Bunny ebola, toxic lakes and ‘abortion storm’ all revealed in little-known local publication

Abbotsford’s Animal Health Centre publishes revealing newsletter three times a year

It’s the most-interesting newsletter about animal dissection in Abbotsford you’re ever going to read.

Although few are probably inclined to read newsletters distributed by government departments and targeted at veterinarians and other people with a professional-level knowledge of animal biology, the Animal Health Monitor expert-look at “bunny ebola,” the lethal danger certain icky lakes pose to dogs, and something called an “abortion storm.”

Every few months, the people who work at the provincial Animal Health Centre in Abbotsford put out the Monitor, a newsletter about some of the work they’ve been doing the last few months.

RELATED: To catch a (bird) killer: Inside last winter’s battle against avian influenza

A new issue comes out every four months, and the casual reader can be guaranteed to learn about something he or she has probably never thought about – and maybe never wanted to think about.

In this October’s edition, for example, one learns about five dogs that developed “sudden-onset hypersalivation” after swimming or wading in HiHium Lake” near Clinton. Several of the dogs had seizures and one died.

The lake was described as having “a foul odour and an algal bloom, described as spotty bright blue/green discoloration with a milky shine that was moving around the lake and rising/falling.”

Drinking water in such blooms can lead to “blue-green algae toxicity” in dogs, the Monitor reader learns, which can lead to death.

In June, one can read how seven bald eagles and a red-tailed hawk had died in B.C. Other than the fact they were dead, the birds seemed to be in good condition. It turns out, though, that testing revealed traces of “pentobarbital,” a drug used to euthanize animals. It’s believed the birds had eaten a domestic sheep that was euthanized. The morale: don’t leave your recently euthanized animals in the open to be snacked on by birds.

In the February edition of the Monitor, the reader can learn about “an Abortion Storm at a Cow-Calf Facility in the BC Interior.”

And last December’s monitor features articles on “Systemic Yeast Infection in Muscovy Ducks” and a hemmorhagic disease sometimes called “bunny ebola.”

One can access the monitor here.

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