February 2013
Pet Circkles.

"I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being." ~ Abe Lincoln.

Link Between Pet Allergies to Poultry and Vaccines:

It seems fitting since February is our Valentine's for Pet Vaccine Awareness Campaign that we offer information regarding the link between poultry allergies in pets and vaccines. The number of dogs allergic to chicken products is rising over the last decade and is reported at 20%, but numerous cases go unreported because pet owners don't know the signs of food allergies in their animals, so this percentage is likely much higher, our pet owner polls suggest closer to 30% or 40% over the last 5-10 years. Also read the sidebar to the bottom left about why some pets have adverse reactions and some don't.

Recent research on pet vaccines has led to the conclusion that the reason so many pets are allergic to poultry products is because chicken eggs are used to make many vaccines. The very nature of a vaccine is to cause the body to build up an immunity and antibodies to a virus, however, along with it, pets and people will often build up an allergic reaction to any proteins used in the vaccine culture mediums. - such as the chicken eggs used.

"The majority of the intramuscular inactivated influenza vaccines and the intranasal live-attenuated influenza vaccine are cultured on fluid from chicken embryos. As a result, there is a small amount of egg protein in these vaccines. Thus, there is a potential risk of inducing an allergic reaction when administering the influenza vaccine." (1)

According to the CDC, "Vaccine components can cause allergic reactions among certain recipients. Allergic reactions might be caused by the vaccine antigen, residual animal protein, antimicrobial agents, preservatives, stabilizers, or other vaccine components." (2)

"To prepare a vaccine made in fertilized chicken eggs, scientists crack the shell and inject the influenza virus into the fluid surrounding the embryo. Ideally, the embryo is infected and the virus multiplies. After several days of incubation the eggs are opened and the virus is removed, purified and used to make the vaccine." (3)


Symptoms of Food Allergies in Pets:

Chicken is Impossible to Avoid in Pet Foods:

Chicken meal is always one of the primary ingredients in every dry dog food, even beef-flavored dog foods are made with chicken meal, so avoiding chicken in your dog's diet is very difficult. Many proteins are similar in form and the incidence of allergic reactions are probably associated with the amount of exposure. (4) Meaning, the fact that pets usually eat the same food day in and day out for years, leads them to build up an allergy to it. Which supports our belief that a diet with as much variety as possible is not only best for humans but pets as well.

There are allergy formula dog foods made from such proteins as rabbit or duck, but they tend to be very expensive and usually require a prescription from a vet just to purchase. We have found dogs with food allergies do very well on raw meat diets. (see link) and in the long run, feeding a raw diet is cheaper and better than prescription foods. Feeding a raw diet also eliminates the possibility that your pet may actually be allergic to the pet food packaging such as the BPA in plastic lined cans or plastic lined food bags.

The only cure for food allergies is avoidance. However, 95% of the battle is trying to figure out what the food culprit is which is very difficult when pets can't tell you. Given this information regarding the link between vaccines and allergies to poultry, we would say this would be the first place to start adjusting your pets diet by eliminating all poultry and then monitoring your pet to see if they improve. Pets will respond favorably within 24 hours to 3-4 days if they have a poultry allergy. If you discover poultry is the culprit, be sure to mention this to your vet when it comes time for vaccinations or if your vet will be feeding your pet for some reason. Also, don't forget that any time you change your pets diet, it should be done gradually by mixing their new food with their old food in a 50/50 mix for a week, then gradually wean them off the old food within 2 weeks. If diarrhea occurs, go back to adding more of their old food and when you try to wean them off of it again, do so even more gradually to avoid stomach upset. This process could span over 2-3 weeks depending on how sensitive your pet's system is to diet changes.

Vitamin C: A few vets recommended 250mg of vitamin C given once daily for 2 days to a week can help dogs get through vaccine reactions and allergies. Dogs have the ability to manufacture their own vitamin C, unlike humans, so they do not typically need it every day, However, vaccines and old age cause some dog's vitamin C levels to diminish and supplementation can help with inflammation and itchiness dramatically. If your dog develops diarrhea while on the vitamin C, it means they are getting too much, so stop supplementing or cut back the dosage by half.

(1) http://www.uptodate.com/contents/influenza-vaccination-in-individuals-with-egg-allergy
(2) http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines
(3) http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=better-flu-vaccine
(4) http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2111&aid=143
(illustration) http://www.virology.ws/2009/12/10/influenza-virus-growth-in-eggs/


New Scientific Evidence Finally Determines the Cause of Ferret Tumor Syndrome.

I worked with Colorado State University some 14-15 years ago on one of the first studies regarding Ferret Tumor Syndrome (also now known as Endocrine Disorder, Adrenal Disease, Insulinoma) and conducted 12 years of studies and analysis with my own ferret rescue all in an effort to try to find the cause of the 90% tumor rate in domestic ferrets. Finally, about 5-6 years ago, enough information was gathered, and enough study and analysis conducted, for researchers to finally determine the cause of the high incidence of adrenal tumors and insulinomas in pet ferrets. The sad but conclusive evidence points to the fact that ferrets should have never been domesticated in the first place.

I had a ferret rescue for over 12 years because I fell in love with these wonderful furry faces from the first time I met one, and after one of my first three ferrets developed tumors at only 3 1/2 years old, I was determined to find out why so something could be done about it.

Ferrets are highly intelligent (some say every bit as intelligent as dogs and I would agree), can be trained like a dog or cat and are just adorable to have around; so of course, people would want them as pets. However, the love affair of having ferrets as pets has been dropping off dramatically over the years as word got around about how sickly they are and the anguish suffered by their owners when these lovable little creatures would get sick and die at only half their life expectancy. Now that word is getting out that the reason for it all is something that cannot be avoided as long as they are being bred and sold as pets and therefore have to be spayed or neutered, the demand for pet ferrets has drastically reduced. Most pet stores have stopped carrying ferrets altogether so finding one for a pet is getting very difficult; and in some areas, is now impossible.

Ferrets have a very delicate and intricate reproductive system, and studies have determined that having them spayed and neutered so they can be sold on the pet market is the cause of all their tumors and hormone-related health complications. This is very sad news for ferret lovers, as this means that ferrets cannot be kept as pets. Keeping them intact and not having them spayed or neutered is not a viable answer for most owners either because a ferret's reproductive system is such that if they are not bred, the females can develop aplastic anemia caused by too much circulating estrogen and die.

There are very few ferret breeders anymore, and the big commercial ferret mills like Marshall Farms, spay and neuter all of their ferrets for resale before they are 6 weeks old so they can get them into the pet stores while they are still cute and cuddly and easier to sell. If Marshall Farms cared about ferrets at all, they would stop the practice of breeding ferrets and selling them for pets, because as recent studies now indicate, these ferrets will only get sick and die before they reach 3-4 years of age, which is only half of their normal life expectancy. It's not only cruel and unethical to keep breeding and selling animals you know will only get sick and die before they are middle-aged, but it's also costly and heartbreaking for the ferret owners who fall in love with these wonderful, happy companions. Marshall Farms should be banned from continuing to breed ferrets on the grounds of animal and pet owner cruelty; after all, how can you continue to knowingly sell sick animals to caring people in good conscience or any conscience at all? Yet Marshall Farms, the largest ferret breeder in the U.S, still continues to pump out sickly animals for unsuspecting animal lovers to purchase. If that wasn't bad enough, Marshall Farms breeds ferrets and dogs specifically to be tested on and suffer horrible atrocities at the hands of lab experiments for the cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies.

Marshall has been criticized by ferret lovers and animal rights groups over the years for having sick ferrets due to inbreeding, genetic issues, and the practice of spaying and neutering them at too early an age. Other criticisms are directed at the health care and living conditions of Marshall Farms' pet mills. Some groups have accused large-scale breeders like Marshall of separating ferret kits from their mothers and sending them to pet stores too young; before they are fully weaned. Over the years, ferret purchasers have been warned to look for such signs in ferret kits when purchasing them from pet stores as diarrhea, lethargy, drainage or mucus coming from the eyes or nose, green colored feces, as common signs of a sick kit and to avoid purchasing animals with these symptoms. I have gone to pet stores in the past and seen ferret kits with these symptoms myself, so I know sick animals are in the pet stores and being purchased by people who don't know any better.

The inhumane pet ferret industry starts with pet mills like Marshall Farms, but it doesn't end there. Pet stores sell back to Marshall Farms older kits which are not sold after a certain amount of time and they are then euthanized. Due to this practice, as well as Marshall Farms' expansion into the sale of ferret supplies, accessories, and merchandise, many ferret advocates protest their unethical conflict of interest. In essence, Marshall Farms breeds ferrets and then later kills the ones that don't sell; animals are just a commodity to them, not a living, breathing creature that feels pain and suffering.

My big question to Marshall Farms and any other ferret mill is this: How can you knowingly sell people sick ferrets that have been proven in 90% of all cases to develop tumors and die well before their time, and still say you care about ferrets? The more I delved into the domestic ferret industry, the more it sickened me to my very core and I vowed to stop supporting the breeding of sick animals and the exploitation of unsuspecting future pet owners by purchasing or supporting the commercial pet industry in any way, shape, or form. Take it from someone who has witnessed the suffering of ferrets over many years: it may be difficult to give up on your hope of having a ferret as a pet because they are so darn cute, but it's 10 times more difficult to fall in love with them and then watch them suffer the horrors inflicted on them by the commercial pet industry. If you love ferrets, don't buy one! You are only supporting Marshall Farm's and other pet mills, breeding of diseased and sick animals whose life expectancy is cut short by domesticating them, and subsidizing the suffering of millions of animals for no good reason except that you want one. Not to mention, you will only get your heart broken when your new fuzzy little friend gets sick and costs you thousands of dollars in vet bills only to die prematurely anyway because there is no cure or surgery to stop endocrine disorders in ferrets. Yes, this means the veterinary profession will also be taking advantage of you and your love for your pet when they start telling you they can surgically remove the tumors and your ferret will be fine. This is not true. In the majority of cases, surgery or medications may prolong your ferret's life briefly, but the tumors will just recur or develop somewhere else in a matter of months.


Pets who look like their owners:

NATURAL PET REMEDIES: Nervousness or Separation Anxiety.

1 part Skullcap, 1 part valerian to half a cup of simmering water made into a tea and administered orally. 1/2 cup per 50lbs of body weight. It can be drizzled over their dry food. Valerian smells really strong and you may not get it passed a delicate nose. If not, just use skullcap tea.

Many people also use Bach Flower Remedies for calming pets as well. Use half the human dosage for large dogs, a quarter of the human dosage for a medium to small dog.

Diet will go a long way to calming down a nervous dog and making sure they get plenty of outdoor exercise. A well-balanced raw food diet gives a dog more nutrients, especially B vitamins which are necessary for healthy nervous function.


DOG BREEDS- Characteristics and Concerns.
(We will get to cat breeds later.)

American Bulldog: The American Bulldog is a breed of working dog. The names associated with the Bully and Standard types are those of the breeders who were influential in developing them, John D. Johnson (Bully) and Alan Scott (Standard). American Bulldogs are typically confident, social, and active dogs that are at ease with their families. It is not uncommon for an American Bulldog to require a high level of attention due to their highly emotional personality. They bond strongly with their owners. They are capable of jumping in excess of seven feet vertical due to the dense muscle build of the breed. Young American Bulldogs may be slightly aloof with strangers, but as they mature the breed's normal confidence should assert itself. This breed tolerates children and can do very well with them, provided they are socialized early and understand their limits. Early training and socialization both in the home and outside of the home is essential for this breed. One way to help accomplish this goal can be done in the simplest of ways: walking them regularly at local parks.

Life Expectancy:
American Bulldogs generally live from 10–16 years, and tend to be strong, physically active, and often healthy.

Health Concerns:
Some health problems in American bulldogs are often found within certain genetic lines, and are not common to the entire breed, while others, such as neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, Ichthyosis, disorders of the kidney and thyroid, ACL tears, hip dysplasia, cherry eye, elbow dysplasia, entropion, ectropion, and bone cancer are more common to the general population of American Bulldogs. There are DNA tests available to help breeders screen breeding animals for NCL (neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis) and Ichthyosis. It is highly to research your breeder information, including your American Bulldog's family history. A Penn Hip (Pennsylvania Hip Improvement project) or OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) screening is recommended for all potential breeding animals. Some breeds of American Bulldog are prone to allergies.

To view breeds we've already written about, view our Dog Breeds on The Hangout. (Must be a Circkles member to view The Hangout.)

Why Do Some Individuals Have a Bad Reaction to Vaccines and Some Don't?

First of all, everybody reacts to vaccines, that is the purpose of them - to trigger the body to have a reaction and create antibodies and an immunity to the virus in the vaccine. Adjuvants (toxins) are added to vaccines to enhance the immune response, unfortunately, these additives can cause the immune system to over-respond and attack itself, thereby causing autoimmune diseases such as allergies, asthma, arthritis, and in severe cases, seizures, comas and death.

The biggest problem we face with vaccines today and in the future is that as our immune systems and our liver are constantly being taxed by the never- ending pollutants and toxins in our food supply and environment, food allergies, vaccine abuse etc, our ability to handle the response inflicted by vaccines is greatly impaired. It takes a very healthy immune system to handle the stress created by vaccines. In the next few years, and until vaccines are reformed, you will be hearing more and more about people and pets having adverse reactions to vaccines because of our compromised immune systems. Vaccines have also been linked to the cause of food allergies, and it's not surprising that food allergies have also risen dramatically in the last 10 years.

Another really bad idea is ganging up multiple vaccines into one shot. 4 in 1 or 3 in 1 vaccines put an incredible load on the immune system. It's difficult enough to determine how an individual will react to one vaccine let alone multiple vaccines in one dose. England has been going back to the practice of single vaccines in recent years because citizens take a much stronger interest and stand against over-vaccination in England than we do in the U.S.

Second of all, you, your children or your pets may be having adverse reactions to vaccines and you don't even know it. Recent studies are showing that vaccines are linked to many common food allergies such as to poultry and peanuts. The number of young children developing food allergies practically from birth has gone up drastically in the last 10-15 years.

Isaac's Story GO VIRAL!

"Share to Care" with other
pet owners
about the need
for more
vaccine research
as part of our Valentines for Vaccine Research awareness campaign.

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