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Weekly News Roundup 6/26 to 7/2

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Why fireworks scare some dogs but not others

Ears back. Body trembling. Hiding in the bathtub or crawling under the bed. The telltale signs of a scared pup are familiar to dog owners, and they’re especially common in summer, when fireworks and thunderstorms can heighten dogs’ anxiety levels. But while the sight of a sparkler sends some dogs tail-tucked and running, others remain unfazed by booms and bangs. To sort out this canine confusion, dog researchers around the world are investigating what makes dogs react to sounds with fear. Better understanding canine fear behaviors could improve dogs’ quality of life and even help to explain human fear responses. . . . more

Woman’s dog dies minutes after receiving routine Lyme disease vaccine

A Metro Detroit woman’s dog died minutes after receiving a routine vaccine. Monica Morency Hanaway said her beloved boxer, Greg, died in her car last week, just minutes after leaving what was scheduled to be a routine visit to a veterinarian in the Brighton area. The six-year-old dog had never been to that veterinarian’s office before, but he was in need of some routine vaccines. Hanaway said the Lyme disease vaccine made her nervous because Greg had never received it before. Due to the coronavirus, Hanaway waited in her car until the appointment was over. A staff member brought Greg out to her afterward and said he was fine, but she said that clearly wasn’t the case. . . . more

Huskies belong to an almost 10,000-year-old lineage

We know dogs’ origin story in large strokes—that they evolved from domesticated wolves—but the exact details of this process are still unclear. The team at the University of Copenhagen’s Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, in collaboration with researchers from Greenland and Barcelona, analyzed the genomes of ancient and modern sled dog species to better determine their history. Such dogs evolved much earlier than assumed, they explain. . . . more

Deadly animal diseases can jump to humans. Is vaccinating wildlife the answer?

Every January, planes dump 1 million small plastic packets covered in fishmeal crumbles along the Texas-Mexico border. When the sharp teeth of feral dogs or coyotes pierce the plastic, a liquid rabies vaccine squirts into their mouths. Not every animal who eats a packet becomes immune to rabies, but since Texas started its oral rabies vaccination program in 1995, enough have become immune that the canine strain of rabies was eliminated from the US in 2008. Continued flights keep canine rabies from re-entering the US from Mexico. And though other animals, like foxes, skunks, and raccoons, do still carry their own strains of the disease—and dogs and coyotes can still get these other strains from an animal bite—eliminating even one reservoir of rabies is an accomplishment. . . . more

American Kennel Club officially recognizes rare breed

The Belgian Laekenois was recognized Wednesday as the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) 196th breed. Belgian Laekenois adoptions and purchases of all breeds have gone up since the pandemic, the AKC says. But the rare dog breed known for its coarse coat and protective personality won’t make its debut on the world stage anytime soon: More than 11,000 US dog shows and canine competitions have been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Belgian Laekenois will make its debut next year at the Westminster Kennel Club show. . . . more