DEAR READERS: “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” is the famous and timely statement of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The human death and injury tolls we are witnessing in Ukraine, Palestine, Israel, Sudan and Yemen are spreading this blindness and its tragic consequences to all sides, including all the millions of animals in their communities.
While reflecting on Gandhi’s words, I came across a relevant article by Indian physicians Dr. Harish Gupta and Dr. Satish Kumar in the British Medical Journal. Entitled “Acknowledge, in the curriculum, those who suffered for the advancement of medical science,” it is about the ethics of gaining medical information from wartime atrocities. They conclude: “To aspire for an everlasting peace in our world, we need to realize that the human race is one and all the perpetrators of violence need to be equated -- regardless of their religion, nationality, allegiance or ideology. On the other side, we believe that all the sufferers deserve our equal sympathy, care, moral support, and a feeling of belonging; regardless of their demographic characteristics.” (See the story at BMJ.com, posted March 4, 2020.)
With both eyes open, we can surely make peace with each other, evolve, see the future and even make it better. We and other social animals have mirror neurons in our brains that enable feeling for others and allow the interpretation of their behavior in self-referential terms. Some emotions in social animals are highly contagious and generally have survival value -- except in humans, when manipulated for harmful ideological and political ends.
If we do not control our emotional reactions and utilize our mirror neurons -- that is, if we let wars continue instead of collectively addressing the rapidly deteriorating condition of the planet -- this era will become a global dystopia.
We are already witnessing more extreme climatic events; pandemic diseases, which also decimate wildlife populations; strife over dwindling natural resources; community violence; child and animal abuse; deaths from drug overdoses; and suicides now increasing in younger age groups, along with cancer. It is self-evident from a One Health perspective that harming the environment is a crime against humanity and should be prosecuted since we and all life are connected.
All nations must now make peace and cooperate in restoring the environment, natural biodiversity, wildlife habitat and agricultural sustainability for the health and security of generations to come. And all of us need to see each other with eyes wide open and put an end to sexism, racism and speciesism.
DEAR DR. FOX: I am writing you because my dog just had a seizure and we think it’s from neosporosis. Just wondering if you had any advice. Do you think antibiotics will buy us some time? -- C.J., Witzenhausen, Germany
DEAR C.J.: So sorry to hear about your dog’s health issue. Has the diagnosis been confirmed, and if so, how do you think he got it? Feeding raw meat to dogs can be one significant source.
Below is more information on the disease, pulled from this article: pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30050838.
"The domestic and wild canids are the definitive host of the parasite. They shed oocysts after ingestion of tissue cysts from infected intermediate hosts (ovine, equine, bovine, canine, and many other species), containing bradyzoites, or oocyst-contaminated water and food. The presence of dogs in farms is considered a risk factor for production animals. A wide range of diagnostic methods are currently available, but the most used is serology, i.e., indirect fluorescent antibody test specific to the antibody detection in blood serum samples. No vaccine is available, but control strategies should be focused on the vertical and horizontal transmission of the parasite, i.e., avoid feeding dogs with raw or undercooked meat, and taking care with water for human and animal consumption."
Clindamycin is the first line of treatment adopted by some veterinarians, and courses of over eight weeks are sometimes required. The prognosis for puppies, once contracture has occurred, is poor. Clinical neosporosis in puppies has been treated with some success by prolonged administration of clindamycin or potentiated sulfa drugs.
The possibility of dogs contracting neosporosis is one of the reasons why I advise against them being fed raw and undercooked meats. It is fortunate that people are relatively immune to this organism and rarely become infected.
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