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Posts Tagged ‘zoonotic disease’

There are scarier things around Norfolk and Virginia Beach this Halloween than witches, ghouls, and ghosts.

Watch out for foxes, raccoons, bats, and skunks — common carriers of Rabies, a deadly virus that can be spread to animals and people. 

Check your pet’s Rabies vaccination status — if it’s due or past due, make an appointment today to update your pet’s Rabies vaccination — don’t wait!

[If your pet is a patient at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic,
be sure to Contact Us.] 

There is no cure for Rabies. And Rabies is always fatal. That is why preventing Rabies with a vaccination is one of the most important things you can do for your pet and your family — and it’s the law.

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A Rabies vaccination is a lifesaver for your pet — and it’s the law. Life is unpredictable — add wild or stray animals into the mix, and it can become downright chaotic at times.  You can’t control what happens to your pet all the time, but you can work toward better outcomes. Keeping your dog and cat up-to-date on Rabies boosters is just one way to protect your pets from an unexpected, aggressive animal encounter.

It looks cute - but this raccoon could be harboring a deadly virus. Photo by Gaby Muller.

It looks cute – but this raccoon could be harboring a deadly virus.
Photo by Gaby Muller.

Rabies is a fatal viral disease. It is transmitted through saliva (i.e. through biting) and travels through the nerves to the brain. Keep in mind that a pet cannot be tested for Rabies while alive. The test is conducted on the brain tissue of a deceased animal, only. For this reason, once a pet is bitten by an animal suspected of carrying Rabies, the pet is either quarantined and monitored closely for signs of disease (if its vaccine is current) or euthanized and tested for the virus (if the vaccine is lapsed or was never given.) In other words, if your pet is kept current on its vaccination, it is more likely to be spared from automatic euthanasia.

Rabies is considered a zoonotic health risk, since it can be transmitted from animals to humans. The laws requiring Rabies vaccination for dogs and cats are meant to benefit humans, as well. Even if you consider your pet to be 100% indoors-only, it still must receive the vaccination, under the law. Presumably, your pet leaves the house at least once a year to visit the veterinarian. An animal encounter can occur in your yard or at the doctor’s office. Or your pet may unexpectedly escape from the house and tangle with another animal. Or perhaps a member of your household will bring a new pet home, without knowing its vaccine or disease-exposure history.

Check your pet’s Rabies vaccine status now. Notice when it is due — or if it is overdue, call your veterinarian to schedule a booster. Don’t wait: you never know when trouble is hiding just around the corner.

Rabies cases reported this year in:
Norfolk…………………raccoon
Suffolk………………….raccoon
Virginia Beach………otter, raccoon, raccoon

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Photo of raccoon by Gaby Müller, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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With summer vacation in full swing, pet owners will be taking advantage of the season to go camping, hiking, swimming, and playing in the backyard with their dogs. 

But they’re not the only ones out in force — wild animals will be enjoying the weather, too.  The problem is, wildlife can leave behind a bacterium called Leptospirosis, which infects both people and their pets.

This raccoon may be carrying Leptospirosis - a bacteria dangerous to people and pets.

This raccoon may be carrying Leptospirosis – a bacteria dangerous to people and pets.

LEPTOSPIROSIS PROFILE

Found in:  Water, soil, mud, and food contaminated with animal urine.  Flood water is especially hazardous.  Also found in an infected animal’s tissues and bodily fluids such as blood and urine.

Host animals:  Raccoons, squirrels, opossums, deer, skunks, rodents, livestock, dogs, and rarely in cats.

Points of entry:  Cut or scratch on the skin; mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, mouth; inhaling aerosolized fluids.  Drinking contaminated water; exposure to flood water.

Symptoms in people:  Fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, jaundice, vomiting, rash, anemia, meningitis.  Some people show no symptoms.

Symptoms in pets:  Fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weakness, depression, stiffness, muscle pain.  Some pets show no symptoms.  The disease can be fatal in pets.

When will it show up in my pet:  Between 5-14 days post-exposure, although in some cases it may take up to 30 days.

Gravity:  In people, Lepto infection can lead to kidney and liver failure, and death if left untreated.

Who is at risk:  Campers, water sportsmen, farmers, military, to name a few.

Prevention

  • Vaccinate dogs annually for Leptospirosis
  • Don’t allow dogs to drink from puddles, streams, lakes, or other water that may be contaminated by animal urine
  • Don’t swim in water that may be contaminated by animal urine
  • Wear shoes when outdoors
  • Keep dogs out of children’s play areas
  • Control rodents around your home and yard

Resources: 

http://www.cdc.gov/leptospirosis/index.html  Visit the CDC website for comprehensive information on Leptospirosis in people and pets.

http://www.cdc.gov/leptospirosis/pdf/fact-sheet.pdf  Print your own Lepto fact sheet, or send us a message using the contact form, and we’ll print one for you.

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This article was originally posted on July 8, 2011.

Photo credit: D. Gordon E. Robertson, via Wikimedia Commons.

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82° F today?  Summer weather is here, folks – so it’s time to get outdoors and get moving.

With the warm-up upon us, pet owners will be taking advantage of the season to go camping, hiking, swimming, and playing in the backyard with their dogs.  But they’re not the only ones out in force — wild animals will be enjoying the weather, too.  The problem is, wildlife can leave behind a bacterium called Leptospirosis, which infects both people and their pets.

This raccoon may be carrying Leptospirosis - a bacteria dangerous to people and pets.

This raccoon may be carrying Leptospirosis – a bacteria dangerous to people and pets.

LEPTOSPIROSIS PROFILE

Found in:  Water, soil, mud, and food contaminated with animal urine.  Flood water is especially hazardous.  Also found in an infected animal’s tissues and bodily fluids such as blood and urine.

Host animals:  Raccoons, squirrels, opossums, deer, skunks, rodents, livestock, dogs, and rarely in cats.

Points of entry:  Cut or scratch on the skin; mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, mouth; inhaling aerosolized fluids.  Drinking contaminated water; exposure to flood water.

Symptoms in people:  Fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, jaundice, vomiting, rash, anemia, meningitis.  Some people show no symptoms.

Symptoms in pets:  Fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weakness, depression, stiffness, muscle pain.  Some pets show no symptoms.  The disease can be fatal in pets.

When will it show up in my pet:  Between 5-14 days post-exposure, although in some cases it may take up to 30 days.

Gravity:  In people, Lepto infection can lead to kidney and liver failure, and death if left untreated.

Who is at risk:  Campers, water sportsmen, farmers, military, to name a few.

Prevention

  • Vaccinate dogs annually for Leptospirosis
  • Don’t allow dogs to drink from puddles, streams, lakes, or other water that may be contaminated by animal urine
  • Don’t swim in water that may be contaminated by animal urine
  • Wear shoes when outdoors
  • Keep dogs out of children’s play areas
  • Control rodents around your home and yard

Resources: 

http://www.cdc.gov/leptospirosis/index.html  Visit the CDC website for comprehensive information on Leptospirosis in people and pets.

http://www.cdc.gov/leptospirosis/pdf/fact-sheet.pdf  Print your own Lepto fact sheet, or send us a message using the contact form, and we’ll print one for you.

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This article originally posted on July 8, 2011.

Photo credit: D. Gordon E. Robertson, via Wikimedia Commons.

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October is National Pet Wellness Month, whether your pet is a dog, cat, rabbit, ferret, or mountain lion (let’s hope not). We’ve listed 5 ways you can keep your pet healthy and safe. They are:

  1. Twice a year examinations
  2. Protective vaccinations
  3. Pet health insurance
  4. Microchipping
  5. Spay/neuter

But is that all there is? Heck, no! There are three Mondays left in the month (including today), so we have to keep going with this theme!

        6.  Internal parasite control
        7.  External parasite control

An internal parasite lives inside the host body (your dog or cat.)

An external parasite lives on the surface of the host body.

Parasites not only rob your pet of blood and nutrition, they often carry diseases and other parasites which get passed on to your pet for an added whammy. People may also be affected, as in the case of fleas that transmit plague and Bartonella (also known as cat scratch fever) and ticks that transmit Lyme disease.

Common internal parasites in our region include:

Common external parasites in our region include:

  • fleas
  • mosquitoes
  • ticks
  • lice
  • mange mites
  • ear mites (even though they live in the ears, they are considered external parasites)
  • ringworm
  • maggots 

Flies lay eggs at the site of open wounds; maggots hatch out and feed on the decaying flesh. Pets that live outdoors and are rarely tended to are at greatest risk.

Protect your pet from parasites with these steps:

  1. Use a veterinary-approved monthly heartworm and intestinal worm preventative. Revolution for cats also protects against fleas and ear mites.
  2. Use a veterinary-approved monthly flea control product. Regular monthly application is the key to reducing the flea population on your pet.
  3. Do not allow your pet to contact or ingest feces or garbage.
  4. Brush or comb your pet daily, if possible. Check for visible bugs like fleas, ticks, and lice. If you find maggots in a wound, take your pet to the vet ASAP for treatment. Look for changes in the skin that may signal microscopic bugs. You may see patches of fur loss; red, flaky skin; “dandruff” that walks; lesions; and raised red rings. 
  5. Bathe your pet at least monthly (more often if it is a dirt-lover). Keep the skin free of dirt and fur mats that can provide shelter for parasites. Fur mats that are left untended can also lead to sores, which then become a target for flies ready to lay eggs.
  6. Inform your veterinarian of changes in your pet’s skin or coat condition. Those changes may be due to parasites or to food allergies or an under-performing thyroid, so an exam and tests may be necessary to properly diagnose the problem.
  7. Gently swab your pet’s ears with a drop of baby oil on a cotton ball. Some yellowish to brownish ear wax is common – it protects the ears from dirt and bugs. If you see crumbly black debris, pus, or drops of blood, your pet may have an infection or ear mites. Have your vet check it out.
  8. Keep your pet on a high-quality food appropriate for its lifestage and activity level. Malnourished pets are at greater risk for becoming overrun with mange mites.

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     Now that summer vacation is in full swing, pet owners will be taking advantage of the season to go camping, hiking, swimming, and playing in the backyard with their dogs.  But they’re not the only ones out in force — wild animals are enjoying the weather, too.  The problem is, wildlife can leave behind a bacterium called Leptospirosis, which infects both people and their pets.

LEPTOSPIROSIS PROFILE

Found in:  Water, soil, mud, and food contaminated with animal urine.  Floodwater is especially hazardous.  Also found in an infected animal’s tissues and bodily fluids such as blood and urine.

Host animals:  Raccoons, squirrels, opossums, deer, skunks, rodents, livestock, dogs, and rarely in cats.

Points of entry:  Cut or scratch on the skin; mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, mouth; inhaling aerosolized fluids.  Drinking contaminated water; exposure to floodwater.

Symptoms in people:  Fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, jaundice, vomiting, rash, anemia, meningitis.  Some people show no symptoms.

Symptoms in pets:  Fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weakness, depression, stiffness, muscle pain.  Some pets show no symptoms.  The disease can be fatal in pets.

When will it show up in my pet:  Between 5-14 days post-exposure, although in some cases it may take up to 30 days.

Gravity:  In people, Lepto infection can lead to kidney and liver failure, and death if left untreated.

Who is at risk:  Campers, water sportsmen, farmers, military, to name a few.

Prevention

  • Vaccinate dogs annually for Leptospirosis
  • Don’t allow dogs to drink from puddles, streams, lakes, or other water that may be contaminated by animal urine
  • Don’t swim in water that may be contaminated by animal urine
  • Wear shoes when outdoors
  • Keep dogs out of children’s play areas
  • Control rodents around your home and yard

Resources: 

http://www.cdc.gov/leptospirosis/index.html  Visit the CDC website for comprehensive information on Leptospirosis in people and pets.

http://www.cdc.gov/leptospirosis/pdf/fact-sheet.pdf  Print your own Lepto fact sheet, or send us a message using the contact form, and we’ll print one for you.

http://www.doh.wa.gov/notify/nc/leptospirosis.htm  Further reading from the Washington State Department of Health.

 

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