Weekly News Roundup 6/2 – 6/8


Salmonella outbreak due to backyard birds

There has been an eight-multistate outbreak of salmonella connected to backyard birds, which the CDC is working to investigate. The CDC found at least 372 people who were infected with salmonella between January 4 and May 3 of this year. In 2016, a reported 895 cases of salmonella were linked to pet ducks, chickens, and geese. The CDC recommends taking precautions with backyard birds and has guidelines for people who are interested in keeping them.

Gene found that causes skin blistering disorder

Researchers from the University of Helsinki have found a novel gene defect that causes skin blistering in dogs, a disorder known as epidermolysis bullosa. The disorder is hereditary and appears in the Central Asian Shepherd breeds of dogs. Interestingly, the disorder also occurs in humans due to an identical gene that occurs in both canines and people. Having identified the gene, breeders can now take steps to eradicate the disorder from the breed.

Manufacturers increase supply of dog flu vaccine

Merck Animal Health and Zoetis are increasing dog flu vaccine supplies in response to the H3N2 breakout in Florida, where at least a dozen cases have been confirmed. Two different canine influenza viruses have been isolated in the United States—CIV H3N8 and CIV H3N2. Because one virus is of avian origin and the other is of equine origin, dogs need to be vaccinated against both strains. 

Employees embrace pet-friendly policies

Banfield Pet Hospital conducted a survey of 1,000 employees and 200 HR professionals in a survey they are calling the Pet-Friendly Workplace PAWrometer. Pet-friendly policies were found to boost employees in five categories: morale, less stress, work-life balance, increased company loyalty, and reduced guilt for leaving pets at home. The pet-friendly policies can include bringing dogs to work or offering time off for sick pets.

Colorado passes bill that benefits rural veterinarians

A bill passed by the Colorado congress at the end of May was signed into law this week. The new law takes into account the shortage of veterinarians in rural Colorado and the increasing amount of student debt faced by recent graduates. The law will create a council that will provide loan repayments for eligible veterinarians who graduated from an accredited program, currently live in Colorado, and agree to practice in rural Colorado for up to four years in area designated by the council.

Photo credit: © iStock/carenas1

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