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Author Topic: If your dinning on Beaver or Muskrat ~ Read This First  (Read 436 times)

Offline Trapper John

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If your dinning on Beaver or Muskrat ~ Read This First
« on: November 10, 2018, 03:27:25 PM »

I had this in one of my issues of THE FUR SHED a few years back.
For you new trappers and others, if you are planning on eating Muskrat or Beaver "Read This First"
Our Animal Veterinary Professor from Pulman University wrote this article for us.


Tularemia, which is also called rabbit fever or deer fly fever.

Tularemia is also an important disease that affects humans, especially trappers and rabbit hunters.  Tularemia is a bacterial disease (Francisella tularensis) that has been reported from numerous mammals and birds, and even some amphibians and invertebrates.  However, it is primarily a disease of rodents and rabbits, which usually die when infected.

The bacteria is a highly infectious organism that can infect animals and humans in many different ways, such as direct contact with infected tissues (skinning muskrats without gloves), bites  from ticks and flies, ingestion of contaminated water or meat, or inhalation of the organism.

The usual way trappers become infected is though cuts or scratches on your hand, resulting in an open sore that does not heal.  Tularemia is of the cause of large scale die-offs of muskrats, beavers and other rodents on lakes, ponds and river systems.   There is known method of control in wildlife.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN MUSKRATS AND BEAVER
Several animals dying from unknown causes.   This disease if often responsible for reduction or loss of muskrats and beavers from specific marshes or waterways.    In the dead animal, white, dead spots  are often seen on the liver, which  is the characteristic lesion after death.

In humans, tularemia is often called the great masquerader disease because it resembles many other diseases that cause flu-like symptoms.  Symptoms usually occur about 3 to 5 days after exposure with very rapid onset.  Symptoms include fever and chills, severe headache, weakness, muscle and joint pains, vomiting, and swollen lymph nodes.  You will probably think you are dying, but the strain of tularemia acquired from muskrats or beavers is usually not fatal.  If you are trapping muskrats or beaver and rapidly develop the symptoms I described, tularemia could be the cause.

ADVICE – See your doctor immediately and tell the doctor that you are a trapper and believe you may have acquired tularemia and that streptomycin or gentamycin are the most effective antibiotics against this disease.  Many doctors are unfamiliar with or know nothing about tularemia and other wildlife related diseases, so it will be up to you to help with the diagnosis.  Without treatment, illness can last for many weeks, and could potentially be fatal.

NOTE; In 1978 I acquired tularemia from skinning a dead muskrat that I found on my trapline. Initially one of my cuts in my hands began to fester.  A few days later, I went to work feeling perfectly healthy and by 10am, I was affected by a severe headache, chills, fever, and severe weakness.    I remembered the dead muskrat exposure and immediately thought of tularemia.

Offline Norman89

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Re: If your dinning on Beaver or Muskrat ~ Read This First
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2018, 04:00:08 PM »
Good post johnthis is whyy dad taught me always before you choose to eat a wild animal check the liver! Should be clear and a solid liver color if you see any discoloration it's not worth the risk. Eating a unhealthy animal creates unhealthy human! But if it is a healthy animal Beaver is fantastic table fair. Still haven't brought myself to try muskrat yet maybe this year...

Offline HighlandLofts

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Re: If your dinning on Beaver or Muskrat ~ Read This First
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2018, 06:16:26 PM »
Back when I use to trap muskrat I had coon dogs. I would boil the muskrats up for the dogs. They actually smelled good. The dogs loved them.
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Offline lewy

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Re: If your dinning on Beaver or Muskrat ~ Read This First
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2018, 06:26:42 PM »
Thanks John
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Offline Norman89

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Re: If your dinning on Beaver or Muskrat ~ Read This First
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2018, 07:23:39 PM »
My neighbors dogs get a lot of Beaver fleshings they go crazy for that stuff. Last night I was grilling up some Beaver back straps and the neighbor peeked over the fence and asked what smelled so good I just had to laugh. I told him and he kinda shrugged a little and walked back in the house and said over his shoulder "well at least it smells good"

 

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