Weekly News Roundup 12/26 to 1/2

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Growing up with a pet dog may lower risk of schizophrenia later in life

Growing up with a dog may lessen a person’s risk of developing schizophrenia in adulthood, according to a new study from researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. The researchers were curious if being raised around either dogs or cats during early developmental years had any sort of impact on the risk of developing psychiatric disorders later in life. They found a statistically significant decrease in a person’s risk of developing schizophrenia as an adult if that person grew up in a household with a dog early in life. By comparison, there was no significant link between dogs and bipolar disorder, or between cats and either psychiatric disorder. . . . more

Two new breeds get the American Kennel Club’s nod

A powerful Argentine big-game hunter and a sociable French water dog have made the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) list of recognized breeds. The club announced Tuesday that the barbet and the dogo Argentino are now part of the 195-breed pack. That means they can compete starting Wednesday in many traditional, breed-judging dog shows (many agility trials and other canine events are open to all dogs, purebred or not). The newcomers can’t vie for best in show at the famous Westminster Kennel Club show until 2021, however. The newcomers are “offering dog lovers very different choices,” AKC spokeswoman Gina DiNardo said. . . . more

Chronic wasting disease now found in moose and elk

This year was a dark one for Montana hunters and lovers of wild game meat with the announcement that, for the first time, a wild elk and a wild moose were found infected with chronic wasting disease (CWD). CWD is a contagious neurological disease that infects deer, elk, and moose. There is no known cure, and it is fatal to infected animals. Animals may be infected for up to two years before showing any symptomatic signs of infection. While there is no known transmission of CWD to humans or other animals, including pets or livestock, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that hunters harvesting a deer, elk, or moose from an area where CWD is known to be present have their animal tested for CWD prior to consuming the meat, and to not consume the meat if the animal tests positive. . . . more

Good news for dogs with cancer

Truman’s owners first thought he had twisted his ankle: the Bernese mountain dog was limping and might have landed awkwardly after jumping off the couch. But when he was still hobbled a few days later, they got an X-ray. The scan revealed that Truman had osteosarcoma, a deadly, fast-moving bone cancer that typically strikes large-breed dogs. The owners’ veterinarian told them amputating Truman’s leg, followed by chemotherapy, might buy them another year or so with their fun-loving clown. They opted for the surgery and took one important extra step: enrolling him in a clinical trial at Tufts University that was studying an experimental vaccine for osteosarcoma. . . . more

California law banning sale of cosmetics tested on animals now in effect

A groundbreaking law, the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, which passed in 2018 and went into effect on January 1 of this year, bans all sales of cosmetics that have been tested on animals. The new law prohibits the sale of cosmetics in California that have been tested on animals or contain ingredients that have been tested on animals. Certain narrow exemptions are provided for in the legislation, including for animal tests either required by a regulatory authority in another country or conducted on ingredients for noncosmetic purposes, which are sometimes required by regulatory authorities in the United States, such as the Environmental Protection Agency. The California law spurred movement on similar laws in Nevada, Illinois, and at the federal level. . . . more