Heartworm and a cancerous tumor have delayed snout surgery for Kabang, the Philippine dog that lost half her face when she stepped between two children and an oncoming motorcycle.
A veterinarian at the University of California, Davis, says both could be potentially fatal if not treated.
“Fortunately for Kabang, her disease is not very advanced,” Dr. Jane Sykes, a UC Davis infectious disease specialist, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “She has a good prognosis.”
Sykes said veterinarians will have to treat the two ailments — including chemotherapy for the tumor — and that it could be as long as six months before her snout problems can be addressed.
Donations from 20 countries financed Kabang’s trip to the U.S. Vets at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital plan at least two surgeries, one focusing on dental work and the other to close the gaping wound on her face, which, left open, could lead to infection.
But before that can happen they need to treat the heartworm and the cancerous tumor, which vets say was sexually transmitted.
Sykes said more than 90 percent of such cases are cured with chemotherapy.
Both the tumor and the heartworm are common ailments in tropical regions where dogs run loose, as in the Philippines.
Kabang was originally found in a swamp near Zamboanga by a man who planned on feeding her to his family. But the dog bonded with Rudy Bunggal’s 11-year-old daughter and his 3-year-old niece and last year stepped between them and a motorcycle, shearing off her snout.
Kabang disappeared for two weeks after the motorcycle accident, but was greeted as a hero when she returned to Bunggal’s home.
She delivered six puppies at a local dog pound in April of this year, apparently having become pregnant during her two week disappearance.
Sykes said Kabang is “a pleasure to work with … It is wonderful that people have seen how wonderful dogs can be to human lives. … I think we owe her a service in return.”
While missing the top of her snout, Kabang is able to lap up food and water with her tongue, Sykes said, and may still be able to smell some things.
Vets are also seeking permission from her owner to spay Kabang.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 17th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bunggal, cancerous, care, children, davis, delivered, dog, dogs, donations, half, heartworm, help, hero, kabang, motorcycle, pets, philippine, philippines, pregnancy, pregnant, pups, saved, sexually, snout, surgery, transmitted, tumor, university of california, veterinarians, veterinary
An eccentric Czech scientist says a single-celled parasite that can be passed on through contact with cat feces can lead people to behave in strange and destructive ways.
And Jaroslav Flegr has more than studies to back up his theory. He has the parasite — Toxoplasma gondii (or Toxo for short).
Flegr and his work are profiled in a fascinating (and scary) article this month in The Atlantic, which describes the 63-year-old evolutionary biologist as a “sloppy dresser … with the contemplative air of someone habitually lost in thought” and “frizzy red hair that encircles his head like a ring of fire.”
Flegr, the article says, has pursued his theory for decades in relative obscurity — partly because he’s not much of a conversationalist and rarely goes to scientific conferences, partly, he says, because people just don’t want to hear it.
“There is strong psychological resistance to the possibility that human behavior can be influenced by some stupid parasite,” he says. “Nobody likes to feel like a puppet.”
His theory is gaining credence, though, The Atlantic reports.
That parasites can be passed on through cat feces is nothing new, as the article notes:
Since the 1920s, doctors have recognized that a woman who becomes infected during pregnancy can transmit the disease to the fetus, in some cases resulting in severe brain damage or death … (It’s) the reason pregnant women are told to avoid cats’ litter boxes. T. gondii is also a major threat to people with weakened immunity: in the early days of the AIDS epidemic, before good antiretroviral drugs were developed, it was to blame for the dementia that afflicted many patients at the disease’s end stage. Healthy children and adults, however, usually experience nothing worse than brief flu-like symptoms before quickly fighting off the protozoan, which thereafter lies dormant inside brain cells—or at least that’s the standard medical wisdom.
Flegr thinks that, even in its latent stage, the parasite may be messing with the connections between our neurons, affecting our response to frightening situations, our outgoingness, our trust of others and our preference for certain scents.
He thinks the organism is a factor in car crashes, suicides, and mental disorders such as schizophrenia. All tolled, he says, it might be, in an indirect kind of way, killing a million people a year.
Flegr had long wondered about his own behavior. Sometimes, he didn’t move out of the way of oncoming traffic, and exhibited other behaviors that might be described as self-destructive. He began to suspect that a single-celled parasite in the protozoan family was manipulating his personality.
In 1990, he joined the biology faculty of Charles University, which was a leader in documenting the health effects of T. gondii and in developing methods for detecting the parasite.
Colleagues searching for infected individuals on whom to test their improved diagnostic kits asked him to volunteer, and that’s when he confirmed he had the parasite.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 23rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, behavior, biologist, cat, cat litter, cats, charles university, feces, health, jaroslav flegr, Kathleen McAuliffe, litter, meat, parasite, parasites, personality, pets, poop, pregnancy, schizophrenia, science, scientist, self destructive, studies, the atlantic, toxo, toxoplasma gondii, undercooked, unwashed vegetables, waste