals
In my line of work, I deal with feces from a lot of different species. Never once, however, have I thought to model defecation pressure and distances. Maybe I’m just strange. A few years ago, German researchers felt the need to model the defecation habits of penguins. The title of the paper, published in Polar… Continue Reading

Brucellosis from Aussie pigs

Posted in Other animals
Australian Elmer Fudds beware… there are concerns that feral pig hunting is a risk factor for brucellosis in New South Wales. Brucellosis is a rare disease, but a report like this raises concern because it can be nasty, and it can also be hard to diagnose (or it’s not considered right away). We don’t have… Continue Reading