Weekly News Roundup 12/22 – 12/28

Checking lost animals for microchips now the law in New York State

New York state lawmakers signed into law last week new legislation that requires all animal shelters and rescue organization to check any animal found for a microchip, and if they find one, to contact the owner within 24 hours. According to a study by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), lost dogs implanted with a microchip are reunited with their owners about 52% of the time, compared to about 21% for dogs without one. Lost cats with a chip were reunited about 39% of the time. And while microchipping may be a vital part of finding a lost pet, experts point out that the technology means nothing if the owner’s contact information isn’t updated.

Another reason dogs eat poop: mom taught them

Canine researcher Kim Paciotti of Training Cannes LLC spent four years researching ways to train puppies to learn obedience by watching themselves on television. “When puppies are young the mother must stimulate them to go to the bathroom,” Paciotti said. “I had a mom who kept her puppies so clean, she actually taught them all how to eat poop.  Paciotti filmed the puppies interacting with mom, then played the videos back to the puppies. She was astounded to see the puppies pick up behaviors they saw on the videos.  This inspired Paciotti to start teaching puppies basic obedience by watching themselves on video. “We have had puppies as early as 4 weeks, with only two sessions, sitting on command.” Now if she can only unteach them what mom taught them.

New mental health to help veterinary students avoid profession’s emotional pitfalls

The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) is hoping to address mental health issues within the profession before they take root through a newly established Mental Health Practitioners (VMHP) group. The group includes all licensed mental health practitioners within colleges of veterinary medicine, and is designed to protect and enhance the health and wellness of veterinary students as they go through school and prepare for professional practice. The group’s goal is to enable all veterinary students to thrive during school and flourish after they graduate and enter practice by addressing issues facing the industry like depression, anxiety, and compassion fatigue.

Why aren’t more dogs sniffing out cancer?

Research shows dogs can be trained to detect cancer by using their sensitive noses to detect cancerous fumes given off by diseased cells. This noninvasive sniffing could help diagnose countless people and spark early treatment of the disease. Which begs the question, why aren’t more dogs doing it? The short answer: sniffer dogs do well  in short-term situations such as helping law enforcement track scents or guiding search and rescue teams in disaster areas. But sniffing thousands of cell sample of which only a few may be cancerous is challenging work with little positive reinforcement of the dog. 

NEWStat Legislation & regulation Advancements & research News