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10. Breed-Specific Health Problems

R.Ph., Ph.D, Earl L.. Mindell Basic Health Publications, Inc. ePub


he process of adopting a dog starts with deciding whether you want a mixed-breed dog or a purebred dog. Mixed-breed dogs, also known as mutts, mongrels, and Heinz 57s, are just as the names implya mixture of breeds. Mixed-breed dogs have a significantly larger genetic background than purebred dogs, so they are not as prone to health problems as purebred dogs. Purebred dogs are man-made dogs whose genetic background is limited by the breed and the specific line within the breed that is created by the breeder. Purebreds can easily become inbred, which exaggerates both positive traits and weaknesses, for example a predisposition to illness.

Mixed-breed dogs, although generally healthier than purebred dogs, have high incidences of the most common health problems. If you have a mixed-breed dog and can connect her to a specific breed, or breeds, such as a German-shepherd mix or a Labrador-retriever and golden-retriever mix, familiarize yourself with the health problems for the breed(s) your dog is related to.

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5. The Importance of a Strong Immune System

R.Ph., Ph.D, Earl L.. Mindell Basic Health Publications, Inc. ePub


upport of the immune system is one of the most important roles that proper nutrition plays in your dogs health. The immune system protects your dog from illness and supports the repair of her body when it is injured. Our environment is always teeming with microscopic organisms that have the potential to infect your dog with any number of minor to life-threatening diseases. How your dogs immune system responds to these organisms determines her health.

Have you noticed that when a cold or flu is going around, some people always get it and others never get sick? Those who stay well have an active, healthy immune system to protect them. Those who get sick from infectious diseases have an immune system that is in less than optimal condition.

The immune system is a complex network within the body that produces millions of cells each day. Each cells mission is to seek out and destroy foreign invaders called antigens. An antigen, which is short for antibody generating, is a foreign invader in the body, such as a bacteria, fungus, parasite, pollen, or virus. Elimination of antigens is accomplished primarily by white blood cells that use the lymphatic and blood vessels to move through the body. One drop of blood contains 5,000 to 10,000 white blood cells, and two-thirds of them are part of the immune system.

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8: Trade in Horses, Cats and Dogs

Phillips, C.J.C. CABI PDF

Trade in Horses, Cats and



8.1  Introduction

Horses, cats and dogs share a common usage as companion animals but they can also variously be used as racing animals (horses and dogs), for meat production

(horses mostly, sometimes dogs and very occasionally cats), milk production (horses) and fur production (cats and dogs). Because these animals supply specialist markets, not mainstream like cattle and chickens, trade is often local. The trade is often not regulated as well as the livestock trade, frequently covert and sometimes illegal.

8.2  Horses

Horse trading has a long history, with evidence of activity in central Asia around

1000 bce (Wagner et al., 2011). The close relation between owner and horse makes the transaction very reliant on the owner’s report of the characteristics of the horse. The potential for deceit in this activity has given the term ‘horse trading’ special meaning in relation to business deals.

According to the World Horse Organization (WHO, 2015), there are now approximately 58 million horses worldwide, with 16% in the USA, 13% in China,

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Part 4. Why Dogs Hump: Or, What We Can Learn from Our Special Friends

Marc Bekoff New World Library ePub

WE OFTEN HEAR that the companion animals with whom we share our lives have unqualified trust in us, that they believe we will always have their best interests in mind, and that they love us unconditionally and would do anything for us. And, indeed, they often do take care of us in a seemingly selfless manner.

But dogs and other animals don’t love everyone unconditionally. They can be very selective. From time to time it’s a good idea to revisit, if only briefly, some common beliefs we have about relationships between ourselves and other animals. I’ve been asked on many occasions about trust among animals, and this essay puts some of my thoughts on the table for discussion.

What does it mean to say our companions trust us? The notion of trust is difficult to discuss because it’s very broad and has many different sides. Trusting another is related to intention. What did a person (or other animal) intend to do, and were their actions in the best interest of another being? It’s possible to have the best of intentions and to do something that harms another being. This doesn’t mean that the individual who erred shouldn’t ever be trusted again.

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4: Trade in Meat

Phillips, C.J.C. CABI PDF

Trade in Meat


4.1  Introduction

Humans are not anatomically or physiologically designed to eat raw meat. The absence of elongated canine teeth makes tearing through raw meat difficult and the relatively high pH in our stomachs renders us susceptible to food poisoning if the flesh is at all contaminated. For our ancestors the infrequency of successful hunts would have made contamination of stored meat likely. However, their ability to master fire provided a method of processing meat to make it more easily consumed and less likely to be contaminated. Hence for as long as prehistoric records are available, meat consumption has been a part of the human diet. Our ancestors’ advanced ability to communicate facilitated complex hunting methods, luring animals into traps for example. Cave paintings suggest that there were ritual gatherings before the hunt, perhaps even with music and hallucinogenic drugs, which bonded the males together to improve their performance in the hunt.

Hunting for meat provided an alternative to the long process of gathering nutrients from plant life, which varied with climate and season and often required a nomadic lifestyle to follow the geographic availability of suitable plants. The nutrient demands for hunting, gathering and nomadism were considerable, and meat was able to provide the highly digestible food needed. Nevertheless, the risks involved and uncertainty in finding food meant that life was short, typically 25–40 years. With the coming of agriculture, and the development of improved plants, principally cereals, with higher seed yields, a settled way of life became possible and it was no longer necessary to hunt animals for meat. However, in colder parts of the world, particularly the northern parts of the northern hemisphere, meat consumption remained necessary because it could provide the nutrients needed, and in these regions crop growth was limited. Over the last 1000 years people from these regions came to colonize most of the rest of the world and the colonizers took their meat-eating habits with them. For example, the British colonies covered one-third of the world at the beginning of the 20th century,

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