Studies from the dissections of the male and female rats’ urogenital systems

***EDIT*** vasculature that runs behind the testes is misrepresented. The testicular v. should be the vein paired with the spermatic cord, the spermatic v. should be very thin and lying over the spermatic cord and the larger vein is the left iliac v (and should be running into the left leg)****

Bear’s paw sign - refers to a distinctive cross-sectional imaging appearance of the kidney in xanthogranulomatous pyelonephritis.  In this chronic granulomatous disease the kidney is progressively replaced by a mass of reactive tissue appearing like the pads of a bear’s paw. The disease is almost always incited by staghorn calculi as was the case for this patient.

It’s Medical Mnemonics Monday!

Renal Papillary Necrosis is a form of nephropathy characterized by coagulative necrosis of the renal medullary pyramids and papillae.  Causes of Papillary Necrosis can be remembered by the mnemonic “POSTCARDS”.

  • Pyelonephritis
  • Obstruction of the urogenital tract
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Tuberculosis
  • Chronic liver disease,
  • Analgesia/alcohol abuse,
  • Renal transplant rejection
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Systemic vasculitis

Check out the list of the previous Medical Mnemonics here.

Healing with Aventurine 

Color: Green, blue, red, brown, peach

Appearance: Opaque, speckled with shiny particles, all sizes, often tumbled

Rarity: Readily available

Source: Italy, Brazil, China, India, Russia, Tibet, Nepal

Healing: Aventurine benefits the thymus gland, connective tissue, and nervous system; it balances blood pressure and stimulates the metabolism, lowering cholesterol and preventing arteriosclerosis and heart attacks. It has an anti-inflammatory effect and helps ease skin eruptions and allergies, relieves migraine headaches, and soothes the eyes. Aventurine heals the adrenals, lungs, sinuses, heart and muscular and urogenital systems. As an elixir, it relieves skin problems. 

Position: Hold or place on appropriate point. 

(Source: The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall)

Trichomonas vaginalis is a protozoan parasite of the urogenital tract in men and women and causes a sexually transmitted disease, trichomoniasis, in about half of infected women. Infections are associated with pelvic inflammatory disease, adverse pregnancy outcomes, infertility, an increased incidence of aggressive prostate cancers, and an increase in HIV-1 transmission.

Image: Scanning electron micrograph of Trichomonas vaginalis (yellow-green) with epithelial cells (pink) where adhesion of the parasites to host cells is seen.

I can’t wait to become an academic so that one day I can say “the cloaca is the combination pizza hut/taco bell of urogenital openings” to a room full of college students that are paying way too much to hear me talk about fish

Environmental changes connected to spike in infectious disease

National Museum of Natural History scientist Bert Van Bocxlaer and an international team of researchers revealed that anthropogenic changes in Africa’s Lake Malaŵi are a driving force behind the increase of urogenital schistosomiasis, a debilitating tropical disease caused by parasitic flatworms. Scientists estimate that 250 million people are affected by schistosomiasis worldwide, and 600 million more are at risk of contracting it. In some villages along the shorelines of Lake Malaŵi, 73 percent of the people and up to 94 percent of the schoolchildren are infected with urogenital schistosomiasis, one of several forms of the disease. Van Bocxlaer’s research suggests that this spike in infection is directly linked to an increase in human populations and agricultural activities near Lake Malaŵi, and may include a change in the dietary preferences of mollusk-eating fishes. Details from this study and recommendations to reduce the prevalence of urogenital schistosomiasis are published in the May 2014 issue of Trends in Parasitology.

Bert Van Bocxlaer, Christian Albrecht, Jay R. Stauffer. Growing population and ecosystem change increase human schistosomiasis around Lake Malaŵi. Trends in Parasitology, 2014; 30 (5): 217 DOI: 10.1016/j.pt.2014.02.006

Pairs of adult schistosomes mate inside humans infected with schistosomiasis when a thin female worm nestles in the body groove of a sturdy male. Credit: Courtesy of Beltran et al. (2008), PlosOne 3(10): e3328

MY BABY BRUCE IS GOING TO LIVE! I’M SO BESIDE MYSELF WITH HAPPINESS! i unfortunately, heartbreakingly, brought bruce into the vet tonight with the expectation that he would have to be put to sleep because of a reoccurring urogenital emergency. the staff here have literally worked magic and are saving his life for almost nothing. i’m so thankful. many tears have been shed today and this perfect, absolutely wonderful kitty is going to be out of pain and comes home tomorrow! so many thanks to @jwkepler and @spookyfemme for staying with me and keeping bruce and me company.

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Killer Whale Breeding/ Inbreeding

I see a lot of lies and basic BS floating around about inbreeding in Killer Whales, so here:

Killer whales are highly sexual animals, We are completely aware of that. They don’t have sex with their mothers to produce offspring, though. Makaio inserts his penis into his mother. That is engaging in sexual intercourse, not sexual play. Here’s a study:

“During associations among males many chasing, rubbing, and splashing behaviors were observed, so these associations were placed in the play category. Urogenital orientations and penile displays were also observed among males. In 76.6% (N=47) of all occasions when an erect penis was observed and all individuals and their sexes were known the group consisted of males only…(you can read more…) on seven occasions a juvenile female was present among a group of males engaged in beak-genital orientations and penile displays. Three intersexual associations involved penile displays from a young bull, once with a post-reproductive female(possible mother) and twice with maturing females.”

That study was done on residents, and that is a normal sexual display and penile presentation.I’m not sure where you are seeing studies on 3 year old whales inserting their penises into their mothers to try to mate in the wild…Katina and Taku had sexual intercourse to produce Nalani.Taku was directly her offspring, that would never happen in a wild population and we know that because of science, and the researchers out there doing the good work:

Another studydone on a northeastern population of orcas was focused around their mating and breeding habits and concluded:  

"Gene flow between sub populations is restricted. The so-called resident population is characterised by an unusual social system in which a mother’s male and female offspring remain with her for life. Consanguineous matings are rare, and inbreeding is avoided effectively by a system of mate choice that appears to hinge on the fact that acoustic repertoire similarity and relatedness are correlated.
The feature of killer whale social organization that is hardest to understand, and one for which there are no obvious human parallels, is the non-dispersal of residents. I have shown that residents outbreed very efficiently in the complete absence of dispersal. What is puzzling is that no other mammals (with the likely exception of the long-finned pilot whale,Amos et al. 1993) are known to have developed the same way of reaping the benefits of remaining permanently in the natal group without suffering inbreeding costs. Inbreeding avoidance behaviours are likely to be stronger in females than in males, because of inherent differences between males and females in the variability of reproductive success (eggs are costly, sperm is cheap). Therefore, the absence of intra-pod matings found in this study suggests that the mating system is based on female choice. Female choice systems are common in mammals, but so are coercive matings (Clutton-Brock and Parker 1995). My results suggest that successful coercive matings must be extremely rare in killer whales, a condition that is presumably a prerequisite for females to tolerate the presence of closely related adult males.

I found no potential paternal matches within matrilines and only one of 19 within a pod. It therefore appears that matings occur during temporary associations between pods, and that incestuous breeding is avoided in this manner rather than by dispersal.

Inbreeding depression encompasses a wide variety of physical and health defects. Any given inbred animal generally has several, but not all, of these defects. These defects include:

  •     Elevated incidence of recessive genetic diseases,
  •     Reduced fertility both in litter size and in sperm viability,
  •     Increased congenital defects such as cryptorchidism, heart defects, cleft palates, Fluctuating assymetry (such as crooked faces, or uneven eye placement and size), lower birth weight, higher neonatal mortality, slower growth rate, smaller adult size, and loss of immune system function.

Taken from a facebook group, some very sound advice:
“About three-fourths of the way down a snake’s body are a pair of adrenal glands commonly called “stress glands.” These glands are found closely associated with the gonads (testes or ovaries) and urogenital structures (kidneys and ureters). The adrenals are pinkish, tubelike structures found adjacent to, or just in front of, the gonads. These glands are very important and function similar to the mammalian glands. When a reptile is stressed, the adrenal glands produce corticosterone, a type of steroid. This is important because the hormone suppresses an animal’s immune system, thus making it more susceptible to disease."We MUST do what we can to minimize stress. Even if an animal appears to be fine, you are potentially setting the snake up for illness or reducing the life span by putting them in stressful situation. We all realize that some stressful situations cannot be avoided. HOWEVER, when we know we can avoid it, that is the choice we need to make. http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Kid-Corner/Beyond-Beginners/Snake-Anatomy-Immune/ “ - Adrian Laura Berg