Scottish Highland Cattle

Filed Under: Cows, General Care

Resembling a cross between the American Longhorn and a Yak, the Scottish Highland breed is ancient and is one of the purest and rarest breeds of cattle known today. It is estimated that their numbers are fewer than 10,000 worldwide, with most of the population surviving in the United States and Canada.

Scottish Highland cattle date back to the sixth century. They are believed to be the product of blending two ancient Asiatic breeds: the Bos primigenius and the Bos longifrons.

Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus, or BVDV

Filed Under: Cows, Diseases

Did you know that “Bovine Viral Diarrhea” is actually an all-inclusive term for a clinical disease manifestation that potentially involves one or two distinct viruses? Two distinct biotypes of the virus, two viral states of infection and five distinct clinical forms of acute disease are seen with the Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV). This complex is also known as “Bovine Virus Diarrhea”, “Mucosal Disease”, or “Bovine Pestivirus Disease Complex”.

Top Ten Reasons for Owning a Pond

Filed Under: Dogs, General Care, Fish

10. Provides the family Labrador retriever a place to cool off.

9. Less water usage. Lawns and landscaping require watering. Often rainwater is sufficient to top off a pond once it has been filled, dependent on the area of the country.

8. The pond provides a wonderful local wildlife habitat.

7. Sludge collected by a pond filter may be used as a nutrient-rich fertilizer.

6. Just add fish and you have wonderful, easy to care for and entertaining pets.

5. A pond encourages young people to help preserve the planet and brings them in close contact with nature.

Cocklebur Poisoning

Filed Under: Horses, Cows, Poisoning, Pigs

Did you know that cockleburs (Xanthium genus), those annoying burs that stick to your clothes and scratch your skin, are toxic if consumed?  Most people are not in the habit of consuming the prickly, spiny seed pods, but they can be incorporated into animal feeds and hay.  Horses, pigs, and cattle can all become poisoned.  Pigs are the species most commonly poisoned from these seedlings.  
  

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease

Filed Under: Cows, Diseases

The weather is so beautiful that you decide to take a hike along a stream or small river and you come across a deceased white-tailed deer in or around the water.  Unfortunately, it is not an uncommon scenario.  Epizootic hemorrhagic disease or EHD is a viral disease of white-tailed and mule deer that is spread by biting gnats.  Domestic ruminants such as cattle and sheep are typically asymptomatic carriers of the virus but occasionally cattle will exhibit clinical disease.  
 

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, or Mad Cow Disease

Filed Under: Cows, Diseases

Are you a member of the meat-eating public? Then you might want to familiarize yourself with “Mad Cow Disease,” or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). First described in 1986 in Great Britain, this disease is a fatal, slow-onset encephalopathy, or disease of the brain, in cattle. “Why should I be concerned?” you might ask. Mad cow disease is the only known form of a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy to be transmitted from animals to humans, which makes it a lethal zoonotic disease.

Influenza Type A / Swine Flu

Filed Under: Diseases, Pigs

Have you wondered why the government is so concerned about a few cases of the flu? Think there is just a lot of drama going on for ratings week? There may be more to the hype than you think. Human, avian and swine flu strains are all interrelated. The orthomyxoviruses, or influenza A viruses, of all three species can easily exchange genetic material. This genetic exchange could possibly result in a new variety of human virus, which has the potential for severe morbidity and mortality.

Swine Flu: Media Scare or Major Threat?

Filed Under: Diseases, Pigs

Think the current swine influenza scare is just a bit of media drama?  Don’t be too sure.  Pigs have the potential to serve as a genetic “mixing vessel” for influenza viruses carried by birds, pigs and humans.  Most viruses tend to be species specific but not those of the Influenza type A viruses.  These viruses can easily swap genetic code between traditional avian, pig and human infections.  It is feared that this mixing of genetic code may someday result in a flu pandemic to rival that of the 1918 Influenza epidemic.  

Coral Reefs Currently Under Stress from a Changing Planet

Filed Under: General Care, Fish

Did you know that corals are actually marine animals? There are more than 2,000 known species of coral. These delicate creatures are under stress around the world due to warmer temperatures, changing pH levels, and even agricultural and fresh water runoff. Coral reefs provide homes to more than a quarter of the world’s saltwater fish. Coral reefs are typically found in shallow water areas, often close to the coast or island locations.

Proventricular Dilatation Disease (PDD)

Filed Under: Diseases, Birds

Proventricular Dilatation Disease, or PDD, is a disorder of the central nervous system and a fatal viral disease that currently affects 50 different species of domesticated and wild psittacine parrots as well as 5 other Orders of birds. PDD was previously known as “macaw wasting syndrome” when it was mistakenly thought to infect only macaws. The Spix’s macaw, whose current population is estimated at 100 live birds, is currently one of the most endangered species of birds in the world, with its very existence being threatened by PDD.