Monday, April 8, 2013

Toxic Plants. Ditch Corn Pet Food NOW. Wayne State’s Cruelty. Dog Fighting. Saved Prairie Dogs. Cats and Dry Food. Pottenger's Cats. Mink Farm. Wildlife on the Range. WPA. Hank Aaron.


For “Mammal Monday”:

6 Toxic Springtime Plants

“Many gardeners who are also pet owners are surprised to learn that certain beautiful, traditional spring flowers are potentially deadly for the family dog or cat.

#1: Tulips and Hyacinths. Tulips contain allergenic lactones. Lactones are derived from chemical compounds and taste a bit like whiskey. Hyacinths contain similar compounds. It's the bulbs of these two plants, not the leaves or flowers, that are toxic.
Symptoms of poisoning by one of these plants can include mouth and esophageal irritation, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, increase in heart rate, and changes in breathing.  There's no antidote if your pup is poisoned by eating a tulip or hyacinth bulb, and severe symptoms need immediate treatment.

#2: Daffodils. If your pet licks or eats any part of a daffodil — the bulb, plant or flower — she will ingest an alkaloid called lycorine that can irritate the tissues of her mouth and throat and cause excessive drooling.
Lycorine can also trigger a gastrointestinal response like vomiting, abdominal pain or diarrhea. In more serious cases, heart and respiratory problems can occur. Severe symptoms such as these require immediate attention by a veterinarian.


#3: Lilies.  The variety of lily determines whether it is a relatively harmless or potentially deadly plant. Non-toxic varieties of lilies include the Calla, Peace and Peruvian. If your pet samples one of these plants, his upper digestive tract may become irritated and he may drool.
Types of poisonous lilies include the Tiger, Asiatic, Stargazer, Casablanca, Rubrum, Day, Japanese Show and Easter lily. These toxic lilies can prove deadly for your cat. If kitty swallows even a tiny amount of any portion of these plants, including the pollen, kidney failure can result.  If you suspect your cat has ingested any part of a lily, you should get both your pet and the plant to a veterinary clinic right away. Time is of the essence, so don't delay.

#4: Crocuses.  The variety of crocus plants that blooms in the spring is a member of the Iridaceae family. Spring crocuses can cause gastrointestinal upset in your pet, typically vomiting and diarrhea.
The crocus that blooms in autumn is known as the Meadow Saffron, and this plant is highly poisonous to companion animals.  If your dog or cat tastes a Meadow Saffron crocus, she can experience severe vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver and kidney damage, and respiratory failure. Symptoms of toxicity from this plant can appear immediately upon ingestion up to several days later.  If your pet shows signs of poisoning by an autumn blooming crocus, take her for veterinary treatment right away, and bring along the plant.


#5: Lily of the Valley.  Signs your dog or cat has eaten a lily of the valley plant can include vomiting, diarrhea, a drop in heart rate or severe cardiac arrhythmia, and seizures.
The substance in lilies of the valley that is toxic to your pet is called cardiac glycosides. If you think your pet has ingested a lily of the valley, you should get him to your vet for evaluation.


#6: Fertilized Plants.  The fertilizer you use on your plants can be just as dangerous, or more so, than the plants themselves. If you fertilize your lawn and garden in the spring, you should be aware of which types of fertilizer compounds are potentially fatal if swallowed by your pet.
Most fertilizers cause only mild gastrointestinal symptoms if eaten, but there are a few watch-outs including fertilizers containing blood meal, bone meal, disulfoton or another type of organophosphate, and iron.”  From:


Ditch This Pet Food Now - Can Be Deadly to Your Pets

Dry Dog Food“As we predicted in November of last year, dry dog foods containing corn and corn products harvested from last summer’s crop could present a significant risk of aflatoxin contamination.  The summer of 2012 across the Midwest was very dry and very hot, creating an environment in which certain types of plant mold proliferate. These molds produce metabolites called aflatoxins, which are mycotoxins known to cause acute lethal illness in both animals and humans.

Voluntary recalls of dry dog food due to high levels of aflatoxin contamination have already begun across states in the Midwest. Unfortunately, because of the behavior of the molds involved, it has proved difficult to control, minimize or even accurately assess levels of contamination.

If you feed dry dog food to your pet, we are repeating our recommendations to transition to another type of diet and/or carefully avoid any pet food containing corn or corn products.”    More at:


Court Says Wayne State Must Provide Records of Dog Heart Failure Experiments

“A Michigan court has rejected a Wayne State University lawsuit that attempted to stop the Physicians Committee from accessing public records showing the details of its heart failure experiments on dogs.

“Now that the facts can finally be made public, it will be clear that the experiments are cruel, and that there is no shortage of better research methods,” said Leslie Rudloff, senior counsel for the Physicians Committee.

Queenie, do used in medical experimentAccording to medical records obtained previously by the Physicians Committee, Charlie, a hound-Labrador mix, experienced two major surgeries to place medical devices in her body and had weeping wounds where catheters protruded. Jessie, a husky, didn’t suffer as long as Charlie. She died suddenly just six days after her first surgery. The Physicians Committee has obtained a photo of Queenie, a Dalmatian mix, who died in Wayne State’s laboratory in 2010.

Wasted Money, Wasted Lives,  Queenie, Charlie, and Jessie are three of the hundreds of dogs used in Wayne State’s heart experiments funded with millions of dollars from the National Institutes of Health.”     Please read this:  Queenie's Story: From Home to Laboratory     More at:


Dog Fighting Is Not Entertainment!

Tell YouTube to remove all videos containing any form of dog fighting

“The ASPCA recently assisted federal, state, and local agencies in a massive investigation that culminated in a multi-state dog-fighting raid. The dogs involved were rescued and transported to an emergency temporary shelter in an undisclosed location, where they will receive much needed veterinary care and treatment from the ASPCA.”

“Dog fighting, in and of itself is a heinous crime. What may be surprising to find out, however, is the idea that others are encouraging dog fighting by offering instructional videos about the activity., the world's largest video sharing website, features videos depicting dog fights and material images[4]related to it.

Dog fighting is an abhorrent "sport" in which owners pit two dogs against each other in the ring and have them fight until one collapses or dies. The other dog is most often injured as well.  YouTube should not allow these videos to be featured on anywhere on the site as they only promote violence and carnage.

Write to YouTube's CEO asking him to prohibit these videos and stand up for dogs here: "


Prairie Dog Coalition Works With Colorado Highway Department

“The Humane Society of the United States Prairie Dog Coalition's latest project is advising the Colorado Department of Transportation on how to safely remove a prairie dog colony from a construction site near Boulder.

"We’re thrilled CDOT is using nonlethal means to relocate this keystone species," said Ghia Speakman, program manager for The HSUS’ Prairie Dog Coalition. "This effort demonstrates that we can protect imperiled prairie dogs at construction sites. We support CDOT with their humane and supported approach to prairie dog management and are excited to see these animals relocated."

To move the prairie dogs away from the heavy equipment, CDOT is catching them and actively relocating each one to a safer environment.”

“Business mogul and philanthropist Ted Turner talks about why it's so important to protect this country's prairie dogs. The Prairie Dog Coalition is thrilled to honor Turner with the 2011 Prairie Dog Protector award.”  From:

_______WebMD: Better information. Better health.

Cat Feeding Mistakes: Feeding Only Dry Food

“The biggest mistake people make is feeding cats dry food,” says Lisa A. Pierson, DVM, a California veterinarian focused on feline medicine and nutrition, and creator of

As it turns out, today’s domestic tabby evolved from desert-dwelling ancestors, a heritage that no doubt left our furry felines with their grace, hunting prowess -- and low thirst drive.

“We know that a cat’s sensitivity to thirst is blunted compared to a dog,” Case says. “They don't voluntarily drink water like a dog would.” And because cats naturally produce highly concentrated urine “we're setting them up for urinary tract problems when their diet is low in liquids.”

“When cats present with urinary tract problems, the recommendation is to get them on a water-rich diet,” Pierson says. “However, why are we closing the barn door after the horse is a mile down the road? Why not practice preventive nutrition by feeding them [moisture-rich] canned food before they end up with urinary tract problems?”

Cats are designed to get their water with their food, Pierson says. Although mice, a cat's normal food, are about 70% water, and canned food about 78%, dry food is between 5%-10% water. That's why “canned food does a much better job of keeping your cat well-hydrated,” Pierson tells WebMD. “Think of canned food as hosing down your cat's bladder several times a day.”  More at:


Proper Feeding from Pottenger's Cats

“Between 1932 and 1942, Francis M. Pottenger, Jr., M.D. researched the use of adrenal hormones in respiratory complaints such as asthma. Because cats cannot live without their adrenal glands they were used as laboratory animals to standardize the extracts. Pottenger maintained his cats on what was considered to be a high quality, nutritionally complete feline diet. The cats were fed cooked meat scraps, consisting of liver, tripe, sweetbreads, brains, heart and muscle, from a local sanatorium, raw milk and cod liver oil. Commercial cat food did not appear on the markets until the 1960's. In Pottenger's time, domestic cats either hunted for their food or were fed table scraps.

Compared to the stainless steel cages laboratory cats live in today, Pottenger's cats dwelt in agreeable quarters. They lived in large outdoor pens overlooking the San Gabriel Valley. The outdoor area was covered with chicken wire for adequate sun exposure. They had a trench filled with clean sand for a litter box. The back of the pens was sheltered and contained a wooden floor and bedding. Caretakers removed the cats' uneaten meat and bones and cleaned and refilled the water containers daily.

Even though they received such good care, Pottenger could not understand why the cats were such poor operative risks. Many died in surgery or recovered slowly.

When the cats donated to Pottenger's study outnumbered the food available from the sanatorium, Pottenger placed an order at a local meat packing plant for raw meat scraps, again including the viscera, muscle and bone.

Pottenger fed the raw meat scraps (including raw milk and cod liver oil) to a segregated group of cats, keeping the remainder of his cats on the cooked meat diet. Within a few months the differences between the cats fed raw meat and those fed cooked meat became evident. The raw meat fed cats and kittens were more vigorous and survived surgery better than the cooked meat fed cats.”   More at:


Mink farm fined $48,000 for discharging manure into creeks

imagesCAGLQDX5 BELLINGHAM – “The owner of two Deming area mink farms is being fined $48,000 by the Washington Department of Ecology for discharging water contaminated with manure into nearby salmon-bearing creeks and spawning habitat in eastern Whatcom County.  The farms operate as Marr’s Black Plush Ranch, Inc. at 9471 and 9580 Mount Baker Highway.

imagesCA1XVWHHOn Dec. 10, 2012, Ecology inspectors found water contaminated with mink manure and feed draining directly into ditches that flow to Cornell and Hedrick creeks.  Both creeks are home to five species of salmon and two to three species of trout, and have prime spawning habitat. Two of the species of fish – steelhead trout and chinook salmon – are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Water samples taken from the properties show the fecal coliform bacteria count was up to 240 times greater than the state limit. State law allows 100 fecal coliform bacteria per 100 milliliters of water. The ranch was discharging 24,000 fecal coliform bacteria per 100 milliliters of water.

imagesCASNBIJC Ecology fined the owner $24,000 for similar violations and issued a compliance order in 1999. During the most recent investigation, inspectors found contamination coming from sources documented in the previous case. Also, past improvements made to the ranch had not been maintained. 

This time inspectors discovered thick layers of bacteria on the property and in the ditches – a sign of ongoing contamination. Bacteria from manure pollution can create a human health risk, and can harm fish and other aquatic life by depleting needed oxygen from the water.”  More at:


From me:  I cannot understand why people would want to hang a dead animal around their neck.  Something that died of old age in the Arctic makes good warm clothing, but to deliberately breed and make animals suffer for a useless adornment, beats me.


Protecting a Home for Wildlife on the Range: Ode to a Fenceless Landscape

“Several years ago, I was driving along a snaking bend of State Highway 22 that bisects Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and encountered the body of massive bull elk hanging from a fence that paralleled the road, its back legs hamstrung by four unyielding strands of barbed wire. His antlers were partially buried in a deep, windswept trough of snow and his lifeless eyes fixed on some distant point on the horizon. I wondered how long he had been hanging there, (and how long it took him to die.)

Since that time, I have become more aware of man’s heavy hand on the landscape, and a deep desire has grown in my heart to change things—really fix the problems, beyond the ebb and flow of politics. Last year, Nature Valley generously granted my wish.

A volunteer removes wire to modify a fence near Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton still permits some cattle grazing in the park—a grandfathered use from its historic ranching past. The fences in the North Elk Ranch allotment have been kept in good condition, but still block wildlife movement in the northern part of the park, where many species of animals migrate through. In the spring, we met with the manager of the Pinto Ranch to discuss how to make the fences in this area safer for wildlife, while still providing a reliable enclosure for his cows. We collectively agreed upon a modification of a five-mile fence that would raise the bottom wire to allow pronghorn to crawl under it, and then add a top rail to prevent wildlife from becoming ensnared as they jumped the fence.”  More at:


On This Day:

WPA established by Congress, Apr 8, 1935:

“On April 8, 1935, Congress votes to approve the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a central part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal."

In November 1932, at the height of the Great Depression, Governor Roosevelt of New York was elected the 32nd president of the United States. In his inaugural address on March 4, 1933, Roosevelt promised Americans that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself" and outlined his New Deal--an expansion of the federal government as an instrument of employment opportunity and welfare.

In April 1935, the WPA was established under the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act, as a means of creating government jobs for some of the nation's many unemployed. Under the direction of Harry L. Hopkins, the WPA employed more than 8.5 million persons on 1.4 million public projects before it was disbanded in 1943. The program chose work that would not interfere with private enterprise, especially vast public building projects like the construction of highways, bridges, and dams. However, the WPA also provided federal funding for students, who were given work under the National Youth Administration. The careers of several important American artists, including Jackson Pollack and Willem de Kooning, were also launched thanks to WPA endowments. Although its scale was unprecedented, the WPA never managed to serve more than a quarter of the nation's unemployed. Its programs were extremely popular, though, and contributed significantly to Roosevelt's landslide reelection in 1936.”


Aaron sets new home run record, Apr 8, 1974:

“On this day in 1974, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hits his 715th career home run, breaking Babe Ruth's legendary record of 714 homers. A crowd of 53,775 people, the largest in the history of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, was with Aaron that night to cheer when he hit a 4th inning pitch off the Los Angeles Dodgers' Al Downing.

Although "Hammerin' Hank" specialized in home runs, he was also an extremely dependable batter, and by the end of his career he held baseball's career record for most runs batted in: 2,297.

Aaron's playing career spanned three teams and 23 years. He was with the Milwaukee Braves from 1954 to 1965, the Atlanta Braves from 1966 to 1974 and the Milwaukee Brewers from 1975 to 1976. He hung up his cleats in 1976 with 755 career home runs and went on to become one of baseball's first African-American executives, with the Atlanta Braves, and a leading spokesperson for minority hiring. Hank Aaron was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.”



It was lovely weather, not too hot and not cold, so I was hoping that I would hear from Jay, as we need to start digging again, and find that survey stake. But he must have had other things to do.

I gave Terry-cat several breathing treatments, and it seems like it is breaking up the mucous in his nose.  But all I could get down him was a thimble full of beef baby food from a jar, so he is getting dehydrated again.  He just spits everything out, so I can see another trip to the vet coming up.

As it was a doors-and-windows-open day, Terry spent several hours basking in the sun on the screen porch.  That should help him get his strength up, and give him his Vitamin D dose for the day.

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