Donald E Hoenig, VMD, is author to a new blog for Maine farmers called Made in Maine: Thoughts on Food, Animals and Agriculture. His most recent blog post, Don’t Forget to Vaccinate Your Horse (and Protect Yourself), describes the signs and symptoms of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), how it is transmitted, and what to do to protect your horses and yourself.
Dr. Hoenig retired as the Maine State Veterinarian in 2012 and, after completing a year-long Congressional Fellowship in Sen. Susan Collins’ office in Washington DC last year, in January 2014 he started working as a part-time Extension Veterinarian for University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Submit questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Answers to selected questions will appear in future blog posts.
Image Description: blood-filled mosquito
The Portland Press Herald published a feature on Anne Lichtenwalner, director of the University of Maine’s Animal Health Laboratory. Lichtenwalner, who is also an assistant professor of animal science and a UMaine Cooperative Extension veterinarian, spoke about how she splits her time between the lab, researching and teaching, as well as the advice she gives to the general public about raising backyard chickens or dairy cows.
The health of Maine’s moose is a top priority for researchers and students at the University of Maine’s Animal Health Laboratory. The lab’s director, Anne Lichtenwalner, was approached five years ago by a Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IF&W) moose biologist who wanted to know what was causing occasional calf deaths.
In the past two years, Lichtenwalner, an assistant professor of animal science, and her students examined 150 sets of lungs from Maine moose. Many were infected with lungworms, winter ticks and lung cysts. Lungworms, which can cause pathology, pneumonia, and may even contribute to death, were found in about 24 percent, Lichtenwalner says.
Echinococcus granulosus (EG), the intermediate stage of a tapeworm, was found in the form of lung cysts. The form of EG found in moose is unlikely to affect humans, but it can still infect dogs, making it important to inform the general public, especially hunters and dog owners, about the parasite. The lab published information about EG online and informed state veterinarians to remind clients that tapeworm medication is advised for dogs that may eat infected moose meat or viscera.
The lab is also part of a two-year tracking study assessing the health of moose in Maine and New Hampshire. The lab conducts blood work and processes tissues from the 90 radio-collared Maine moose in the study to test for diseases and parasites.
UMaine operates the Animal Health Lab with support from Cooperative Extension as a service to the state’s veterinarians, livestock producers and animal owners. The lab is used to perform diagnostic services such as necropsy, microbiology, virology and pathology.
Richard Brzozowski, University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator; and Anne Lichtenwalner, assistant professor, UMaine Extension veterinarian and director of the University of Maine Animal Health Laboratory, spoke about the importance of practicing bio-security on homesteads for the latest post in the Portland Press Herald blog “The Root: Dispatches from Maine’s food sources.” The author of the blog also wrote she hosted her home and garden during the UMaine Extension’s 5th annual Backyard Locavore Day.
Maine CDC has just announced (August, 2013) that the virus causing Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) has been detected from mosquitoes trapped near Alfred, Maine, which is south of Portland. Mosquito-trapping is a monitoring method to see whether mosquitoes are carrying viruses that can cause disease (such as EEE or West Nile encephalitis; WNV) in people and animals, if bitten by infected mosquitoes. It’s not unexpected to see EEE in mosquitoes this time of year, but it’s a good indication for using even better protection against mosquito bites. As well, be sure to check your horses’ vaccination status; horses are very sensitive to EEE and WNV, but these diseases are easily prevented with a good vaccination schedule. Check with your vet to be sure your horses’ vaccines are current.
Keri Lindberg, Maine Healthy Beaches coordinator with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension/Maine Sea Grant, spoke with the Bangor Daily News about the health of Maine’s beaches after conflicting reports about bacteria levels in the water were released. Lindberg spoke about how researchers test for high bacteria.
2013 Maine-approved pesticides for use on poultry lice (Excel). Most are premise treatments, not bird treatments.
For more information about poultry, visit the UMaine Extension poultry web pages.
Anne Lichtenwalner, assistant professor and extension veterinarian at the University of Maine, spoke with the publication Bovine Veterinarian about the National Mastitis Council’s upcoming regional meeting in Portland, Maine. Lichtenwalner is also the 2013 NMC regional chairwoman.
St. John Valley Times reported on the discovery through testing at the University of Maine Animal Health Laboratory of a tiny parasitic tapeworm that can exist in the lungs of moose and intestines of canines, both wild and domestic, which could expose humans to the parasite. Excessive lungworm presence can compromise the health of moose. The Maine Center for Disease Control, the Animal Health Lab and UMaine Cooperative Extension, and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife advise people to wear latex or rubber gloves when field dressing game and thoroughly cook game meat, the article said. Channel 7 (WVII) also carried a report on the parasite.
A Portland Press Herald blog on large animal veterinarians in Maine included a question-and-answer interview with University of Maine Cooperative Extension Veterinarian Anne Lichtenwalner, director of the UMaine Animal Health Laboratory and assistant professor of animal and veterinary sciences, about the dwindling numbers of large animal veterinarians in the state.