Rabies alert

This is a great time to remind everyone to have their animals vaccinated for Rabies.  This should include livestock like horses.


The following is a news release from Arizona Department of Health Services.  If you see any wild animals acting out of the normal contact Arizona Game and Fish.


NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release | Dec. 13, 2017

Media Contact | Nicole Capone

Mobile | 480.980.2940

Gray Fox Rabies Activity Has Quadrupled in Several Arizona Counties This Year

Public Urged to Take Precautions to Prevent Rabies Infections

PHOENIX – Rabies activity in Arizona’s gray fox populations has quadrupled in the last year according to data released by the Arizona Department of Health Services. As of a report today, there are 24 rabid foxes in 2017, compared with 6 rabid foxes reported statewide in 2016. Six of these cases were confirmed in the past two months.

An outbreak of fox rabies is occurring in the east-central part of Arizona near recreational hiking trails and camping areas in Maricopa and Pinal Counties, which includes the Superstition Mountains Wilderness Area. Several foxes have been seen alongside trailheads and there is evidence that the outbreak may be spreading to more urban areas posing additional risk to people and their pets living in residential communities. So far in 2017, rabid foxes have been identified in Cochise, Navajo, Pima, and Santa Cruz Counties and now recently in Gila, Maricopa, and Pinal Counties.

“It is very important for people to take precautions such as keeping their pets on a leash and vaccinated against rabies, which is a very serious disease that can be fatal,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. “People can still walk, hike, or camp in these areas, but should

be aware that rabid animals have been identified. It is important to make sure you and your pets are not

interacting with wild animals. When at home, pets should be supervised or kept in a fenced yard.”

Rabies is a virus spread by the bite of or contact with saliva of an infected animal. Rabies causes severe damage to the central nervous system and usually leads to death once symptoms appear. Human exposures to rabid animals are usually rare, but domestic animals, such as cats and dogs often come into contact with wild animals.

In Arizona, bats, skunks, and foxes are the main animal sources of rabies. The first sign of rabies is

usually a change in the animal’s behavior. Animals may act more aggressive or more tame than usual, be out during the day, stagger, tremble, or seem weak. Rabid animals may appear agitated and excited or paralyzed and frightened. Sometimes, rabid animals do not show any signs of illness before death from rabies.

ADHS advises that people do not touch, or feed wild or unfamiliar animals, even if they do not appear sick or aggressive. Any wild animal exhibiting erratic or aggressive behavior should be reported to local animal control officials or the Arizona Game and Fish Department at 602-942-3000. If you or your pet is bitten or has contact with a wild animal, seek immediate medical or veterinary attention and contact your county public health department.

For more information on rabies, go online to www.azhealth.gov/rabies.

Dangers of Raw Milk

The consumption of raw milk over the last few years has increased due to the feeling that it has many benefits from good bacteria over pasteurized milk and milk products.  Pasteurization while not changing the milk does kill bad  bacteria like Tuberculosis,  Brucellosis and Listeria which will make people sick.

Stay safe and feel free to share.

Dr. Mundschenk



Texas raw milk Brucella contamination hits 7 states

By Coral Beach

Food Safety News

September 15, 2017



Although it is against federal law to sell unpasteurized milk across state lines, the CDC and state health departments are investigating illnesses in at least seven states in relation to Brucella bacteria found in raw milk from a Texas dairy.

 One woman in Texas has been in the hospital for weeks with a lab-confirmed case of brucellosis. A sample from her matches antibiotic-resistant Brucella bacteria found in raw milk from K-Bar dairy in Paradise, TX, according to Texas officials and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 “It’s very important for people who drank raw milk from this dairy to seek treatment to prevent infection with Brucella RB51,” said Dr. William Bower who is leading the CDC’s brucellosis investigation group.

 “Even if people don’t have any symptoms now, they can develop a chronic infection that can impact their health for years to come.”

 Full text: http://tinyurl.com/yath4gfk



Leptospirosis update

Leptospirosis seems to be here to stay in Arizona. Traditionally laboratory data has shown that the disease existed in Arizona, yet there were only a few cases diagnosed every  year.    Since November of 2016 we have seen an uptick in the number of cases in dogs with over 80 cases reported to date.

Leptospirosis in Arizona
** With the steady increase in the number of dogs diagnosed with Leptospirosis  throughout Arizona, the State Veterinarian, Dr. Peter Mundschenk, recommends dog
owners consider vaccinating their pets. Dr. Mundschenk strongly recommends that dog boarding and day care facilities consider requiring proof of a Leptospirosis
vaccination prior to boarding. **

The Arizona State Veterinarian’s Office encourages dog owners to watch for
common signs of Leptospirosis in their pets:
 Drinking more than usual
 Urinating more than usual
 Lack of urination
 Redness in the eyes
 Depression
 Reluctance to eat
 Fever over 103.5° F
If your pet has any of these signs or you are concerned about Leptospirosis in your
pet family member, please seek advice from your pet’s veterinarian.

Your veterinarian may recommend vaccines for Leptospirosis depending on the degree of risk they may have. Dogs at increased risk include:

Outdoor dogs that engage in hiking and swimming in natural waters
Dogs with contact with other animal species (i.e. farm animals or wildlife)
Hunting dogs
Dogs that are frequently exposed to areas of standing water or flooded areas.
Dogs that have frequent exposure to other dogs in high density areas
(dogs shows, dog parks, pet boarding facilities)
Dogs that travel frequently or have contact with dogs that travel

Because Leptospirosis can infect humans owners should be aware that they can be infected with Leptospirosis from contact with urine. However rare, there are some precautions that owners, veterinarians and their staff should consider:
Avoid areas that pets urinate frequently
Wash hands after taking pets for their walks
Wash clothes that may have come in contact with pet urine
Symptoms of Leptospirosis in people vary. If pet owners are concerned about
their risk of infection, they are encouraged to talk to their primary care

In Arizona due to the public health concerns, Leptospirosis is a reportable disease to the State Veterinary Office who works in conjunction with State and Local public health offices to follow up to make sure there are not any human infections.  Reporting is important to monitor spread of the disease.


Reminder for Local Jurisdictions Regarding Leptospirosis Reporting

 Local public health departments might have noticed an increase in the number of reports sent to them by veterinarians about canine cases of leptospirosis. It is the responsibility of public health to follow-up with dog owners and veterinary staff since this is a zoonotic disease, and it is the responsibility of the Arizona Department of Agriculture (ADA) to follow-up with the animal investigation. The Arizona Administrative Code R3-2-402 requires that veterinarians report animal cases of leptospirosis to the ADA Office of the State Veterinarian (Dr. Peter Mundschenk) by the end of each month at the latest.

ADA has noticed a lack of reporting by veterinarians about canine cases of leptospirosis. Although messaging and notifications are going out to veterinarians to improve reporting, ADA has requested that any reports of canine leptospirosis sent to local public health be forwarded to ADA as well so that they are made aware and can follow up on the animal side. ADA is also requesting that local public health remind the reporting veterinarian that they need to contact the ADA State Veterinarian. In addition, any cases send to ADA will result in a notification to local public health to follow-up on the public health side.

Local jurisdictions can forward animal cases of leptospirosis reported to them directly to the ADA State Veterinarian Dr. Mundschenk at pmundschenk@azda.gov.

Veterinarians can report animal cases of leptospirosis by submitting a fax to 602-542-4290 or by e-mail at diseasereporting@azda.gov.

Thank you for your continued efforts and collaboration!

Dr. Peter



State Lifts Quarantine at Turf Paradise

(Phoenix) Today the Department of Agriculture lifted the quarantine at Turf Paradise Racetrack. The quarantine was implemented on January 28th, after three horses arrived from Dona Ana County, New Mexico where 74 horses have been diagnosed with Equine Herpes Virus. The quarantine was lifted following an investigation and determination that no other horses were affected by the virus.

“We ordered the quarantine to protect Arizona horses from a potentially deadly disease,” said Mark Killian, director of Arizona Department of Agriculture. “While these restrictions seem severe, they were absolutely necessary and, as intended, successful.”

The New Mexico Livestock Board quarantined several locations, but the 3 horses at Turf Paradise left before the restrictions were in place. Only one of the horses that came from New Mexico developed the neurological form of Equine Herpes Virus.

For the last 21 days, strict biosecurity measures have prevented the spread of the disease and no other horses have shown signs of infection or illness.

“The hard work of Turf Paradise management has prevented this isolated case from becoming an outbreak,” said Dr. Susan Gale, Acting State Veterinarian. “The quick action of the state and cooperation of Arizona horsemen, the Racing Commission and the track were key to our success.”

Equine Herpes Virus is only one of several dangerous diseases that threaten Arizona livestock. The department relies heavily on veterinarians and livestock owners across the state to watch for signs and contact the State Veterinarian’s Office with any concerns.