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Weekly News Roundup 4/24 to 4/30

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Cat and dog population could surge with canceled spay-neuter clinics

Humane societies and animal hospitals have canceled dozens of spay-neuter clinics around the state of Ohio due to the coronavirus epidemic, and that has veterinarians and humane society leaders worried about a surge in the cat and dog population in the coming months. Joni Deutschman, president of the Holmes County Humane Society (HCHS), is predicting a “baby boom.” Last month, the Rascal Unit, a Dublin-based mobile veterinary unit which partners with the HCHS, canceled its clinic in Holmes County at which veterinarians regularly perform as many as 50 spay-neuter surgeries. The unit canceled all of its clinics around the state through May 1. “People in this community use this clinic because it’s cheaper, and if they’re not getting the stray cats in their neighborhoods fixed at the clinics we’re going to have an increase in births of kittens in the community,” Deutschman said. . . . more

Antiviral Drug remdesivir shows promise for treating coronavirus In National Institute of Health study

Preliminary results of a major study of the antiviral drug remdesivir show it can help hospitalized patients with COVID-19 recover faster. Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID),  hailed the findings, released Wednesday, as “quite good news.” “The data shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery,” Fauci said during a meeting with President Trump and Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. “This is highly significant.” The study was sponsored by the NAIAD, which Fauci leads and which is part of the National Institutes of Health. Fauci said it was the first “truly high powered” randomized placebo-controlled trial of remdesivir, noting that it involved more than 1,000 hospitalized patients at sites in numerous countries. . . . more

A dog that went missing after alerting her family to a tornado has been found 54 days later

A dog that saved her family's life by alerting them to a deadly tornado before it destroyed their Tennessee home has been found after nearly two months. Eric Johnson was asleep March 3 when Bella, the family's 6-year-old miniature Australian shepherd, woke him up. Johnson said he noticed Bella behaving extremely erratically, giving him a sense that “something just didn't feel right.” After turning on the TV, Johnson learned a tornado was headed toward their town of Cookeville. Nearly 45 minutes later, as the tornado neared their home, Johnson grabbed his wife and their children and hid them in a bathtub. The father of three was looking for Bella when the tornado hit their house, tearing it into pieces and throwing Johnson into his backyard. . . . more

California city official resigns after tossing cat, guzzling beer on Zoom call

A planning official from Vallejo, California, is in the doghouse after being seen tossing his cat and drinking beer during a teleconference call last week. According to the Vallejo Times-Herald, Chris Platzer has resigned from his position on the Vallejo Planning Commission stemming from the incidents during a Zoom meeting with planning officials on April 20. During the virtual meeting, meowing can be heard in the background before Platzer holds up his cat in front of the camera. “OK, first, I’d like to introduce my cat,” Platzer said. . . . more

More than meets the eye: How a veterinary ophthalmologist is addressing a disease that can affect golden retrievers

Wendy Townsend, DVM, MS, DCMAO, an associate professor of ophthalmology in Purdue University’s Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, has focused her career and research in veterinary medicine to diagnosing and treating eye conditions in animals. “The most common question I get is if we fit animals with glasses,” Townsend says. “While that’s not what we do, our goal is to help animals see better and improve their quality of life if they’re having issues.” Although her patients span across a variety of different species, her research is focused on golden retrievers. Golden retriever pigmentary uveitis is a disease almost exclusively found in purebred golden retrievers. It’s an inherited form of uveitis—which is defined as inflammation of the uveal tract. And though the disease is inherited, the onset and diagnosis usually occurs when the dogs are older. . . . more