Veterinarians urged to consider ABLV in horses with neurological signs

Baby bat suckes from bottle3The detection of Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV) in two horses on a Queensland property is a concern for veterinarians and horse owners alike, according to the Australian Veterinary Association.

Biosecurity Queensland quarantined a property in the Southern Downs last month after a horse tested positive for ABLV – the first known case of ABLV in this species.

According to a statement by NSW Chief Veterinary Officer Ian Roth, the yearling was initially off-colour with subtle signs of dullness and ataxia. Its condition deteriorated over a period of days, demonstrating marked ataxia, head-pressing, dysphagia, hypermetria and a rectal temperature of 39°C. Within four days the horse struggled to stand. The animal drank but did not eat, and had a heart rate of 60 beats per minute. Hendra virus testing returned negative.

Five days after initial presentation the horse developed seizures and was euthanased by the veterinarian, who performed a necropsy. Histopathology of the brain revealed severe diffuse non-purulent encephalitis and myelitis. Because this finding can be seen with ABLV, testing was undertaken. Other differentials included Hendra virus, tetanus and flavivirus (thought to be possible due to a local surge of mosquitos in the preceding month). The animal tested positive for ABLV. Continue reading Veterinarians urged to consider ABLV in horses with neurological signs

Physiological and behavioural responses of poultry exposed to gas-filled high expansion foam

Disease control measures require poultry to be killed on farms to minimise the risk of disease being transmitted to other poultry and, in some cases, to protect public health. We assessed the welfare implications for poultry of the use of high-expansion gas-filled foam as a potentially humane, emergency killing method. In laboratory trials, broiler chickens, adult . . . → Read More: Physiological and behavioural responses of poultry exposed to gas-filled high expansion foam

Veterinary vaccination pioneer dies

Inge Leonard has died at age 85.

Born Inge Adele Zanger in Neandertal, Germany, Leonard’s first job was in the food industry in the microbiology side of quality control.

In 1957, she travelled to Australia on a working holiday with then-husband. She found employument as a technician in a Randwick-based veterinary biological company, Biological Institute of Australia (BIO).

BIO . . . → Read More: Veterinary vaccination pioneer dies

Ken Jubb dies

Emeritus Professor Ken Jubb died in Werribee on February 27 following a brief illness. Despite formally retiring in 1990, Professor Jubb continued to attend the veterinary school daily until recently.

As a world renowned pathologist, educator, mentor and a key contributor to the establishment of numerous veterinary schools, Professor Kenneth Vincent Finlayson Jubb’s leaves an impressive legacy.

After graduating from Sydney University in 1951, Jubb embarked on a career in veterinary pathology, later acting as author and editor – alongside California University’s Peter Kennedy – of editions one through four of Pathology of Domestic Animals. The fifth edition, published in 2007, was renamed Jubb and Kennedy’s Pathology of Domestic Animals. Jubb contributed to the development of the sixth edition, co-authoring the chapter on diseases of the pancreas with Andrew Stent. Continue reading Ken Jubb dies

Vet Ethics: Return of the bats

Many years ago I wrote an article for The Veterinarian on the grey-headed flying foxes at Melbourne’s Royal Botanical Gardens. Amid great controversy, the Garden’s management had decided to kill bats in order to remove them all from Fern Gully. Recently, an analysis of the saga by Dan Perry from Texas Tech University was published in a peer-reviewed ethics journal. Ten years on from the debate, and with the benefit of hindsight, it is interesting to revisit the issue. It contains some lessons on how to approach the ethical question of native animals and their effects on human interests and the environment. Continue reading Vet Ethics: Return of the bats