Thursday, January 31, 2019
AGRIBUSINESS:Clean home with bio-enzymes from vegetables, fruits and kitchen waste.You can now use bio-enzymes derived from the skin of vegetables and fruits to keep things clean at home, purify water and simultaneously help protecting environment.Bengaluru-based organization ‘Soil and Soul’ has been teaching and encouraging people to prepare bio-enzymes at their homes. Preeti Rao from ‘Soil and Soul’ told PTI that she started composting kitchen waste, growing veggies and then discovered citrus peels can’t be composted, so figured out a way of creating bio-enzymes from them. “We talk about cleaning floor, purifying water and eliminating germs but killing all kinds of microbes is not a good idea. We break the food cycle if we kill all microbes,” she said. “I use bio-enzymes to clean chimneys, the kitchen slab, the toilets ? they don’t kill germs, they eat them up and also protect the food cycle. These are basic we learnt in school,” she said. She said one litre of water mixed with 300 grams of unused vegetables and 100 grams jaggery could give housekeepers their first bio-enzyme in 90 days. And the second time, it could be prepared within one month by using the existing enzymes.
AGRIBUSINESS: Rural innovator adapts tech to preserve sugarcane juice for a year.Indian summers are synonymous with tall glasses of cold sugarcane juice, a seasonal delicacy that disappears from the market all too soon. But sugarcane lovers take heart! A recent innovation could mean you can stock up your refrigerator with bottled sugarcane juice for up to a year. Rajgopal Irappa Patil has adapted technology that can help preserve sugarcane juice for 12 months without using any chemical preservatives. He says: “This technology leads to shelf-stable, ready-to-serve bottled sugarcane juice that is healthy and hygienic, especially when compared to what is offered by roadside vendors.” The technology of Punjab Agricultural University involves a storage tank, a pasteurisation system, and a homogeneous system (to add flavours). Natural flavouring agents, salts, and anti-oxidants (from natural ingredients such as mint, ginger, and lime) are added to the juice before it is bottled.
AGRIBUSINESS: New technology to keep fruits, vegetables fresh for 1,000 days.While efforts are being made to reduce wastage of perishables via cold chain management, an Indian company has introduced 'Black Box' technology, which ensures the preservation of any agricultural commodity for 1,000 days. Sahil Peerzada and Sachin Adhikari of Viztar Agritech have tied up with Spain-based Nice Fruits to offer new technology in cold storage plants in the Indian subcontinent. Black Box is a unique technology developed by scientists in Spain. It can be easily set up in any factory or plant. Regular cold storage utilises nitrogen. However, in the Black Box system, there will be neither nitrogen nor any preservative. The stored commodities will have their natural content and nutrition value intact for 1,000 days.Fruits, vegetables, or meat, anything can be kept fresh for 1,000 days using Black Box.
VETERINARY MEDICINE: Heart Murmurs in Your Dog or Cat. A heart murmur is an abnormal sound that a veterinarian hears when listening to the pet’s heart through a stethoscope during a physical exam. Normally, your pet’s veterinarian hears two distinct normal heart sounds when they listen to the heart: lub-dub…lub-dub…lub-dub. When your vet hears an additional “whooshing” sound in between normal heart sounds, this is known as a heart murmur. If your pet is diagnosed with a heart murmur, there is no reason to panic. Some heart murmurs are benign or harmless and may go away on their own, particularly in puppies and kittens. The only way to know the extent of your pet’s condition is to work with your veterinarian and/or a veterinary cardiologist (a specialist) to determine the cause of the murmur and the severity of the heart disease. Additional diagnostic testing may be required. Causes of a Heart Murmur in pets. Anything that changes the blood flow through the heart can cause a murmur to be heard. Some of the common causes of heart murmurs in dogs and cats include:1) Heart valve deficiencies. 2) Defects in the heart walls. 3)Infection of the heart valves. 4)Hereditary cardiac defects. 5)Extra vessel connecting the great arteries (patent ductus arteriosus). 6)Defects in the heart muscle walls (ventricular septal defect). 7)Obstructive injury of the pulmonary valve (pulmonic stenosis). 8)Obstructive injury below the aortic valve (subaortic stenosis). 9)Defective mitral/tricuspid valve (mitral/tricuspid valve dysplasia). 10)Acquired cardiac diseases. 11)Thickening of the heart valves (myxomatous mitral/tricuspid valve degeneration). 12)Infection of the heart valves (infective endocarditis). 13)Weakening or thickening of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathies). 14)Dynamic obstruction of the right ventricle (a benign condition for cats). Signs of Cardiac Disease Not all dogs and cats diagnosed with a heart murmur will suffer from cardiac disease; alternatively, not all dogs and cats that suffer from cardiac disease will have a murmur. Signs of cardiac disease in dogs and cats can include: Difficulty breathing. Rapid shallow breathing. Cough. Abdominal (stomach) distention. Inability to exercise/weakness. Gray or blue gums. Possible collapse.
VETERINARY MEDICINE: Oral Tumors in Dogs.Dogs and cats are frequently diagnosed with tumors of the oral cavity. This diverse group of cancers includes growths along the:1)Gingiva (gum). 2) Lips 3)Tongue 4)Tonsils. 5)Bone and cartilage of the upper and lower jaws. 6)Structural components holding the teeth in place. Some pets are diagnosed with oral tumors incidentally, meaning a growth is detected without the animal showing any clinical signs. Some owners may visualize a mass in their pet’s mouth while they are panting or yawning. Other owners may detect a problem while their animal is lying on their back with their mouth open in a position where their tongue falls away from the bottom jaw. Oral tumors can also be detected during routine dental cleanings or while pets are undergoing anesthesia for an unrelated reason. Those procedures allow for a more thorough evaluation of the oral cavity, and every attempt should be made to use that experience to visualize an abnormality while an animal is anesthetized. Oral tumors are typically diagnosed at a relatively advanced disease stage when they are causing significant clinical signs for the patient. This can include: 1)Drooling (with or without evidence of bleeding). 2) Halitosis (bad breath). 3) Difficulty eating and/or drinking. 4) Facial swelling. 5)Signs of oral pain (pawing at the mouth or repeated opening/closing of the mouth). Oral tumors are very locally invasive meaning they cause significant damage directly at their site of origin. Gingival tumors can invade the underlying bone causing the destruction of the jawbone and loss of support for associated teeth. Certain oral tumors are more likely to spread to distant sites in the body. For example, oral melanoma has a higher chance of spreading to lymph nodes of the head and neck region via the lymphatic system or spreading to the lungs via the bloodstream, whereas fibrosarcoma tumors rarely spread. The most common oral tumors in dogs are melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and fibrosarcoma. In cats, the most common tumor is squamous cell carcinoma above all others. The diagnosis of an oral tumor will require a biopsy of the affected lesion to determine the tissue of origin. The treatment of choice for oral tumors in pets is surgical resection when possible. The feasibility of surgery will depend on several factors including:1)Tumor size. 2) Patient size. 3) Specific location within the oral cavity. 4)Degree of invasiveness to underlying tissue.
VETERINARY MEDICINE: Dilated Cardiomyopathy in Dogs (DCM). Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) is one of the most common acquired heart diseases in dogs. This disease is rarely diagnosed in cats or small-breed dogs; however, it is a common cause of heart disease in large and giant breed dogs, and usually occurs more in those that are middle- to older-aged. DCM is a condition where the heart muscle (myocardium) loses its ability contract normally and as effectively . Although DCM can affect both sides of the heart simultaneously or separately, myocardial failure of the left side is most common. Since the heart muscle cannot work as efficiently to pump blood out of the heart, blood backs up within the heart chambers and the heart enlarges in size. If pressures on the left side of the heart become significantly high as a result of increased blood volume, left-sided congestive heart failure or pulmonary edema (fluid within the lungs) can result. Although less common, myocardial failure of the right side of the heart can also occur. Similar volume overload of the right heart may result in right-sided congestive heart failure, often resulting in excessive free-fluid in the abdomen (ascites) and/or chest (pleural effusion). A familial or genetic component is believed to exist in the majority of cases. This is because of the prevalence of the disease in specific breeds such as the Doberman Pinscher, Great Dane and Boxer. The signs of DCM vary depending on the breed of dog and stage of the disease. Loss of appetite, pale gums, increased heart rate, coughing, difficulty breathing, periods of weakness, and fainting are signs commonly seen. Since blood (plasma) is being backed up into the lungs, respiratory signs are usually due to pulmonary edema and/or heart enlargement. Blood returning to the right side of the heart from the body may also back up leading to fluid accumulation in the abdomen (ascites) or in the chest cavity (pleural effusion). Weakness or collapse may be caused by abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) and poor distribution of blood (depressed cardiac output). Treatment is tailored based on clinical presentation of each individual patient.
VETERINARY MEDICINE: New method to treat life-threatening heart arrhythmias in dogs. Morris Animal Foundation-funded researchers have developed a new treatment for dogs with a rare, but life-threatening, arrhythmia caused by atrioventricular accessory pathways (APs). The minimally invasive technique, which uses radiofrequencies, is modified from a human cardiology procedure and has a more than 95 percent success rate in treating dogs with this type of arrhythmia. Arrhythmias are abnormal heart rhythms. Some arrhythmias are normal variants (such as the respiratory sinus arrhythmia in dogs). Dangerous arrhythmias are those that result in clinical signs and/or put the animal risk of sudden cardiac death. Cardiac causes of arrhythmias include: Heart muscle disease (such as dilated cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy), congenital heart defects (especially subaortic stenosis), severe valve leakage and enlargement of the cardiac chambers (chronic degenerative mitral valve disease), myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), trauma to the heart muscle (animal being hit by a car), age-related changes, and infiltration of the heart muscle (inflammatory cells or cancer cells) VETERINARY MEDICINE: New method to treat life-threatening heart arrhythmias in dogs. Non-cardiac causes of arrhythmias include: Gastric dilation and volvulus (stomach turns and flips on itself), inflammation of the pancreas, low blood magnesium, severe anemia; diseases of the spleen, liver or GI tract; neurologic disease (i.e. brain tumors); endocrine disease (i.e., of the thyroid gland, adrenal glands); muscular dystrophy, anesthetic agents, medications, toxins (i.e., chocolate intoxication). Symptoms of an arrhythmia include: Weakness, collapse, exercise intolerance, fainting, fluid accumulation in the abdomen, in the lungs or around the lungs (congestive heart failure), or even sudden cardiac death. However, it is not uncommon for dogs and cats to appear outwardly normal (no clinical signs) despite having a cardiac arrhythmia. The prognosis is highly variable depending on what type of arrhythmia is present and if there is a non-cardiac (treatable) cause versus underlying severe heart disease (i.e., dilated cardiomyopathy in Doberman Pinschers).
Wednesday, January 30, 2019
AGRIBUSINESS: Cassava high in iron and zinc could improve diets and health in west Africa.A new study shows that field-grown cassava plants overexpressing a combination of plant genes can accumulate significantly higher concentrations of iron and zinc. The "hidden hunger" caused by micronutrient deficiency is a global threat to human health, with particularly severe impacts in Africa. In Nigeria, 75 percent of preschool children and 67 percent of pregnant women are anemic, and 20 percent of children below five years suffer from zinc deficiency. Iron deficiency anemia affects the immune system, stunts growth and impairs cognitive development in children, while deficiency in zinc causes increased risk of death from diarrhea, stunting and reduced cognitive development. Developing new varieties of a staple food crop with elevated levels of these two minerals could significantly improve diets and health. he elevated mineral levels of the 'biofortified' cassava storage roots are retained after processing into common foodstuffs and are nutritionally available at levels that could have a significant impact on the health of cassava-consuming populations in West Africa.
AGRIBUSINESS: Pesticides blamed for rise in colon cancer deaths.The use of pesticides has been linked to a sharp rise in colon cancer deaths in a developing country for the first time. Colon cancer is the third most common type of cancer worldwide, accounting for about 10 per cent of all cases. It is more common in developed nations, but a few countries in Latin America, including Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay are now approaching the levels of incidence seen in the developed world. Now a team of researchers from Brazil, Germany, and the United Kingdom have mapped the use of pesticides across Brazil between 2000 and 2012. They then compared this to the number of deaths from colon cancer during the same period. They observed an overall increase of colon cancer, which was correlated with the amount of pesticides sold and used in the country. Analyzing data published by the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources, the researchers found that in 2000, just over 162 million tons of pesticides were sold in Brazil. By 2012, sales had jumped to roughly 476 million tons. Over the same period, data gathered by the Brazilian ministry of health indicates that the number of deaths caused by colon cancer had gone up from 946,686 to more than a million, despite progress in cancer detection and treatment. The researchers behind the study said that pesticides applied to Brazilian crops are contaminating food and water consumed by both people livestock.
Veterinary Medicine: How to feed a cat: Consensus statement to the veterinary community.The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) released the AAFP Consensus Statement, "Feline Feeding Programs: Addressing Behavioral Needs to Improve Feline Health and Wellbeing" and accompanying client brochure to the veterinary community. The Consensus Statement, published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, explores the medical, social, and emotional problems that can result from the manner in which most cats are currently fed. This statement focuses on "how to feed" because an often-overlooked aspect of feline health is how cats are fed. This Consensus Statement identifies normal feeding behaviors in cats. It provides strategies to allow these normal feline feeding behaviors, such as hunting and foraging, and eating frequent small meals in a solitary fashion, to occur in the home environment -- even in a multi-pet home. Allowing cats to exhibit these normal feeding behaviors regularly, can help alleviate or prevent stress-related issues such as cystitis, and/or obesity-related problems such as inactivity and overeating. Reducing stress with appropriate feeding programs can also help anxious cats, who in an attempt to avoid other pets in the household, may not access the food frequently enough and lose weight. Currently, most pet cats are fed in one location ad libitum, or receive one or two large and usually quite palatable meals daily. In addition, many indoor cats have little environmental stimulation, and eating can become an activity in and of itself as this current type of feeding process does not address the behavioral needs of cats.Appropriate feeding programs need to be customized for each household, and should incorporate the needs of all cats for play, predation, and a location to eat and drink where they feel safe. The Consensus Statement also highlights the importance of feeding programs, which should be designed to consider whether they are indoor-only or have outdoor access, live in multi-pet households, or are aged or debilitated.These feeding programs in many cases include offering frequent small meals using appropriate puzzle feeders, forage feeding (putting food in different locations), multiple food and water stations, and in some instances, automatic feeders.
AGRIBUSINESS: How to protect a pig farm from African Swine Fever.(ASF). ASF is all about contact ASF is spread by contact. Far less by the pig breathing the virus in as in Classical Swine Fever, so it should be easier to prevent and control. Think ‘contact’ in everything you plan to do and subsequently carry out on the premises. The contact is not just pig to pig, but what we humans do by allowing the ASF virus in through contact on the clothing equipment, vehicles, food deliveries, breeding stock and every other visit by an ‘outsider’ to or into your vulnerable farm premises. 1) Keep everybody off your farm You will need discipline and tact to do this effectively. Quite brutally, you do not know where they have been! So do not risk it. The only permissible person as routine is the pig veterinarian and of all people he should take the necessary precautions.Even so, do not allow his vehicle on to the farm. Have a parking spot outside the perimeter and if necessary, help carry his equipment in for him. There will be skilled artisans of course, electricity, roofing, plumbing, etc. who will need access. Keep their vehicles off the farm too and make it clear beforehand (for the sake of good relations) that they will have to use farm overalls and footwear and need their equipment mist-sprayed. 2)An unbreakable farm perimeter defense. For the delivery of replacement stock (semen is safer than live pigs) and the collection of finished pigs, have designated areas on or just outside the farm perimeter. On no account allow ‘helpful’ drivers (offering to assist with the loading) on to the premises. The same with bulk or bagged food and supplies. As soon as you can, set up food reception bulk bins using your own inlet hoses, not theirs; a covered site for bags and other bulky deliveries. All 3 on the farm boundary, for later inward transmission by your own staff, never theirs. 3)Vehicles may bring in the ASF virus Failure to consider the wheels and undersides of vehicles were a major omission in the previous viral outbreaks , and proved to be a major disease vector. One aspect of this even today is to remember that your own vehicles may bring in disease, so a separate entrance and exit for these is wise, where the essential minimum of an approved disinfectant dip at least as long as a tyre`s circumference is installed and kept fresh – remember rainfall. Bigger units, where the cost of viral ingress can be catastrophic because of their sheer size, should invest in a vehicle-operated under-spray device, Workers’ transport, from bicycles upwards, should, after passing through the dip area, have their own parking area away from the usual paths and tracks used by staff between buildings. 4) Fly control on pig farms is essential. While the spread of most viruses is involved in respiration, this route of infection is less likely with ASF. But flies are a direct contact medium for ASF, so it is essential that they are kept under control. There is plenty of advice on this. What should be done is to have a ‘fly expert’ on the farm so that one person has the responsibility of fly control – which has the advantage of if not having forthcoming results, then training in this area can be instituted. Flies are indeed identified as a mechanical vector to spread ASF.
Agribusiness:How to get small piglets to eat more feed.What influences feed intake of small piglets? Researchers from the Netherlands looked at the effects on feed intake and feeding behaviour of many aspects of feed in more detail. The scientists, attached to Wageningen University and Research, published about the research in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science. They describe a trial that tested the feeding behaviour of suckling piglets when different diets were supplied to them. The hypothesis of the study was that presentation of the feed in a more diverse form, by varying multiple sensory properties of the feed, stimulates pre-weaning feed intake. Stimulating solid feed intake in suckling piglets is important to facilitate the weaning transition, exemplified by the positive correlation between pre- and post-weaning feed intake. 2 different diets tested by piglets Piglets received ad libitum feed from 2 days of age in 2 feeders per pen (choice feeding set-up).Feed A was an experimental diet from the university’s Animal Nutrition Group. Extruder settings intendedly varied during production, resulting in differences in pellet texture, length and hardness to create diversity within feed A. Feed B is a commercial diet, called Baby Big XL, from Coppens Diervoeding in the Netherlands. Feed B was a 14-mm diameter pellet, with a length of 10-20 mm and a hardness of 6.8 kg.Feeding behaviour was studied by weighing feed remains and by live observations. Observations were also used to discriminate ‘eaters’ from ‘non-eaters’. In addition, eaters were grouped into different eater classes (i.e. good, moderate and bad). Provision of feed A and B increased pre-weaning feed intake by 50% compared to provision of feed A only (with and without additional flavours). Piglets receiving feed A and B had no overall preference in terms of feed intake for either feed A or B, indicating pre-weaning feed intake increased by an enhanced intake of both feeds. These results supported the researchers’ hypothesis that the more diverse the feeds provided in terms of sensory properties (e.g. ingredient composition, texture), the greater the intake will be. The reason for this is expected to be sensory-specific satiety and/or piglets’ intrinsic motivation to explore.
AGRIBUSINESS: Print-Arome for flavour imprinting. Print-Arome is flavor formulated with essential oils.Dosed in the sows and post-weaning diets generate an “imprinting” effect in the piglets. This effect familiarizes the piglets with its scent and facilitates the introduction to solid food. As a result, it increases feed intake, weight gain and reduces health problems associated with early weaning. It improves feed intake by 95% while it reduces stress by 92%. Print-Arome.
AGRIBUSINESS: Expanding the reach of flavour imprinting in piglets. An aroma, based on essential oils, is capable of generating an imprinting effect in piglets that can boost their introduction to solid feed after weaning and improves their performance. Combining this with spray dried porcine plasma could bring even further benefits post-weaning. Early weaned piglets are subject to a great deal of stress and have to adapt abruptly to a new diet, which delivers a great physiological challenge. As a result, during the first week after weaning, piglets typically have a low feed intake and a growth decrease that has an impact on the animal’s gut morphology, increasing the risk of post-weaning diarrhoea and consequently affecting the animals subsequent performance. Supplementing sow and post-weaning diets with Print-Arome, a flavour formulated with essential oils, has an imprinting effect in piglets. This effect familiarises the piglets with its scent and facilitates the introduction to solid feed. The transfer of dietary information from mother to offspring with the essential oils flavour has been proven to successfully improve feed intake and weight gain of piglets at weaning. Likewise, spray dried porcine plasma (SDPP) is also a common feed ingredient used for similar objectives; included in weaning diets to improve feed intake, post-weaning performance and reduce diarrhoea incidence.
Agribusiness: A good start is vital for healthy piglets.Raising healthy piglets from start through weaning is a challenge not to be underestimated, impacting performance and health at later stages. Sudden change in dietary regimens and management at weaning puts a heavy burden on the animal’s immature digestive system. This leads to a disturbed immune system and microbiota, and increased susceptibility to diseases. Stress already starts at birth, a crucial period filled with risks: piglets must be born strong and healthy and remain that way. Once born, piglets encounter several hurdles: piglets suffer from all kinds of pathogenic challenges with an immature immune system. There is a significant and immediate demand on the gut to digest and absorb nutrients efficiently to maintain a high growth rate. Intestinal epithelial cell integrity is of prime importance considering that this epithelium is responsible for absorption of water, electrolytes, and nutrients. Not to forget the beneficial microbiome that must establish itself as soon as possible to guarantee a fully functioning intestinal tract. Once the piglet could manage these hurdles, another event, considered as a major stressor, takes place: weaning. Although technological improvements in housing, nutrition, and management are available to minimise the stress, piglets are weaned at unphysiologically early ages. The sudden change in dietary regimens at weaning places a heavy burden on the immature digestive system of the piglet. The gastro-intestinal tract is affected by a change in microbiome, mechanical damage, and inflammation as reaction to the stresses (social, nutritional, handling) of weaning. The effects are aggravated by the immature immune system which has not developed a full response to cope with pathogens, resulting in disease . It is clear impairment of the normal gut and immune function, leading to diarrhoea and even death, which needs to be avoided.
AGRIBUSINESS: 4 piglet parameters for lifetime performance. Genetic selection is leading to larger litters of piglets born with lowered levels of physiological maturity. As this trend amplifies an evolutionary strategy in swine favouring survival of the fittest, it presents negative performance and animal welfare implications. Sow Peripartal Syndrome is a complex web of interactions affecting sows and piglets during the peripartal period. At least four parameters are present at birth that can ultimately determine piglets’ lifetime performance. The following is an update on research underway to managing the syndrome. Alive at birth While genetic selection has increased the total number of pigs per litter, the number of pigs born alive has not increased at the same pace. Among stillborn piglets, 75% die during farrowing, with asphyxia being the most common cause of death. Risk factors associated with stillbirths include prolonged farrowing, birth order, birth weight and intra-uterine growth retardation. While traditional strategies to reduce the number of stillborn piglets have focused on supervision and intervention during the farrowing process. Trouw Nutrition research is focusing on changes occurring throughout all phases of the reproductive cycle which may affect the number of piglets born alive. For example, as most stillborn piglets died during the farrowing process, we are finding solutions to make piglets more resilient through the challenging farrowing process.
AGRIBUSINESS: Heat stress in pigs and its effect on the gut. Heat Stress is a physiological response to high environmental temperatures, where the animal is out of its thermoneutral zone and can no longer effectively regulate its body temperature. Consequently, animal health, well-being and performance are negatively affected. When pigs are exposed to high environmental temperatures, several behavioural, physiological and metabolic mechanisms are activated to reduce heat production and increase heat dissipation to maintain the body temperature within normal physiological ranges. The most effective mechanism to reduce heat production is to lower the feed intake. This drop in feed intake is more accentuated as the body weight decreases.
VETERINARY MEDICINE: Seizures in Dogs. A seizure is a sudden episode of abnormal brain activity that often involves some loss of body control.Some dogs begin to act strange before a seizure begins and may become anxious or restless. Some may stagger, appear disoriented, or exhibit other abnormal behaviors. This period, which precedes the seizure, usually lasts a few minutes and is called the aura or pre-ictal phase. The seizure itself often manifests as full body convulsions or small, localized spasms that may last from a few seconds to a few minutes. FORMS OF SEIZURES. 1) Generalized or grand mal seizures. 2)Focal seizures. 3)Psychomotor seizures. 4)Cluster seizures. Generalized or grand mal seizures usually involve the entire body. A dog suffering a grand mal seizure may fall over, become stiff, and shake its whole body violently. Many dogs salivate or foam at the mouth, and some urinate and/or defecate involuntarily. Dogs may vocalize as well, whining and growling during a seizure. Focal seizures, the least serious type, are limited to a specific part of the body and may not look like much more than a twitch in the dog's facial muscles or limbs. Psychomotor seizures are characterized by odd behavior that lasts only a minute or two. For example, your dog may suddenly start chasing its tail or acting as if it sees things that aren't really there. Cluster seizures, which are a more serious type, are distinguished by multiple seizures over the course of 24 hours. CAUSES OF SEIZURES. 1)An environmental allergy could be responsible. Usually, removing the allergen from the dog's environment will prevent this type of seizure from recurring. 2) Some viral or bacterial infections may cause seizures in dogs. These are typically treated with antiviral or antibiotic medications. 3)The most common cause of seizures in canines is known as idiopathic epilepsy. It's believed that most dogs with this condition inherit it, but what causes it is still not clear. However, this type of seizure usually presents at times when the dog's brain activity is shifting from one mode to another (such as between sleep and wakefulness). 4) A brain tumor, whether it's malignant or benign, may also cause convulsive seizures in a dog. Treatment & Prevention If your dog has had seizures before and you think one is coming on, try to move the dog to a safe, soft area where there are no sharp objects or hard floors. The best thing you can do is to remain calm and try to keep your dog and yourself out of danger. Never put your hands near or in your dog's mouth during a seizure. Seizures in epileptic dogs can often be regulated with medications and/or lifestyle changes. There are several anticonvulsant medications that are used to control your dog's seizures.Most vets won't recommend pharmaceutical treatment if the seizures occur less often than once a month or if they're very mild. Common medications for seizures include Valium
AGRIBUSINESS: Hens that lay human proteins in eggs offer future therapy hope.Chickens that are genetically modified to produce human proteins in their eggs can offer a cost-effective method of producing certain types of drugs, research suggests. The study -- which has initially focused on producing high quality proteins for use in scientific research -- found the drugs work at least as well as the same proteins produced using existing methods. High quantities of the proteins can be recovered from each egg using a simple purification system and there are no adverse effects on the chickens themselves, which lay eggs as normal. Researchers say the findings provide sound evidence for using chickens as a cheap method of producing high quality drugs for use in research studies and, potentially one day, in patients. Eggs are already used for growing viruses that are used as vaccines, such as the flu jab. This new approach is different because the therapeutic proteins are encoded in the chicken's DNA and produced as part of the egg white.
RESEARCH: New skin test detects prion infection before symptoms appear. Prions can infect both humans and animals, causing Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans, mad cow disease in cattle, and chronic wasting disease in elk and deer. The infectious, misfolded protein particles often go undetected as they destroy brain tissue, causing memory loss, mobility issues, and ultimately death. Preclinical detection of prions has proven difficult, but new research suggests skin samples hold early signs of prion disease that precede neurologic symptoms. Currently, a definitive diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is dependent on the examination of diseased brain tissue obtained at biopsy or autopsy. It has been impossible to detect at the early preclinical stage," said Wenquan Zou, MD, PhD, associate professor of pathology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. In a ground-breaking study published in Nature Communications, Zou and an international team of researchers successfully used two methods to detect prions in skin samples collected from inoculated rodents. The study provides the first proof-of-concept evidence that readily accessible skin samples could be used to detect prion disease early -- before clinical symptoms appear. In the new study, Zou and colleagues successfully detected prions in rodent skin samples as early as two weeks post-infection. They also detected prions in the skin of uninoculated rodents that were housed alongside inoculated cage mates, demonstrating that prion transmission can occur between cohabiting rodents.
Tuesday, January 29, 2019
RESEARCH: Eyes of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease patients show evidence of prions. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rare, degenerative, fatal brain disorder. It affects about one person in every one million per year worldwide; in the United States there are about 350 cases per year. CJD belongs to a family of human and animal diseases known as the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases. A prion—derived from “protein” and “infectious”—causes CJD in people and TSEs in animals. Spongiform refers to the characteristic appearance of infected brains, which become filled with holes until they resemble sponges when examined under a microscope. CJD is the most common of the known human TSEs. CJD usually appears in later life and runs a rapid course. The typical onset of symptoms occurs at about age 60, and about 70 percent of individuals die within one year. In the early stages of the disease, people may have failing memory, behavioral changes, lack of coordination, and visual disturbances. As the illness progresses, mental deterioration becomes pronounced and involuntary movements, blindness, weakness of extremities, and coma may occur. There are three major categories of CJD. 1)In sporadic (sCJD), the disease appears even though the person has no known risk factors for the disease. This is by far the most common type of CJD and accounts for at least 85 percent of cases. 2)In hereditary CJD, the person may have a family history of the disease and test positive for a genetic mutation associated with CJD. About 10 to 15 percent of cases of CJD in the United States are hereditary. 3) in acquired CJD, the disease is transmitted by exposure to brain or nervous system tissue, usually through certain medical procedures. There is no evidence that CJD is contagious through casual contact with someone who has CJD. Since CJD was first described in 1920, fewer than one percent of cases have been acquired CJD. A type of CJD called variant CJD (or vCJD) can be acquired by eating meat from cattle affected by a disease similar to CJD called bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or, commonly, “mad cow” disease. A new study, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine with colleagues at the National Institutes of Health and UC San Francisco, report finding tell-tale evidence of the condition's infectious agent in the eyes of deceased sCJD patients, making the eye a potential source for both early CJD detection and prevention of disease transmission. In the November 20 issue of the journal mBio, co-corresponding author Christina J. Sigurdson, DVM, PhD, professor of pathology at UC San Diego and UC Davis, and colleagues discovered high levels of prions in the eyes of 11 deceased patients, all with confirmed sCJD. Almost half of sCJD patients develop visual disturbances, and its a known fact that the disease can be unknowingly transmitted through corneal graft transplantation.
Monday, January 28, 2019
BIOSECURITY. Following simple but specific protocols everyday to positively influence animal health, food safety and public health. What are the basic protocols in biosecurity? Biosecurity basically entails, prevention of pathogens from entering premises to ensure there is no disease incidence, and curtail spread of diseases in cases of outbreaks. Pathogens are disease causing microorganisms that usually have devastating effect on animals, resulting in decreased production and death in severe cases. Pathogens can be bacteria, viruses, fungi and prion. Pathogens . The animal kingdom is riddled with several pathogens that wreck havoc on these animals irrespective of specie. These pathogens are also of importance to man, especially when these cause zoonotic diseases. Zoonotic diseases are spread from animals to man, and sometimes there is a reverse zoonoses where man actually spreads the disease to their animals. Route of transmission. The basic routes are: Direct contact. Aerosol. Oral. Fomites. Vector borne Zoonoses. Reproduction. Environmental contamination. Mode of transmission. Direct contact ;disease spread by contact with open wounds, mucous membrane of an infected animal or its secretions/tissue fluids. Disease can also spread through contact with reproductive fluid(blood, urine and saliva) during breeding, or from mother to offspring. Aerosol; droplets containing the pathogenic agent travel in air and are inhaled as respiratory droplets by animals Oral; ingestion of the pathogenic agent from contaminated feed ,chewing/licking contaminated objects in environment and water. Fomites; spread of the pathogen through contact with inanimate objects contaminated by infected animals. Man can act as fomites by transferring these pathogens in through soiled boots, gloves or tools.
Sunday, January 27, 2019
AGRIBUSINESS: GlobalG.A.P. as a Way to Safer Food and Safer Food as a Way to a Better Business.An international study conducted by Unilever reveals that more than a third of consumers (33%) are now choosing to buy from companies they believe are producing in accordance with ecological principles, and the majority of consumers nowadays expect that products they buy fulfill high social, ecological and ethical standards (source: Unilever). When buying, consumers are wondering: 'Is this product good for my family and me? Is this produced in a healthy way? Although the label claims it is organic, is it really? Is it possible for a false statement to be on a label? Is the price I’m paying justified? Although there are already many certificates that seem to guarantee the origin of the product, there is only one which has definitive rules for growers to follow. The GLOBALG.A.P. is a food safety standard developed to regulate food production processes from micro to macro level of producing. GLOBALG.A.P. certificate can provide the customer a complete transparency of the food production process, from the farm to its final product.
VETERINARY MEDICINE: How to prepare for a new kitten in your home.Kittens have a sophisticated sense of smell and they learn a lot about their world through their nose. If it is possible, leave an item of clothing or towel from your home with your kitten for a few days before you collect them. When you do collect them, take this item with you, the familiar scents will help your kitten to settle into their new home quicker. It is important not to overwhelm your new kitten on arrival. They will need time to adjust, so give them somewhere to hide, such as a cardboard box with a soft toy. The ticking of an alarm clock may also be comforting as it mimics the sound of their mother’s heart. You may wish to keep your kitten in one room of the house to begin with, and slowly introduce them to the rest of the house. It is important that your kitten has a safe quiet place where their water and feeding bowls can be left, and another for their litter tray. Cats can feel vulnerable when they are eating and toileting, so performing these activities in a sheltered area will help to reduce stress. VETERINARY MEDICINE: How to prepare for a new kitten in your home. Cats are not naturally social animals and generally prefer to be alone. However, cats can live together happily with the right measures in place. If you have more than one cat, they should each have their own bowls, litter trays and toys, at least one for each cat and an extra. Any competition over resources could cause stress and dominance issues between your pets. VETERINARY MEDICINE: How to prepare for a new kitten in your home. Your First Vet Visit It is always a good idea to make an appointment with your chosen vet as soon as possible. The vet will give your new kitten a full physical examination, including listening to their heart and lungs and checking their eyes, ears and mouth. They will be looking for signs of parasitic infection, illness and birth defects. This first visit is a great time to ask specific questions about your kitten’s health and well-being, such as which is the best type of food to feed and when should you book in for their vaccinations. Depending on the age and health of your kitten, your vet may recommend a vaccination course is started at this first visit. VETERINARY MEDICINE: How to prepare for a new kitten in your home. Fleas and Worms Kittens commonly are infected by parasites, and due to their small size and immature immunity these parasites can have a large impact on their health. Your veterinary surgeon will be able to give you advice on products suitable for your kitten’s age and weight. Dog flea products should never be used on a cat as some can be extremely toxic to cats.
RESEARCH: Ebola virus found in bat in West Africa for the first time.The Ebola virus has been found in a bat in Liberia, the country’s government and scientists with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health announced this week. The discovery marks the first time the virus has ever been found in a bat in West Africa, though it has previously been found in bats in Central Africa, according to the Tech Times. The university's Mailman School of Public Health said in a statement Thursday that scientists found “genetic material from the virus and ebolavirus antibodies” in a greater long-fingered bat located in the Nimna District of Liberia. Preliminary testing indicates a specific strain of the virus — Zaire ebolavirus — may have been found in the bat. Zaire ebolavirus is “responsible for causing the West African Ebola epidemic which infected nearly 30,000 people between 2013 and 2016,” according to the Mailman School of Public Health's statement.
AGRIBUSINESS: How to revive a new born calf. Calves are at a relatively high risk of mortality as soon as they are born. When they hit the ground, and their navel cord is severed, they need to obtain oxygen through the lungs. They do this by starting to breath. However sometimes a difficult or prolonged calving can result in trauma or a weak calf, and they need a bit of help kicking it into gear. A newborn calf's nostrils and mouth are covered with mucous which can affect their breathing, and there are multiple ways a farmer can help to clear them. 1) Stimulate the nostrils to make the calf cough or sneeze. If you tickle the calf’s nostrils with something small, soft and clean you can bring about a cough or a sneeze to clear away the mucous. Usually this is done with straw or a gloved fingertip. Be careful though - if it isn’t clean, small enough to enter the nostril or soft enough, it could injure or inflame the nose. 2) Cold stimulation of the calf. Pouring cold water over the head or into the ear of a newborn calf can bring about head shakes and coughing to clear fluid from their throat. This sudden gush of cold water will come as a shock and is a pretty abrupt welcome into the world for a newborn calf . 3) Aspiration: You can inflate the lungs of a newborn calf by aspiration in a few ways. One way is to insert a soft tube into the nostril. Another is by placing a gas mask over the snout of the calf. This practice prompts the calf to snort like the straw method, however is comes with the added benefit of having the added momentum of a lungful of air. AGRIBUSINESS: How to revive a new born calf.
Friday, January 25, 2019
RESEARCH: Dry-cured ham bones -- a source of heart-healthy peptides.Drinking bone broth is a recent diet fad that proponents claim fights inflammation, eases joint pain and promotes gut health. Simmering animal bones in water releases collagen and other proteins into the broth that may have health benefits, although more research is needed to validate these claims. Now, a new study in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has shown that ham bones contain peptides that could have cardioprotective effects. During cooking and digestion, proteins from animal bones can be broken down into smaller pieces, or peptides, that have different properties than the intact protein. For example, some peptides from collagen act as antioxidants or inhibitors of disease-related enzymes. To see if Spanish dry-cured ham bones could be a source of beneficial peptides, Leticia Mora and colleagues ground up the bones and simulated conditions of cooking and human digestion. Then, they examined whether the bone samples could block the activities of several enzymes involved in cardiovascular disease. The researchers found that the bone peptides, most of which were derived from collagen and hemoglobin proteins, inhibited the enzymes even after heating and simulated digestion. In fact, these treatments released additional bioactive peptides, suggesting that the use of ham bones to make broths and stews could have a positive impact on cardiovascular health. RESEARCH: Dry-cured ham bones -- a source of heart-healthy peptides.
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
VETERINARY MEDICINE: Urbanization may hold key to tiger survival.Conservationists look at five human socioeconomic scenarios to better understand fate of endangered big cat.A new wildlife conservation society led study published in the journal Biological Conservation says the future of tigers in Asia is linked to the path of demographic transition -- for humans. The study marks the first-of-its-kind analysis that overlays human population scenarios with the fate of these endangered big cats. Prior to the 20th century, some experts estimate there were more than 100,000 tigers living in the wild; today that number is between 3000 -- 4000. At the same, over the last 150 years, the human population of Asia as grown from 790 million to over 4 billion, with dire consequences for tigers and other wildlife. But these trends are changing. The demographic transition is the process by which human populations peak and then go down. The researchers looked at different scenarios of economic, education, migration, and urbanization policy. In 2010, 57 million people lived in areas defined as "tiger conservation landscapes" that contained all of the world's remaining wild tigers. However, by 2100, depending on population trends, as few as 40 million people could be sharing space with tigers, or it could be as many as 106 million.
AGRIBUSINESS: Rising temperatures may safeguard crop nutrition as climate changes.Hotter temperatures may offset the negative effects of higher carbon dioxide levels on seed quality.Recent research has shown that rising carbon dioxide levels will likely boost yields, but at the cost of nutrition. A new study in Plant Journal from the University of Illinois, U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), and Donald Danforth Plant Science Center suggests that this is an incomplete picture of the complex environmental interactions that will affect crops in the future -- and rising temperatures may actually benefit nutrition but at the expense of lower yields. Two years of field trials show that increasing temperatures by about 3 degrees Celsius may help preserve seed quality, offsetting the effects of carbon dioxide that make food less nutritious. In soybeans, elevated carbon dioxide levels decreased the amount of iron and zinc in the seed by about 8 to 9 percent, but increased temperatures had the opposite effect.Iron and zinc are essential for both plant and human health.
RESEARCH : Plants smell different when attacked by exotic herbivores.Plants emit odors in response to herbivory. A new study reveals that the odor bouquet changes depending on the type of enemy that attacks the plant. To the surprise of the researchers involved, native plants emit a special odor bouquet when they are attacked by exotic herbivores.
RESEARCH :HOW PLANTS SMELL.Plants don't need noses to smell. The ability is in their genes. Researchers have discovered the first steps of how information from odor molecules changes gene expression in plants. Manipulating plants' odor detection systems may lead to new ways of influencing plant behavior. Plants detect a class of odor molecules known as volatile organic compounds, which are essential for many plant survival strategies, including attracting birds and bees, deterring pests, and reacting to disease in nearby plants. These compounds also give essential oils their distinctive scents.
AGRIBUSINESS: Body-painting protects against bloodsucking insects. A study by researchers from Sweden and Hungary shows that white, painted stripes on the body protect skin from insect bites. It is the first time researchers have successfully shown that body-painting has this effect. Among indigenous peoples who wear body-paint, the markings thus provide a certain protection against insect-borne diseases. Most of the indigenous communities who paint their bodies live in areas where there is an abundance of bloodsucking horseflies, mosquitoes or tsetse flies. When these insects bite people there is a risk of bacteria, parasites and other pathogens being transferred. The study shows that body-painting provides protection against the insects. A brown plastic model of a human attracted ten times as many horseflies as a dark model painted with white stripes. The researchers also found that a beige-coloured plastic figure used as a control model attracted twice as many bloodsuckers as the striped model.
VETERINARY MEDICINE: Transmission of antibiotic resistant E. coli mapped in wild giraffe social networks.
VETERINARY MEDICINE: Transmission of antibiotic resistant E. coli mapped in wild giraffe social networks.A team has shown that antibiotic-resistant Escherichia coli bacteria in wild giraffes most likely come from anthropogenic sources, such as local cattle herds and humans. The team from the University of Minnesota has shown that antibiotic-resistant Escherichia coli bacteria in wild giraffes most likely come from anthropogenic sources, such as local cattle herds and humans. The research is published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. They found that the majority of antibiotic resistance genes identified in giraffe E. coli had been previously identified in E. coli from both humans and domestic cattle in East Africa. Giraffes three months of age or younger were more likely to harbor antibiotic resistant E. coli than other age groups. This is a surprise as giraffe neonates nurse from their mothers exclusively and interact minimally with other group members, leading to a prediction they would have low exposure to resistant bacteria and residual antibiotics in their environment. The result suggest there may be competition between antibiotic resistant and susceptible E. coli strains in the giraffe neonatal gut, with resistant E. coli having a selective advantage.
VETERINARY MEDICINE: Feline morbilli virus. Feline morbillivirus (FeMV) was first reported in domestic cats in Hong Kong and China in 2012, and has since has been detected in Japan, Europe and the Americas. It was named as the seventh species in the genus Morbillivirus, alongside important pathogens of humans and animals such as measles virus and canine distemper virus. Despite a widespread distribution, like FcaGHV1 it is unclear whether FeMV causes disease in cats. Of particular interest to the veterinary community, however, is a link that has been suggested in several reports between FeMV and tubulointerstitial nephritis, the pathological manifestation of feline Chronic kidney disease.
VETERINARY MEDICINE: Emerging viruses in cats.Emerging infectious diseases comprise a substantial fraction of important human infections, with potentially devastating global health and economic impacts A 2008 paper in Nature described the emergence of no fewer than 335 infectious diseases in the global human population between 1940 and 2004. In the veterinary field, just as in the medical field, advanced molecular techniques and sophisticated computer-based algorithms for genetic sequence assembly and analysis have revolutionized infectious disease research. They have also raised important questions, as the potential pathogenic role of novel viruses can be difficult to determine. What is well understood is that novel viruses may contribute to diseases that are major causes of feline morbidity and mortality, including cancer and chronic kidney disease (CKD). A state-of-the-art review article published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery this month focuses on two novel viruses that have the potential to negatively impact feline health and welfare globally -- gammaherpesvirus and morbillivirus. For many years, domestic cats were identified as the natural host for just a single herpesvirus, feline herpesvirus 1, which is a common cause of ocular and upper respiratory tract disease. In 2014, a targeted virus discovery programme, prompted by the clinical observation that cats develop the types of cancer that, in humans, are caused by gammaherpesviruses, identified Felis catus gammaherpesvirus 1 (FcaGHV1). The first gammaherpesvirus known to infect domestic cats, FcaGHV1 is widely endemic; studies suggest that cats can be infected from 2 months of age, and that most adult cats are persistently infected. What is not yet known is whether FcaGHV1 has any pathogenic role in cats. Comparative evidence, however, suggests that while gammaherpesvirus infections typically remain subclinical, in certain circumstances, often after many years of infection, they can cause severe and frequently fatal disease.
Sunday, January 20, 2019
VETERINARY MEDICINE: Dogs can be a potential risk for future influenza pandemic. Dogs are a potential reservoir for a future influenza pandemic, according to a new study. The study demonstrated that influenza virus can jump from pigs into canines and that influenza is becoming increasingly diverse in canines. Influenza can jump among animal reservoirs where many different strains are located; these reservoirs serve as mixing bowls for the genetic diversity of strains. Pandemic influenza occurs when viruses jump from animal reservoirs to humans; with no prior exposure to the virus, most people do not have immunity to these viruses. The main animal hosts for influenza are wild birds, poultry and other domestic birds in a species pack; swine; and horses. Fifteen years ago, researchers documented an influenza virus in a horse jumping into a dog, and this created the first circulating canine influenza viruses. Five years ago, researchers identified an avian-origin H3N2 canine influenza virus circulating in farmed dogs in Guangdong, China.
VETERINARY MEDICINE: Prototype of robot dog nose.Every day, thousands of trained K9 dogs sniff out narcotics, explosives and missing people. These dogs are invaluable for security, but they're also expensive. Researchers have made the beginning steps toward an artificial 'robot nose' device that officers could use instead of dogs. The heart of the system would be living odor receptors grown from mouse genes that respond to target odors, including the smells of cocaine and explosives.
Researchers have generated six Zika virus antibodies.Researchers have generated six Zika virus antibodies that could be used to test for and possibly treat a mosquito-borne disease that has infected more than 1.5 million people worldwide. The antibodies "may have the dual utility as diagnostics capable of recognizing Zika virus subtypes and may be further developed to treat Zika virus infection," corresponding author Ravi Durvasula, MD, and colleagues report in a study published in the journal PLOS ONE. Zika is spread mainly by mosquitos. Most infected people experience no symptoms or mild symptoms such as a rash, mild fever and red eyes. But infection during pregnancy can cause miscarriages, stillbirths and severe birth defects such as microcephaly. Zika virus is a textbook example of an emerging disease that appears quickly, often in remote areas with little or no public health infrastructure. There is no effective vaccine or drug to treat the disease.
RESEARCH :Mosquito known to transmit malaria has been detected in Ethiopia for the first time.A type of mosquito that transmits malaria has been detected in Ethiopia for the first time, and the discovery has implications for putting more people at risk for malaria in new regions. The mosquito, Anopheles stephensi, normally is found in the Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and China. Previous research shows that more than 68 percent of Ethiopia's population is at risk for malaria, with an average of 2.5 million cases reported annually, according to the World Malaria Report of 2017.
VETERINARY MEDICINE: Medical detection dogs help diabetes patients regulate insulin levels. New research by the University of Bristol in collaboration with Medical Detection Dogs has found that the best trained alert dogs have the potential to vastly improve the quality of life of people living with Type 1 diabetes. As reported in PLOS One, on average trained dogs alerted their owners to 83 per cent of hypoglycaemic episodes in over 4,000 hypo- and hyper-glycaemic episodes that were examined. A hypoglycaemic episode is where blood sugar drops dangerously low and if left untreated, can lead to unconsciousness or even death.