Saturday, September 27, 2014

International rabbit day, international rabies day, and a magnificent frog

International Rabbit Day is upon us.

It’s a weekend that may well confuse some. Today (Saturday, at least downunder) is International RABBIT Day – celebrating bunnies for all their cuteness, companionship, and also recognising their use (and abuse) by humans. Thus for example, Humane ResearchAustralia is promoting the day to acknowledge rabbits used in research. HRA is currently involved in a campaign to legislate against testing cosmetics on animals. For more information read here.

Sunday is World RABIES Day. Rabies is a devastating disease which kills over 50,000 people every year. Whilst we don’t have the disease in Australia an incursion of rabies into Northern Australia is not an improbable scenario. This week I had the opportunity to moderate a hypothetical scenario where a rabid dog made it to Arnhemland in theNorthern Territory.

Rabies is a preventable disease. Appropriate vaccination, education around bite prevention (especially dog bite prevention) and information about post-exposure prophylaxis SAVES LIVES. For more information about rabies awareness and how you can get involved, look here.

Magnificent Tree Frog
A magnificent Magnificent tree frog.
Finally, in Darwin I had the pleasure of meeting this stunning Magnificent Tree Frog, aka the Splendid Tree Frog (Litoria Splendida) living up to its name.

Magnificent Tree Frog/Splendid Tree Frog
Another view of a splendid creature.


  1. We do have a variant of rabies here; Australian Bat Lyssa Virus. ABVL is treated with the same vaccination as rabies. Like rabies, ABLV is found only in saliva and cerebrospinal fluid.

    ABLV is found in bats; both flying-foxes and microbats. People are not vaccinated against rabies shouldn't handle bats. Vets may chose to treat bats if the animals are appropriately restrained by a competent handler. Vets may chose to anaesthetise the bats with isoflurane prior to treatment. If people do get bitten or scratched they should seek advice from a doctor promptly to get vaccination.

  2. Thans anonymous - I stand corrected and yes, we do have ABLV. Unlike rabies I am not aware that dog bites pose a risk but scratches and bites from bats are an issue.

  3. Thus far no dogs have shown signs of ABVL although in experimental conditions they did develop antibodies.

    two horses did develop the microbat strain last year. There are limitations with the commentary.


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