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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30346
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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We live in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, in

Customer Question

We live in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, in foothills. Our property has several wild cottontail rabbits visiting every day, and there is a new litter of them in the ivy. We have a Corgi and a 3 month old Auggie pup. I've read that tuleremia can be a worrisome disease, actually considered as a bioweapon. Rabbits eat my grass. Today I picked up a lot of rabbit pellets. I have humane traps but the rabbits won't go in the traps. How concerned should I be that tuleremia is transmitted to our dogs, and/or us? I'm sure the pup will eat the pellets, probably already has. Thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. While infection with tuleremia is possible in both you and your dogs it should be considered a rare event particularly if tuleremia isn't endemic where you live. Your county public heath office can tell you the status of tuleremia where you live. Natural infection in dogs has been reported rarely. In one instance, a 13-month-old dog that had ingested a wild rabbit the week prior had an acute onset of anorexia, pyrexia (fever), and lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes) (including necrotizing tonsillitis). The disease was self-limiting with only supportive treatment. A diagnosis of tularemia was confirmed by a greater than 4-fold increase in paired serum titers. All laboratory findings, with the exception of high plasma fibrinogen concentration, were within normal reference ranges. Dogs experimentally infected with F. tularensis develop similar illness to that acquired by natural infection, and puppies may be more susceptible than young adult dogs. Dogs fed infected tissues developed a 5-day illness with fever and mucopurulent discharge from the nose and eyes. Intradermal inoculation resulted in transient illness characterized by fever, pustules at the inoculation site, and regional lymphadenopathy. Despite the relative dearth of reports of clinical illness in dogs, there is ample evidence in the literature of seroconversion (antibodies produced against F. tularensis bacteria) in dogs suggesting that natural infection in dogs is not a rare event, but resultant illness is inapparent or mild.Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the details with explanation. Am I correct that your last sentence really sums up your thoughts? I was hoping you might know the prevalence of this disease in NW Los Angeles County. No problem, I'll check with the County. But the entire County organization is made up of somambulent affirmative action cases consumed only with the desire to repeal Prop. 13.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I live in San Diego and grew up near you but I'm afraid that I'm not up on my tuleremia prevalence where you live! I'm going to guess that it's not significant but I still want you to contact the somnambulant county health department. Yes, I concur with that last sentence. Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks to you, kind sir, the Benjamin is now set to stun!
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
You're quite welcome. I have no idea what "the Benjamin is now set to stun!" means.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
A Benjamin is an air rifle.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about Chase. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin