What you think of these Crazy #Dog Laws?

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There are some crazy laws related to dogs throughout the United States. In most cases, it is not clear how they are enforced or why people believed there was a need for such a law. It is obvious, however, that dogs play a large enough role in our communities to warrant a lot of legislation about them.

In Illinois, it is against the law to give a dog whiskey. It is also a violation of the law to give a dog a lighted cigar. There is nothing on the books about whether the dog may light the cigar on his own.

International Falls, Minnesota passed a law making it illegal for a cat to chase a dog up a telephone pole. Hopefully, there is no victim blaming if a dog does get chased up a pole by a cat.

For a dog to mate in a legal manner in Ventura, California, a permit is required. Presumably, there are many violations of this law, as is often the case with forbidden behavior.

If you’d like to hold hands or display any other forms of public affection while walking a dog on a leash, you can’t do it in New Castle, Delaware without violating the law. I suppose this protects a dog from getting tangled up in a weird love triangle?

Dogs and cats in Barber, North Carolina are not allowed to fight. It certainly seems wise, but why is it illegal for these fights between species to occur? It’s possible that the motivation was preventing an underground world of fighting along the lines of cockfighting and dogfighting.

Animals in California, including dogs, are not allowed to mate within 500 yards of a church or a school. Apparently, these sexual escapades are something that we need to prevent those at church or at school from witnessing.

In Little Rock, Arkansas, dogs who bark after 6 pm are violating the law. Enforcing this one seems absurdly challenging!

In Galesburg, Illinois, there is a statute stating that no person may keep a smelly dog. There is quite a spectrum for canine odor, so it’s hard to imagine an exact legal definition of “smelly” for dogs.

If you have a French Poodle who you want to take to the opera, you will have to do so someplace other than in Chicago, because there is a law on the books prohibiting that. Apparently, someone opposes exposing these dogs to that particular cultural experience. Read more…

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#Fish Consumption Could Reduce Rheumatoid #Arthritis Symptoms

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A recent study has found out that eating fish two or more times every week could help in lowering diseases activity in patients sundering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Reports state that various randomised controlled trials have revealed that dietary supplements which have fish oil in them improved tender joint counters and increased remission rates in patients who had RA. The findings of the new study has shown that similar results could be achieved by including fish in one’s regular diet.

Commenting on the findings, the authors of the report wrote in the journal stating, “Our observed difference in [28-joint disease activity score with C-reactive protein (DAS28-CRP)] of 0.49 between the highest and lowest categories of fish consumption is approximately one-third the magnitude of previously reported pre- and post-treatment differences in DAS28 among methotrexate users.”

According to Sara K. Tedeschi, MD, MPH, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, and Harvard Medical School, both in Boston, Massachusetts, and her colleagues, fish consumption benefits a person due to its anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids which are generally present in seafood.

In order to reach the conclusion of their analysis, the researchers used the data from 176 participants in the Evaluation Subclinical Cardiovascular Disease and Predictors of Events in RA (ESCAPE-RA) cohort study.

Out of the participants, all those patients who had a prior cardiovascular event or those who weighed than more than 300 pounds were excluded. The rest of the participants analysed in the study had a median DAS28-CRP of 3.5, indicating moderate RA disease activity.

The researchers then assessed the frequency of fish consumption of the participants through a questionnaire which queried about their diet in the past year. read more…

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Do Probiotics Affect Digestibility and Immunity in Infants?

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A study in China is attempting to answer this question by collected data from 200 infants aged 4-6 months.

There is mounting evidence that probiotics confer a number of health benefits. Probiotics are the “good” bacteria and yeasts found in some yogurts and cheese, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, and fermented soy products. The microorganisms used most commonly in dietary supplements include Lactobacillus species, Bifidobacteria, Saccharomyces boulardii and Bacillus coagulans. These microbes are either naturally found in the human gut or are very similar those found in the gut. Studies have shown that probiotics improve health outcomes in cases of gastrointestinal and recurrent urogenital infections, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease conditions (pouchitis, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease), and allergies.

Probiotics have shown promising results in preventing diarrhea and allergies in children. In a previous study, a probiotic supplement containing Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Lactobacillus helveticus was shown to reduce respiratory tract and gastrointestinal infections in school-age children aged 3-7 years during the winter months. These children had suffered three or more episodes of such infections in the previous winter but were otherwise healthy. However, the effects of probiotics on healthy infants have not been examined so far.

A new double-blind study being conducted at the Shanghai First Maternity and Infant Hospital in China attempts to bridge this gap. This study attempts to examine the effects of probiotic supplementation in 100 randomly chosen healthy infants aged 4-6 months. Recruitment of participants, which started in March 2015, is currently in progress. To meet the study criteria, the infants need to be healthy, single birth, of normal gestational age (> 37 weeks) and birth weight (> 2500 grams), and not have suffered from gastrointestinal disease or have a record of antibiotic use in the previous month.

As part of the study, the infant is orally administered a probiotic supplement containing Bifidobacterium infantis R0033, Bifidobacterium bifidum R0071, and Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 dissolved in their first feed of the day for a period of 4 weeks. On the other hand, the control group, also comprised of 100 randomly chosen infants, receives a similar of 97% potato starch and 3% magnesium stearate without probiotic supplementation for 4 weeks.

The study intends to examine the populations of “good” and “bad” bacteria in the stools of the two groups of infants at the start and end of the 4-week period. read more…

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The horse as healer: A gentle nudge back to health

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When Ms Maria de los Angeles Kalbermatter lost her leg at age 27, she began to rehabilitate herself through horse riding, an unprecedented choice. Not only did she find emotional healing, she also began to impart that experience to children with different illnesses.

“The only people who believed in this were those who loved horses,” she said. Today, however, more than three decades after Ms de los Angeles founded the first equine therapy school in Latin America, more than 250 centres throughout Argentina practise it.

This therapeutic method seeks, through the use of horses, to aid the rehabilitation of illnesses involving physical or psychological disabilities.

“Equine therapy is based on three basic principles: the transmission of body heat, rhythmic pulses and a pattern of movement equivalent to that of the human gait. The horse is a being capable of healing through both emotion and body language, and serves as a mirror to the human soul,” said Ms Julieta Malleville, director of the La Paloma School of Equine Therapy, in the city of Tandil.

The horses used for therapy are either criollo (creole) or crossbred horses that are no taller than 1.6m and aged between eight and 15. They must be docile by nature, which gives therapists and patients the total confidence required in order to work with and trust them.

In the last 15 years, equine therapy has evolved and been used to help diseases such as stress, depression, phobias, addictions, obsessive-compulsive disorders and eating disorders.

The psychotherapy sessions are mostly performed next to, not on top of, the horse, so it is not necessary to have previous experience of riding.

Physician Veronica Settepassi, who has worked for 15 years at the Hipocampo Equine Therapy School in the Palermo neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, said equine therapy helps people to control their fears and connect with the environment. read more…

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For all we give to our #pets, we get much in return

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Owning a pet can make you healthier

 

As loving pet owners, we are rightly concerned about the health and well-being of our four-legged friends. In fact, we spend most of our time here helping as best we can to decipher some of the ailments pets may experience and how to make their environments better so that they may live a longer and, most importantly, a better life.

Zoetis, a major producer of pet medicines has teamed up with the Human Animal Bond Research Institute to remind us that for all we give to our pets, we get much in return. Here are just some of the reasons pet ownership is a two-way street to better health:

• Heart attack survival. Have a cat? You are 60 percent less likely to die from a heart attack than a non-cat owner. Dog owners experience lower blood pressure and walk more with increased physical activity; that’s a win-win.

• As we age, depression and loneliness have shown to be less prevalent among those who have had a close relationship over the years with pets than among those who never owned a pet.

• Children also have science to back up their request for a new puppy or kitten. Kids exposed to pets have fewer allergies and eczema, and those with autism have demonstrated better social interaction and feel less isolated.

• Post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS) affects too many service men and women as well as many others that have gone through stressful events in their lives. Pets have shown to lower anxiety and depression rates. Many sufferers find dealing with a pet easier than with people. Depression in general is lessened among many groups.
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• Owning a pet and increasing your activity helps not only the heart but the waistline as well. Obesity rates are lower among dog owners, and those that walk their dog are 69 percent more likely to keep up a long-term program to stay active. Read more…

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#Dog Flu Vaccine – Should your pup get it?

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At St. Francis Pet Resort in Williamsburg, which is adjacent to Godspeed, they are taking a proactive approaching to vaccination. It was the first facility in the area to mandate that all dogs get the flu vaccine, and they strongly recommend it for all dogs coming into the hospital as well.

“Our main priority is to be advocates for pets,” said Kelly O’Connor, the Hospital Administrator. “We want the community to know it’s our responsibility to educate them on diseases.”

“Animals are so much more socialized than they used to be,” Dumont added. “They go to the Farmers Market, to doggy daycare. Here in Colonial Williamsburg, people bring dogs from all over the country.”

That leaves a lot of room for virus transmission, especially since the virus is highly contagious. It is transmitted through coughing, sneezing, through shared bowls, blankets or toys, any kind of organic debris, and mostly, human contact. Although people can’t get the dog flu, “We are the most common spreaders,” Bourgeois said.

Dumont said that active dogs are actually most at risk because they tend to breathe harder, allowing the virus to settle into their lungs faster, creating mucus that then morphs into a cough.

Many people will mistake the flu for kennel cough, or Bordetella, since the two conditions share other symptoms, including lethargy and fever. “The way to determine the difference is through a culture,” Dumont said.

If dogs have the flu, they just have to wait it out, generally for a few weeks. They shed the virus for 24 days.

The vaccine that both Dumont and Ertugrul administer is Merck’s bivalent vaccine — meaning it covers both the H3N8 strain, as well as the H3N2.

It’s given in two doses, two weeks apart. Dogs are fully immunized after the second vaccine, Bourgeois said. They also recommend that dogs repeat the vaccine annually when they receive their booster shots.

“At this point, we don’t have any contra-indications for older dogs being vaccinated,” she added. “After the first dose of core vaccines for puppies, it’s safe to give the vaccine.” Read more…

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The Future Of Equine Genetics?

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Thanks to innovations in science over the past several decades, genomic testing and profiling has become accessible to the masses. Services like 23andMe and Ancestry.com allow customers to learn about their ethnicity, pre-dispositions to disease, biologic tendencies and more, simply by submitting a saliva sample via mail or at a doctor’s office.

Stop and think for a moment how useful, and in many ways life-changing, this has become for humans. We now have the ability, if we so choose, to identify our susceptibility to devastating diseases, allowing us to take a more proactive and informed approach to our health.

Now, imagine what this could mean for horses, specifically Thoroughbreds, of both the on and off-track variety.

With horses, we can take this one step further. Not only could genetic profiling help horse owners know what disease and trait predispositions to plan and manage for in their horses, but such information could play a significant role in breeding decisions all together.

“Federal funding [for genomic research] has played a major role in the advancement of this science, as it is of great benefit to people’s health. The same is true for animals in food production, such as cows, pigs, chickens, and other animals we eat, again because it can be of significant benefit to our health as humans,” said Dr. Paul Szauter, a researcher with a focus on both human and equine genetics. “It looks bad to use federal funding for genomic testing on horses, mainly because there would be no direct benefit to our health. Therefore, funding for such animals falls to the private sector, and as a result, comparatively very little has been done. Compared to the more than 5,000 identified conditions that can be tested for in human genes, there have only been 16 identified in horses.”

That last sentence should end with, “so far,” as Szauter and his team are well on their way to changing that.
Szauter is the chief scientific officer at EquiSeq, a start-up biotechnology firm that analyzes the genetic material of horses to offer valuable genetically-based matings insight and ultimately improve breeding results. He and his team are currently looking for owners of Thoroughbred and Arabian horses to take part in a genetic testing study aimed at identifying genetic markers for a number of conditions, most notably Recurrent Exertional Rhabdomyolysis (RER), or “tying up.”

“Tying up happens most often in Thoroughbreds and Arabians and we are looking at a genetic variant that is associated with the condition,” explained Szauter, who said Thoroughbreds are of particular interest because their breeding records are so carefully documented.

“Owners who agree to take part in the study will receive a kit, which contains a detailed list of questions about the horse’s health, a tube in which to collect a small blood sample and a consent form for the owner to sign. Every DNA sample we get is useful because they either have an absolutely clean bill of health or they are in the five-to-ten percent of horses that have experienced an episode of RER or are pre-disposed to it.”

Every owner that takes part in the study will, within six to eight weeks, receive a link to a genetic profile of their horse and can choose to make the horse’s profile public.

The more horses Szauter and his team add to their study, the more markers they will be able to identify in horses.

“Within a few years we hope to have hundreds, if not thousands, of samples from Thoroughbreds, which will allow us to identify many more markers,” said Szauter, who added that as new markers for traits and health conditions are identified, the online genetic profiles of horses within the study will be updated.

“The amount of information available on each horse’s online genetic profile will grow over time and be updated retroactively. These people are going through the trouble of getting us the DNA and information, so we want to provide them something in return,” said Szauter. read more…

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