Tag: diseases

Tick Borne Diseases

The past few years have saw a dramatic increase in tick activity throughout Michigan. Anecdotally, many life-time Michiganders are telling me that they have seen more ticks in the past year than in their whole life. There are several reasons for this. For one, deer ticks have been migrating into Michigan in greater numbers since the 2000s, so there are simply more deer ticks living in the state, especially on the west side. Increased deer populations, decreased hunting, and conversion of farms into residential subdivisions with treed lots are also contributors. Along with this increased activity comes renewed fears about tick borne illnesses. In this article, we will review the basics about Lyme disease, but also Powassan virus, a little known but very debilitating tick borne illness that people need to be aware of. Lyme Disease: Causes and Symptoms Lyme disease is the most common tick borne illness in the United…

Lyme Disease Map of Michigan
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Raccoon Attack!

Creature Control gets many inquiries about rabid animals. It can be frightening to see a raccoon or skunk wandering around the yard acting erratically – or a bat swooping around the living room at night! Usually, there is nothing to worry about. Rabies is relatively rare in most common animals; even when you see an animal acting strangely, it is most likely a case of distemper and not rabies. You can read here for more information on animal distemper. However, that does not mean it never happens, as demonstrated by an incident in New Jersey. WILX in New Jersey reports that a young boy was attacked by a rabid raccoon on his way to school. From the WILX article: “New Jersey health officials say a raccoon that attacked a 6-year-old boy was rabid. Aryan Gavali was headed to school in Elmwood Park on Wednesday when the raccoon ran across the street,…

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Chronic Wasting Disease Hits Michigan Deer

Michigan deer have had it rough as of late. It was only in 2012 that Michigan deer were suffering from epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD. Now in 2015 the deer of Michigan may be exposed to another danger from chronic wasting disease (CWD). CWD is a neurological disease that afflicts white tailed deer. Afflicted deer will act abnormally, eventually become physically debilitated and die. The first case of CWD was found in a deer in Meridian Township, Michigan, which is east of Lansing. The 6 year old female was acting strangely. The DNR confirmed CWD in an announcement made on May 26th. That was all it took for the DNR to go into emergency preparedness. CWD is fairly contagious and already exists among deer populations in 23 states as well as Canada. It would not take much for it to spread throughout Michigan, devastating our deer population. Preventative measures taken in…

Chronic Wasting Disease Hits Michigan Deer
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Distemper in Dallas

People around Dallas, Texas have been noticing an increase in distempered raccoons. Distemper is a highly contagious disease that effects raccoons especially, but may also infect skunks, opossums and even domesticated pets. Dallas animal control specialists report a dramatic increase in calls for removal of distempered raccoons. How can you tell if a raccoon has distemper? Very easily. There are three certain signs that a raccoon is suffering from distemper: 1) The raccoon is out in the open during the day. 2) The raccoon has apparently lost its fear of humans. 3) The raccoon is acting “drunk” or appears to be staggering. If the raccoon is exhibiting these three symptoms, it is certainly distempered. Because distemper causes an animal to lose its fear of humans, distempered raccoons can appear “tame” and present a threat to children, who may think it is alright to go up and pet the animal. Such…

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Bats Recover From White-Nose Syndrome

This week we heard some welcome news out of New York on the problem of white-nose syndrome (WNS). For the past 12 months, wildlife and animal control professionals were fearing the worst. WNS was raging through the brown bat population all across the north; some professionals specializing in bat removal in Michigan were fearing that WNS could potentially wipe out the state’s entire brown bat population. Fortunately, this has not been the case. Figures released out of New York this week by the NY Department of Environmental Conservation showed notable increases in the number of little brown bats in three out of five upstate New York hibernation caves where scientists first noticed white nose decimating winter bat populations six years ago. The largest cave saw an increase from 1,496 little browns last year to 2,402 this winter. These numbers suggest that perhaps bats are learning to adapt to WNS and…

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Rabies on the Rise in Ingham, Washtenaw and Oakland Counties

What does rabies look like in an animal? With rabies on the rise on Ingham, Washtenaw and Oakland counties, wildlife control professionals, homeowners and all animal owners are getting more opportunities to see the disease at work. One vet records his first encounter with a rabid horse: “This horse just went mad. He attacked a tractor, a manure spreader, the fence. He knocked all his front teeth out. Then he attacked a Hereford cow, took her down and just ripped on her. I never heard such a noise as came out of this horse. It was agonizing.” They were able to rope the horse and euthanize it before he injured anyone. “We thought it was probably bit by a skunk but we never knew for sure. We’d vaccinated the rest of the horses but it’s a big herd and this one young horse had somehow missed the vaccine. We had…

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