~ The "Wild About Animals Radio Show" is the REAL stock and bond market. Texas veterinarian Dr Bruce provides and promotes horse sense not nonsense when it comes to events, policies, products, procedures and opportunities affecting animals and the people who care for them. Co-host Emmi provides questions and commentary from the heart of a passionate and compassionate animal owner.
The first of a new year brings fresh resolve, change and inspiration for something new, different and BETTER. One of the things I really like about adding years to my own personal history book is the gain in appreciation I develop for the experiences I have been blessed to enjoy. Over the years, I’ve learned there are no bad experiences…either enjoy and appreciate the experience, or learn from it and avoid repeating the experience in the future. The intent of today’s show was to share some research which evolved from the troubling experience of a dog owner who had the unfortunate experience of having her dog being bitten by a rabid animal combatant. The dog had been previously vaccinated for rabies and so with a booster and at-home observation, chances of survival would be extremely good. Problem was, the dog’s rabies vaccine was due to be boostered ten days prior to presentation. Game changer. Now the dog had to be treated as an unvaccinated dog and the owner was faced with the choice of either euthanizing the dog or paying for six months of monitored confinement. Due to economic constraints, the owner chose plan A, and the dog lost his life. I would imagine that the owner felt terrible in that not only had she had to make the decision to euthanize her dog, but she had to do it as a result of having missed her dog’s rabies BOOSTER by less than two weeks! Serious consequences for a seemingly minor oversight, but that is the protocol set forth in the rabies compendium, presently. However, Michael Moore, DVM and colleagues at the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Lab may have produced some research to change things. Dr Moore decided to investigate how the anamnestic response (the response to a booster vaccine) to a rabies vaccine post exposure differed in dogs and cats who were under a year out from their previous vaccine, and those who were weeks to months overdue for their scheduled booster prior to exposure. What he found may shake up the rabies response protocol, save more dogs and cats from euthanasia, and save pet owners from difficult and unexpected decisions.
Speaking of “shaking up”, we experience an earthquake tremor about ten minutes into the show! I’ve never experienced a tremor before, but it served as a great reminder to me to stay present, enjoy every moment and don’t worry a bit about those things out of your control. Thankfully the earth didn’t split open and I think we all recovered pretty darn quick in the studio. So a little shake, rattle and roll to kick off 2015! I’m ready! Full speed ahead! Happy New Year!
We gathered at my parents’ home for Thanksgiving Day. As we are getting things ready and snacking around, my beautiful and talented baby sister rushes to the TV and. being that we are an historically football watching family, I assumed she was turning over to one of the games. Nope! Wrong! What’s this? The National Dog Show, and we ALL completely shut down, tuned-in and made our picks for Best in Show. I was fascinated that my ultra-busy, high achieving, mother of two teenage girls, MD 40 something sister NEW that the National Dog Show was being televised at prime turkey time Thanksgiving Day. How many other people new that? How many others tuned in? And then, after football, Fox has an animal adoption special Thanksgiving night!
The place and perception of animals in our society is transforming rapidly. As animals emerge from an economic asset to an emotional asset, unique opportunities appear to provide products and services previously unimaginable. How you spend your money on your animals is up to you, at least until the government mandates health care for hamsters, and it’s important YOU be happy with YOUR choices. Opinions are so strong on care and treatment, feeding, training, just every facet of the animal world seems to be one that elicits strong emotions one way or another. I am a scientist, pragmatic and somewhat skeptical. I believe in gathering data as objectively as possible and making decisions, and recommendations, based upon my interpretations of well done research. Drugs and devices get approval or rejection, for the most part, in much the same way, but research is being challenged and augmented by evidence. While reported research can certainly be tainted and far from flawless, it is generally systematically reviewed and critiqued and accepted or rejected by a group of unemotional and critical thinkers. Evidence can be held to the same or similar standards when analyzed with respect to known physical laws and processes which allow for pragmatic critique of the evidence presented. With the plethora of avenues for dissemination of information available today, it becomes even more incumbent upon each of us to take a critical look at reports on materials and methods and use our individual judgement and education in deciding what to employ in our practices and lives.
Much of the same can be said about charitable organizations. It appears to me that the website http://www.give.org does a credible job of presenting information on non-profits in numerous fields, including animal entities. While classified as non-profit, these businesses generate millions of dollars in revenues in many cases and many pay sizable salaries to employees. In my opinion, there is nothing at all wrong with this and many, many non-profit organizations fulfill vital missions of public service and job creation and efficient resource utilization. I was amazed to find several organizations which do NOT appear to be meeting the standards of give.org, but who have names very close to organizations which ARE meting the standards for give.org, and often have a wonderful reputation of service to animal and man. Be careful. Be pragmatic. Do YOUR research. Animals elicit powerful feelings from most of us, and our feelings and thoughts are what bring about our actions and results. As animals are elevated in the thoughts, and media, of our society, there will be those who attempt to prey on emotions for economic gain without production of a valuable product. Fortunately, transparency is becoming more and more demanded by our generous society, and the information is available more and more to help you make wise decisions when it comes to charitable giving.
Blessings and peace to all this holiday season. Thanks for stopping by!
The Ebola epidemic in West Africa is certainly no laughing matter and the first cases to receive publicity outside of Africa have created a media frenzy, and a twist applicable to animal owners’ interests have emerged with dogs in Dallas and Spain being potentially exposed and raising concerns from animal owners. What if I told you that there is a disease endemic in North Texas (as well as other parts of the country and the world) , a viral disease, almost 100% fatality rate in any species, affects humans, dog bites in Asia and Africa cause tens of THOUSANDS of deaths in Asia and Africa every year, and millions more deaths are prevented each year through post exposure vaccination? The disease affects wild animals as well as domestic farm animals and is transmitted by infected animals biting or contaminating open areas or mucous membranes with saliva. Make Ebola sound a little less threatening? Our old nemesis RABIES has been amongst us and it will be interesting to see if Ebola or rabies claims more lives this year. Remember, you can protect both you and your animals by vaccinating your animals every one to three years, depending on laws and species, and the vaccine remains extremely effective in maintaining the safety of both our animal and human population. Most everyone has learned to recognize the likely rabid animal and what to do to protect one’s self and others from a threat. I have all the confidence in the world that between our modern medical technology and information dissemination technologies, Ebola will be another manageable threat to humanity that we learn to live with and overcome. Below are my notes from the show and what research has been accumulated on Ebola in animals during its tenure in Africa, Thanks for stopping by!
Dev Biol (Basel). 2013;135:211-8. doi: 10.1159/000178495. Epub 2013 May 14.
Review of Ebola virus infections in domestic animals.
Weingartl HM1, Nfon C, Kobinger G.
Ebola viruses (EBOV; genus Ebolavirus, family Filoviridae) cause often fatal, hemorrhagic fever in several species of simian primates including human. While fruit bats are considered a natural reservoir, the involvement of other species in the EBOV transmission cycle is unclear, especially for domesticated animals. Dogs and pigs are so far the only domestic animals identified as species that can be infected with EBOV. In 2009 Reston-EBOV was the first EBOV reported to infect swine with indicated transmission to humans; and a survey in Gabon found over 30% seroprevalence for EBOV in dogs during the Ebola outbreak in 2001-2002. While infections in dogs appear to be asymptomatic, pigs experimentally infected with EBOV can develop clinical disease, depending on the virus species and possibly the age of the infected animals. In the experimental settings, pigs can transmit Zaire-Ebola virus to naive pigs and macaques; however, their role during Ebola outbreaks in Africa needs to be clarified. Attempts at virus and antibody detection require as a prerequisite validation of viral RNA and antibody detection methods especially for pigs, as well as the development of a sampling strategy. Significant issues about disease development remain to be resolved for EBOV. Evaluation of current human vaccine candidates or development of veterinary vaccines de novo for EBOV might need to be considered, especially if pigs or dogs are implicated in the transmission of an African species of EBOV to humans
Emerg Health Threats J. 2012;5. doi: 10.3402/ehtj.v5i0.9134. Epub 2012 Apr 30.
Dead or alive: animal sampling during Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreaks in humans.
Olson SH1, Reed P, Cameron KN, Ssebide BJ, Johnson CK, Morse SS, Karesh WB, Mazet JA, Joly DO.
There are currently no widely accepted animal surveillance guidelines for human Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) outbreak investigations to identify potential sources of Ebolavirus (EBOV) spillover into humans and other animals. Animal field surveillance during and following an outbreak has several purposes, from helping identify the specific animal source of a human case to guiding control activities by describing the spatial and temporal distribution of wild circulating EBOV, informing public health efforts, and contributing to broader EHF research questions. Since 1976, researchers have sampled over 10,000 individual vertebrates from areas associated with human EHF outbreaks and tested for EBOV or antibodies. Using field surveillance data associated with EHF outbreaks, this review provides guidance on animal sampling for resource-limited outbreak situations, target species, and in some cases which diagnostics should be prioritized to rapidly assess the presence of EBOV in animal reservoirs. In brief, EBOV detection was 32.7% (18/55) for carcasses (animals found dead) and 0.2% (13/5309) for live captured animals. Our review indicates that for the purposes of identifying potential sources of transmission from animals to humans and isolating suspected virus in an animal in outbreak situations, (1) surveillance of free-ranging non-human primate mortality and morbidity should be a priority, (2) any wildlife morbidity or mortality events should be investigated and may hold the most promise for locating virus or viral genome sequences, (3) surveillance of some bat species is worthwhile to isolate and detect evidence of exposure, and (4) morbidity, mortality, and serology studies of domestic animals should prioritize dogs and pigs and include testing for virus and previous exposure.
Domestic animal sampling
Efforts targeting domestic animals (cow, goat, sheep, pig, and dog) represented 0.9% (114/13,404) of all samples in the collection (Appendix C). With the exception of one goat carcass, all were live samples, and all samples tested negative for EBOV (Appendix A, B, and C). Only dog samples were tested for EBOV antibody, which was detected at 26.3% (21/80) prevalence. Conversely, the overall antibody detection prevalence was 2.0% (159/7,960) for wild species (Appendix A). The 80 dog (Canis lupus familiaris) samples were collected during two sampling efforts associated with human outbreaks in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 1979–1980 and Gabon 2001–2002 (Appendix A). The 12 pig (Sus scrofa) samples tested were collected during the DRC Yambuku 1976 and DRC Kikwit 1995 human outbreaks (Appendix B).
Non-human primate susceptibility to EBOV was evident in the scientific literature. EBOV belongs to the same virus family as Marburgvirus, and a Marburg hemorrhagic fever outbreak had been linked to green monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops) 9 years prior to the first recognized EHF outbreak in Yambuku, DRC (22). However, it was not until the early nineties that evidence again hinted that non-human primates provided a transmission link between the sylvatic cycle of the virus and human outbreaks. Late in 1989 outbreaks of REBOV, at that time a new strain of EBOV, occurred in non-human primate quarantine centers in the United States, putatively killing monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) imported from the Philippines and causing seroconversion but no disease in humans who handled the monkeys (23–25). In November 1994 a natural outbreak of EHF occurred in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) in Taï National Park, Côte d’Ivoire, and a researcher who necropsied an ape carcass became infected with another new subtype of EBOV, Côte d’Ivoire ebolavirus (CIEBOV) (26). Around that same time in Gabon a set of three human EHF outbreaks began that coincided with deaths of non-human primates. The index human cases of the last outbreak in Gabon, in the spring of 1996, had a history of butchering chimpanzees. A chimpanzee carcass found near the hunting grounds of an index case tested positive for EBOV by an immunohistochemical skin biopsy (27).
Many dog owners feel like their pets are like their children — and your brain seems to think so, too. In a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital investigated differences in brain activity when women volunteers viewed pictures of their dogs, their children, and unfamiliar dogs and children. What they found suggests that the bond between human and pup tugs at some of the same heartstrings — or rather, brainstrings — as the bond between mother and child.
The MGH team analyzed functional MRI data for 14 women, each with at least one child between two and 10 years old and a pet dog that had been owned for at least two years. In the course of the experiment, the women were shown a series of photographs: of their child, of their dog, and of unfamiliar dogs and children. The MRI machine paints a portrait of the participants’ brain activity while viewing the images, by detecting changes in blood flow and oxygen levels in different brain structures.
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The MRI data showed “substantial overlap in brain activation patterns in regions involved in reward, emotion, and affiliation elicited by images of both a mother’s own child and dog,” the authors wrote. But there were some key differences: Photos of a woman’s own child elicited a response in a brain region called the substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area, linked to bond formation; photographs of a beloved dog did not provoke a response there. But pictures of a woman’s own dog sparked greater activity in the fusiform gyrus, a brain structure involved in facial recognition, than even pictures of a person’s own child. The researchers think this might stem from the fact that with dogs, people rely much more on visual cues than the verbal communication they have with children.
“These results demonstrate that the mother-child and mother-dog bond share aspects of emotional experience and patterns of brain function, but there are also brain-behavior differences that may reflect the distinct evolutionary underpinning of these relationships,” the authors wrote.
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So, basically: Your brain’s bond with your dog is somewhat similar to your bond with your child, but not exactly the same.
Other scientists have explored the human-dog relationship from the canine point of view. Neurobiologists in Budapest used brain scanners to investigate how dogs detect emotions in both human and dog vocalizations (training the canines to get in the MRI scanner and hold still was a job in and of itself); they discovered that there are, indeed dog brain regions that light up preferentially when hearing human or dog emotional cues. And a group of veterinary scientists from Viennafound that dogs, like young children, are much more eager to explore new environments with their caregiver around — something that in child psychology is called the “secure base effect.”
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The MGH team notes that their latest study is just a small sample; it remains to be seen if the same brain activity patterns they saw in this group of dog owners would show up in women without children, women with adopted children, men, or in cat owners — although in this last case, the scientific literature suggests that affection might be a one-way street.
Table: Categories of contact and recommended post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
Categories of contact with suspect rabid animal Post-exposure prophylaxis measures
Category I – touching or feeding animals, licks on intact skin None
Category II – nibbling of uncovered skin, minor scratches or abrasions without bleeding Immediate vaccination and local treatment of the wound
Category III – single or multiple transdermal bites or scratches, licks on broken skin; contamination of mucous membrane with saliva from licks, contacts with bats. Immediate vaccination and administration of rabies immunoglobulin; local treatment of the wound
All category II and III exposures assessed as carrying a risk of developing rabies require PEP. This risk is increased if:
• the biting mammal is a known rabies reservoir or vector species;
• the animal looks sick or has an abnormal behaviour;
• a wound or mucous membrane was contaminated by the animal’s saliva;
• the bite was unprovoked; and
• the animal has not been vaccinated.
In developing countries, the vaccination status of the suspected animal alone should not be considered when deciding whether to initiate prophylaxis or not.
Local treatment of the wound
Removing the rabies virus at the site of the infection by chemical or physical means is an effective means of protection. Therefore, prompt local treatment of all bite wounds and scratches that may be contaminated with rabies virus is important. Recommended first-aid procedures include immediate and thorough flushing and washing of the wound for a minimum of 15 minutes with soap and water, detergent, povidone iodine or other substances that kill the rabies virus.
No tests are available to diagnose rabies infection in humans before the onset of clinical disease, and unless the rabies-specific signs of hydrophobia or aerophobia are present, the clinical diagnosis may be difficult. Human rabies can be confirmedintra-vitam and post mortem by various diagnostic techniques aimed at detecting whole virus, viral antigens or nucleic acids in infected tissues (brain, skin, urine or saliva).
People are usually infected following a deep bite or scratch by an infected animal. Dogs are the main host and transmitter of rabies. They are the source of infection in all human rabies deaths annually in Asia and Africa.
Bats are the source of most human rabies deaths in the Americas. Bat rabies has also recently emerged as a public health threat in Australia and western Europe. Human deaths following exposure to foxes, raccoons, skunks, jackals, mongooses and other wild carnivore host species are very rare.
Transmission can also occur when infectious material – usually saliva – comes into direct contact with human mucosa or fresh skin wounds. Human-to-human transmission by bite is theoretically possible but has never been confirmed.
Rarely, rabies may be contracted by inhalation of virus-containing aerosol or via transplantation of an infected organ. Ingestion of raw meat or other tissues from animals infected with rabies is not a source of human infection.
• Rabies is a vaccine-preventable viral disease which occurs in more than 150 countries and territories.
• Infection causes tens of thousands of deaths every year, mostly in Asia and Africa.
• 40% of people who are bitten by suspect rabid animals are children under 15 years of age.
• Dogs are the source of the vast majority of human rabies deaths.
• Immediate wound cleansing and immunization within a few hours after contact with a suspect rabid animal can prevent the onset of rabies and death.
• Every year, more than 15 million people worldwide receive a post-exposure vaccination to prevent the disease – this is estimated to prevent hundreds of thousands of rabies deaths annually
situation in Liberia is scary, and might be spiralling out of control.
Ebola cases in West Africa
The total number of cases is rising at an exponential rate. As of 14 September, the doubling time is 16 days in Guinea, 24 days in Liberia and 30 days in Sierra Leone .
Ebola cases in West Africa (Data: WHO / Chart CC BY 4.0: JV Chamary / Source: http://onforb.es/1sCVxE1)
In epidemiology, the speed at which an infectious agent spreads is measured by its reproductive number, ‘R’ – the average number of new cases created by infectious individuals exposed to a susceptible population. When R is greater than 1, the chain of transmission is sustained as each primary case produces at least one secondary case.
At the start of an outbreak, the rate is called ‘R0′ (the basic reproductive number). R0 indicates whether or not a contagious disease has the potential to become an epidemic. Populations can evolve natural immunity or gain artificial protection through health interventions like vaccination, reducing the proportion of susceptible people, so the reproductive number for later periods of time is ‘Rt’.
R0 was 1.7 to 2 during the initial period of exponential growth in West Africa, while the current Rt is 1.4-1.8 . (Calculations by the WHO Ebola Response Team are roughly in line with estimates by other researchers.) R = 2 doesn’t sound high until you hear that the deadliest pandemic in recorded history, the 1918 Spanish flu, killed up to 100 million people even though the influenza virus had an R of 2.
If public health authorities can lower the reproductive number of Ebola below the critical value of 1, the current epidemic will eventually fizzle-out.
Veterinarians aren’t in the profession for the money
While veterinary medicine offers many advanced diagnostics and treatments, those benefits do carry a cost that can surprise some owners. But veterinarians aren’t in it for the money. According to the AVMA and data from the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, a typical veterinary school graduate faces over $140,000 in student loan debt on an annual starting salary of $45,575. “It’s a touchy topic,” said veterinarian Sandy Helpling, “because as veterinarians we are put in the category that we love animals so much that we should do everything for free, which I would love to do. But unfortunately, we’re a business, and we have to be able to afford the business.”
And in other news, I believe the late Joan Rivers left $1.5 MILLION in her will to provide for the care of her dogs.
The economics of animals and animal care may be as interesting and diverse of a topic as there is to cover. I began my college career in the Texas A&M College of Engineering and worked three summers and several holidays for an oil and gas company as a student engineer. I really enjoyed taking a plant or a pipeline and using my education to optimize the unit’s performance, often with just a few simple changes, which would result in win win win situations. The company, and therefore the stockholders, made a profit (and I justified my salary), field personnel had jobs and meaningful work, and their safety and well-being were ALWAYS maintained or improved, land owners got royalties for right of ways, and consumers continued to get a product at a price dictated by a supply and demand marketplace. If the project was economically feasible, it proceeded, if not, back to the drawing board.
Food animal veterinary medicine appeared to be the same to me and was one of the attractive parts of this discipline. Large food animal production enterprises calculate their input costs and use price predictions to know the value veterinary input can add to their productivity, and the limit they can spend on a single animal unit to maintain profitability. Veterinarians are used as consultants and diagnostician and the strategies and treatments instituted by technicians and cowboys who don’t have near the time or money invested in education and thus can be paid on a lower pay scale. On the other hand, the hobby farmer or remaining small-sized producer often only uses a vet for emergency or sick animal care and is faced with a one time expense which these days may exceed the value of the animal. So the cycle begins. Either the producer takes his lumps until the time and effort and expense of the operation is no longer economically feasible, and the vet loses an income source, or the vet attempts to deliver services at prices beneficial to the producer and eventually realizes the efforts and expense of his operation is no longer economically feasible and turns to another species or changes occupations altogether in order to make ends meet economically. This is likely the reason we are facing a rural veterinary shortage in many areas of the country, and now government incentives are being offered for new graduates to go into these “underserved” areas for the first few years of their careers to care for these owners and animals. So, there is one of the conundrums. Should the government be expending resources to entice veterinarians into areas where demand for services still exist, but not to the extent to justify entrepreneurial efforts, or should the government leave well enough alone and let market demand dictate veterinary supply, OR should we be educating the small producer as to how early and often veterinary intervention can help him in operating a profitable and productive enterprise? I believe the latter to be the solution and we in the veterinary profession, especially in the realms of organized veterinary medicine, need to be emphasizing the VALUE veterinary service can add to animal enterprises. One of my favorite sayings, ” When you take more interest in your level of contribution than your level of compensation, the level of compensation tends to take care of itself” is so applicable in this, and many. many other similar situations.
Then comes the issue of companion animals. Here is an interesting excerpt from Entrepreneur Online :
Pets at work: A business strategy that pays off
Studies have shown that pets at work benefit the bottom line, and companies are responding with 2 in 10 inviting furry friends to the office. People at work who have exposure to pets tend to be less stressed and more trusting of each other and have deeper team bonds. Such benefits can mean better productivity and lower costs. Pet-friendly businesses should be sure to set behavior parameters, provide treats, space and time for dealing with waste and have a pet-free area for those allergic to or uncomfortable around pets. Entrepreneur online (10/2)
So what is the value attached to a companion? What an individualized answer! I’m sure there are many who would love to have the means of Joan Rivers to set aside and expend millions of dollars on their pets. How much of a motivating force do you think being able to provide for her animals was to her as she continued to work into her eighties? I would think a huge priority, and I think that is what it all gets down to. We each have our own values and priorities, an unalienable right granted to each of us. What I believe, what I am willing to spend, and what I choose to charge for my services are my choices, as are yours. Many businesses proudly announce they put people (and in the case of veterinary businesses, pets) before profits, but without profitability, the business, and more importantly the “WHY” of that business will fail and be lost in a free market society. Banks, insurance companies, suppliers and even employees don’t grant passage to the most caring and well intended veterinarian or animal caregiver who can’t pay his bills, and eventually, the talents, passion, philosophy, and productivity of the individual is lost, even if he chooses to pursue a job in the same area of practice (or any other business), simply because the individuality expressed in each business is so unique. I find it ironic how some of the most iconic businesses in the world, Apple, Starbucks, Walmart, are enormously profitable, move and hoard billions of dollars overseas, and are revered and rarely is their product pricing questioned or challenged, yet vets and animal caregivers face economic challenges often brought about by the person playing on his iPad while drinking a Starbucks who can’t pay his bill because he just spent $200 more at Walmart on stuff he bought after just going in to get some shaving cream! Ahhh… priorities and values. Thanks for stopping by!
So you think you might want to find a job working with animals? Maybe even “grow-up” to work in a zoo, or train dogs, or be a veterinarian?? Today’s show highlights a few entrepreneurial avenues which blended an interest in one industry with an interest in animals to create some really unique products and businesses. The Wild About Animals Radio Show has as one of its missions to inform you about people, products, procedures and events which I have personal experience with directly or through the guest host, but I also hope to inspire you to get “WILD” about creating your own life and economy. I have no experience with and this is not an endorsement of the businesses or products, but there were some new ventures which I would NEVER imagine creating, yet someone did, and they are great ideas which show how passion and thought and seeing a need and meeting it can create a business in the animal industry.
Wanna buy some pre-wash, pre-worn distressed looking jeans? Check out what Zoo Jeans is doing (actually talked about them on 15 July show)! This Japanese firm is using lions and tigers and other big cats in exhibits to distress their denim! The company then apparently donates back part of their sales to the zoo or exhibit, and to the World Wildlife Federation. Would you prefer a house with a mud room for your dog? Maybe an automatic feeder? Builders are now incorporating accommodations for pets into new homes to meet the needs of four legged family members and their owners. Trouble getting that puurrrfect pet pose for Facebook or Instagram? Bark & Co has an app to help you get your dog’s attention to the camera an instant before the shutter opens! Think the attention to dieting and nutrition are limited to targeting the 60-75% of overweight or obese humans? American pet owners spent over $26,000,000,000 ($26 Billion) on pet food with 40 % of that going towards gourmet or specialized dietary items INCLUDING breakfast items, appetizers, and weight loss formulas. With roughly an estimated 140,000,000 dogs and cats, that’s $180/ year/ pet on food, roughly $0.50 per day. Let’s say the sum total AVERAGE of the weight of all domestic dogs and cats is 20 pounds (this is my guesstimate, more cats than dogs in US, cats average 10 pounds, and I imagine the trend is toward smaller rather than larger dogs, but this is just for arguments sake) and an average daily intake of 2% body weight, 0.4 pounds or 6.4 ozs, that’s about $1.25 per pound AVERAGE pet food price people are currently paying. With corn costing $0.10 per pound wholesale and , and beef at roughly $3 per pound wholesale, it would appear the trend is toward higher priced and higher perceived value pet food, and one can only imagine that as the value of pets in families increases, so will the willingness to pay for optimum nutrition and meal experiences. Put that in your abacus and double check me on all of that!! Point being, whether your interest is nutrition, fashion or technology, the opportunity to create YOUR niche in an animal industry is as wide open today as EVER!! You can check out the links to these stories below.
But while you’re running around creating products and services for animals and their owners, DON”T LEAVE YOUR PET IN A HOT CAR OR OTHER AREA WHERE THEY CAN OVERHEAT!! Here are my notes on what to look for with heatstroke and why you need to follow up with your vet should this be a concern.
Heat stroke – Predispositions – Black dogs, short snouted dogs, heavy weights, esp heavy muscled
a. Signs – Excessive panting, red tongue, pail gums, disoriented, stiff, hot to touch
b. What is going on and what could get going on – DIC – Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation
c. Complicated medical problems can ensue as circulation is altered, cells/ tissues are damaged
d. Emergency treatment – Immediate cooling- ice water baths and fans and can progress to ice bath submersion but probably need to be getting to vet once initial cooling accomplished
e. Foot pad cooling – prob not much good in advanced dz due to vasoconstriction.
f. Clotting problems, internal organ problems
g. Follow up for at least a week
Most media will try to convince you what a mess our world and country are today. While I certainly don’t agree with all that is going on in the political environment, we are living in AMAZING AND WILD TIMES!! Gather yourself up and take a step on the journey of a lifetime, and realize, that regardless of where you live or what your area of expertise, you can make a difference in an animal’s life and they can make a difference in YOU! Thanks for stopping by!
Home builder offers pet-specific amenities
In developments from California to Florida, Standard Pacific Homes offers pet owners amenities such as step-in wash stations, automated feeders and toy cabinets for dogs and cats. According to the American Pet Products Association, 68% of Americans have pets, and the market for pet services and goods is worth $55 billion. The Arizona Republic (Phoenix) (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (7/16 http://r.smartbrief.com/resp/fUxgCozYBdCHtPhKCidzanCicNNHLa?format=standard
Gourmet trends driving pet food boom
U.S. pet food sales topped $26 billion in 2013, and 40% of that went to premium products, according to Packaged Facts. Other trends in pet food include growing interest in therapeutic foods spurred by issues including pet obesity. Also on the menu are “breakfast” and “appetizer” foods, in demand from owners, who largely see pets as family members. PhysOrg.com (7/21)
BY KARISSA BELLJUL 16, 2014
Taking the perfect dog portrait is harder than you think.
For starters, getting your pooch to look at the camera long enough to get an Instagram-worthy shot can be nearly impossible, particularly if you have an extra rambunctious pup. But pet-centric startup Bark&Co has a new app to help dog lovers in their quest for the perfect canine portrait.
BarkCam is a photo-sharing app that is like a dog version of Instagram.
Dogs in Texas have Chagas disease parasite, study finds
Veterinarian Sarah Hamer and colleagues at Texas A&M University found that 9% of dogs tested in the state carried the Chagas disease parasite. Transmission from dogs to humans is unlikely because the disease can be spread only indirectly, through kissing bugs that must bite the dogs in early stages of the infection. The disease is more common in Latin America, and most people in the U.S. who have the illness likely contracted it in other countries http://vetmed.tamu.edu/faculty/hamer-lab/projects/chagas-disease-eco-epidemiology
A Japanese jeans maker has found a new way of capitalising on zoo animals. Zoo Jeansare producing jeans “designed by dangerous animals”. Denim is wrapped around tyres, which are then thrown to the lions who enjoy ripping and biting at the material. This produces that all-important designer, distressed look.
Rather than simply being a marketing gimic, there is actually value in this from an animal welfare perspective. Involving lions and the zoo’s other large carnivores in the activity is part of what’s called environmental enrichment. This is the provision of stimuli to help improve well-being. It’s a win-win activity for many zoos, who can make alternative profits from their animals, which tend to be used to provide extra facilities for them
Independence, animals, and steroids…and amber waves of grain. The Fourth of July has become one of my favorite holidays for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the unbelievable fireworks show that goes on in my neighborhood, usually until 11 o’clock that night, and I’m talking the good stuff, too! The downside to all the shock and awe is the distress it causes for the ponies and pooches in the neighborhood, and the people that own them. I put my horses in the barn, and would turn on a radio if I had one in there. The dogs go hide and then socialize a bit once they realize it is benign noise and lights. Dr Bonnie Beaver gives some great tips for owners who have small animals that panic with uncommon noises and excitements. You can hear her short podcast as well as others at http://www.avmamedia.org. Do you find it interesting that the noises of the fireworks frighten and excite animals, yet they don’t know what a gun is, or what a bomb is, and their behavior suggests fear? Perhaps, at least in the case of dogs, the noise is painful? Where does the threat to the horse come from? onward…
As much as I enjoy the revelry around the Fourth, it is what the day represents that I become more respectful of each year. Independence, the fight of a nation for it in 1776, the fight of each person for it on a daily basis. This is why I brought up the NY City carriage horse issue earlier this year, and the Tennessee Walking Horse Soring Act issue, which is hot and heavy in Congress currently. Volatile issues in the horse and animal world, and while I do not condone nor support in any way, shape or form abusive actions towards horses or any other animal, I believe when we allow the government to dictate how an owner treats his animal or what he can do with his animal, our struggle for independence worsens. Now, when what an individual does with his/ her animal threatens or even potentially threatens the rights, safety or independence of another person, different issue. Protecting the public’ safety, our food supply, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the common good…a government’s calling. Were you to see a carriage horse with sores on it or limping through the streets, or skin and bones, would you even consider employing it’s driver for a tour? Of course not! It is in the industry’s best interest to present the public, the market, with a desirable product of high quality and be paid a fair price to do so. Would you go watch a horse show, or consider purchasing a horse, who travels with a bastardized gait accentuated by pain and abusive tactics? I hope not, but there is a segment of the population who does derive pleasure from this. That is their choice, their freedom, their independence. If they sway enough people to also enjoy their abuses, their industry will survive ( poor horses!). If other horseman and educators inform the public of the abusive nature of the few bad apples, show them a humane alternative, quit supporting the bad apples, the industry will either collapse, or adapt for its own survival. As I stated, soring or any other abusive behavior has no place in the animal world, in my opinion; however, the act of doing so provides no threat to the general public, and if the public is informed and educated that this is not a necessity to win, enjoy a horse, or make money with a horse, it will stop. If the public/ market adopts the philosophy,”If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”, we have much deeper problems as a civilized society, culture and nation.
Wanna hear my take on steroids? ha ha!! Actually, the podcast today discusses the differences between anabolic steroids and corticosteroids. As you will hear, corticosteroids are a vital treatment modality along with baths, antibiotics, and more in the fight against skin diseases in animals. These are NOT the steroids the government oversees and has had such negative publicity in sports. Anabolic steroids are the muscle building, aggression causing steroid under such scrutiny in sports and the general public. Why the difference? While I wish you a long and productive life here on Earth, what you choose to do with your body is your business, your independence, until it alters your behavior to the point that it threatens the health and well being of me, or your family, or my family, and that is why anabolics are so closely regulated, and should be. Anabolics have therapeutic value when used judiciously in animals and humans. However, they can also create uncivilized behaviors which can greatly endanger the independence of others when misused or abused. The same can be said about alcohol, narcotics, even automobiles and firearms. In horse racing, and for that matter most human sports, anabolics have the capacity to create an unfair advantage to the user(s) and thus unknowingly affect the sports wagering business. Once again, the concern is not necessarily for the adverse affects of the drug on the user, but the affect on others’ ability to make choices and participate with some degree of confidence in the fairness of competition. Fairness, civility and the protection of independence … simple principles an ethical government can administer.
So you see, our individual independence is largely about choices and consequences. As rulers remove choices, be it on your health care or your animals’ health care, your individual independence is stripped away, little by little. You begin to live with the consequences of the choices of others, rather than the consequences or results of your own choices. Independence Day. Every day, in America, provided I respect your right to independence, you respect my right to independence, and all of us respect the sacrifices made over the past 238 years by those who have fought for the independence of the United States of America. Namaste. God Bless America. Thanks for stopping by!
nt] Show IPA
not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion,conduct, etc.; thinking or acting for oneself: an independentthinker.
not subject to another’s authority or jurisdiction; autonomous;free: an independent businessman.
not influenced by the thought or action of others: independent research.
not dependent; not depending or contingent upon something else for existence, operation, etc.
not relying on another or others for aid or support.
rejecting others’ aid or support; refusing to be under obligation to others.
possessing a competency: to be financially independent.
sufficient to support a person without his having to work: an independent income.
My long time friend Ashley Richardson of McKinney, TX joined me today for what I thought was to be the grand opening day of her DREAM, Castle Creek Pet Resort and Spa. Ashley comes from a family of entrepreneurs and has overcome HUGE hurdles put in place by local government to make her dream a reality, so another month delay is nothing to get this girl down! Her parents operate a very successful pipe and steel company and her brother races Nationwide Series cars and Ashley has developed her passion for dogs (AND she loves her dressage horses, too) into a very successful dog grooming business. Sassy Paws Pet Salon (www.sassypawspetsalon.com) is imaginative and innovative in its approach to meeting the grooming needs of the animal while adding the WILD SIDE of the groomer and owner team through creative clips and colorful “additions” to suit the personalities of both the dog and the owner. During our talk, she gives some great tips on frequency of grooming, whether to shear heavy coated dogs for summer, flea and tick control and heat stroke prevention, as well as talking about how and why she has turned her passion into a very successful business venture. Check out her website and schedule an appointment, and book your pet a stay at the Castle Creek Pet Resort and Spa in McKinney, TX once it opens in a few more weeks!
I follow Ashley on Facebook (you should too! Her pics of her grooming art always brighten my day!) and was very interested to see her post her displeasure with the sport of horse racing after the Kentucky Derby. I really appreciate her concern for the welfare of the horses, and recognize it is a common view shared by many, and a big reason for my doing the show and blog and podcast and all that this involves. Her displeasure arises from the perception that young horses are pushed beyond their limits for the purpose of making money for people, leading to the eventual breakdown and euthanasia of the horse. You can read my comments to her post on her FB page (i will figure out at some time how to link to it or post on the WAARS FB page!), but her concern generated several questions and views which, regardless of how you feel, I ask you to consider in forming your opinion and assessment of horse racing and animal sports in general.
Here is the question I ask in today’s show, ” In the unfortunate event of a horse suffering an irreparable lower leg fracture during a race, would you rather see the horse euthanized immediately, or would you rather see the horse transported, undergo an amputation and later be fitted with a prosthesis, allowing it an opportunity at life, though maybe not an entirely “normal” life?” Would it matter to you if the horse stood at stud (male) or entered a broodmare band (female) to reproduce and potentially generate revenue for the owner, and for the care of the horse? Oh, by the way, amputations and prosthetics for horses are successfully performed in some instances now, though the success rate is certainly not 100%.
I look forward to reading your comments and opinions. I will write a little more as feedback comes through, and remember, there is no right or wrong answer. We all have our own set of beliefs and I hope the discussion can lead all of us to a better understanding of each of us! Have a WILD week!! Thanks for stopping by!