Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Even if your pet is not a canary


…Legend has it, they used to keep canaries in coalmines because if the birds fell off the perch dead, it meant the air had gone bad.

…Docs at Purdue’s School of Veterinary Medicine have announced a surveillance network to check animal medical records to find patterns that might indicate avian flu or another contagious disease has begun to spread.

…Originally designed in cooperation with Banfield, The Pet Hospital, a chain of vet clinics, the programs looked at 10 million pet records between 2002 and 2004.

…40% percent of households have pets. This amounts to 150 million dogs, cats, or birds.

…In the test runs, the scientists discovered a clear association between the number of pets infected with ticks in an area and the number of people who came down with Lyme’s Disease.

…The humans succumbed two months after the surge in pet infestations. Enough time to spray.

…An flu-like illness in cats and similar symptoms in people in Washington DC was noted.

…Banield developed an early-warning system for occurrence of a canine flu that had jumped from horses to dogs. If certain symptoms are tapped into the computer at the vet, the screen flashes an order for the vet to take certain samples.

…This same system could signal avian flu in cats before humans became infected.

…HA’s dog Spencer is off his feed today. Uh-oh…

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