Weekly Posting of the Conservative Cow Doctor


A Rabid Look at Progressivism

If you are infected with the rabies virus to the point of showing clinical signs, you will die. (Sometimes certainty is not reassuring.) Fortunately, rabies also has a unique incubation period of up to a year, so we are able to vaccinate ourselves after exposure, but ignoring the immunization protocol has fatal consequences. For example, a 24-year-old American soldier was bitten by a dog in Afghanistan in January. He did nothing. Upon returning to Fort Drum, NY, in August he began showing clinical signs and he died in May. Apparently, he never considered the significance of a dog bite in a country where rabies is endemic.

Every year several counties across America are placed under rabies quarantine, so the virus is here too. By keeping our dog and cat populations immunized, we lessen the threat, so human rabies is rare. However, more dangerous than the known bite is the exposure to a rabies case where you never considered the disease a possibility. Let me explain the difference.

Being attacked by a skunk in the middle of the day suggests the critter has rabies. (The lab needs intact brain tissue, so do not euthanize the skunk with a 180 grain, hollow-point, between the eyes.) Examining the mouth of a cow bellowing and wandering aimlessly in the pasture, or the horse staring blindly and salivating are the did-not-think-of-rabies cases which will kill you. To be safe, any animal acting odd is considered a possible rabies threat until proven otherwise. Here is how testing looks in real life:

When dealing with very small rabies suspects, such as bats, we typically submit the entire animal to the state diagnostic lab and let the pathologists collect the desired tissues. Such was the case several years back when a client used a broom to snuff a bat in their house and asked us to check it for rabies. They placed the winged perpetrator in a small brown paper sack and handed it to Dr. Moylan. He placed it in a shipping container with an ice pack, filled out the lab forms, and sent it to Bozeman. The following day, the lab personnel read the lab request, opened the brown paper sack, and the very much alive and ticked-off bat zoomed out and clung to a ceiling light fixture. With the diagnostic lab staff armed with mops, they eventually subdued the bat and it was tested as negative for rabies. The pathologist mailed us a nasty-gram stressing the importance of being certain dead animals are truly dead prior to shipment. His logic was flawless. Now I will use this rabies incident to make my political point.

On April 26th, the Department of Labor rescinded their effort to impose new strict regulations regarding child labor on family owned farms and ranches. Opponents hailed their victorious decision and went back to work. Unfortunately, this issue is like a brown paper bag containing a bat; do not think for a moment this subject is dead. The progressive goal to shape the subjects of our welfare state is still alive and free-thinking independence is completely intolerable to advocates for bigger government. They will be back.

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