According to two authors writing in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association who cite a rabies vaccine report in Pennsylvania–the oral rabies bait spread into the habitat of wildlife can pose a danger to humans if touched. The bait has an oblong shape about the size of three quarters placed side by side. Those who find and touch the bait should wash the affected site and report exposure to the state health department. “Immediate health care should be obtained to confirm a diagnosis and begin appropriate treatment if illness or lesions compatible with vaccinia develop”, the authors write. They also suggest that veterinarians educate clients about these baits.
Two kinds of bait are used in the oral vaccination of carnivores like raccoons, skunks, and feral cats and dogs. One is a coated sachet and the other a fishmeal polymer bait. The bait was developed for wildlife rabies prevention and control.
No serious adverse events have been reported after bait consumption but people should not try to remove a piece of the bait from a pet’s mouth, since doing so may result in a dog bite and the possibility of inoculation with vaccinia rabies -glycoprotein in the bait.
FELINE FRIENDLY. The AVMA is launching a new health prevention program for dog and cat owners in order to heighten clients’ awareness of the benefits of preventing illness. It has been dubbed “Opportunity” by healthcare providers. Opportunity guidelines give pet owners a heads-up in the prevention of illness, which can be expensive to treat and painful for the pet. Since there are more cats than dogs and cats receive significantly less veterinary care, the emphasis is on making practices feline-friendly. One suggestion involves the use of cat carriers with a removable top so that examinations can be conducted with a minimum of stress.
ON THE HEALTH CARE HORIZON? Veterinarians are discussing changes to the practice act. Under consideration is allowing veterinarians and technicians working in one state to practice in another state when invited in response to emergencies; allowing those working under a veterinarian to provide some care in shelters; and allowing some disclosure of information to third parties. A waiver from mandatory rabies vaccination, if recommended by a veterinarian and accepted by the public health department, is also being considered. And under Animal Abuse and Animal Neglect prompt reporting is being urged as the rule. (This echos the Freed recommendation in the Sandusky case.)
CONTRIBUTE. In the current economy it is often difficult to continue to financially support animal organizations. At the top of any list should be those groups that help local pets and the unseen organizations that help local pet owners, like food banks, and those in women’s shelters who may need pet foster homes, as well as pet owners who are temporarily homeless. Some pet owners set up an anonymous fund to help hospital clients with bills, with the veterinarians as custodians (local veterinarians fund out of pocket when they can). At the national level my choice is the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). Its CEO not only has lived and worked in shelters all over the country but has a network that cares for such programs as the Canine Good Citizen, dog bite and puppy kindergarten programs as well as child and elder abuse. He is not just a “suit”. ASPCA, 424 E 92nd St., New York, N.Y. 10128, tel. 212-876-7700; www.ASPCA.ORG
TOPPINGS. A recent issue of BARK contains an article on the sprinkling of toppings on the top of the usual ration for added interest. Once at a dog show I watched a handler take a spoonful of Purina Mighty Dog and place it on top of the food. She didn’t mix it into the rest of the contents. Mighty Dog is formulated for small breeds and so is intense in smell and energy. In many instances I have found it quite useful to jump-start an appetite using a similar “savory”, especially the varieties geared for older dogs and the pulled-style dinners. A can tops 6 meals for my Springers.Mar 21, 2012 | | Uncategorized