The Five Most Delicious Game Birds

Game has a reputation of not being for the fault of heart, and gamy has been used to describe a range of tastes a lot of people find unpleasant. Numerous reasons have been suggested as the source of these flavors, and each probably has a hand in at least some cases: a rich flavor of red meat / blood can be found in game that has not been bled very well; Some male game animals have musk glands, and when these contaminate the flesh, you can have musky-tasting meat; Sometimes game can be hung too long and in temperatures that are too warm, making bacterial action a possibility; The animal's diet can affect the taste of its meat; When the animal has been chased, hormones such as adrenaline and chemicals like lactic acid can build up in the meat, affecting its taste; And finally the meat of some animals has some particularly pungent organic compounds, such as what you find in goat meat. Regardless of these factors though, and sometimes because of them, people who love assertive flavors delight in the taste of game.

Game birds, though, can be a bridge between the bland homogeneity of farm meat and the assertive flavors of wild game on the hoof. Prepared correctly, they can be a welcome change from everyday fare, and cooks regularly use them to celebrate special occasions. Wild game birds not only make for healthy eating by virtue of being leaner meat, they're also a more ethical option than factory-farmed meat since the animals get to live natural lives. Here are some of the best and most popular game birds:

1. Quail – these small birds are more known for their eggs than for their meat, which is a shame since their flesh has been delighting epicures for centuries. At its best, quail can be meaty, juicy, and tender, with a pleasant but subtle gaminess. Their small size means they need to be cooked quickly though, around ten minutes, in order to retain their juices. You also need to make sure you have enough for each diner-generally around two per diner if serving them as an appetizer, or three if used as a main course. Quail can stand up to more aggressive spicing than chicken due to its mild gamy flavor, and it takes on flavors better than other meats. A red wine marinade will do very nicely, and for a really luxurious treat, quail pairs well with foie gras.

2. Ruffed Grouse – these are larger than quail, in fact looking more like small wild chickens, with a more assertive flavor and light meat. They can improve in tenderness if hunger for a few days, and cooking time should be less than for chicken. Many game aficionados consider grouse the most delicious game bird, and they can substitute for chicken in any recipe for a delicious upgrade. The most recommend methods of cooking though are either deep frying or wrapping in bacon and then grilling or baking in an oven.

3. Chukar Partridge – also called red-legged partridge, these birds were introduced to the US from Asia, and their numbers are enough that despite their popularity among gourmets, there's plenty to go around. These fat-bodied birds weigh a pound and a half each, are about the size of a Cornish hen when dressed, and are similar to quail in taste and texture, with a flavor that's been described as nutty and mild. They also do well in any recipes calling for quail, although their larger size means you have to adjust cooking times and serving sizes appropriately.

4. Gray Partridge – other known as the Hungarian Partridge, or Hun, this bird has always been delicacy, and its distinctly flavored, slightly gamy dark meat has been prized by gourmets from Roman times up to the present day. Weighing in at half a pound to one pound, they are usually prepared whole and baked in an oven. Nuts, autumn fruit, and mushrooms all have flavor profiles that have long been associated with this bird, and they do well as either stuffing or sauce.

5. Pheasant – the game bird most often associated with royalty, with the male's large size and colorful plumage making it a prize hunting trophy. Pheasants are as well-apppreciated on the dinner table as they are in the hunt. Their larger size makes them a good centerpiece for celebrations, and in the case of farm-raised birds hung for a minimal amount of time, the flavor is mild enough to be acceptable even to people who dislike game. Those who prefer a stronger taste can opt for wild birds that have been hung longer, up to a week, which allows the bird's flavor to develop more. Cooks who use pheasant should pay special attention to the difference in taste between wild and farm-raised as well as between minimally hung and well-aged, since seasonings should be strong enough to enhance the bird's taste without drowning it out.

In general, cooking methods for game birds should account for their being leaner than farm-raised fowl, and that's so quick to dry out, so techniques like brining or adding a bit of fat in the form of butter in the stuffing or larding with bacon will Do wonders. Encasing in a batter or crust and then either baking or deep-frying is also a good idea since the coating protects the flesh from drying out.

Wine pairings for these fowl usually involve a more assertive white wine or a lighter red, but marinades, spicing, and sauces will all have an effect on the relative heft of the wine needed – barolo or cabernet sauvignon in the sauce will allow pairing with a Tannic red, while eastern spices will match well with the spice of a good syrah. For those who want to keep it casual, a good beer will do great as well. Happy eating!

Source by Brandon M Peters

Why Parrots Stop Talking

Why parrots stop talking is not always the problem. Some people long for their parrots to stop talking, simply because they talk incessantly once they have learned a few phrases. Parrots are very sociable, and want to communicate with other members of their “flock” – which means the people with whom they live. So a talking parrot is probably more common.

There are times, however, when parrots stop talking, and then the worried owner wants to know why parrots stop talking.

Reasons Why Parrots Stop Talking

There are several reasons why parrots stop talking. We cannot give a complete list here, but one of the following may apply to your parrot.

1. Some talking parrots stop talking for a few days when they arrive in a new home. They are adjusting to the change. They find themselves suddenly with a new “flock” in a new environment. Even a talking parrot will take time to sort things out in its mind before it feels comfortable.

2. Sometimes talking parrots stop talking when they are feeling ill. If your parrot has been talking, and stops with no apparent reason, consider health issues. You may need to take it to an avian veterinarian.

3. Talking parrots will “pout” and stop talking when they are unhappy with a change you have made. It may be you have moved the furniture in the room where the parrot spends most of its time. Maybe you are wearing an article of clothing the parrot does not like.

4. Another reason talking parrots may stop talking is the introduction of a new family member, either human or another pet. The parrot must work through the change, and stops talking while adjusting.

5. Sometimes a talking parrot has been frightened, perhaps by a prey animal. The animal may be outside, but visible from the parrot’s cage.

6. Finally, a talking parrot may stop talking if it becomes bored with its own chatter, and hears few words from you. Remember that your parrot talks to communicate with you. It is in a “foreign” land, away from those that speak its language, and is trying to learn your language to communicate.

What to Do When Parrots Stop Talking

There are several things you can do to encourage a talking parrot that has stopped talking.

If your talking parrot is in new surroundings, make it as comfortable as possible. Give it time to adjust, but while it’s adjusting, talk to it gently and frequently. As soon as it decides the new surroundings are safe, it will probably begin talking again.

If you suspect your talking parrot’s sudden silence is an early sign of illness, look at its eyes and feathers. If you detect dullness in either, you may need to have an avian (bird) veterinarian check your parrot.

Sometimes the answer is as simple as finding a change you have made in the previous few days or week. Did you move a vase that used to reflect the light? Did you move the parrot’s cage a few feet one way or another? Try to remember what may have changed and put it back the way it was. Your talking parrot may quickly speak up to thank you.

Check for predators, even though you know they cannot reach the parrot. A large, predatory bird flying past the window, or sitting in a tree outside can be the reason a talking parrot stops talking.

The best solution to helping a talking parrot find its tongue is to spend more time talking to and around the bird. Take it into other rooms with you and the family so it will feel like being a part of the conversation.

Talk to your bird as much as you would talk to a family member or very good friend, and before long, it should begin talking again.

Source by Anna Hart

Dog Food Secrets – How to Stop Dog Food Allergic Problems & Double Your Dog’s Life Span

Can your dog be allergic to his food?

The most common causes of canine food allergies are caused by these ingredients which include meat-by-products, corn, yeast, sale, sugar, and chemical preservatives. They are often responsible for allergic reactions. Dogs who suffer from food allergies will experience reactions such as itchy skins, weepy eyes, ear infections, flatulence, irritated anal glands (running bottom over carpet), rashes, hot spots, and excessive bodily licking, especially around the feet and belly. Repeated exposure to large quantities of allergens in food can cause long-term chronic illnesses, infections, and behavior problems.

How to find out whether your dog’s food may be giving him allergies

If you suspect your dog’s food may be giving him allergies, you can try feeding him a special diet to determine what is giving him trouble. The diet is composed of food that is scientifically created with very low-molecular-weight proteins. Proteins below a certain molecular weight are thought to be incapable of causing food allergies. You can find this food, in wet and dry formulas, online and at many veterinarians’ offices. If after six weeks of feeding this special diet, you find that your dog’s allergy symptoms are alleviated, it’s safe to assume that his food is the cause of these symptoms. To determine which ingredient is the culprit (usually by-products from meat and poultry sources), reinforce each one into the diet to see if your dog’s symptoms recur. Check the ingredients list on your regular dog food label, and add each item-chicken, turkey, corn, bulgur wheat, potato or rice, for example into the special diet one at a time, every three weeks. At each meal, add ten percent of the test food to the bowl, and reduce the special diet by ten percent. Obviously, you won’t be testing the chemicals but you can eliminate quite a few ingredients once you have determined which ones caused the allergy. If your dog has no reaction to the added ingredients, the culprit is likely a chemical or by-product- which you will want to eliminate along with corn, wheat, sugar and salt from your dog’s diet, indefinitely. Don’t be surprised, however, if you find several ingredients cause a reaction. Once you have discovered the allergens, search out high-quality dog foods that do not contain these ingredients. Your dog may find an allergy-free or vet-recommended diet to be bland but a bland diet is better than a miserable dog! As long as he is drinking plenty of water, don’t be alarmed of he doesn’t take to it right away. When he gets hungry enough, he will venture into the new food for a nibble. Eventually, he will adjust to his new diet especially if you compensate with some yummy, allergy-free treats!

Sugar High

In addition to causing food allergies, a sugar high diet also affects your dog’s mood, energy and hunger levels. A sugar high can cause a dog to be hyper and unfocused, and a dog must be focused in order to learn. Many owners mistaken their dogs to be ill-mannered and uncooperative when in fact, their behavior may be food-related.

Chemical Culprits

Many dog foods contain unnecessary chemical preservatives such as butylated hudroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and ethoxyquin. Although human food also contains BHA and BHT, we consume much less than a dog does in his average 15-year life span. Chemical preservatives are commonly used by large manufacturers in large dosage because their products are made in huge quantities and distributed all over the world, often sitting for long periods of time on store shelves or in warehouses where extreme temperatures can alter the quality of the product.

Dog foods containing natural preservative alternative such as Vitamin E does not hold up long. That is why all-natural pet food manufacturers produce smaller quantities so that their products are more likely to stay fresh till sold. Dog food preserved with mixed tocopherols (Vitamin E) generally has a shelf life of about six months, so use this kind of dog food right away. If you are looking for a new food for your dog, visit a pet food store and ask the employee to recommend a food devoid of the ingredients discussed in this article.

Less expensive dog foods generally include less meat, and more animal by-products and grain fillers. So as you can see, commercial ready made processed dog food contains many indesirable substances and strong chemicals that will cause a lot of health problems to your dog if being fed over a long duration of time.

So, technically yes! You can lengthen your dog’s life span and sometimes as much as double its lifespan if you know dog nutrition and educate yourself of what is really inside a canned of dog food or pet food for that matter. There are many records that had proven a dog can live much more longer if we feed it the food it meant to eat in its natural environment.

Source by Jerry Yapkh

Is Your Dog Eating Feces?

Eating feces is a common complaint from dog owners. The term is called coprophagia. Lactating females clean up after their puppies to keep the whelping area free of problems. Some dogs will eat feces from a cat box or fresh stools left at the dog park or play area.

There are many theories why dogs do this repulsive snacking. Some believe it is because fresh stools remind them of the warm, semi-solid, semi-digested food that their mother regurgitated for her pups to eat. I have been breeding for years and I have yet to witness a mother doing so. I have seen a dog throw up when sick or upset and other dogs wanting to eat it.

What I have found to be the problem is one or more of the following: Fed a diet lacking in calories, minerals or vitamins. Fed a diet that is not absorbable (can’t digest) examples: high in corn, soybean or other fillers. The dog has worms or other parasites. The dog needs to have the good flora built back up due to antibiotics, surgery or vaccinations. In some cases has developed a bad habit.

Look at the food you are feeding your dog. Does it have corn or soybean listed first, second or third? If it does, your dog may not be getting the nutrition it needs. The food may be difficult to digest.

Does your dog look overweight, is it due to bloating? What kind of treats and how often does your pet receive treats? Does your dog pass gas? Does its stool stink? These are all signs of poor digestion or parasites. Have you seen anything white that looks like rice moving in your doggie’s stools? Does your dog slide its rear end across the yard or worse yet, your carpet? He may have parasites or anal gland issues. When did the behavior start? Right after surgery, shots, boarding?

Here are several tips to stop the behavior: First remove the temptation. Put the cat box where the cat can get to it but not the hound. Move it behind something, up on a table, put up a gate the cat can jump over but not the dog. Poop scoop the yard.

Add one spoonful of crushed canned pineapple or one spoonful of spinach to your dog’s meal. This is a cheaper method then purchasing Forbid, a product added to your dog’s food to stop the problem. Sprinkle hot sauce, lemon juice or anything your dog finds distasteful on the stools.

Poop proofing your pooch, you are setting up the situation and correcting the behavior. The method I prefer is to walk with my dog on a leash and when they try to smell a stool command “OFF” or “NO” and sharply tug on the leash away from the stool. Repeat several short sessions till your dog understands what to avoid. Dogs are very reactive and soon your dog will avoid the stools.

I add Kefir to their diet if I believe their good flora was destroyed by antibiotics, surgery or vaccinations. Use for 90 days. Pour 1 Tablespoon on a saucer, twice daily for a 10 # dog. If you have seen anything moving in the stools or butt scooting, deworm twice, 2 weeks apart.

I love the grate/crate method since I know exactly what is going on with my dog the day it happens. Use your sight, sense of smell and watch for changes in behavior.

Source by Ardy Livermore

Identifying Birds on Jekyll Island – Bird Types and Characteristics for Bird Watching Success

Jekyll Island is one of Georgia’s premier sites for identifying birds. Since the island is on the Atlantic Flyway (and is one of the 18 sites along the Colonial Coast Birding Trail), it’s visited by a variety of feathered fliers migrating, like snow birds, to better climes.

The best times for identifying birds on Jekyll are the spring and fall seasons. A particularly good time is in October, during the Jekyll Island Birding and Nature Festival.

What type birds can you see on Jekyll Island? There are several prominent species that either visit the island or make it their home. This list, while not comprehensive, provides tips for recognizing some of the island’s winged visitors.

Wading Birds:

  1. Wood Storks – these large wading birds (part of the stork family) are mostly white, with brown heads and black faces. When these birds are in flight, look for a strip of black on the trailing edge of their wings. Their long, down-curved bills are yellowish.
  2. Sandhill Cranes – the Florida subspecies of this crane sometimes drops in on Jekyll Island. Sandhills are tall, long-legged birds colored gray overall, with white cheeks and bare, red-colored foreheads. These cranes are sometimes confused with the Blue Heron. Sandhill Cranes, however, fly with their necks outstretched; herons fly with their necks curved into an “S” shape.
  3. Blue Herons – another large wader, herons have slate-colored feathers, reddish-brown thighs, and white heads adorned with a pair of distinctive black plumes trailing from just behind the eyes to the back of their heads.
  4. Egrets – there are several different kinds of egrets, but most are white with gray legs and orange bills.

Shore Birds:

  1. Gulls – several dozen species either visit or live on Jekyll Island. Their sizes range from medium to large. For the most part, they have white and gray feathers with black markings on their heads and wings. Gulls like to hang out at the beach, and sometimes rare gulls will make an appearance.
  2. Piping Plovers – this is an endangered bird species. Piping Plovers are sand colored, and about the size of sparrows. Adults have yellow-orange legs, with black, visor-like bands across their foreheads stretching from eye to eye. They also have black rings around their necks.

Other Birds:

  1. Ospreys – hawk-like raptors, ospreys grow about 2′ long. They’re brown on their upper bodies, and are grayish on their heads and undersides. Osprey’s wings are black, and they wear black “masks”.
  2. Bald Eagles – these majestic birds (our national symbol) have been spotted around the causeway, along Jekyll Creek and on Raccoon Key. They’re large, with black bodies, white heads and necks, and strong, curved, yellowish-orange beaks.
  3. Songbirds – include the Yellow Warbler; Cardinals; Tanagers; Grosbeaks; Mockingbirds; and many more.

There are way too many species to mention in a short article. Your best bet for correctly identifying birds on Jekyll Island is to bring a good field guide, like the Peterson Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern and Central North America.

You’ll also need a quality pair of binoculars or a spotting scope. A good digital camera is a must, as well as a journal to note down the birds you identify.

Identifying birds is easy on Jekyll Island, and you’ll always have plenty of winged subjects to practice on. But don’t get cocky – you can’t call yourself a real birder until you learn to recognize a bird by its song.

Being able to name a bird your looking at, however, lends a whole new dimension to bird watching. It will leave you with a great feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment for years to come.

Source by Rick Freeland

A Short Note on ‘Birds’

Things you need to know

There are about 10,000 different species of birds in the world, including more than 900 in North America north of Mexico, probably as many as 300-500 in your state or province, and 100 or more in a large park. How many different kinds of birds come to your backyard depends on where you live. But one thing is certain: If you pay attention to them and make your yard attractive by landscaping and adding feeders, nest boxes, or a bird bath, you will see more than you ever thought possible.

Besides the basic treasures of their beauty and behavior, your backyard birds can offer you a perennial treasure hunt: What new birds will I see today? Will there be a species that has not visited the yard since last winter, or-much more exciting-might there be a species I have never seen anywhere at all?

Watching birds?

People enjoy backyard birds for different reasons. Some seek relaxation in watching them; others focus intently on their visual and vocal beauty. Many learn to identify species. In a spirit of conservation, some help the birds thrive by providing food and shelter. Often, people become inspired to delve into natural history, reading books that deal with ornithology, the science of bird study.

Truly, any path you take in enjoying birds is the correct one. Whichever one you choose, a wonderful world of birding awaits you-starting right in your own backyard.

Birds live everywhere, even in the highest Arctic latitudes and in the hottest deserts-but which birds you’ll find in your yard depends largely on where you live. Of the species described in this book, expect to see only those that occur where and when the range maps indicate. Each species has its special place and time.


Some birds, such as American Robins and House Finches, live in many regions, almost anywhere on the continent. Others can be found only in particular areas. Each bird’s geographic distribution-it’s “range”-is linked precisely to its tolerance for heat and cold, dryness or humidity, and other environmental conditions. For instance, an American Tree Sparrow is adapted to breed at the edge of Arctic tundra, while a Lesser Nighthawk lives only in arid deserts of the Southwest. They could not trade places and survive.

As a result, the list of birds you will easily see in your backyard depends largely on your local environment- how your surroundings, with their particular combination of food and vegetation, match that which each species prefers.

Birds bring us special ways to observe and celebrate the changing of the seasons. After a long winter with few birds on the bare branches and none in the dried-up grasses, plants blossom and the chorus of birdsong begins, even in the lingering chill of early spring mornings. Birds that vanished for the winter after traveling far southward return, adding their own sometimes dazzling colors to the greening forests and brightly budding trees. Even the backyard’s birds that remained all through the winter are newly active and a joy to watch as they pair off for the summer breeding season.

Changing places

If you pay close attention throughout the year, you will see that most bird species follow strict seasonal patterns. Bullock’s Orioles and Baltimore Orioles, for example, allow us to see their stunning beauty only during the summer months. By early fall they have departed on a long journey southward to spend their winter in the tropics. When fall arrives in the southern U.S., they will be replaced by less bright but still dapper species such as White-crowned Sparrows and White-throated Sparrows that remain all winter.

Be careful; Watching this lively annual panorama of birds’ comings and goings can become addictive!

Source by Arifur Rahman Arif

How to Manage Tear Stains in Dogs

Are you battling tear stains on your white or light-colored dog? As a professional groomer, I see many, many dogs that exhibit unsightly tear stains and beard stains. In addition, some of these dogs are even discoloring their feet, legs and body with the saliva they leave on their fur from licking and chewing.

Possible Causes of Tear Stains

Staining is usually of a reddish color and sometimes emits an odor. It is important to attempt to determine the cause of the staining. Some possible causes are:

* genetic predisposition

* high mineral content in drinking water

* eye infection

* ear infection

* irritating eyelashes or hair that rub against the eye

* yeast infection (from the area around the eye remaining wet)

* blocked tear ducts

* diet

* parasites such as fleas and mites

* allergies

You should consult with your veterinarian or groomer to try to narrow down the potential cause of the tear staining. Once you have ruled out some of the obvious medical conditions such as infections, extra eyelashes, and blocked tear ducts, you will be able to address the conditions that you may well have control over.

If your dog is experiencing ear irritation or infection, there is a high incidence of the infection completely running through their body and resulting in multiple issues throughout. Many dogs we see that have tear staining are also affected with inner ear infections. So be sure to confirm that your dog’s ears are clean and free from infection. Your vet will prescribe the appropriate ear drops and/or antibiotics. You will have to be diligent in treating the ears as prescribed in order to alleviate the condition.


Dog owners need to evaluate the food they are feeding to their pets and be sure that they are using a high-quality dog food that is not rampant with sugar, salt, preservatives and chemicals. If you are feeding canned food to your dog, consider introducing a high-quality dry food to provide optimal nutrition.

The next item to look closely at is the water that your dog drinks. Tap water can be high in minerals and well water can be high in various items such as copper and iron which could contribute to the tear staining. A popular suggestion as of late is to train your dog to drink from a water bottle (thus preventing high-mineral water from sitting on the coat). Another idea it to use distilled water.

There are several products currently on the market that address the tear staining problem. Many of these products contain a percentage of antibiotic. Unless you are specifically dealing with an infection in your dog’s eyes or ears, it would be wise to discuss the ramifications of extended antibiotic usage with your veterinarian.


There are two possible solutions to tear staining that can easily be implemented. The first is to add a small amount of white vinegar (1 teaspoon) to your pet’s water. Start with a smaller amount in the water until your pet can adjust to the taste. The vinegar changes the pH of the water.

Secondly, include a 1/2 teaspoon of cream cheese (yes, like Philadelphia brand) in your dog’s food or as a treat on a daily basis. Customers who have tried this method have found that the tear staining cleared up in three to four weeks.

In any event, please check with your vet to rule out any medical conditions, allergies or infections that may be causing the tear staining in your dog. Once you’ve ruled out those possibilities, you can address the other options. Always consult with your veterinarian when trying a new regimen.

Source by Toni Alexander

Dog Training – Here's A Quick Way To Stop Your Dog From Barking

It was 5:00 AM and Timmy would not stop barking. Timmy is a Jack Russell Terrier and belong to my mother-in-law. We were watching him for the weekend and his barking was already driving me crazy.

I roled over in bed and informed my wife that Timmy would be learning the word "Quiet" today.

Barking is a normal, natural behavior in dogs. Barking becomes a problem when it becomes excessive. You can bring your dog's barking under control. The easiest way to do this is to teach your dog the word "Quiet."

If your dog is barking and you start yelling at your dog "Quiet," "Shut up," "Stop barking," all you are doing is giving attention to the barking which can reinforce the behavior.

Training boils down to applying a consequence to what ever word or command you give your dog. The rule of thumb is when you want your dog to do a behavior for you ie sit, down, stay etc, you apply a positive consequence. When you want your dog to stop doing a behavior ie, stealing, begging, jumping or barking your application a negative consequence.

Let me say that when you decide to apply a negative consensus you have to be careful. Applying positive consequences do not have any side effects. Applying negative consequences do.

Back to the barking. Your dog is doing a behavior that you want to stop so we are going to apply a negative consequence. The easiest negative separation to apply in this situation is breath spray.

Go down to your local drug store and pick up some binaca breath spray or Listerine breath spray. Now you can pair the word "Quiet" with the negative consequence of the breath spray.

You see, your dog will not like the sound, smell or taste of the breath spray. It is a simple negative conviction that will not harm your dog. Now when your dog starts to bark you can firmly say the word "Quiet," and then reach down and spray into your dog's mouth.

Repeat if your dog starts barking again. It's important to remember that we want your dog to learn the word "Quiet." This is done by pairing the word with the spray. "Quiet," spray, "Quiet," spray. After a few times your dog will get the picture.

Once your dog learns the word "Quiet" and you do not need to use the spray, your dog has now learned the word. Once this happens you can start to reward your dog for not barking. So if you say "Quiet" and do not need to use the spray, you can reward your dog by saying "Good Quiet," and give your dog a reward.

Needles to say, little Timmy learned the word "Quiet" and we had a much more enjoyable visit with him.

Source by Eric Letendre

Dog Parvo – The Deadliest Viral Disease of Dogs

The dog parvo virus is probably the most common viral illness of dogs at the moment. The virus is extremely small (the Latin word for small is “parvo”) – just a few grams of stool can contain millions of virus particles. The dog parvo virus has been known and identifiable since the late 70’s and can be transmitted by direct or indirect contact with vomit or diarrhea from an infected dog.

The Canine parvovirus (CPV), also referred to as “the dog parvo”, attacks the intestinal tract, white blood cells, and in some rare cases the heart muscle. The common form of the dog parvo has a predilection for rapidly dividing cells (similar to cancer) such as the cells of intestinal lining and that is why it causes diarrhea and ulcerative enteritis. When the virus lashes out and attacks this type of cells, it makes dogs and puppies not being able to assimilate or absorb nutrients or liquids.

Symptoms of the dog parvo can take anywhere between 7 to 10 days before they are visible. In the early stages, symptoms that are likely to be noticed by the dog owner are a lack of energy and a loss of appetite. As a result, dogs infected with the parvo virus will soon show clear symptoms of dehydration and malnutrition. As the virus spreads, the dog parbo symptoms are characterized by high fever, severe diarrhea, quite often bloody, vomiting, lethargy and severe dehydration. If your dog, but especially your new puppy, begins exhibiting any of these symptoms, see a veterinarian right away. Because even though the dog parvo virus can also infect adult dogs, it is more often found in small puppies because of their low immune system. Parvovirus requires swift action to help an infected dog survive as when parvo is involved, every hour counts.

The severity of the disease depends upon the age of the dog, presence of maternal antibody, size of the virus dose and the breed of the infected dog. Though many dogs become highly ill due to this viral disease, breeds like Doberman Pinschers and Pit Bull Terriers may reveal clinical symptoms to a very severe degree.

According to conventional veterinarians, there is no known cure for the dog parvo. Conventional treatment is, therefore, mostly supportive and consists of maintaining the dog’s body fluids, balancing electrolyte levels and maintaining body temperature. But even if a dog survives the initial bout of dog parvo, there is still a high risk of collapsing during the recovery period. You should get your dog immunized to protect them in case they come into contact with dogs that have the illness. Most veterinarians recommend that young puppies to be vaccinated every 3 to 4 weeks beginning when the pup is 6 weeks of age and continuing until it is 20 weeks old.

The dog parvo virus is most common in places where dogs congregate, such as parks, animal shelters or even at dog shows. Dogs may take in the virus from sniffing or consuming contaminated fecal matter, from cleansing himself, or from consuming food off the ground or flooring. That is why dogs that spend their time confined to a house or a yard and are not in contact with other dogs have much less chance of exposure to the canine parvo virus. You must also be aware of the fact that the dog parvo virus may be even brought home to your dog on shoes and even automobile tires. If you allow your dog to live outside, then remember to alter drinking water on a regular basis because there is a chance that the water can contain parvo virus (carried by birds on their feets or feathers or in their feces).

CPV is very resistant and can remain in feces-contaminated ground for five months or more if conditions are favorable.

Be aware of the fact that the dog parvo symptoms resemble other diseases (like poisoning or worms) and are often misdiagnosed. The only way to know if a dog has the Parvo virus is through a positive diagnostic test.

Source by Steven Grey

Creative Photo Book Ideas

Collecting and preserving photographs has been a favourite pastime with most people, young and old. Sometimes they get stuck with so many photos from various occasions and varying times in the past, they wonder how to put them all together coherently.

The most common and popular photo book themes include-

Baby Album – You could start your album with photos from various trimesters in your pregnancy and record your emotions. You could include ultrasounds and photos of the nursery too.

Family Holiday– Holiday pictures are best arranged chronologically, i.e. day-by-day. You could also theme them place- by-place, or you could simply put up your favourite pictures from your holidays and record what you liked most about them.

Graduation Day– You could make portrait portfolios of your friends and ask them to write something for you to give it the feel of a personalised slam book.

Wedding Album– A wedding is the most special and important day in a person’s life. A picture tells a thousand words and your wedding album could tell your whole love story. You could start with the ‘Proposal’ and go on to add your engagement photos, bridal shower photos, wedding photos and honeymoon photos.

But here some not so common ideas that could also be fun and entertaining:

1. Pets and Animals– Pets are part of family too and deserve an album unto them. Your pet album could include the day you brought your pet home and how you decided on a name for him/her. You could also make a portfolio of your pet.

2. Sports and Hobbies– Sports never fails to thrill and exhilarate its fanatics. You could start with a ‘Training Journal’ and go on to add photos of your teams, your uniforms, your coaches and your favourite cheers.

3. Photo Cook Book– A way to a man’s heart is his stomach, or so they say. So why not make an album to record that special dish you made for your loved one for the first time! You could also make an album of the first time your child was in the kitchen helping you or making something for you.

4. Family History Book– What better way to preserve your family heritage than a collection of photos creating your own family tree! You could go back as far as you would like and sometimes be amazed at how many people love you and care about you.

5. Road Trips– While on bikes, cars or hitchhiking on a truck, you will see many billboards, signboards and signals. Click them to create your own ‘Highway’ album.

These are just a few examples. Think wild and you could come up with more of your own!

Source by Aaron Clark