Weekly News Roundup 4/19 to 4/25

Scientists discover gigantic prehistoric cat in a neglected museum drawer

Larger than a tiger, lion, or polar bear and with a skull comparable to a rhinoceros, this ancient predator cat, known as Simbakubwa kutokaafrika, wasn’t discovered in the field—but in a long-neglected museum drawer. Paleontologists Nancy Stevens, PhD, and Matthew Borths, PhD, MS, discovered the new species of large carnivorous mammal at the National Museums of Kenya. The skeletal remains had been excavated in Kenya, then apparently dumped in a drawer and forgotten. Stevens and Borths discovered the remains, possibly while looking for a Sharpie. “Opening a museum drawer, we saw a row of gigantic meat-eating teeth, clearly belonging to a species new to science,” said Borths. . . . more

Colorado dog reunited with Florida family two years after she was stolen

A dog found abandoned in Colorado has been returned to her family, nearly two years after she was stolen in Florida as a puppy. Animal charity organization Wings of Rescue says the German shepherd, named Cedar, was covered with snow in a rural Colorado ditch, malnourished and with an injured leg, when a deputy marshal found her. It was not clear how the dog wound up in the Colorado town of Hugo—nearly 2,000 miles away from her Florida home. The deputy marshal took her to a veterinarian, who scanned her for a microchip and found out she was registered in South Florida. Then her owners got a phone call. . . . more

New bill would allow California veterinarians to recommend cannabis

A new bill introduced to the California Legislature could repeal an original ban on veterinarians recommending cannabis to their clients. The bill, SB 627, would allow licensed veterinarians to discuss the use of and recommend medicinal cannabis or related products for a patient for any condition for which these products provide relief. The bill would also prohibit a veterinarian who makes a recommendation under these provisions from being punished or denied any right or privilege for recommending these products. . . . more

SeaWorld publishes groundbreaking killer whale research, creating health benchmarks for rapidly declining wild populations

Veterinarians at SeaWorld have published a new, foundational study in Veterinary Clinical Pathology that establishes first-ever standards for diagnosing clinically healthy orcas in the same way physicians asses a human patient’s weight, blood pressure, and overall health. This groundbreaking study gives scientists one more tool in their fight against rapidly declining global populations of wild killer whales. These critical findings arrive amid heightened urgency in the scientific community to find ways to conserve this threatened species increasingly affected by exposure to toxic substances, limited food supply, and ocean pollution.  Since 2005, the population has declined more than 10%. . . . more

Purdue set to receive millions of dollars from the State, saving endangered veterinary school

Purdue University is set to receive a major gift from the State of Indiana. When approved, the new state budget will include $133 million, a big chunk of which will go to updating Purdue’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Purdue President MitchDaniels lobbied at the Indiana Statehouse in March for a rejuvenated veterinary teaching hospital, which comes with a price tag of $108 million. Daniels said $35 million has already been raised. The university will get $73 million from the state when the budget is approved.The current facility, which was built in 1959, no longer meets regulations and is at risk of losing its accreditation. . . . more