|Two new articles to read:
Building A Healthy Immune System for your pet
Most of you will remember that last fall I connected with a leading vet teacher at the James L. Voss Veterinary
Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University. She was kind enough to let me ask her some questions that
have been on my mind for a long time. I didn’t ask too many as I didn’t want to inundate her. I hadn’t heard from
her in a long time and figured she either got too busy (she was REALLY busy over the holidays) or she picked
apart my questions and decided to blow me off. It turned out to be that she was indeed busy and sent me an
email last week. Needless to say I’m floored with her answers and very, very pleased! She also gave me some
incredibly exciting news which I’ll include here. I wanted to make sure and share this info with all of you because
it gave me a glimmer of hope as to the future of feline medicine. (Notice I have underlined and bolded some
things I find very important):
First I asked her what her thoughts were on B12, how often she uses it and what doses. This is her response:
I do indeed use cobalamin and the official scientific answer is that we have no information on the best dose. We
certainly do know that the cobalamin is not absorbed well in the Ilieum in IBD and injectable supplementation is
helpful. I generally do use 0.25 ml, weekly, long term in IBD cats. In a larger or more sickly cat I would go 0.5 ml.
I asked if she knew of any statistics being kept on feline IBD, pancreatitis, other GI disorders, etc.:
To be honest, there is no overall monitoring body to keep track of IBD stats. When they do this type of thing in
humans, they are able to do so because of insurance company information. If a researcher decided to do an
incidence study, it would still probably only be the incidence of a few clinics at which they had access to records.
This is an incredible time-consuming task and so it requires a devoted researcher with time and money. The
closest thing to a central record would be to tap into the computer system of Banfield Inc., but honestly, this will
not be representative for a number of reasons: you would have to define IBD (as you know this is tricky)
somehow - clinical signs? biopsy? (unlikely to be fully worked up a clinic like Banfield) response to therapy? the
information would be extremely variable and perhaps not comparable. I fully believe that our perceived incidence
is increasing - a) many factors like those you mention and also b) increased awareness both on the part of vets
and their proactive owners.
I also asked whether she considers x-rays any help in determining thickening of the intestines, pancreatitis, IBD,
etc. I suggested it was a waste of time and money as it really doesn’t show much and 9 out of 10 times they need
to do an ultrasound anyways. Why not go for that in the first place?
YES YES YES! Radiographs are really useless to assess your organs of interest, the gut and pancreas. AND it
takes a trained experienced ultrasonographer to assess these things accurately so it is worth your time and
money to find a board-certified individual to perform this diagnostic. Many vets have an ultrasound these days,
and have taken some training, but this is nothing like someone who has trained for YEARS looking at the
pancreas and intestine. This is the difference of a board certified ultrasonographer. You can actually see the
pancreas, liver and intestine and tell if the latter is thickened. Thickening of the intestines should never be called
from an x-ray. This can be visually misleading.
Lastly I asked about better guidelines for treating GI diseases because the current “one size fits all” regimen is
clearly not working! Too many variables and just like a human patient, each cat is different with a different
reaction to medications, foods, treatments, etc.:
Unfortunately in vet med, particularly in feline med, there is so much to know and research, that it is dependent
upon motivated individuals and funding etc to make any advances. Science proceeds very slowly unfortunately.
But good news! Frankie's Fund received a donation over the holidays and we are earmarking the money to start
a clinical study for IBD! We hope to get this rolling in the next few months. Dr. Craig Webb is our IBD guy here,
and I have asked him to spearhead the stem cell trial for IBD. I will keep you updated on our progress with this.
I found this last night and keep in mind this is NEW research.
Chromium-6 Is Widespread in US Tap Water - Cancer-causing chemical found in 89 percent of cities
sampled: The National Toxicology Program has concluded that hexavalent chromium (also called chromium-6) in
drinking water shows “clear evidence of carcinogenic activity” in laboratory animals, increasing the risk of
gastrointestinal tumors. In September 2010, a draft toxicological review by the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) similarly found that hexavalent chromium in tap water is “likely to be carcinogenic to humans.”
For those of you who saw the movie Erin Brokovich, you’ll understand why this is so important. Ms. Brokovich
fought a very long time to get hexavalent chromium removed from water supplies in California and many people
there died from cancer because of that chemical. It seems the public has been duped into believing the battle
was won. The good news is that Lisa Jackson from the EPA began looking into this within 72 hours of the
information getting out. There is a petition on that site to help speed things along and make it known we want
answers as to why this is still being used and to REMOVE it.
On that note, please consider using an over the counter or under the counter water filter in your house. Brittas
and other low cost filters do NOT remove these chemicals. Nor do they remove parasites and other chemicals
such a chlorine, fluoride, lead, mercury, arsenic. Etc.
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