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Dr John’s Batty Antics

By John Morgan | Dated June 29, 2018

As a result of his time working as a vet in Canada in a previous life, Dr John has been vaccinated for Rabies. This means he is the only vet at Gordon Vet Hospital able to handle Flying foxes or other bats presented for injury.

Flying foxes (in this case the Grey-headed flying fox) are a type of megabat that is extremely common on the east coast of Australia. They are the largest bat in Australia. Bats carry three diseases that have a zoonotic (infectious that can transfer to humans) potential – Hendravirus, Menangle virus and Australian Bat Lyssavirus. Of these Lyssavirus is the only disease known to transmit to humans directly and thankfully is partially protected against by the rabies vaccination. If a bite or scratch occurs a post exposure treatment is performed to prevent infection. Bat carers must have a rabies vaccination before handling flying foxes.

A Grey-Headed Flying Fox recovering from anaesthesia after being dried off and thoroughly examined. Protective clothing was worn to prevent infection.

Gordon Vets saw 2 bats last week, one brought in by Sarah, a local carer, which had a deep puncture wound on its back that needed flushing and cleaning. The other was brought in by a Wires volunteer found in the bottom of a pool with signs of a respiratory infection. Both are on pain relief and antibiotics and appear to be doing well under Sarah’s ongoing care!

If you come in contact with a sick or injured flying fox make sure you call WIRES or Sydney Metro Wildlife Service immediately for advice before handling these animals. While these animals sometimes need our help it is important to remember they have diseases that can harm us so proper precaution must be taken.

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Written by John Morgan

John first started with Gordon Vet Hospital back in 2004 as a weekend Nurse while studying Veterinary Science. When he graduated he worked in Goulburn for a few years before spending 2 years doing locum work through Canada. John returned to Australia in 2013 and came back to Gordon Vet Hospital. John completed his postgraduate studies in Small Animal Practice in 2013 and in 2015 gained Membership to the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Small Animal Surgery.

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Lihong Xing
Lihong Xing
05:00 05 Nov 18
Highly recommend Dr David, Scott, Helen, and Catherine, I've taken my cat to see all the doctors here.
Vishal Kapoor
Vishal Kapoor
01:52 04 Sep 18
Really amazing staff members. Their systems and processes are also very
Arezu A
Arezu A
03:20 15 Feb 18
Absolutely love the service here. I switched from other Vets to this Vet as the staff here are quite attentive and really care about your furry baby! I have basically seen most of the Dr's here and all of them so far have been fantastic, friendly and fun to speak with! Easy to locate and enough parking available! 5 Stars indeed!
Gerry Stevens
Gerry Stevens
11:01 14 Jul 18
Good competant vet. Did what I needed. Staff friendly. Cat's well.
Jeremy Tarbox
Jeremy Tarbox
22:55 10 Sep 18
We found a stray, agitated dog in front of our house last night. We phoned but got no help from the Council ranger who gave two options: tie him up in front yard overnight or "let him loose, he'll find his own way home" :( So we phoned Gordon Vet: they stayed open a few minutes so we could run him up and he could have a bed and dinner. Thank you Gordon Vet Hospital, hope he gets home soon!!! :)
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