Worms & Germs Blog

Tag Archives: Vaccination

Lepto risk factors and research musings

Posted in Dogs
Studies that look at risk factors can be pretty variable in terms of what they tell you, the impact they have and how accurate they are. Some findings are pretty logical, clear and indicate something that should be done. Smoking is a risk factor for [insert many diseases here], so to reduce the risk of… 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

To lepto or not to lepto…

Posted in Dogs
Life with Merlin has been busy but going pretty well. There’s been no pee on the floor in the past 48 hours so we’re making progress. Speaking of pee (which, sadly, I seem to do a lot), we need to decide about leptospirosis vaccination for Merlin. A good preventive medicine program is important for every pet.… Continue Reading

Eastern Equine encephalitis alert: Ontario

Posted in Horses
If I was reincarnated as a mosquito, I’d want to live where I do now (convenient, eh?). I live in the country surrounded by areas of "protected wetland," which, in many cases, is a fancy word for swamp. I try to avoid mosquitoes, but getting bitten is a regular (daily) event. As I was getting swarmed… Continue Reading

Eastern equine encephalitis in South Carolina

Posted in Horses
‘Tis the season… As summer progresses, mosquito-borne infections become more common. While West Nile virus typically peaks later in the summer or early fall, Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), a much more deadly viral neurological disease, tends to start cropping up earlier in the season. Recently, EEE was diagnosed in two horses in Horry and Marion… Continue Reading

Israel issues rabies travel warning for tourists to India

Posted in Dogs
Israel’s Health Ministry is recommending rabies vaccination for people traveling to India.This seems to be mainly in response to the recent high-profile case of an English woman who died of rabies acquired from a dog in India. While it was high-profile, that certainly wasn’t the only travel-associated rabies infection in the past year.  Rabies exposure… Continue Reading

Raccoon distemper warnings

Posted in Dogs
There have been various news reports from different parts of North America describing distemper outbreak in raccoons. Distemper is a viral infection caused by canine distemper virus, which is related to the human measles virus (but the canine version can’t infect people). A variety of animal species in addition to dogs can get distemper, most… Continue Reading

Canine flu in Ontario…not really

Posted in Dogs
It’s amazing how one little email comment can make a mess of my week. Here’s the story: I sent an email to a colleague that works for an agency in Ontario. At the bottom of the email, I gave an FYI about an Ontario dog that was found to have antibodies against canine flu, but… Continue Reading

Canine flu outbreak in Texas

Posted in Dogs
As canine influenza continues it’s rather gradual, patchwork movement across North America, an outbreak at a greyhound racetrack southeast of Houston highlights some of the concerns about this virus. Canine influenza has been active in the Houston region for some time, causing sporadic infections as well as outbreaks in pet dogs in the community and… Continue Reading

Rabies exposure and confusion

Posted in Dogs
Max, a 12-year-old Chihuahua from Greenfield, New Jersey, was euthanized recently after he was exposed to rabies. While far from unusual, the case highlights the ongoing risk of rabies exposure as well as issues with understanding of rabies guidelines and communication. Max was attacked by a rabid raccoon – an ever-present risk for animals that… Continue Reading

Canine parvovirus in cats

Posted in Dogs
An interesting and frankly somewhat scary report in an upcoming issue of Veterinary Microbiology (Clegg et al 2012) provides further information suggesting that cats might be a source of canine parvovirus infection. This potentially fatal infection, which typically affects young unvaccinated (or inadequately vaccinated) puppies, is a major problem, and outbreaks occur (not uncommonly)  in… Continue Reading

From the kennel cough files….

Posted in Dogs
Kennel cough, also (and more properly) referred to as canine infectious respiratory disease complex (CIRDC), has been in the news lately. This condition is a syndrome, not a specific disease, being potentially caused by a range of bacteria, viruses and Mycoplasma, including canine parainfluenza virus, canine influenza virus, canine respiratory herpesvirus, canine adenovirus, distemper virus,… Continue Reading

Rabid horses in Tennessee

Posted in Horses
Rabies is pretty rare in horses in North America, with only 37 reported cases in the US in 2010 and 1 in Canada in 2011 (the latest years for which data are available). So, finding two apparently unrelated cases of rabies in horses in the same area in the same month is pretty unusual and… Continue Reading

West Nile warning for BC horses

Posted in Horses
A Prince George, British Columbia veterinarian is warning other veterinarians and horse owners about West Nile in the province. Little information is available at this point, but the warning is in response to a diagnosis of West Nile infection in a horse from the area. The report calls it a "deadly disease" but it would… Continue Reading

Horse rabies in Florida

Posted in Horses
Marion County (Florida) public health personnel recently issued a rabies alert after a horse in the area tested positive for the virus. It’s a standard alert, emphasizing avoiding contact with wildlife, reducing things that attract wildlife to houses (e.g. accessible pet food or garbage) and recommending vaccination. Interestingly, while this alert was prompted by a… Continue Reading

Occupy San Francisco’s canine parvo outbreak

Posted in Dogs
A parvovirus outbreak has been identified at the Occupy San Francisco camp, with at least three dogs affected by the highly contagious and potentially very serious viral disease. The San Francisco SPCA has visited the camp and their temporary clinic was attended by "dozens" of dog owners (indicating lots of dogs at the camp). This… Continue Reading

Ongoing canine flu problems in Texas

Posted in Dogs
Canine influenza continues to be a problem in some areas of Texas, most notably in the Austin area. A recent news report indicates 30 confirmed cases and 70 suspected H3N8 canine influenza cases since September. It’s hard to say what the scope of the problem really is, but something’s definitely happening. Getting good data about… Continue Reading

Spike in Michigan canine lepto cases

Posted in Dogs
Veterinarians at Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine are warning of an upswing in leptospirosis in dogs in the Detroit area. More than 20 cases of leptospirosis have been reported in dogs in the Detroit area, and it’s likely that many more unreported cases have occurred. Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection, can cause very serious… Continue Reading

World Rabies Day

Posted in Dogs
While it’s not really an occasion to celebrate, September 28 was World Rabies Day. Rabies has been a problem for millennia, and it’s not going away any time soon. This viral disease, which is almost invariably fatal, kills 50 000 – 70 000 people per year. Some countries have astounding rates of rabies cases, such… Continue Reading

Rabies in illegally imported dog: France

Posted in Dogs
A recent case of canine rabies in France showed yet again the risks posed by illegal importation of animals. This case is somewhat unusual since it seems to involve ignorance of the rules and lax enforcement, compared to rampant animal smuggling, but the end result was the same. The animal in question was a puppy… Continue Reading

More Mosquito-Borne Mayhem

Posted in equIDblog
The mosquito-borne diseases eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile (WNV) continue to rear their ugly heads in the northeast as we get further into the late summer season during which they are most common. On August 13 there was an unconfirmed report of a case of West Nile in a horse at Woodbine Racetrack,… Continue Reading

West Nile Warnings

Posted in equIDblog
Following on the heels of the beginning of the start eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) season, warnings are going out about another mosquito-borne disease in parts of North America, West Nile virus (WNV) encephalitis. While mosquitoes have been swarming around here for months, WNV only becomes a real concern in southwestern Ontario starting in mid-to-late August.… Continue Reading

Rabies quarantine lawsuit

Posted in Dogs
A Chapel Hill, North Carolina woman is suing Orange County in response to quarantine of her dog because of possible rabies exposure. This lawsuit highlights some of the inconsistencies in application of current rules, along with some misunderstandings. In February, her dog Russell was barking at something under her deck, and that something ended up… Continue Reading

Travel, pets and infectious disease risks

Posted in Dogs
An important concept when dealing with infectious diseases is consideration of the risk that an animal has been, or will be, exposed to a particular microorganism. Some diseases vary greatly geographically, and something that’s very important in one region may be rare or non-existent in another. Good veterinarians are aware of disease trends in their… Continue Reading