Weekly News Roundup 5/10 to 5/16


AVMA survey: 2018 graduates earn more, owe more

The typical veterinary graduate entering a small-animal practice in 2018 earned at least $80,000 per year in addition to paid vacations, stipends for continuing education, and healthcare benefits, according to a new survey from the American Veterinary Medical Association. That new grad may have received a signing bonus. At the same time, the size of her student debt rivaled that of a home mortgage. The average debt of a class of 2018 veterinary school borrower was $183,014, roughly 10% greater than that of the previous year’s graduating class. What’s more, the proportion of those with the heaviest debt burdens—$250,000 or greater—ballooned to 19%. . . . more

Fraternity members force dog to drink from beer keg, setting off investigation

A Hofstra University fraternity on Long Island, New York, has been suspended after a video was shared on social media purportedly showing Alpha Epsilon Pi members forcing a dog to drink beer from a keg at an off-campus party. In a five-second video that has been viewed almost 100,000 times on Twitter, a male can be seen holding a small dog over a keg while another male squirts beer into the dog's mouth. At least two voices in the background can be heard yelling, “Let’s go!” The video was recorded Saturday at an off-campus fraternity house in Hempstead, New York, and posted on Snapchat by an Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity member, according to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which is investigating the incident. . . . more

Fear the cats! Bold project teaches endangered Australian animals to avoid deadly predator

Katherine Moseby, PhD, reaches into a freezer and pulls out the carcass of a pointy-faced animal the size of a rabbit. It’s a dead greater bilby, or at least what’s left of one. She runs a cotton swab along a rip left in the bilby’s soft fur by the teeth of its killer. Later, analysis of DNA from the wound confirms Moseby’s suspicions: This bilby, a threatened species, was slain by a domestic cat. Over the past 25 years, Moseby, an ecologist who works for the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, has examined hundreds of native Australian animals killed by introduced predators, including domestic cats who have gone feral. . . . more

Canadian veterinarians lobby Parliament to expand medical cannabis laws to include dogs, cats

Parliament Hill went to the dogs Wednesday as veterinarians lobbied Members of the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa, Ontario, to authorize the use of medical cannabis for companion animals. The veterinarians brought five dogs to the Hill to draw attention to what they see as glaring omissions in the legalized protocols for medical and recreational marijuana. Among them was Max Pugsley, a pug rescue with such severe separation anxiety that he is on Prozac. “I can’t even talk to my veterinarian about [CBD as an alternative therapy],” said Max’s owner, Matthew Trapp. As in the US, Canadian law does not allow veterinarians to prescribe cannabis for pets, even though preliminary research and anecdotal evidence suggests it could be beneficial in treating pain, seizures, anxiety, and other disorders—much as it is for humans. . . . more