Dog survives after 4-inch BBQ skewer pierces kidney

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A 9-year-old dog in the United Kingdom is lucky to be alive after swallowing a wooden kebab skewer which later pierced through her kidney.

Last month, the Yorkshire terrier Lilly began showing signs of discomfort, such as vomiting and diarrhea. She also had a fever. When her owner Norma Mackay took her to a veterinarian in Dewsbury, West Yorks, an ultrasound revealed a sharp object had pierced through one of the dog’s kidneys.


Lilly made a swift recovery and went home the day after surgery.

“It was on this ultrasound scan that the stick could be seen passing through her left kidney. We were all stunned. None of us have ever encountered something like this before,” Natalie McQuire, a veterinarian who treated Lilly, told South West News Service (SWNS), a British news agency.

The skewer can be seen in an ultrasound image.

The dog required surgery to remove the four-inch skewer, which she likely ate when Mackay held a barbecue roughly four weeks before Lilly fell ill. Veterinarians said the skewer passed through Lilly’s intestine, across her abdomen, and through her kidney, according to SWNS.

The 4-inch long skewer and the pierced kidney which had to be removed.

“Lilly underwent surgery to remove the stick, which was found to have passed all the way through the kidney and was sticking out from either side. Unfortunately, due to the skewer’s length and the damage caused, it was not possible to save the affected kidney so this was removed at the same time,” added McQuire.


The surgery was a success and Lilly is now recovering.

“Lilly made a fantastic recovery from her surgery. She was kept overnight on intravenous fluids to help support her remaining kidney before being sent home the following day,” McQuire said. “Her owner was as surprised as everyone else at the findings.”

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11 Tips for Running Faster & Safer With a Stroller

The lure of running is that you can do it anywhere or anytime — all you need are shoes. But once you have kids, the spontaneous nature of going on a run tends to evaporate. Beyond getting back into running after you have a baby, there’s the new skill of learning to run with your baby. I had plenty of runs with my babies where I had to sprint home because they got hungry or bag it completely because they didn’t want to sit still. But I’ve learned a few tricks over the years from fellow mother runners and experts that have helped me go the distance, get a good workout and have fun along the way — and these tips can help you, too.

Pack a Lot of Stuff

The golden rule of taking kids anywhere is to pack a lot of stuff for them. Stroller running is no exception. So bring a sippy cup of water, books — even crayons and small toys. They can do, surprisingly a lot in the comfort of a stroller. For babies, bring a mini-diaper bag with diapers, wipes, a nursing cover, light blanket and a full bottle if your baby takes one.

“If you bring a tablet for your toddler, make sure it has a protective case if it happens to get dropped or thrown out,” advises Erica Hopper, a mom of two.

Protect Baby’s Head and Neck

Since small babies can’t sit up or hold up their own heads, you can’t really put them in a jogging stroller until they’re about 6 months old — unless your stroller has a car seat adapter. The car seat keeps your baby’s head from bouncing around too much. “You can add extra support by using a snuzzler which provides padding around the head and neck,” suggests Gina Rouse, a mom of three. Always strap in your baby to prevent falls.

Put Safety First

Keep safety top of mind when jogging with your child: Make sure your jogging stroller has a safety wrist strap that attaches to the handlebar (or, if it doesn’t, buy one) and always use it. Another safety tip: Some running strollers allow you to lock the front wheel to keep it from turning suddenly during a run. Once you’ve gotten on your route, do this. I once hit a small rock and the stroller jolted to the side suddenly, waking a peacefully sleeping baby.

Dress Baby Wisely

Remember that while you may stay toasty warm from all that running, your kid may get cold, so dress them for the weather. Consider buying a protective shield if it’s going to be windy or rainy. On hot days, overheating can be a problem, so don’t overdress your baby, apply sunscreen and use a stroller visor or sunshield to keep them shaded.

Take the Road Less Traveled

Avoid roads with lots of traffic. A truck driver once tried to run me off the road while shouting obscenities. I learned my lesson that it’s safer to be on roads with fewer cars and trucks.

Make It Fun

There’s one key way you can keep up your running routine — and that’s to make it fun for your kid. Count squirrels with your kid, look for dogs and cats, play “I spy” or try to wave to as many people as possible. “I run my kids past entertaining spots like construction sites or end at a playground,” says mom of two Lindsay Adams. She also listens to music and sings songs with her boys during runs.

Watch Your Form

Running with a stroller is hard work and some people tend to hunch over. Patrick Gildea, director and head coach of the Knoxville Distance Project, advises moms to think about proper running form: try to run upright to avoid low back and hamstring injuries and switch arms every 15 minutes to balance the body. “When you switch, it will feel awkward and you’ll have the temptation to switch back,” he says. “But give your body some time to adjust.”

Don’t Stress About Speed

Several studies have found that running with a stroller is harder than running without one. So don’t expect to run your usual pace. If you want to ensure you’re getting the same workout, focus on heart rate. For a training run such as a tempo or endurance power workout, aim to have your heart rate at 85 to 88 percent of your max heart rate, says Bobby Holcombe, running coach and founder of Knoxville Endurance. Your max heart rate is roughly 220 minus your age.

Time It Right

“If you’re running with a baby, make sure he or she is fed before you head out,” says Laura Finch, mom of two. This will help prevent interruptions. Also, if you want to get extra miles in, run right before nap time because there’s a good chance your babe will doze off in the stroller thanks to the motion.

Curb Your Expectations

“You may head out the door planning on a 5-mile run,” says Katie Taylor, mom of one. “Your kid may have other plans. That’s okay!” The days of you being in control of your mileage will come back. For now, be flexible.

Change Your Mindset

For many people, running is a chance to have peace and quiet. That’s probably not going to be the case when you’re running with your kids. Instead of looking at it as a disruption of “me time,” view it as a special time with you and your loves.

“Yes, it’s hard. Yes, they are heavy. Yes, they bicker and ask for more snacks than you could possibly imagine but it’s still worth it,” says Sarah Merrick, mom of twins. “Because I get to share my time and my sport with my little ones and show them what strong looks like.”

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Should You Take CBD for Arthritis Pain? A New Guide Aims to Help You Decide

In a nod to the reality that people with arthritis are turning to cannabidiol (CBD) to quell pain and manage other symptoms, the Arthritis Foundation has released guidance to help them better understand this trendy compound and the risks associated with it.

Little research has been done on CBD in humans — and none on people with arthritis, the foundation asserts. Still, they wanted to look closely at this supplement because of its increasing popularity.

“Patients are not waiting for more research. They are using CBD now,” says Marcy O’Koon, the senior director of consumer health at the Arthritis Foundation, in Atlanta. “We realized it was upon us to develop something to help people to be safe, to not fall prey to aggressive marketing and inaccurate claims,” she says.

What Is CBD, and Why Has Its Popularity Soared?

CBD is one of the many chemicals known as cannabinoids that occur naturally in the cannabis plant, which includes both hemp and marijuana. Most of the CBD available in stores and online is made from hemp, a plant that does not contain much tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the chemical in marijuana that’s responsible for making people high.

Consumers’ usage of CBD has exploded in recent years. Whereas few people had even heard of CBD a few years ago, now it is poised to become a $22 billion business by 2022, according to the Brightfield Group, an industry analyst. One reason for the growth: The latest Farm Bill finally made hemp legal in the United States, removing it from the prohibited Schedule 1 category of drugs that includes marijuana and ecstasy. And, of course, in states where medical or recreational marijuana are now legal, CBD (with or without THC) can be purchased in dispensaries.

CBD Is Already Widely Used by People With Arthritis

Even without studies showing that it works for arthritis, people with the condition are diving into the marketplace. A survey by California researchers of nearly 2,500 respondents, published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research in July 2018, found that chronic pain and joint pain are the top two medical conditions for which people take CBD. The next three — anxiety, depression, and insomnia — also affect many people with arthritis.

The Arthritis Foundation conducted its own online survey this past July, of 2,600 people with arthritis. Because these people elected to be in the survey, the results are not necessarily representative of everyone with arthritis. Still, the survey found that 79 percent of respondents had tried CBD or were considering using it, primarily to relieve pain, the most burdensome arthritis symptom.

Nearly 30 percent of respondents said they were currently using CBD, and three out of four of them reported getting relief. Not only had their physical function and morning stiffness improved, many said it helped them sleep or be less fatigued, or reduced symptoms of anxiety or depression.

Research on CBD Severely Limited

The Arthritis Foundation is clear that its guidelines are not meant as an endorsement of CBD. “The guidance was worded very carefully. We are not trying to suggest that it is effective or absolutely safe. We are projecting the state of knowledge as it is,” O’Koon says.

Unfortunately, that state of knowledge is sparse. As the guidelines note, “Animal studies have suggested that CBD has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, but these effects have not been validated in quality studies in humans.”

Using CBD Safely When You Have Arthritis

Still, the Arthritis Foundation wants to help consumers navigate this often-fraught marketplace as best as they can. Important advice from their guidelines includes:

Go low and slow. Without adequate research, there are no established clinical guidelines for how much CBD to take. Start with a low dose of just a few milligrams, adding a few more after a week. If that doesn’t help, go up in small increments in the next several weeks. If that brings relief, continue taking that dose twice daily to maintain a stable level of CBD in the blood.

You can currently find CBD in lotions, suppositories, food, edibles, vaping, and other means. The Arthritis Foundation recommends avoiding all these delivery systems. Instead, they suggest swallowing CBD in capsules, or using a spray or tincture under the tongue (known as sublingual delivery) and holding it there for a minute or two.

Don’t shun DMARDs. “CBD should never be used to replace disease-modifying drugs that help prevent permanent joint damage in inflammatory types of arthritis,” the guidelines state. CBD might help with the symptoms of arthritis, but there is no evidence it can alter the course of your disease, O’Koon emphasizes.

And even though your doctor may not know much about this substance, it’s important to keep your medical care provider informed. “CBD use should be discussed with your doctor in advance, with follow-up evaluations every three months or so, as would be done for any new treatment,” the guidelines state.

Beware of drug interactions. One important reason to discuss CBD with your doctor is that scientists have identified many classes of drugs that theoretically might interact with CBD, impacting the drug’s effectiveness.

For people with arthritis, medications that might raise concern are corticosteroids (such as prednisone), tofacitinib (Xeljanz), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib (Celebrex), tramadol (Ultram), certain antidepressants, including amitriptyline (Elavil), citalopram (Celexa), fluoxetine (Prozac), mirtazapine (Remeron), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), and certain medications that are sometimes prescribed for fibromyalgia, including gabapentin (Neurontin), and pregabalin (Lyrica).

This doesn’t mean you must avoid CBD if you are on these medicines, O’Koon says, but it’s important for you and your doctor to pay closer attention to symptoms and side effects.

Shop very carefully. CBD is currently sold in all kinds of shops — not just dispensaries but also hair salons, restaurants, health-food stores, spas, and more. Because CBD products are largely unregulated in the United States, the range of quality of these products varies tremendously.

In some cases, CBD products are even mislabeled or, worse, adulterated. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2017 found that of the 84 CBD products the researchers bought online, a whopping 43 percent had more CBD than indicated, while 26 percent had less. Eighteen of the products contained unexpected THC.

“There’s a 75 percent chance of getting a product where the CBD is mislabeled,” says Jahan Marcu, PhD, one of the study’s coauthors and a cofounder of the International Research Center on Cannabis and Mental Health in New York City. Dr. Marcu also worries about possible contaminants in CBD products made from hemp, because the plant readily absorbs pesticides, heavy metals, and other harmful substances.

The Arthritis Foundation urges consumers to buy from companies that take steps indicating they care about quality. These include following good manufacturing practices established by the FDA for pharmaceuticals or dietary supplements; testing each batch it manufactures and providing a certificate of analysis for each test from a reputable independent lab; and manufacturing its products in the United States, with ingredients grown domestically.

Know when it’s not for you. Good-quality CBD can be expensive, especially if you take it regularly. That’s why the Arthritis Foundation says that to avoid wasting money, “be completely sure that the product is truly having a positive effect on symptoms.”

O’Koon suggests keeping a diary of whether and how your symptoms change. After six to eight weeks, you should notice some differences.

If you don’t, and if you live in a state where medical or recreational marijuana is legal, you might try a marijuana-based product that adds very-low-dose THC to the CBD, the Arthritis Foundation guidelines suggest. This is because some think THC and CBD might enhance one another, boosting their effectiveness.

But if after a few months of trial you’re still not feeling relief, it’s time to throw in the towel. “If you’re not experiencing any benefit, there’s no reason to keep taking it,” O’Koon says.

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