Recent News From the Field
Links shown below should be viable for approximately 30 days past the NWRA posting date. After this time sources may have removed the web page or may have archived the information to another web address.
New AVMA Euthanasia Guidelines Document Available
The updated 2013 AVMA Guidelines for Euthanasia of Animals is available as a free download on the AVMA website. This link takes you to the page where you can select type of download you wish: https://www.avma.org/KB/Policies/Pages/Euthanasia-Guidelines.aspx?utm_source=smartbrief&utm_medium=email.
Depressed Economy Affecting Disease Surveillance
This news article is just one example of how states are having to eliminate funding for multiple programs at all levels [also occurring at the federal level] in order to manage diminishing income. This also may have negative impact on the release of current disease information pertinent for wildlife rehabilitators, leaving them unaware of what is happening with wildlife species in their area.
Texas Working on Ban of Carbon Monoxide Use for Euthanasia
A bill banning the use of carbon monoxide for domestic pet euthanasia has passed the Texas Senate and is now going to the House. There is the potential rehabilitators also could be impacted by this new legislation if it passes and becomes law. http://www.kxan.com/dpp/news/texas_lege/senate-passes-ban-on-gas-euthanasia-for-pets.
Illinois Beaver Deaths
The die-off of seven North American beavers (Castor canadensis) in 2012-13 in and along McCullough Creek at the Urbana, IL Meadowbrook Park is being attributed to tularemia. This also means that other wildlife in the area, such as squirrels and rabbits, may be infected with tularemia. Tularemia can be transmitted to humans [and pets] through direct contact with an infected animal and by ticks, biting flies, and other insects. Full story
White-nose Syndrome Confirmed at Fern Cave, AL
The Service confirmed the presence of white-nose syndrome at Fern Cave National Wildlife Refuge in Jackson County, AL. This is of special concern as Fern Cave provides winter hibernation habitat for several bat species, and contains the largest documented wintering colony of the federally listed endangered gray bats (Myotis grisescens), with over one million gray bats hibernating there. The disease was confirmed in tri-colored bats (formerly eastern pipistrelle, Perimyotis subflavus) collected at two entrances to the cave. Details: http://whitenosesyndrome.org/news/wns-confirmed-fern-cave-national-wildlife-refuge-alabama.
Human Rabies Vaccine Still Restricted
Rabies vaccine supplies remain restricted in the US. Vaccine produced by Sanofi Pasteur (IMOVAX), is currently available for post-exposure prophylaxis only. Vaccine produced by Novartis (RabAvert) continues to be available for pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis. This status is not expected to change moving into the Spring. The CDC continues to monitor the rabies vaccine supply status and updates are posted to: http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/resources/availability.html.
Free Book: Veterinary Wildlife Care Basics
The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association prepared the handbook, Wildlife Care Basics for Veterinary Hospitals, in response to veterinary offices requesting information about how to temporarily treat and care for injured and orphaned wildlife. Because the needs of wildlife are so different from those of domestic animals, it became clear there was a wide information gap that needed to be filled. The book is a free downloadable PDF file that you can share with area veterinarians to improve wildlife treatment before the animal reaches you. Further information: http://www.discoverhsvma.org/hsvmawildlifewpfacebook.
Distemper in Canada Coyotes
Six juvenile coyotes (Canis latrans) have been found dead or very sick since November 2012 and necropsies have confirmed the distemper virus, said wildlife veterinarian Trent Bollinger, of the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Centre at the University of Saskatchewan Western Veterinary College. Further information: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/life/Canine+distemper+found+city+coyotes/7894778/story.html.
Manitoba Rabies in Wildlife
For the first time in seven years, a skunk tested positive for rabies after attacking a dog in Winnipeg, Canada. Residents are urged to keep pets rabies vaccinations current and maintain boosters as recommended. Details: http://www.chrisd.ca/2013/01/17/winnipeg-animal-services-agency-rabies-dog-bitten-animals-vaccination/.
Expansion of Bat WNS in KY
Although bat White-nose Syndrome in Kentucky has been confirmed in the past, this is the first report of WNS in Mammoth Cave National Park. A northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) displaying symptoms of WNS was found in early January 2013 in Long Cave. Long Cave is an undeveloped 1.3 mile long cave and is the park's largest bat hibernaculum, housing endangered Indiana bats (Myotis sodalist) and gray bats (Myotis grisescens), along with other non-threatened species. Long Cave is not connected to Mammoth Cave and has not been open to visitors for more than 80 years. Additional information: http://www.wfpl.org/post/deadly-bat-disease-found-mammoth-cave-national-park.
Wisconsin DNR Looking for Rehabilitators
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR, Madison) is looking for applicants with experience in wildlife rehabilitation, wildlife health, and captive wildlife industry to serve on a new wildlife rehabilitation council. The group will advise the DNR on wildlife rehabilitation and captive wildlife matters, as well as implement educational programs and help the DNR inspect wildlife rehabilitation facilities. For position description or to apply, visit http://dnr.wi.gov and search keyword “rehab.”
Veterinary Guide for Wildlife
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has developed a free downloadable or printable PDF wildlife patient flow chart. The chart is only one page, has live links incorporated if accessed online, and a section for you to fill in state and federal wildlife authorities’ phone numbers for the veterinarian to use. This is an excellent resource for your area veterinarians and as an AVMA produced document, most likely carries more weight. For best results, getting this directly to the veterinarian(s) rather than to office staff or receptionists is recommended. Available at: https://ebusiness.avma.org/EBusiness50/ProductCatalog/product.aspx?ID=451&utm_source=smartbrief&utm_medium=email.
Birth Control in Gray Squirrels
Due to a warm winter and a resulting boom in nuts, the small mammals' population is spiking, especially on the East Coast, in the Northeast, and in the Midwest. But despite their cute exterior, the squirrels can wreak havoc on their surroundings, devouring farmers' crops, chewing into building wires, and stripping bark; damaging, if not killing, trees outright. Thanks to decades of contraceptive research for species such as white-tailed deer, tempting squirrels with contraception-laced sunflower seeds is the route researchers at South Carolina's Clemson University plan to investigate for population control. Article: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/10/121024-squirrels-birth-control-animals-weird-science/.
Lyme Disease Research
Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center are searching for the bacterial genes that make Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, so invasive and persistent. If the research is successful, it could improve diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease, which infects up to 30,000 Americans annually. Overview article: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121025174140.htm and PLOS One full scientific paper: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0047532.
Human Rabies Vaccine Availability
Per CDC announcement on September 7th, rabies vaccine for pre-exposure use is available only from wholesale distributors who have existing stocks of RabAvert® vaccine from Novartis. Sanofi Pasteur, maker of IMOVAX rabies vaccine, currently is unable to supply rabies vaccine for pre-exposure vaccination. Novartis, makers of RabAvert® rabies vaccine, also currently is unable to supply vaccine for pre-exposure vaccination. Additional lots of RabAvert® and IMOVAX are expected to be released in the coming months and this release should return supplies to normal levels. Full alert details: http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/resources/news/2012-09-07.html.
2011 Rabies surveillance in the US
Highly recommended reading for all NWRA members, this report in the September 15 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association is most informative for rehabilitators, educators, and those in veterinary medicine. While rabies in wildlife (where, which rabies virus variant, and what wild species) is addressed, rabies in all other animals, both domestic and wild, and rabies in humans during 2011 also is illuminated. Brief notes on rabies in Mexico and Canada, and in the first half of 2012 are included. Review of this article allows one to give current and accurate answers to questions from the public, volunteers, or others about rabies and you can refer others to this free-access article as well.
Usutu Virus in Germany
Originating from Africa during the summer of 2011, Usutu virus is the cause of mass die-offs in blackbirds (Turdus merula) in southwest Germany. Again this summer  thousands of blackbirds have died. Usutu virus was found in Culex pipiens mosquitoes in Germany and the virus may be transmitted to humans through a mosquito bite. The virus first appeared in Europe in the Vienna area in 2001 and included some deaths in great gray owls (Strix nebulosa) in addition to the blackbirds; in 2009, two immunocompromised Italians became infected. The first human case of Usutu virus infection in Germany has been confirmed. The affected man, from Gross-Gerau (Hesse), indicated he has experienced no symptoms of illness. More details: http://www.promedmail.org, click on Search to the right, enter Usutu virus
Test of New Oral Rabies Vaccine
A new oral rabies vaccine developed in Canada is being tested in Ohio and five other US states (NC, PA, TN, VA, and WV) with the hope of virtually eliminating rabies in wildlife. Ohio has been using the Raboral V-RG to control the spread of raccoon rabies, said Dr. Kathleen Smith, the state's veterinarian for the Department of Health. It has worked well, she said, but she hopes the Canadian vaccine, ONRAB, will produce better results. The new vaccine has been successful in Canada, according to World Health Organization standards, which calls for no cases of rabies to be reported in two or more years. No cases of raccoon rabies have been reported in Quebec or Ontario in the two-year span, and raccoon rabies in skunks has been eliminated as well. ONRAB baits also are smaller than Raboral V-RG, and they are better. More information: http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2012/08/new_oral_rabies_vaccine_target.html
Injectable Meloxicam Shortage
University Laboratory Animal Resources (Ohio State University) is reporting an eminent shortage of injectable meloxicam with manufacturers indicating no further supply available until the end of 2012. Meloxicam in tablet form is not reported in short supply for the future. Check with your veterinarian for further information and other products he/she may recommend.
Canada: Canine Distemper in Raccoons
During the month of June raccoons sick with canine distemper have been appearing in Winnipeg and Headingley, including around the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, and Corydon Avenue area. Details: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/Raccoons-with-canine-distemper-spotted-in-city-161580795.html.
West Nile Virus May Cause Chronic Kidney Disease
Researchers from Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital, and the University of Texas Health Science Center found a correlation between human infection with West Nile virus and subsequent kidney disease. Summary of research: http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/1112656006/west-nile-virus-may-cause-chronic-kidney-disease/ and full research report in PLoSOne: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0040374.
CWD Found in Iowa Deer
The first report of chronic wasting disease in an Iowa deer has been confirmed. The deer was located on a hunting preserve in Davis County. More information: http://www.startribune.com/sports/outdoors/blogs/163226856.html.
Rabies Confirmed in Deer
Deer with rabies in both LaVale, Maryland and Davidson, North Carolina reported in the month of July.
North Carolina: http://davidsonnews.net/blog/2012/07/17/rabid-deer-found-near-kimberly-rd/.
Ramsar Wetland Disease Manual
This 361-page manual has excellent information in multiple areas for all wildlife rehabilitators regardless of species handled as not only are avian, mammalian, and herptile diseases covered, but also fish and invertebrates. There are links to numerous other organizations, resources, and national and international disease and informational websites. In fact, there is something unique or interesting on almost every page of the publication. The disease factsheet listing shows what animals are affected (including humans if applicable), what type of wetland habitat the disease occurs, and level of impact. In each factsheet, the disease is described, along with the causal agent, method of transmission and spread, identification and response, prevention and control methods, and global importance in terms of effects on wildlife, livestock, and humans, and economic importance. A lengthy listing at the end of each section and disease factsheet provides many other resources and informational citations. An index at the rear by subject matter greatly assists finding information quickly. The entire manual is available free online at: http://www.ramsar.org/pdf/lib/rtr7-disease.pdf.
NH Veterinary Laboratory Newsletter
The New Hampshire Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory produces a newsletter containing pertinent facts for the northeast area of the US. The current issue has articles on ticks and Lyme disease and blastomycosis, caused by the infectious mold from Blastomyces dermatitidis. This link allows you to access past and current newsletters: http://www.nhvdl.unh.edu/quarterly-newsletter.
Killing Bats Does Not Stop Rabies
Killing vampire bats in a bid to curtail the spread of rabies to humans and livestock may make the problem worse, scientists said. The practice of "vampiricide" in which a poisonous paste is applied to captured animals who then spread it to others in mutual grooming back in the roost, does not reduce rabies prevalence, they contend and may, in fact, increase it. "We detected something that is a little bit worrying," team leader Daniel Streicker of the University of Georgia said of the study conducted in Peru from July 2007 to October 2010 by a team from the United States and Peru."In areas that were sporadically culled during the course of the study, we saw an increase in the proportion of bats exposed to rabies," he said. Colonies that were never culled had the lowest prevalence. Full article: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gYfZyfR2JNVl_hBmhfVUzNPrl9og?docId=CNG.b2371552eed6d000aa85ebc4c2e4bc6b.b11.