Guinea pig health check
Mycobacterium bovis infections in slaughter pigs in Mubende district, Uganda: a public health concern
Mycobacterium bovis is the etiological agent of bovine tuberculosis. The added exposure to bovine TB presents a significant risk for developing M. bovis infection among humans. There are some studies providing insight into the significance of M. bovis infection in humans in developing countries the true extent of this problem remains largely unknown [2, 3].Humans can be infected by M.
bovis orally, via inhalation of aerosolized particles containing M. bovis from infected animals or through person to person transmission. The most common route of infection with M. bovis is through the oral route by consumption of contaminated dairy products or undercooked animal products [3, 5, 6]. M.
bovis has the ability to survive for long periods in soil and slurry , a phenomenon which has recently been reaffirmed by a quantification assay that detected M. bovis in environmental samples. This can represent yet another source of M. bovis for humans and animals, especially in bovine TB endemic areas. Porcine TB caused by M.
bovis has been reported in Argentina, South Africa and West Africa [1, 9-11]. In South Africa, M. bovis accounted for 2.5% of isolated mycobacteria from pigs with pathological lesions. Routine abattoir meat inspections is the only economically feasible food safety tool that can be used in resource limited settings , however routine inspection is reported to have a low sensitivity for detecting tuberculosis lesions [16, 17]. A recent study on slaughter pigs in Uganda also revealed that up to 31% of slaughtered pigs without visible lesions were harbouring non-tuberculous mycobacteria.
A combination of human factors like knowledge, experience, motivation, diligence, autonomy, and workload of the individuals conducting the examination can also significantly affect the outcomes of a routine meat inspection. Molecular epidemiological tools have been used to characterise isolates of M. bovis, in order to decipher the dynamics or distribution and spread of bovine TB in different hosts. In that regard, spoligotyping and MIRU-VNTR are highly recommended tools for molecular epidemiological investigations and transmission chain tracing [1, 20, 21]. In Uganda, close contact exists between humans, pigs, cattle, wildlife and the environment.
Earlier studies have characterised isolates of M. bovis from cattle and humans in the cattle corridor, revealing identical spoligotypes [22, 23]. There are reports documenting the prevalence of non-tuberculous mycobacteria from slaughtered pigs in the Mubende district [18, 24], but the role of pigs in the epidemiology of M. bovis had not been explored. This study was thus aimed at contributing to the knowledge of the epidemiology of M.
bovis infections in Uganda, by investigating the occurrence and molecular characteristics of M. bovis from slaughter pigs, and by comparing these isolates with M. bovis detected from humans and cattle in earlier studies.
CottonTails Rabbit & Guinea Pig RescueCottonTails Rabbit & Guinea Pig Rescue
Bearing in mind that rabbits were not meant to be long-haired, your rabbit will thank you for ridding him of the weight as well as preventing the excess heat long fur generates, and enable him to groom properly again. On the basis that you are ready to start stripping a matted rabbit, hold the rabbit comfortably on your knee, holding him almost upside down with his head resting on your left arm as shown in the photo below. A tricky area to work on is the dewlap, as you have to position the rabbit correctly and this is not very easy, especially if you are not used to handling rabbits very much. You are best to buy clippers that are specially made for use on animal fur, as human clippers do not cope very well with the wool in the coat of a fluffy rabbit. Practice on an easy bit first until you feel confident to go ahead.
It is easier to place the rabbit on a table with a non-slip top and work from there when using clippers, but make sure the power cable is carefully out of reach of nibbling teeth! The photo below shows rabbits after they had been clipped. Some rabbit rescues will also carry out grooming and de-matting, often for just a reasonable donation, so they are worth considering too if you really feel you can’t strip the rabbit down yourself. Don’t necessarily expect to get the whole rabbit done in one sitting, as some rabbits will only tolerate ten minutes or so of de-matting, others will lie comfortably for half an hour or more. It is far better to admit defeat, regardless of the reason, than to carry on neglecting the needs of the rabbit or guinea pig to such an extent that it is distressed or dies of flystrike or infection.
It always gives me great pleasure to witness a rabbit or guinea pig after they have been shaved or clipped, as it is clear they have had a huge weight lifted literally from their shoulders as they run around in sheer delight! It can be very difficult to find a new home for a woolly-coated rabbit due to the necessity of having to trim the fur on a regular basis, so some of these little rabbits can end up in rescue centres for a long time before someone comes forward to take them on. This topic is covered thoroughly in the rabbit care article elsewhere on the website, but from the basic practical point of view of cleaning up a rabbit with a hardened compacted ball of faeces stuck to its tail, the safest way to start is to soak it off by sitting the rabbits bottom end in a bowl of warm water. The good news is that long-haired guinea pigs are far easier to cope with than fluffy long-haired rabbits! The fur does not become woolly so does not develop the same severity of matting that an angora-type rabbit will, but the tangles can still be bad enough to need regular attention.