By David Loneragan | Dated February 1, 2019 | 0 Comments
Did you know Gordon Vet Hospit […]
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.
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.