Alberta 03/14/14 metronews.ca: by Stephanie Dubois – It was supposed to be a typical Thursday night stroll for one woman and her three dogs in the Riverbend/Terwillegar Park area but as the night went on, it turned into what police are calling an “unconventional rescue.” It was around 8:20 p.m. that police received a call from the woman saying she had fallen down a 20-foot embankment after one of her dogs was attacked by coyotes, explained police. One of the dogs was dragged away by the coyotes, which compelled the woman to chase after her dog, causing her to slide down an embankment. “When she called 911 … she wasn’t sure where she was but she did feel like the coyotes were following her as well,” said Const. Steve Minarchi of EPS Tactical Section. “It was dark, [she] was in some pretty thick bush and was obviously pretty scared.” Air 1 was called to the scene and lit the area to locate the woman, who used her cell phone to help rescuers find her. Police say there were at least 10 coyotes spotted in the area that night. The woman was found about 500 metres from her dog, which was found about 50 metres out on the ice, laying down.
Edmonton firefighters helped rescue the medium-sized dog, which officials believe went out onto the ice to escape the coyotes. Police also added that they were able to locate it thanks to the dog’s lit collar. The dog was pretty badly injured but was alive when police dealt with it Thursday night, said Minarchi. “This is a very unconventional rescue just for the simple fact that it wasn’t a very safe area,” he said, adding officials believe all three dogs were not leashed at the time of the incident. Fish and Wildlife officials say complaints about coyotes are “common” in Edmonton, adding that as the city is developed, the habitat of coyotes is encroached upon, which causes more interaction between humans and animals. “It’s very common in most cities in North America, it’s how we choose to deal with it that is very important,” said Dennis Prodan, district Fish and Wildlife officer. No update was provided on the condition of the woman or of the dog Friday afternoon.
Florida 03/13/14 dvm360.com: University of Florida veterinarians have reported a recent spike in leptospirosis cases in dogs treated at UF’s Small Animal Hospital. This emerging bacterial disease affects multiple animal species as well as humans. “In a typical year, we see almost no cases of leptospirosis in dogs at UF,” says Carsten Bandt, DVM, an assistant professor of emergency medicine and critical care at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine, in a university release. Bandt serves as chief of the hospital’s emergency and critical care service. “We have now seen 12 cases, just within the past six months.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t collect data on dogs, although the information may be reportable in animals in some states, says Christopher Cox, a health communications specialist with the CDC, in the UF release. Cox says between 100 and 200 human cases of leptospirosis are identified annually in the U.S., with around half of those occurring in Hawaii. “Although incidence in the U.S. is relatively low, leptospirosis is considered to be the most widespread zoonotic disease in the world,” he says. Although the severity of the disease varies widely in people and in pets, leptospirosis can cause serious liver and kidney damage and can be fatal if it is left untreated, says Bandt. “Although frequently seen in many animal species and in humans around the world, including the United States, there have been very few cases of pets diagnosed with this disease in the last decade in Florida,” says Bandt.
The bacterium that causes leptospirosis is transmitted through the urine of infected animals, including rodents, mice and other pests, according to the CDC. These bacteria live in soil and water for weeks to months. Several strains of the bacterium cause disease in dogs, although prevalence varies by region. Animals that spend lots of time outside, particularly in areas frequented by wildlife, are most at risk. Signs of leptospirosis in dogs and humans vary and can be nonspecific, but dogs have demonstrated a more consistent range of clinical signs, Cox says. Those typically include lethargy, depression, lack of interest in eating, vomiting, fever, abdominal pain and changes in urination frequency. A dog showing these signs may or may not have leptospirosis, but pet owners should still contact their veterinarian immediately, Bandt adds. “All canine patients with acute kidney injury should be tested for leptospirosis,” he says. “If caught early, leptospirosis responds well to antibiotics, but if not, serious and sometimes fatal disease can quickly follow.” Several vaccines protect against multiple strains of leptospirosis, but historically these vaccines have not been widely used in Florida because of the low frequency of the disease in dogs. Because leptospirosis is zoonotic, families with infected pets should be careful handling the urine of these animals, Bandt added. For more information on this increase in leptospirosis, veterinarians can contact the UF Small Animal Hospital at (352) 392-2235.
West Nile Virus (WNV):
California 03/14/14 capradio.org: by Rich Ibarra – San Joaquin County has reported its first case of West Nile Virus activity for this year; it comes two months ahead of schedule. Santa Clara, Los Angeles, and now San Joaquin County are seeing their first cases of West Nile Virus activity in 2014. A dead bird near Tracy tested positive for the virus and that’s very early in the year. Last year, it was May before West Nile showed up. – See http://www.capradio.org/articles/2014/03/14/west-nile-virus-spotted-early-this-year/
Maryland 03/15/14 Anne Arundel County: A raccoon found March 13th on Snow Hill Lane near the Four Seasons Estates in Gambrills has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/raccoon-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-anne-arundel/2014/03/15/f01996d0-ac7f-11e3-b8ca-197ef3568958_story.html
Nebraska 03/15/14 Hayes County: According to officials at the Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department, a skunk found last month tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.nptelegraph.com/news/rabies-case-reported-in-southwest-neb/article_cdd97638-06f9-5b3c-9c6f-6b741bdb136d.html
North Carolina 03/14/14 Davidson County: A skunk that fought with an unvaccinated dog at Finch Park in Lexington on March 13th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.the-dispatch.com/article/20140314/News/303149984