When I was a child, growing up in northern Westchester County, we would romp through the woods, lay in the high grasses, roll down the hills, and wander through the brush all day long, and never see a single tick. Today, you can barely walk from the house to the mailbox without finding one or two clinging to your clothing. Searching the dogs after every walk has become a routine that everyone performs by habit now. It’s a routine, of course, which is pretty much fruitless, as a Black-legged Tick nymph is so small it’s almost impossible to spot on a dog … or a human.
As I’ve mentioned several times, one of the herb we’re using to help Ryder (who is now 5 months post diagnosis with hemangiosarcoma) is a Chinese herbal preparation called Yunnan Baiyao. Today, I listened to an excellent presentation on YouTube, with Dr Demian Dressler and Dog Cancer Answers, that goes in depth into the herb, and how it helps with these bleeding cancers.
Twenty Twenty. To say that this year has been a challenge would be a major understatement. We entered the year thinking “20/20” would mean perfect vision. What we have found instead has been far from crystal clarity. And yet, we are here, facing its close, and still somehow holding on to hope that the next year will be better.
Recovery and Return I apologize that issues of Creature Thoughts have fallen by the wayside. Since Ryder’s cancer diagnosis, life revolves around him, and I haven’t really been able to get things back on track. This month, therefore, I’ll just send an update, and hope that by next month, things will be more calm, and…
This year’s wildlife season brings many challenges to wildlife rescue centers and rehabilitators. The COVID-19 situation, with social distancing and limited gatherings, has meant that many wildlife centers have lost a key source of their donation income. At New York Wildlife Rescue, the organization I work with, the educational programs have had to be put on hold, and that means that a large percentage of their donations have dried up. There are many other wild animal rescue organizations, and individual rehabbers, in the same situation.
Under normal circumstances, when we humans have a virus, we can safely say that our pets won’t be affected. Human colds and flu don’t infect dogs, cats, or horses. Even the old suspicion that guinea pigs can catch a human cold turned out to be nothing but a superstition.
Now, it appears, we have met a foe that can be transmitted to animals. A news report has come to light that a number of tigers and lions at the Bronx Zoo have fallen ill with respiratory symptoms. One of the tigers was tested, and found to be positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19.