Nov 20, 2009

Rain falls gently today

Feels like Spring, not November. Warm showers.
I am thinking about the safety of place, looking at patterns and analyzing what to change.
Discussion of place and attachment to land must include my four-legged companions I would imagine.

My best lil buddy, Opal, precious gem, has been ill with what I am beginning to think could be an environmental hazard. In the last 3 months she has had HGE ("Hemorrhagic GastroEnteritis (HGE) in dogs is a sudden-onset episode of vomiting and diarrhea, often very bloody in nature.")
My other dog also was treated for vomiting and diarrhea symptoms in the last year.
I look at the bucket of water left outside for them, handy in a hot summer for them to drink. It is galvanized metal, made in China. When combined with the ground water, heavy in calcium carbonates (limestone), what you end up with is a chemistry experiment. CaCO3- commonly found in our "hard" drinking water, but excessive consumption can be hazardous.
So in my mind, all my experience is computing the equation...caves form from ground water eroding through rock, drip, drip, drip. Corrosive effect of acidic water so great it cuts through bedrock!
The cogs turn slowly in my brain.
Another small bit of information. Zinc-coated birdcages imported from China have killed many a parrot, so that warnings have gone out to be careful not to poison birds with zinc....
tick, tick, tick...
Zinc is what the water bucket is coated with. Zinc is even needed in plant and living does it become toxic to life?
I found warnings online about preventing dogs from eating pennies...
Swallowing a post-1982 American one cent piece (97.5% zinc) can cause damage to the stomach lining due to the high solubility of the zinc ion in the acidic stomach.
but nowhere did I find a connection to galvanized buckets being a problem.
I think that may be the source of my dogs' HGE.
Galvanized water bucket for outdoor water.
I think I can connect the dots on this one and can say that I will replace the outdoor bucket with stainless steel.
Observing patterns in nature, human behavior and animal behavior is the hallmark of the scientist.
I'd like to shout out a warning against using galvanized buckets for dog water.

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