Paws & Learn: October 2018 Animal News Updates


Author: Dr. Clarissa G. Noureddine, DVM, MS, MS

Check out what’s been in the news this past month about animals. Additionally, since Halloween is coming up next week, we’ve included some Halloween safety tip articles to help keep your pets safe during the holiday.

Fun Stuff!


Zoonotic Diseases:

  • Study: Therapy dogs can spread superbugs to kids: In a recent study out of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the researchers found that children undergoing cancer treatment who interacted more with therapy dogs were 6 times as likely to carry methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria. The study also found that efforts to ‘decolonize’ the dogs before and during therapy sessions were effective. The authors felt the dogs who visited the hospital did not bring the bacteria with them – instead, they proposed the idea the dogs likely acquired the bacteria through interactions once in the hospital. Hence, decolonizing the dogs with ‘special wipes’ between therapy sessions was deemed helpful. (
  • CDC warns against dressing up pet chickens for Halloween: The CDC is asking pet owners not to dress up their backyard chickens in Halloween costumes. They also note that you should not cuddle or kiss your pet chickens to minimize the risk of Salmonella transmission ( At least 92 people in 29 states have been infected with a multidrug-resistant strain of Salmonella after coming into contact with raw chicken products. (
  • Three people in Northwest D.C. attacked by rabid raccoon, officials say (The Washington Post) (Reminder: NC state law requires that all dogs, cats, and ferrets maintain a current rabies vaccination at all times!)



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