An electronic newsletter
highlighting veterinary issues for
September 14, 2004 Volume II, Number 10
In This Issue
· Animal Rabies Update
· Dr. LoGiudice Receives Promotion
Animal Rabies Update – September 2004
Connie Austin, State Public Health Veterinarian at the Illinois Department of Public Health (and ISVMA member) has asked ISVMA to release the following information:
Thirty-four rabid bats have
been identified in
2004 through September 7, 2004. August and September are the biggest months for bat exposures in the state. At this time the bats are moving around and exposing people and pets. About 5 percent to 10 percent of bats tested in the state test positive for rabies. Outbreaks of rabies in bats do not seem to occur. In a recent situation four teenagers were exposed to a bat after rescuing it from a pool and were started on rabies post-exposure treatment. In another situation a bat entered the living quarters of a home and a colony was found in the attic of a rental property. Family members had to receive rabies post-exposure treatment.
Because bat teeth are so small it is not possible to identify bat bites through physical examination of an animal or person. Therefore, if a pet (dog or cat) or human is exposed to a bat it is very important to have animal control submit the bat for rabies testing. Although bats are protected by wildlife laws they can be submitted for rabies testing when an exposure occurs to a pet or person. If the bat cannot be tested negative for rabies, it should be assumed that the pet was exposed to rabies if the pet is found in the house with a bat, or in close proximity to a bat where a bite may have occurred. If the animal is up-to-date on its rabies vaccinations before the exposure occurs it should be revaccinated for rabies immediately and confined for 30 days.
If the animal is not up-to-date on its rabies vaccination there are two
options: euthanasia or a 6-month confinement with immediate rabies vaccination and another rabies vaccination 5 months later. If a client calls you about a possible pet exposure to a bat, please also refer them to their local public health department for advice on whether any humans were exposed sufficiently to the bat to require rabies post-exposure treatment if the bat cannot be tested negative. Do not recommend a client release a bat without testing until they talk to their local health department to see if the bat needs to be tested for rabies due to either pet or human exposures.
We have had some confusion on the part of animal control agencies in the last few months about when animals can be submitted to state laboratories for rabies testing. Animals can be submitted for testing for the following reasons: 1) animal is exhibiting neurologic signs and may be carrying rabies, 2) animal has potentially exposed a pet or person to rabies by biting or other types of saliva exposure, with bats exposure also includes when bats are found in living quarters, and 3) any skunk can be tested for surveillance purposes.
One final point is that human rabies vaccine is in short supply at this time. Manufacturers are recommending that pre-exposure rabies vaccinations be postponed so needed supplies will be available for post-exposure prophylaxis. It is hoped that the supply problem will improve over the next 6 months.
Many veterinarians are requesting information to share with clients and background information on the recent recall of ProHeart 6.
In light of the current
situation with ProHeart 6, many veterinarians have
asked what they can do to show their support for the product and to help
expedite its return to the market.
LoGiudice Receives Promotion
Dr. LoGiudice joined
the AVMA staff in June 2001 as an Assistant Director in the Membership &
Field Services Division with 20 years of primarily equine practice
experience. Dr. LoGiudice owned her
own equine/small animal practice in
ISVMA is pleased that Dr. LoGiudice continues to be rewarded for her considerable talents and commitment to the veterinary profession.