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Tag Archive | "Dr. James Averill"

Create an emergency kit for pets 


 

June is National Pet Preparedness Month 

In honor of June as National Pet Preparedness Month, the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) is encouraging Michiganders to create an emergency preparedness kit for their pets to ensure complete family readiness during an emergency or disaster.

“Pet Preparedness Month is the time of year to make sure you and your pets are ready for emergencies and disasters,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “Pets are often overlooked when creating an emergency plan. This month, take a few moments to consider what you will do and where you will go with your pets during an incident.”

More than half of households in the United States include pets, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“The human-animal bond Michiganders have with their pets is very strong. In fact, most pets are considered family members,” said Dr. James Averill, State Veterinarian for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. “So, when you are planning for how to protect your family in the event of an emergency, be sure to include the health and care of your family pets. Planning now will help protect your pet’s life and health for many more years of happiness.”

To create a pet preparedness kit, ensure the following items are readily available in a safe location:

  • Food (your pet’s regular food)
  • Water
  • Leash and collar
  • Bowls
  • Photo of your pet or ID and a photo of you with your pet
  • Medications your pet needs
  • Immunization and vet records (keep both updated)
  • First Aid Kit
  • Contact list of pet-friendly hotels, veterinarians, and out-of-town friends and family
  • Toys, rope, and sanitation bags
  • Pet carrier

To learn more about being prepared before, during and after an emergency or disaster, follow the MSP/EMHSD on Twitter at @MichEMHS or go to www.michigan.gov/miready.

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Spring chicks may carry salmonella


HEA-Spring-chicks_FCOfficials at the Michigan departments of Agriculture and Rural Development and Health and Human Services are warning parents about the potential for baby poultry to carry Salmonella; a common bacteria found in the droppings of poultry which can cause illness in people.

“Washing your hands before and after handling chicks and other poultry is not only important for your bird’s health, it protects both you and your family from the risk of Salmonella,” said MDARD State Veterinarian Dr. James Averill. “Even birds appearing healthy can carry bacteria which can make people sick.”

“People enjoy raising baby chicks and having fresh eggs from their own birds,” said Eden Wells, MDHHS Chief Medical Executive. “Though keeping chickens can be fun and educational, poultry owners should be aware that chickens and other birds can carry germs and other viruses that can impact human health.”

Salmonella can cause diarrhea, vomiting, fever and/or abdominal cramps lasting four to seven days or more.

People should always assume baby chicks carry Salmonella and should follow these recommendations to protect themselves and others:

Children younger than five-years-of-age, older adults or people with weak immune systems should not handle or touch chicks, ducklings or other poultry because they are more likely to become severely ill.

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching the birds or anything in their environment. Adults should supervise hand washing for young children.

Use hand sanitizer until you can wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

Always keep poultry away from areas where food or drink is prepared, served or stored, such as kitchens or outdoor patios.

Do not kiss the chicks.

Do not touch your mouth, smoke, eat, or drink after handling poultry.

Frequently clean all equipment such as cages, feed, water containers and other materials associated with raising or caring for poultry.

For more information, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/features/salmonellababybirds/

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Rabies still a concern in Michigan


HEA-Rabies_Map_2013-rgb

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) State Veterinarian Dr. James Averill urges Michiganders to adopt practices that help protect their families, pets, and livestock from rabies, one of the deadliest diseases known to man. According to the World Health Organization, rabies is responsible for the deaths of 55,000 people worldwide.
All mammals are susceptible to rabies.  Rabies virus is usually transmitted via the bite of an infected animal. The virus can also be transmitted in the saliva of an infected animal into an open wound or onto mucous membranes such as the eyes, nose, or mouth.

“Michigan has rabies laws and programs that help protect citizens. Animal bites are reportable, and the State of Michigan requires dogs and ferrets be vaccinated against rabies,” said Averill.
Protect dogs, cats, ferrets, horses, and select livestock by keeping them vaccinated against rabies. If a person suspects their pet or livestock may have had contact with a potentially rabid animal, they should immediately contact their local animal control agency and veterinarian.
“You cannot always know if an animal has rabies, but if your pet or livestock behave aggressively and this is not normal behavior, you should consider rabies as a possible cause, and take appropriate precautions,” Averill said. “If a person is bitten by an animal, they should immediately wash the wound, seek medical attention, and report the bite to the local health department.”

Signs of rabies in animals can include lethargy, depression, aggression, seizures, a change in behavior, difficulty swallowing, excessive salivation, difficulty walking, and eventual death. Because many illnesses can cause these signs, without the laboratory tests rabies cannot be diagnosed.  It is not possible to test live animals for rabies. In order to determine if an animal has the disease, a necropsy must be done and the brain tissue must be examined for the presence of characteristic lesions.
To date, for 2013, there have been 39 cases of rabid Michigan bats in the various counties. See map for statistics.
For more information, please visit: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/emergingdiseases/Rabies_Map_2013_407912_7.pdf 

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