V versus the Volcano: Denouement

Your guide knows more than you. Yes, he does.

I think you all know that the volcano series ends with me at the bottom, alive. I just wanted to get that out of the way, though, in case you were worried. For a bit, I was worried too.

When we last checked in on this story, I was gasping for air at 14,960 feet, marveling at the majesty before me and a little delirious with excitement that I had actually made it to the summit of Meru. Margareta, having expended the last of her reserves getting to the top, took a few pictures then quickly started her descent. Few by few, the remaining summiteers, all of whom had reached the top before us, took their leave. Teri and I lingered, along with a group of freshly minted medical school graduates from the UK. Hey, if you’re going to collapse at altitude in Africa, best to do it with a vet and 4 doctors, right?

The adrenaline soon dissipated, we decided in fairly short order that it was time to descend. My brain, having spent the previous six hours focused on sound and the two feet in front of me, was rapidly overwhelmed with the visual input of OMG WHAT THE HECK DID I JUST CLIMB. No one told me we had made it to Mars.

Descent is, in its own way, more challenging than ascent. There’s a reason most climbers who perish, do so on descent. For one, my knees were much more tolerant of the work of lifting than the impact of dropping. I needed to place each foot with care on the scree, as falling down the mountain is generally considered less pleasant than falling up. Second, I had now ingested approximately 200 calories over the last six hours of hard work, and my legs were turning into mush.

Julius, our ten foot tall guide, quickly grew bored with our pace and started talking to friends on his cell phone. Talk about a mood killer. Here I am in the middle of nowhere, enjoying the feeling of being off the grid, and out of the corner of my eye I see the guide texting. Unable to maintain our slow and steady pace, he would hike ahead for half a mile, then sit and wait while we caught up, gabbing to his friends and pointedly mentioning that the other group was jogging down the mountain.

Yes, they were jogging. Good for them and their twenty something knees.

His run and wait approach would be fine, except for the fact that this left me without him in view for a good 10 minutes at a time, which is fine when you’re cruising your neighborhood but a bit dodgier when you’re picking your way with jello legs down a razor sharp crater 8,000 miles from home. I wondered to myself, not for the last time, what would happen if I were to fall off the side. Was the lava soft enough to leave a vet-sized depression in the silt? Would they find the groove carved into the mountainside marking the point at which I took the first and last Involuntary Mountain Luge of Doom straight into the ash cone?

Teri, who had been suffering some mild altitude induced pulmonary edema at the summit, was improving minute by minute even as I deteriorated. She soon noticed me struggling a bit. If you’ve seen any of the myriad movies with decrepit stragglers with wind-chapped lips staggering through the desert dunes, this is pretty much what I looked like by this point. And even though her official job as team leader with World Vets wouldn’t commence for another two days, she made it her job to get me down the hill. After all, the guide was busy elsewhere.

Only slightly more apparent in the light than in the dark.

She slowed down, pointing out the green dots marking the path on the rocks that were now visible in the light. She pressed Honey Stingers into my hand, little glucose shots more precious than gold by this point. With a little sugar in my system, I could think clearly enough to get my camera out without risking falling over. And oh, what a sight it was. There is a reason people say this is a prettier hike than Kilimanjaro.

The tippy top of the summit overlooking the ash cone from a long ago eruption.

It was around this point that my big toes started to protest the descent. The front of my toenails were banging into the toebox of my Keens, slowly and insistently creating a blister in the matrix of my toenails that would turn them a hideous shade of black that persists to this very day. At any moment, they’re going to fall off. The ladies at the nail salon exclaim in horror every time I go in as if I had presented them with gangrene.

It’s probably a good thing we couldn’t see where we were on the way up. It’s better not to know. I turned and looked behind me at the towering walls of the crater looming above me, incredulous that just a few short hours prior, I was on top of it. The path was very narrow in places.

I think taking a video was probably ill-advised, truth be told, and more likely than not to be documentation of the last minute of my life when they pried the camera out of my cold fingers at the bottom of the crevasse, but I just couldn’t resist. The pictures don’t do this vertigo inducing traipse justice.

Mt. Meru traverse of doom from pawcurious on Vimeo.

We made it to the Crappy Traverse, catching up to the joggers who were now in dire need of frequent breaks. We passed Rhino Point, too tired to do more than give it a quick “ohcoolrhinobonesweird” before moving on.

A good spell after the rest of the climbers, we made it to Saddle Hut. I was the dead last person off the mountain. I didn’t care. Julius prodded us off the ground where we had collapsed, gave us some food, then pointed us to our beds. I peeled off my rain pants and the most ridiculously sweaty, gross long johns that ever existed in the history of the universe, hung them up to dry, and collapsed into my sleeping bag for the most glorious two hour nap of my entire life. It was 11 am.

All too soon, we rose again, and went back to the dining hall, where the cook had prepared lunch. I don’t remember eating in my zombie like state. After all of that, we still that afternoon needed to descend to Miriakamba Hut. My entire body squealed in protest the whole way down.

That night, the cook presented us with a feast to celebrate our successful summit. I looked at the pile of rice in front of me, and forgetting I was actually in the company of other adults, started carving the rice into the shape of Mt. Meru. Teri, of course, joined right in. Everyone else just stared.

I stacked a row of peas along the edge. “Mizungus,” I said to Julius, invoking the word for tourists.

He laughed, knocked the peas off into the depths of the ash cone, and stacked a row of fat pinto beans in their place. “Mizungus,” he corrected. We all burst into peals of laughter, though in my case it was more of a sort of hysterical relief that I had not joined the peas in their final resting place in the ash cone.

The last day was nothing, a pleasant stroll through the lowlands back to the base of the mountain. We saw waterfalls.

Once I got into that position, I found it impossible to stand again.

I goofed off.

I admitted, to an incredulous Teri, that the last time I camped overnight somewhere was in junior high with the Campfire Girls.

On the way down, we stopped at the famous Fig Tree Arch. Despite what it looks like, this is a natural formation, the result of two strangler figs meeting up and deciding to join forces. Much like Teri and I. Trouble and trouble.

Can you spot me? I am very well camouflaged.

I wasn’t the fastest. I wasn’t the strongest. I was the least prepared and the most scared. And despite all of that, this was one of my greatest triumphs.

I didn’t bring my little plastic Carl to the summit like I had planned, but I know my scrappy grandfather was right there with me, having a beer in my honor in that great sitting room up in the clouds above Kilimanjaro.

Point Reached: SUMMIT. Oh yeah.

Pawcurious Vet Blog: With Pet Blogger and Veterinarian Dr. V

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Nice Fleas photos

Check out these Fleas images:

Flea Market & RV Park at Menge
Fleas

Image by MissMalaprop
Flea Market & RV Park at Menge, Pass Christian, Mississippi

Flea Market & RV Park at Menge
Fleas

Image by MissMalaprop
Flea Market & RV Park at Menge, Pass Christian, Mississippi

Flea Market & RV Park at Menge
Fleas

Image by MissMalaprop
Flea Market & RV Park at Menge, Pass Christian, Mississippi

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What to do if your bird is sick from recalled Mazuri feed

Dr. Scott Echols, an avian veterinarian, has been following the Mazuri pet food recalls very closely. The information he’s offering is intended for bird owners who are concerned their birds may be sick from eating the recalled food.

Please know that I understand how many of you are scared or at least concerned over the Mazuri recall. I am doing everything I can to understand the problem and get to the bottom of the issue. Please read this information thoroughly.

Moments ago, I got off the phone with Dr Liz Koutsos (PhD nutritionist with Mazuri). I am also waiting for return calls from other non-industry experts who may be able to add to our understanding of this problem. I will go over my conversation with Dr Koutsos (quick update on tested product) below, but first I need to address concerns about your birds:

IF YOU THINK YOUR BIRD IS SICK FROM EATING RECALLED MAZURI FOOD, READ THIS:
Send me a personal message or e-mail (this will be posted on http://www.avianstudios.com/ and facebook) with the following information:
- 1. Your name, address, e-mail and phone number
- 2. Your bird’s name, species, age and sex if known
- 3. If your bird is a female, please indicate if she has laid eggs, and if so when the last egg(s) was(were) laid and how many
- 4. Any abnormal signs your bird has displayed in the past 2 months (Part A)
- 5. Any abnormal signs (even if seemingly unrelated) your bird has displayed prior to 2 months ago- in other words, any prior medical problems (Part B)
- 6. Your bird’s current diet and prior diet over the past year (if different)- please be specific about treats, supplements, etc

Once I have your information, I will do my best to contact you within the next 1-2 days (depending on how many people respond).

REGARDLESS OF THE CAUSE, IF YOUR BIRD IS SICK I WILL ASK YOU TO TAKE HIM/HER TO AN AVIAN VETERINARIAN. If you do not have an avian veterinarian, go to www.AAV.org to locate one. Otherwise, I will attempt to make a recommendation based on where you live. I can also consult with your veterinarian as to diagnostics and interpretation if needed. However, the first step is to talk with you.

If your bird is a vitamin D toxicity suspect (based on our conversation, a veterinarian exam and supporting labwork), then I will direct you to Dr Liz Koutsos for further discussion and to possibly go through a claims process. If your bird is not a vitamin D toxicity suspect, your costs will likely NOT be reimbursed by Mazuri. My consultation is at NO COST TO YOU OR YOUR VETERINARIAN.

Now a word about Dr Koutsos. . .I do not personally know Dr Koutsos. After talking with people who do know Dr Koutsos and after personally talking with her, I feel that she is deeply concerned about the Mazuri recall and wants to do everything possible to address the problem.

A word about my relationship with Mazuri. . .I have no personal or financial vested interest in Mazuri or its parent company. I have been asked to be a paid independent consultant to talk with people with primarily companion birds who have eaten recalled Mazuri bird foods. My goal is to attempt to determine if any birds have become sick from eating recalled food, guide appropriate therapy where indicated and act as a channel to Mazuri to report my findings. I am a practicing clinical avian specialist veterinarian and have extensive experience working with numerous companion, zoo/aviary, rehabilitation, endangered and wild bird species. I CANNOT MAKE A DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT PLAN THROUGH THE INTERNET OR VIA A PHONE CALL WITHOUT SEEING AN ANIMAL OR WORKING WITH A VETERINARIAN WHO HAS SEEN THE ANIMAL IN QUESTION.

This morning Dr Koutsos explained that test results for the 2 batches of recalled Mazuri Waterfowl maintenance have arrived. The April 17, 2012 recalled Mazuri Waterfowl Maintenance diet had 8500 IU vitamin D/kg of feed. This is roughly 3 times the normal formulation. The April 28, 2012 Mazuri Waterfowl Maintenance diet had 2360 IU vitamin D/kg of feed. This is on the lower end of the target range.

The published vitamin D toxicity ranges for poultry start at 40,000 IU/Kg of feed. No such values exist for any other birds. After checking the veterinary and published literature databases, I could find no reports of vitamin D toxicity in waterfowl and one questionable case of vitamin D toxicity (complicated by vitamin A toxicity) in a blue and gold macaw and Moluccan cockatoo.

This does not mean that vitamin D toxicity does not occur in birds, but that it is rare or difficult to identify. Also, we have little information as to how to diagnose and treat the problem when it does occur.

Again, if you feel your bird is suffering as a result of eating recalled Mazuri bird foods, please contact me with the information above and I will consult with you.

Sincerely,
M. Scott Echols, DVM, Dipl ABVP (Avian Practice)

Dr. Echols, Avian Studios, also has an active Facebook group – Nutrition for Pets – where he is posting information about the recalls.

See the Mazuri website or the FDA website for the long list of Mazuri foods being recalled. You can also download the July 20 release by PMI here.

 


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The Benefit Of Having Jupiter Restoration Professionals On Your Side

South Florida property owners are all too mindful of the possible damages that extreme weather can lead to. Whether it’s a hail storm, hurricane, flood, or severe thunderstorm, it is essential that home and property owners are ready for the effects that these types of climate disasters can have. The best way to be prepared [...]
sevendogsandababy.com

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The Combination Approach To Feeding Your Golden Retriever




Although you can get commercial food for your Golden Retriever, the ideal way to feed is to use a combination approach of both commercial food and fresh people foods. Most commercial food is good for your Golden, although it lacks nutrients and vitamins that fresh food has. Vets will tell you that fresh food is good, providing you don’t overdo it. Golden Retrievers love fresh food as well, as they can smell it a mile away. If it smells good to them – they’ll want it.

Most commercial foods will offer your Golden great sources of protein and vitamins, although fresh food contains far more essential sources. Chicken and meat for instance, have far more protein and minerals than any type of commercial dog food. Fish is another great choice, as it contains a lot of the protein your dog needs to maintain a healthy brain.

All dogs are well within the capacity of staying healthy, although you need to provide them with the minerals they need. Each dog is an individual, meaning that you can’t continue to feed him the same food on a daily basis. Golden Retrievers love people food, and they also love variety. What they need one day may vary the next, so you should always mix it up a bit and give them something different each day.

To be on the safe side, you should give your Golden a little bit of everything. This way, he will get everything he needs with his diet. When you design the diet for your growing Golden Retriever, you should always make sure to include animal protein. This is very important for your Golden, as he has to have it. Without animal protein, your dog will find himself literally struggling to stay healthy.

To keep your Golden Retriever healthy, it is very important that he gets quality nutrition. Although quality nutrition is very important, you should never him eat so much that he gains weight too fast. If you monitor his diet and know exactly what you are feeding him, he should remain in his weight class. Sometimes this can be hard to help though, especially if your Golden starts to develop allergies to a certain type of food.

If you ever have any questions regarding the diet of your Golden Retriever, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask your vet. Your vet could make some recommendations for you, even tell you the best type of commercial food for your dog. Depending on his individual needs, what he requires may be totally different than what another dog needs. As long as you keep your dog on a healthy diet and make sure he gets the food he needs – he should grow to be a healthy dog with plenty of energy.


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How to completely get rid of ticks from my dog?

Question by : How to completely get rid of ticks from my dog?
Every 2-3 weeks I find new ticks on my peck’s body. Today I found a “mother” tick which was little bigger than normal ticks. And when I took a tissue paper to take it out, I saw that its not there(lol seems like an intelligent tick). How can I completely get rid of these ticks? What is the best cure which won’t be bad for my dog’s health?

Best answer:

Answer by Nik
What we use for my dog is a liquid that u put on the back of her neck that dries and then the ticks hate it and u put it on every other month or so- we got it at our vet I can’t remember what it is called but it works!

What do you think? Answer below!

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Major Concerns with a Border Terrier



If you want to have a small but sturdy pet dog, then the Border terrier might be for you. This pet is no delicate lapdog. The Border terrier pet dog is full of fun for the whole family.

Before getting a Border terrier pet dog, however, you might want to consider some of the major concerns regarding the breed. This will help you weigh the pros against the cons and will let you reach a decision that would be best for you. Here are some concerns regarding Border terrier pet dogs:

1) Temperament – when people talk about terriers, they all comment on the same behavior using different words. Some people say that their dogs are feisty. Some say that their dogs are stubborn. Some people would prefer to use the word impulsive. The point is, they all describe the same behavior. A terrier is inherently dynamic in its behavior. It is part of what makes a terrier, a terrier.

The temperament of the Border terrier pet dog may be quite surprising, if not outright shocking for most people because of its size. For such a small dog, a Border terrier pet dog sure packs a lot of energy.

2) Aggression – Border terrier pet dogs are not really as aggressive as other breeds. However, its instincts as a terrier would still urge it to run after anything smaller than it. This means that if you own a cat or even a pet rabbit, you cannot have a Border terrier pet dog. This also means that you cannot trust a Border terrier pet dog out of its leash. If it even sees something running, it will take off, leaving you yelling uselessly. This, of course, can cause accidents to happen. In order to make sure that your Border terrier pet dog does not get hit by a car, you need to keep that pet on a leash outside.

3) Escape – it is recommended by many experts that Border terrier pet dogs should be kept in a fenced-in yard to let it have some roaming space while making sure that it is safe. However, you should know that Border terrier pet dogs are clever escape artists. Even if a Border terrier pet dog is within a closed in fence, you should try to keep an eye on it.

4) The noise – Border terrier pet dogs will bark at practically anything that catches their attention. Because of this, you need to properly train them to bark only when needed. You should also be quick to stop them if they are barking inappropriately.

For this reason, you should not really get a Border terrier pet dog if you live with very close neighbors and if you work during the day. An unsupervised Border terrier pet dog is sure to keep barking all day long. This, of course, may draw complaints from your neighbors.

5) Independent thinking – what people love about Border terrier pet dogs is the fact that they can learn very quickly. This is because of their inherent curiosity and toughness. However, the same qualities that make them prize-winners can also make them very stubborn when they want to. You have to be consistent with your commands and show the Border terrier pet dog that you mean what you say. In doing so, you will be training the Border terrier pet dog properly.


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Merrick Pet Care Recalls

Merrick Pet Care, Inc. of Amarillo, Texas is recalling all lots of its 10 oz “Beef Filet Squares” for Dogs and “Texas Hold’ems” pet treats because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella  can affect animals and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products. People handling the treats can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the chews or any surfaces exposed to these products. Consumers should dispose of these products in a safe manner by securing them in a covered trash receptacle.

The “Beef Filet Squares” & “Texas Hold’ems” were shipped to distributors and retailers throughout the US. These individuals have been notified and have activated their recall procedures.

Consumers who have purchased 10 ounce packages of “Beef Filet Squares for Dogs” & “Texas Hold’ems” are urged to return the unused portion to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-800-664-7387 M-F 8:00 – 5:00 CDT

 

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Purina recalls poultry feed due to insufficient vitamin D

Purina is recalling some of their Purina and DuMOR poultry feeds because of they don’t contain enough vitamin D.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – July 26, 2012 – Land O’Lakes Purina Feed LLC has initiated a voluntary recall of certain varieties of poultry feed products with the specific lot codes listed below, due to the lack of added vitamin D in these products. Inadequate levels of vitamin D in a bird’s diet for greater than 2-3 weeks may cause bone weakness, fractures or joint problems, and potentially death, if birds are not exposed to direct sunlight daily. Birds living outdoors may not experience symptoms due to the formation of natural vitamin D that occurs within the bird’s body with exposure to a minimum of 30 minutes of direct sunlight daily.

To date, there have been no reported animal illnesses involving the products below being recalled. The absence of added vitamin D in these products occurred as a result of a formulation software conversion.

“We are working diligently with retailers and distributors to notify customers about this issue and, as a precautionary measure, we urge customers to not feed their flocks these products,” said Dave Hoogmoed, Chief Operating Officer. “Instead, please return them to the point of purchase for a refund and replacement feed. We deeply regret the concern and inconvenience this is causing.”

The affected products were manufactured between May 23 and July 20, 2012, at the Milford, Indiana, Nashville, Tennessee and St. Joseph, Missouri feed plants, and distributed nationwide under the Purina and DuMOR brand names listed below. All products manufactured after July 20 include added vitamin D in their formulation.

The brands being recalled include PURINA® HONOR® SHOW CHOW® and DUMOR® SHOW POULTRY. See the FDA recall release for more information, including lot numbers: Land O’Lakes Purina Feed LLC Announces Voluntary Recall Of Certain Poultry Feeds Due To Lack Of Added Vitamin D. You’ll also find information about the recall on the Purina website.

 


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SCABIES?????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?

Question by Give Someone A Hug Today: SCABIES?????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?
I am a total clean-freak… I drive my husband nuts about how much I clean. Well, to make a long story short, we just literally started our two preschoolers (ages 3 and 4) in daycare. Two weeks into it, our daughter comes home with small itchy red bumps on her “booty” and as days went by, it became much worse and even spread up her back and down her legs. We then took her in to see a doctor and he said that he thinks it may be scabies!!!!!!

When the doctor explained what this was, I freaked!!!!! Our son, who attends the same daycare is fine and even sleeps right next to our daughter.

The doctor gave us some cream to put on her and said that the cream should kill the scabies.

My question is, how did she get this (daycare doesn’t know) and why hasn’t our son gotten this who sleeps right next to her and attends the same daycare??

It’s been 2 weeks now and she is still itching a bloody bottom. Can this really be scabies???

Also, can you actually SEE Scabies if you look closely (like lice?)

Thanks for any help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Best answer:

Answer by PhuQue
next to impossible for people sleeping together / next to each other not to get scabies . all your clothing and bedding needs to be dry cleaned , boiled …. the cream should have taken care of your daughters problem in about 24 hrs, not considering re-infestation ..but it sounds like it might be an allergy of some kind.

What do you think? Answer below!

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