Worms & Germs Blog

Tag Archives: Other animals

2012 US rabies recap

Posted in Dogs
It’s that time of year again… time for the US annual rabies surveillance report in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (Dyer et al 2013). Some highlights: There were 6162 cases of rabies diagnosed in animals in 2012. (This is a 2.1% increase from 2011, but I don’t put much stock into changes… Continue Reading

Human health impact of antibiotic use in animals

Posted in Other animals
Antibiotic use in animals, and the impact on humans is a controversial area. At a conference a few years ago, one of the organizers posed the question, "What percentage of resistance in human pathogens is attributable to antibiotic use in animals?" They had people write their answers on cards, and later in the day they… Continue Reading

The Darwin saga continues

Posted in Other animals
Darwin’s back in the news. He’s a young macaque who is often called the "Ikea Monkey" since he was found wandering around a Toronto Ikea parking lot one day last winter in a designer winter coat. He was seized because of a Toronto bylaw prohibiting monkeys as pets, and transferred to a local primate sanctuary.… Continue Reading

African dwarf frog Salmonella outbreak recap

Posted in Other animals
I’ve written about the African dwarf frog and Salmonella issue before, but it’s worth a recap since an overview of the 2008-2011 outbreak was recently published in the journal Pediatrics (Mettee Zarecki et al 2013). The fact that reptiles and amphibians can carry Salmonella is nothing new, nor is the fact that outbreaks of disease… Continue Reading

Beware the mongoose

Posted in Other animals
I’ve been bitten lots of times, some on the job (including the last dog I saw when I was in general practice) and some off (including a dog down the road a couple of years ago). Fortunately, I haven’t suffered any serious consequences. That’s what happens most of the time. However, bad things can and do… Continue Reading

Petting zoo ramblings…

Posted in Other animals
Today, we went to the University of Guelph‘s annual open house, College Royal. As per usual, we only covered a fraction of the events, but had to do the traditional visits with the animals and get some of the Food Science milkshakes (even thought it was -2C outside). Animals are a big part of College… Continue Reading

Hedgehog Salmonella update

Posted in Other animals
I’m just back from vacation (luckily, with no infectious disease stories to write), but now I have to catch up on a few posts. One easy one that was waiting for me in my inbox was about Salmonella and hedgehogs. I’ve written before about biohazardous hedgehogs, and more details about the US 2011-2013 multi-state Salmonella… Continue Reading

Wash your hands…Moe’s watching!

Posted in Other animals
One on the things we try to do with the blog approach to getting zoonotic disease and infectious disease information out is to put a personal spin on stories. Whether it’s new puppy issues, a rabid bat in my house, zoonotic disease issues at my kid’s daycare or something more mundane, that personal touch sometimes… Continue Reading

Rudolph inquiry in Scotland

Posted in Other animals
Santa gives the reindeer a few months off every year, so inevitably they’re going to cause trouble. A health board inquiry is under way after a young reindeer was taken into a Glasgow Children’s Hospital and allowed to interact with patients. The reindeer fawn, from a local reindeer farm, was paraded around the hospital grounds… Continue Reading

Petting zoo pathogens

Posted in Other animals
The 15 cm of snow that fell last night is as good of an indicator as any that agricultural fair season is over in this region. But, planning ahead is important (and often not done well with fair petting zoos), so it’s never to early to make a plan for next season. Petting zoos can… Continue Reading

MRSA in an alpaca

Posted in Other animals
Following up on my recent post about MRSP in rats, here’s a story about MRSA in an alpaca (Stull et al, Can Vet J 2012). As far as we know, it’s the first report of MRSA in an alpaca (or any camelid). The report relates to our large animal hospital, where we perform MRSA screening… Continue Reading

Songbird Salmonella in Sonoma

Posted in Cats
This story’s a couple of weeks old, but Sonoma County (California) residents have been warned about an outbreak of salmonellosis in songbirds. Outbreaks of salmonellosis occur occasionally in songbirds such as finches, and can result is lots of sick and dead birds. There are also risks to other species, including cats and people. Why cats?… Continue Reading

MRSP in urban rats

Posted in Other animals
A year or two ago, I received an email from Dr. Chelsea Himsworth, who was doing some interesting work looking at different bacteria found in rats in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. This is an impoverished urban neighbourhood with lots of homeless people, IV drug users and HIV-infected individuals… and lots of rats. Dr. Himsworth, a veterinary pathologist working… Continue Reading

The Darwin saga: Macaques as pets

Posted in Other animals
If you’re in Toronto (or probably anywhere in Canada), you’ve probably heard a lot about Darwin, also known as the "Ikea Monkey". Darwin is a seven-month-old rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) that was found wandering around an Ikea parking lot on December 9 in a designer winter coat. He was seized by Toronto Animal Services since non-human… Continue Reading

Monkey bites in the military

Posted in Other animals
I write a lot about animal bites, and for good reason since they are common and can be very severe. Usually, it’s dog bites. Sometimes it’s cat bites, or more rarely injuries from birds or other critters. Monkey bites not so much, but they happen. I had an email question about rabies exposure from a… Continue Reading

Ferret legging…a sport?

Posted in Other animals
With the lingering NHL strike, TV networks are looking for replacement sports. One of my PhD students (who claims he doesn’t spend too much time playing around on the internet but keeps coming up with these gems) sent me information about one sport that’s not coming to a network near you. Yes, it’s ferret legging.… Continue Reading

Boy Scouts not so prepared this time

Posted in Other animals
Earlier this year, a troop of Boy Scouts in the US beat off a rabid beaver that was attacking their leader (I wonder if there’s a badge for that). Boy Scouts and infectious diseases are in the news again, but not with as happy a story. In the recent incident reported on ProMED, ten Boy… Continue Reading

Another rabid beaver

Posted in Other animals
I don’t know whether it’s because a) there are more rabid beavers these days, b) rabid beavers have always been around in these numbers but they have recently acquired a taste for human flesh, or c) it’s just a fluke, but another rabid beaver was recently reported in the US. The latest incident involved a beaver… Continue Reading

2011 US Rabies recap

Posted in Other animals
The annual US rabies surveillance report has been published in the latest edition of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (Blanton et al 2012). There’s not really anything earth-shattering in it, but it’s a good overview of the rabies diagnoses in the US from 2011. As always, it only provides a peek into rabies in… Continue Reading

More dumb pet problems

Posted in Other animals
No, I’m not referring to pets lacking in intelligence (my dog Meg leads that category). Rather, I’m talking about questionable decisions by pet owners. Here are a few bewildering stories: The Indian River Reptile Zoo near Peterborough, Ontario, rushed some of their stock of snake anti-venom to Brantford General Hospital (about three hours away) to… Continue Reading

Killer rabbits and other strange rabid animals

Posted in Other animals
Rabies is most commonly reported in dogs, skunks, raccoons, bats and a few other species. However, any mammal is susceptible, and sometimes unusual cases are identified. 1. In a serious take on Monty Python’s "killer rabbit," a rabid bunny has caused a lot of problems in Chom Thong, Thailand. The pet rabbit, Poko, had been… Continue Reading

Petting zoo deficiencies

Posted in Other animals
We’re fully into petting zoo season now, with these types of exhibits appearing at a variety of agricultural fairs and similar events. This also unfortunately means that we’re into petting zoo outbreak season, since there’s always some risk of disease associated with the type of animal contact people have at these displays. There are some… Continue Reading

African Dwarf Frogs info sheet

Posted in Other animals
In response to Salmonella outbreaks linked to these critters, their popularity as pets for young kids, and efforts to ban them in some areas, we’ve developed an info sheet regarding African Dwarf Frogs. As with our other info sheets, it discusses the good and bad points of owning these little guys, things to consider when… Continue Reading