DEAR READERS: The evident ethical limitations of the U.S. Supreme Court are now being compounded by a lack of bioethical and science-based sensibility when it comes to protecting America's natural heritage: wildlife, wildlands and water quality. In its late-May decision in Sackett v. EPA, the court stripped isolated wetlands -- an estimated 45 million acres of swamps, bogs, fens and marshes -- from federal protection. These wetlands play a significant role as a carbon sink to help reduce climate change, and they host and support a wealth of wildlife, including many species close to extinction.
The National Corn Growers Association applauded this ruling, which will allow the conversion of habitat critical to waterfowl, migratory birds and other wildlife -- and important for flood control and water quality -- for agricultural and other purposes. I pray that courts in the near future will see such rulings as a crime against nature, and ultimately against humanity.
"First, do no harm," a part of the Hippocratic oath taken by physicians, needs to be applied to our judicial system as well -- along with all government and business sectors and our own activities and choices as consumers and voters.
KEEPING HARMFUL INSECTS OFF OUR DOGS
Plants defend themselves from insects in various ways, including the adaptive evolution of essential oils, which people have long recognized and extracted to ward off fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and other noxious insects. These natural products are infinitely safer than the synthetic insecticidal chemicals widely sold to animal owners that have caused animals much suffering -- and even death, as I have repeatedly documented in this column.
Veterinarian Dr. Bob Goldstein has formulated various sprays, spot-on treatments, powders and diffusing collars with essential oils of peppermint, lemon grass and cedar, as well as nutrient supplements that can help improve animals' immune defenses against external parasites and bloodsuckers. For more details about these products, including what I am putting on my dog now (Nature's Protection Flea and Tick Herbal Bug Spray), visit earthanimal.com.
DEAR DR. FOX: I saw an advertisement on TV from King Kanine for CBD/cannabis products for dogs. What is your opinion about what they are selling to the general public? I am concerned that this could mean dopey dogs, not to mention pet owners treating their animals, rather than qualified veterinarians. -- R.E., Washington, D.C.
DEAR R.E.: I checked the website of this company and have several concerns. You are right that dog and cat owners should not be diagnosing and treating their animal companions, especially with cannabis products.
Apart from that, I have concerns about these products' sustainability and efficacy. The product called King Kalm, for instance, contains krill oil as well as CBD, and I am concerned about the overharvesting of krill -- a vital food source for whales and other sea life -- for use as livestock feed and as supplements for humans and animals. The company's Mange and Mite Management product is not likely to get rid of sarcoptic and demodectic mange, which are communicable to other animals and humans.
The CBD-infused Dog Paw Moisturizer is made with THC-free CBD oil from hemp, plus natural beeswax, coconut oil and manuka honey. Again, I would question the need for this since dogs' paw pads toughen with age and do not need moisturizers like our hands and feet may. To remove winter street salt or summer sand from paws, washing them in soapy water and drying them well are all that is needed. By contrast, applying this "paw moisturizer" would lock these materials in! Dogs often lick their paws, and I would not like my dog licking this concoction. Paws have their own healthy bacterial community and scent glands, which dogs probably partially rely on in self-recognition when tracing their steps and orienting themselves outdoors. This product could disrupt that.
I question giving these CBD concoctions to dogs who are scratching and licking themselves when the causes of irritation have not been determined by a veterinarian. A food allergy could be the issue, which none of these products would help.
Additionally, there are several reports of dogs becoming acutely ill following consumption of cannabis (CBD and THC) products purchased by their owners for personal use. I do not believe that over-the-counter sales of CBD for companion animal use should be encouraged or permitted; these items should only be prescribed by informed veterinarians for diagnosed conditions.
(Send all mail to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.)