16 November 2011

Hello Napier

The Soapbox
Well – the request in the last Natter to submit comments on the issue of recycling certainly elicited a response from many Naperians. This is obviously an issue that many of you feel very strongly about. Here are a few of the responses received:

Jacqui and Brenda from Drogonfly Farm say:
“Thank you for your wonderful news letters, as we are so busy on the farm and we don't get to the village that often, but we never feel left out thanks to the Napier Natter. I am so pleased to see you have brought up the issue of recycling, we have several boxes of bottles, both glass and plastic that we have collected over the months, as I just cannot bring myself to throw them in the dump. As both Jacqui and myself lived overseas most of our lives, it has become a way of life for us to recycle, so a big YES. Let’s put our heads together and find a way to get it going here in our village”

Nathalie says:
On the subject of recycling, the whole Agulhas region can re-cycle all paper, cardboard, tin, glass and plastic by using the see-through bags the municipality provide and collect on a Thursday.
For all other unwanted, usable goods it might be worth reminding everyone that they can donate them to the charity shop and klerekas run by Judith.
I'm a big fan of recycling myself so couldn’t help but respond ;)

Dee Robinson says:
When we think about recycling, our minds immediately go to glass, paper, plastic, etc. Red Windmill is the perfect place for a recycling depot, so In May 2010 I duly applied to the Glass Man (The official glass recycling "plant" for want of a better word,) which supplies glass recycling skips country wide. Please see the attached correspondence.
I got a phone call about a month later and in a nutshell, was told that Napier is simply too out of the way and that they do not have a collection truck on our route. I begged and pleaded and they promised to consider my request to save the world but, no further response. I'd be interested in taking this concept further, if anyone can come up with a way forward.
On a different level, I'd also like to point out that there are many ways of recycling. Vintage clothing, for example, is a recycled product, as are collectables and antiques. Our fynbos wreathes are made from recycled fynbos which is not perfect enough for export ... in short, anything which is being used more than once or being given a second life, constitutes a recycled item.
When you look at it like that, it's not so hard to do your bit! It's a mindset really. Find a seamstress to re-work your old clothes. Make lampshades out of bottles and chandeliers from old cans. Make water features from old gardening implements; edge pathways with old tyres ....think creatively! And think, think, think before throwing that item away. That's the trick in my book!

Alec and Cathy Buggs sent in the following - and this is certainly worth reading carefully and pondering:
(Taken from: http://www.tranquilwaters.uk.com/nativeamerican)

Native American Ten Commandments

  1. Treat the Earth and all that dwell therein with respect
  2. Remain close to the Great Spirit
  3. Show great respect for your fellow beings
  4. Work together for the benefit of all Mankind
  5. Give assistance and kindness wherever needed
  6. Do what you know to be right
  7. Look after the well-being of Mind and Body
  8. Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater Good
  9. Be truthful and honest at all times
  10. Take full responsibility for your actions

A Wake for Hugh
Most of us who live in Napier came across Hugh Bergh at one time or another, whether while having a pint at Gunners - or when hearing him spout lyrically about his love of books. As Helen Vale so succinctly put it, "Hugh was part of the Tapestry of Napier, a figure larger than life."

A wake to celebrate 'A life lived' will be held at Gunners from 5pm onwards on Thursday 17th November. Everyone who knew Hugh is invited - drinks will be on sale at the bar and everyone is asked to bring along a small plate of snacks. Let's do Hugh's memory proud!

Christmas market in Napier
A Christmas Market is to be held at Moerse Farmstall from 10.00am until 6.00pm on Friday 16 December.

Stall holders will be required to pay R50 per stand and to bring their own tables and chairs. Those interested in having a stall must RSVP as soon as possible due to a limited availability of stalls. Moerse Pies will be having a stall selling breads, pies, vetkoek, cakes and milktarts. Stall holders selling any other products/ items are more than welcome. Please contact Annelene on 0828763518 for further enquiries or to book your stall.

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THE BOTANICAL SOCIETY THE SOUTHERN OVERBERG BRANCH OF OF SOUTH AFRICA invites you to join our end of year gathering on Sunday, 4th December 2011
We are starting off with an early beach walk and clean up followed by a festive breakfast braai at Janice Albertyn's house. We do hope those of you who live further away will join us so that we may get to know you better over the coals!

For those who are joining in the beach clean up, meeting times are as follows:
Napier at the Engen garage at 08h15 or from Bredasdorp at the BP garage at 08h30. If you are from elsewhere, meet at the parking area at Agulhas lighthouse at 09h00. Please bring gloves. You may prefer to cut straight to the social festivities and join us at the braai which is at 11h00 at 13 High Level Road, Agulhas (at the 4-way stop at the Friendly Grocer turn towards the west (hill) into School St, take 4th left (High Level) and 4th on left is No. 13). As we will provide all the food, please book by no later than 18th November for catering purposes. We are just asking for a contribution payable on the day of R30 a head for members and R35 for non-members

RSVP: Lyn Hawkins 028 423 3672 / 083 256 1158
    Sarah Foyle 028 423 3358 / 073 265 4643
    Louise Hislop 028 423 3512 / 073 196 2157

Menu: Pork sausages, boerewors, bacon, tomato and onion, herby scrambled eggs, rolls, croissants, orange juice and champagne, tea/coffee.

Agri Dwala farming initialtive.
Interested in knowing more about this initiative taking place right here in the Napier district? Louise Hislop pointed out that there is now a new video on Youtube explaining what this is all about. Go to http://youtu.be/1J9iP0ErgvI and see for yourself!

SAARP of Napier
Lindy Warren sent the following update on the proposed formation of a local group of the South African Association of Retired People (SAARP). The response to our Call for Interest was amazing and a meeting has been scheduled as follows:
Date: 30 November 2011
Venue: Huis Klippedrift Lounge, Sarel Cilliers Street, Napier
Time: 10h30-12h00
Teas: R10 per person
Ingrid Green, chairlady of SAARP Hermanus, will address the meeting following being given the mandate to assist with the launch of our very own SAARP Napier. The agenda will be in the form of an information session, membership drive and planning for 2012.

To book your seat, please RSVP to:
Lindy Warren - Napier Media House 028 423 3834 or 08444 22010 info@napiertourism.co.za
For further information contact Ingrid Green
Chairlady (SAARP) - Hermanus (028) 316 2390/082 552 0655 or email: ingridgreen@hermanus.co.za

Games people play
David Jones from Boot Up has the following suggestion:
We already have bridge clubs in Napier, but what about a canasta club - or a backgammon club. These clubs can be held at different venues and tournament could be organized with neighbouring towns. Anyone intested? Drop the Natter a mail - suggestions most welcome!

The Gentleman's Game
In a previous issue of the Natter we highlighted an initiative to teach the local kids of Napier and Nuwerus the game of cricket - and to help keep them off the streets. Frank Hawkes and Julian Reed are very much at the forefront of this initiative and here is an update:
Did you know that we have budding under 11 and under 13 cricketers from the Protea Primary school in Nuwerus? The chaps are coached by Frank Hawkes, Kathy Hardy and myself. Frank initiated this very worthwhile endeavor and has raised enough money to buy cricketing kit as well as trousers and hats.
We played our first game on Friday and Saturday 4th and 5th November against Bastian school under 11A team from Cape Town. Our team was resplendent in their white kit and big smiles and they were bursting with enthusiasm. The Bastian boys were well drilled and a very serious opposition. In a 25 over match on the Friday they thoroughly beat our valiant team. On the Saturday in a 15 over game our lads showed their mettle and lost by only 1 run.

The Bastian school kindly provided both teams with boerewors rolls after the game on Saturday. All the children had a great time and are eager to play against other teams. Frank is hard at work trying to organise the next match and has taken 4 deserving boys to the first day of the test match against Australia at Newlands.

We practice most Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, either in the nets or on the pitch at the cricket ground. In the short time we have been coaching the boys they have improved their cricketing skills remarkably.
For future matches that we play on our home ground we would be very grateful if we could get sponsorship from businesses in our village to provide drinks and eats for both teams. It would also be great if folk from the village turn up to support our team. We will endeavor to advertise upcoming matches in good time. If there are any present or past cricket enthusiasts out there who would be willing to help coaching they would be most welcome.
Julian Reed : 028 4233484 072 1940616

Dog owners be advised!

Spirocerca lupi in Dogs - By Rosalind Stone
When I was a student studying veterinary nursing at Onderstepoort all those years ago our professor of entomology said that although we should take note, it was unlikely that we would ever actually see a case. Over the intervening decades, however, the incidence of Spirocerca lupi in dogs has risen sharply, most notably during the past few years, and especially in KZN and Gauteng, although it is suspected that fewer cases are being reported in the other provinces simply because it is not being correctly diagnosed.

Recent events have caused me to do some in depth research and I am fairly convinced that it is widespread and far more common than originally suspected.

What is it and how is it spread?
It is a worm which is spread by various species of dung beetles, and for quite some time it was assumed to be limited to rural areas, especially where there are cattle and sheep. However more recent research indicates that this is not necessarily the case and an increasing number of urban dogs are presenting with the condition. One theory is that declining standards in our abattoirs is allowing infected animals to pass through the system, effectively ending up on your plate and in your dogs bowl! NEVER feed your dogs' raw meat of any description! (and consider going adopting a vegan diet yourself - sorry, just indulging in a passion of mine!)
Further research by the clever doctors at Onderstepoort now reveals that certain animals may be acting as intermediary hosts - these include lizards, mice, wild birds and, most notably, the common Hadeda, which would explain the prevalence of the condition in urban Johannesburg, where most dogs never leave their own gardens and are fed, by and large, on commercial dry dog food.
Dogs become infected through eating the intermediary host, or its faeces, or through picking up the worm eggs which remain on the lawn and in pastures.

What does it do once inside the dog?
These are clever little blighters who like to travel, beginning their journey in your dogs' stomach, they then migrate into the aorta (the biggest blood vessel in the body) where they hang around for several weeks, maturing. While many dogs show no symptoms during this phase, the thinning of the aortic wall can cause an aneurism or rupture, in which case a perfectly healthy dog will die, typically within a matter of minutes! Unless a complete autopsy is performed, including extensive examination of the chest cavity, the cause of sudden death will remain a mystery. When the worms have matured to the next stage they embark on another journey, most typically into the oesophagus (the pipe connecting the mouth to the stomach) During this migratory phase dogs may have an unexplained fever as the body fights off infection around the minute holes which have been bored through the oesophageal wall. A blood smear will reveal increased White Blood Cells indicating that the body is waging war! There may be no other symptoms at this stage although most dogs will go off their food as a result of the fever and generally feeling unwell. Once in the oesophagus the worms burrow into the wall and continue to grow, forming nodules within the tube, most frequently below the heart. Obviously these nodules cause pain and irritation, and eventually begin to block the passage of food into the stomach.

At this point the dog may begin to vomit, or regurgitate after eating, or simply show a preference for soft foods. They might also turn away from their bowl before they have finished eating as the sensation of food in the oesophagus becomes uncomfortable. However this often only manifests once the nodules have reached a substantial size: one positively diagnosed dog in Cape Town showed no loss of appetite or vomiting, but was presented to the vet because he brought up a small amount of bile during the night, almost every night, and the owners got tired of mopping it up every morning! He clearly just had severe "heartburn" as a result of the lesions, which was causing him to cough up the bile, and the intensive tests revealed Spirocerca lupi.

Once the mass in the oesophagus reaches a certain size it will be impossible for the dog to swallow, and he will loose weight and become listless. In a number of cases these nodules become cancerous and then there is little that can be done to save the dog.

In retrospect I suspect that several dogs in Nuwerus may have been suffering from Spirocerca lupi: clinically the dogs were emaciated, ate only small amounts of food, but had no fever or biliary. On examination there was also no obvious pain in the mouth or abdominal pain and/or blockage. In at least three cases I was unable to hear heart sounds and the dogs were showing difficulty in breathing. When the number of worms breaking through into the oesophagus increases there is a higher risk of infection leaking into the chest cavity and causing a pyothorax! Unfortunately when they were taken to the vet by AACL volunteers, all were euthanased without a proper diagnosis being made (Please note: this is not a criticism as the decision not to undergo expensive tests was well justified, coupled with the fact that information supplied by the owners is often unreliable. I mention it purely because it supports the theory that cases are simply not being diagnosed, as opposed to the myth that the condition does not exist!) Sometimes, however, the journey does not go according to the text books, and worms end up in other parts of the body. Very occasionally they might settle in other blood vessels and cause problems there, but they also sometimes migrate into the vertebral column (spine, back bone) where they may present as prolapsed discs or an intervertebral abscess: the dog will obviously show pain, especially when jumping in and out of the car, or onto furniture, or if pressure is put on that particular area. For some reason this seems to be more common in German Shepherd Dogs, who have a propensity for prolapsed discs and spondilitis anyway, which might again cause the presence of Spirocerca lupi to be overlooked. Another symptom in advanced cases is thickening/swelling of the legs - this is called Marie's Syndrome and occurs as a result of pressure on the nerves as they pass through the chest cavity. In this case the pressure will be as a result of large nodules, which can reach the size of a grapefruit!

How is Spirocerca lupi accurately diagnosed?
Although it is a worm the normal diagnostic method of faecal flotation is unreliable for two reasons: firstly the eggs tend to be heavy and drop, and secondly because relatively few eggs are discharged, meaning that the test may have to be repeated at daily intervals for a week or even more.

Barium X-rays will sometimes show the lesions and nodules in the oesophagus, usually in the space between the heart and the stomach, especially if the condition is advanced and the nodules are quite large. In areas where the vets are seeing several cases this is often used as diagnostic proof and the treatment is started. Sometimes the vet will send the dog to a specialist physician for an endoscope and biopsies, but this can be hugely expensive and beyond the budget of many dog owners. Sadly a great number of cases are only diagnosed on autopsy but since many owners elect to get on with their grieving without ever knowing the cause of disease or death, autopsies are not routinely performed.

What can you, as owner, look out for?

  • Any reluctance to eat, or preference for soft foods, or wanting to eat but turning away after only a small amount
  • Pausing or hesitating before drinking water
  • Licking the lips and swallowing repeatedly in the absence of food (as if something is stuck in the oesophagus)
  • Excessive licking of the paws - this is due to a tingling sensation associated with Marie's Syndrome mentioned above, but before the swelling becomes apparent.
  • Swollen salivary glands or excessive salivation (drooling from the mouth, over and above the normal drool appropriate for the breed!)
  • Unexplained, intermittent high temperature
  • Pain in the spine or lameness
  • Vomiting and regurgitation
  • Dyspnoea or difficulty in breathing, may be due to displacement of the trachea or an infection within the thoracic cavity.

What is the treatment?
If you notice any of the above symptoms take your dog to the vet and mention that you are concerned about exposure to Spirocerca lupi. I will stick my neck out here and suggest that if your vet laughs at you, either urge him/her to look at the latest findings from Onderstepoort or go to another vet! (please don't tell your vet I said so)

Although the mortality rate is high this is largely due to the condition not being timely diagnosis. The most effective treatment is through the administration of a drug called doramectin which must be injected by your vet (the recommended dose is available from OP) over a period of several weeks. However this drug is not registered for use in dogs and there is a very small risk involved (Onderstepoort is aware of very few adverse reactions and several vets are using it routinely without any problems)

PLEASE NOTE: UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES MUST THIS DRUG BE GIVEN TO COLLIES, BORDER COLLIES, AUSTRALIAN CATTLE DOGS OR ANY OF THE HERDING BREEDS - THEY HAVE A SPECIFIC GENE AND ARE UNABLE TO TOLERATE IT! This may or may not include German Shepherd Dogs - there is a test for the gene marker but it may be safer to go with the slightly less effective alternative.

If properly treated the dogs regain full health, and the nodules themselves reduce in size over a period of time. In resistant cases it may be necessary to repeat the course of treatment.

What can you do to prevent it?

  • Never feed raw meat of any description
  • Be aware of exposure - if your dogs walk where there have been livestock, look out for the symptoms mentioned above. Also if you have Hadedas visiting your garden. In KZN the beaches are suspected of being a source of infection too, and there is no reason why this shouldn't be the case in the Cape too.
  • In areas when a great number of cases are being seen, vets are recommending a prophylactic course of treatment every 6 months
  • Although this is a nematode (worm) ordinary de-worming tablets will not kill Spirocerca lupi, with the exception of Milbemax (milbemycin) which is available only from your vet. Unfortunately it will not kill the adult worms, and is only effective during the development stages. For this reason it should be given every three months as a preventative measure.

Please feel free to pass this on to all your dog-loving friends, wherever they may be in the country. Should you have any queries you are welcome to email me at rosalinds@telkomsa.net

This weekend in Napier
Two Troubadours - Valiant Swart & Bill Knight
19 Nov 2011 at 8pm
Suntouched Inn, Napier.
Cover charge R80
Enquiries: 028 423 3131

The last laugh

Ellen Degeneres Quotes:

  • I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it's such a beautiful animal. There you go. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her.
  • People always ask me, 'Were you funny as a child?' Well, no, I was an accountant.
  • You have to stay in shape. My grandmother, she started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She's 97 today and we don't know where the hell she is.

Food for thought

Food is an important part of a balanced diet. - Fran Lebowitz - writer and humorist

My favorite animal is steak. - Fran Lebowitz - writer and humorist

Music with dinner is an insult both to the cook and the violinist. G. K. Chesterton

If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. - J. R. R. Tolkien

Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.- Albert Einstein

Health food makes me sick. - Calvin Trillin

Today in History (16 Nov)

  • 13 - Tiberius' triumphant procession through Rome after siege of Germany
  • 1824 - NY City's Fifth Avenue opens for business
  • 1945 - UNESCO is founded.
  • 1963 - Touch-tone telephone introduced
  • 1974 - 1st intentional interstellar radio message sent, Arecibo telescope towards M 41, a cluster of stars some 25,000 light years away
  • 1982 - Space Shuttle Columbia completes its 1st operational flight
  • 1989 - S Afr Pres FW de Klerk announces scrapping of Separate Amenities Act
  • 2000 - Bill Clinton becomes the first U.S. President to visit Vietnam since the end of the Vietnam War.

The Napier Natter appreciates your feedback, comments and idea's. Keep them coming.
Until next time

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