Sunday, April 3, 2011

No more lumpy jaw

Today’s ‘Positive and Optimistic Sunday’. On our Mole Creek property, at the highest point on our roadway, near our header tank, is a spot we call Hoppers Crossing. We named it after the Melbourne suburb [1]. It’s a frequent crossing point for hopping wildlife including wallaby, pademelon, bettong and potoroo (collectively called macropods [2]). The number of hopping marsupials varies with the environmental conditions. This year, with ample rain and thus plant growth, they’re abundant. Healthy, too. But under less favourable conditions macropods (and other animals too) are prone to diseases. Including lumpy jaw – which is an infection by the bacterium Fusobacterium necrophorum [3]. It affects the soft tissues and bones of the jaws, and abscesses can form. Because it restricts eating, weight loss and debility occur, and death can result. Lumpy jaw’s rare in free ranging animals. It’s more common in zoos – due to multiple factors including confinement, diet and stress. Until now it’s been hard to treat. But collaboration between dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary scientists in Israel, of all places, has resulted in a topical, slow-release, one-time treatment [4]. Apparently zoos world-wide, including in Australia (!), are keen to obtain the preparation for their own animals. I love seeing healthy macropods around our property. Conversely, no doubt zoo staff are distressed by macropods stricken with lumpy jaw. The Israeli varnish’s a major breakthrough. How positive and optimistic is that.

H/t Sweetheart Vivienne xx

1 comment:

Chrows25 aka Leather Woman said...

Oh goodness me In my local paper I read about contagious Cancer in Tasmanian Devils, amazing we need to study this. Now we have to look out for lumpy jawed roos??
It is amazing how knowledge grows from bizarre happenings that actually provide bridges to knowledge.