Pulse - March 2021 - 14

" We can make a difference, but we have to work together. We can't
just hope that things will change.We have to do everything we can. "
The critical piece, Dr. Mazet said, " is that we need to build
respect across disciplines for the science itself so that we can motivate political will. The networks of academics, NGOs, industry and
government are there. Scientists have been working together beautifully during the Covid crisis, but the politics and nationalistic
behavior has gotten in the way.
" Reflect and act. Walk more softly on our planet, because it is
how we are modifying the earth and the way that we are consumptively using it that is causing the acceleration of change.

Bringing together your colleagues in a transdisciplinary way and
being respectful and engaging stakeholders to act both globally
and locally is what I believe will change the future. "
" We are already seeing impact [from climate change] but it's not
too late, to save the human race and hopefully to save much of the
planet. It's too late for some species, but it's not too late to jump
in and protect others, including our own. "
And noting the severe climate effects California, the nation and
the world have been experiencing in recent years, she declared: " It
seems like mother nature is telling us: It's not too late, but you'd
better hurry up. " P

Early in her career, a young veterinarian working for the state
of California had a transforming experience when she joined
a team that was battling to save
Southern Sea Otters in Monterey
Bay that were threatened by high
levels of mortality.
The veterinarian was Jonna Mazet,
who later founded the One Health
Institute at UC Davis. She is an epidemiologist and leader in international
efforts to help the world avoid future
coronavirus pandemics and to save
planet earth.
The Monterey Bay crisis made it
apparent to Dr. Mazet that One Health
protocols are the way to deal with such
episodes and that all of these events are
related.
" It really started to change my mindset. I wanted to save species. I wanted
to be a conservationist. I wanted to save
the sea otters. But really what I needed
to do was think about the planet and
what was infecting sea otters. What they
ate was what we eat as sushi and what
would that do to future generations if
we weren't extremely careful?
" At the time, " she said, " toxoplasmosis was a very important pathogen of sea

14

otters. That was concerning because we
were still in the midst - and still are - of
a very formidable pandemic, the HIVAIDS crisis. People with the AIDS virus
were suffering from toxoplasmosis as
well.
" Through a couple of decades of
work with many amazing scientists and
graduate students collaborating, we were
able to identify that wetlands damage -
the loss of wetlands - was dramatically
increasing the runoff of pathogens from
land to sea. The way we were adapting
our habitat for coastal development -
including hardscaping, " was a huge contributor. Ninety percent of California
wetlands have been removed, she said.
When cats defecate, the humanaltered landscape doesn't have the ability to break down the poop and filter
it, Dr. Mazet said. " So it goes into the
groundwater and then into the bay. It's
another one of those indicators of how
human behavior is really important. We
need to be thinking about urban planning from an unintended consequences
perspective. "
Scientists did experiments which
showed that the original vegetation
would have prevented all or most of the
sea otter deaths, she indicated. One cat
defecation would contain up to a million oocysts - the infective stage of a
parasite. The original wetlands would

Photo by Nistara Randhawa

Effort to Save Sea Otters
Changed How Dr. Mazet
Viewed Planet's Ills
have permitted less than one on average
of those oocysts to reach the ocean. But
damaged wetlands would permit much
more of the harmful pathogens to enter
the ocean in a synergistic effect. In the
wetlands area the scientists tested, containing about 60 percent vegetation, half
a million oocysts made it into the ocean.
" When you multiply that by the
number of cats that go outdoors and
add feral cats, we had a major issue, " Dr.
Mazet said. " It's human behavior and
not the cats' fault. It's not the environment's fault. It's not the sea otters' fault.
It's the way we're impacting our landscape and what we are doing to our
environment and changing our climate
that's critical. "
The sea otter episode is just a symptom, she said. " It's a signal that we need
to adjust and think about our behavior
and the consequences of it. What happened to the sea otters is a signal for
what all coastal communities should be
thinking about.
" The sea otters are doing a lot better
today, " Dr. Mazet said, " and the population has grown a bit but they're not
doing as well as we would like. They're
still threatened. " P

MARCH 2021

PULSE



Pulse - March 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pulse - March 2021

Pulse - March 2021
Chapter Meetings & Calendar
President’s Perspective
SCVMA Profile
SCVMA Profile
Pulsepoints
Practical Pathology
Veterinarians Key to Planet’s Future, UC Davis Global Health Expert Believes
Medical Leeway
UC Davis Update
Tools for Success
Angel Fund
Dear Tabby
The RVT
Industry Insights
Quick Reference
AVMA Diplomates
Digital Photography for Veterinarians
Resources
Disease Table
Classifieds
From the SCVMA Office
Pulse - March 2021 - Pulse - March 2021
Pulse - March 2021 - Cover2
Pulse - March 2021 - 1
Pulse - March 2021 - 2
Pulse - March 2021 - Chapter Meetings & Calendar
Pulse - March 2021 - President’s Perspective
Pulse - March 2021 - SCVMA Profile
Pulse - March 2021 - SCVMA Profile
Pulse - March 2021 - Pulsepoints
Pulse - March 2021 - 8
Pulse - March 2021 - 9
Pulse - March 2021 - 10
Pulse - March 2021 - Practical Pathology
Pulse - March 2021 - Veterinarians Key to Planet’s Future, UC Davis Global Health Expert Believes
Pulse - March 2021 - 13
Pulse - March 2021 - 14
Pulse - March 2021 - 15
Pulse - March 2021 - 16
Pulse - March 2021 - 17
Pulse - March 2021 - 18
Pulse - March 2021 - Medical Leeway
Pulse - March 2021 - UC Davis Update
Pulse - March 2021 - Tools for Success
Pulse - March 2021 - Angel Fund
Pulse - March 2021 - Dear Tabby
Pulse - March 2021 - 24
Pulse - March 2021 - The RVT
Pulse - March 2021 - Industry Insights
Pulse - March 2021 - Quick Reference
Pulse - March 2021 - AVMA Diplomates
Pulse - March 2021 - Digital Photography for Veterinarians
Pulse - March 2021 - Resources
Pulse - March 2021 - 31
Pulse - March 2021 - 32
Pulse - March 2021 - Disease Table
Pulse - March 2021 - 34
Pulse - March 2021 - 35
Pulse - March 2021 - 36
Pulse - March 2021 - 37
Pulse - March 2021 - 38
Pulse - March 2021 - 39
Pulse - March 2021 - 40
Pulse - March 2021 - 41
Pulse - March 2021 - 42
Pulse - March 2021 - 43
Pulse - March 2021 - 44
Pulse - March 2021 - 45
Pulse - March 2021 - 46
Pulse - March 2021 - 47
Pulse - March 2021 - 48
Pulse - March 2021 - 49
Pulse - March 2021 - 50
Pulse - March 2021 - Classifieds
Pulse - March 2021 - From the SCVMA Office
Pulse - March 2021 - Cover3
Pulse - March 2021 - Cover4
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