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More on safe alternatives...
Author: Bob RowlandTitle: More on safe alternatives
Date: 2002-12-27 00:32:06Uploaded by: webmaster
This article goes a little more in depth into the use of natural products versus harsh chemicals in the maintaining of health in pigeons. Before we begin this article, I feel it is imperative to explain a simple concept with regard to understanding the difference between the words "Ignorance" and "Stupidity":

When one does not know something about a particular principle, one would be declared Ignorant of the principle and therefore would not know if they were creating a mistake or not. However, when one has been given fair warning about certain things and they continue to follow a path that can be destructive, then they are acting out of stupidity.

When I wrote the last article stating that there are safe alternatives for keeping our pigeons healthy, I received comments from people that were cautioning others to beware of the article as it could be bogus and was done in an attempt to sell "Snake Oil". However, not one of the people making these declarations came forward to offer a safe alternative or an effective program that would help us with our pigeon health programs for the future.

Another person states "Anyone with a little background in chemistry knows that everything is broken down into chemicals. Pure harsh, and sometimes effective, chemicals. Plant products are naturally grown, but they contain CHEMICALS when distilled and refined. Many good drugs come from plants. The problem comes when you don't know what chemicals are in the plant and you don't know how much of each.

I agree that everything has a chemical composition and yes, even air and water are part of this but what is not being said is what is beneficial to our existence and what is not. As we look at the thousands or millions of years that the earth has been here, different plants have become a part of our existence. Through evolution of everything that walks or crawls or swims on this earth, certain plants are beneficial while others could have toxic results. The object is to take what Nature and Civilization gave proven to be effective and use them as a part of our future.

Another person also wrote:
"Give me something the FDA approved & I will still be a little leary, but at least there is a dosage of the active ingredient and it has been scientifically tested in clinical studies."

To this I would like to ask how many people would have any idea of how much of something is good for us or toxic. Also, how many products have been THOROUGHLY TESTED AND APPROVED and yet severe side effects come about from these. Then class act suits are filed and many people receive compensation from severe debilitating effects of these TESTED AND APPROVED products.

It would only seem reasonable to me that with certain products that have been used for several hundreds or THOUSANDS of years as effective healers, WITHOUT FATAL SIDE EFFECTS, then do we need to try a new and improved super pill that can create new problems we are not aware of.

Before I go any further, I would like to openly state that I have made a financial contribution into a company that is dealing strictly with natural products. I openly admit this because there are those that will say I am pushing these products because of my investment but the truth is that I invested because I believe in the principles of the natural cures when possible.

This is not to say that I will never use another man made chemical as certain circumstances may require this practice but when at all possible, my choice is to stay natural with a time tested cure unless all else fails.

There are many studies available from thousands of sources dealing with homeopathic cures and also thousands more of studies that show the immune responses and toxicological effects of many of the common drugs that are used without any thought of what these are doing to our systems.

One person wrote the following:
"I rotate my medications, I use a different Cocci treatment now and then, same as with Canker and Respiratory, most Cocci and Canker treatments I use are only 1 to 3 days, so they are effective. I know people that have used Sulmet for 20 years or more and it's still very effective for Cocci in their lofts, I'm one of them. Canker I understand is getting resistant to Ridzol, but some vets are telling us to double the dose, it works either way in my loft, so I'm not sure about this, but in any case there are several other very effective medications for this."

The above is just an example of what we do on a routine basis thinking we have done the best for our pigeons because we have supposedly eliminated the bacterial problems but HAVE WE??

When we understand that most of the products that are on the market are for accomplishing one goal only and that is WEIGHT GAIN of animals before they are sent to market As all animals are sold by weight, it is to the sellers benefit to have them as heavy as possible when they hit the scales so they use products that suppress the immune systems so the animal puts on the weight.

As we begin further into this discussion, lets look at what happens to the pigeon when chemicals that suppress the immune system are used too frequently. I recently wrote an article about understanding the immune system with it's natural killer cells, etc., and the following will help enlighten us some more:

1. The bursa and the thymus shrink. That means that the B-lymphocytes that produce antibodies are lower in quality and the total numbers in circulation are also reduced. B-lymphocytes produce antibodies and with the net effect of their lower numbers will be a significant drop in the circulating of antibodies.

The thymus gland that resides above the heart is responsible for eliminating the antibody tagged viruses, bacteria and fungi. If the functional integrity of the thymus gland is suppressed then the net effect is a drop in the circulating T- lymphocytes. This is an example of what can happen due to the fact that the sulfa oxytetracyclines are immunotoxic.

It has been sufficiently documented by various investigators that these antibiotics, if not used properly, can and do create significant immune system suppression. No one should be so irresponsible as to ignore the writing on the wall and present an bogus argument that has no basis at all. It is an incontrovertible fact that synthetic chemicals whether they are labeled to be used as antibiotics or pesticide are toxic because they KILL. Obviously they disrupt the chemical composition of living bacteria which are identical to the human cells. Therefore, it is naive to think that somehow the body does not get any toxic effects from the exposure to these substances.

2. The detoxification pathway Cytochrome P450 is an enzyme based system that is responsible in detoxifying the body via the liver. If it is overloaded then the birds or a man may not be able to carry out a physically exhausting task. This is often the case when the antibiotics are used for race birds that never get the chance to fully exploit their abilities as the cytochrome P450 is never allowed to recover. The bird's liver must be protected at all costs to ensure a smooth detoxification of metabolic waste that is exponentially rising as the race progresses. If the bird is unable to keep the toxic enzymes at a minimum then the flight must be abandoned or at least severely compromised by reduction in effort to get home. Once a pigeon begins pacing their self, now the question is whether they will ever race to their best capability again.

3. Many antibiotics that are also known as chemotherapy's will rob the body of minerals and vitamins. Overuse of these chemotherapy's may cause a substantial loss in performance and if the supplementation of these vitamins is not adequate then the performance may decline substantially.

4. Protein synthesis is critical to the total health of the pigeon or us for that matter as well. When we use drugs that are meant to KILL BACTERIA, we are altering the DNA of the protein and if you will read back on an earlier article I did on proteins, you will see that PROTEINS ARE THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF THE SYSTEM. Any loss or lack of the necessary proteins which are also created through the enzymes and amino acids severely limits the ability to perform at their best and the battle of NATURALLY FIGHTING VIRUS' AND PATHOGENS IS CRIPPLED.

In the next few years, we are going to see greater problems in maintaining health of our pigeons because newer forms of the existing virus problems will occur. We must become aware that virus will jump species and as they do, a mutation is what takes place.

When circo virus began, it was a plant virus but as the virus became in contact with certain birds, a mutation took place and hence, now we have a bird virus. Now we can take that same bird virus and through another mutation, rodents or another type of bug such as ants or cockroaches or some other similar type of situation could become the next form of this virus as once it does the mutation, then this new virus can come back again to the birds in another version.

The above was just an illustration of type jumping through mutation but it could become a reality. Perhaps now you can see why I am interested in natural plant products that had an immunity to the virus and therefore can stop it before it gets too far along. Remember, certain plants were resistant to the circovirus so if those plant extracts become a part of a certain health routine, this could offer some key protection to our birds.

Here is some proof of what was just stated and we can find many more studies that show the detrimental effects of using chemicals which suppress the immune system:

1: Dev Comp Immunol 2000 Mar-Apr;24(2-3):247-55 Related Articles, Links

Immunopathogenesis of chicken anemia virus infection. Adair BM. Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland, Veterinary Sciences Division, Stoney Road, Stormont, Belfast, UK. The immunopathogenesis of chicken anemia virus (CAV) infection is reviewed. The virus causes a disease in young chicks which is characterised by generalised lymphoid atrophy, increased mortality and severe anemia. The virus appears to target erythroid and lymphoid progenitor cells in the bone marrow and thymus respectively. The B cells in the chicken are not susceptible to CAV infection and are not directly affected by the virus. Destruction of erythroid progenitors in bone marrow results in severe anemia, and depletion of granulocytes and thrombocytes. Destruction of precursor T cells results in depletion of mature cytotoxic and helper T cells with consequent effects on susceptibility to, and enhancement of, the pathogenicity of secondary infectious agents, and sub-optimal antibody responses. Apoptosis appears to be a feature of the lymphocyte depletion in the thymic cortex, whichmay be mediated by one of the non-structural viral proteins, VP3 (apoptin).

Publication Types:
* Review
* Review, Tutorial
PMID: 10717291 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Another quick study talking about the bursa in the pigeon:

1: Avian Dis 1994 Jul-Sep;38(3):635-41 Related Articles, Links

Particles resembling circovirus in the bursa of Fabricius of pigeons. Shivaprasad HL, Chin RP, Jeffrey JS, Latimer KS, Nordhausen RW, Niagro FD, Campagnoli RP. California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System-Fresno Branch, University of California, Davis 93725. Histological examination of the bursae from 12 pigeons under 4 months old revealed basophilic globular inclusion bodies, 5 to 25 microns in diameter, in the cytoplasm and the nuclei of the various bursal follicular cells. Electron microscopy of these inclusions revealed large electron-dense areas containing non-enveloped icosahedral viral particles, 14-19 nm in diameter, either loosely arranged or in paracrystalline array. Similar basophilic globular inclusion bodies were seen in the spleen and cecal tonsils of a few pigeons and in the duodenum of one pigeon. There were various degrees of lymphoid depletion in the bursa, spleen, and bone marrow. The morphology of the inclusions in the bursa and size of the viral particles are most consistent with circovirus. Preliminary studies on the bursae of two pigeons were negative for psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD) viral antigen and nucleic acid by immunoperoxidase staining, DNA in situ hybridization, and polymerase chain reaction techniques, suggesting that this virus differs from PBFD virus. Most of the pigeons had concurrent infections such as paramyxovirus-1, salmonellosis, herpesvirus, and hepatic and cerebral trichomoniasis associated with adenovirus.PMID: 7832721 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Now when our pigeons are suffering from viral problems, this is commonly known as viremia which will show a low blood cell count. When the pigeon has a low red cell count, they can not carry enough oxygen but we think they have a respiratory problem. The truth is they do not have enough blood cells to do the needed function to race effectively. So continue to treat for respiratory and you will suppress the immune system even further and your birds will only go further down in their health.

Take a look at what this virus will do to the pigeon.

No organ is spared.

1: J Vet Diagn Invest 2001 Nov;13(6):475-82 Related Articles, Links

Detection of circovirus infection in pigeons by in situ hybridization using cloned DNA probes. Smyth JA, Weston J, Moffett DA, Todd D. Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for Northern Ireland, Belfast. Degenerate primers were designed based on known sequence information for the circoviruses psittacine beak and feather disease virus and porcine circovirus and applied by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to known virus-infected bursa of Fabricius (BF) from a pigeon. A 548-bp DNA fragment was amplified and shown to be specific to a novel circovirus, named pigeon circovirus (PiCV), and was used to produce sensitive and specific probes for detection of circovirus DNA by in situ hybridization (ISH). Using ISH on BF from 107 pigeons submitted for necropsy, infection was detected in 89%, compared with a histologic detection rate of 66%. Using the ISH technique, infected cells were also found in liver, kidney, trachea, lung, brain, crop, intestine, spleen, bone marrow, and heart of some birds. Large quantities of DNA were present in some of these tissues, and in the absence of BF, liver in particular is identified as a potentially useful organ to examine for presence of PiCV. This high prevalence of infection in diseased birds is noteworthy, emphasizing the need for studies to determine the precise role of this virus as a disease-producing agent. PMID: 11724137 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

1: J Comp Pathol 1992 Oct;107(3):285-94 Related Articles, Links

Effects of fowl adenovirus infection on the immune system of chickens. Saifuddin M, Wilks CR. Department of Veterinary Pathology and Public Health, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. A virulent strain of serotype 8 fowl adenovirus (FAV) was isolated from an outbreak of inclusion body hepatitis (IBH) in broiler flocks. Post-mortem changes included characteristic liver lesions with intranuclear inclusion bodies in the hepatocytes and severe lymphocytic depletion in the bursa, thymus and spleen. The packed cell volume was reduced by 50 per cent or more and varying amounts of cell depletion were observed in the bone marrow. Typical IBH was reproduced in specific pathogen-free chickens inoculated orally with the FAV isolated from the natural infection. There was severe depletion of lymphocytes in the bursa, thymus and spleen of the experimentally infected birds and FAV antigens were detected by ELISA and immunocytochemical staining in various lymphoid tissues. Humoral antibody responses against sheep red blood cells, detected by the haemagglutination test, were decreased in the chickens infected with FAV. These findings suggest that the damage caused by replication of this virulent strain of FAV in lymphoid tissues compromises the immunological capabilities of infected chickens.PMID: 1334981 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Read this one carefully. The statement in this study show we are on the right track for fighting the dreaded viral problems.

1: Vet Immunol Immunopathol 1996 Oct;53(3-4):277-83 Related Articles,Links

Effect of antibacterial growth promoters on the immune system of broiler chicks.al-Ankari AS, Homeida AM. College of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Resources, King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia. Administration of either 0.001 g/kg ampicillin (A), 0.05 g/kg oxytetracycline (O) or 0.05 g/kg sulphadimidine (S) in feed to broiler chicks for 50 days caused an increased serum concentration of the drug compared to the control birds that were given no drugs. O and S but not A resulted in a significant decrease of the total number of leukocytes, lymphocytes and the size of bursa of Fabricius and thymus but not spleen or body weight. The antibacterials significantly reduced the macrophage phagocytic activity compared to controls. It is suggested that the prolonged administration of O and S to chickens may induce an immunosuppressant effect. PMID: 8969048 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
(In VIVO is dealing with Live tissue and VITRO is dealing with tests in a test tube.)

1: Vet Hum Toxicol 1997 Jun;39(3):141-6 Related Articles, Links

In vivo and in vitro effect of sulfamethazine on hepatic mixed function oxidases in rats. Kodam KM, Govindwar SP. Department of Biochemistry, Shivaji University, Kolhapur, India. Sulfamethazine (SMZ) administration (ip, 3 d) of different doses to adult male rats showed significant increases in the electron transport components and activities of aminopyrine N-demethylase and aniline hydroxylase at the the 150 mg SMZ/kg dose level. However, 300 mg SMZ/kg doses produced a significant decrease in cytochrome P-450 and the activity of aminopyrine N-demethylase. In a longer duration study, 300 mg SMZ/kg caused significant decreases in cytochrome P-450 and in the activity of aminopyrine N-demethylase. The inducer dose of 150 mg SMZ/kg and the inhibitory dose of 300 mg SMZ/kg were selected for dosing young male, old male and adult female rats. Sulfamethazine administration to young male rats resulted in a significant induction of electron transport components and drug metabolizing enzymes at both dose levels. However, SMZ treatment of old rats produced significant decreases in electron transport components and aminopryine N-demethylase activity at both dose levels. A significant induction in the levels of electron transport components was observed with 150 mg SMZ/kg in female rats. All other parameters were unchanged. Sulfamethazine resulted in a mixed type of inhibition (Ki = 3.5 mM) of aminopyrine N-demethylase in vitro. Hydroxylated metabolites destructed the spectral and catalytic activity of cytochrome P-450. Our studies suggest that SMZ is a substrate of the mixed function oxidase system and induction is dependent on dosage, age and sex of the animals. PMID: 9167242 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Now for anyone that believes that we are just out trying to push some snake oil with no foundation or reason for these products, Felix Khan, myself, and Marathon Bio Nutrients can come up with thousands of such studies showing the reason we have chosen the path we have for keeping our pigeons healthy.

When one of these people that are telling you that they use a certain product, try asking them why and what it does to the pigeon! Ask them if there are any side effects or immunosupression of the health system.

I sincerely hope that this article will be taken in the light that it was written as an ALTERNATIVE TO SAFE TREATMENT OF OUR PIGEONS TO PROMOTE TOP HEALTH.

Bob Rowland

Coo time for a brew!...Where next?
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