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Oct. 20th, 2005 05:39 pm
teabiting: (cucumber error - discworld)
For the last couple of days, I have been baking and cooking and generally making a large, food-related mess for Steve to clean up. I was feeling ambitious, so I decided to make Pumpkin Apple Bread. It was the first of the Amateur Gourmet's recipes I've tried, and this was the result:
Pumpkin Apple Bread under here! )
And one more, completely unrelated loaf. )

Overall grade for the bread: A+. I'd make it again, and that's saying something.
In 2004, a virulent form of canine influenza surfaced at greyhound racing parks in Florida. In that outbreak, it infected 24 greyhounds and killed 8 more. The contagion has since been Greyhound confirmed in seven states, having killed greyhounds at tracks in Florida, Massachusetts, Arizona, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Texas and Iowa. It is highly contagious, with the uninfected picking it up from the infected via shared items or human contact (kennel workers have carried the virus home with them), in addition to dog-to-dog encounters.

The virus that has been felling greyhounds is an H3N8 flu closely related to an equine flu strain. It is not related to typical human flus or to the H5N1 avian flu that has killed about 100 people in Asia.

Dr. Ruben Donis, chief of molecular genetics for the influenza branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, confirms the flu jumped from horses to dogs, "a very rare event of considerable scientific interest" and adds "at this point, there is no reason to panic." How that jump occurred is either not known at this point or is not being commented on, so the e-mail's assertion that the eating of raw meat was to blame should be regarded as speculation rather than as fact. While there is always the possibility the virus might again jump species, this time to humans, this strain of flu has been present in horses for more than 40 years yet there are no documented cases of humans catching it. There are no known cases of canine flu infecting humans.

A vaccine for the canine flu is under development, a vaccine for the equine version already

Dr. Cynda Crawford, the veterinary immunologist who first isolated it, describes the contagion as producing in dogs "a moist, productive cough that ends in a gagging response, that will persist for one to four weeks, despite treatment with antibiotics or cough suppressants. Some dogs develop a thick, yellow discharge from the nose. A very few dogs will spike a high fever, between 105 to 107 degrees Fahrenheit. They become lethargic and weak, with rapid, shallow breathing. This is likely to progress to pneumonia." She believes as many as 10 percent of the dogs infected by it will die of the disease, but others have estimated the potential death rate as between 1 and 10 percent, with the higher percentage applying to very young, very old, or infirm dogs.

No vaccine against this canine contagion exists at this time, although one is under development, and a vaccine for the equine version of this flu already exists. Presence of the virus in dogs can be confirmed only through blood tests performed at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Results of such blood screens take as long as two weeks.

Dr. Crawford recommends keeping dogs showing symptoms of respiratory disease at home and away from other dogs for up to two weeks. The CDC, which is tracking the disease, issued no official recommendations.

Because the symptoms of this as yet unnamed virus somewhat mimic bordetella, a less virulent illness commonly known as kennel cough, it is hard to ascertain how widespread the flu has become. On the flipside of that confusion, vets in various parts of the country have been thrown into a panic when encountering run-of-the-mill kennel cough in any of their clients, fearing they are instead confronting cases of the new flu.

The Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Cornell University inserted a caution against such hair trigger diagnosis within a larger advisory about the potential for the flu to have spread to the state of New York: "One should not lose sight of the fact that all respiratory infections in dogs are not due to canine influenza virus. Adhering to the 'band wagon' approach could result in the failure to appropriately treat dogs with infections previously known to cause respiratory problems in dogs."

We found this good advice for vets and dog owners in our inbox one day:
PLEASE DO NOT PANIC, and do NOT assume that every cough is Canine Influenza. Kennel Cough from parainfluenza and Bordetella is more common. However, the Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Cornell is interested in receiving samples from dogs that appear to have kennel cough.

Clinical Signs: Since this is a new pathogen in dogs, there is currently no natural immunity present in the unexposed canine population. Almost all exposed dogs will become infected, and nearly 80% have clinical signs. In the mild form the dogs will have a cough that persists for 10 to 21 days. The cough may be soft and moist or dry. Many dogs will have a nasal discharge from a secondary bacterial infection and low grade fever. The nasal discharge responds to broad spectrum antibiotics.

In the severe form with pneumonia there is a high fever (104-106 F) and respiratory difficulties. X-rays may show consolidation. These dogs often have secondary bacterial infections and have responded to broad-spectrum antibiotics and supportive care including intravenous hydration.

The incubation period is two to five days and dogs may shed virus for seven to 10 days. The disease can spread rapidly throughout a boarding kennel. Dogs that are coughing SHOULD NOT BE BROUGHT TO SHOWS or Performance EVENTS.
Since I didn't post any animal pictures yesterday, I'm going to have to make up for it today. My camera is on its last legs, and I don't have the required HD space or connection stuff to use the camcorder, so please bear with me on the quality of the last two.

First, Bool loves socks. Clean, smelly, rolled up or laid out, he loves them. Thus, Bailey in his garden of socks:

And, a couple of nights ago just after dusk, these wandered through my mom's front yard, about 20 ft. from the house. These are the ones that are questionable quality, as my night-mode doesn't work anymore (and so I didn't scare them, I stayed inside and clicked pictures from behind a slightly dirty window), and it was getting dark out, but you can still see:
Read more... )
I noticed when I went to pick Bailey up this morning that he is definitely getting some fat. He's a big cat to begin with but oy... I don't know how he got that way, considering he only gets a can of food a day, and the vet recommended 1 3/4 can per day. I suppose it's because he doesn't really exercise- but how do you force a cat to exercise? He just lays in his garden of socks (move his garden and suffer suffocation in the middle of the night), and though we play with him, it's not like I can just take him for a jaunt around the block or something.

It's funny, because having him around made Noise lose her chub (because we had to start feeding her at specific times of the day), but now feeding him the special diet made him fat. Did the fat migrate? Did Bailey catch Noise's fat?

+4 )
I was sewing some today, and my sewing machine has a hard, wooden cover for it. I tossed the cover up on the couch while I was sewing, and when I was finished, I found...
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