Safely removing animal heads for rabies testing
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SAFELY REMOVING ANIMAL HEADS FOR RABIES TESTING. Wyatt Frampton, DVM, MPH Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. WHY SUBMIT?. Exposure history Bite (Large rodents*, and all other mammals) Unknown exposure – Bats Do not send exposed animals Surveillance Raccoons, skunks, coyotes, foxes

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Safely removing animal heads for rabies testing

SAFELY REMOVING ANIMAL HEADS FOR RABIES TESTING

Wyatt Frampton, DVM, MPH

Utah Department of Agriculture and Food


Why submit
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


Where to submit
WHERE TO SUBMIT?

  • Rabies testing only:

    Unified State Laboratories: Public Health

    4431 South 2700 West

    Taylorsville, UT 84119-8600

    Phone: (801) 965-2584


Where to submit1
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


What to submit
WHAT TO SUBMIT?

  • Whole carcass

    • Bats (Preferably dead)

      • Specie identification

    • Rodents

      • Only submitted on rare occasions

      • Small rodents


What to submit1
WHAT TO SUBMIT?

  • Whole heads

    • Dogs

    • Cats

    • Wildlife (Raccoons, skunks, coyotes, foxes)


What to submit2
WHAT TO SUBMIT?

  • Brain

    • Large dogs

    • Livestock (Horses, Cattle, Pigs, Sheep, Goats)

    • Big game


What to submit3
WHAT TO SUBMIT?

  • Brain

    • Fresh

    • Frozen delays the process

    • Not fixed

    • Include brain stem and some spinal cord


How to collect
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


Acceptable methods of euthanasia bats
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

  • http://www.batworld.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/BWSposition_statement-euthanasia.pdf

  • http://michigan.gov/documents/emergingdiseases/Humane_Euthanasia_of_Bats-Final_244979_7.pdf


Approved shipping procedures
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


How to collect1
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


How to collect2
HOW TO COLLECT?

  • Supplies needed

    • Sharp knife and sharpener

      • Optional - sharp hacksaw or back saw, pruning shears


How to collect3
HOW TO COLLECT?

  • Supplies needed

    • Protective clothing:

      • Waterproof gloves (preferably disposable)

      • Mask (disposable or launderable)

      • Safety glasses or goggles

      • Coveralls and/or waterproof apron


How to collect4
HOW TO COLLECT?

  • Supplies needed

    • Cleaning Supplies

      • Detergent

      • Disinfectant

      • Paper towels

      • Plastic trash bags

    • Pesticides

      • Fleas and ticks


How to collect5
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



How to store and ship
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


Last thoughts
LAST THOUGHTS

  • When in doubt – call the laboratory for procedures to ship

  • Include complete form

  • Be safe

  • Questions?