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Mary & Dogs

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I have read things recently stating that West Nile has been found in Alligators - alligators were dying in alligator farms - and in squirrels. Has anyone else heard this?


This virus is so strange.


Does anyone know if it is common for viruses to jump from species to species like this? I wouldn't think so. Other than rabies, I can't think of any illness that everything gets. And isn't rabies just warm blooded animals?

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West Nile is transmitted by mosquitoes, so if the animals are being bitten...We have crows dropping dead from the sky here is So Calif. and we don't even have a lot of mosquitoes. It is all very scary. What happens when all the birds that eat the insects and vermon are gone...? I wonder if it was found to be a terrorist planted virus, would George W. get on the stick and do more than just tell the public to wear long sleeves and deet???

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Now, I am not absolutely sure about this because I read all the time and can't always remember where stuff comes from.


But I don't think West Nile killed birds like it has here when it was in other countries. I think that is a new thing. The birds that are most affected are still crows and blue jays - so there are a lot of bird species that are not especially at risk. I know that the raptors are susceptible, too - but I don't think its as bad as for crows and blue jays. That would make me think that magpies would also be having trouble.


Of course, horses and really at risk. And I have heard things that make me think the problem in the horses is a lot worse than the media has let on. A friend of mine told me that horses are dropping like flies up in Iowa and Illinois - but that is second hand information. But she has a sister in Iowa who lost a 28 year old horse and I think her sister probably does know some of what's going on in the horse world.


But I think it is very odd that a virus could affect to many types and species. Take distemper, for example, raccoons and dogs can get the same kind, but cats and rabbits get another kind - and it doesn't cross over. Fortunately, most dog and cat diseases can't be transmitted to humans.


But dying alligators? That is too wierd.



Mary Hartman

Kansas City, MO

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