Worms & Germs Blog

Tag Archives: Rabies

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

Rabies in dog(s?) in Texas

Posted in Dogs
A female Corgi was presented to a Parker County, Texas veterinary clinic and subsequently diagnosed with rabies. Presumably, the dog was exhibiting neurological signs, died or was euthanized, and the veterinarian made sure the dog was tested for rabies (something that could become more complicated in Canada now that the CFIA has inexplicably dumped rabies… Continue Reading

Rabies in upstate New York horse

Posted in Rabies
Rabies in horses is pretty rare but far from unheard of, and each case should be a reminder of the need for proper vaccination. The latest US case was a horse in Newport, New York, but I haven’t yet been able to track down more details. Presumably, human and animal contacts are being investigated, with… Continue Reading

Rabies vaccination for travelers

Posted in Rabies
For an almost invariably fatal disease, people sometimes take a surprisingly lax approach to rabies prevention. Much attention is paid to vaccination of pets (well, not by everyone, but it’s pretty good) – and that’s great, but sometimes people do a better job of vaccinating their dogs than themselves. It’s not because they care about… Continue Reading

From the archives…Why should I vaccinate Fluffy, he’s an indoor cat? (aka Why I’m glad I vaccinated Finnegan, my indoor cat)

Posted in Cats
Over the past few years, I’ve written a lot of posts on this blog. Hopefully the odd one’s been interesting and/or informative, and in the spirit of recycling (not laziness!) I’m going to re-post some that I thought were memorable or of particular interest. The first one is actually the second post ever on this site… Continue Reading

Rabies exposure…the good and bad

Posted in Cats
A rabies exposure incident in New Jersey provides another example of some common good and bad points that come up in these situations. Fifteen people from four families, along with a veterinarian, are receiving post-exposure treatment after contact with a rabid kitten. In the all-too-familiar scenario, a kitten was found in a cat colony outside… Continue Reading

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

Rabid horse attacks owner

Posted in Horses
I’ve had the occasional debate with people about the public health risks of rabies in horses. On one hand… Rabies is rare in horses. I’ve never seen a report of rabies transmission from a horse to a person. On the other hand… Rabid horses have attacked (and killed people). It doesn’t matter whether the horse… Continue Reading

Rabies alert in Calgary

Posted in Dogs
Alberta Health Services Medical Officer Dr. David Strong has urged the public to take precautions after a Calgary-area puppy was diagnosed with rabies. The five-month-old puppy came from Nunavut and had not been vaccinated against rabies. All those with whom the puppy had contact have been assessed and it doesn’t sound like anyone required post-exposure… Continue Reading

Irony…bad luck…rabies-magnet…pick your terminology

Posted in Dogs
The word "ironic” gets used a lot, often incorrectly. Alanis Morrissette’s hit song “Ironic” is a great example of this since she (ironically?) describes situations that aren’t really ironic, they just suck (i.e. winning the lottery and dying the next day isn’t ironic, it’s just bad luck). Anyway, irony doesn’t have much to do with… Continue Reading

US Rabies update

Posted in Dogs
ProMed-mail usually posts a monthly recap of rabies cases in the US. The most recent one (like most of them) doesn’t have anything too astounding, but it provides some good reminders. Skunk attacks baby A five-month-old baby that was outside in a car seat was bitten in the face several times by a skunk. The… Continue Reading

Another Australian bat virus in horses

Posted in Horses
As if horse owners and veterinarians in Queensland need another infectious disease challenge….. Recently, a horse in southwest Queensland was diagnosed with Australian bat lyssavirus infection. This virus, which is similar to rabies, is present in some bats in Australia. It can be transmitted to people from bats, causing fatal disease, but human infections are… Continue Reading

Bad headline, worse disease

Posted in Dogs
Business Mirror, a Philippine news website, had a recent article entitled "Rabies: deadlier than ever". That’s a bit like saying Decapitation: now an even worse idea. Rabies isn’t ‘deadlier than ever,’ since it’s hard to get deadlier when the disease is already almost invariably fatal. Anyway, beyond quibbling about the title, there are some interesting parts… Continue Reading

Rabies update

Posted in Dogs
ProMed Mail‘s monthly US rabies update often contains some interesting cases, and the last one is no exception. A llama in Georgia became aggressive, started biting itself and was spitting at one of its caretakers. A spitting llama certainly doesn’t mean rabies (I have dodged enough llama spitballs to know that) but any sudden change… 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

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

Ok…maybe we should think about zebras sometimes

Posted in Other animals
The old saying is "when you hear hoof-steps, think horses, not zebras." In a medical context, it means common things occur commonly, so don’t start off thinking about wild and bizarre conditions before you’ve ruled out the usual suspects. Along that line, when I hear "rabies," I think "bats, raccoons, dogs, cats, foxes…" I don’t think about…… Continue Reading

Rabies virus survival

Posted in Dogs
I’ve had a run on questions about survival of rabies virus outside the body. The topic comes up periodically with respect to touching roadkill or veterinary clinic personnel working with animals that have been attacked by an unknown animal. The case of three people who developed rabies after taking care of a sheep that had… Continue Reading

Pet travel misinformation

Posted in Dogs
Travel always carries a risk of infectious diseases. More people are paying attention to their health and going to travel clinics to find out about these risks and what preventive measures they can take. They still constitute only a minority of travelers, but it’s an improvement. There aren’t travel clinics for pets, so travelers thinking… Continue Reading

Biohazardous baby raccoons

Posted in Other animals
This time of year, it’s very common around here to see young raccoons wandering about. It’s also still pretty common to hear about people keeping a litter of baby raccoons in their house. I can understand the appeal – they’re cute and entertaining. However, in addition to being illegal in many regions, handling young raccoons… Continue Reading

More non-bite-associated rabies

Posted in Rabies
The other day, I wrote about a case of rabies not associated with a bite. An recent article in the Journal of Clinical Virology (Simani et al 2012) describes six other such cases from Iran. Case 1: A veterinary technician was infected through contact of broken skin with saliva. The man had scratched skin on his… Continue Reading