Benefits of Pre-Weaning Vaccinations in Beef Calves

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“Producers should consider vaccinating calves at 2 to 4 months of age, depending on the operation,” said Dr. DL Step, professional services veterinarian, Boehringer Ingelheim.

Colostrum consumed by a newborn calf provides protection against infectious diseases. However, this protection is only temporary, lasting a few weeks to months, and calves must start building their own immunities. Vaccination during this time of transition can help protect the calf until weaning age. The following are three key benefits of incorporating pre-weaning vaccinations on your operation.

  1. Reduced stress

During weaning, calves are faced with stressors such as castration, transportation, disease challenges, weather fluctuations, dietary changes and more. Stress can cause immunosuppression in a calf, decreasing its ability to respond to disease-causing pathogens and vaccines, making it susceptible to respiratory disease. “Early vaccination gives calves the opportunity to stimulate their immune systems to work at optimum levels,” said Dr. Step.

  1. Enhanced BRD and BVDV protection

Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is the top health and economic issue facing the beef industry today.3 Once calves are affected by BRD, there are both immediate and long-lasting effects on performance. Studies have shown that calves challenged by BRD could weigh up to 36 pounds less at weaning than their healthy herd mates. Early vaccination can help producers prepare calves for challenges they may face during weaning time, ensure calves are less susceptible to becoming infected with pathogens and have a more rapid immune response to the various pathogens that cause BRD.

Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), another growing health issue in the cattle industry, can result in reproductive, digestive and respiratory problems in the herd. Once infected, calves can shed a high level of the virus, spreading the disease to other susceptible animals. Studies have demonstrated calves as young as 5 to 6 weeks of age can be effectively immunized against BVDV. “BVDV Type 1b has been identified as the most common subtype found in persistently infected calves, so make sure the vaccine you choose offers solid protection against it,” Dr. Step recommended.

  1. Cost effective

In the case of calf health, prevention is key. Calves affected by BRD can greatly reduce profits through poor performance and increased morbidity. The average cost of BRD in the U.S. cattle industry is more than $640 million annually. “When your calves are protected and healthy, it will show in their performance and well-being,” said Dr. Step.

Pre-weaning vaccination is an opportunity to provide additional comfort and protection for your calves. “Producers should work with their local veterinarian to develop a vaccination program catered to their environmental conditions and herd goals,” Dr. Step added. Read More…

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Older Americans are hooked on vitamins

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When she was a young physician, Dr. Martha Gulati noticed that many of her mentors were prescribing vitamin E and folic acid to patients. Preliminary studies in the early 1990s had linked both supplements to a lower risk of heart disease.

She urged her father to pop the pills as well. But a few years later, Gulati, now chief of cardiology for the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, found herself reversing course after rigorous clinical trials found neither supplement did anything to protect the heart. Even worse, studies linked high-dose vitamin E to a higher risk of heart failure, prostate cancer and death from any cause. “‘You might want to stop taking [these],’ ” she told her father.

More than half of Americans take vitamin supplements, including 68 percent of those 65 and older, a 2013 Gallup poll said. Among older adults, 29 percent take four or more supplements, according to a Journal of Nutrition study.

Often, preliminary studies fuel exuberance about a dietary supplement, leading millions of people to buy in to the trend. Many never stop. They continue even though more rigorous studies — which can take many years to complete -— hardly ever find that vitamins prevent disease, and in some cases cause harm. “The enthusiasm does tend to outpace the evidence,” said Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of preventive medicine at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

There’s no conclusive evidence that dietary supplements prevent chronic disease in the average American, Manson said. And while a handful of vitamin and mineral studies have had positive results, those findings haven’t been strong enough to generally recommend supplements, she said.

The National Institutes of Health has spent more than $2.4 billion since 1999 studying vitamins and minerals. Yet for “all the research we’ve done, we don’t have much to show for it,” said Dr. Barnett Kramer, director of cancer prevention at the National Cancer Institute.

Part of the problem, Kramer said, could be that much nutrition research has been based on faulty assumptions, including the notion that people need more vitamins and minerals than a typical diet provides; that megadoses are safe; and that the benefits of vegetables can be boiled down into a pill.

Vitamin-rich foods can cure diseases related to vitamin deficiency. Oranges and limes prevent scurvy. And research has long shown that populations that eat a lot of fruits and vegetables tend to be healthier than others.

But when researchers tried to deliver the key ingredients of a healthy diet in a capsule, Kramer said, those efforts nearly always failed. It’s possible that the chemicals in the fruits and vegetables on your plate work together in ways that scientists don’t fully understand, said Marjorie McCullough, strategic director of nutritional epidemiology for the American Cancer Society.

More important, perhaps, is that most Americans get plenty of the essentials. Although the Western diet has a lot of problems — too much sodium, sugar, saturated fat and calories, in general — it’s not short on vitamins. Read more…

Major misperceptions in how supplements are tested before being launched for sale

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Many horse owners are quick to try new horse supplements to remedy any number of health issues. But just how well do people understand the equine supplement industry? Recent study results from Ireland suggest there’s room for improvement.

While several studies have focused on identifying types of supplements fed according to riding discipline, Jo-Anne Murray, PhD, PgDip, PgCert, BSc(Hons), BHSII, RNutr, FHEA, a professor at the University of Glasgow’s School of Veterinary Medicine, in Scotland, and colleagues sought to learn about the use and perceptions of dietary supplements among Irish equestrians. They defined a supplement as “any additional feed ingredient that is a nutritional or health supplement.”

The researchers distributed an online survey to collect information on user demographics, types of horse supplements fed, reasons for use, factors influencing supplement choice, where respondents sought advice, and perceptions of equine supplement testing and regulation.

The researchers collected responses from 134 equestrians identified as equine industry professionals (30%) or nonprofessionals/amateurs (70%).

Most participants (98% of professionals and 86% of nonprofessionals) reported feeding at least one supplement. Joint and calming supplements were the most common, fed by 22% and 13% of all participants, respectively. Respondents fed digestive, vitamin/mineral, and electrolyte supplements least frequently.

Further, the researchers found that:

  • 12% of participants reported giving horses more than the recommended feeding rate, anywhere from 1.5 to two times the manufacturer’s suggested amount;
  • 53% of respondents sought nutritional advice from their feed merchants while 46% sought advice from their veterinarians;
  • 90% of respondents said veterinary recommendation was the most influential factor when choosing a supplement, followed by cost (69%);
  • Many respondents believed horse supplements were regulated better than current law requires; more than 93% said they believe supplements must meet legal standards, 73% believe each supplement batch is analyzed for quality, and 92% believe supplements are tested on horses before being marketed; and
  • 89% of participants reported being dissatisfied with the availability of unbiased nutritional advice for their horses.

“This study has identified the main types of supplements used in the Irish equestrian industry along with the reasons for their use,” the researchers noted. “However, it has also highlighted major misperceptions in how supplements are tested before being launched for sale and further work on this aspect of the findings would be beneficial.”

Read More…

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Did you know more sunlight brings down cholesterol?

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Despite being a country with abundant sunshine, Vitamin D deficiency is fairly common in India. The country has also seen an increasing trend towards taking Vitamin D supplements, either as prescription medicine or as a nutritional input. A study comparing the effects of increased sunlight exposure versus Vitamin D supplementation, conducted by researchers at Jehangir Hospital in Pune and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital in Manchester, found that the former not only led to an an increase in Vitamin D concentrations, it also brought down cholesterol.

Dr Vivek Patwardhan, Dr Anuradha Khadilkar and others at the research centre of Jehangir Hospital conducted the study on over 200 men and found that there was significant decline in total cholesterol concentrations in individuals who had increased sunshine exposure for at least six months. The study was published recently in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Vitamin D deficiency is common worldwide, even in sun-rich countries such as India and those in the Middle East. Suboptimal concentrations of Vitamin D have been reported in over 50 per cent of the Indian population, possibly due to changing lifestyles, leading to reduced effective exposure to sunlight.

The effect of increased casual sunlight exposure on Vitamin D concentrations and lipid profile has not been studied earlier, said Khadilkar. “So, we tried to assess the effect of increased sunlight exposure, in comparison with Vitamin D supplementation, on Vitamin D status and lipid profile in Indian men (aged 40-60 years) with Vitamin D deficiency. A total of 203 men were enrolled in the study that was conducted in the last two years,” she said.

“Apart from other lifestyle changes, reduced sunlight exposure in populations that migrate from areas with higher sunlight to lower sunlight seems to have an unfavourable effect on lipid metabolism. But we do not have enough data on the issue,” said Khadilkar.

A large-scale study is being planned to find prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency, she said. A significant decline in total cholesterol in individuals, who had increased sunshine exposure, was also observed during the study.

“Our study demonstrates that with increase in sunlight exposure, there is improvement in Vitamin D concentrations and lipid profile, while, in comparison, orally administered Vitamin D had an adverse effect on lipid profile though it was not significant,” said Khadilkar. Read more…

Natural Options That Work for Dog Skin Cancer

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Skin cancer isn’t just a disease in people … and it isn’t just caused by too much time spent in the sun without sunscreen. Half of all dogs get cancer, and all forms of cancer are on the rise, including dog skin cancer.

In fact, skin tumors are the most common tumors found in dogs.

Let’s look at the most common types of dog skin cancer, then we’ll look at two natural treatment options that will help your dog safely, without surgery.

Types of Dog Skin Cancer

There are several different types of dog skin cancer. Three of the most common are:

  • Melanoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Mast cell tumors

1. Melanoma

Melanomas are abnormal growths that involve melanocytes – the cells that produce pigments (color). These cells are found throughout your dog’s entire body, wherever tissues are colored. Melanomas can either be benign or malignant.

Benign melanomas:

  • Typically range in size from very small to 2.5 inches or more in diameter.
  • Are usually less concerning than malignant melanomas because the risk of them spreading is not very high.
  • Are black, brown, gray or red in color.
  • Usually found on areas of the skin that are covered with hair.

Malignant melanomas:

  • Are a more aggressive, invasive type that usually spread fairly quickly to other areas of the body.
  • Can spread to any area of the body, including the lymph nodes and lungs, making them a much more serious threat than benign melanomas.
  • Are most often in a dog’s mouth, around the lips, or on the feet (in toenail beds or on the pads).

The cause of melanoma in dogs isn’t clear. While melanoma in humans is usually caused by damage to the DNA of skin cells (especially by UV light), this isn’t likely with dogs since many of the melanomas occur in areas not directly exposed to UV light.

Genetics also seem to play a role. The breeds most at risk include:

  • Vizslas
  • Schnauzers
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Airedale Terriers
  • Bay Retrievers
  • Scottish Terriers

 

2. Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma is a type of cancer that originates in the outer layer of the skin, the squamous epithelium. Carcinomas are characteristically malignant and particularly invasive.

Squamous cell carcinomas:

  • Typically grow quickly, getting bigger with time.
  • Are usually resistant to healing.
  • May appear as crusty, bleeding sores that don’t heal for months, or hard, white-colored wart-like growths.
  • Are usually found on the belly, around the genitals, or the feet.

As with melanomas, there’s some debate over what causes squamous dog skin cancer. Extended exposure to sunlight, which is known to damage cells, is the most commonly accepted one. A weak immune system may help these cells become malignant. There may also be some association with the papilloma virus as a cause.

Genetics may also be a factor. The breeds most at risk are:

  • Keeshond
  • Standard Schnauzer
  • Basset Hound
  • Collie

 

3. Mast Cell Tumor

Mast cell tumors are the most common type of dog skin cancer. They occur in the mast cells, the immune cells that play a role in allergic reactions and inflammatory responses. These cells contain histamine, heparin and enzymes to fight off predatory foreign invaders, but damage from allergies or inflammation can cause problems.

Mast cell tumors:

  • Usually develop in the skin, but they can also develop internally, but this is less common.
  • Can vary widely in size, shape, appearance, texture and location.
  • May show up as an isolated lump or mass, although they can appear in clusters.
  • May grow in size, then shrink.
  • May appear red in color, could be hairless or could be ulcerated (an open wound).

Aside from the lump, most dogs won’t have any symptoms of irritation or illness.

Unfortunately, the causes of mast cell tumors in dogs are not clear. The sun is a potential culprit, but genetics also seem to play a role. The dogs most at risk include:

  • Boxers
  • Bulldogs
  • Pugs
  • Boston Terriers
  • Beagles
  • Bullmastiffs
  • Dachshunds
  • Schnauzers

 

Why Not Surgery?

If it’s cancer, why not just have it surgically removed? There are several reasons.

Surgery’s invasive. Any time you cut into your dog’s body, there are risks from the anesthesia, blood clots and post-op infections.

Also, to attack any of the remaining cancer cells, the conventional veterinary approach is to bombard an already compromised body with chemical poisons and radiation through chemotherapy and radiation.

Natural Solutions for Dog Skin Cancer

Here are the two most effective natural treatment options for dog skin cancer.

1. Neoplasene

Neoplasene is a cream made from bloodroot extract. It works by causing apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells. Once applied to the tumor, the tumor cells actually die and the tissue will eventually slough off.

The Pros: It works and it’s not as invasive as surgery. With surgery it’s really hard to get all of the microsopic cancer cells but neoplasene seeks them out and helps the immune system seek and destroy them.

The Cons: It can only be used under veterinary supervision. Because the cancerous tissue sloughs off, a hole is left and proper wound management is crucial. It can also be painful for the dog which is hard for some dog owners to accept.

 

 

2. Turmeric

Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin – which is essentially its active ingredient. Curcumin has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, wound healing and anticancer activities.

There have been literally thousands of studies done on turmeric, and nearly 1/3 of the studies done on it are cancer research … and the results are very promising. It’s been shown to not only kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing but to stop precancerous changes from becoming cancer in the first place. And, not only does it kill tumor cells, it does so selectively, leaving healthy cells alone.

The American Cancer Society has said “Curcumin interferes with cancer development, growth, and spread.”

The Pros: Turmeric works, it’s inexpensive, it isn’t painful and you can use it to treat dog skin cancer at home.

The Cons: Turmeric stains your hands, carpets and furniture so you have to wrap it after each application.

 

 

One of the easiest ways to use it is with a salve. Here’s a recipe

Recipe For Healing Salve For Dogs

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 part organic turmeric powder
  • 1 part raw coconut oil (cold pressed)
  • 1 part organic lecithin powder

Mix the ingredients together to form a paste and store in a glass jar. Keep it refrigerated.

Here’s how to use it:

  • Apply it once a day for 7 days
  • After 7 days, let it air for 24 hours
  • If there is still a lump, reapply for 2-5 more days, until the lump pops or falls off

 

Read More

Five ways to cope with migraine

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Migraines are not just your average headaches. They can be debilitating, come unexpectedly, and be accompanied by a varied range of upsetting effects, such as extreme nausea, cognitive impairment, and eyesight disturbances. We have investigated the best ways of dealing with them.

According to recent reports, migraine is the seventh leading cause of “years spent with disability” worldwide.

Migraines are severe headache attacks that can last for between 4 and 72 hours. They are often accompanied by severe nausea and vomiting, acute sensitivity to light and sounds, and, in some cases, by temporary cognitive impairment and allodynia, which is when normal touch is felt as painful.

Individuals can start experiencing migraines from childhood, and their prevalence increases well into adulthood, until age 35 to 39. Migraines are up to three times more common in women than they are in men, and the attacks also last longer in women.

Multiple studies link chronic migraine with a decreased quality of life and disrupted activity levels. What, then, are the options of prevention and treatment available to people who face migraines? Here is a list of the five most cited approaches. read more…

 

Peanut allergy immunotherapy may allow consumption of peanuts

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Food allergies are very common in humans across the world. There has been a substantial increase in food allergies recently and healthcare experts are trying to figure out ways to prevent such allergic reactions in humans. One of the greatest allergy-causing foods is peanut. Many people react adversely when they consume peanut or peanut-related food items.

A new immunotherapy developed by a team of researchers from Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Australia show that the therapy may be quite effective against peanut allergies. The experts have claimed that the effects of the therapy last for over four years. This means that people with the allergy can consume peanuts without showing any adverse effects even after four years of having undergone the treatment.

What is the research about?

The study involved a group of children, all of whom were allergic to peanuts. The researchers provided the immunotherapy to these children, which mainly included a dose of probiotics along with small portions of peanuts. These small doses of peanuts gradually trained the body to forego the #Allergic Reactions.

Allergic reactions to peanuts are caused because of the body’s inability to register peanut as food and instead attack it as a foreign object. This leads to increased white blood cells activity and inflammation around the throat and mouth. Severe cases may cause the throat to swell up so much, that air to the lungs is cut off and may lead to asphyxiation.

In this new immunotherapy treatment, doctors slowly conditioned the children’s bodies to not register peanuts as a foreign body.

The probiotics were used to ensure that the stomach can digest the peanuts without triggering an immune response. Methods such as these have also been posited before, which scientists believe could make peanut allergies non-existent or less severe in case of anaphylactic shock.

What did the results reveal?

The research showed that those kids who received the immunotherapy treatment for 18 months revealed noticeable changes when it came to peanut allergies. 82 percent of the children receiving the treatment showed reduced signs of the allergies. However, what is even more surprising is the fact that 67 percent of the kids who got the therapy revealed to be eating peanuts without any perceivable problems after four years of the treatment, compared to just 4 percent of the children who did not get the treatment. read more…