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  Mon Feb 06

Dogs Can Detect if someone has Cancer

Dogs can detect if someone has cancer

Dogs can detect if someone has cancer just by sniffing the person's breath, a new study shows.

Dogs can identify chemical traces in the range of parts per trillion. Previous studies have confirmed the ability of trained dogs to detect skin-cancer melanomas by sniffing skin lesions.

Also, some researchers hope to prove dogs can detect prostate cancer by smelling patients' urine.

Lung- and breast-cancer patients are known to exhale patterns of biochemical markers in their breath.

"Cancer cells emit different metabolic waste products than normal cells," Broffman said. "The differences between these metabolic products are so great that they can be detected by a dog's keen sense of smell, even in the early stages of disease."

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/01/0112_060112_dog_cancer.html

   
  Fri Feb 03

St. Bernard

While I was Researching The St. Bernard. I found this:

Barry der Menschenretter (1800–1814), also known as Barry, was a dog of a breed which was later called the St. Bernard that worked as a mountain rescue dog in Switzerland for the Great St Bernard Hospice. He predates the modern St. Bernard, and was lighter built than the modern breed. He has been described as the most famous St. Bernard, as he was credited with saving more than 40 lives during his lifetime.

The legend surrounding him was that he was killed while attempting a rescue; however, this is untrue. Barry retired to Bern, Switzerland and after his death his body was passed into the care of the Natural History Museum of Bern. His skin has been preserved through taxidermy although his skull was modified in 1923 to match the Saint Bernard of that time period. His story and name have been used in literary works, and a monument to him stands in the Cimetière des Chiens near Paris. At the hospice one dog has always been named Barry in his honor and since 2004 the Foundation Barry du Grand Saint Bernard has been set up to take over the responsibility for breeding dogs from the hospice.
TODAY:
St. Bernard dogs are no longer used for Alpine rescues, the last recorded instance of which was in 1955. As late as 2004, the Great St Bernard Hospice still maintained 18 of the dogs for reasons of tradition and sentiment. In that year the Barry Foundation created breeding kennels for the breed at the town of Martigny down the Pass, and purchased the remaining dogs from the Hospice.

The animals bred by the Foundation are trained to participate in a variety of dog sports including carting and weight pulling. The dogs at the Barry Foundation are reportedly smaller than the average St Bernard.

Temperament:
Known as a classic example of a Gentle Giant, the Saint Bernard is calm, patient and sweet with adults, and especially children. However St. Bernards, like all very large dogs, must be well socialized with people and other dogs in order to prevent fearfulness and any possible aggression or territoriality. The biggest threat to small children is being knocked over by this breed's larger size. Overall they are a sweet, gentle, calm, loyal and affectionate breed, and if socialized are very friendly. Because of its large adult size, it is essential that proper training and socialization begin while the St. Bernard is still a puppy, so as to avoid the difficulties that normally accompany training large dogs. An unruly St. Bernard may present problems for even a strong adult, so control needs to be asserted from the beginning of the dog's training. While generally not instinctively protective, a St. Bernard may bark at strangers, and their size makes them good deterrents against possible intruders

   
  Sat Jan 14

Pleuropneumonia in Horses - shipping sickness

Over recent years, quite a number of valuable horses have developed acute infection within the lung and chest commonly referred to as 'travel sickness' or 'shipping disease'.
Horses that have raced or been subjected to strenuous exercise immediately prior to long distance travelling are particularly prone to developing pleuropneumonia, which if not recognised and treated early, is invariably debilitating and may be fatal.

 

Cause   Top Low grade viral infection, breathing contaminated air in poorly ventilated transports and the stress of travel appear to be the main underlying causes.
Travel stress includes:
  • noise
  • cramped spaces
  • high speed driving
  • swaying of trailers, and
  • inadequate rest stops.
    'Short tying' the head can lead to the spread of bacteria from the nose and mouth area into the deeper parts of the respiratory tract, predisposing the horse to travel sickness. The risk of travel sickness is increased if horses are unable to put their heads down to drain normal respiratory secretions.
    Travel sickness is also a problem in horses travelled by air over long distances. Studies have shown that general airborne contamination is highest at the rear of the aircraft and transports, and horses travelling at the rear are most likely to develop the condition.
    Transporting horses which are suffering from underlying viral disease, or are tired and dehydrated after racing or competition, increases the risk.
    Dusty feed and hay containing bacterial germs and moulds, and breathing in dust from roads, results in inhaled contamination, which overloads the lungs' defence system. Unfortunately, many modern 'streamlined' floats and horse transports are often poorly ventilated.
Symptoms   Top It is important to watch for and recognise the tell-tale signs early, especially during the few days following a long trip.
Horses with early pleuropneumonia:
  • become depressed
  • develop a fever
  • go off their feed, and
  • pant in shallow, rapid breaths.
    Early signs may be confused with colic, as horses resist moving, stand with the front legs apart, and paw the ground. As the condition worsens, the horse may turn to look at its painful chest.
    Immediate veterinary advice should be obtained. Unfortunately, once pleuropneumonia worsens, it is difficult to treat, and can result in death within 3-5 days.
Prevention   Top
  1. Always ensure that horses are cooled down, and given a drink before long distance travel. In very tired, dehydrated or stressed horses, long distance travel of over 12 hours duration should be delayed until they recover, preferably at least overnight.
  2. Ensure ventilation is sufficient to keep air flowing without causing chills. An adequate rate of air change is important in large transports carrying a number of horses over long distances.
  3. Provide dampened feed or pellets to reduce dust and airborne contamination. Lightly dampen hay, in particular, by wrapping a biscuit of hay in a wet chaff bag for 2-4 hours to reduce dust and other airborne contamination. This will increase palatability of hay and provide additional moisture during long trips. Locate feeders below chest bar height.
  4. Do not tie the head too short - give the horse as much space as possible to feel comfortable and be able to put its head down. Stallion dividers may be required to prevent horses squabbling during transport.
  5. Avoid transporting horses suffering from respiratory disease. If a horse has symptoms, do not transport it as it may infect others during the trip.
  6. Ensure the trailer is in good condition and level on the towbar. Drive steadily and smoothly. Keep the back flap down to reduce intake of swirling dust on dirt roads.
  7. Stop every 3-4 hours and open the trailer doors. If possible, unload and allow the horse(s) to walk around, or preferably graze or feed with the head down for at least 15-20 minutes. Provide access to drinking water at rest stops. A 60ml dose of Recharge over the tongue will replace electrolytes and stimulate drinking.
  8. If a horse has competed or raced hard, give it a day off after a long trip. Turning the horse into a grassy green paddock to graze with its head down for a few hours, or putting dampened feed in a bin at floor level, will encourage drainage of the respiratory system.
  9. After travelling a horse over a long distance, keep a careful watch for loss of appetite, depression, fever and obvious discomfort for the first few days. It is a good idea to monitor the horse's temperature morning and night for at least 3 days after long trips, and seek vet advice if the temperature is elevated (the normal body temperature of an adult horse is 36.5-38.5°C).
   
  Sat Jan 14

The Hackamore

A hackamore is a type of bridle without a bit. It is designed to control the horse via pressure points on the nose and chin, instead of using pressure in the mouth like a bit does.

The hackamore is derived from a Spanish tradition, and thus more often seen in western events, although they are also seen in show jumping, eventing, and endurance riding.


There are three main types of hackamores: the mechanical hackamore, the side-pull, and the bosal.

 


A horse wearing a bosal hackamore. Source: Wikipedia

The bosal is a mild and "true" hackamore, meaning it does not work off of leverage. It balances on the horse's nose and uses pressure on the nose and jaws to direct the horse. It is often used on young horses because it is very mild. The bosal consists of a thick, stiff noseband with a knot at the bottom where both reins attach. The reins on a bosal are traditionally called mecate, and are often made of horsehair. Even though it is mild, a bosal is best used by an experienced horseman with light hands.

The mechanical hackamore is sometimes not considered a "true" hackmore because it works off of leverage.

It consists of a stiff rope or leather over the nose, with two metal shanks, and a chin strap or curb chain. Like a curb bit, the severity of the hackamore will increase with the length of the shanks.

The mechanical hackamore is one of the most harsh, because it works off of leverage unlike other "true" hackamores. A rider must be gentle and use soft hands since this type of hackamore works off of leverage and can easily injure a horse's sensitive face. A mechanical hackamore with a sniff nose or curb chain should always be wrapped in a soft material to provide padding. Vetwrap is often used over rope nosebands or curb chains. A mechanical hackamore is not a good choice for an inexperienced rider because it requires more subtlety.

 

The side pull is a very mild hackamore which functions much like a halter with a lead rope clipped to each side.
The sidepull

is a simple hackamore that consists of a loop of material over the nose and reins that connect directly to the side. It uses direct pressure to control the horse, not leverage, and thus is very mild. The noseband is often leather and has a strap that goes under the jaw of the horse. Because a sidepull is very mild, it is good for inexperienced riders so they do not injure the horse's mouth.
A jumping cavesson is a type of sidepull hackamore that is used often used in English jumping events.



Some horses prefer hackamores to bits. Horses that will not tolerate a bit, or that have had injuries in the mouth, are often ridden in hackamores.

Some riders feel the hackamore is less harsh because it does not involve pressure in the mouth, however a hackamore must still be used with care. Hackamores, if used improperly, can cause just as much damage as a bit can.

Ultimately the choice to use a bit or a hackamore it is up to the horse. Some horses work very well in hackamores while others do not. Some horses however are so sensitive in the mouth that they cannot be ridden in anything other than a hackamore.

 

Example of a mechanical hackamore. Note the sheepskin that pads the chinstrap. Source: wikipedia

This is an example of a sidepull, this jumping cavesson has a leather loop over the nose that controls the horse. Source: Wikipedia

   
  Fri Jan 13

New York Veterinarian Camilo Sierra Suspended

A New York-based veterinarian has been suspended by regulators for falsely submitting health certificates for three horses seeking to enter the grounds at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Stewards with the New York State Gaming Commission on Dec. 26 handed Dr. Camilo Sierra a 30-day suspension and $1,500 fine for an Oct. 31 incident. Sierra agreed to the fine, according to agency records, waiving his right to a hearing and, in return, getting the one-month suspension reduced to 20 days. 

The NYSGC said Sierra was suspended and fined for submitting health certificates to New York Racing Association security staff for three horses that he had not examined: New York BourbonSky Ace, and Too Much Malibu. An NYSGC database lists other fines levied against Sierra over the years, but the site does not include details of those incidents.

New York Bourbon and Too Much Malibu are unraced juveniles and Sky Ace is a 3-year-old maiden owned by Alex Kazdan and trained by Dominic Giglio Jr.

On Dec. 27 Sierra began serving the suspension that will last until Jan. 15, during which time the Long Island-based veterinarian will not be permitted to "directly or indirectly" be involved in any aspect of care of a horse on a race track.

Sierra was first given a license to practice veterinary medicine in New York in 1992, state records show.
 

   
  Fri Jan 13

Horses Soothe Kids with Autism

Horses Soothe Kids with Autism

The animals' motion may correct rhythm coordination problems

 
 

Animals have helped many kids with autism improve their speech and social skills, but these cases have been largely isolated. Now the first scientific study of horse therapy finds its many benefits may have to do with rhythm.

A study of 42 children with autism, six to 16 years old, found that riding and grooming horses significantly bettered behavioral symptoms. Compared with kids who had participated in nonanimal therapy, those exposed to horses showed more improvement in social skills and motor skills, rated via standard behavioral assessment surveys, according to the study published in the February issue of Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Psychologist Robin Gabriels of the University of Colorado Denver, who led the study, speculates that the calming, rhythmic motion of the horses played a role.

Rhythmic coordination issues underlie all the symptoms of autism, including repetitive behaviors and difficulty communicating, comments Robert Isenhower, a researcher at Rutgers University who was not involved with the study. Using drumming games, Isenhower has found that children with autism struggle more than typically developing children to keep a beat. This impairment affects unconscious social behaviors that most of us take for granted, such as pausing after questions or walking in step with others. “I think the horse might serve as a surrogate motor system for individuals with autism,” he says.

   
  Wed Jan 04

What is a Donkey? Are a donkey and jackass the same ?

Pertaining to animals, the answer is yes.

A donkey, an ass, and a burro, are all the same name for the same beast. Jackass, is merely the name for a male ass, while jennett, not jillass, is the name for a female ass.

The Ancient Egyptians domesticated the sturdy ass over 5,000 years ago, for use as transportation, and to transport their belongings and commodities. This form of cheap labor, of which there are many kinds, spread throughout the world, and uses of the ass expanded to include the skin off of the ass, the meat off of it's bones, and the actual export of the ass as a commodity.

The Somali wild ass, hailing from Somalia and elsewhere in Africa, is a prime example of the versatility of the ass, as these shy animals, living together in groups of 5-20, adapt well to the desert climate, and can exist on a diet of dry grass and shrubs. The over-depletion of the versatile Somali wild ass, however, explains its rarity today. Asian wild asses, for example, the Syrian wild ass, suffered a similar fate, and can no longer be found in Syria, and in other parts of the Middle East. Man has hunted the Nubian wild ass, a northeastern African type, once living from the Nile to the Red Sea, almost to the point of extinction. Certain groups are attempting to protect the few remaining asses from being hunted and killed.

The modern ass, a descendent of the Nubian wild ass, meets the same transportation needs in Mexico, and in Central America, as it did in Ancient Egypt.

A jennet is normally pregnant for about 12 months, though the gestation period varies from 11 to 14 months,[5] and usually gives birth to a single foal. Births of twins are rare, though less so than in horses.[5] About 1.7 percent of donkey pregnancies result in twins; both foals survive in about 14 percent of those.[citation needed]

Although jennets come into heat within 9 or 10 days of giving birth, their fertility remains low and it is usual to wait one or two further oestrous cycles before rebreeding. Because of this and the longer gestation period, donkey breeders do not expect to obtain a foal every year, as horse breeders often do, but may plan for three foals in four years.[5]

Donkeys can interbreed with other members of the Equidae family, and are commonly interbred with horses. The hybrid between a jack and a mare is a mule, valued as a working and riding animal in many countries. Some large donkey breeds such as the Asino di Martina Franca, the Baudet de Poitou and the Mammoth Jack are raised only for mule production. The hybrid between a stallion and a jennet is a hinny, and is less common. Like other inter-species hybrids, mules and hinnies are usually sterile.[5]

   
  Sat Dec 03

Riding the spooky horse

 

Do you get frustrated when your horse spooks from the same flowerpot he saw two minutes ago? Maybe the answer lies with the "theory of the dominant eye".

You see, most of us (including horses) have a dominant eye. To find out which is your dominant eye, keep both eyes open and point a

I know that riding a spooky horse can be challenging and frustrating so here are some tips to help you understand why your horse spooks and to give you some tools to help cope with shying.

You might be more patient with your spooky horse when you understand that horses have survived in the wild all these years because of their natural flight response. So, when you think your horse is being unreasonable because he's shying from something that seems benign, change your attitude toward his behavior. Say something like. '"You have incredible survival instincts." or "You don't need to be on the lookout for potential danger. I'll keep you safe."t an object like a tree. Then alternately close each eye. You'll find that when you close one eye, your finger doesn't move, but when you close the other eye, your finger jumps to the side.

For example, if you close your right eye and your finger doesn't move, that means your dominant eye is your left eye. The dominant eye explains why a horse tends to shy more when perceived danger is on one particular side of his body. Let's say you're circling to the right and your horse is left eye dominant. He seems pretty secure about his environment because his dominant eye (the left one) is on the outside. He can see his surroundings and keep himself alert and safe from "danger".

However, if you're circling to the right and he's right eye dominant, he'll want to whip his head around to the left so he can check out the environment with his right eye. The result is that he spooks more from objects that are on the left side of his body.

Here are some "Don't's" for riding the spooky horse.

  • Never punish a spooky horse. Shying comes from fear. If you punish your horse for shying, you convince him he was right to be afraid.
  • On the other hand, don't soothe him by patting him for "being brave" while he's shying. You're just rewarding behavior you don't want.

     

  • Don't make a nervous horse walk straight up to something scary. That's the most frightening thing you can do. That's like asking a horse to come face to face with a cougar when every instinct tells him to flee from danger.
  • Here are some "Do's".

    • If the scary object is at one end of the ring, circle in the middle of the ring. Then, as your horse relaxes, gradually shift your circle toward the scary end of the ring. Your horse doesn't have to eat a whole bale of hay at once. Let him eat the bale a flake at a time. This "slow" way usually ends up being the faster way ... and you accomplish your goal with a minimum of resistance and trauma to your horse (and you!).

       

    • When you're at least 15 meters from the scary object, use your inside rein to gently but firmly bend your horse's neck enough to the inside so he can't see it with either eye. Remember, a horse has both binocular vision (like us) and monocular vision where he can see with each eye separately. So, you need to bend the neck enough so he can't see the object with either eye. He won't shy from what he can't see.

       

    • Once you are directly beside the scary object, relax both reins. Many horses are claustrophobic, and you don't want your horse to think he's being "pinned" against something with no escape. That's very scary.

       

    • Don't stare at the scary object. If you focus on it, your horse will too. Look at your surroundings instead.

       

    • Breathe! If you're holding your breath, you'll convince your horse there's good reason to be afraid. Inhale deeply, and as you exhale, feel your butt lowering down into the barrel of the horse like a centaur.
   
  Fri Nov 11

Calories Burned in Horse Activities

Whoever thinks horse riding and care isn't excercise never owned a horse! Between the shoveling and the grooming and the training, you're burning up a lot of calories-- for example, riding at a trot burns more calories than a brisk walk!


Horse Activities - Calories burned per hour:

ACTIVITY: For 130 lb person: For 155 lb person: For 190 lb person:
Shoveling 354 cal/hr 422 cal/hr 518 cal/hr
General Horse Riding: 236 cal/hr 281 cal/hr 345 cal/hr

Riding horse at the walk:
148 cal/hr 176 cal/hr 216 cal/hr
Riding horse at the trot: 384 cal/hr 457 cal/hr 561 cal/hr
Riding horse at a gallop: 472 cal/hr 563 cal/hr 690 cal/hr
Horse Grooming 354 cal/hr 422 cal/hr 518 cal/hr
Baling hay/cleaning barn: 472 cal/hr 563 cal/hr 690 cal/hr
Shoveling Grain 325 cal/hr 387 cal/hr 474 cal/hr
Fencing 354 cal/hr 422 cal/hr 518 cal/hr
Polo 472 cal/hr 563 cal/hr 690 cal/hr
Hiking, cross country (if your horse is hard to catch...) 354 cal/hr 422 cal/hr 518 cal/hr
Brisk walking 4 MPH 236 cal/hr 281 cal/hr 345 cal/hr
Walking, carrying 15 lb load: 207 cal/hr 246 cal/hr 302 cal/hr
   
  Sat Oct 22

Andalusian Horse

OVERVIEW

The Andalusian horse breed is highly respected and well known from the medieval period. The Andalusian breed of horses is very ancient breed which came into existence when there was a cross between the Spanish stock horses and the Oriental horses. This all happens when the Moors came into Spain around 18th century with the Oriental horses. Due to the influence of the Spanish horses the Andalusian horses possess a great physical appearance and that is why the Andalusian horses are one of the likable riding horses in the world.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION

As we know that the Andalusian horses have the characteristics of Spanish and the oriental breed of horses and due to that the Andalusian horses have phenomenal physical impact and the availability of the Andalusian horses in various colors such as gray, white and bay make it more special. In describing the physical qualities of the Andalusian horse the most impressive portion is its height. The average height of the Andalusian horse ranges from 15 – 16 hands which mean that it is long horse with great masculine body structure. The proportions of the other parts of the body according to its height are set in excellent manner. The chest of the Andalusian horse is big and the ears of the Andalusian horse are small. The nose of the Andalusian horse is convex in shape and the legs are long and the overall appearance of the Andalusian horse is quite energetic. The mindset of the Andalusian horse is quite calm and the Andalusian horse has a skill to learn at a good pace.

ORIGIN

The Andalusian horses have got its name from the Andalusia which is one of the states of Spain. The Andalusian is the descendants of the Iberian horse and Barb horse and after that the oriental breeds of horses have played an important role in developing the Andalusian breed of horses. In the early ages the Andalusian horses were take care by the monks and the quality of nobleness is found in them. Many of us considered the Andalusian horses as the noblest horse in the world.

INTERESTING FACTS

The history of the Andalusian horses is full of interesting facts, right from its beginning as they came into existence after cross between two great breed of horses, then they have been developed and trained by the monks. The fact which is most important and impressive is that the monks are the excellent trainers and they maintained the purity of the breed at a very good level. The Andalusian horse gets excellent physical qualities from its contributor breeds and the Andalusian horse gets the quality of nobleness from the monks. Due to its excellent physical qualities the Andalusian horses were included in the army of the Napoleon and it was one of the causes which blusters the purity of the breed of Andalusian horse

   
   
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