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Talkin' Pets News

July 24, 2021

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Jillyn Sidlo - Celestial Custom Dog Services - Tampa Bay, FL

Producer - Lexi Adams

Network Producer - Paul Campos

Social Media - Bob Page

 

Mat George, who hosted the popular podcast She Rates Dogs, was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Beverly Hills. He was 26.

According to reports, George was struck by a BMW on Saturday in the Beverly Grove community. His podcast host Michaela Okland confirmed the news on Twitter.

"I would rather you guys [hear] this from me than a news article. Mat was killed in a hit and run last night," Okland tweeted. "I don't really have any other words right now. I wish I could contact everybody who knows him personally but the news is already out and I just can't do it right now."

George's podcast, which he cohosted for just over a year, focused on relationship advice and dating stories. He was known for speaking openly about his experiences from an LGBTQ perspective, which earned him many fans who appreciated his comedic wit, honesty, and charismatic personality.

In a December interview with Shoutout Arizona, George admitted he wasn't sure if he could make it in Los Angeles in the entertainment industry, but that those reservations ended up helping him become successful with She Rates Dogs.

"Towards the end of my college days at Arizona State University, I started to share my experiences as a gay man with different people I was close to," he said in the interview. "Their reactions made me realize that a lot of these stories were funny to others, which then gave me more confidence to start sharing them with even more people."

Okland tweeted from the She Rates Dogs account, telling fans that she and George had recorded what would end up being George's final episode and that while it was originally supposed to come out Tuesday, it will now "likely be put on hold."

"I am not ready to talk about everything, or to have to use past tense to describe him," Okland admitted.

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The ocean wasn’t the only thing blue off the coast of Gloucester, a local lobsterman found a rare bright blue lobster in his catch

Toby Burnham, a Gloucester lobsterman at Captain Joe and Sons Lobster Company, said the bright blue color appeared to be “glowing” from the trap, especially while surrounded by the standard dark brown lobsters. 

“I thought it was a fish flapping around in there but when I looked, it was a lobster,” Burnham said. “He was really blue, so I took him. I snatched him right out of the trap.”

The New England Aquarium predicts about one in every 2 million lobsters is blue. The blue color is caused by a genetic defect that produces an excess amount of one protein that gives the lobsters a blue shell, according to the University of Maine Lobster Institute.

Joey Ciaramitaro, co-owner of Captain Joe and Sons, said he sees a true blue lobster every two to three years. 

“A lot of lobster people say they catch blue lobsters, and they’re really kind of brownish-green – like a normal colored lobster with a little hint of blue around an edge or something,” Ciaramitaro said. “But about every two or three years, one of our lobstermen brings in a legit blue lobster, and this was one of these lobsters he brought it in.”

Toby said he caught one other blue lobster before, but the lobster was not as bright. He said it was also illegal due to its size, so he could not take it.  “When you first take them out of the trap they are a lot brighter,” Burnham said. “I don’t know why but once you put it in the tank it’s kind of like an octopus and they change their color.”

Ciaramitaro also said he runs the popular blog Good Morning Gloucester, where he regularly posts //www.flickr.com/photos/8427660@N02/albums/72157618903993826/page1/">pictures of mutant lobster found in their traps. In addition to previous blue lobsters, the blog shows pictures of speckled lobsters, three-clawed lobsters, and albino lobsters. 

“The albinos are the most rare,” Ciaramitaro said. “100 percent they are the most rare and more rare than the blue ones.”

About a half-hour after the catch, Burnham threw the lobster back where he found it. While Ciaramitaro said other lobstermen have brought the mutant lobsters to the Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute or the Maritime Heritage Center, Burnham seemed inclined to throw it back after taking some pictures.

“I think it’s kind of like feeling that it’s a special lobster and it shouldn’t be in captivity,” Ciaramitaro said. “It should go back to the ocean.” “Well, it’s one in a million lobster, so you know we can throw one back,” Burnham said while chuckling. “I threw it back where it was so he got his chance to go back and to his hole.”

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Tampa Florida’s Stormwater Services crew members are pros at unclogging the city's 600 miles of stormwater pipes and removing debris from the city's 180 miles of ditches.

But this was the first time utility technicians Ryan Rodriguez, Donnell Fisher, Red Gonzales and Lucas Garrett had to contend with removing an obstruction from one of their own pieces of equipment.

Among the crew's responsibilities is to repair concrete drainage structures such as retaining walls and stormwater inlets. The utility technicians were about to head out on Thursday to do just that when they discovered three frightened 2-month-old kittens stuck under the water tank of the city's concrete mixer truck.

With the help of the Humane Society of Tampa Bay's animal rescue team, the city workers removed what was undoubtedly the cutest clog they've ever tackled.

The Humane Society said all three kittens appear healthy. They will be fully examined by the society's veterinarian, sterilized, vaccinated, microchipped and socialized before being put up for adoption.

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The nonprofit humane society began its animal rescue team after realizing there is just as much of a need to rescue injured, abused, abandoned and endangered animals as there is to house, care for them and find them loving homes.

Please help support your Humane Society in your local area.

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During the third season of American Idol auditions, a young Jennifer Hudson strolls in sporting a black sleeveless dress and a sunny smile. The Chicago native, then 23 years old, announces that she will be singing "Share Your Love with Me," popularized by Aretha Franklin, to slight skepticism from judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Simon Cowell. ("We're going to expect something better than a cruise-ship performance, right?" Jackson inquires after it is revealed that Hudson just wrapped up a job on a Disney cruise line.) Not one minute later, the trio are visibly stunned by her moving rendition, which blew the roof off the building. Jackson even goes so far as to declare that she is "absolutely brilliant, the best singer I've heard so far," and they unanimously decide to send her to the next round. The rest, as they say, is history.

The world may have been introduced to Jennifer Hudson through her homage to Aretha Franklin, but not even in her wildest dreams did she expect to be in the presence of the Queen of Soul herself nearly three years later, in 2007, with Franklin requesting that she portray her in Respect, a biopic about her life. But Hudson is no stranger to turning fantasies into reality — during our conversation, her Pomeranian, aptly named Dreamgirl, starts yapping. "Her father was Oscar, and her mother was Grammy. Then they had a puppy, and I named it Dreamgirl," she explains. "I got the dog Oscar before I won my Oscar for Dreamgirls. And then I said, 'Oscar needs a wife. So how about I get a dog and name it Grammy, and maybe I'll win a Grammy.' And then I got the dog Grammy, and I won the Grammy."

Watch for Jennifer Hudson as she steps in the shoes of Aretha Franklin in a role of a life time and most likely sure for an Oscar nod with all due Respect.

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Scientists would very much prefer it if everyone could stop referring to those times when sharks attack people as “shark attacks.” Instead, The Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday that experts are now urging local government officials to begin employing terms like “bites” or “negative encounters” for future... uhh let’s see, how do we put this... toothy events given social research into how the public generally perceives and reacts to shark incidents.

According to shark researcher, Dr. Leonardo Guida, these proposed linguistic changes will have a genuine, noticeable impact, “because it helps dispel inherent assumptions that sharks are ravenous, mindless man-eating monsters.” Apparently, over a third of all shark encounters result in zero injuries, while many more only incur minor bites or wounds from instances like people “stepping on wobbegongs,” which sounds like an incredibly Australian thing to do.

In—and we can’t believe we’re saying this—sharks’ defense, it really has always been their territory we’re consistently invading, and not the other way around. As Dr. Guida and others note, the animal’s lineage on this planet goes back almost half a billion years, so sharks are still pretty damn confused by these new, ape-shaped blips on their sonars. And, on the very rare instances sharks do take a hunk out of someone, “the animals are more likely to keep going rather than have another sample of the odd mix of flesh, wetsuit and surfboard,” writes The Herald, which we assume was meant to reassure us somehow.

Then there’s the whole bit (ha!) about humans ravaging sharks’ ecosystems and wantonly decimating their populations, facts that aren’t helped by unnecessarily antagonistic perceptions of the fish... but we digress. In any case, probably the best way to think about it going forward, experts suggest, is to frame any bad meetups with sharks the same way most people differentiate between “dog bites” and “dog attacks,” which, fine, fair.

So, next time you find yourself in a “negative encounter” with a shark, feel free to sue the shark’s owner for not keeping it on a leash.

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The American Kennel Club (AKC)®, the leading purebred dog registry and governing body of canine sports in the United States, and GF Sports & Entertainment, a global sports and entertainment events and operations company, today announced tickets on sale for four additional cities on the AKC Meet the Breeds® National Tour. AKC Meet the Breeds® is America's largest in-person dog breed educational showcase. The two-day event is perfect for the whole family with children’s tickets lower than $20 and a variety of ticket options including early access and VIP experiences. Tickets are on sale now for Tampa, FL (Sept. 18-19); Columbus, OH (Nov. 13-14); and New Orleans, LA (Nov. 20-21) through the tour’s exclusive ticket provider SeatGeek®.

Tickets are also available for the first two AKC Meet the Breeds® tour dates in San Diego, CA (Aug. 14-15) and Dallas, TX (Aug 21-22).

From Affenpinschers to Yorkshire Terriers and everything in between, the showcase gives pet lovers the unique opportunity to meet and play with more than 100 different dog breeds in booths that depict each breed's country of origin, historical purpose/function, and attributes as a family pet, all while learning about responsible pet ownership and which breeds may be right for them.  The event also includes unique activities such as testing your own agility skills in our interactive area and participating in games and photo opportunities with the whole family. All events will be held with COVID-19 protocols in place.

“We are beyond excited to bring this unique, educational dog event to more cities,” said Dennis B. Sprung, President and CEO of AKC. “This is an excellent opportunity to educate the public about dogs and which breeds may fit their lifestyle and how to be responsible dog owners. Special thanks to the knowledgeable volunteers from AKC parent breed clubs and local clubs for supporting our vision and making this responsible pet education extravaganza possible.”

Added Shawn Tilger, President, GF Sports & Entertainment: “The enthusiasm for the AKC Meet the Breeds® events from venue operators across the country is incredible. We are excited to be able to add three more dates to this year’s tour, with hopefully more to come!”

SeatGeek has signed on as the first official ticketing provider of the AKC Meet the Breeds® National Tour. As part of the multi-year venture, SeatGeek will have a presence in all tour locations with a branded box office and activation throughout the event. SeatGeek will also support event promotions through online and digital marketing efforts. SeatGeek’s mobile-focused ticket platform enables users to buy and sell tickets for live sports, concerts and theater events. SeatGeek allows both mobile app and desktop users to browse events, view interactive color-coded seat maps, complete purchases, and receive electronic or printed tickets. Through their relationship, SeatGeek will provide AKC Meet the Breeds® with best-in-class data analytics tools designed to analyze ticket demand and maximize revenue potential across their events.

Visit akc.org/meetthebreeds for up-to-date information on all AKC Meet the Breeds® events.

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There were some nervous moments for some passengers leaving St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport Wednesday morning when a bird struck an engine.

According to Allegiant Airlines, Flight 994 from St. Petersburg to Plattsburgh, NY left the airport around 9:03 a.m., and shortly after takeoff, the number 2 engine on the Airbus A320 was hit by a bird. The pilots turned the flight around and landed at St. Petersburg-Clearwater International to get the aircraft inspected.

The plane landed safely and taxied to the gate under its own power. Allegiant said a replacement aircraft was sent to continue the flight and get passengers to Plattsburgh.

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If the Ferguson Fire currently burning in Mariposa County spreads to Yosemite National Park, a tiny bug resembling a mouse dropping would share some of the blame.

An epidemic of bark beetles is devastating billions of pine trees across the West in what has been described as the largest forest insect outbreak ever recorded. In California, the tree die-off is especially prevalent in the 4,500-foot to 6,000-foot elevation range of the central and southern Sierra. Yosemite Valley is just about 4,000 feet above sea level.

Dead and dying pines shed bone-dry, highly combustable needles, creating tinderbox conditions. Once set afire, the trees can scatter airborne embers a mile or even more. All it takes is a strong breeze.

Since 2010, more than 129 million drought-weakened and beetle-infested trees have died across 7.7 million acres of California forest, according to U.S. Forest Service estimates.

Drought ravages the natural defenses of pine trees, providing an opportunity for the bark beetle to attack. Anyone who has been to Yosemite recently has seen the thousands of reddish-brown conifer corpses on hillsides and plateaus.

The bark beetle is usually viewed as a pest, but according to Mother Jones, some scientists believe it may be acting as an agent of natural selection, destroying the weakest trees and thinning the forest, while leaving the genetically strongest to survive.

Unfortunately, those stronger trees have little chance against today's wildfires.

An analysis by the statistics-crunching site FiveThirtyEight found that since 1985, the overall number of wildfires has not changed much across the United States. But the total acreage of the fires — and the average acreage burned per fire — have both risen dramatically.

One reason often cited is forestry practices. Through most of the 20th century, the Forest Service practiced fire suppression. Any forest fire was doused as soon as possible rather than allowing it to burn out. This resulted in a buildup of smaller trees and underbrush that without human interference would have been naturally purged.

Climate change, combined with short-term weather cycles, has only worsened the problem. As the Earth warms, rain and snow precipitation declines, and drought sets in. After a long drought ends, like the recent 5-year dry spell in California did in 2017, a wet winter can cause vegetation growth to spike. The underbrush dries out over the hot summer, providing even more kindling in forests already primed with a surplus of tinder.

When fire does strike, the abundance of fuel results in a hotter, more intense conflagration. Meanwhile, there's no evidence that bark beetle infestation will subside anytime soon. In fact warming temperatures are expected to expand the insect's range, allowing it to thrive in higher elevations that previously would have been too cold for the bug to survive.

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Minimizing the spread of diseases that could be dangerous to both human and animal health is the goal of the recently reintroduced Healthy Dog Importation Act.

Launched with support from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the proposed legislation would provide additional resources to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to monitor the health of dogs brought into the U.S. and ensure imported canines are not carrying diseases that may threaten animal and public health.

“Safeguarding the health of every dog imported into the U.S. is essential to helping maintain animal health and reducing the potential spread of zoonotic diseases,” says AVMA president, Douglas Kratt, DVM. “The legislation reintroduced in Congress strengthens dog importation requirements and provides the USDA and other federal agencies with the necessary resources to responsibly screen the large number of dogs entering our country each year.”

Sponsored by Reps. Kurt Schrader, DVM (Oregon), and Dusty Johnson (South Dakota), co-chairs of the Veterinary Medicine Caucus, the Healthy Dog Importation Act would require every dog entering the U.S. to have a certificate of veterinary inspection from a licensed veterinarian, confirming the animal has received all vaccinations and passed all tests required by the USDA.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one million dogs are imported into the U.S. each year, but less than one percent are inspected for diseases such as rabies, influenza, hepatitis, and distemper. Last month, CDC implemented a temporary suspension of imported dogs from 113 countries considered high-risk for canine rabies, emphasizing the need to permanently improve dog importation standards.

The Healthy Dog Importation Act would streamline federal oversight between the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, CDC, and Customs and Border Patrol through the creation of an electronic database containing documentation and import permits, AVMA says. This would help ensure the federal government is properly screening the dogs entering the U.S., reducing the risk of importing dogs that may spread infectious disease.

“As a veterinarian, I have a deep knowledge of the close relationship between animals and people and what is needed to ensure their health and safety,” Dr. Schrader says. “The Healthy Dog Importation Act would finally provide the proper oversight needed to make sure the dogs being brought into our country are healthy, and will not endanger our people, our pets, or our food supply chain. By having key safeguards in place, we can detect potential serious safety concerns and prevent these dangers from turning into a public health crisis.”

“If transmitted to other animals or humans, animal diseases have the ability to wipe out livestock, kill thousands of individuals, shut down economies, and destabilize entire nations,” Johnson adds. “With the recent CDC decision to pause dog imports, the Healthy Dog Importation Act will ensure pet imports from countries like China can resume safely so long as pets are up to date on vaccinations and have been properly screened by a licensed veterinarian for specific diseases.”

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Dogs diagnosed with lymphoma can now benefit from newly approved treatment.

Elanco Animal Health’s newly acquired Tanovea has been granted full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The product, which was purchased from biotechnology company VetDC, Inc., contains the active ingredient rabacfosadine, a substance used to treat lymphoma by killing rapidly growing tumor cells.

“Tanovea provides veterinarians and pet owners with a novel treatment option for canine lymphoma, of which there are few,” says Elanco’s executive vice president of innovation, regulatory, and business development, Aaron Schacht. “Working in collaboration with VetDC allowed us to utilize innovation originally intended for humans to demonstrate efficacy in dogs, and ultimately gain full approval from CVM for Tanovea.”

The product is the first conditionally approved new animal drug for dogs to achieve full FDA approval under the agency’s Minor Use and Minor Species (MUMS) program, Elanco says. The program is intended to make more medications legally available to veterinarians for the treatment of minor animal species, as well as uncommon diseases in the major animal species.

“[This] approval shows that drugs to treat rare animal diseases, like canine lymphoma, can go through FDA’s conditional approval pathway to reach full approval,” says Steven M. Solomon, MPH, DVM, director of the agency’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. “This gives veterinarians another important tool to help extend the quality of life for dogs with lymphoma, and potentially give them and their owners more time together.”

The effectiveness and safety of the treatment was demonstrated in a controlled clinical field study involving a total of 158 dogs diagnosed with multicentric lymphoma with at least one enlarged peripheral lymph node, FDA says. All dogs were evaluated for safety (120 in the product group and 38 in the placebo group), and 148 dogs were evaluated for effectiveness (112 in the product group and 36 in the placebo group).

The study found Tanovea extended the median survival rate by 61 days and, for dogs with a complete response to the drug, the median progression-free survival was extended to 168 days, FDA says.

Additionally, as the treatment is dosed in three-week intervals, the method allowed owners and pets to spend time together between treatments, Elanco adds.

One in four dogs will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, with lymphoma being one of the most common types of cancer seen by veterinarians, Elanco reports.

“While canine lymphoma affects fewer than 70,000 dogs in the U.S. annually, it accounts for up to 24 percent of all cancers in dogs, making it one of the most significant canine cancers,” Dr. Solomon says. “For the first time, dog owners have the assurance of a treatment that has fully met the FDA’s standards for effectiveness in dogs.”

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Humans with symptoms of COVID should maintain a healthy distance from their four-legged friends.

This is according to a new study conducted by the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) in Canada, which found a high proportion of pets in households with people infected with COVID also became infected with the virus, with cats at higher risk than dogs.

Lead researcher and OVC professor of veterinary pathology Dorothee Bienzle, DVM, MSc, PhD, Dipl. ACVP, and colleague Scott Weese, DVM, DVSc, Dipl. ACVIM, an infectious disease specialist, set out to determine how susceptible pets were to becoming infected, as well as possible contributing factors.

The researchers tested 48 cats and 54 dogs from 77 households for COVID antibodies—a sign of past infection—and surveyed owners about how they interacted with their pets. The results were compared to cats and dogs tested at animal shelters, as well as strays.

Sixty-seven percent (32 out of 48) of cats and 43 percent (23 out of 54) of dogs tested positive for antibodies to the coronavirus as compared to nine percent of dogs and cats from shelters and three percent of the stray cats.

While most affected dogs developed only mild symptoms (e.g. lack of appetite), more than a quarter of the cats developed COVID-like symptoms (e.g. runny nose, difficulty breathing) with three developing severe symptoms.

Cats that spent more than 19 hours per day with their owners, including sleeping on their owner’s bed, seemed to be at a higher risk of infection, OVC reports.

“At this point, we should assume that if we get infected, our pets are susceptible, too, and they should be treated as any other household member,” Bienzle told NBC News.

The study’s initial findings are set to be presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) conference.

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As rich sources of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, high-quality marine-derived supplements support osteoarthritis and asthma, two common performance-limiting ailments of horses. New research shows that the benefits of DHA and EPA supplementation, most notably the anti-inflammatory effects, occur 60 days after initiating supplementation in horses.*

Researchers at Lincoln Memorial University chose 20 healthy horses for the study. Ten horses consumed a commercial supplement that contained 8.82 grams of EPA and 5.25 grams of DHA daily for 90 days, and 10 horses served as unsupplemented controls during the same timeframe.

Samples of blood, joint fluid, and pulmonary surfactant (a mixture of fats and proteins found on the surface of the lungs at the air-liquid interface) were collected at baseline (day 0) as well as days 30, 60, and 90. Samples were analyzed for polyunsaturated fatty acid levels, which include DHA, EPA, and related molecules contained in minute spheres of fat called glycerophosphocholines (GPC). These molecules circulate throughout the body acting on anti-inflammatory molecules, such as oxylipins. As lipid mediators, oxylipins are involved in numerous physiological and pathological processes, including termination of inflammation pathways.

Researchers found that DHA and EPA supplementation augmented levels of GPCs in joint fluid and pulmonary surfactant. Omega-3 supplementation, therefore, “has the potential to improve the ability of anti-inflammatory mechanisms to resolve anti-inflammatory pathways in these critical compartments involved in arthritis and asthma,” according to the researchers. Of note, the incorporation of DHA and EPA into GPCs did not occur until 60 days after supplementation was initiated.

“Certain omega-3 fatty acids, such as DHA and EPA, are well-known for their anti-inflammatory effects, and are particularly useful for horses with osteoarthritis and asthma,” said Catherine Whitehouse, M.S., a nutrition advisor for Kentucky Equine Research.

“The levels of DHA and EPA used to supplement the diets in the research study are achievable with EO-3, a marine-derived oil created by Kentucky Equine Research, as the product contains almost 9.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per ounce (30 mL),” she added. “EO-3 undergoes advanced distillation and flavor-testing to produce a highly palatable product suitable for all horses to boost health and wellness.”

Recent studies conducted at KER highlighted the benefits of supplementing with a marine-derived omega-3 fatty acid, including its superiority to plant-based sources and its usefulness as an anti-inflammatory for high-performance horses.

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Targeted nutritional supplementation can improve mare and stallion fertility. Nutritionists and veterinarians often recommend antioxidants, including vitamin E and coenzyme Q10, for breeding animals.

Assisted reproductive technologies such as embryo transfer, in vitro fertilization, and intracytoplasmic sperm injection must take place in a laboratory environment that best mimics the natural one. Because of the artificial environment, removing cellular breakdown products that can be toxic to cells can be challenging. Harmful reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced during cellular metabolism in these artificial systems.

“ROS are negatively charged, highly reactive, and unpredictable molecules that damage cell membranes, genetic material, and proteins by forming other free radicals by peroxidation. Antioxidants act by neutralizing or counteracting the harmful effects of ROS,” explained Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., a nutritionist for Kentucky Equine Research.

Some ROS are necessary for normal reproductive functions. They play a role in capacitation, for instance, which enables sperm to fertilize an egg, and they also facilitate sperm-egg fusion.

When ROS production outpaces antioxidant defenses, vitality and motility of sperm decreases. ROS also break down the natural antioxidant mechanisms of egg and sperm cells, creating an environment that is unable to support normal reproductive physiologic processes.

Antioxidants such as vitamins E and C can squelch excessive free radicals, thereby supporting normal reproductive function. These antioxidants can be added to the semen extenders and cell culture media in the laboratory and, importantly, they can be added to the diets of mares and stallions. “Assisted reproductive technologies play an invaluable role in the equine industry. They allow the mingling of genetic material from coveted mares and stallions without the expense and inconvenience of transporting the animals,” said Crandell.

The technologies also protect mares from post-breeding infections, inflammation, and trauma. Subfertile or aged mares may also have improved breeding success, which prolongs their time in the breeding herd as a contributor of valued genetics.

According to Crandell, using a highly bioavailable form of vitamin E, like Nano-E, a natural-source nanodispersed supplement from Kentucky Equine Research, will be more effective than other formulations when used in assisted reproductive technologies. Nano-E targets ROS that affect the viability of the delicate sperm, eggs, and embryos.

“Research has further shown that using vitamin E with coenzyme Q10 effectively maintains membrane integrity and functionality of the sperm. During the cooling processes of equine semen, these antioxidants are influential in increasing sperm motility and reducing lipid peroxidation. Kentucky Equine Research offers Nano-Q10, a nanodispersed form of coenzyme Q10 with improved absorption over other forms of the antioxidant,” Crandell said.

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