DEAR READERS: The current coronavirus pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus is responsible for over 6 million deaths worldwide and millions of other people with chronic health consequences.
Some virologists contend that scientists genetically engineered this virus to have a "gain in function" -- that is, to become more contagious -- which is a common step in the vaccine development process. But its most likely original source is from infected animals being handled and killed for human consumption in live markets where cold storage is not available.
My main concern is that agencies have not yet taken any significant steps to prevent future pandemics from zoonotic (animal-to-human) diseases by seeking international prohibitions on wildlife trade and live markets. We must also seek a rapid phasing-out of CAFOs (confined animal feed operations, or factory farms), especially of pigs, poultry and COVID-19-susceptible mink. Deer and "trophy" game operations, especially of white-tail deer, who are very susceptible to this virus, are also on the list. New zoonotic diseases will evolve, which will not be prevented by our current vaccines.
Let us hope that the bipartisan legislation introduced in November 2021 by U.S. Sens. Chris Coons and Rob Portman to combat international wildlife trafficking and strengthen interagency efforts to tackle the issue will be quickly passed.
We humans must, as a population of nearly 8 billion (which many ecologists see as a global infestation), change our eating and breeding habits. We can begin with better family planning and the rapid adoption of nutritious plant-based diets to reduce our depredation and dependence on animals, wild and domesticated, as a source of food. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is now also urging adoption of plant-based diets as a significant step to help reduce climate change.
DEAR DR. FOX: I just want to ask if you can help me with my pit bull, who has been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. She is 11 years old and weighs about 48 pounds. She is on pain meds, antibiotics and nausea medicine, and she loves to ride in the car and be held.
I would like to know what I should feed her and how I can get her to drink water. The vet said she only has a week or so left, but she is not giving up, and I'm not going to, either. -- M.R., Trenton, New Jersey
DEAR M.R.: I am saddened to hear about the plight of your canine companion. In my opinion, more might be done to improve her condition, including intravenous and subcutaneous administration of electrolytes. Given under the skin, such treatment is a cheap and effective form of dialysis for dogs and cats with failing kidneys.
For more, see this article on my website: drfoxonehealth.com/post/care-for-dogs-cats-with-chronic-kidney-disease.
Keep me posted as to your progress. Above all, provide lots of TLC and a gentle full-body massage twice daily, as per my book "The Healing Touch for Dogs."
(Send all mail to email@example.com or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. The volume of mail received prohibits personal replies, but questions and comments of general interest will be discussed in future columns.
Visit Dr. Fox’s website at DrFoxOneHealth.com.)