Health

Ebola, Aids, and Pets

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Keeping in mind that there are a few variants of each, the major epidemiological difference between Ebola and AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Disorder) is this: Ebola is extremely contagious, and easily transmitted via contact with secretions and excretions in the eyes, nose, mouth, and other exits from the body. AIDS (including HIV in humans) is not so easily spread via the first two or three of these...

Snakebite

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 Our two dogs were “assisting” me pick grapes by nudging and shining clusters with their moist noses, as if to show me where the ripe ones were. Suddenly Felicia bared her teeth and was off like a bolt of lightning, Justice in hot pursuit of whatever she was after—another dang rabbit, I presumed. But almost simultaneously, several things blurred together: Felicia spun in her tracks about 60 feet away, having apparently overrun her prey; a buzz sounded, she lunged, and I yelled, “No!” as loudly as I could. Rattlesnake!...

Giardia and Suggestions for Treatment

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 Giardia is a single-cell organism in what we used to call “the animal kingdom” because early classification systems distinguished animals from plants by the ability of the former to move from place to place “of their own free will.” The Giardia cell does this by whipping its appendages, like a shark’s tail, or a sperm cell. This flagellant action propels it through much of the dog’s (or human’s) digestive system...

Hot Spots and Mange — Not Always Easy to Diagnose or Treat

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It seems that no matter why a dog is brought in, many quick-draw vets immediately fire their salvos of antibiotics and/or steroids. Most (or at least a great part) of the time, these are the wrong or ineffective approaches, but it’s a natural reaction, like smashing a snake even though the odds may be 50-to-one that it’s not a poisonous one. In my experience, simple cleaning does more than this automatic application of topical antibiotics or shots. If it is mange, keeping it dry and applying the right stuff is a better route. Even if it is not mange, the treatments used for demodex...

Utility and Reliability: PennHIP vs. SV and OFA Hip-Extended Views

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I have written longer explanations of the dysplasia problems and these can be found on Internet sites, as well as a comprehensive look in my large book on canine orthopedic problems (you can do an Internet search for my name and address if you want to order one). The purpose of this current paper is to give a shorter introduction and to encourage you readers, buyers, and breeders to use the better tools available. This will give you much better chances of avoiding hip dysplasia in the pups you buy or sell.

Hip Registries in North America and Elsewhere

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This article is a consolidation and slightly updated version of two or three that have appeared in the canine press over the past decade or so, because a couple of things have changed during that time. It concerns the more well-known hip registries operating principally in the U.S. and Canada. Revising and combining this way should give you a better “meal” at one sitting. I hope to not only bring you up to date on methods and organization, but also stress again the importance that an open registry would be to progress in reducing incidence of HD in the better strains or breeding lines.

Type and Style Variability in the German Shepherd

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I have written in a few publications before, on the topic of genetic diversity, linebreeding, and health, and am now living up to my promise to the club leadership to supply another article on the related topic of phenotype variability as it relates to genotype. That is, “What you see is a clue to what you got.” (“Got” here means “obtained,” not just the teeny-bopper’s or Valley girl’s misuse of the word when they mean “have.”) For it is what you got from the breeders of your dog and its ancestors that you have to work with. If you are a non-breeding owner, you will want to read this to understand more about your dog’s appearance and health...

The Truth about Vitamin C

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Every so often, old arguments resurface and writers try to change public perception about some particular topic. They may be based on well-thought-out scientific studies, or on poorly designed experiments, or on hot air. For years, Vitamin C (also known as ascorbate or ascorbic acid) has caused great controversy, mostly because of extreme and unfounded claims but also on fairly accurate studies with different conclusions because of the design of those experiments. Are most or any of the conclusions valid? There are many things we know or think we know about vitamin C, especially...

Utility and Reliability:
Selected Commentary on the Subject of PennHIP vs. Hip-Extended Views

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These comments are enlarged upon in my book on HD and other orthopedic disorders, available from the publisher or the author. Get the whole book for the whole picture. This magazine/website format is in response to requests by dog clubs where I lecture, and from individuals for a synopsis-comparison between diagnostic methods...

Why Small-dog Breeders Might Look into PennHIP
Is It Useful for the Smaller Breeds?

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People take actions based not so much on logic and reasoning as on emotional bases. This is something I learned in some 33 years in the business of chemicals marketing. I saw the same thing in my experience as a breeder since the '40s, a handler since the '60s, and a judge since the '70s. And it's been a hard lesson for me to assimilate, because I am the penultimate logic-based person. So much so that I've been accused by some as not only being from Mars (women are from Venus) but from the dark side of a moon of Mars! Trained in the scientific method, which is based on careful observation and collection of facts, cause-and-effect, testing and proving all things (including following the Scriptural admonition in I Thessalonians 5:21 to do that very thing), I never quite learned...

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