Everything you need to know about how ebola is spread in animals.

After the recent outcry over the euthanization of pet dog belonging to the Ebola infected nurse in Spain, I did research on the latest information available regarding animal to human transmission of the disease. An article from Discovery.com had the most interesting and thought provoking information available for your review: According to the World Health Organization, humans can get Ebola through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals (including other humans), so people who consume or otherwise handle certain bush meat are at particular risk. Eating infected non-human primates doesn’t tell the whole story, however. There is growing consensus that fruit bats are ground zero for the illness that kills up to 90 percent of humans who become infected. Most of the infected bats appear to come from the following three species: Hypsignathus monstrosus, Epomops franqueti and Myonycteris torquata. “In general, Ebola researchers think that the natural host of Ebola virus are fruit bats, and that the virus is transmitted to non-human primates and then to humans through the bush meat trade,” Purdue University’s David Sanders, one of the world’s leading experts on zoonotic diseases, told Discovery News. He added, “It is possible that there is direct transmission from fruit bats to humans.” Certain cultures in Africa do consume bat meat, such that Guinea earlier this year ordered a ban on consumption of these flying mammals in an effort to halt the epidemic’s spread. As for how non-human primates might become infected, they often feast on fruits that the bats eat. They can also kill and eat bats, or scavenge meat from infected carcasses. Then the question remains: How did bats get the virus? What Is Ebola? Sanders and his team found that the way Ebola infects human cells is nearly identical — both structurally and biochemically — to the way that similar viruses enter bird cells. This suggests that the proteins of the virus had a comparatively recent ancestor. “It is therefore possible that Ebola was at one time associated with a bird host and may even be so today,” Sanders said, adding that the bird must hail from Central Africa. That is where the virus was first detected in 1976 and where outbreaks usually occur. Even plants and insects could have played some role in the evolution of the virus, as Thomas Monath of the Harvard School of Public Health has proposed. Monath postulated that a nonpathogenic virus in insects and/or plants might have mutated, giving rise to Ebola in bats. Blaming humans, bats, chimps or birds for the illness does not then take into account its full possible scope within the ecosystem. That, the present unprecedented epidemic, the potential for bioterrorism, and the fact that no vaccine is available for clinical use have scientists around the world paying greater attention to Ebola and to the animals it can infect. Sanders and his colleagues continue to study birds and their possible role in Ebola’s evolution and transmission. They are also attempting to determine what other animals might be added to the already long list of species that the virus and related viruses could impact.

And never forget it’s only through you the Randolph County Humane Society continues to save lives, one by one.

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I live in the house of Zen when I am smart enough to notice.

Last night I washed the sheets, and that seems to be the call for game time for all the animals. But last night was the funniest of all the game times I have ever seen. I normally prefer to do this when my husband is at home so he can help with making the bed because it’s tough to wrestle the sheets on a king sized bed when the cats and dogs decide it’s time to lay on the clean sheets before the bed is fully made. But I got the fitted sheet almost complete when I turned around and there was Donald the cat in a position that I can only describe as being reminiscent of a yoga position, legs in an extended straight V shape with his tail between his legs, except Donald had his front paws around the outside of his back legs, catching the tip of his tail with his mouth by biting it and doing cartwheel like maneuvers in a big circle all around the bed. I wish I had a camera to capture the action because it was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen, ever, out of any of my animals. I don’t think he knew it was his tail that he was getting, and it kept getting away from him, and the faster it got away the faster he went after it. He rolled and rolled, around and around, and he kept picking up speed until I got to laughing so hard he stopped to look at me and then that was the end of the game. That five minutes was a special kiss from the universe. I feel sorry for people that don’t have this joy in their lives. They simply don’t know what they’re missing! And that’s the point of this post. How often do we got so caught up in the activities of our daily lives that we miss out on the special moments of living, like this one. I could have been in such a hurry, and I have been at times in the past, where my first response is to remove Donald from the bed so I can get it made. I would have missed out on his antics, and missed out on the laughter that was a gift to my soul. Every day we spend dollar upon dollar in search of the next big thing that’s going to get us to Nirvana. If we stop for a moment and take stock of what we have right in front of us, we already have it in our pets. Eckhart Tolle summed it up best when he said ‘I have lived with several Zen masters — all of them cats.’ So before you decide you need the next designer drug to cure what ails you, or another drug to cure the symptoms caused by the last drug you were prescribed to cure your latest ailment, take a moment and see if just being in the moment with your beloved doesn’t make you forget about your aches and pains, maybe even takes that stress and blood pressure close to normal, and put you back into that frame of mind where life is once again a state of being that you can handle without keeping the pharmaceutical industry stocks at all time highs on the Dow. It’s time we took back our health in a more natural way and at the same time save the animals that have no one to love them that are wasting away at the shelters. They need to love you just as much as you need to be loved, so it’s a win-win proposition. Do it today. Take that moment for you. It’s the best thing you’ll do for yourself all day. Be fully present. Feel your beloved’s fur beneath your fingers. Look into their eyes and see the joy they have in seeing you fully present in theirs. Now take what you just learned and apply that method of living into every second of every day. Feel the breeze on your face. Smell the change of seasons. Hear the leaves falling around you. Live in this moment. Be alive. Be the Love your dog believes you to be.

And never forget, it’s only through you the Randolph County Humane Society continues to save lives, one by one.

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Must know information before you buy your pet food.

A couple of years ago I wrote about this information because you are purchasing food for your pets under the mistaken notion that it’s providing a healthy base for them when in actuality it’s not. So here is the down and dirty on how to read the labels in light of a deceptive practice called ingredient splitting. Remember, if the first ingredient in your beloved’s food shows a meat product, chances are you’re purchasing a deceptively split ingredient listed food source that is not really giving them the nutrition they need and deserve, so buyer beware!

According the DogFoodAdvisor.com “Ingredient splitting is the deceptive practice of dividing a more abundant — yet inferior quality — ingredient into smaller portions. This shady design tactic is used to artificially raise a meat item to a higher position on the ingredients list — and lower an inferior one.”

So How Does It Work? Say you have a dog food in which corn is the dominant ingredient. Since corn is less nutritious to a dog than meat, it’s considered a lower quality item. Remember, pet food manufacturers are required to arrange each item on every ingredients list in order of its precooking weight. Now, take a look at the “Before Splitting” side of the table below. Notice how corn, with its 30% pre-cooking weight, gets a first place position. Second-ranked rice makes up the next 20%, thus leaving chicken meal (a quality item) to occupy the list’s #3 spot. Of course, dog food companies want their products to “look” like they’re meat-based. So, they’re well aware an ingredients list like this isn’t likely to impress a label-reading shopper.
Ingredient Splitting Turns Straw Into Gold

Now, what would happen to that same list if you divide a few of the more abundant ingredients into smaller portions? Please look at the right side of the table labeled “After Splitting”. Now, instead of using 30% corn, a pet food designer could simply split corn into corn meal and corn flour — at just 15% each. And replace the original rice with other rice ingredients. That would move the corn and rice components further down the list. And so, even though the amount of chicken meal remains unchanged, it’s now magically the first-ranked ingredient.
When Meat Is the First Ingredient Let the Buyer Beware If you’ve ever been told to look only for dog foods where meat is the first ingredient, please remember the deceptive power of ingredient splitting. Being able to divide a dominant ingredient into smaller portions permits any pet food manufacturer to trick you into believing there’s more meat in a product than there actually is. So, the next time you see a meat item as the first ingredient on the list — don’t be too impressed. Or you could become the next victim of the pet food industry’s dirty little secret. Be sure to check our ratings and reviews for an unbiased opinion regarding the meat content of your pet’s food.
As you can see, just as with your own food you have to be a detective to insure your pets are being fed nutritionally and not just eating fillers that have no nutritional value. They depend on you for a full, happy life. Check out PetFoodAdvisor.com to find out where your dog food stacks up nutritionally and while you’re there sign up for the dog food recalls. It comes right to your emails so you know as soon as the notice is sent out and with a recall you can never be too careful, as all the pet parents that gave their furbabies the chicken treats from Waggin’ Train know.
And never forget, it’s only through you that the Randolph County Humane Society continues to save lives, one by one.

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The Top Ten of must knows to keep your beloveds healthy and happy.

Every year when you visit your vet with your beloveds, the top 10 killers are the most likely to be what will take your joy out of your life and cause an early death. So be aware, these are real dangers, and it’s not only in your best interest to keep your animals safe from these diseases but it’s also important to keep the community at large protected from being infected by a few of them. So for the greater good, lets all do our part in protecting our beloveds by doing our due diligence in keeping them safe through proper vaccinations and treatments. The top 10 list according to cattime.com is:

10. Kidney disease: Kidney disease is common in senior cats, but also seen in cats and dogs of all ages. It can be congenital or develop as the pet ages. While cats with kidney disease can be treated and kept healthy for several years in most cases, dogs typically deteriorate more quickly. Kidney health is typically evaluated with annual bloodwork at your veterinarian.

9. Diabetes: Just like with humans, pets can develop diabetes as part of the aging process. While diabetes in cats and dogs can often be controlled by a plan of diet and exercise, some pets will require regular insulin shots.

8. Arthritis: Arthritis is often seen as a rite of passage for our older pets. They may seem slow to rise in the morning, or a bit reluctant to jump up to their favorite spot on the couch. Your veterinarian can diagnose most forms of arthritis during a routine exam, but they may also recommend an x-ray to rule out other issues or evaluate how seriously inflamed the joints are. While there is no cure for arthritis, there are joint supplements, and even treatments like acupuncture, to help keep your pet as mobile as possible for as long as possible.

7. Flea and tick borne diseases: Fleas and ticks are certainly undesirable guests on your pets fur, but they are more than just unwelcome creepy crawlies. These tiny passengers can carry serious diseases that can cause profound illness in both pets and people. Want to keep your cats, dogs, and human family healthy? Use a monthly topical flea and tick preventative, vacuum regularly, and always check your pets and yourself after playing with other animals or in grassy fields.

6. Rabies: Rabies is the disease made famous in the hearbreaking scene in Old Yeller. Thankfully, the widespread use of the rabies vaccine in recent years has made its occurrence in pets in the U.S. quite rare. However, it is still present in wild animal populations, and because rabies is always fatal, it’s critical to make sure that your pets are current on their rabies vaccination.

5. Distemper: Distemper is a tragic, often fatal disease of dogs and puppies. While the distemper virus is part of the typical puppy vaccine series, puppies too young for vaccination and dogs who were never vaccinated are most vulnerable. The virus typically comes along with neurological symptoms, nasal discharge, and high fevers. It also has a high mortality rate, and the rare dogs who survive infection often bear long-term effects, such as seizures and hardened paw pads.

4. Parvovirus: Commonly called “parvo,” this virus is terribly common in parts of the country with low vaccination rates and can be seen in cats and dogs (although the disease cannot be spread cross-species). Parvo is most frequently seen in puppies and kittens who have not yet been vaccinated. The mortality rate depends on how quickly the symptomsare caught by the owner and addressed by a veterinarian and the strength of a pet’s immune system. Most survivors of parvovirus do not harbor long-term effects.

3. Dental disease: While everyone dreads “dog breath,” a stinky mouth is no joke. Both cats and dogs can develop tartar, gum disease, and cavities that require a professional dental cleaning. Dental disease is the perfect example of “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” because bad oral health can also lead to dangerous heart and kidney conditions in pets. Teach your kittens and puppies that brushing their teeth is a normal part of your grooming routine and save your pet a dental procedure down the line.

2. Heartworm: Heartworm is a disease spread by mosquitoes and it has been diagnosed in all 50 states. While it is much more common in dogs, cats can also acquire the disease. If the infection is caught early enough in dogs, it can generally be treated, but there is no cure for feline heartworm disease. Therefore, the best way to keep your pets heart free of potentially deadly worms, is through a monthly preventative, prescribed by your veterinarian.

1. Obesity: Obesity has become as serious of a problem in our pets as it is in the human population. Sadly, overweight pets are more prone to heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and premature death. But while underlying disease or slow metabolism might be a factor, all too often, pet obesity is caused by doting pet parents who overfeed and underexercise their cats and dogs. There is no quick fix for obesity, but, just like with a human diet, check with your veterinarian for feeding and exercise guidelines. It might be as easy as swapping the dog treats with green beans or giving your cat a five-minute run with the laser pointer before bed. It might sound crazy, but when it comes to obesity, we can love our pets to death. You can help your dogs and cats live long lives by giving them the tools to stay light on their paws.
And never forget, it’s only through you the Randolph County Humane Society continues to save lives, one by one.

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The question is not can they reason but can they suffer and the Supreme Court says YES!

Stop Abuse

Stop Abuse

Long time readers may remember when I wrote about that the Texas Supreme Court was going to hear a case that would have significant ramifications in the future treatment of animals. Those that lined up on the opposing lines drawn in the sand were a surprise to me because the names you would automatically think of as in the pocket of animal rights, were not. Well, that case came down in the manner I expected but not as I had prayed. The decision was that animals are worth their market value, not their sentimental value to their family, so a “stray” that is adopted from a shelter has a market value of its adoption fee. It was a kick in the stomach to those of us that feel this are like our children and in an egregious case of abuse want the abuser to pay. But there is hope yet. According to TheDoDo.com:

The Oregon Supreme Court this month passed a landmark ruling that will change the way animals are treated under the law in the state for the better. The ruling will ensure that any animal can be seen as a legal “victim” in a case, affording animals more basic rights to protect them from abuse. The ruling was made on the case of a man who was convicted of starving 20 horses and goats on his property. The judge’s decision allotted a separate count of second-degree animal neglect for each animal, noting that each animal was a separate victim on his own. The distinction might sound obvious — but it wasn’t legally accepted at the time that Arnold Nix, the defendant, was first convicted in 2009. During his case, Nix argued that the law defines animals as the property of their owners, so the word “victim” shouldn’t apply to them. As of this month’s hearing, the word “victim” does apply. “To acknowledge that animals are victims of crime, that’s really common sense to us,” said Lora Dunn, staff attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund in Portland. And the ruling could lead to longer prison sentences for those convicted of animal abuse in the state. This isn’t the first time the issue has been addressed in law. According to a Michigan State University report: It is not a novel idea that entities other than humans can be considered crime victims. Businesses, corporations, neighborhood associations, and government entities have been defined as crime victims in state statutes. Including protections for animals as crime victims is a natural progression in the development of the law. It’s not the first time animal advocates have sought greater legal protections. Recently, an organization called the Nonhuman Rights Project has waged a campaign seeking “legal personhood” to be extended to a chimpanzee. In a blog post for The Dodo, the group says: Traditionally, Lady Justice is portrayed as wearing a blindfold as she holds the scales of justice. The idea is that justice should be blind — impartial and dispensed without regard to the classes of persons who appear before her. Ironically, however, justice has been blind in another way, too: blind to all living beings except humans. To this day they remain invisible to the legal system.

I personally find it egregious beyond words that a corporation has more right to humane treatment than an animal, but perhaps with forward thinking decisions such as that from the Oregon Supreme Court there is hope for our future yet.

And never forget it is only through you that the Randolph County Humane Society continues to save lives, one by one.

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