All About Velvet Disease and Your Betta

Velvet is a very common disease among betta fish. However, it can affect many kinds of fish, even young ones. Anabantoids, goldfish, zebrafish, and danios are likely to be infected with velvet.

This disease can appear as a gray or golden-velvet coating on the fin areas, or body. It can sometimes look like gold dust has been sprinkled on your betta fish. If this gold layer is difficult to see, it will become very visible if you project a flashlight beam on your aquarium when the environment is dark.

Unfortunately, Velvet is a disease that can kill your betta if left untreated.

Symptoms of Velvet Disease

  1. A gray or golden velvet coating on the body and fins
  2. Sudden weight loss or loss of appetite
  3. Fins that are clamped
  4. Lethargy
  5. Peeling off of skin
  6. Breathing difficulties
  7. Wounds on the skin
  8. Betta scratching against objects that are hard

In the beginning stages of this disease, you may notice your betta fish rubbing itself against hard objects. This happens because he is trying to remove parasites. However, as the disease spreads, the fish may become almost motionless and have no appetite, lose weight and sadly, could die.

How to Prevent Velvet Disease

First, place your infected fish into a quarantine tank for at least two weeks. This is where you will treat him. Next, test the quality of your water regularly. Lastly, keep your betta fish fed with a nutritious and balanced diet.

Velvet can only occur if your tank conditions are poor. This condition is quite infectious, so by having a quarantine tank ready to go, you can greatly reduce the chances of the disease spreading throughout the entire aquarium. For this reason it is very important to immediately remove any fish that may seem infected and place them in a quarantine tank.

Treating Velvet Disease

Although many people don’t realize it, water temperature plays a large role in helping to treat an infected Betta. It is important to keep the temperature of the water on the warmer side, usually between 82 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Lighting also plays a big role. Keep your lighting dim for a few days. That will aid your fish as well. Lastly, add the right amount of aquarium salt. The rule of thumb is for every gallon of water in your tank, add 1 teaspoon gradually over a three-hour period.

Velvet is a highly contagious disease, and it can develop into an advanced stage before you ever realize it is happening. Therefore, it’s vital to apply treatment procedures as soon as you notice any signs. An effective treatment is malachite green. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the amount of time it should be used to make sure your betta fish is completely healed before re-entering him into your original aquarium.

Checking for signs at an early stage can help prevent any disease from occurring. The greatest thing you can do for your betta fish is to pay attention and try to prevent the disease from ever manifesting in the first place.

Lyme Disease in Dogs and Humans

It is summer time and that means walks in the woods, camping and all those glorious trips on nature trails enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. However, lurking in some areas there lies a nasty tick that can cause both humans and animals an opportunity to become very ill.

It is an illness that is caused by a bite from an infected tick and it does not care who you are human or dog. This problem surfaced around 1975 when a group of children in a Lyme, Conn., suffered a severe outbreak of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. This unusual grouping eventually lead researchers to identify the bacterial cause in 1982 and thus led to the name “Lyme disease.” In 1984 it found its way into the canine population and since has skyrocketed. It is a serious and deadly disease if left untreated.

According to statistics released by a pet insurance provider (Veterinary Pet Insurance) in 2008, Lyme disease is the most common canine infectious disease for the third year in a row. Forty-sever percent of all the claims Veterinary Pet Insurance received were for tick born infectious diseases. Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis (caused by the Brown Dog tick and the lone star tick, infection enters the white blood cells and causes anemia and other complications) and anaplasmosis (caused by deer ticks, the disease is similar to Lyme disease) are among the three leading infectious tick diseases.

What is the cause? Warmer climates, urbanization and an increase in the rodent and deer populations are the primary causes. A female tick can lay approximately 3,000 eggs per season and once the tick population gets established there is a big problem in removing them. Once a disease that was established in a few areas has now managed to move through the entire Northeast, the Midwest and in areas of California and Oregon.

What is Lyme disease? It is a disease caused by a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi which is transmitted into the bloodstream by the saliva of the infected tick by means of a prolonged bite. It cannot be transmitted from dog to dog or to humans from dogs. It comes from the tick bite itself and reacts differently in humans than it does in dogs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only two ticks are known to carry this bacterium, the blacklegged deer tick, found throughout most of the United States and the Western blacklegged tick found only in the Western states. Granted that there are other ticks that carry

different types of bacteria, but only these two ticks carry Lyme disease.

What are the symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs? It is difficult to diagnose. Common symptoms are fever, limb discomfort, lameness, swelling in the joints, lack of energy and loss of appetite. Since these symptoms are common to many other canine diseases it may take a while to determine the actual cause of the problems. Lyme disease can take up to 5 months after exposure to surface.

A simple blood test can detect if a dog has been exposed to the bacteria and treatment can begin. Dogs are usually treated with an antibiotic (usually doxycycline) and will begin to show improvement within a few days after receiving treatment.

The interesting thing is some dogs can test positive for the disease and never appear sick, as their bodies are capable of fighting off the bacteria. It is recommended however, that if your dog tests positive and several other tests show the same result it is best to have your dog treated, but that is a matter of personal judgment.

What are the complications of Lyme disease in dogs? Lyme disease does not cause permanent arthritis in dogs. The type of arthritis or lameness caused by this disease is non-erosive arthritis; it does not cause damage the bone. The swelling and lameness will go away with treatment.

The potential problem related to Lyme disease is kidney complications if left untreated. These problems can be fatal to your dog. It is necessary to have your vet do a routine urinalysis if your dog has contacted Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is a dangerous disease, but when caught early and treated most dogs achieve full recovery.

What are the symptoms of Lyme disease in humans? Lyme disease in humans affects different areas in the body as it progresses. The place where the tick has bit the human usually causes a reddish rash and “flu-like” symptoms.

Medically it is described in three phases as: (a) an early localized disease with a skin inflammation; (b) early problems of the heart and nervous system, which could include palsies and meningitis and (c) later a disease that causes motor and sensory nerve damage and brain inflammation as well as arthritis.

Many people do not even recall a tick bite, as some ticks can be as small as the period at the end of this sentence. Some people do not develop a reddish rash, but even the rash will disappear by itself with no treatment at all. Some people suffer from flu like symptoms and possible swollen glands plus a headache. If you are like most people you “get over” these things without the aid of your doctor and this is where the seriousness of this disease begins.

As the bacteria spreads through your body it begins to affect your heart muscle causing and inflammation, which can cause abnormal heartbeats and heart failure. The nervous system can develop facial paralysis, abnormal sensations due to the disease of peripheral nerves, meningitis and confusion. If this is not enough, you can also develop chronic arthritis and suffer from anxiety and depression.

How is Lyme disease diagnosed in humans? If you live in an area where Lyme disease if known and show up at the doctor’s office with the usual red rash the diagnosis is simple. If you have been bitten by a tick be certain to tell your doctor. In most cases without your doctor knowing if you have been bitten or if you have been in an area where Lyme disease is known, they will review your history and try the process of elimination to exclude certain diseases. Blood tests are not significant in the early stages of the disease, though can be helpful in the later stages. Currently the best test is what is called the Western Blot assay antibody test.

How is Lyme disease treated in humans? In most cases Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics that work really well in the early stages of the disease. If the disease has progressed undetected for awhile, it maybe necessary to take some intravenous drugs and pain-relieving medicines can also be given.

How do you protect your dog and yourself? Since dogs carry ticks into the home, it is wise to check your dog every time it comes in. A tick check is simply done by going through your dog’s fur and parting it with your fingers. Begin at the ears and head while working your way down, on black dog’s use a flashlight to help you see the ticks. If you find one do not stop as you may find more, ticks love company. Use some sticky tape to help remove the tick or use tweezers making certain you remove the whole tick, legs and all. Do not try burning them off with a match or cigarette.

Keep your grass cut; trim bushes around your house so that they get a chance to get some sun. Ticks love damp dark places. If you live near a wooded area keep the area around your home free from the growing brush; a stone or mulch path surrounding the area is a good idea.

Use year round flea and tick preventatives. If you live in an area where Lyme disease ticks are prevalent there are vaccines available to help prevent the disease. A vaccine along with the flea and tick preventative will go a long way in protecting your dog. Though it is known that the vaccines do not always work, they are worth a try. The vaccines are usually given twice, a few weeks apart and then once a year and are recommended if you live in areas known for the disease.

Regarding us humans wear protective long pants, long sleeves and boots if you are venturing into the woods and if you pick up a tick be certain to remove it at once. Spraying an insect repellent that contains DEET will help too. If you get a tick and remove it, save the culprit in a jar so that is can be identified as not all ticks carry Lyme disease. It takes approximately 48 hours once a tick becomes attached to you or your dog to transmit the bacteria, that is why checking yourself and your dog is so important. The quicker you remove them the better off you both are.

What Is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?

What do you mean my gums have a disease?

Periodontal disease is the last thing you want to hear about when you visit a dentist, but believe it or not he hears those words almost every day. Luckily, unlike the Ebola virus, gum disease is entirely preventable, and in the long run treatable.

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

Gum disease isn’t a disease as you immediately think of it. You aren’t walking around, flossing your teeth at the mall, when someone coughs periodontal disease into your face. It’s more of a case of lack of maintenance, like when you go 10,000 miles without changing the oil in your car on a regular basis. You see, our mouths are filled with millions of microscopic bacteria swimming around. These bacteria are mostly beneficial, but when combined with mucus and other gunk in our mouths they harden to form plaque. We brush and floss our teeth to remove that plaque, and start the process all over again. Of course, sometimes we miss a spot, and some people fail to brush at all. When the plaque hardens, it causes gingivitis, which is a fancy word for “my gums are red, swollen and bleed a lot.” Gingivitis, you might say, isn’t a big deal. With regular flossing and brushing as well as attention from a dentist, it will be a thing of the past. If left alone, on the other hand, it will become extremely hard and thick. The gums, knowing that gingivitis is gross, will begin to pull away from the teeth. Retreating, if you will.

Who needs those cowards anyway, right? Well, unfortunately your gums are protecting the air pockets around the roots of your teeth. Those formerly helpful bacteria now invade the air pockets, causing infection and pain. Eventually, the process will rot away at the root of the tooth, causing them to fall out. If your mouth were a car, I’d say it’s time to take it in to the dealership.

How Do I Prevent Periodontal Disease?

First, brush and floss your teeth. I realize that most people don’t enjoy flossing their teeth. The solution is to floss your teeth anyway. Next, identify if you have some of the common risk factors:

  • Smoking, which will also kill you.
  • Diabetes
  • Medications
  • Genetics, meaning that some people are just prone to gum disease.
  • Hormonal changes in women
  • Other diseases

However, despite these risk factors, regularly maintaining your teeth is the best bet. You should brush twice a day using a soft brush and applying fluoride toothpaste in gentle circles. Then, you must floss at least nightly. Ideally, you would swish with a mouthwash, but brushing and flossing is the bare minimum. Concentrate on actually cleaning all of the areas of your mouth, not just moving the toothpaste around long enough to tell yourself you brushed. Generally speaking, this is enough to prevent periodontal disease.

What if I Already Have Gum Disease?

Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. You’re probably experiencing some pain, and your gums probably look pretty red and inflamed. Some other symptoms are:

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth

Needless to say, at this point you need to see a dentist. Preferably, today. They will first most likely take x-rays to see if there is any bone loss. If they are a periodontist, a specialist, they will be able to steer you in the right direction to correct this illness. Treatment is focused on removing the bacteria that have infected your teeth, and then helping the gums to heal over the exposed air pockets. The first step is a deep cleaning, followed by medications such as an antiseptic mouth wash. Serious cases may involve periodontal surgery, which is performed under anesthesia by a dental surgeon. I know, it doesn’t sound pleasant! However, the last thing you want to do is continue with gum disease and end up losing all of your pearly whites.

Alternative Medicine Treatment For The Crohn’s Disease

If you are reading this, you are looking for the answers about Crohn’s disease. You were told that there is no real cause for it; therefore, consequently, there is no cure. The only option you are left with is treatment with the powerful pharmaceutical drugs.

Most likely you are confused. You are afraid of pain, bloody diarrhea, fatigue, possibility of the colon removal, cancer, and side effect of the drugs that you are taking. In the jungle of internet, thousand websites promise and sell miracle cure. The situation with Crohn’s disease is extremely complicated. Even medical authorities in this field write “Seventy-five years after Crohn’s characterization as a unique entity, we are still in the dark”.

Let me share some ideas about causes and possible non-drug treatments for this illness. Everything what I will tell you, is information from statistic and medical literature, practice of the doctors from other countries and my own 40 years of experience with Crohn’s disease. Yes, we do not know what the real cause of this disease is, but some facts can bring light to this problem.

All medical statistics show the growth of the autoimmune diseases including Crohn’s disease during the last 60 years mostly in the North America, Europe, New Zealand, and much less in Southeast Asia, South America. We cannot blame genes; they cannot change in 60 years. Some scientists consider Crohn’s disease as a disease of the rich people and connect Crohn’s disease with Westernization.

You were told that Crohn’s disease is a hereditary disease, so you did not have a chance to escape from that. The definitive role of genetics is only 15%. I personally believe in heredity of the life style when generation-by-generation people have Cesarean delivery, formula-only feeding, and eating unhealthy foods, drinking alcohol, smoking, having the same vaccination and infections, taking antibiotics, NSAID and living or working in the toxic environment, etc.

No wonder, heredity of the life-style is responsible for many disorders and medical articles and books prove that. Therefore, 85% of harmful environmental factors play the role in the development of autoimmune diseases, which rise for the last 60 years.

You were told that Crohn’s disease is autoimmune malady when the immune system acts like crazy by attacking person’s own tissue. Normally, immune system is designed to protect the human being from invaders such as harmful microorganisms, and toxic substances.

There are three common disorders of the immune system. The immune system can be weak after viral, bacterial, or parasitic infections, chemotherapy, immunosuppressant drugs, radiation, stress, AIDS, heavy metals toxicity, low adrenals and thyroid, etc. Secondary, the immune system can work extra high. We can see it in many allergic diseases, food and chemical sensitivity, vaccinations, chronic infections, etc. All these factors can trigger in predisposed persons the abnormal immune respond.

Unfortunately, there are no the specific tests for Crohn’s disease; therefore it needs to exclude alternative diagnoses, such as intestinal infections and parasites, diarrhea after antibiotics, Clostridium difficile diarrhea, celiac disease, lactose intolerance, exacerbation of irritable bowel syndrome-IBS, diverticulitis, side effects of NSAID, Candida-yeast overgrowth, small intestine bacterial overgrowth-SIBO, colon cancer and more.

Helping many years the patients with the Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease, I strongly believe that the solution to manage autoimmune diseases is to control simultaneously digestion, dysbiosis (Candida-yeast overgrowth, small intestine bacterial overgrowth-SIBO) and chronic body’s acidity.

The key of the healthy digestion is healthy pancreatic function and proper balance of the friendly intestinal flora. Sadly, beneficial intestinal flora of the modern men are diminished and altered. If the baby did not get mothers friendly intestinal flora through the natural birth and mother’s milk or infant receives numerous courses of the antibiotics from the first year of life, the beneficial intestinal flora is replaced by yeast, harmful bacteria, and parasites.

These nasty invaders irritate and inflame the walls of the small intestine, create a porous, leaky gut, they ferment undigested foods, producing a great number of toxins. This can cause huge strain on the immune system with its overwork that is manifested by allergic reactions and allergic diseases. Allergy exists always in the Crohn’s disease; it is a leading player in all autoimmune diseases.

Modern diet with unhealthy eating habits, consumption of the chemically modifying, “dead” food products, sugars, white flour, bad fats, and oils, processed cow milk, can exhaust the pancreatic function. Pancreas has to produce more pancreatic digestive enzymes to digest “dead” foods without natural digestive enzymes. Improperly digested food goes through the porous, leaky gut into the blood causing additional awful overwork for the immune system.

Furthermore, wheat and milk were introduced in the human food just 10,000 of years’ ago. From that time, digestive systems did not adapt well to lectins; proteins in grains and beans (for example, gluten) or casein (protein in the cow milk). Poorly digested lectins go through the porous, leaky gut’s wall into the blood system, attach to the body tissues, and mimic the healthy cells. Confused immune system by attacking the lectins destroys also the healthy intestinal cells. Many scientists believe that it can be central mechanism to trigger “crazy” immune respond, especially in the predisposed persons.

There are also some evidences that Crohn’s disease is infection, and Mycobacterium avium that causes cows’ tuberculosis may play a role in the development of the Crohn’s disease.

The question arises. Can the methods of the alternative medicine help? My answer is “Yes” because these methods focus not only on aggressive immune respond and inflammation but also on possible causes of the disease, subsequences of the disease and treatments. Many of these methods are time-proved, scientific, and clinically based. Some are widely used by medical doctors in other countries. They are:

1. Strictly non lectins, anti Candida, separate and alkaline-forming diet

2. Drinking healing mineral water prepared from the genuine Karlovy Vary thermal spring salt

3. Super strains, bile-resistant probiotics

4. Herbal formulas, herbal extracts and teas

5. High quality and potency variety of the nutritional supplements such as minerals, trace elements, vitamins, amino and essential fatty acids, various supplements for immunity support, reducing pain and scaring, control Candida-yeast, bacterial and parasites overgrowth, healing intestinal lining and precursors of the neurotransmitters

6. Acupuncture: Chinese body, Japanese scalp, Russian ear-lobe, Korean wrist-foot, cupping, electro acupuncture

7. Medical Hypnosis, Deep relaxation, Custom self-hypnosis CD, etc

Some of these healing methods are practically unknown in the U.S. For example, one of the unknown methods is drinking healing mineral water for ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. For more than 500 hundred years, European doctors sent their patients with chronic diarrhea or bloody diarrhea to the small Czech town Karlovy Vary to drink healing mineral water from the thermal spring.

Understanding that the mineral content of this water is a main therapeutic ingredient, Czech medical doctors suggested producing the genuine Karlovy Vary thermal spring salt. By dissolving this salt in water, everyone can make healing mineral water at home. By scientific research, Karlovy Vary healing mineral water

• Normalizes acid-alkaline balance

• Improves the function of liver and pancreas

• Increases amount and quality of the digestive pancreatic enzymes

• Promotes the growth of the friendly intestinal flora

• Heals damaged gut’s wall, reduces inflammation

• Restore the balance of the water, essential minerals and trace elements

Almost all of patients with the ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease know about probiotics and possibly already take them. On the other hand, not too many people realize that mixing probiotics with antibiotics, immunosuppressant’, and steroids, either does not work or can have potential risk.

We can make the analogy of the gastrointestinal tract with garden. It is difficult or impossible to grow roses if the garden is full of the weeds, pests, rodents, chemicals, and the soil is drained and deficient. The roses by themselves have to be an acceptable quality, as well. Nobody can improve the condition of the garden without the help of qualified professional. Restoration of the friendly intestinal flora is vital, but it is not a quick fix and self-treatment.

By clinical studies and my experience, it is impractical to get stable remission without restoring the normal function of the pancreatic gland. The low function of pancreas, low amount, and poor quality of the pancreatic digestive enzymes aggravates all autoimmune diseases; I explained that in my eBook. Chronic bloody diarrhea affected humanity for millennia. Therefore, ancient doctors were faced with this problem a while ago and gained experience in the treatment of chronic diarrhea primarily by healing foods, herbs, and acupuncture.

So, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the results of multi-factor interaction between genetic, immune-related, environmental, digestive, infectious and possible medical triggers. Accepting that, I do not believe in the panacea or miracle in this case. Only the hard work and cooperation between patient, his/her friends, relatives, PCP, and knowledgeable, licensed medical practitioners can bring the patient to the stable remission. Customized, simultaneously accomplished combination of natural, holistic, non-drug methods of the alternative medicine can be very beneficial for people with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.

The goal is to enhance pancreatic function and entire digestion, restore the friendly intestinal flora and normalizing acid-base balance, regulate the immune respond and inflammation, and replace deficiencies.

Rush does not help. Abrupt discontinuance of medications can lead to rebound effect that can make things worse. Therefore, after we help to achieve the clinical remission, patient and his/her doctor will decide about safe withdrawing from the medication with following overlapping them by using more of the non-drug methods.

The information contained here is presented for educational, informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is not to be used to replace the services or instructions of a physician or qualified health care practitioner.