Farmers use antibiotics in farm animals for the same reason antibiotics are used in people – to treat, control and prevent disease that causes pain and suffering.
The Importance of Animal Antibiotics
Farmers use antibiotics in farm animals for the same reason antibiotics are used in people – to treat, control and prevent disease that causes pain and suffering. Keeping farm animals healthy helps improve food safety for all of us by reducing bacteria in the food supply. Learn more about the benefits of treating animals with antibiotics at animalantibiotics.org.SOURCE:
Phibro Animal Antibiotics
(BPT) - From annoying itchy welts to serious conditions like Malaria and West Nile virus, mosquitoes have been making humans miserable and sick for thousands of years. And now, there's Zika - a mosquito-spread virus that may be linked to serious birth defects. In fact, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the diseases mosquitoes spread make them the deadliest animal on the planet.
The arrival of warm weather means it's time to step up your mosquito prevention and protection efforts in order to help protect your family. The National Pest Management Association offers some information that can help:
* The type of mosquito that transmits Zika bites during the daytime hours. Most other types of mosquitoes bite during dusk and dawn.
* Within the U.S., mosquitoes have been known to spread West Nile virus, Chikungunya, and encephalitis-causing viruses in humans, and heartworms in dogs.
* Mosquitoes spread disease when they bite one person, fly to another and bite again, spreading the infection. What many people don't realize is that the saliva from the mosquito's bite causes the red, itchy irritation that we all know so well.
The NPMA recommends some ways you can help reduce your exposure to mosquitoes:
* Eliminate breeding areas - Mosquitoes need only about a half-inch of standing water in which to lay their eggs. Get rid of any stagnant water around your home, such as flower pots, bird baths, kiddie pools and standing water in low areas of your yard.
* Use repellent - Whenever you spend time outside, protect your skin from mosquito bites by applying an insect repellent that contains at least 20 percent DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon-eucalyptus. Also, consider wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes.
* Be aware of the time of day - Mosquitoes are most active around dawn and dusk, although the variety that transmits Zika prefers to bite during the day. Minimize outside activity during peak biting hours, or, if you must be outside, wear long sleeves, pants and repellent to thwart mosquitoes.
* Watch what you wear - Dark colors, floral prints and sweet-smelling perfumes or colognes can attract mosquitoes to you. Wear light colors and forego perfume when spending time outside.
* Protect your house - Screens help keep mosquitoes out of your house. Be sure all windows and doors are outfitted with screens, and that all are in good shape. Repair tears to keep mosquitoes from getting inside.
* Travel wisely - Mosquito-borne diseases that may be rare in the U.S. are common in many foreign countries, so if your summer vacation will take you outside the country, check what travel advisories may be in effect in your destination. If someone gets sick upon returning home, seek medical care immediately.
Sometimes, despite your best efforts at control, mosquitoes on your property can still be a problem. A licensed pest control professional can help you manage mosquitoes. To find a professional near you, visit the NPMA's website at pestworld.org.
(BPT) - When you come home from work, he's always there to greet you. When you need extra motivation to workout, he's happy to join for a walk. When you've had a bad day, he can sense it and is quick to give you a loving nuzzle. Pets provide endless joy to their families, but for millions of shelter animals, each day is a test of patience in hopes of finding a forever home.
Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter shelters nationwide every year, according to the American Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) statistics. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats. These numbers underscore the massive need for volunteers to provide the necessary care to ensure as many pets as possible can be placed in safe, loving homes.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of any shelter, and it's a true community effort to keep animals healthy and safe. The Dumb Friends League - Denver's largest animal shelter dedicated to giving a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves - depended on 1,418 volunteers who donated 211,307 hours of service last fiscal year to help needy animals in Colorado. That's the equivalent of 101 full-time employees worth $4.7 million in donated time.
This is just one example of the impact volunteers make in the estimated 13,600 shelters nationwide.
In addition to volunteers, support from a variety of businesses and corporations helps keep shelters running strong. Hill's Pet Nutrition, for example, is one of the largest donors of food to shelters across the country. In fact, Hill's Food, Shelter & Love(R) program has provided more than $280 million worth of food to more than 1,000 shelters since its inception in 2002.
Both volunteers and Hill's share the common goal of transforming the lives of homeless pets. To recognize the vital contribution of shelter volunteers, Hill's has launched an initiative this year to bring volunteers long overdue recognition. Hill's has created a contest, Hill's Shelter Heroes, to recognize the amazing volunteers who continue to go above and beyond in their commitment to shelter pets.
One of the recent winners, Annie Hughes with Wayside Waifs in Kansas City, who has dedicated more than 7,279 hours to her shelter, wanted to express her appreciation to Hill's for creating a program that "allowed her to share her passion for helping sheltered animals." Hughes' submission, along with the rest of the 10 finalists, can be seen at Hill's Shelter Hero Contest page.
It's apparent that caring for shelter animals is a group effort, yet one person can make a big difference to help save lives. If you want to change the world for animals in need, here are some tips for becoming a volunteer.
1. Reach out to local shelters.
Call your local animal shelter or rescue group to see if they are accepting volunteers.
2. Think about your interests and skills.
Caring for animals one-on-one is a popular shelter activity, but there are so many more opportunities for volunteers. Whether you're able to foster in your home, offer professional skills in administration departments or serve as an adoption counselor to new pet parents, volunteer options are truly endless.
3. Spread the love.
Once you find your volunteer home, spread the love to help pets find homes and encourage friends to volunteer. By sharing posts on social media like the #HillsShelterHeroes contest, hosting fundraising events and simply bragging about that adorable new pooch to your friends, you're helping to open everyone's eyes to the growing need for volunteers at shelters and the importance of pet adoption.
Felines and Fleas: A Dose of Prevention is Key
(Family Features) It’s a common belief that indoor cats don’t need protection from parasites, such as fleas. While cats that stay indoors are at lower risk than those who spend the majority of time outside, the potential still exists for infestation. Preventive care is the most important step cat owners can take to help ensure a long and healthy life for their furry friends.
Even indoor cats can pick up fleas from the family dog that may not be displaying signs of an infestation, or from clothing, dirt tracked inside or items carried indoors.
Fleas can be more than an inconvenience; they can actually pose a significant health risk to your cat by passing along things like cat scratch fever and tapeworms. A cat that is allergic to fleas may experience intense itching, similar to a person who has contracted poison ivy. Also, it’s possible that flea bites or self-inflicted scratches may develop into an infection requiring medical attention.
The health risks to your cat can take an emotional and physical toll as you work to eradicate this pesky problem. A persistent flea infestation may require several months of thorough cleaning or even professional extermination, which may force the family to temporarily relocate to a non-toxic environment.
To fend off the preventable problems associated with fleas, get proactive and protect your cat with this advice from Chris Adolph, DVM, MS, DACVM, a board certified parasitologist, veterinary specialist at Zoetis and former veterinary practice owner in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
Recognize that flea protection should be year-round. With today’s highly variable weather patterns, preventive care even during the cooler months is the best approach. Planning a regular dosage schedule makes it less likely you will forget to administer a dose, and it covers gaps for a late start to winter or an early start to spring, when parasites may become active beyond the traditionally expected timeframes.
Broad-spectrum preventive care is best. With treatments available that offer protection against both internal and external parasites, it’s easy to maximize your cat’s preventative care. A single dose of a topical medication such as Revolution® (selamectin) controls five parasites – fleas, heartworms, roundworms (Toxocara cati), hookworms (Ancylostoma tubaeforme) and ear mites (Otodectes cynotis) – for one month. The treatment is FDA-approved and requires no separation from family or other pets after it is administered.
Rely on regular health screenings. Annual veterinarian screenings will help give you peace of mind that your cat is in good health and protected from parasitic infections. In addition to an overall checkup, your veterinarian may screen for intestinal parasites and make recommendations for any adjustments needed in your cat’s care.
Learn more about protecting your cat from common parasites and take The 9 Lies of Cats quiz for a chance to win a KitNipBox subscription at Revolution4Cats.com.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: Do not use REVOLUTION on sick, weak or underweight cats. Use only on cats 8 weeks and older. Side effects may include digestive upset and temporary hair loss at application site with possible inflammation. In people, REVOLUTION may be irritating to skin and eyes. Wash hands after use. See full Prescribing Information.
Serving Those Who Served
(Family Features) When Cpl. Matt Foster left Afghanistan after his tour of duty in 2013, he didn’t know whether he would ever see his K-9 partner again.
For nine months, Foster and Sgt. Mick, a black Labrador retriever, lived and worked together keeping the military compound at Camp Leatherneck and the surrounding area in Helmand Province safe from explosive attack.
Foster’s interest in becoming a military dog handler in the Marine Corps came from a high school friend who served and ultimately lost his life in Afghanistan.
“I’d always loved dogs and this seemed like a good fit for me,” he said. “Only a certain number of dogs are assigned to a unit, so I was fortunate to be selected.”
After being honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, Foster did not give up in his quest to adopt Mick. The 7-year-old Lab had been discharged for medical reasons and Foster said he lost count of the number of adoption forms he sent attempting to be reunited with his dog.
“It is very difficult for a Marine infantry K-9 handler to keep his dog when he returns from active duty overseas,” Foster recalled. “Once back in California, the dogs go on a truck to North Carolina to be redeployed, and generally we never see them again.”
That, in fact, is what happened with one of Foster’s two explosives detection dogs.
“Macey, a chocolate Lab, was my first dog and Mick joined us later,” he said. “Macey and Mick were my babies; we lived, ate and slept together for more than a year.”
“When I first got Mick back, I was worried that I might not be able to take care of him,” he recalled. “After what you go through with your dog in the service and then adopt them afterward, you wouldn’t want to say goodbye to your partner because you couldn’t afford to take care of him.”
Once military and police dogs retire, with no guaranteed pension for their medical care, the burden and cost of care often fall solely on their caregivers. Now an advocate for military dog adoption, Foster has joined The Sage Foundation for Dogs Who Serve and the RIMADYL K-9 Courage program to help other retired military dogs and handlers.
The RIMADYL K-9 Courage Program is a charitable healthcare donation program that, together with The Sage Foundation and National Police Dog Foundation, provides financial and in-kind product donations of $150,000 annually to support the veterinary needs for up to 500 retired police and military K-9s.
“I’m a big believer in the power of the human-animal bond, and I think anyone who loves a dog can relate to that special relationship,” said J. Michael McFarland, DVM, DAPVP, Group Director, Companion Animal Marketing for Zoetis, the company behind the program. “But it goes to another level with these former working dogs. I think it’s difficult for most of us to even comprehend how special that relationship is.”
Foster agrees: “I know firsthand the wear and tear on these dogs while they are in service, and having a program to help offset their medical needs is very helpful.”
Officer without a pension
“Dano is an extraordinary dog,” said Senior Deputy Sheriff Danielle Delpit of her K-9 partner. “He’s been injured, tazed and involved in two critical incidents.”
One of those incidents resulted in Dano saving his human partner’s life. For his bravery, the German shepherd received the first National Police Dog Foundation Hero Award.
Recently, Delpit noticed that Dano, now 7 1/2 years old, was slowing down and she reluctantly decided it was time for him to retire.
“As his handler, I am looking out for his best interests first. He couldn’t jump into the car like he used to, I could tell he was in pain,” she said.
After Dano’s retirement, it became Delpit’s responsibility to care for him.
“While on active duty, Dano’s veterinary care was covered. But now that he is retired, it is up to me,” she explained. “Dano has injuries; he has a bad back and I know he will eventually have arthritis. The RIMADYL K-9 Courage Program will give me peace of mind to know I’ll have help to give him the healthcare he deserves.”
Even before Dano’s retirement, Delpit decided not to have another K-9 partner.
“There can never be a replacement for that one special dog. He’s not only made me a better police officer, he’s made me a better person,” she said.
K-9s in service
An estimated 1,775 military dogs are actively working to protect military personnel. Each dog saves as many as 150-200 service men and women by detecting explosives and hidden weapons caches.
In an average year, 300-400 dogs retire, but it’s not required that a military dog serving overseas be returned to the United States at retirement. Legislation is pending in Congress to mandate their return for U.S. adoption.
The Sage Foundation for Dogs Who Serve (www.sagefoundationfordogs.org) works to promote the welfare of dogs who have faithfully served in wars, police work, crime prevention and rescue. Their work includes education and public awareness, as well as making medical care available for these hero dogs.
Today, law enforcement dogs are used at the local, county, state and federal levels, and are considered full-fledged police officers. Unlike their human counterparts, however, these officers do not receive a pension.
With a mission of making K-9 teams mission-ready and self-sustaining, the National Police Dog Foundation (www.nationalpolicedogfoundation.org) provides funding for the purchase, training and medical needs for police dogs through retirement.
You can help
Manage Diabetic Pets at Home
(Family Features) Chances are good that you know someone who has diabetes. However, you may not realize this disease that commonly affects humans is on the rise among dogs and cats. Like humans, a diagnosis of diabetes requires lifestyle changes and heightened health monitoring, yet with proper care, your pet can live a full and active life.
During a recent four-year study, Banfield hospitals have seen a 32 percent jump in cases of canine diabetes and a 16 percent increase in feline diabetes.1 Diabetes is a condition that occurs when the body cannot process glucose (sugar) into cells, resulting in too much glucose in the blood and not enough glucose in the cells for energy.
Untreated, diabetes can be fatal in dogs and cats, but veterinary care and at-home blood glucose monitoring can help you manage the disease in your four-legged friends.
The first step is identifying warning signs of diabetes in your pet. Certain risk factors may increase the chances of your pet getting diabetes. In both dogs and cats, these include age, obesity and breeds with a genetic predisposition.
Signs of diabetes in pets are often very similar to those in humans and include fatigue or weakness, increased hunger, weight loss, increased thirst and increased urination. If you observe one or more of these signs, consult with your veterinarian to determine the cause.
If your veterinarian diagnoses diabetes, they will create a management plan that addresses your pet’s dietary and dental care needs. The plan also will call for monitoring blood glucose levels and often include a prescription for insulin.
Diet and exercise
Exercise and physical activity are also important when managing diabetic pets. In general, physical activity and exercise lower blood glucose levels. This is why consistency in your pet’s daily exercise schedule is important.
At-home monitoring systems for pets are very different than at-home monitoring systems for humans and should not be used interchangeably. You actually can use the same at-home monitoring systems that your veterinarian uses, such as AlphaTRAK® 2, which is available through your veterinarian. Specifically calibrated for dogs and cats, it is easy to use and priced affordably to make at-home monitoring convenient and economical.
Once you have a prescribed plan in place, you should meet with your veterinarian three to four times a year for him/her to adjust the plan as needed to keep your pet comfortable.
Successful diabetes management is achieved through compliance with your pet’s prescribed plan, at-home blood glucose monitoring and consistent communication and follow-up appointments with your veterinarian. Visit AlphaTRAKmeter.com to learn more about diabetes management.
1 Vernon D (2011). Banfield releases major veterinary study showing spike in diabetes, dental disease and otitis externa. DVM 360. April 21, 2011. [2015 November 19] Available from: http://veterinarynews
Photo courtesy of Getty images
Purr-fect Tips to Protect Cats Year-Round
(Family Features) When cooler weather arrives, you may assume your pet is safe from parasites – especially if your cat lives mostly or exclusively indoors. To the contrary, identifying the risk for parasites, such as fleas, ear mites and heartworms, and providing true pest protection for your pets has very little to do with the seasons.
“Back when I was in veterinary school, we believed there were parasite ‘seasons,’” said Chris Adolph, DVM, MS, DACVM, a board certified parasitologist, veterinary specialist at Zoetis and former veterinary practice owner in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. “Today’s highly variable weather patterns have resulted in the possibility of parasite transmission well beyond traditionally warmer months, and in turn, increasing the likelihood of infection or infestation to your pets.”
After trashing most of Oreo’s toys and bedding, Swern’s veterinarian recommended a topical, broad-spectrum preventive. After treatment with Revolution® (selamectin), Swern’s home was again flea-free and continues that way thanks to monthly treatments she applies to her cat.
The best way to protect your furry feline friend year-round is by following a few simple tips:
Routine checkups. You may believe that once your kitten has received its vaccinations, you’re finished with veterinary visits. Actually, it’s important to continue taking your cat for annual examinations to help maintain a high quality of life. Cats tend to hide illness very well, and your veterinarian can help identify problems you may miss at home as well as guide you in areas such as dental care, nutrition and behavior.
Preventive medication. Regular use of a monthly parasite preventive, such as Revolution, can protect your cat from many common internal and external parasites. Along with fleas, broad-spectrum preventives can address risks related to heartworm disease, ear mites (Otodectes cynotis), roundworms (Toxocara cati) and hookworms (Ancylostoma tubaeforme).
Behavior monitoring. Don’t assume that a cat that begins exhibiting behavior problems is simply acting out. Most undesirable behaviors, such as suddenly refusing to use a litter box or aggression, can actually be signs of illness. Consulting a veterinarian can help you determine the best course of action.
Consider the climate. Just as extreme temperatures can affect people, excess heat and cold may impact your cat. Cozy bedding in front of a bright window may provide just the right warmth in winter, but prove too toasty in the summer. Make adjustments throughout the year to keep your kitty comfortable as temperatures change.
Ample activities. Even mellow kitties can benefit from exercise, just like humans. Provide toys to encourage cats to keep active and healthy – and offer diversions such as scratching posts from temptations like carpet or furniture. Mental stimulation is also important. Placing birdfeeders or birdbaths outside of windows and hiding small amounts of food at different levels throughout the house for your cat to find can help keep your pet entertained as well as mentally sharp.
Learn more about protecting your cat from common parasites and take The 9 Lies of Cats quiz for a chance to win a KitNipBox subscription at Revolution4Cats.com.
Important Safety Information: Do not use Revolution on sick, weak or underweight cats. Use only on cats 8 weeks and older. Side effects may include digestive upset and temporary hair loss at application site with possible inflammation. In people, Revolution may be irritating to skin and eyes. Wash hands after use. See full prescribing information.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Interested in Publishing on The Health IDEA?
Send your query to the Publisher today!