Are you an owner or guardian?

Owner vs Guardian

Something that always makes me sad is that in law animals are considered property. They are lessened to a state where instead of being recognised as sentient being they have as much value as a football.

Whenever I see a patient it is not just an animal, it is a member of a family. If that is wildlife then it is a member of a family outside in the wild somewhere. If it is a pet then it has the family of people that it lives with.

Yet when a dog is taken from a yard it is theft. The family may be devastated, may be broken, yet there is no hunt to get it back. A report is taken by the police. That is all.

When a cat is shot, it ends up on an operating table. There is no manhunt for the shooter. The police take a report. That is all.

Over the weekend a cat rescue was broken into. Some elderly cats were taken from their home. They were tortured and killed with their bodies dumped. What is the charge likely to be? Breaking and entering? Burglary? Criminal Damage?

I hate the word owner. Can you really own a living breathing sentient being that can feel and think? And yes when I say think I mean it – everything up from a snail has been proven to be able to feel and think (now ever plants have been shown to be able to feel as well). You may give an animal a home; however that animal gives you unlimited love. You are responsible for looking after that animal. Yet do you really have the right to own that animal? Or have you just been trusted with guardianship and responsibility to look after it.

What are you? An owner? Or an guardian?

EDIT: South Wales Police released this statement Monday:

“Overnight we charged two males, aged 15 and 18, following a burglary which occurred at Ty Nant Cat Sanctuary in Cymmer, Port Talbot on Saturday 30th July 2016.

The 18-year-old has been charged with burglary and criminal damage and is due to appear at Swansea Magistrates Court this morning.

The 15-year-old has been charged with the same offences and bailed to appear at Swansea Youth Court on 11th August.”

As I guessed – they are being charged with criminal damage and burglary…

Getting the ventilation right for farm animals… (Day 165)

Random hazard warning sign on door of heart exploding

Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Vet School Success

The weeks nearly over and its time for Animal Hygiene again (check out last weeks diary to learn what is animal hygiene) and today we are looking at ventilation in animal houses. Now ventilation is important with animals not only because of heat, but because of the waste products from the animals (urine & feces) producing what can be harmful gases. In addition ventilation also plays a role in the management of the moisture content within the air which prevents condensation and all the nasty moulds that this causes!

Now there are basically three types of ventilation:

  • Passive where the air change is due to natural things like cold air meeting hot air.
  • Negative pressure where air is sucked out of the building by fans
  • Positive pressure where air is pulled into the building by fans

Now though you may have thought it was the realm of architects us vets need to be able to calculate how big the air outlets and inlets are using the air:water saturation level as a guide. Keeping the flow of air moving is important, however its also important to ensure that the speed of this is below 3meters per second so as not to create a draught for animals. To do this we use both the size of the openings and the method of ventilation used with a few different formulas and reference tables to get the correct area needed for the ventilation inlets and outlets.

Anyways, enough that I am trying to keep away from maths here as much as possible (anyone applying to vet school? Maths is essential!!!) so will leave it there. We did notice this sign on a door on the way out though and though we have some theories what is behind this door we’re not sure so any suggestions or ideas are welcome in the comments below!

Random hazard warning sign on door of heart exploding

The start of Anatomy II, a look inside the mouth… (Day 157)

Pulvinus Dentalis - The dental pad in the cow and ruminants

Today’s Diary Entry sponsored by Spikes World Ltd

Well now that I know the bones, muscles and ligaments it is time to learn about everything else that actually makes the body work. The start of this is with Splanchnology which is the study of viscera or soft internal organs of the body. Today started at 7am with the anatomy lecture which was looking at the structures of the mouth, tongue and teeth which was pretty interesting (and a relatively easy topic to learn before we start the stomach next week).

Now the mouth is where digestion starts, with the teeth being responsible for the mastication or mechanical breakdown of food and a wide range of glands secreting digestive enzymes and saliva to help the process. Now within the mouth there are two cavities, the space inside the teeth, and the space between the teeth to the lips and cheeks. Within the space inside the teeth (Cavum oris proprium) there is the tongue which has a range of different types of glands at various positions and in varying numbers depending on the species. In fact the actual shape of the tongue even varies within species with the tongue of a horse containing cartilage, the tongue of the dog having a groove in the middle, and the tongue of the cow being split into two parts divided by.a groove across the middle.

There is also the mouth to pay attention to with the hard palate forming the roof of it lined with ridges across it and off course the teeth Now some of you may already know that ruminants (cows) actually do not have upper front teeth. Instead the have a hard pad made from tough tissue called the pulvinus dentalis. Wanna see it? Thought you would so here goes maybe my one and only dissection picture ever!

Pulvinus Dentalis - The dental pad in the cow and ruminantsAs you can see it looks almost like the same material as horns at the front where the incisors normally are, you also have papilla along the sides which help with movement of food. At the front if you can look closely you can see that there is something that looks like an upside down “v” – this is the papilla incisiva which are the openings for the ductus incisivi which secrete digestive juices.

There are several classes of teeth when it comes to animals, with some animals having combinations of more than one type.

  • Brachyodont – Where the tooth has stopped growing after reaching a certain point and its surface wears down with use. This type of tooth is divided into the crown, body and root and is the type of teeth that humans have.
  • Hypsodont – Where the tooth never stops growing (as long as the animal is alive) which means that it does not have a crown, instead it is just divided into the root and body. The most common examples are the teeth in rodents, rabbits, and more exotically the tusks of the boar or elephant!
  • Semihypsodont – Where the tooth continues to grow until it starts to wear out, the most common example are the incisors of the horse. This has the benefit of the tooth growing so that the surfaces of the teeth perfectly meet allowing the cutting of fine grass.

The patterns of the occlusial surface (the part that meets with the opposite upper or lower tooth allowing chewing) actually also vary among different species, with some being multitubercular where it has bumps or bunodont where it is flat. These are also divided into selenodont where it has moon like patterns, or lophodont where it has folds and ridges.