1. Diabetes-Attack Preventing Dogs

10 Bizarre Medical Treatments Involving Animals

bug of the week

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Humans have long depended on the natural world as the source of our most powerful treatments, from the use of sheep-gut thread to sew wounds up in ancient times, to the bacteria-killing properties of penicillin discovered in the first half of the 20th century. Yet, whether everyday or downright disgusting, some of these remedies can be pretty surprising to Western eyes. In Cambodia, for instance, cattle are sacred animals, and itÕs apparently considered quite healthy to drink cow urine. And, unbelievably enough, the techniques used for modern heart and lung transplants were partly inspired by Soviet experiments in creating two-headed dogs during the 1950s. We list our top ten strangest medical treatments involving animals.

10. Fish Psoriasis Treatments

Fish Psoriasis Treatment

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Originating in Turkey, fish therapy is a relatively common treatment for the symptoms of skin conditions like psoriasis. The patient immerses their affected locations in mineral water containing the fish, which proceed to slough off dead skin with their mouths in their quest for food Ð a bit like a more beneficial school of piranhas! Doctor fish (Garra rufa obtusas), the species used, is believed to nibble away the dead and unhealthy skin while leaving healthy skin untouched. This practice has been banned in some of the US provinces due sanitary concerns but is still legal in the UK and other countries.

9. Bee Venom Arthritis Treatment

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Bee stings may be painful, but apparently they can also soothe the joints of those affected by rheumatoid arthritis. A number of alternative medicine systems, including Chinese traditional medicine, use live bee stings to treat the condition Ð as well as shingles and eczema. Amazingly enough, a study by the University of San Paulo in 2010 found that bee venom produces higher levels of inflammation-preventing hormones, supporting claims that practitioners have been making for centuries. Their findings showed that bee stings may not only alleviate the symptoms of arthritis, but may also even prevent it from taking hold in the first place!

8. Snake Massage

Snake Massage

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Anyone interested in a really unconventional massage should check out Ms. Ada BarakÕs snake salon in Israel, which offers clients a sensual back rub from up to six serpents at once. Various species are used, including California and Florida king snakes, corn snakes, and milk snakes, with the larger species being used to treat deep muscle cramps and pain and their smaller counterparts to create a ÒflutteringÓ effect. Ms. Barak said that she got the idea from observing that her friends tended to become more relaxed after holding her collection of snakes for an extended period of time. At $70 a session, itÕs also a bit cheaper than some of the other therapies on this list!

7. Maggot Debridement Therapy

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In maggot debridement therapy, fly larvae are placed in a wound, where they secrete digestive juices that break down dead flesh while leaving healthy tissues intact. Throughout history, many cultures have used this treatment, from ancient Aboriginal tribes, to surgeons of the Napoleonic era and American Civil War period. As disgusting as it may look, this form of therapy is gaining ground again amongst physicians, thanks to its efficiency in cleaning wounds. A study carried out in Caen, France in 2012 found that patients’ wounds treated with maggots were cleansed significantly faster and had less dead tissue than those treated with more conventional methods, and with no increase in pain. Anecdotal reports that maggots provide significant healing or antibacterial benefits have yet to be supported by scientific evidence, however.

6. Dolphin Therapy

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Dolphins are symbols of peace and serenity in many cultures. Small wonder, then, that the act of bonding with them is now used as a treatment for some forms of mental illness. A study by the University of Leicester in 2005 showed that playing in the water with ÒFlipperÓ and his buddies in short sessions over a period of two weeks can provide significant benefits for patients with depression. The treatment has also been used for autistic children who have problems with verbal communication. Interacting with animals can help to alter the dysfunctional social patterns of people with depression, so itÕs not surprising that spending time with one of the most intelligent creatures on the planet can help to raise someoneÕs mood.

5. Ant Mandible Sutures

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The heads of African driver ants boast mandibles that act as seriously strong natural pincers. Presumably for hundreds of years, traditional medicine has been taking advantage of this fact to close open wounds. To put the sutures in place, the healer holds the edges of the gash together and then places the antÕs head lengthwise against the wound. The insectÕs natural instinct is to bite down, which closes the gash, and the healer then twists and breaks off the rest of the body. This very efficient, if primitive, form of emergency medicine is still practiced even today.

4. Leeching


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Bloodletting with leeches was a very common treatment in medieval and early modern medicine. It was used to prevent inflammation of wounds, relieve fevers, and to treat practically every other kind of ailment. Sessions of bloodletting were often continued until the sufferer had fainted or was on the verge of falling unconscious. Famously, as a cure it was spectacularly harmful, generally causing as many problems to patients as the original condition. However, leeching has now been reintroduced in certain circumstances; for example, as a way of removing congested blood from a finger that has been reattached. It is more effective than many other forms of medical treatment because the leech secretes chemicals with anti-clotting agents, which prevent blood vessels from closing up and atrophying.

3. Fish Swallowing for Asthma

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Another fish-related cure is practiced by the Bathini Goud brothers in India, who every year treat thousands of visitors with their patented asthma medication Ð administered in the mouth of a live murrel fish. The herbal medicine is a family secret that (so the legend claims) was originally given to the brothersÕ grandfather by a Hindu holy man more than 160 years ago. The movements of the small fish are meant to help alleviate phlegm in the nose and throat and help ease congestion. Three successive cycles of the medicine are prescribed normally, and they are administered 15 days apart. Traditional, maybe, but we still find it pretty hard to swallow!

2. Terrapin Healing

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As previously mentioned, animals such as cows are associated with healing in Cambodia and are used in a number of different traditional forms of medicine. Terrapins also feature prominently in many Cambodian treatments, both as the ingredients for remedies and in more mystical ways. Why? Because they are believed to be able to cure rheumatism and other bodily ailments by touch. In this picture, a turtle is held to the mouth of a villager in the Kandal province. It is estimated that more than a third of CambodiaÕs native species are used in remedies, but many of the animals are threatened or high priorities for conservation. ItÕs a shame so many traditional cures involve killing the creatures for medicine that may have little more than a placebo effect.

1. Diabetes-Attack Preventing Dogs

diabetes attack prevention dogs

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One well-known fact about dogs is that some of their senses are significantly more acute than those of their human companions. But did you know that manÕs best friend can also detect the symptoms of a diabetic attack? Diabetes Alert Dogs (DADs) can tell from their ownerÕs odor whether their blood sugar is too low or too high, and are trained to warn them either by fetching a special stick or fetching the diabetes kit and bringing it to their owner. This is especially useful for the care of young children who might not wake up if they enter hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia during the night. What’s more, it saves mom and dad from having to set the alarm clock to check on them every couple of hours.

Top Medical Schools In Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania there are seven top medical schools including: Drexel University, Jefferson Medical College, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Temple University, University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine and University of Pittsburgh. Majority of these require undergraduate work in certain areas, and have low acceptance rates, with Drexel University being the highest at 16 percent. All of the above mentioned schools have a great overall average GPA, most ranging from 3.0 to 3.8. The top ranked medical school in PA this year was The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine, only ranking second among medical schools in the U.S.

There are also a number of community colleges in PA specializing in medicine. Most of which are two year courses or less, sending one out with either an associates, bachelors, or LPN. All of which have a much higher acceptance rate, and can begin the student on the required undergrad work needed for the larger universities.

Pennsylvania is a beautiful state to attend medical school. From the rolling, colorful hills in the fall to the snow capped hilltops in the winter, Pennsylvania surely wont disappoint. With seven top universities, and a huge number of community colleges to choose from, Pennsylvania has something for everybody interested in attending medical school.

Top Medical Schools In Oregon

For those committed to study in the field of medicine, Oregon offers several fine medical schools that can open the door to the future. Students can choose specialty areas such as geriatrics, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, emergency medicine and surgery. With excellent programs that provide the foundation for sound medical practice, driven individuals are sure to reach their educational goals. Medical schools in Oregon offer comprehensive course preparation and our competitive with top medical schools throughout the country.

Ranked at the top of the list is the Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine. The University is a facility that combines medical studies with research. It offers a schools of medicine, nursing and pharmacy. Students will benefit from a staff that has earned recognition on an international level. The College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, Northwest is a new addition in Oregon. It is an expansion of a medical college based in California and is promising. The hope is to combat a shortage of healthcare providers in the region by providing more alternatives. The Oregon College of Oriental Medicine provides students with the opportunity to study medicine from a different standpoint with an emphasis on acupuncture and Oriental medicine. The University of Oregon specializes in neuroscience and development. Regardless of the area of interest, students are able to find ample learning opportunities in the field of medicine. Costs tend to be less expensive for in-state residents but students from out of state can attend as well if qualified.

Top Medical Schools In Oklahoma

There are two medical schools in Oklahoma. One medical school is in Tulsa, Oklahoma and the other medical school is located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Both colleges are accredited and both medical schools are top medical schools in Oklahoma.

Both colleges have similar rules to become a medical student. Dates to send in an application to either medical school is set in stone. Each medical school has two types of face to face interviews. The first interview is to determine if a student will be admitted. The second interview is to determine if the medical student has met all the rules to enter into the medical school itself.
Medical students who do not meet the requirements to enter one or the other of the top medical schools can also check out the variety of junior colleges located in several different areas of Oklahoma. There are a variety of certificates at the junior colleges, from beauty to welding. There is the American Institute of medical technology which is accredited, offering a good education and certificate status, to enable a person to still be able to work in the medical field.
Anyone living in or near Tulsa, Oklahoma or Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and have the desire, have top grades, can benefit from the two top medical schools in Oklahoma.

Top Medical Schools In Ohio

There are a variety of top medical schools that can be found throughout the United States. When you are considering top medical schools in the Midwest you will want to check out some of the medical schools located in Ohio.

Those who are looking to obtain their MD in the Dayton, OH area might want to consider applying to The Wright State University of Boonshoft, School of Medicine. This location has been offering superior education experiences to students for almost four decades. In Cleveland, there are two medical schools working in conjunction with each other. They are the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Columbus, OH offers a MD program through The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Cincinnati, OH offers one through the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine as well.

In addition to these schools, there are also two more MD programs offered in Ohio. The first is through the University of Toledo College of Medicine in Toledo, OH. The second is located in Rootstown, OH at Northeast Ohio Medical University. A DO program is also offered in Ohio at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Athens, OH.

Those looking to obtain their medical degree in the Midwest will want to consider one of the many medical schools in Ohio. A great place to live and study, Ohio offers some of the top medical schools in the nation.

Top Medical Schools In North Carolina

The state of North Carolina has several highly competitive medical schools. The admission process is rigorous, and each school is very selective.

The Wake Forest School of Medicine enrolls about 480 students each year. The matriculation is only 2%. The average MCAT score is 31.4%. The tuition is about $41,400. The University Of North Carolina Chapel Hill School Of Medicine is a prestigious program. The yearly enrollment is 734. They offer an attractive MD/JD program. The average MCAT score of students who are accepted is 32. Duke University is a private school. Their medical school is highly rated. They enroll 402 students who have an average MCAT score of 35. The student body and faculty are very diverse. The tuition is almost $43,000, but 91% of the applicants receive financial aid. East Carolina University the Brody School of Medicine has an economical medical school program. This public school only charges $13,000 a year for in state residents. The matriculation is 8% with an enrollment of 309. The student body and faculty are 50% minority. An MD/PHD program is offered.

North Carolina is a beautiful southern state. There are quite a few excellent medical schools to choose from.

Top Medical Schools In New York

New York medical schools embed tradition, prestige and a solid reputation. Some better than others, but none that should be underestimated, these certainly are the top medical schools in the New York state.

On the top of the list there’s Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (Founded in 1767 – Notable alumni: Robert Lefkowitz, Harold Varmus, Allen Whipple ). This private university is affiliated with the most important hospitals in New York and includes almost all areas of concentration in medical field.

The second best is University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry that requires an average total MCAT score of 31.6 to be admitted. Is ranked 29th for research by U.S. News & World Report. On the third place there’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine of NYU with an average incoming GPA of 3.6 and an affiliation with the Mount Sinai Hospital. This school was founded in 1963 and is among the first 20 medical schools in the US. Next on the list is New York University School of Medicine. Also a private university, NYU has a matriculation percentage of 2%. Founded in 1841, this is the alma mater of Norman Orentreich. Last but not least, is the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. This school offers an MD program and the percentage of students receiving financial aid is around 79%. Among its departments there’s The Division of Substance Abuse, the largest addiction treatment program in the world.

Top Medical Schools In New Mexico

The University of New Mexico’s School of Medicine has consistently been ranked among the Top 10 medical schools for training physicians that will eventually practice in one of the primary care specialties such as Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Pediatrics. A critical factor in in this school’s ability to maintain its high ratings is its commitment to providing the medical student with an immersive experience in all facets of direct patient care which begins during the student’s first week of training and continues until graduation from medical school four years later. Although this “early immersion” stresses the clinical aspects of medical practice, the New Mexico program also places emphasis on the “intangible” aspects of the physician’s role in the delivery of modern healthcare.

As an integral part of the future physician’s education, he or she will be required to consider issues such as medical ethics in the delivery of health care and how decisions regarding right to care and the patient’s life philosophy can impact the level of care delivered in a given situation. The economics of both acute and preventive medicine are emphasized at the local, state, and national levels; along with programs that will assist the physician in the development of the critical analytic skills to evaluate the success and potential shortcomings of various interventions in public health policy. Finally, the future physicians are constantly reminded of their moral duty as community leaders to continually seek the establishment of programs that will insure access to health care for all citizens. This holistic approach to physician education is undoubtedly a factor in the School of Medicine’s national reputation as a source primary care physician education.

Top Medical Schools In New Jersey

If you are looking to obtain your MD or even a DO on the East Coast, then New Jersey should be on the top of your list. New Jersey is not just known for its delicious foods and fast pace, but is also home to some of the nation’s top medical schools. Cooper Medical School at Rowan University located in Camden, NJ is one of the most popular medical schools with an excellent degree program. Besides this school there are also locations of the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey located at the New Jersey Medical School in Newark and the Robert Wood Johnson Medical school with locations in Camden, New Brunswick, and Piscataway, NJ. These schools are for those looking to obtain their MD.

The University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey also has a location in Stratford that offers a School of Osteopathic Medicine. Those who are looking to obtain a DO degree find this location very convenient and the school to be one of the best medical schools in the state.

Choosing one of the top medical schools, means considering all your options. New Jersey is not only known for its medical schools but is a great location to start out a new medical practice as well.

Top Medical Schools In New Hampshire

In Hanover, New Hampshire Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth Unversity sit’s as one of the nations top medical schools. As ranked by US News, Dartmouth is ranked 31st in Reasearch Methodology and 38th in Primary Care out of 123 Universities. Dartmouth has been a medical school since 1797 and is one of the oldest in the nation, fourth only to the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University and Harvard University medical schools. The medical school at Darthmouth University has a current enrollment of 371 students vying for the opportunity to become doctors in a highly competitive industry.

Hanover is located along the Conneticut River and boasts many attractions for tourists and residences alike. A person my visit the Appilachian Trail, the Occom Ski Area and the Hood Museum of Art to name a few. Hanover is also on the list of top 100 places to live in the United States. The population of Hanover is just over 11,000 people and they have mild summers although the winters can drop below freezing. Hanover boasts being in the top 1% of the state for college educated adults. The culture of Hanover lends itself to making the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth University one of the top medical schools in the United States.