August 27, 2005

Organic Gardening is the Way to Go

Upon reading a great post by Palema regarding organic gardening, I remembered an interesting, and possibly related topic of discussion with a patron at my local vet today. Our pets were in for maintenance shots, but while we were sitting there, a couple brought in a very old and shaky, yet utmost happy Irish setter. It was clear it would be the dog's last visit to the vet! :(

This motivated a conversation about pets we love and have put to sleep, and the causes of illness. I propose organic gardening and pest maintenance.

The man told me he and his wife explored a mysterious kidney disease his dog had that was about to end it's life, or at least life quality. The man hypothesized that this mystery disease might have somehow (I'm not really sure how) been related to the known over-use of chemical sprayers on the gypsy moth caterpillars that year.

Thinking back to my two cats with cancer, that I adopted from the very same clinic as his, I remembered pondering why of all the cats I have had (only about 5 now in adult life, and this man knew of at least 2 others, even so, a small sampling) both adopted from that clinic had been diagnosed with cancer. One had an obvious lump on its back, removed once and returned. I watched this cat breath it's last breaths. The second cat, in an eerily timely fashion, picked up an equally eerie cough that set off an alarm bell. While it could have been inhaled bubblegum-flavored antibiotics (why oh why?) for a swollen lymph node, it likely was due to the large mass found on XRay throughout the lungs and heart area.

Back to my point - the cats both had issues. i got them from the same neighborhood, the same week. This was the same year the dog owner reported not only his dog unexpectedly getting ill, but other dogs as well. It was 1992, and the town was West Hartford, CT. It saddens me a bit, because I was VERY lucky to live across the hall from one talented Dr. Kristen Polci who managed to save my neighbor's cat after a bad car accident. I admired and respected her and come to the conclusion it was not the vet clinic, but rather some other element of that town or neighborhood.

Tell me, has any research shown that gypsy moth insecticides cause liver disease or cancer???

Obviously one would have to do clear cut research, and samples of more than 30 can be more accurate predictors, but I am swayed. Organic gardening is the way to go.


Blogger Palema said...

I've been looking online for information about gypsy moth eradication methods. These moths are commonly fought with biological methods, such as use of Bt, which is a virus, I believe, that attacks the larvae.

But in some cases, chemicals are used. Tthree in particular are acephate, carbaryl, and diflubenzuron. This is what I read:

"Biological insecticides, such as B.t., are often the insecticide of choice for aerial spray programs because they are naturally derived, are host-specific, and they do not persist in the environment.

Synthetic insecticides, such as acephate, carbaryl, diflubenzuron, and trichlorfon, are effective in gypsy moth eradication, but they are less acceptable because of public
concern over human health risks and effects on nontarget organisms."

Usually "non-target organisms" means beneficial insects like bees -- but it could mean others, as well.

5:59 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home