Animal’s name: Rover

Animal’s age: 5 years

Case history: Rover was never vaccinated against rabies. About one month ago, he was bitten by a raccoon. Three weeks after being bitten, his behaviour had completely changed and he had even stopped drinking. Then, a few days later, he became very aggressive with everyone, tried to bite anything that moved, and suffered throat spasms. Finally, he became paralyzed. Even had his owners taken him to the veterinarian at that point, it would have been too late... A few days later, Rover died.

Disease the animal is suffering from: rabies

Name of the microorganism responsible for the disease: The rabies virus, Family: Rhabdoviridae, Genus Lyssavirus

Mode of transmission: The rabies virus is transmitted by contact of the saliva of infected animals with the blood of another animal. Typically, this is the result of a bite, although simple licking may suffice in some cases. Rabies affects all mammals, including humans, dogs and cats, and is typically carried by foxes, skunks, raccoons and bats.

Symptoms of the disease: The initial symptoms o Read More

Animal’s name: Rover

Animal’s age: 5 years

Case history: Rover was never vaccinated against rabies. About one month ago, he was bitten by a raccoon. Three weeks after being bitten, his behaviour had completely changed and he had even stopped drinking. Then, a few days later, he became very aggressive with everyone, tried to bite anything that moved, and suffered throat spasms. Finally, he became paralyzed. Even had his owners taken him to the veterinarian at that point, it would have been too late... A few days later, Rover died.

Disease the animal is suffering from: rabies

Name of the microorganism responsible for the disease: The rabies virus, Family: Rhabdoviridae, Genus Lyssavirus

Mode of transmission: The rabies virus is transmitted by contact of the saliva of infected animals with the blood of another animal. Typically, this is the result of a bite, although simple licking may suffice in some cases. Rabies affects all mammals, including humans, dogs and cats, and is typically carried by foxes, skunks, raccoons and bats.

Symptoms of the disease: The initial symptoms of rabies reflect damage to the central nervous system, respiratory tract or gastrointestinal tract. The effects on the brain may result in either great agitation (furious rabies) or paralysis (dumb rabies). The acute clinical signs of the disease vary: while some animals become paralyzed, others run about wildly, biting everything in sight. Death occurs within seven days of infection.

Treatment: There is no cure for rabies in animals. Once the symptoms appear, the disease is inevitably fatal, as post-exposure vaccination, the only treatment, is only possible in humans.

Prevention: Preventive vaccination of pets against rabies is the best protection possible. Vaccination is also a good way to protect ourselves, since we can also catch rabies.

Specific safety measures: All mammals, including humans, are susceptible to rabies.

Other information: Avoid wild animals that are behaving strangely—for example, approaching people or dogs—and report them to Agriculture Canada veterinarians. If the animals are killed, their bodies must be provided to Agriculture Canada veterinarians for analysis.


© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.

Rover was never vaccinated against rabies.

Photo : Barbara Bélanger

© Barbara Bélanger


Animal’s name: Fluffy

Animal’s age: 14 weeks

Case history: Fluffy is a kitten who loves playing outdoors with other cats in the neighbourhood. Although previously very active, when he was 12 weeks old he gradually lost his appetite, lost interest in playing, and vomited a few times in the apartment. His owner took him to the veterinarian, who, upon observing Fluffy's symptoms and learning that he often played with cats and had never been vaccinated, immediately suspected feline panleukopenia. He decided to keep the cat for a few days in order to rehydrate him with intravenous solutions and fight secondary infections with a regime of antibiotics. Two days later, Fluffy was doing much better. The veterinarian told Fluffy’s owner that Fluffy had been lucky, because feline leukopenia is often fatal in kittens.

Disease the animal is suffering from: Feline panleukopenia

Name of the microorganism responsible for the disease: The feline panleukopenia virus, Family: Parvoviridae

Mode of transmission: Transmission between cats is by direct contact with blood, urine, faeces, nasal sec Read More

Animal’s name: Fluffy

Animal’s age: 14 weeks

Case history: Fluffy is a kitten who loves playing outdoors with other cats in the neighbourhood. Although previously very active, when he was 12 weeks old he gradually lost his appetite, lost interest in playing, and vomited a few times in the apartment. His owner took him to the veterinarian, who, upon observing Fluffy's symptoms and learning that he often played with cats and had never been vaccinated, immediately suspected feline panleukopenia. He decided to keep the cat for a few days in order to rehydrate him with intravenous solutions and fight secondary infections with a regime of antibiotics. Two days later, Fluffy was doing much better. The veterinarian told Fluffy’s owner that Fluffy had been lucky, because feline leukopenia is often fatal in kittens.

Disease the animal is suffering from: Feline panleukopenia

Name of the microorganism responsible for the disease: The feline panleukopenia virus, Family: Parvoviridae

Mode of transmission: Transmission between cats is by direct contact with blood, urine, faeces, nasal secretions or fleas.

Symptoms of the disease: The initial signs are listlessness, loss of appetite, fever, vomiting, and dehydration. This may be followed by a drastic fall in body temperature accompanied by diarrhea, anaemia and further vomiting.

Treatment: The prognosis for kittens younger than eight weeks is very poor. Older cats stand a better chance, if they receive appropriate treatment early in the course of the disease. Treatment consists of maintaining the cat well-hydrated so that its immune system can combat the disease on its own. Antibiotics are ineffective in treating this disease, since it is caused by a virus, although they may prevent secondary infections caused by other microorganisms. Cats who receive a great deal of affection may recover more quickly.

Prevention: The best prevention is vaccination when the cat is 8-10 weeks old, with a booster one month later and yearly boosters thereafter.

Specific safety measures: This disease affects only cats.

Other information: This disease is also known as "feline distemper". The virus that causes it is very stable and can remain infectious for one year at room temperature.


© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.

Fluffy

Photo : Caroline Labelle

© Caroline Labelle


Animal’s name: Snowball

Animal’s age: 2 years

Case history: Snowball is a very tranquil rabbit who likes to stay under the couch. One day, Snowball's owners decided to take a trip, and asked their neighbour, who had several rabbits himself, to take care of him. After all, if the neighbour had his own rabbits, it was reasonable to suppose he knew how to take care of them! Upon their return, their neighbour told them that Snowball had been very tense, and that he thought this was because the other rabbits were always trying to play with Snowball, who was used to being on his own at home. One week later, Snowball began to have a runny nose and teary eyes. Snowball’s owners took him to the veterinarian and described his symptoms and his stay at their neighbour's house. The veterinarian told them that Snowball probably had pasteurellosis, prescribed antibiotics, and told them to try to protect Snowball from any stressful situations.

Disease the animal is suffering from: Pasteurellosis

Name of the microorganism responsible for the disease: The bacteria Pasteurella multocida

Mode of Read More

Animal’s name: Snowball

Animal’s age: 2 years

Case history: Snowball is a very tranquil rabbit who likes to stay under the couch. One day, Snowball's owners decided to take a trip, and asked their neighbour, who had several rabbits himself, to take care of him. After all, if the neighbour had his own rabbits, it was reasonable to suppose he knew how to take care of them! Upon their return, their neighbour told them that Snowball had been very tense, and that he thought this was because the other rabbits were always trying to play with Snowball, who was used to being on his own at home. One week later, Snowball began to have a runny nose and teary eyes. Snowball’s owners took him to the veterinarian and described his symptoms and his stay at their neighbour's house. The veterinarian told them that Snowball probably had pasteurellosis, prescribed antibiotics, and told them to try to protect Snowball from any stressful situations.

Disease the animal is suffering from: Pasteurellosis

Name of the microorganism responsible for the disease: The bacteria Pasteurella multocida

Mode of transmission: Pasteurellosis is transmitted during mating, through direct contact or contact with wounds. The bacteria can be transmitted from mothers to offspring, and 60-70% of rabbits born naturally are carriers.

Symptoms of the disease: The most common symptoms are a runny nose and runny eyes. Other signs include sneezing, nasal congestion, noisy breathing (indicating pneumonia), excessive tearing, loss of appetite and fever. Abscesses and neurological and joint symptoms may also be present.

Treatment: Antibiotics, and surgical treatment of abscesses.

Prevention: An appropriate diet, a clean, stress-free environment, and constant access to clean water.

Specific safety measures: Humans and other animals (rodents, birds and farm animals), may catch this disease, but this is very rare.


© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.

Snowball

Photo : Audrey Laforest

© Audrey Laforest


Animal’s name: Spot

Animal’s age: 1 year

Case history: Spot is a puppy who just learned how to swim, in the pond behind the house. One week after Spot started swimming, his owner noticed that he was scratching his ears quite a bit. He took the dog to the veterinarian and also mentioned a foul odour that he noticed coming from Spot's ears. After examining Spot’s ears, the veterinarian recommended that the puppy no longer swim in the pond, because water in the ears favours the development of ear infections, especially in dogs with long floppy ears such as Spot’s. The veterinarian also prescribed medication against external ear infections.

Disease the animal is suffering from: External otitis

Name of the microorganism responsible for the disease: The main causes of otitis in dogs are external parasites, allergies (to pollen, molds, or food), bacteria such as Staphylococcus intermedius or Pseudomonas aeruginosa and yeasts such as Malassezia pachydermatis.

Mode of transmission: Otitis is usually the result of multiple factors, and transmission is only possi Read More

Animal’s name: Spot

Animal’s age: 1 year

Case history: Spot is a puppy who just learned how to swim, in the pond behind the house. One week after Spot started swimming, his owner noticed that he was scratching his ears quite a bit. He took the dog to the veterinarian and also mentioned a foul odour that he noticed coming from Spot's ears. After examining Spot’s ears, the veterinarian recommended that the puppy no longer swim in the pond, because water in the ears favours the development of ear infections, especially in dogs with long floppy ears such as Spot’s. The veterinarian also prescribed medication against external ear infections.

Disease the animal is suffering from: External otitis

Name of the microorganism responsible for the disease: The main causes of otitis in dogs are external parasites, allergies (to pollen, molds, or food), bacteria such as Staphylococcus intermedius or Pseudomonas aeruginosa and yeasts such as Malassezia pachydermatis.

Mode of transmission: Otitis is usually the result of multiple factors, and transmission is only possible in cases in which the condition is due to external parasites.

Symptoms of the disease: The presence of otitis is indicated by red, painful and foul-smelling ears, typically filled with pus or brownish secretions. Affected dogs often scratch their ears incessantly.

Treatment: Treatment consists of local antibiotics or anti-fungal agents that destroy the bacteria or yeasts responsible for the condition. Anti-inflammatory agents that sooth the itching and pain are often given at the same time.

Prevention: Keep the ears clean and dry.

Specific safety measures: External otitis is only transmitted between dogs if it is caused by external parasites. The disease is not transmitted from dogs to humans.

Other information: Factors that favour the development of otitis include specific ear shapes, specific behaviours (swimming), and environmental factors such as heat and humidity.


© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.

Spot

Photo : Barbara Bélanger

© Barbara Bélanger


Animal’s name: Nightingale

Animal’s age: 2 months

Case history: Nightingale was a young canary who was brought home by new owners who chose him because he didn't sing much—his owners didn't want to disturb the neighbours. In addition, he had ruffled feathers, which made him look charming. The bird found his new environment very stressful, as the children wanted to play with him all the time. When they saw that he almost never ate, his owners decided to take him to the veterinarian, but he died before they were able to do this. After examining Nightingale's body, the veterinarian explained that the bird was probably sick before they even took him home. He asked them if the supplier from which they obtained Nightingale was clean, and said that the stress caused by the children’s attempts to play with the bird probably contributed to the development of his illness.

Disease the animal is suffering from: Ornithosis also known as psittacosis

Name of the microorganism responsible for the disease: The bacteria Chlamydia psittaci

Mode of transmission: This bac Read More

Animal’s name: Nightingale

Animal’s age: 2 months

Case history: Nightingale was a young canary who was brought home by new owners who chose him because he didn't sing much—his owners didn't want to disturb the neighbours. In addition, he had ruffled feathers, which made him look charming. The bird found his new environment very stressful, as the children wanted to play with him all the time. When they saw that he almost never ate, his owners decided to take him to the veterinarian, but he died before they were able to do this. After examining Nightingale's body, the veterinarian explained that the bird was probably sick before they even took him home. He asked them if the supplier from which they obtained Nightingale was clean, and said that the stress caused by the children’s attempts to play with the bird probably contributed to the development of his illness.

Disease the animal is suffering from: Ornithosis also known as psittacosis

Name of the microorganism responsible for the disease: The bacteria Chlamydia psittaci

Mode of transmission: This bacteria is found in the nasal secretions and the faeces of infected birds or carriers. Transmission may be by faecal-oral contact or by inhalation of bacteria present in infected feather dust or droppings.

Symptoms of the disease: Affected birds stop eating, stop singing, have ruffled feathers, discharge from the nose and eyes, and diarrhea, and are often depressed. Carriers are often asymptomatic, however.

Treatment: Tetracycline, an antibiotic, in the food, accompanied by supportive treatment and quarantine.

Prevention: Cages must be kept clean; ammonia-based products, which are antiseptic, are effective for this purpose. Stressful situations must be avoided. Some screening tests are available. When several birds are affected, it may be necessary to quarantine them.

Specific safety measures: The bacteria may cause abortion in sheep, cows and goats. Cats, dogs and horses also appear to be sensitive to infections by C. psittaci. Although humans are rarely affected, children, older people, and immunocompromised individuals should exercise caution. Symptoms in humans usually mimic those of a cold (cough and fever).

Other information: C. psittaci may infect more than 130 species of birds, although the infection is often asymptomatic. One study has suggested that 70-90% of all wild pigeons are asymptomatic carriers.


© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.

Nightingale

Groupement Ornithologique Lyonnais

© Groupement Ornithologique Lyonnais


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • familiarize himself with the vocabulary used in microbiology;
  • explain the relationship between developments in imaging technology and the current understanding of the cell;
  • identify which microorganisms are infectious, how the immune system fights against them, and the reinforcements of modern medicine;
  • describe the benefits of microorganisms .

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