martes, 15 de noviembre de 2011

Wolves: Hunting Begins In MT And ID; WY Plan Revealed

The return of the gray wolf to the Northern Rockies has been one of the greatest conservation success stories and possibly the most controversial.

Since the reintroduction in 1995, wolf numbers have steadily increased in Greater Yellowstone. In 2009, wolves were removed from Endangered Species Act protections in Idaho and Montana, yet they remained protected in Wyoming.

In August 2010, a federal court restored Endangered Species Act protections to wolves, canceling fall wolf hunts and triggering a severe political backlash that continues to reverberate in the halls of Congress and the state legislatures over a year later.

Finally, in 2011, Congress did an end run around the Endangered Species Act and attached a rider to a budget bill that removed protections for wolves in Idaho, Montana and parts of Oregon, Washington and Utah.

Three months after the gray wolf was taken off the Endangered Species list in Idaho and Montana, the Interior Department took wolf management a step backward by reaching a deal in principle with the state of Wyoming that would delist the animal there (read about this in greater detail on GYC's Wyoming Wolf page). The plan moved closer to adoption Sept. 14, 2011, when the Wyoming Game & Fish Commission approved it; the federal government hopes to have a rule in place by October.

In addition, Montana and Idaho have announced their hunting programs for 2011-12. Idaho has adopted a no-quota plan for wolves throughout most of the state, an exception being a 30-wolf quota in the upper Snake River — where there are 18 known wolves. Meanwhile, with its 220-wolf quota throughout the state, Montana comes off looking the most reasonable of the three; the state did hear our concerns about aggressive hunting in the Greater Yellowstone area and came through with limited hunts there.

The Greater Yellowstone Coalition has consistently worked to find the middle ground on wolf management, to move beyond the ongoing conflict toward science-based management and increased tolerance for this iconic animal.

Read about the wolf plans in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.

View wolf population trends for these three states here, and the 2010 annual report shows the Northern Rockies wolf populations holding steady.

A minimum of 1,651 wolves in 244 packs, and 111 breeding pairs, roam Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, with 500 wolves calling Greater Yellowstone home.

Our Mission: To move toward sound science-based management and to work on the ground with the people who live, work and recreate in Greater Yellowstone to build greater tolerance for a thriving wolf population. So long as hunting is a part of the equation, the focus should be on removing wolves via fair-chase means in areas where they have been known to cause conflicts with livestock. We are also working to increase social tolerance through education and outreach


Pro- and Prebiotics - What are They and What Do They Do?

Probiotics are all the rage. Numerous nutritional supplements, and even foods like yogurt, contain these live microorganisms (bacteria and/or yeast) that can provide health benefits when given to an animal or person. We tend to think of probiotics when considering gastrointestinal health or disease, and they certainly do play an important role in this regard.

Take a dog with diarrhea, for example. Whatever the cause — stress, dietary indiscretion, infection, antibiotic therapy, etc. — the diarrhea sometimes persists even after the inciting issue has been handled. This often results from an imbalance between the microorganisms in the gut that promote normal function and those that secrete toxins or are otherwise disruptive when they are present in larger than normal numbers. Probiotics are a way of boosting the number of "good" microorganisms that are present, thereby helping them out-compete the "bad" ones.

It also appears that probiotics may work in other ways. They seem to be able to beneficially modify immune function. Studies have shown that probiotic supplementation can help treat infections outside of the gastrointestinal tract as well as some types of allergic or inflammatory diseases. This isn’t too surprising considering that a large proportion of the body’s immune system is associated with the gut, so anything that influences the immune system could provide a more wide-spread effect.

One downside of probiotic supplementation is that the microorganisms aren’t able to effectively stay and reproduce within the gut for long periods of time. This isn’t a huge issue when you are dealing with an acute illness, say diarrhea associated with antibiotic use, but for chronic disorders probiotic supplements need to be continued long-term to reap the maximum benefits.

This is where prebiotics come into the picture. Prebiotics are non-digestible ingredients that support the growth of probiotic microorganisms that either reside in the gut naturally or are added via supplementation. Think of prebiotics as a way to preferentially feed the "good" microorganisms in the gut, giving them a potential advantage in their competition with the "bad" microorganisms.

Beet pulp is a commonly used prebiotic in dog foods. It is a type of carbohydrate that undergoes partial fermentation within the gut to provide food for probiotic microorganisms. Feeding your dog a food that contains a prebiotic like beet pulp is an easy way to support gastrointestinal health, add fiber to the diet, and promote overall well-being.

Look at the ingredient list on the dog food label to determine whether or not beet pulp is included. It does not need to be present in large amounts, so finding it approximately half-way down the ingredient list is perfectly appropriate. I recommend new Hill’s Science Diet Ideal Balance, which contains a proper proportion of beet pulp in every serving. Lastly, use the MyBowl tool and the guaranteed analysis on the food label to determine whether or not carbohydrate levels as a whole are appropriate and in balance with other nutritional categories.

Pet Cancer Awareness Month: Clinical Signs, A Hopeful Perspective from Veterinary Oncologists, and Quality of Life

Cancer. The Big C. The Crab. Regardless of the referential term, the suspected or confirmed diagnosis is life altering for pets and their human owners. The daily routines we share with our pets take on new meaning as the question, "How much time do we have left?" continuously lingers. Speculation regarding the perceived cost, finances, and time involved in treating a pet’s cancer carries additional weight on our already stressed psyche.

For people, the cancer diagnosis causes a mixed bag of emotions, including fear, regret, depression, determination and more. This emotional roller coaster isn’t necessarily experienced by pets, as they may be blissfully unaware of the existence of their disease. Unlike people, pets are also blind to the logistical intricacies, ("How much time will I lose from my ball squeaking duties?") the societal implications ("What will my friends at the dog park think?"), and financial strains ("Let’s fund-raise with a home-prepared dog treat bake sale!") of their cancer treatment.

The good news is that due to the numerous therapeutic options available today, pets overcoming cancer and surviving longer. Cancer treatment has evolved to the degree that your pet’s condition may be resolved or well managed with surgery, radiation, medication, or other remedies. As a holistic veterinarian, the "other remedies" are where I focus my energies when consulting on nutritionally bio-available whole food diets and treats, prescribing immune system enhancing supplements and stagnation clearing Chinese herbs, and relieving pain through acupressure and acupuncture.

Although animals and humans share some of the same cancer diagnoses, our pets cannot directly verbalize their health concerns. As the primary guardians of our pets‘ health, we must recognize clinical signs of illness and immediately pursue veterinary evaluation.

I am fortunate to work with the esteemed team of veterinary oncologists at theVeterinary Cancer Group (VCG) in Culver City (Los Angeles), CA. Along with providing cutting-edge cancer treatment to pets, VCG educates people on early illness recognition through their 10 Warning Signs of Cancer in Dogs & Cats.

1. Persistent change in appetite and/or water intake

2. A lump that is enlarging, changing, or waxing and waning in size

3. Progressive weight loss or weight gain

4. Non-healing sore or infection, such as persistent nail bed infection

5. Abnormal odor

6. Persistent or recurring lameness

7. Chronic vomiting or diarrhea

8. Persistent or recurring cough

9. Unexplained bleeding or discharge

10. Difficulty swallowing, breathing, urinating, or defecating

Through my work with VCG oncologists, I have learned so much about the complicated nature of veterinary cancer care. Besides patient treatment, VCG veterinarians have the additional responsibility of navigating the turbulent emotions and financial capabilities of the pet-loving family. Having witnessed the dedication to their craft and to their clients on an ongoing basis, I am giving the VCG oncologists the opportunity to share their views on the current state of cancer treatment for pets:

Mona Rosenberg DVM, Diplomate ACVIM (Oncology), owner, CEO, and Chief of Staff of VCG

"When treating cancer, there is hope for your pet. Pursuing a consultation with a board certified veterinary oncologist will provide you with perspective on the best options available."

Mary Davis, DVM (Practice Limited to Oncology)

"Veterinary oncology is moving in some exciting new directions. With new advances in treatment options, pets are living longer with a better quality of life while receiving treatments."

Jared Lyons DVM, Diplomate ACVR (Radiation Oncology)

"Cancer is not a death sentence. With the variety of therapies available to pet owners today, we are able to overcome obstacles that were previously insurmountable."<

Brigitte Tam-Coleman, DVM (Practice Limited to Oncology)

"There are options for treatment and maintaining patient comfort even when chemotherapy or radiation are not pursued."

Avanelle Turner, DVM Diplomate ACVIM (Oncology)

"Many different types of cancers are similar to chronic diseases. Like liver, kidney, or heart disease, we manage these conditions (versus curing them), while still providing a good quality of life."

As cliche as it sounds, projecting positivity and embracing the opportunity to enjoy every moment with your pet is good for everyone involved in the disease management process. With the guidance of a support system (veterinarians, family, friends, etc.), pet caretakers must face companion animal illness with an educated sense of realism as to the possible outcomes.

Even if an absolute cure cannot be achieved, we owe it to our animal companions to provide the best quality of life possible (see Quality of Life Scale). Providing the best care for a severely ill pet may even mean electively discontinuing treatment and pursuing euthanasia. Regardless of the presence of cancer, ending a pet’s life is an inevitable decision for which we must be prepared.

Dr. Patrick Mahaney

"They Ate What?"

Every year Veterinary Practice News holds a contest called "They Ate What?" in which veterinarians and clinic staff send in X-rays and case descriptions of the craziest things their patients have swallowed.

The contest is a fun way to share offbeat incidents from the trenches of veterinary practice, but the stories do serve as a reminder that our pets need to be protected from the consequences of their dietary indiscretions. Here are a few highlights from the 2011 "They Ate What?" contest. Runners Up:

Lisa Anne Attanasi, DVM, Eaglewood Cliffs Veterinary, Eaglewood Cliffs, NJ

Wailen, a 12-year-old beagle, presumably was brought into the clinic with symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. His veterinarian ordered abdominal X-rays, which revealed a hodgepodge of foreign "stuff" in his stomach. During surgery, the doctor removed shoe laces, mulch, a knee high stocking, a plastic plant, plastic ties, and the bristles of a car snow-cleaning brush.

Jenny Yanson, practice manager, Suburbia North Animal Hospital

Tinkerbell, a 6-month-old bulldog, ate a metal slip collar, became ill, and was brought into her veterinarian’s office. X-rays revealed that this was not her first offense. Two slip collars were surgically removed from her stomach.

And a few of my favorites from the Honorable Mentions:

Melissa Seavey, Healthy Paws Veterinary Center, Westborough, MA

Ten baby bottle nipples were removed from the stomach of a 4-month-old golden retriever.

Stephen Crosby, CVT, VTS, New Haven Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine, New Haven, CT

An owner was feeding peanut butter off a spoon to her Alaskan malamute, who managed to gulp down the treat while it was still attached to the spoon. X-rays showed that the dog had previously also eaten a piece of a collar and a toy.

Caitlin Fickett, Alaska Veterinary Clinic, Anchorage, AK

A dog came in for vomiting and eating grass. X-rays revealed a foreign body in the stomach. The next morning, an additional X-ray better showed the object — a hard plastic dinosaur.

Patti Klein Manke, DVM, Woodstock Veterinary Clinic, Woodstock, NY

Prince Edward, a 9-year-old bulldog, ate his owner’s false teeth after finding them in a bowl of ice cream. The teeth were returned to the owner. (Hopefully they were cleaned well before being put back into duty!)

For more cases, reprints of the X-rays, and other photographs, visit the Veterinary

Dr. Jennifer Coates

Ana Mateos, protagonista se la séptima edición del Trofeo de Amazonas

Organizado por LUAL, se disputó en el picadero cubierto del Club de Campo Villa de Madrid la séptima edición del Trofeo de Amazonas y un CSN2*-E. El alto número de participantes fue una de las notas destacadas del concurso. En el Trofeo de Amazonas el triunfo fue para Ana Mateos con “Kasandra R”, la CDE criada por Francisco Rodríguez. Respecto a las pruebas del nacional de dos estrellas, el ganador del Gran Premio fue Luis Álvarez Cervera con “Othello D’Auge”.
El concurso se caracteriza por incluir en su programa el Trofeo de Amazonas, una prueba exclusiva para amazonas, que en esta séptima edición alcanza record de participación con más de 56 mujeres inscritas en esta prueba. Tras la jornada de ayer liderada por Aurora Sanz con un brillante recorrido montando a Tineo en 57,26 segundos, la gran sorpresa de hoy ha sido Ana Mateos montando a “Kasandra R” con un tiempo terminando como ganadora del día de hoy y proclamándose la gran triunfadora tras un emocionante desempate seguida de Vanessa Membrado y María Bela.
Tras finalizar la prueba Ana Mateos declaró “Ha sido un concurso divertido, largo, ha sido mi primera vez concursando en el trofeo amazonas y ojalá el año que viene pueda repetir”
Luis Álvarez Cervera se impuso en el Gran Premio
Algo más de medio centenar de conjuntos tomaron parte en el Gran Premio, de los que veinticinco terminaron sin penalizaciones el recorrido previo. En el desempate se impuso Luis Álvarez Cervera con “Othello D’Auge”, al realizar el mejor crono de los siete jinetes que volvieron a terminar sin faltas. El segundo puesto lo ocupó Patricio Maldonado con “Pougkipsy Joly”, mientras que el jinete portugués, afincado en Madrid, Gonzalo de Almeida Barradas fue tercero con la joven y prometedora “RPZ Aití”.
Triunfo de Íñigo Verdugo en la prueba de 1,30 metros
Noventa conjuntos tomaron parte en la prueba de 1,30 metros, que fue un A con cronómetro. El ganador fue Íñigo Verdugo Svenson con “Julian”, al realizar el mejor tiempo de la veintena de binomios que terminaron sin faltas. A continuación se clasificaron Luis Cabanas con “Irresistible” y Berta Tena con “Cáscara 06”, al ocupar los puestos segundo y tercero.
Técnica y Estilo
El binomio Mercedes Cervera con “Chihuahua” han sido los protagonistas de las pruebas Técnica y Estilo y de 1,20 metros. En la última prueba de Técnica y Estilo se impuso Jesús Varela con “Oklahoma”, mientras que Mercedes Cervera fue segunda y Lucia Iriarteocupó el tercer puesto
Mercedes Cervara repitió triunfo en la prueba de 1,20 metros
Los ganadores de esta prueba, Trofeo La Caixa, han sido por segundo día consecutivo Mercedes Cervera y “Chihuahua”. Lucia Iriarte, montando a “BlackSide Annual” ocupó el segundo puesto. Tercero fue Iñigo Verdugo con “Kalifat”.
Han participado en el concurso jinetes de la categoría del seis veces olímpico Luis Álvarez Cervera, Alejandro Jordá seleccionador nacional de salto y jinete olímpico, Juan Antonio de Wit ganador dos veces de la Copa de S.M. El Rey y miembro del equipo español en más de 50 ocasiones, Eduardo Álvarez Aznar miembro del equipo Español actualmente, Pedro Mateos campeón de europa de Jóvenes Jinetes por equipos y otras caras conocidas de la hípica española como José Bono, Patricio Maldonado o Alberto Márquez.

Canine and Feline Diabetes: Are Caretakers and Pet Foods at Fault?

Diabetes is a life altering disease for cats, dogs, and the people who take on the daily insulin administering and financial backing roles.

There are two types of diabetes affecting our companion animals: mellitus and insipidus. Mellitus is the more common form and includes type I and II.

Diabetes insipidus (DI) is uncommon; it results from a deficiency in or lack of kidney sensitivity to arganine vasopressin (Antidiuretic Hormone, or ADH), a hormone produced by the pituitary gland which promotes the kidneys’ retention of water. My focus is on mellitus types I and II, but read more about DI in Water Diabetes in Dogs.
Types I and II mellitus arise for differing reasons in dogs and cats, but both involve an overall deficiency in insulin production. Insulin is a hormone that moves glucose from blood into tissue and is secreted by pancreatic islet cells.
Insufficient insulin levels cause hyperglycemia (elevated blood sugar) and glucosuria (presence of glucose in the urine), both of which are detectable via diagnostic testing and cause notable clinical signs, including:

  • Excessive water consumption (toilets, buckets, and stray puddles of water become enticing)
  • Increased urination (volume and frequency, so reconsider your plan for new rugs)
  • Ravenous appetite (which can lead to consumption of inappropriate objects and substances...yuck)
  • Weight loss (despite increased appetite, which sounds like a Beverly Hills housewife’s dream)

Glucose deprived tissues prompt the body to inefficiently metabolize protein, stored carbohydrates, and fat. Protein and carbohydrate breakdown produces glucose, while fat metabolism releases toxic ketones. This process, akin to starvation (or the once commercially touted Atkins diet), causes metabolic chaos. Dr. Siobhan O’Neill, an internal medicine specialist from Advanced Critical Care (ACC), states that "poor glycemic control can result in weight loss and the development of diabetic ketoacidosis, a condition requiring hospitalization for the management of life-threatening electrolyte alterations and dehydration."
Type I mellitus is the typical canine variety resulting from pancreatic damage associated with chronic inflammation of the digestive tract (Inflammatory Bowel Disease, etc) and pancreas (pancreatitis), infection, and toxin ingestion. When enough islet cells are damaged, insulin is insufficiently produced, blood glucose levels rise, and the diabetic process ensues.
Type II diabetes is more commonly seen in cats and results from the pancreas’s inability to make enough insulin to support a body burdened by excess weight. At fault are cat owners who permit overfeeding, which leads to our feline friends suffering the ill effects of obesity, including diabetes (see Pet Obesity: Health Implications, Recognition, and Weight Management).
Before you decide to "top off" your pet’s scoop of food or skip a much needed hike, consider the economic implications associated with diabetic pet health care. Can you afford the projected ongoing medical expensed incurred by a diabetic pet? According to VPI Pet Insurance claims data, diabetes related veterinary expenses totaled more than $1.5 million in 2007, with an average invoice of $200 per visit.
What are my top holistic tips to prevent our dogs from developing a type I diabetes? Focus on maintaining an optimally functioning digestive tract, which helps keep the endocrine (pancreas, kidneys, liver, etc), immune, and other body systems healthy.
Dr. Amanda Blackburn (another ACC internist) notes that "remission of insulin dependence in dogs after an appropriate diagnosis of diabetes is extremely rare." Avoiding processed foods and treats containing byproducts, protein and carbohydrate meals, preservatives, and artificial colors and flavors can help to relieve your potential lifelong responsibility to inject your dog with insulin.
Cooked, fiber rich, whole food sources can reduce intestinal and pancreatic inflammation, promote healthy gut bacterial levels, and are less likely to include toxins found in pet grade foods. (SHOCKER: The pet food industry makes allowances for plastic and styrofoam, which can disrupt your pet’s normal glandular function.) Additionally, prevent dietary indiscretion by canine proofing your home environment and keeping your dog on a short leash when setting paw outdoors.
A similar principle of prevention applies to type II diabetes in cats. Emphasis must be placed on calorie restriction, as the feline obesity epidemic continually yields new crops of diabetic cats.
Society has been lulled into believing that cats must eat foods having a format grossly different from nature’s intention. Cats are obligate carnivores and should eat primarily meat protein and minimal grain based carbohydrates. Consuming grain rich, processed options (dry or canned) insufficiently satisfies cats’ biological needs. As portion control is inconvenient for people and organically unfamiliar to cats, excessive food will be consumed unless feline caretakers responsibly promote calorie restriction.
Dr. Blackburn gives hope for feline diabetics when he says that "approximately 50 percent of cats can revert to a non-insulin dependent state with dietary alternations, weight management, and short term insulin therapy. Therefore, owners of cats with early signs of glucose intolerance or newly diagnosed diabetes can positively impact their cats’ health with weight loss and dietary alterations, and by avoiding medications such as steroids, which can predispose a cat to diabetes."
Starting today, dog and cat owners should put the utmost effort into preventing their companions from developing diabetes mellitus by feeding appropriate portions, providing pure food sources, averting dietary indiscretion, and engaging in frequent pet-people exercise. Dr. Patrick Mahaney