January 20, 2022

Hydatid Disease: Man Has Gotten This Disease Since the Domestication of Dogs

Recently, Prof. Dr. P. R. Torgerson, PhD, VetMB, DipECVPH, Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology Vetsuisse Faculty, published an article titled, “Frequency Distributions of Helminths of Wolves in Kazakhstan.”

The Summary reads as follows:

Summary of “Frequency distributions of helminths of wolves in Kazakhstan.”

Between 2001 and 2008 a total of 41 wolves (Canis lupus) were necropsied in southern Kazakhstan and their intestinal parasite fauna evaluated. Of these animals 8 (19.5%) were infected with Echinococcus granulosus, 15 (36%) with Taenia spp, 13 (31.7%) with Dypilidium caninum, 5 (12.2%) with Mesocestoides lineatus, 15 (36.6%) with Toxocara canis, 16 (39%) with Toxascaris leonina, 8 (19.5%) with Trichuris vulpis, 9 (22%) with Macracanthorhynchus catulinus and 1 (2.4%) with Moniliformis moniliformis. All parasites had an aggregated distribution which followed a zero inflated or hurdle model. Although a small convenience sample of wolves, the results indicate a high prevalence of infection with E. granulosus. The mean abundance (1275 E. granulosus per wolf) was high with individual infected wolves carrying intensities of several thousand parasites. As wolves are common in Kazakhstan they may act as an important host in the transmission of this zoonotic parasite. The wolves were sampled from an area of Kazakhstan where there is a high prevalence of hydatid cysts in livestock and where echinococcosis has been observed in wild ungulates.

Affiliation

Kazakh State Veterinary Research Institute, Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Veterinary parasitology
ISSN: 1873-2550
Pages: 348-51
Links

PubMed Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21962968
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2011.09.004

Will Graves, author of “Wolves in Russia: Anxiety Through the Ages” and co-author of a new book soon to be released about wolves in the United States, having read Dr. Torgerson’s article, sent him an email seeking more information.

He wrote:

I am not a biologist but would like to exchange ideas with you about wolves. I am interested in Echinococcus granulosus and Neospora caninum.

Dr. Togerson replied to Will Graves, Torgerson says:

Dear Mr Graves
Thank you for your interest in our article. However I know little about wolves, other than there are lots of them in Kazakhstan. The primary interest was really in the parasites – especially Echinococcus granulosus. E. granulosus is a very serious zoonosis and in rural areas of Kazakhstan infects about 20% of dogs. It then transmits to people through close contact with dogs causing hydatid disease which is a large cystic lesion in your liver of lungs. The parasite naturally circulates between sheep and dogs. However the parasite almost certainly originated in wild life, probably circulating between wolves and wild ungulates. Man has been getting this disease ever since dogs were domesticated. I work with several scientists in Kazakhstan and the material for the manuscript was supplied by local hunters. In many areas wolves are considered a pest and a danger to livestock, especially as there are so many in Kazakhstan. (emboldening added)

Scientists that have knowledge of Echinococcus granulosus, i.e. Dr. Delane Kritsky, Dr. Valerius Geist, among others, have been trying to educate the public about where the real risk to humans comes from contracting human hydatid disease. Here we have Dr. Torgerson, in a region of the world where historically wolves have always been present, telling us that, “Man has been getting this disease ever since dogs were domesticated.”

The threat comes from free ranging dogs in rural settings that come in contact with the E.G. eggs through multiple sources. The dogs bring those eggs home with them running the risk of humans ingesting the tiny eggs.

But there exist some alarming figures that need to be shared. Dr. Torgerson says that of the 41 wolves he tested, 19.5%, or 8 of the wolves, tested positive for Echinococcus granulosus. As a result, Dr. Torgerson says that about 20% of domestic dogs become infected. Those numbers are startling enough. However, consider these numbers from Idaho.

According to Steve Alder of Idaho for Wildlife, in a recent email sent out, nearly 100% of recent necropsied wolves were infected with Echinococcus granulosus. If nearly 20% of infected wolf populations in Kazakhstan translates into about 20% of infected domestic dogs, what does this mean for Idaho?

This is a difficult thing to determine as certainly we don’t know the similarities in geography and population demographics of wolves and humans between Idaho and Kazakhstan. Nor do we know what kind of veterinary care exists between the two populations.

It is often said in this country that Echinococcus granulosus has never been a problem. That may be true but does the United States, particularly the lower 48 states, where denser human populations are exposed to wolf populations, have any real history of wolves and humans sharing the landscape?

This is why information that comes to us from areas around the world where that history is long can be helpful to us…..if only we would listen closely and learn. Dr. Torgerson says that hydatid disease in humans has existed since the domestication of dogs and yet people in this country refuse to except that fact, even though there now are thousands of wolves roaming the forests in parts of this nation.

The sooner doctors, scientists and canine lovers recognize this disease, along with many others carried by the wolf, the sooner we can all learn how best to protect ourselves, our children, pets and livestock. What’s wrong with that?

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Coyote Attacks Little Dog – Rottweiler Attacks Coyote

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Sewage Sniffing Dogs

This is interesting. Dogs are being trained to sniff out sewage leaks. These so-called leaks can be from city sewer systems to private septic systems. The idea is to detect and limit or prevent sewage seepage into watersheds.

What possibly could go wrong with this?

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Twisp, Washington: Wolf Attacks Local Pet Dogs

*Editor’s Note* Get an update on this information of the status of a bill being voted on that would allow better protection from attacking wolves.

Below is the copy of an email, with photos, I received yesterday with what is described as a true account of what took place in Twisp, Washington, when a wolf attacked two domestic dogs. Please take notice of the portion I highlighted that states that members of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) suggested this man couldn’t tell the difference between a wolf (dog) and a mountain lion (cat). It is this relentless put down by wildlife officials all across this country that gives them the terrible reputation they deserve. They treat the people who pay their salaries like a piece of ignorant trash while placing themselves on a pedestal above everyone else. If for no other reason than this, why don’t these fools just keep their mouths shut?

Here’s the email account:

Sunday morning, at approximately 1:00 AM, John Stevie was awakened by one of his dogs furiously barking and growling, while still inside the house, at their living room sliding glass deck doors. John hurried to the door and saw a very large wolf up on the ten-foot-high deck, savagely attacking his blue heeler dog. He opened the door in an attempt to rescue his dog, but his other dog pushed past him out to the attack. The wolf and dog fought out on the deck for a short time before the wolf lept off the deck and headed toward the creek bottom with John’s dog hot on his heels. The blue heeler, “Shelby” was taken to Daniel Deweert’s Valley Veterinary Clinic for treatment. “Shelby” is still in critical condition with deep puncture wounds to her head and neck..

WDFW was called. Mr. Stevie told them that he was within two feet of the wolf in an attempt to save his dog, but WDFW suggested “perhaps it was a cougar instead of a wolf!” Mr. Stevie assured them that he was within very close proximity to the wolf, and that he had numerous wolf sightings close to his home and knew a wolf when he saw one. John asked WDFW if they would be paying any of the vet bills, their reply was, “We will have to send this information to Olympia to see if it will be called a wolf attack or not.”

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PETA Kills Over 89% of Adoptable Animals in Care

Despite its $36 million budget, PETA employees make little effort to find homes for the thousands of animals they kill every year. PETA President Ingrid Newkirk previously indicated to The Virginian-Pilot that the animal rights group could stop killing pets, but it would mean cutting down on press stunts and celebrity photo shoots: “We could become a no-kill shelter immediately. It means we wouldn’t do as much work.”<<<Read More from Center for Consumer Freedom>>>

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Animal Rights

Amendment 2 d(og), subsection k9: “A well regulated kennel, being necessary to the security of a free bone, the right of the dogs to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

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I Ate My Dog For Homework

Two things in play in our society today and one of them dominates all others. The second issue is that our society struggles to laugh at themselves and find humor in things where humor is intended to be found. The first and most dominant point of departure is hypocrisy.

Hypocrisy reveals myriad things in a society, one of which is the manifestation of people’s incompetency to make legitimate judgements about much of anything worthwhile. Hypocrisy is dishonesty and when we exemplify that we are also showing the world our anger and hatred, all of which drives our bias.

A current example playing out in this nation is the joke telling dealing with the topic of President Barack Obama’s revelation that when he was a kid growing up in Indonesia he ate dog. Do rational people care about this beyond the obvious, that either the president’s family was poor and that’s all they could afford or eating dog was acceptable table fare?

Even though I think we as a people are losing our ability to laugh, I still believe that existing in a society that considers laughing healthy, we have always had a strong yen for humor. Once, every comedian and late night talk show host made gobs of money telling jokes about presidents. We all laughed no matter who was in the White House. Of course some presidents became better targets of the quipsters, mostly dependent upon what they did or said. I even recall impersonators like Rich Little, who struggled to impersonate some presidents and then got plenty of mileage from others, sometimes by just the simple way they looked or the tone and quality of their voice. Think of the actor John Wayne, who had a distinct walk and a voice to go with it.

Today, people too often tend to limit their laughter based on political bias. This is where the hypocrisy comes into play. A joke about George Bush may make some laugh and others not, taking offense that they are being made fun of or that somehow it’s not fair. If the same comedian told a joke about Barack Obama, the roles become reversed. Don’t misunderstand me here. This hypocrisy swings in all directions and the worst kind is that coming from those who refuse to recognize it for what it is.

Let’s also be honest, if that’s possible anymore. Barack Obama is half black and half white. We have struggled as a society to get beyond racism and bigotry and as such, I’m positive in my assessment that a lot of restraint has been shown in targeting Barack Obama for jokes out of fear of just what has happened; accusations of racism.

President Obama ate dog as a child. What’s wrong with that? I’ve written about eating dog in our history and that eating dog is still the cuisine of some societies. When President Jefferson sent Captains Lewis and Clark to find a passage to the Pacific Ocean, neither of the men or their expedition would have survived had they not eaten dog. But as humans, we are prone to make jokes about it, I think some because we are uncomfortable with talking about the subject, but mostly because humor defines us.

On the website The People’s Cube, an entire array of photoshopped pictures depicting President Obama eating or chasing after dogs with the intent of eating them, can be found.

On John McCain’s Twitter page he posted a photo of his son’s bull dog and ends his Tweet by saying, “I’m sorry Mr. President, he’s not on the menu!”

When asked at a press conference, White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, struggled to answer the question as to whether the President was aware of all the jokes but he couldn’t resist making a joke about the jokes.

If you click on the link to John McCain’s Twitter page, you can read some of the comments irate people left to John McCain about his sick sense of humor.

But what about the hypocrisy? Recall, if you will, that not long ago, there were a lot of people very upset about the movie “The Grey”. Two issues played out here. The movie was about a plane that crashed in the middle of nowhere in Alaska. Survival was key, i.e. finding food and prevent becoming food. The plot is about these survivors fending off a hungry pack of wolves. The first issue of outrage was that the makers of the movie dared depict wolves in a truth setting; that they are bloodthirsty killers. The second issue is that the wolves they killed, they ate.

Hang on for a second. This is a movie! But yet there was still outrage. In addition, before filming of the movie began, the cast and staff tried eating some wolf meat in order to gain a better understanding of what they were up against. Doing so has “dogged” them ever since. (See what I mean?)

The point is there was outrage over this and I recall reading in several places among the media outlets, including Online, that people just did not eat dog. That our society (American) has never eaten dog, etc. etc. etc. This is what prompted me to dig back through the Lewis and Clark Expedition journals to recount all the times they not only ate dog meat buy preferred it over deer or elk. In addition this dog meat they ate, included domestic dogs they bought from the natives and coyotes and wolves they were able to kill during their journey.

The hypocrisy here is that while there was outrage that dogs were depicted as being eaten in a movie, there was no outrage at the disclosure that President Obama actually did eat dog as a kid. Instead, their biased anger is directed at those who chose to make jokes about it, seemingly now supporting the eating of dog….well, depending upon who did the eating I guess.

One can argue that most of these jokes originated from people or organizations that are working to elect a different president, but why is this all of a sudden different or deserve a different level of scrutiny? Campaigns bring out the worst in everybody.

What the reasons are that President Obama ate dog as a kid, I don’t know, nor do I care. I think some of the jokes are funny. I find some a bit over the top. I certainly can understand a person who adores dogs, finding offense in some of these photos and jokes. And I find the same level of humor disseminated the same way regardless of which side of the political aisle they walk on.

Tom Remington

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Wolf Killed in New Brunswick, Canada

While the media is acting like there should be some surprise here, the rest of us have acknowledged the fact that wolves live in Eastern Canada and Northern New England. A hunter killed a wild dog in the Acadian Peninsula, weighing around 90 pounds. DNA testing is being done to determine the genetic make up of the wild dog.

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From the Journals of Lewis and Clark: The Struggle for Food

As I continue my reread of the adventures of Lewis and Clark, often times the reading is dry with weather reports and what they saw on the right and saw on the left and how many miles they covered. At times however, both Lewis and Clark write in relative depth about certain issues and observations.

Included in the expedition that was sanctioned by President Jefferson and headed by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were what was then considered “professional hunters”. I have no idea what qualifications these men possessed that earned them the distinction of professional hunters, but nonetheless throughout the entire journey they were on a daily basis dispatched by Lewis and Clark to hunt and gather food. Sometimes this involved having the hunters go ahead of the expedition and cache food along the riverbanks and/or trails for the troops.

Finding food was not always an easy chore. As a matter of fact, the expedition was forced many times to kill and eat horses they had bought from the Indians. Through many days travel from the Continental Divide and down through the Columbia River, Lewis and Clarke bought dogs from the Indians to feed their troops. During their first winter camping alongside the Missouri River, the expedition may have starved to death had it not been for the modest supplies of dried foods the natives had that Lewis and Clark were able to trade for.

In my reading at present, Lewis and Clark are camped for the winter near the mouth of the Columbia River where it flows into the Pacific Ocean. It rains and storms nearly everyday. Conditions are miserable, to say the least. Troops work everyday in the lousy weather building shelters, smoke house, supply storage and fort walls. Because of the conditions and hard work, the troops are suffering injuries and illness. Generally speaking conditions are not great and to add to it, the availability of fresh meat is just not reliable.

Several Indian tribes take up their winter residence in the same area. These natives eat a different diet than do the white men involved in the expedition. The natives mostly subsist on fish, roots and berries, Lewis and Clark are forced to buy a lot of this food from the Indians because there is not a lot of easily found meat, i.e. elk, deer, etc. nearby. They also struggle in keeping their meat from spoiling even though at this point they have constructed a smoke house used to cure meat.

Needless to say, the adventurers have learned to eat many different things along their journey, including spoiled meat as well as fresh meat from just about every wild critter they could kill.

During the time that Lewis and Clark spent on the coast of what is now Washington and Oregon, both Lewis and Clark wrote in their journals comments about eating certain meats that today in our society would be unheard of.

Written January 3, 1806 by Clark in the Journals of Lewis and Clark:

“Our party from necessity have been obliged to subsist some length of time on dogs, have now become extremely fond of their flesh; it is worthy of remark that while we lived principally on the flesh of this animal we were much more healthy, strong and more fleshy than we have been since we left the buffalo country. As for my own part, I have not become reconciled to the taste of this animal as yet.”

At the time this was written, I’m half guessing that perhaps William Clark was waxing a little nostalgic, hungry and missing those moments when fresh elk and deer meat were readily available for sustenance. The expedition’s hunters were able to locate and kill some elk, at times great distances from the newly built fort, there was never enough of this meat to feed the troops on a regular basis. Because of the great distances away where the elk were shot and killed, by the time the hunters, with help from the troops, retrieved the meat and brought it to the fort, it was spoiled or beginning to spoil. Smoking the meat didn’t take away the spoil.

At this time, both Lewis and Clark had expressed dissatisfaction with being forced to eat the dried fish the natives had and that which the expedition had to purchase or barter to get because of the lack of fresh meat. Also it was noted a few times that Lewis and Clark could not sustain trading away all of their supplies in order to subsist.

In short, I’m not sure that Lewis and Clark fully anticipated having the struggles they did to eat well on a consistent basis.

It was only two days later that we find where Capt. Lewis makes comment about what he eats. To set the stage for these comments, Meriwether Lewis had ordered some of his men to take canoes and travel to the beaches of the ocean and find a likely place in which they could set up and make salt. This place ended up being several miles from the fort.

After about 6 days had passed since the salt making party were to have returned to the fort, Clark and others went looking for them. In the meantime, the salt party returned to the fort temporarily and brought with them about a quart or so of fine quality salt they had been successful in making.

In the context of the below comments by Capt. Lewis, he is writing about how some of the men were excited to have salt to dress up, if you will, their meat and meals. Lewis makes note that he really could care little about whether he had salt and makes the following comments.

Capt Lewis, January 5, 1806, from the Journals of Lewis and Clark:

“The want of bread I consider as trivial provided I get fat meat, far as to the species of meat I am not very particular. The flesh of the dog, the horse and the wolf, having from habit become equally familiar with any other, and I have learned to think that if the chord be sufficiently strong, which binds the soul and body together, it does not so much matter about the materials which compose it.”

Part of the motivation to write this piece comes from comments that have been made by some animal rights groups about the recently released movie, The Grey. The movie is about people that survive a plane crash in the snow climes of the north country, smack dab in the middle of packs of wolves.

I’ve not seen the movie but evidently at some point for survival, some of the wolves that have been killed as the result of attacks by the wolves on the survivors, are eaten by the people. The comments from animal rights groups and other ignoramuses, are that nobody can eat a dog and there is nothing nutritious in them.

This of course is quite the contrary. Not only in our own history books, as I have shown above, and world history has the eating of dogs been a regular occurrence, in some societies today, the habit still happens.

Tom Remington

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