Lane County Health & Human Services officials say a fox found near a home in Junction City, Ore., was confirmed to have rabies. The fox was the first in the county found to have rabies since the 1960s and the first case seen in any Oregon animal this year. The Oregonian (Portland) (7/29)
A black Lab named Tucker who was once destined for euthanasia is now helping wildlife biologist Elizabeth Seely. The pair have monitored the health of mammals living near oilfields, located bat roosts in old-growth forests and tracked iguanas in the tropics. Tucker is among the dogs a University of Washington program called Conservation Canines employs to help scientists track wildlife. This summer, Seely and Tucker are keeping tabs on an orca colony. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (7/29)
Backyard chicken coops provide families with fresh eggs, but they also carry poultry fleas that can infect family pets, and practices are increasingly treating infected animals, according to veterinarian Julie Meadows. Poultry fleas embed in an animal’s flesh and can cause infections. ABC News/The Associated Press (7/30)
The most cat-friendly state — Massachusetts — is also the one of most liberal and urban, while Arkansas — the state with the highest dog-to-cat ratio — is also among the most conservative, an AVMA analysis found. Six of the nation’s 10 most liberal states are also among the top 10 cat-favoring states, while just one of the 13 dog-preferring states is liberal. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model)/The Fix blog (7/28), Boston.com (7/28)
Dead robins, starlings and a bluebird collected in a Michigan town last year tested positive for high levels of DDE, which is generated as DDT breaks down. The source is the old Velsicol Chemical plant nearby, formerly a Michigan Chemical plant, which manufactured DDT and is now a Superfund site. State officials found DDT and polybrominated biphenyls in neighborhood yards. Experts think the birds were exposed when they fed on worms from contaminated areas near the old plant. ScientificAmerican.com/Environmental Health News (7/28)
Scientists have made a breakthrough in the fight against coccidiosis, an intestinal disease in poultry, by sequencing the full genomes of the seven species of Eimeria that cause the disease. “With poultry production expansion predicted to continue for at least the next 30 years, and with Africa and Asia accounting for most of this growth, developing a new generation of cheap effective vaccines against coccidiosis will be a major contribution to global food security,” said parasitology researcher Fiona Tomley of the Royal Veterinary College, whose work will be published in the journal Genome Research. PhysOrg.com (7/28)
hopefully this technology will then someday translate into being able to deal with coccidiosis in other species that have a lot of problems with it like bearded dragons, rabbits, and ferrets. Each species coccidia is relatively species specific.
Horse owners in Australia, especially in Queensland and New South Wales, should immediately have their animals vaccinated against the deadly Hendra virus, according to the Australian Veterinary Association. Because Hendra is zoonotic, infected horses place the veterinarians who treat them at risk, said veterinarian Nathan Anthony, president of Equine Veterinarians Australia. Equine symptoms vary but can include elevated heart rate and temperature, respiratory distress and frothy nasal discharge. The Horse (7/26)