What’s in the News About Animals for July 2018?


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

Welcome to this month’s news updates. We’ve pulled together some highlights that we think pet owners will want to know – take a look!

  1. If you’ve visited Lawndale Veterinary Hospital recently, then you have probably met Gandalf. Gandalf is a 17 year-old African Grey Parrot who belongs to one of our team members, Carmen. Carmen brings Gandalf to work with her so that Gandalf can have enrichment and socialization throughout the day. We have also found that Gandalf gives our staff and clients enrichment! African Grey Parrots are intelligent birds with the ability to speak. Some of Gandalf’s words and phrases include ‘Hey Grew’ (referring to Drew, Carmen’s husband), ‘Bye’, ‘Wanna go night night?’, and ‘Gandalf’. Gandalf actually anticipates clients leaving our clinic. When they are paying or at checkout, Gandalf starts to say bye to them before they actually leave! An interesting article was published recently that helps explain why parrots have a mental edge. A region in the parrots’ brains called the medial spiriform nucleus is larger than other birds’ and could explain why parrots’ have superior intelligence. Read the findings here: Study reveals source of parrots’ high intelligence. (UPI)
  2. 21 People treated for rabies exposure after Weld County woman brings baby raccoon into home (The Tribune): This story out of Weld County, Colorado reminds people why it’s best to avoid contact with wild animals and always keep pets’ vaccinations current. A woman brought a baby raccoon into her home after it was apparently abandoned by its mother. The raccoon turned out to have rabies, which put everyone who had contact with the raccoon at risk for rabies exposure.
  3. Pet Food Recalls and Warnings:
    * Radagast recalls certain lots of Rad Cat raw chicken (Listeria concerns) and Rad Cat raw venison cat foods (E. coli concerns) – click here to see the Radagast lots affected.
    * Salmonella outbreak in 26 states linked to raw turkey. The CDC reports the strain is linked to raw turkey from multiple sources, including dog food containing raw turkey. Source: USA Today
  4. Are you heading to the beach with your dog? Offer your pet plenty of fresh water and don’t allow him or her to drink from the ocean. This pet owner wanted to share his very sad story to help warn other pet owners about the risk of saltwater poisoning from ingesting ocean water: Dog dies from saltwater poisoning at Tampa Bay area beach (News Channel 8)
  5. Exotic East Asian tick identified in North Carolina: The Longhorned tick has been identified in Polk County (on an opossum). Previously the tick has also been identified in Arkansas, New Jersey, Virginia, and West Virginia. According to the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services News publication from July 11, 2018, the tick can be a serious pest of livestock in its native regions. At this time it is unclear how it arrived in the United States. This species is an aggressive biter and can develop heavy infestations on animals. A single female tick can actually create a localized population due to the ability to reproduce without a male.
  6. Prevalence Data: The Companion Animal Parasite Council publishes prevalence data monthly. Below you will find the number of animals testing positive in Guilford County so far in 2018. Remember, these only include animals that were actually tested – so real values are likely much higher. These numbers help emphasize the importance of utilizing preventive products, staying on top of wellness exams, and practicing all around responsible pet ownership!
Tick-Borne Diseases
Lyme Disease1 out of every 26 tested
Ehrlichiosis1 out of every 23 tested
Anaplasma1 out of every 341 tested
Intestinal Parasites
Roundworms1 out of every 60 tested
Hookworms1 out of every 26 tested
Whipworms1 out of every 84 tested
Giardia1 out of every 66 tested
Heartworm Disease
Heartworms1 out of every 79 tested


Viral Diseases
FELV1 out of every 54 tested
FIV1 out of every 15 tested
Intestinal Parasites
Roundworms1 out of every 31 tested
Hookworms0 positive out of 212 tested
Giardia0 positive out of 122 tested
Heartworm Disease
Heartworm Antibody1 out of every 172 tested