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Talkin' Pets News

October 2, 2021

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Jasmine the Dog Trainer - Tampa Bay, Florida

Producer - Kayla Cavanaugh

Network Producer - Ben Boquist

Social Media - Bob Page

Special Guest - Speak with Jill Twiss, the Emmy Award-Winning Comedy Writer Behind HBO’s LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER on Talkin' Pets with Jon Patch October 2 at 5PM EST


Ivermectin is a drug some doctors began searching early on in the COVID-19 pandemic to see if it could be repurposed as a treatment. There were seemingly positive effects in some patients given the anti-parasitic drug, however, more studies showed it has little to no effect when it comes to treating COVID-19. There has also been an increase in the use of the animal version of ivermectin leading to people getting sick and dying. 

Two New Mexicans have died due to ivermectin, as first spotted Wednesday by Albuquerque news station KOB and confirmed by the state's department of health. One of the individuals who died was reportedly battling a serious case of COVID-19. 

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"Drugs should only be used as directed, and ivermectin is not a viable treatment for COVID-19," said David Morgan, New Mexico Department of Health media and social media manager. 

In recent months, there has been a dramatic increase in calls to poison centers in Mississippi, Oklahoma, Utah and Alabama from people who are taking ivermectin intended for animals. Meanwhile, emergency rooms are seeing more patients who consumed a version of the medicine intended as a horse dewormer. The drug has stayed in the headlines following podcaster Joe Rogan saying he used it after he tested positive for COVID.

On one side, there are some doctors who have said that ivermectin could help ease the pandemic if used globally. On the other, public health officials who have reviewed the data and who say the drug's effectiveness against COVID-19 isn't conclusive.


Pet Supplies Plus has committed to opening 69 stores across eight states.

Twenty-five of the commitments are with current franchise owners and the rest are with new owners, DBusiness reports.

The stores will be located in Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York and Texas.

“It’s incredible to watch our franchise lead in one of the hottest industries out there,” Pet Supplies Plus CEO Chris Rowland was quoted saying. “Not only are our existing owners increasing their number of locations, but we’re also adding new owners to our pack who are eager to cater to the growing demand of pet ownership.”

Pet Supplies Plus currently has over 560 stores across three dozen states.

In March, the company was acquired by Franchise Group Inc. in a $700 million deal.


Renaissance BioScience Corp., a leading global bioengineering company, is pleased to announce that an independent test of its environmentally safe, RNA-based biopesticide technology conducted on Colorado potato beetle (CPB) larvae resulted in 98.3% mortality and greatly reduced the amount of plant damage caused by the beetle.

The proof-of-concept test, conducted by a leading international agriculture consultancy with expertise in pesticide evaluation, applied Renaissance's proprietary yeast-based RNA interference technology that is designed to precisely target and turn off a specific CPB gene. This, in turn, resulted in high CPB mortality and protected the potato plant. A key characteristic and industrial benefit of the Renaissance novel proprietary RNA production and oral delivery platform technology is that it's possible to include multiple different gene targets in each cell of the delivery system, thereby greatly reducing or eliminating the potential for CPB to develop resistance to this innovative biopesticide.

Renaissance BioScience CEO Dr. John Husnik comments: "These are very promising results clearly showing that Renaissance's environmentally safe technology protected the potato plant from the Colorado potato beetle. We still have work to do but these findings confirm the potential for our technology for crop protection. Given that the large-scale, low-cost production of yeast is already readily available from well-established global yeast companies, our focus now is maximizing effectiveness through further laboratory tests and field trials and organizing appropriate commercial partners for the next phases of product development."

"Renaissance's RNA production and oral delivery platform technology is not only potentially efficacious as a biopesticide against a wide variety of different pests but also has significant promising applications in human and animal healthcare, including aquaculture. Yeast has been an amazing natural workhorse for human civilization for thousands of years, and we are applying it to develop many new exciting applications in environmentally safe biopesticides and biotherapeutics for the future."

The Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) is one of the most economically devastating pests facing potato crops in North America and Mexico, Europe, Russia and Eastern Europe, and in Asia, including in western and northeastern China. As the world's leading producers of potatoes, China and India are at the leading frontier of CPB spread as it expands its range eastward. The CPB has a legendary ability to develop resistance to a wide range of chemical pesticides previously used in its control and a natural biopesticide solution is urgently needed to greatly reduce the widespread damage and major economic costs caused by this pest.


Using ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug, to treat or prevent COVID-19 is up there with swallowing bleach and blow drying your face, it does not work and can cause serious harm. Infectious disease expert, Bindu Balani, M.D., shares the ins and outs of ivermectin and why it should not be used for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19.

Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug that is often used to treat or prevent parasites in animals and humans. Across the U.S. there are reports of people using ivermectin prescribed for horses to try and prevent or treat COVID-19. Ivermectin can be prescribed to humans in tablet form to treat conditions caused by parasitic worms, as well as in a topical form to treat external parasites like lice.

Reports from the FDA are showing people ingesting ivermectin doses in a paste form that is designated for horses, as well as doctors even prescribing the medication for COVID-19. In a typical pre-pandemic setting, there are about 3,600 prescriptions filled for ivermectin in a year. From early July and August, the CDC reported over 88,000 prescriptions dispensed – that is a 2,344% increase.

“The stark increase in prescriptions for ivermectin is not a coincidence – this is an ‘off-label’ use of the drug. While ivermectin is approved for use in parasitic conditions, there has been no evidence or approval for use against COVID-19,” shares Dr. Balani. Ivermectin is not approved or authorized by the FDA for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.

Some studies have been conducted to evaluate the drug’s efficacy against COVID-19, however the data has been inconsistent, inconclusive and too small to be considered high quality. There is no reliable evidence that ivermectin should be used for COVID-19.

The side effects of ivermectin overdose can include:

  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Confusion, hallucinations, seizures, coma and death

To sum up, here are three reasons why you should not use ivermectin to try to prevent COVID-19:

  • Ivermectin is not proven to be effective for COVID-19.
  • Using ivermectin not as it was intended can cause a variety of health risks, even death.
  • You are not a horse or a cow and a large dose of ivermectin is highly toxic.

“Instead of listening to conspiracies online, please follow the data. The COVID-19 vaccines have all been thoroughly tested and are proven to be effective. Getting vaccinated can help protect you against this deadly virus,” concludes Dr. Balani.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on Wednesday declared 23 species extinct, including 11 birds and two fish.

Notable among the 23 extinctions is the ivory-billed woodpecker, one of the better-known species to now be extinct.

“This is not an easy thing,” Amy Trahan, the FWS biologist who declared the ivory-bill woodpecker extinct, said. “Nobody wants to be a part of that.”

“Just having to write those words was quite difficult. It took me a while,” she added.

There were also eight Hawaiian birds declared extinct, including the Kaua’i ’o’o and the Maui ’akepa.

Scientists warned that the increase in climate change could push more animals onto the extinction list, according to a statement released by the Department of the Interior.

“With climate change and natural area loss pushing more and more species to the brink, now is the time to lift up proactive, collaborative, and innovative efforts to save America's wildlife,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in the statement. “The Endangered Species Act has been incredibly effective at preventing species from going extinct and has also inspired action to conserve at-risk species and their habitat before they need to be listed as endangered or threatened. We will continue to ensure that states, Tribes, private landowners, and federal agencies have the tools they need to conserve America’s biodiversity and natural heritage.”

The FWS statement said that human activity was the final reason these animals went extinct. 

The 23 species were added to the list in the 1960s, and there was hope at the time they would be taken off in the future. 

Before the 23 species Wednesday, only 11 species had been added to the list since the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973.

The ivory-billed woodpecker was one of the first animals that officials recognized as being endangered and helped spur the crafting of the act.

Species Background

Bachman’s warbler: Bachman’s warbler was a small yellow and black songbird that once bred in swampy thickets in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee and overwintered in Cuba, where it was seen for the last time in 1988. It was lost to habitat destruction and collection.

Bridled white-eye: A green, yellow and white tropical lowland forest bird from Guam that was 4 inches long, with a prominent ring around its eye. It became extinct because of predation from the invasive brown tree snake.

Ivory-billed woodpecker: The third largest woodpecker in the world, the ivory-billed woodpecker once flew in old-growth forests in 13 states, including Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. It declined because of logging and collection, and the last verified sighting was in 1944 despite extensive searches.

Little Mariana fruit bat: Also known as a flying fox, the little Mariana fruit bat lived on Guam and foraged on tropical fruits. It was last seen in 1968 and went extinct because of habitat loss from agriculture and military activity, brown tree snake predation, and overharvesting for use as food. It had a 2-foot wingspan, gold on the sides of its neck and yellowish-brown fur on the top of its head.

San Marcos gambusia: The San Marcos gambusia was a 1-inch-long fish that ate small invertebrates and gave birth to live young instead of laying eggs like many species of fish. It lived in clear spring water from the headwaters of the San Marcos River in Texas. Last seen in 1983, its extinction is due to water overuse that depleted groundwater and spring flow.

Scioto madtom: The Scioto madtom was a small catfish found only in Big Darby Creek in Ohio. It was listed as endangered in 1975 but was last seen in 1957. It was lost because of silt accumulation from dams and runoff.

The eight freshwater mussels proposed for delisting include the flat pigtoe, green-blossom pearly mussel, southern acornshell, stirrupshell, tubercled-blossom pearly mussel, turgid-blossom pearly mussel, upland combshell and yellow-blossom pearly mussel. Freshwater mollusks are the most endangered group of organisms in the United States, with 36 mussels and more than 70 freshwater snails already lost.

Click here for background on the lost Hawaii species including eight birds and a flower.

Extinctions by State or Territory

Alabama: Bachman’s warbler, southern acornshell, stirrupshell, tubercled-blossom pearly mussel, turgid-blossom pearly mussel, upland combshell, yellow-blossom pearly mussel

Arkansas: ivory-billed woodpecker, turgid blossom pearly mussel

Florida: Bachman’s warbler, ivory-billed woodpecker

Georgia: Bachman’s warbler, ivory-billed woodpecker, southern acornshell, upland combshell

Guam: bridled white-eye, little Mariana fruit bat

Illinois: ivory-billed woodpecker, tubercled-blossom pearly mussel

Hawai‘i: Eight birds and one flower (click here to read more)

Indiana: tubercled-blossom pearly mussel

Kentucky: ivory-billed woodpecker, tubercled-blossom pearly mussel

Louisiana: ivory-billed woodpecker

Mississippi: flat pigtoe, ivory-billed woodpecker

Missouri: ivory-billed woodpecker

North Carolina: Bachman’s warbler, ivory-billed woodpecker

Ohio: Scioto madtom

Oklahoma: ivory-billed woodpecker

South Carolina: Bachman’s warbler, ivory-billed woodpecker

Tennessee: Bachman’s warbler, green-blossom pearly mussel, ivory-billed woodpecker, southern acornshell, tubercled-blossom pearly mussel, turgid-blossom pearly mussel, upland combshell, yellow-blossom pearly mussel

Texas: ivory-billed woodpecker, San Marcos gambusia

Virginia: green-blossom pearly mussel

West Virginia: tubercled-blossom pearly mussel


An Illinois man has died of rabies after waking up to find a bat in his room. The man, who has not been publicly identified, woke up and found the bat on his neck, before he was bitten.

The man was in his 80s and declined to be treated for rabies, even after the bat tested positive for the virus, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). A month after the bite, the man started having symptoms of rabies, including neck pain, headache, difficulty controlling his arms, finger numbness, and trouble speaking. He died not long after. This was the first human case of rabies in Illinois since 1954.

"Rabies has the highest mortality rate of any disease," IDPH director Ngozi Ezike, said in a press release. "However, there is life-saving treatment for individuals who quickly seek care after being exposed to an animal with rabies. If you think you may have been exposed to rabies, immediately seek medical attention and follow the recommendations of health care providers and public health officials."

Wildlife experts later found a bat colony living in the man's home.

Human rabies cases in the US are rare—only one to three cases are reported each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There were 25 cases of human rabies reported in the US between 2009 and 2018.


Tendon injuries occur frequently in athletic horses, require time and patience to heal, and have a high rate of reinjury. The industry’s drive to find effective means of promoting healing with minimal chances of reinjury recently led to the advent of autologous protein solution (APS), a combination of autologous conditioned serum (ACS) and platelet-rich plasma (PRP).

Both ACS and PRP are derived from blood, ideally a sample collected directly from the patient. For ACS, blood is incubated with specially coated beads resulting in high levels of the anti-inflammatory proteins interleukin-1 receptor antagonist and interleukin-10. For PRP, a blood sample is specially treated to concentrate the platelets, which are essentially microscopic packages of growth factors and anti-inflammatory cytokines.

Taking the best of the ACS and PRP procedures, APS has high levels of beneficial factors as well as an array of additional anti-inflammatory proteins. APS also has a leg up over ACS and PRP in that veterinarians can use a commercial stall-side kit to prepare APS in merely 20 minutes from a single blood sample.

“When used independently in clinical trials, ACS and PRP both show promise for healing tendon injuries. Because APS is a relatively new therapy, few studies have looked at it for tendon healing,” said Peter Huntington, B.V.Sc., M.A.C.V.Sc., director of nutrition, Kentucky Equine Research.

One recent study used a superficial digital flexor tendonitis model in eight Thoroughbreds.* Collagenase, an enzyme that breaks down the tough collagen fibers that give tendon its strength, was injected into both forelimbs of each horse. Seven days later, APS was injected into one of the two tendon lesions. Researchers subsequently performed ultrasound examinations, conducted biomechanical testing to measure the strength of treated and untreated tendons, and carried out microscopic and laboratory analyses to assess various healing parameters.

“These tests revealed that APS may result in improved tendon healing, evidenced by a lower concentration of the gene encoding collagen type III. That type of collagen appears weaker than collagen type I found in normal, healthy tendon. Having lower levels of type III collagen genes may mean the APS-treated lesions lay down less weak collagen during healing,” explained Huntington.

Rest and a well-designed rehabilitation program with controlled exercise that does not rush horses back to competition also play integral roles in tendon healing. If your horse requires a sudden lay-up due to injury, detraining won’t be possible.

“In these scenarios, be sure to support skeletal health by use of the research-proven products Triacton or DuraPlex, which can reduce the loss of bone mineral density that occurs when horses are confined without any exercise,” Huntington advised.


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