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SAFELY REMOVING ANIMAL HEADS FOR RABIES TESTING Wyatt Frampton, DVM, MPH Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.

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Presentation on theme: "SAFELY REMOVING ANIMAL HEADS FOR RABIES TESTING Wyatt Frampton, DVM, MPH Utah Department of Agriculture and Food."— Presentation transcript:

1 SAFELY REMOVING ANIMAL HEADS FOR RABIES TESTING Wyatt Frampton, DVM, MPH Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

2 WHY SUBMIT? Exposure history – Bite (Large rodents*, and all other mammals) – Unknown exposure – Bats – Do not send exposed animals Surveillance – Raccoons, skunks, coyotes, foxes – No exposure but abnormal behavior * Beaver or similar sized

3 WHERE TO SUBMIT? Rabies testing only: Unified State Laboratories: Public Health 4431 South 2700 West Taylorsville, UT 84119-8600 Phone: (801) 965-2584

4 WHERE TO SUBMIT? Disease diagnostic purposes – Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Main Laboratory Central Utah Branch Laboratory 950 East 1400 North 1451 South Main Logan UT 84341 Nephi UT 84648 Phone: 435-797-1895Phone: 435-623-1402

5 WHAT TO SUBMIT? Whole carcass – Bats (Preferably dead) Specie identification – Rodents Only submitted on rare occasions Small rodents

6 WHAT TO SUBMIT? Whole heads – Dogs – Cats – Wildlife (Raccoons, skunks, coyotes, foxes)

7 WHAT TO SUBMIT? Brain – Large dogs – Livestock (Horses, Cattle, Pigs, Sheep, Goats) – Big game

8 WHAT TO SUBMIT? Brain – Fresh – Frozen delays the process – Not fixed – Include brain stem and some spinal cord

9 HOW TO COLLECT? Whole animals – Bats – It must be assumed that all bats may be infected with rabies virus So use caution to prevent exposure – Use an acceptable method of euthanasia Freezing is not an acceptable method – Ship to laboratory using approved shipping procedures

10 Acceptable methods of euthanasia - Bats Inhalant anesthetics (liquid) – ex: halothane, enflurane, isoflurane, sevoflurane, methoxyflurane, desflurane Barbiturates – intravenous or intraperitoneal – Limitation: DEA Controlled substances, must be licensed to administer Potassium chloride – intravenous or intracardiac, in conjunction with an inhalation anesthetic euthanasia.pdf euthanasia.pdf Final_244979_7.pdf Final_244979_7.pdf

11 APPROVED SHIPPING PROCEDURES Goals of shipping – Must not expose others to infectious materials – Prevent leakage of potentially infectious material – Arrival of specimens in an state that will allow accurate results Three layers – A leak proof primary receptacle – A leak proof secondary packaging – An outer rigid packaging of adequate strength for its capacity, mass and intended use


13 HOW TO COLLECT? Whole heads – Remember that in collecting heads for rabies testing, the collector should have two primary goals Submit a good specimen that will allow for accurate testing Prevent human infection – Remove head in the neck region – Insure that the brain stem is included

14 HOW TO COLLECT? Supplies needed – Sharp knife and sharpener Optional - sharp hacksaw or back saw, pruning shears

15 HOW TO COLLECT? Supplies needed – Protective clothing: Waterproof gloves (preferably disposable) Mask (disposable or launderable) Safety glasses or goggles Coveralls and/or waterproof apron

16 HOW TO COLLECT? Supplies needed – Cleaning Supplies Detergent Disinfectant Paper towels Plastic trash bags – Pesticides Fleas and ticks

17 HOW TO COLLECT? Lay animal on its back and extend the head by pushing top of nose toward ground or bend neck back over edge of table. – Locate larynx (voice box) – Using a sharp knife, make an incision through the skin and continue cutting down through the trachea and esophagus to the backbone – Disarticulate the atlanto-occipital joint – Cut remaining muscle and skin with the knife to completely free the head from the body


19 HOW TO STORE AND SHIP? Keep refrigerated – Do not freeze Ship early in the week so laboratory gets it before the weekend – Prevents it from being held at room temperature in a shipping room for extended purposes Depending where the victim was bitten, may require delivery to the lab ASAP


21 LAST THOUGHTS When in doubt – call the laboratory for procedures to ship Include complete form Be safe Questions?

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