Sunday, July 19, 2009
"No one knew she was pregnant. Her plump body and bushy hair disguised her protruding belly until the babies were born," a spokesperson for the Taiyuan Zoo in Shanxi Province reported.
The humiliation of "giving birth in its pen, in broad daylight and in front of a huge crowd of visitors," was apparently too much for the new mother, who had recently arrived from a nature reserve. "She abruptly turned her back on the babies and refused to nurse them," said the spokesperson.
Zookeepers scrambled to find a wet nurse for the pair of baby red pandas. They scoured the countryside and found three dogs who had recently given birth.
The mother dog chosen for the job belongs to a local farmer. She is a sweet-tempered, white Chihuahua-mix who had given birth to a puppy just three days before the red pandas were born.
Note: Red pandas are an endangered species with fewer than 2,500 adult red pandas in the world.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Forget the tomato juice!
Reduce the skunk threat by not making them welcome. Never leave pet food outside, don’t feed skunks, keep trash containers secure, and remove piles of brush that could serve as shelter. When you take the dog out at dawn or dusk — when skunks are most active — flip on a yard light and make a lot of noise first to scare them off.
Even after taking all the precautions, though, your dog can run afoul of the critters. Should the worst happen, the first thing to do is close your doors and keep the dog outside. There’s nothing worse than a skunked dog running through a house, trying to rub the scent off on rugs or furniture.
Don’t hose off the dog. A skunk’s oily musk can’t be removed by water; in fact, water only makes things worse. Also worth noting: Tomato juice doesn’t work as a remedy. It’ll just turn your dog pink.
Anti-skunk dog rinse
1 quart fresh hydrogen peroxide (available at any drugstore or grocery store)
1/4 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons liquid dish soap (preferably Dawn)
1. Mix all ingredients. The mixture will bubble, and it must be used when freshly made, while it’s still active.
2. The washing should be done outside; wear protective gloves.
3. Don’t wet the dog; pour the mixture over the dry dog, being careful not to get any in the animal’s eyes, and let it sit for 10 minutes.
4. Rinse and repeat.
5. If the smell persists, make another batch of solution and go another round. (And it’s probably not a bad idea to follow up with a professional groomer.)
False Claim: Homeopathic remedies are not regulated - they are treated like dietary supplements.
Fact: Homeopathic medications are regulated by the FDA and have been used safely in the United States since before the passage of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act in 1938. Homeopathic medicines have an extraordinary record of safety.
False Claim: FDA side-effect reports suggest homeopathic remedies are a problem for consumers.
Fact: The safety record of homeopathic remedies over the past 200 years is truly exemplary. A recent study by the American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists (AAHP) documents this outstanding record in detail (see the home page at www.
False Claim: The National Institutes of Health's alternative medicine center spent $3.8 million on homeopathic research from 2002 to 2007 but is now abandoning studies on homeopathic drugs.
Fact: NCH received this assurance from the National Institutes of Health's alternative medicine center on 6/23/09: "NCCAM will continue to accept investigator-initiated research grant applications for homeopathy and will continue to consider for funding those that receive outstanding scores in peer review."
False Claim: "Very often, the only active ingredient is alcohol, and patients don't know that, and they get a buzz on. The therapeutic effect is no greater or less than a martini."
Fact: The overwhelming majority of homeopathic remedies sold are in solid pellet or tablet form and contain ZERO alcohol.
False Claim: In 1938, Congress passed a law granting homeopathic remedies the same legal status as regular pharmaceuticals. The law's principal author was Sen. Royal Copeland of New York, a trained homeopath. "He did it in such a sneaky way that nobody really noticed or paid attention," says medical author Natalie Robins.
Fact: Senator Royal Copeland, a major presence in American medicine at the end of the 19th century, rose to national fame when he was elected into the U.S. Senate in 1922. His career was distinguished in many ways, but he is best known as architect of the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act of 1938, the success of which reflected his tireless effort over a period of five years.
Copeland was trained as a homeopathic physician at the University of Michigan, at a time when homeopathy was a significant part of the U.S.
False Claim: "With arcane ingredients like "nux vomica" and "arsenicum album," many homeopathic medicines sound like something brewed in a druid's kettle."
Fact: Homeopathic remedies are named by their proper scientific designations (often in Latin), an accepted world-wide standard for naming substances, rather than the misleading kinds of names attached to drugs by
pharmaceutical companies. For example, "Nux vomica" is the proper botanical Latin name for the nut of a particular tree.
False Claim: There is no evidence of effectiveness.
Fact: There are literally hundreds of high quality basic science, pre-clinical and clinical studies published in respected journals like Pediatrics, Chest, Rheumatology, The Lancet and others showing that homeopathy works (for more information, please visit the NCH website at http://homeopathic.org/