Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Passing of a Valued Canine Friend


Jared, who will be sorely missed.

            It's hard to put a value on a fine dog.  A good dog can be simply a sentry, a watchdog or a dog who can corral or protect livestock.  I once had a golden labrador who would let me know just before my black labrador would have a seizure. Sometimes, a dog is simply a trusted companion, and that is all we need him to be. Dogs can also be an excellent deterrent to the robbery of your home, or to home invasion. Having an excellent dog can be one of your most important preparedness and survival strategies.  A good dog need not have been initially expensive. All of mine have come as rescues, and none of them have disappointed me.  Once acquired, although the vet can delegate some health maintenance tasks to you, a good vet is essential in terms of keeping your investment and friend healthy, and heading happily into old age.

                     I have been very fortunate in that since my childhood I have had the pleasure and the responsibility of having had many groups of dogs. In childhood, they walked me to the rural bus stop and would arrive somehow about fifteen minutes before I would arrive again to come home. Most of my dogs, even in childhood, lived to be a ripe old age.  In my childhood, responsible pet ownership comprised feeding them and a rabies shot.  Many of my dogs in childhood never saw a vet for anything other than a rabies shot and if they were female, for spaying.  As an adult, my dogs have required much more.  Heartworm which is endemic in my state, Lyme Disease, Erlichia and other diseases have necessitated more vet checks, more funds spent and a more thoughtful and attentive approach than dog care was in my youth. This has been worth the trouble and the investment.

               A dear member of our canine family who enjoyed a long life, passed yesterday.   Please consider opening your home to a rescue dog.  If you do, hold on to him through thick and thin and through your own lifetime.  The life you save could be your own.

This is the link to a tribute to Jared on another one of my blogs:

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Asking for Religious Freedom But Depriving Us of Ours

The US should think hard before importing any more hate.  We have enough problems of our very own.

      Spending so much time in the region in which Thomas Jefferson lived prompts me to read a lot of his writings from time to time. Seems Jefferson grappled with how to fairly deal with Muslims in the early days of our nation.  I am ashamed to say I did not know all of the earlier British history concerning them.   Since I have been lucky enough to know some reasonable intelligent Muslims who are not extremists, it has taken me some time to read up and catch up.

                   Please see this interesting post

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Why We Should Ask Questions and Rethink Practices.



             Here on the farm, I give all the injections on livestock.  Alpacas require very regular injections in order to avoid meningeal worm which is easily contracted indirectly from the white tailed deer. Horses require regular injections to prevent Potomac Horse fever, and annual immunizations. Sheep also receive periodic immunizations here. I also give some dog and cat immunizations, but I leave dog and cat rabies injections to the veterinarians because this is the law in our state.

                Most of the time, farmers buy fairly inexpensive disposable syringes for animals that are made of plastics that are not approved for human use.  Since I have limited storage space and can't really stock syringes for animals and syringes for people, I tend for a bit more, to stock sterile syringes that could be used for people, and then most of the time they are used for animals. This way, if a physician ever orders an injectable medication for a human being,  as a registered nurse,I already have the correct syringe. (I also stock the tuberculin variety.)

                This week something came up that I thought I would share with you.  I used to do something that most farms do.  On Friday afternoon I would draw up all the alpaca injections I would need, bag and label them, and then administer them in Saturday mornings bright light when I have all hands on deck.  I stopped doing this, because although it is an acceptable practice, I wondered whether drugs which are drawn one day when kept overnight would leach  rubberized chemicals from the stopper  into the med, and result in the animals getting additional undesirable chemicals. I decided just not to take the chance.  Now I draw the meds up and give them immediately, even though it might be faster to draw them up and administer the following day.

               It seems I was not the only one concerned about this.  Late this week the FDA has expanded a warning on Becton Dickinson syringes.   Their concern is a bit different from mine. The FDA believes that this particular brand of syringes allows predrawn or compounded meds (prepared for humans) to be rendered less effective because when predrawn, some of the med in leaching into the rubber stoppe, potentially altering dose.This is very interesting, because a lot of medications come pre-drawn waiting for a nurse to attach a needle and administer.  I doubt the issue is completely confined to Becton Dickinson because they have been producers of reliable syringes and products for many many years.

              So, what is my message for you ?    If you are a farmer, don't draw up immunizations or meds in advance of administration.  Draw them, then administer them, and the leaching issue will not be a problem. Livestock are expensive and they deserve our best efforts whether you do, or do not use them as meat, or to produce milk for your family.   Secondly, ask questions.   Note whether your flu shot is already drawn up or whether it is being drawn prior to administration.  All the simple things we do, including the use of plastic cookware make a difference in the long term, to our health.  We just don't always notice, or the study may not yet have been completed.

More information on the FDA's expanded warning:

Thursday, September 10, 2015

"Don't You Wan't to See A Woman President ?"

I'll bet Adolph Hitler would have liked Hillary Clinton's comment on "It Takes a Village to Raise a Child also"

                               "Don't you want to see a woman President next time ?" the woman asked me.   She was working to elect Hillary Clinton, and although I didn't say this to her, I don't think that Mrs. Clinton should be anything other than a grandmother to her grandchild.  Normally, I don't discuss politics here in Virginia as it can be a dangerous thing to do.  This time, I didn't stay quiet.  "No, actually I am completely disinterested in whether the next president is female, black, white, Asian, or Hispanic.   I am interested in the next President having integrity, living in the real world, making strong economic choices for the US, and actually working toward the interests of the United States.    The list of why Hillary Clinton is unsuitable would fill a book, not a blog entry.

                               Mrs. Clinton stood by her man when he sullied the actual oval office having sexual contact with a starry eyed intern.  She didn't understand that he not only cheated on her, but he cheated on all of us by sullying the office, and on our time, during the workday. Her husband may have a sexual addiction, but Mrs. Clinton is an enabler. She tolerates the intolerable if it benefits her.     While the Clintons were in the White House, FBI files were collected and not returned. I am not sure if the deaths which occurred around them had anything whatever to do with them, or whether they simply run with a suicidal, depressed or risk taking crowd.
                                When Mrs. Clinton was Secretary of State she hired a Ma and Pop operation to be a private server for her, so that her communications were secret, not only from us, but from the prying eyes of government. Since Secretary of State communications are all governmentally confidential and can ,at the very least,  reveal the whereabouts of dignitaries making them open to security risk and potential assassination.

                                Most disturbing to me is that when the State Department employees called for help in Benghazi, the CIA safe house nearby and others who could have gotten there, were told to stand down.  Like most liars, when questions by Congress on this point, Mrs. Clinton feigned anger.  "What difference does it make now ? "    It makes a great deal of difference.  We may not keep everyone in the State Department safe at their posts all over the world, but we don't throw them to the lions either.

                                Irregularities with regard to the Clinton Family Foundation are so complex that they should be fully investigated.  When we hold high office, we need not only to avoid wrongdoing but the appearance of impropriety of well.  It looks as if Mrs. Clinton was peddling influence to other nations who contributed to her pet projects. Only a full investigation will reveal whether this is true or not.   So, to anyone who is asking, I don't choose a President because we have matching genitals. I don't choose one because our skin tone might match.  I look for integrity, honesty, decency, and a desire to help all Americans, not just splinter groups who contributed to getting elected.  The rest of America might think about this, this time, because the very survival of this nation depends upon it.  Our country won't survive another president who works for someone else other than the United States of America.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

An Introduction to Benfotiamine


      Benfotiamine is a fat soluble derivative  of Vitamin B1.     Since 1993, Germany licensed benfotiamine as Milgamma for sciatica.  I am told that it is also used there, rather effectively.  for other types of nerve pain, like radicultitis and the pain from herpes zoster or shingles..  German physicians claim that there are no known side effects to its use. In addition, this is an inexpensive therapy which is over the counter in the United States.

                       Here in the US, it took much longer for us to study it.  Dr. Michael Brownlee at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine studied its use in rats. His study found that benfotiamine could stop deterioration and damage within blood vessels.  This is particularly interesting to Type I and Type II diabetics, because even well controlled diabetics are eventually at risk for progressive glycation of their cells and for cellular damage which may ultimately result in nephropathy, peripheral and other  neuropathies, diabetic gastroparesis, etc.   (In English, this means that higher than normal cellular levels of glucose result eventually in damage to the blood vessels which translate into possible blindness, kidney failure, chronic foot and leg pain, a slow and ineffective gastrointestinal system, interruptions in wound healing, disruptions in immune function, and cardiovascular damage.)    Benfotiamine is suspected to prevent glycation on the cellular level thus helping to prevent these issues.

                      Other studies have indicated that it appears to improve wound healing and immune system dysfunction, not only in diabetics, but in others as well.

                    This also may be an important supplement for us to discuss with our veterinarian should we have a diabetic dog or cat. Some veterinarians would probably support a careful trial run of such a supplement.

                   Importantly, despite benfotiamine's great value as a preventive for potential diabetic complication, it may have other uses which may not yet have been fully appreciated.  For example, those who have experienced a lightning strike and have not died, often experience significant nerve damage and pain afterward, and treatments for such are limited, expensive, and of patchy value.  Benfotiamine may have value in improving the pain level and outlook in this population of patients.  I suspect it may have value in those with a history of vascular disorders. Some patients with cognitive disorders have been using it, as have some patients with multiple sclerosis.  Certainly, a lot more study of this substance within selected patient populations is warranted.

              Additional cautions: Supplements should not be given to pregnant women unless ordered by their physicians.  Patients taking a number of other medications should also consult their physicians before adding other supplements.  Patients receiving treatment for cancer should run any supplement by their physicians and their pharmacists because drug interactions may not yet be fully recognized or fully known.

Read more about this at:

Milgamma is known to be available in the following nations:
It is also being studied by the Russians.

It may be available in other nations as benfotiamine.