Consider this a later Mother’s Day gift. I’ve spent the last two weeks making notes on various things I could write about and it looks something like this:
Why don’t squirrels get rabies, what is mange, how can I attend the CDA Flea Market at Countryside Vet Hospital this weekend and still grab a burger at the Military Community Covenant Barbeque at Agway happening at the same time. What the devil happened to my keys this time? What’s up with the yellow chain gate at Agway? Where did my money go? Isn’t there a chocolate cat event on the 18th? Look up moose migration patterns. Pay car insurance.
Let’s start with mange: Straight from Wikipedia, I present the following:
Mange is the common name for a class of skin diseases caused by parasitic mite. Since mites also infect plants, birds, and reptiles, the term “mange”, suggesting poor condition of the hairy coat due to the infection, is sometimes reserved only for pathological mite-infestation of non-human mammals. Thus, mange is a term used to describe mite-associated skin disease in domestic animals (cats and dogs), in livestock (such as sheep scab), and in wild animals (for example, coyotes, cougars, and bears). Since mites belong to the arachnid subclass Acari (also called Acarina), another term used to describe mite infestation is acariasis.
Mammalian parasitic mites that cause mange embed themselves either in skin or hair follicles, depending upon their genus. Sarcoptes spp. burrow into skin, while Demodex spp. live in follicles.
In humans, these two types of mite infections, which would otherwise be known as “mange” in furry mammals, are instead known (respectively) as scabies and demodicosis. However, the mites that cause these diseases in humans are closely related to those that cause the mange in other mammals.”
From my own witness accounts of dogs affected by this disease, it can be treated with antibiotics or sulphur baths. Treatment takes up to a month. The baths smell horrible, and Erik the ACO has lost many an article of clothing treating the dogs that have come in like this. The dogs in these cases regained all of their coat, and have gone on to live happy lives with other people.
From e-med TV, we have the following about squirrels and rabies:
Rabies and Squirrels: An Overview
Squirrels are almost never found to be infected with the rabies virus. Squirrels also have not been known to cause rabies in humans within the United States. Bites from a squirrel are not considered a risk for rabies unless the animal was sick or behaving in an unusual manner, and rabies is widespread in the area. In all cases regarding rabies and squirrels, consult the state or local health department before making a decision to begin rabies treatment.
What About Rabies in Other Rodents?
Besides squirrels, other small rodents (such as rats, mice, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, and chipmunks,) and lagomorphs (such as rabbits and hares) are almost never found to be infected with rabies and have also not been known to cause rabies among humans in the United States. However, from 1985 through 1994, woodchucks accounted for 86 percent of the 368 cases of rabies among rodents reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Woodchucks or groundhogs (Marmota monax) are frequently the only rodents that may be submitted to state health departments because of a suspicion of rabies.”
In general, any mammal can carry rabies, it would appear that some animals get it easier than others, and no one knows why-but there are those that have their theories.
Since this is now long enough, I’ll wrap it up by saying I’m going to forgo the burgers this year (bummer!) as I’ll be serving hotdogs at the Flea Market. Let’s all thumb our noses at Weight Watchers, and visit both events-for a satisfying breakfast and lunch! Also, on May 18th you can attend the Billerica Cat Care Coalition’s 8th annual Chocolate Tasting being held at the Indian Ridge Country Club on 73 Lovejoy Rd. in Andover. Tickets are $25.00, and all proceeds benefit the cats.
And finally-the chain across the Agway parking lot when the store is closed has nothing to do with Rail Trail Traffic-they love the Rail Trail users. Unfortunately, they’ve had an issue with after hours visitors driving away with inventory, so something had to be done.
I’ll tackle the rest of the list next time. Until then, to quote a post I saw on Facebook: Cigarettes are like squirrels – they’re both completely harmless until you stick one in your mouth and light it on fire.