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Dog and human communicable diseases - Rabies

The subject of dogs and diseases which are communicable by humans was touched up in the 1982 animated feature Plague Dogs, with the movie based on the novel of the same title by Richard Adams.

Given the fact that human contact with dogs is something which can be described as “commonly encountered”, the story was a huge success since it covered different aspects dogs are known to encounter, as the story’s plot is backdropped by a danger which all dog owners must be fully aware of and should be wary about – the possibility of a doggy disease being passed to dog owners.

The Zoonosis Case

With dog-and-human-infecting diseases described as zoonosis, the case of diseases or viruses found in dogs infecting humans has been well documented over the years, with most zoonosis cases described to be not really playing a major threat to the health and safety of human beings.

However, this doesn’t mean that all doggy diseases should be treated as minor threats, with some diseases actually doing significant harm to the overall health and wellness of human beings.

Here is one of (the most popular of) them:

Rabies – as a virus, rabies is known for infecting the central nervous system, typically introduced into human bodies through a dog bite. Though rare, “non bite” cases of rabies are also known to have infected human beings, through saliva or mucosal contact with rabies infected dogs.

When in humans, the virus is known to go through a set of stages, covering incubation, prodrome, acute neurologic period, coma and then, death.

It is quite serious as a condition, and should a person get bitten by an unknown dog, checks for rabies is important given the impact and effect the disease is known to have in human beings.

As dogs are found almost anywhere where humans are, the risk of acquiring doggy diseases is one which everyone should pay close attention to, since there are actual diseases which do affect dogs and human beings alike.


Pros and Cons of Home Euthanasia

Everyone knows that it’s painful to see your pet dog in pain. What’sworse is that you might need to decide to end their pain through euthanasia. There are so many things that a pet owner needs to consider before pulling the plug on their pet, such as age, the illness, treatment, and the owner’s ability to care for their dog. If the dog is getting less good days then bad, then it might be time to let them go.

If you decide to do so, then the next thing to ask is where you are going to euthanize your pet. You can drive all the way to the vet’s office, in fact many people do this, but you also have the option to do it in a more private setting. More people would prefer to have their dog euthanized at home where they can have a solemn ceremony, especially if their dog isn’t able to move like in DM in dogs cases.  Vet’s offer home service for euthanasia since it’s going to be painful for most to take their dog somewhere else and bring them home after to bury them.
Dog Health
What are the pros and cons of having your dog euthanized at home?


Most dogs don’t like going to the vet’s office. The only memory they have of the place is being prodded, stuck, and poked with needles or forced to take medicines that taste bad. With this, many dog owners would prefer to spare their ill dogs the anxiety the feel when going out for a trip to the vet’s office and have their dog put down at home. They also feel more at ease since they are in a familiar place. Euthanasia should be done in a private setting. It’s an event where you might end up crying over the loss of your pet, and it’s better to do this at home rather than a public place. It’s also more convenient for the owners since they don’t have to move the dog around. Paralyzed dogs, like the ones that have DM in dogs, can be euthanized as they sleep on their bed.


You will have to make sure that you get a person that’s capable and certified to perform euthanasia. Another problem would be that the vet or person performing the procedure may not have access to the tools, medicine, staff and equipment available to help them. It’s also going to be difficult to control the dog, especially if it’s a large dog, when they feel the sting of the needle go in. it’s also going to be pricier. Vets that offer home services usually charge a bit more compared to vets that perform euthanasia at the clinic.

Search and Rescue Dogs

Search and Rescue Dogs are often mistaken as “rescue dogs”, given that the two dog classifications bear a word – rescue – which means two different things for each of the two types.

The subject in the 1905 silent movie classic, Rescued by Rover, search and rescue dogs are actually working dogs which are smart enough to be trained to take part in organized search and rescue operations, with the classic silent movie successfully depicting the vital roles and capabilities inherent in search and rescue dogs.
They are different from “rescue dogs”, in the sense that rescue dogs or rescued dogs constitute a type of dog which had been rescued from animal shelters and/or dog pounds, hence the name “rescue dog”.

Generally, the involvement of search and rescue dogs in rescue operations entail wilderness searches/tracking, with their involvement in search operations after natural disasters or mass casualty events being also well documented and known.

Though a specific search and rescue dog breed is not exactly formally defined, dog breeds with tuned senses and physical constitutions are often opted for different search and rescue operations, including airscenting, tracking and trailing.

Climate also plays a vital role in which dog breed is best in taking the role of a search and rescue dog, along with the overall temperament or composure of a particular breed playing a vital role in assessing a search and rescue dog’s role in search and rescue operations.

Given a search and rescue dog’s sharper and keener senses, their active involvement in search and rescue operations have helped such operations accomplish their goals, saving lives as they go about their duties as rescuers.

As trained professionals, search and rescue dogs take their duties and responsibilities seriously, helping those who are in need of help however way they can.


Medusa Creeps Her Way through As Guiness World’s Longest Snake

Set to topple- off Fluffy’s long-standing record of 24 feet last year, Medusa creeps her way through as soon to be Guiness World’s longest snake breaking it at a length of 25 feet and 2 inches. Slated to be part of Guiness World Records 2013 edition, Guiness officials will be visiting her soon to verify this new and record-breaking title.

Medusa is a reticulated python that knows no bounds. Seven years ago, the 8-year old reptile used to be only 24 inches long and has grown tremendously through the years. What is interesting to note is that unlike Fluffy who has been held captive in Columbus Zoo and Aquarium until she died, Medusa on the other hand works as a major highlight for a haunted attraction, The Edge of Hell, produced by Full Moon Productions based in Kansas City. Business is ticking since Medusa spends most of her time helping build some good business by scaring people who are inside the attraction searching for some frightening adventure. Now that Halloween is fast- approaching, more and more people in Kansas will have a lot of fun in store!

Weighing 350 pounds, it would take 15 people or even more to carry this gigantic reptile. She happily coils up in a strategic place in the haunted attraction, making her life cozier compared to other reticulated pythons in the wild.

As for repercussions and fears of Reticulated Pythons being constrictors, meaning, they love to wrap themselves around humans and prey, Larry Edgar has this to say.

The Daily Mall notes that Medusa’s handler and Edge of Hell general manager, Larry Edgar states that:

““We try to keep Medusa well-fed and slightly out of reach as there have been instances with Reticulated Pythons where they’ve had to cut people out of them! We never underestimate that she does always have the upper-hand.”

Medusa is a star, an eye-catcher and crowd-drawer. She would always attract crowds – practically, befitting to earn this record-breaking Guiness title.


Rottweilers: Big, Huggable Gentle Giants

Rottweilers are always among the ten most popular breeds of dog mainly because of their massive size yet gentle personality. They suit the name “gentle giants’ pretty well, so much so that they can become so loyal and devoted and sometimes, cool and simple laid-back companions that are most tolerant of children.

These dogs can be tough when the going gets rough, can be terrible when the situation is unbearable, can outsmart anyone that thwarts, can be an extremely protective watchdog when the territory is undermined. Best of all, when Rottweilers are properly trained, socialized and loved, they can be the best – sweet, kind, loving, loyal and such gentle giants to have, to hold and to hug.

However, having a Rottweiler as a pet is not for everyone. Before even wishing to have one, be very well-prepared with its enormous size and challenging temperament. They innately know their strength and has cascaded a confidence from within that makes them strong and powerful. A Rottweiler may think he is in charge when no one else reminds him of love, affection, tolerance and obedience. A good Rottweiler to have is one that obeys authority and sees authority as the source of love, rule and ownership. A happy and properly trained Rottweiler can be perfect friend, without inhibitions, not to mention an exceedingly effective protector – a literally operative watchdog that can do nothing more than just stand there to keep intruders away!

For anyone who is planning to have a Rottweiler or has already done so, remember, this breed requires responsibility and commitment. Other things need to be considered, too like space, time, living conditions, family profile and many others.

It is important to know Rottweilers came from a working-dog breed that managed the herds in the German cattle town of Rottweil in Germany. They are also the popular descendants of the sturdy and powerful Mastiff-like drover dogs famous for its strength in ancient Rome, matching well the power that Rome projected during that era. Because of their intelligence, courage, agility and steadfastness, they became popular police dogs in the early 1900s. Up until today, Rottweilers can be the most effective and protective police dogs and watchdogs of our time.



Rabbits, even after all these years, are still popular mainstay characters for children’s books and stories, with different rabbit-based characters having become superstars by their own right.

From Bugs Bunny to Roger Rabbit, they continue to be the animal kingdom’s more popular “ambassadors”, with quite a number of rabbit characters taking on wholesome to more adult personas in the depiction of a story’s plot.
Watership Down, a classic fantasy novel by Richard Adams (with an animated movie adaptation by Warner Bros in 1978), stands to be one of the more endearing “rabbit-based” stories, telling the tale of how a circle of rabbits managed to triumph over the challenges of finding a new home.

Through the story, questions revolving around keeping rabbits as pets have come up and about, and luckily, keeping rabbits as pets is considered to be relatively easy as keeping a pet cat or dog, sans the freedom most cats and dogs are afforded in households.

With a number of vets capable of handling medical cases involving rabbits, the major challenges pet rabbit owners could face would touch up on their dietary requirements and their enclosure needs, given the fact that most rabbits are not as “home-based” as cats and dogs are.

Also, rabbits are not essentially known for responding too well with humans, though this isn’t exactly a universal trait which defines all pet rabbits.

Unlike most cats and dogs, pet rabbits don’t always warm up to their masters, something which a number of pet rabbit owners tend to complain about. Cleaning up after them is basically no different from cleaning up after dogs too, since cats being more keen on keeping themselves clean and tidy.

As with keeping any other type of pet, keeping a pet rabbit requires commitment and dedication, and should not be initiated on a whim. Though they aren’t as interactive as cats or dogs, pet rabbits actually make for good company, especially when they have come to value their relationship with their pet masters.


A True Saint in the St. Bernard

Just as strong, muscular, round and humungous the built is, its personality is completely the exact opposite. The Saint Bernard (often times abbreviated as St. in Saint) is extremely gentle, super friendly and tolerant of children. Patient and tremendously loyal, a St. Bernard can be a lovable pet and dependable watchdog ready to protect the territory. Social, obedient and intelligent, this breed comes from the very large working and rescue dogs from the Italian and Swiss Alps.

Before they got the name St. Bernard, they were earlier called, “Saint Dogs”, “Noble Steeds”, “Alpenmastiff, or “Barry Dogs” long before the 18th century.

Also referred to as a giant dog, the St. Bernard has a gigantic weight of 140-264 pounds, approximately 64-120 kilograms or even more! Its height at the withers (the ridge between the shoulder blades - in many species, it is the tallest point of the body most applicable to dogs and horses), is 27½ inches to 35½ inches.

Alternately, images of the St. Bernard, has varied through the years. Cujo, a horror/thriller film in 1983 which was based on the Stephen King novel of the same title, has portrayed the St. Bernard as dumb, vicious and monstrous, a killer canine that inflicts bloody and gruesome attacks.

In 1992, the American comedy film, Beethoven changed every perception of a St. Bernard and images of Cujo were erased in an instant. Its pleasing and obedient personality despite its size made a difference in the Newton family.

This understanding of what a St. Bernard is what makes this awesome dog a great pet to have. Intimidation because of its size would not be an issue if proper socialization is set at an early age with people, so much so, with other animals. A St. Bernard is highly intelligent and easy to train, but training should take place when the dog is young and its size, manageable. Who would want to be pounced upon by an unruly and untrained dog of this size and caliber? Early training, exposure, socialization and most of all, love and affection can make a St. Bernard, truly a Saint Bernard.


Bee Navigation Revealed

“We're the only ones who make honey, pollinate flowers, and dress like this!” This famous line of Barry B. Benson from the Bee Movie helped us change everything we think about bees. The story’s morale proves that even the smallest and seemingly insignificant creature can make one heck of a difference this world. However, there’s another breakthrough discovery that scientists have discovered about bees. Far from its 2007 movie adaptation when those bees navigated like crazy, these social insects that live in hives actually navigate through a hit and miss kind of maneuvering. Bees can fly at about 15mph, roughly 24kph but they actually go from one flower to another, revisiting it many times, before moving on to the next.
Bee navigating
In an article from the Huffington post, “a team of researchers from Mary Queen University in London outfitted tailed bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) with miniscule harmonic radio sensors and plastic number tags. They trained the bees to feed on artificial flowers that offered a perch and a sugar solution in the center. The colony’s nest box, positioned in a large field on a British estate, was then situated near five of these artificial flowers. The flowers were arranged in a pentagon shape, with each one 50 meters from the next, which is many times the distance a bumblebee can see. That arrangement prevented the subjects from following each other or spotting the next flower. The “flowers” were watched by motion-sensing video cameras to capture each bee’s feeding. The researchers also chose to complete the experiment in October, when local flowers would have faded and not tempt the bees away from the experimental ones.”

The outcome of the study shows that the routes of the bees were initially longer and more tedious, travelling from one empty flower to another, even revisiting these flowers a couple of times, yet they learned to refine their travel and modify their routes after gaining the exposure and experience. In effect, these bees were able to reduce their flight distance compared to how they first began.

According to the same article, “The learning appeared to be primarily through trial and error. “Each time a bee tried a new route it increased its probability of re-using the new route if it was shorter than the shortest route it had tried before. Otherwise, the new route was abandoned and another route was tested.”

Whether it’s a matter of heuristics or not, it just proves one point: Bee navigation is still complex because they are able to gain experience from flight, thereby decreasing their senseless time buzzing through the air. These findings may lead to a new cognitive laurel for these small social insects, something that we thought only larger-brained mammals are capable of.

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