Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Global Warming....aahhhh make that COOLING

This kind of news just makes me laugh and blogging about it I'm sure will torque off all of those followers of the Church of Global Warming and the High Priest Al Gore. As I've stated many times....the weather is cyclical and it changes. Historically we have been coming out of the little ice age so naturally the climate has warmed. Now there is this startling news....this past years showed the largest cooling trend since we started recording it. There have been many reports of cooler temps and more snow

"But now, that evidence has been supplanted by hard scientific fact. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.

A compiled list of all the sources can be seen here. The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C -- a value large enough to wipe out nearly all the warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one year's time. For all four sources, it's the single fastest temperature change ever recorded, either up or down."

The Global Warming zealots have changed their mantra lately to counter all of the reports. You will notice news accounts using the phrase "Global Climate Change" now instead of Global Warming, especially in the winter.

Scientists quoted in a past DailyTech article link the cooling to reduced solar activity which they claim is a much larger driver of climate change than man-made greenhouse gases. The dramatic cooling seen in just 12 months time seems to bear that out. While the data doesn't itself disprove that carbon dioxide is acting to warm the planet, it does demonstrate clearly that more powerful factors are now cooling it.

Let's hope those factors stop fast. Cold is more damaging than heat. The mean temperature of the planet is about 54 degrees. Humans -- and most of the crops and animals we depend on -- prefer a temperature closer to 70.

Historically, the warm periods such as the Medieval Climate Optimum were beneficial for civilization. Corresponding cooling events such as the Little Ice Age, though, were uniformly bad news."

I personally like the warm temperature since I surf and it adds to the spring/ summer months that I get to indulge myself. If this keeps up I'll have to get a new wetsuit.

Bute Toxicity

NSAIDS (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) have been around for a long time. Many people know that these drugs by their common names, aspirin,Advil, bute Banamine, etc. Additionally most people realize that like all medications...to much can cause a problem. We see this toxicity several times a year, usually after someone has been treating a colic with many doses of Banamine. This last week Dr. Thomas saw one that had mistakenly been given Bute tablets when the owner thought they were antibiotic. They were giving the horse 10 tablets (10 grams) twice a day for 3 days. You can imagine the damage. Phenylbutazone can cause many problems at such high doses but the principle one is a condition called Right Dorsal Colitis. In this disease the colon becomes edematous and large ulcers form on the inner surface that are very difficult to treat.
The horse frequently becomes colicky and loses protein as it oozes from the large ulcerated colon.
Fluid replacement and Plasma replacement are usually required which is extremely expensive and frustrating since they continue to lose the protein you are putting back in. Other drugs such as Misoprostil ( a prostaglandin) and Gastrogard ( Omeprazole) are helpful, as are antibiotics to help prevent potential sepsis . In the case we are working on now it remains to be seen how this horse will respond since there are financial limitation . Dr Thomas will do the sonogram tomorrow to better ascertain how much colon damage has taken place. This story highlights how important it is to know exactly what medications you are giving your horse and what the proper dosage is. The consequences of a mistake can be deadly.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Wild Horses of Cumberland Island

I just got back from our annual trip to Cumberland Island Georgia, and ohhhh did I need it. You can feel your blood pressure drop the moment you get off the boat. We've been very fortunate to rent Nancy's Fancy for a week each year since we were married over there. It is a house on pilings behind the dunes overlooking the beach......a deserted beach. The kids can run wild and like it was when I was a kid, you just have to be back before dark. One of the cool things about Cumberland Island are the wild horses....I know, I see horses everyday so whats the big deal. I don't usually see herds of them walking down the beach. There are those that want the horses removed and have their own agenda but for everyone else it really adds to the whole Cumberland experience.The National Park Service does a good job of keeping the environmental extremists at bay and follows the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 to protect them."The Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act was an act passed on December 15, 1971. The act was passed because of public outcry against the commercial exploitation and decreasing numbers of the wild horse herds on federal lands. The passage of the act specified that the wild horses and burros could only be managed in the areas that they inhabited at the time of the passage. The act was originally directed at the U.S Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, but the National Park Service has also adopted its guidelines. The objective of the regulations within the act are "management of wild horses and burros as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands under the principle of multiple use; protection of wild horses and burros from unauthorized capture, branding, harassment, or death; and humane care and treatment of wild horses and burros "(BLM 2002). Whatever view is held, with the passage of the Act, these horses are being protected as part of the natural system. Therefore, they are managed as an integral part of the systems in which they inhabit." From the scientific aspect there seems to be adequate food available and disease and parasitism has not reduced the numbers. The overall health seem OK as the body weight and condition scores are good. Most of the adult females appear pregnant ( or have a serious hay belly) and fair to good hair coats. As we went over most of the Island you can see several herds with most of them situated on the Southern half. I think it is related to the Islands history and the fact that most of the development and Plantation farming was on the Southern end and therefore more land was cleared. While there is minimal development now , there is more open grazing area there and the grasses help support the numbers. At low tide you can see a large number of horses move through the marsh areas and graze on many of the marsh grasses that are all over the place. Having walked...or tried to walk through the marsh mud, I can't see how they don't become trapped , but I never find evidence of bones or a carcass. I did see a small whale carcass on the beach though. All in all it was another fantastic time but sadly it may be coming to an end. The Government takes over most of the privately owned homes in 2010 through eminent domain and deals made with the owners. My in-laws had a house they built in the 70's that was taken via eminent domain and it is a wound that for them still hasn't healed. Perhaps with time . There is a chance that the Government will lease these houses back to the owners and places to stay will still be there, as it stands you either camp or stay at the Greyfield Inn (a 5 star Inn in the Wilderness). We may get lucky and get to go back again next year.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Equiwinner Performance patches and more 3rd world medicine

I received a good response and question from a reader and it touches on one of my favorite topics......medical scams, holistic treatments and other 3rd world treatments. This person researched the problem and applied some scientific rigor and has a highly likely diagnosis of Photic Head shaking. Here's the email.. "Hi I have a 17hh warmblood who was treated with steriods last yr and we changed all bedding soaked hay fly masks etc etc and it alll stopped so we put it down to allergy! Well he is off work now and the sun came out this w/e and I found him violently head shaking in the field and in the stable he goes to the back, after alot of research he is looking like a photic cause. I have come accross a product and was wandering if anyone has tried it or heard any feedback? Equiwinner performance patches they are formulated for a variety of things but seem to cure headshaking or so they say? " .....and even better, this scientist questions the claims of a product. Hallelujah.....another convert to the Church of the Painful Truth.
So what is "Equiwinner performance patches" ...hmmmmm....it's EQUI, so it's for horses...it's WINNER, so it must make them do something better....it's PERFORMANCE, so it makes them do it faster....and it's a PATCH, well...thats just cool. Heres what the company sez....
" The patches work by signalling to the skin that it needs to release any stored sodium. Stored sodium (salt) in the skin causes inconsistent sweating which in turn causes a number of poor performance related issues such as lack of stamina, poor response when asked for sustained effort and poor recovery after extreme exercise and competing. "

dammit man, why didn't I think of just signaling the skin....it's so simple a caveman could do it....or an advertising executive( maybe one that could spell signaling correctly) and wait ..theres more
"No banned substances are used in the Equiwinner Patch. Unlike human medical patches, there is no chemical action within or on the body of the horse. No substance enters or is metabolized within the body of the horse. The Equiwinner Patch works by influencing cell signaling only. Once the condition is corrected the body ignores the signal. There are no side effects. Please read the product instructions, to see how easy it is to use this new technology.
I know whenever I write about voodoo I really piss people off but I can't help it.It also generates a great deal of blog traffic which is always good. It really is a pet peeve of mine....please just use the scientific method, it's been around for a long time.
question-hypothesis-experimentation-analyze data-conclusion
If the data is reproducible....then it's good science.
Oh, and by the way the best treatment for photic head shaking is cyproheptidine and the use of polarized goggles or window tinted plastic on a fly mask. click here

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Mac's Magazine Cover

I don't know how this sort of thing happens, but my youngest boy Mac ended up on the cover of the School Magazine. A more suitable debut would be the poor disruptive youth articles in the local paper. You will notice that 1. his shirt is clean 2. his hair is combed 3. nothing is bleeding 4. he's wearing a tie and 5. nobody is screaming. This all makes me think that the school computer department has "photo-shopped" this picture. Beth did find out that the teacher brushed his hair and tucked in his shirt just before the photo....I knew it! He really does look like a nice boy in this picture doesn't he...but he can't fool me. I'm positive he was messin' with somebody as soon as the photographer said " thats a wrap". I guess he is his Fathers boy, what can I expect.