Montana 04/27/12 billingsgazette.com: by Rob Chaney – We finally get a new caribou in Montana, and we have to give it back. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologists thought they were recovering the satellite collar of a British Columbia caribou that apparently wandered into the mountains near Eureka and died. But when they reached it on Thursday morning, the recovery mission turned into a rescue. “I was looking for signs of blood or hair,” FWP wildlife manager Jim Williams said on Friday. “I saw wolf tracks, and then we found a drag mark, so I’m thinking mountain lion. All of a sudden this head pops up, and there’s a caribou looking at us.” The mountain caribou cow was bigger than a mule deer but smaller than an elk. It was one of 19 transplanted into the Purcell Mountains of British Columbia on March 3. For the past 10 days, it had been wandering the forests south of the Canadian border, swimming across Lake Koocanusa three times. Then B.C. Ministry of Forest Lands and Natural Resource Operations wildlife biologist Leo DeGroot got a “mortality signal” from the collar, indicating the animal hadn’t moved for at least six hours. He called Williams in Kalispell and asked if FWP could find the carcass and learn what happened. “I was expecting at end of day to have a call on what it had died from,” DeGroot said from his office in Nelson, B.C. “Instead they called and said they have it live in the back of their truck.”
Williams and fellow FWP biologists Tim Manley and Tim Their snowmobiled up into the Pinkham Creek area south of Eureka, guided by the caribou’s GPS signal. They found it lying in some bushes, able to lift its head but not its body. Knowing how much investment their B.C. colleagues had put into the transplant effort, the Montana biologists decided to bring the caribou to care. They had no tranquilizers, but the cow didn’t resist their efforts to move it onto a sled. Williams said its legs seemed “rubbery.” “We assumed starvation, although it didn’t look thin — it looked good,” Williams said. “Then Tim Manley noticed a bunch of big gray ticks behind its ears. Tim had llamas, and he knew they can get tick paralysis. It can kill the animal, or it can be just fine in three or four hours.” They got the caribou to veterinarian Nancy Haugan at Mountain Vista Clinic in Eureka. Haugan gave it some antibiotics and IV fluids, and the cow began a dramatic improvement. Williams went to call DeGroot. “I told him not only do we not have a carcass, we have a live caribou — I assume you want her back,” Williams said. “Leo set the wheels in motion to work with the Border Patrol.” That involved getting special permission from both U.S. and Canadian border authorities to let the animal drive through the border it had previously walked across. A Cranbrook wildlife biologist hitched up a horse trailer and met the Montanans 30 minutes north of the border. – For complete article see http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/caribou-that-wandered-into-montana-from-b-c-treated-returned/article_8647f448-9512-5b38-a17f-41627e93acd0.html
Washington 04/27/12 South Hill, Pierce County: Two dogs, both Labrador retrievers, running loose on a hike with their owner on the South Hill bluff trails earlier this week when they were attacked by three coyotes below High Drive and Manito Boulevard just above the Creek at Qualchan Golf Course. While both dogs survived they suffered nasty wounds. – See http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors/2012/apr/27/coyotes-attack-dogs-south-hill-bluff-trails/
British Columbia 04/28/12 North Saanich, Vancouver Island: by Sandra McCulloch, timescolonist.com – A North Saanich dog owner is warning others to worm their pets monthly in order to protect against the spread of Baylisascaris procyonis, commonly known as raccoon roundworm. Alison Gunn lost two Weimaraners, Poppy and Forest, in November after they became infected with the parasite. “I really want people to know [deworming] is important,” Gunn said Friday. “I don’t want anyone else to go through the kind of pain that I have.” Poppy and Forest died within two weeks of each other after developing uterine infections as a result of the roundworm infestation. One of Gunn’s four remaining dogs has an unbalanced gait, possibly from nerve damage, and another has a lump on its head.
Blood tests sent to the National Reference Centre for Parasitology at McGill University in Montreal have shown that all of Gunn’s dogs have been exposed to the roundworm, so Gunn is following a regimented schedule of monthly deworming. The larvae can cause symptoms in dogs that include lethargy, stiff joints or paralysis, seizures, blindness and death. The parasite moves from raccoons to dogs through the raccoons’ waste, said veterinarian Sue McTaggart. “It doesn’t take very many eggs to infect the dog,” McTaggart said. While the worms reside peacefully inside the guts of raccoons, they wreak havoc in dogs. “The little larvae migrate into the spinal cord, into the eye and up into the brain,” McTaggart said.
The raccoon roundworm also can infect people and horses, although it’s rare to find it in humans. There have been 15 confirmed cases of raccoon roundworm in humans resulting in four fatalities, she said. Children should be supervised when playing in areas frequented by raccoons and should be careful not to ingest any dirt or particulates, McTaggart said. She also recommends wearing gloves in the garden and wherever there are raccoons, and says people should not feed raccoons. “They multiply as fast as cats do.” Treatment involves monthly deworming. The medication is available through veterinarians’ offices. “We recommend people use the best and strongest [worming medication],” McTaggart said. It could take a year of monthly worming treatments to kill off the larvae, she said. “We’re telling everybody to worm their dogs once a month – you’ve got to do it.”