Weekly News Roundup 2/15 to 2/21


“Zombie” deer disease catching Congress’ attention

Support has grown for legislation on Capitol Hill calling for a closer look at a fatal disease in animals that may one day threaten humans. Chronic wasting disease affects deer, elk, reindeer, sika deer, and moose, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and has been found in the US, Canada, Norway, and South Korea. The fatal neurodegenerative disorder has been described as a “zombie” disease, as the CDC says its symptoms include stumbling, listlessness, and dramatic weight loss, though they may not develop for more than a year and “some infected animals may die without ever developing the disease.” As of January, the CDC says cases of chronic wasting disease in free-ranging members of the deer family had been reported in in 24 US states, including . . . more

Veterinary college and hospital team up to provide used pacemakers to heartsick dogs

Thanks to the Medical Center, Navicent Health (MCNH) and University of Georgia’s (UGA) College of Veterinary Medicine, you can give needy dogs a piece of your heart. The Georgia hospital and veterinary college have teamed up to provide dogs who have cardiac issues with pacemakers. Patients at MCNH who are having an old pacemaker upgraded, exchanged, or removed now have the option to donate the equipment to a canine heart patient at UGA, reports the school. “The similarities between how animals and humans are treated for certain diseases are very strong,” said Terri Matula, RN, board-certified cardiovascular nurse at MCNH. “When I was studying to become a nurse 20 years ago, I learned that pacemakers for human beings could be utilized in dogs as well.” . . . more

Iowa police officer arrested after allegedly stealing narcotics from veterinary hospital

An Iowa police officer was arrested after he allegedly stole narcotics from a local veterinary hospital, according to a news release from the Iowa Department of Public Safety. Fairfield police officer Ryan Mills, 31, was charged with second-degree burglary on Monday and booked into the Jefferson County Jail. In November 2018, the Veterinary Clinic in Fairfield noticed shortages of a schedule IV narcotic in its inventory. Staff conducted an internal investigation, which resulted in an employee observing a Fairfield police officer, later identified as Mills, enter and leave the clinic prior to business hours. . . . more

Late fashion designer's cat could inherit part of his fortune

Karl Lagerfeld’s cat, Choupette, could be set to inherit a chunk of the late fashion legend’s estimated $125 million fortune. The 85-year-old fashion icon, who died Tuesday in Paris, previously said that he’d name his beloved Birman kitty as one of his heirs. “Among others, yes,” Lagerfeld said when asked if he would name the blue-eyed feline in his will during an interview last year. “Don’t worry, there is enough for everyone.” Lagerfeld has gushed in the past over how much he loved Choupette—whom he received as a newborn kitten from a former male model in 2011. “There is no marriage, yet, for human beings and animals. . . . I never thought I would fall in love like this with a cat,” he told CNN in 2013. . . . more

FDA releases update on potential link between diet and canine dilated cardiomyopathy

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week released an update of their investigation into reports of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs eating certain pet foods. The update covers reports of DCM received by the FDA through November 30, 2018. It does not include reports received during the recent partial federal government shutdown. The FDA first alerted the public about this investigation in July 2018. Since then, the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine has taken a multipronged approach to the investigation, collaborating with a variety of components of the animal health sector to collect and evaluate information about the DCM cases and the diets pets ate prior to becoming ill. . . . more