From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1993:

Despite concerns about bites and animal-transmitted
disease, veterinary staff are as often hurt on the job by ordi-
nary slips, trips, falls, and lifting injuries, according to sta-
tistics supplied to ANIMAL PEOPLE by the American
Veterinary Medical Association Professional Liability Insurance
Trust. From 1988 through 1992, dog bites accounted for 16.3%
of claims, cat bites for 13.8%, kicks by horses and cattle for
5.2%, and all other injuries done by animals combined amounted
to just 4.1%––but slips, trips, and falls came to 17.2%, while
lifting totaled 16.2%. Three-fourths of the lifting injuries
involved lifting “small” animals, whose weight and ability to
struggle were probably underestimated by the injured. Average
costs per claim were $2,808 for animal-related lifting injuries;
$6,253 for other lifting injuries; $6,212 for slips, trips, and falls;
$4,174 for horse and cow-kicks; $1,527 for dog bites; and $678
for cat bites. Job safety statistics have apparently never been
compiled for animal control officers and shelter workers, but
similar ratios may apply.

The AVMA House of Delegates has resolved that it,
“supports the concept of early (8-16 weeks of age) ovariohys-
terectomies/gonadectomies in dogs and cats, in an effort to stem
the overpopulation problem in these species.” The American
Kennel Club in a similar but more extensive statement has added
endorsement of early spaying and neutering to an early policy
recommending the operations in general and affirming that,
“Spaying and neutering are simple, safe surgical techniques that
have no adverse effect on the health and temperament of the
The International Veterinarian Acupuncture
Society, founded in 1973 with just six members, now claims
500 members and is training an additional 100 veterinarians at
annual training seminars. Approximately half of all veterinary
acupuncture procedures are performed on horses.
Hemopet, a canine blood bank with facilities in Irvine
and Garden Grove, California, supplies blood products to about
300 veterinarians around the U.S., produced by a closed colony
of 50 retired racing greyhounds with the “universal donor” blood
type (DEA-4). For details, contact W. Jean Dodds, DVM,
17672 Cowan Ave., Suite 300, Irvine, CA 92714.
Medtronic Inc. donates obsolete pacemakers made
for use in humans to be used instead in large dogs. Get details
from 4633 E. LaPalma Ave., Anaheim, CA 92718-1909.
“Wherever Lyme disease is, babesiosis is sure to fol-
low,” warns Mayo Clinic pathologist and microbiologist Dr.
David Persing. Like the Lyme spirochete, the babesiosis proto-
zoan travels with deer ticks. Approximately 13 of 14 human vic-
tims suffer only a flu-like illness, but babesiosis can be fatal in
people with a depressed immune system. The symptoms of a
severe babesiosis infection mimic malaria. Like malaria, it is
treated with quinine, plus clindamycin.
Current animal disease epidemics in North America
include Venezuelan equine encephalitis in Mexico, which on
September 7 caused the USDA to impose a seven-day quarantine
on equines imported from Mexico and appeal to horse owners to
vaccinate their animals against the mosquito-borne illness; a
year-long wave of bovine viral diarrhea, hitting cattle and espe-
cially veal calves in the St, Hyacinthe, Nicolet, and Eastern
Townships regions of Quebec, affecting about 50 of Quebec’s
1,000 veal farms, causing herd losses of up to 70%; brucellosis
and psuedo-rabies among feral swine in Georgia, the latter dis-
ease apparently spreading to companion animals as result of
increased interest in hunting the swine with dogs; and an out-
break of mange among coyotes in eastern Kansas, underway for
about a decade, which is credited with enabling bobcats (who
compete with coyotes for prey) to make a comeback. While trap-
pers blame the mange epidemic on “overpopulation” due to low
coyote pelt prices, it actually broke out and spread farthest (like
the mid-Atlantic raccoon rabies pandemic) when pelt prices were
peaking in the mid-1980s.
The U.S. Public Health Service has warned that
goatskin goods from Haiti may carry anthrax spores. A bacterial
disease that affects the skin, lungs, and other organs, anthrax
can survive in goatskin products for many years.
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