February 25, 2013

Ocular Animal Pathology Laboratory Needs Your Help!and other wildlife disease news stories


The Comparative Ocular Pathology Laboratory of Wisconsin (COPLOW) Needs Your Help!

Once again the Comparative Ocular Pathology Lab of Wisconsin(COPLOW) is seeking some unusual eyes for their studies.

COPLOW is very keen to obtain some normal gecko or chameleon eyes for comparative ocular anatomy studies in our laboratory here at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, School of Veterinary Medicine.  We are asking members of the wildlife health community to consider submitting eye specimens.

Ideally, contributers would place the entire head into formalin, immediately after death and ship to us. Eyes from animals that have been dead for more than 4 hours are not useful because post-mortem autolysis has already destroyed the bulk of the eye's delicate anatomy.

Submission forms and shipping information to be found at our website:

Pass this announcement onto others you think would be interested in submitting specimens.

Eye of Screech Owl.

Please contact us with any questions at 608-263-4958.

Dr Dick Dubielzig
Dr Chuck Schobert

P.S. Don't forget to “like” us on Facebook. You can see great photos like this one of a screech owl eye.

Do You Need Help?

With over 3,000 Digest readers, tap into the wealth of knowledge and resources this community of wildlife professionals has to offer. Email us the details of your request at digest@wdin.org. If it fits the scope of the Digest (i.e. related to wildlife disease), we will feature it in a future post. In addition, your announcement will also get pushed out to our many Facebook and Twitter followers.

Handling dead wildlife requires extra caution

Maine health and wildlife officials are recommending that people who encounter dead wild animals to be cautious.

That advice comes after Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and University of Maine Animal Health Lab examinations turned up lungworms in moose found dead in late winter. Further investigation revealed small tapeworms that could be passed on by coyotes, foxes or domestic dogs.

...Biologists say it's likely those tapeworms have been around for years with no apparent problems.

Still, officials are recommending care in dealing with dead animals, including wearing rubber or latex gloves when field dressing game,....

WHER home page
The Digest team strongly agrees that people should not handle sick, injured or dead animals without proper training. Although when you see these kind of wildlife health events, we do encourage you to report your observations to the Wildlife Health Event Reporter (WHER) at www.wher.org.

Your report, along with those made by others, can offer critical clues to help researchers better understand the occurrence of wildlife disease.

If you want to see what is being reported, visit the website, or better yet, get notified when new reports are made to WHER. Did you know you can get WHER alerts delivered to your email or via RSS?  Learn how at http://whmn-wher.blogspot.com/p/feedsemail-alerts.html. [Email us at wher@wher.org if you need help.]

Contribute to the greater good! Make a report and join the effort to spot possible health threats.

WCSH Portland - www.wcsh6.com
21 Feb 2013
Mile Kmack

Alligator deaths triggers alert

National Chambal Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh, home to ghariyals (Indian alligator), has been besieged with cases related to the deaths of the reptiles primarily due to parasitic infection of liver, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract. Eleven ghariyals were found dead in the last four months in the sanctuary- five in Bhind region of MP and six in Agra and Etawah districts in Uttar Pradesh (UP).

Autopsy reports on the ghariyals revealed irregularities in their gastrointestinal tract.

The Times of India - articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com
19 Feb 2013
P Naveen
Location: National Chambal Sanctuary, India - Map It

Farm virus 'can infect wild animals'

A livestock virus sweeping through British sheep flocks and cattle herds has infected wild deer, say scientists. The disease, which is spread by insects, causes birth defects in lambs and can reduce milk yields in cattle.

Outbreaks have been reported in farm animals in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Spain and the UK. European scientists say wild deer can catch the virus, and are calling for the impact on wildlife to be monitored.

BBC NEWS - www.bbc.co.uk
20 Feb 2013
H Briggs

On the Trails: The parasite made me do it ...

Behavior modification by tiny freeloaders

OK, so parasites are creepy, disgusting, and often debilitating (but sometimes useful!). They sneak into a host’s body through food, drinking and bathing water, air and soil, or an insect bite. Less well-known, however, is their ability to alter a host’s behavior. I’m not referring here to host behavior that is a direct response to symptoms of parasite infection, such as scratching an itch, or making a hurried dash for the bathroom, or going to a doctor.

There are much more perfidious ways that parasites affect host behavior, such that the host ceases to do its normal things and, instead, behaves erratically in ways that altogether favor the parasite, usually improving its transmission to the next host. Very, very sneaky! Here are some examples....

Juneau Empire - juneauempire.com
15 Feb 2013
M Willson


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