Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Can you safely go for a WALK?

Going for a walk with your two legged? Mhhh Better pay attention where you are walking. What is safe for your two legged may not be safe for you. Your two legged wears shoes and his/her body is high off the ground. [This of course does not apply to you momma, My momma is so short she can't ride most rides... she is so short Frodo would be a tall date for her...OK, I will knock it off...]  Us four leggeds low to the ground, use our noses to poke around and explore, to sniff out and to identify things. Because of that, we  are more vulnerable to pesticides and the opportunity for contamination is greater... through our mouth, nose, and eyes, paws...and skin which absorbs any substance that sticks to coat.  Remember that that the nose is a mucous membrane and stuff sticks inside it and you can't really wipe it out. Sometimes the most "innocent " act has terrible consequences. The trophy stick your four legged picked up and chewed on is the ideal the delivery method for a lot of chemicals that you would never allow near your four legged.  Follow that with a paw chewing [I chew my paws... makes momma nuts, she says so... I think I am being scapegoated... know what I mean?]  further complicates the first exposure because now there is re-contamination.
Think primary dangers and secondary dangers. The rat poison ingested by the the intended victim, ie the rat, may claim a second life, if your kitty cat then eats the rat. Easy concept, but not always that easy to trace.

Remember when JD ate part of a dead bird and momma went bezerk? Well, an article she had read about birds and pesticides and tolerances. Birds travel great distances and eat grains etc. that have been sprayed. Stuff like Malathion which is a nerve poison...used as a pesticide. And Captan which is a carcinogen...[also a pesticide] and Lindane and a whole lot more nasty stuff I can't even spell. It is no wonder the old girl went into panic mode. Thankfully in her 3 am fog, she was smart enough to use peroxide and help JD "rid" himself of the bird before the chemicals could be absorbed.

It is kind of crazy and it does not make a lick of sense to me.  We know for sure what the consequences of exposure to this stuff are.  There have been lots of studies that have established direct links between pesticide exposure and disease in dogs.  And we are not talking itchies here ! We are talking about some serious deadly  stuff  like cancer, reproductive problems, birth defects, central nervous system disturbances, liver and kidney damage, and yes the itchies too. So... why do they still make it, sell it and expose us to them? Ahhh the almighty PROFIT... Well look at this :

From the Alabama, A&M, Auburn University Cooperative - ACES Publication:

  • "2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D). This pesticide is a chlorophenoxy compound that functions as a systemic herbicide and is used to control many types of broadleaf weeds.

  • Classified as a General Use Pesticide (GUP), 2,4-D's diethylamine salt is a slightly toxic category III chemical when ingested orally. However, this product is classified as a highly

  • toxic category I chemical when exposed to the eyes. Pesticides containing 2,4-D bear the signal words "danger – poison". Used in many commercial products, 2,4-D may be found in emulsion form, in aqueous solutions (salts), and as a dry compound. Although its carcinogenic status is not clear, canine malignant lymphoma has been associated with exposure to 2,4-D (Hayes et al., 1991).

  • NOTE: If pesticide chemicals fall into the least toxic category, manufacturers no longer have to print signal words on the labels as of February 12, 2002.
  • Avermectin B1 (Abamectin). This compound functions as an insecticide/miticide and is used by homeowners for the control of fire ants. Abamectin is classified as a GUP, practically nontoxic category IV chemical, which has no precautionary statement on its label. Abamectin contains about 80% avermectin B1a and 20% avermectin B1b compounds derived from the soil bacterium Streptomyces avermitilis. Research indicates that chronic abamectin toxicity can affect the nervous system of dogs and cause symptoms such as pupil dilation, lethargy, and tremors (Lankas and Gordon, 1989).
  • Allethrin. This pesticide was the first of the pyrethroids widely produced as an insecticide (Vijverberg et al., 1990). This synthetic compound is used almost exclusively in homes and gardens for control of flies and mosquitoes. Pesticides containing allethrin are slightly toxic category III chemicals and bear the signal word "caution" on the product label. However, containers of technical grade D-trans-allethrin bear the signal word "warning". Allethrin is used in many commercial products and is available as mosquito coils, mats, oil formulations, and as an aerosol spray. Research has indicated that dogs exposed continuously to D-allethrin were diagnosed with liver problems (World Health Organization, 1989).
  • Bendiocarb. This compound is an insecticidal carbamate that is used to control mosquitoes, flies, wasps, ants, cockroaches, fleas, ticks, and other pests in homes. Most formulations of bendiocarb are classified as GUP, but a few formulations are classified as Restricted Use Pesticides (RUP), which may be purchased and used only by certified applicators. Bendiocarb is a moderately toxic category II chemical and carries the signal word "warning". Commercial pesticides containing bendiocarb are formulated as dusts, granules, ultra-low volume sprays, and as wettable powders. Bendiocarb is absorbed through all the normal routes of exposure, but it is generally excreted rapidly and does not accumulate in mammalian tissue. Signs associated with acute toxicity of carbamates in mammals are excessive salivation, chest discomfort, muscle tremors, and rarely death. Like other carbamate insecticides, bendiocarb is a reversible inhibitor of cholinesterase, an enzyme found in the liver, pancreas, heart, serum, and the white matter of brain. True cholinesterase catalyzes the hydrolysis of acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter) to choline (an amino alcohol) and acetate.
  • DCPA. This phthalate compound, also called chlorthal or chlorthal-dimethyl, is a pre-emergent herbicide used on annual grasses and annual broad-leaf weeds in vegetable crops. About 20% of the use of this compound in the United States is for homes and gardens. DCPA is classified as a GUP and is practically a nontoxic category IV chemical that bears the signal word "caution". Commercial products containing DCPA may be formulated as wettable powders, granules, or as suspension concentrates. Although the compound has a very low toxicity to mammals, research has indicated that dogs exposed continuously to DCPA experienced adverse effects in the liver (United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 1988).
  • Diazinon. This product is a nonsystemic organophosphate insecticide used to control fleas, ants, and cockroaches in residential buildings, and sucking and leaf-eating insects on home gardens. Diazinon is classified as a RUP, which may be purchased and used only by a professional pest control operator. Depending on the formulation, it is a moderately toxic category II or slightly toxic category III chemical. Pesticides containing diazinon bear the signal word "warning" or "caution". This insecticidal organophosphate compound is used in many commercial products and is available in dust, granules, seed dressings, wettable powder, and emulsifiable solution formulations. In mammals, diazinon is metabolized and excreted through the urine and feces very rapidly. The toxic effects of the compound are due to the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase, an essential nervous system enzyme.
  • Malathion. This compound is a nonsystemic, wide-spectrum organophosphate insecticide suited for the control of sucking and chewing insects on fruits and vegetables. Malathion is also used to control mosquitoes, flies, household insects, and animal ectoparasites. Malathion is classified as a GUP and is a slightly toxic category III chemical. Pesticides that contain this chemical bear the signal word "caution". This insecticidal organophosphate compound is used in many commercial products and is available in an emulsifiable concentrate, wettable powder, dustable powder, and ultra-low volume liquid formulations. Malathion has been shown to depress cholinesterase activity in animals, and can affect the central nervous and immune systems, adrenal glands, liver, and blood. Available evidence suggests that this chemical product is not carcinogenic, yet current data is inconclusive.
  • Rotenone. This pesticide is a selective, non-specific botanical compound used in home gardens for insect control and on pets for lice and tick control. Rotenone is classified as a GUP, and, depending on the formulation, is classified as a highly toxic category I or a slightly toxic category III compound. Rotenone formulations that are highly toxic bear the signal word "danger," but "caution" in slightly toxic forms. This rotenoid plant extract is used in many commercial products, and it is available in crystalline preparations, emulsified solutions, and dusts. Research revealed that dogs exposed continuously to rotenone experienced vomiting, had reduced food consumption, and hence reduced weight gain (National Research Council, 1983).
  • Warfarin. This compound is an anticoagulant rodenticide used for controlling mice and rats in and around homes and animal premises. This odorless and tasteless pesticide is only slightly dangerous to domestic animals when used as directed. Warfarin, classified as a GUP, bears the signal word "danger" for technical and high concentrations or the signal word "caution" for low concentrations and ready-to-use baits. Warfarin is found in a variety of commercial rodenticides and comes in water soluble, ready-to-use bait, concentrate, powder, liquid concentrate, nylon pouch, coated talc, and dust formulations. Signs and symptoms of animal exposure such as rapid breathing, weakness, pale mucous membranes, and hemorrhage are caused by the rodenticide's anti-clotting properties. The prothrombin content of the blood is reduced, and internal bleeding is induced. Prothrombin or factor II is a vitamin K-dependent single-polypeptide-chain glycoprotein involved in blood clotting--a mechanism that prevents blood loss at the site of an injury. Animals killed by warfarin exhibit extreme pallor of the skin, muscle, and viscera."
Now you have to ask. How do we still get our walkies and minimize exposure? Can we "safely" go for a walk?  The answer is yes. You need to educate your neighbors and friends and gardeners and lawn services and anyone with ears. SAFETY should be first and foremost. Remember that if it is not safe for us, it is not safe for small two leggeds. So why risk exposure at all?  When walking, avoid lawns, specially lawns with those proud symbols of pollution... lawn service badges. Walk on sidewalks or pavement. Avoid where water runoffs occur as chemical concentration is generally highest there.  Each and every walk should end with a good paw washing and a very thorough wipe down from face to tail . Think de-contamination. Do not use the same towel for all your pets. Use paper towels so that you are not cross contaminating.  Do not allow your dog to pick up or chew on anything you are not 100% sure it is safe. And if you are as nutty as momma, wash the harness and leash each time. She calls it a safety routine and by now it is just that a "routine" and speaking of routine... can we go for our walk ? 


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