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Weekly News Roundup 7/24 to 7/30

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Coronavirus: Pet cat found to have virus in UK

A pet cat has tested positive in the UK for the strain of coronavirus that is causing the current pandemic. Experts say it is the first confirmed case of infection in an animal in the UK, but it does not mean the disease is being spread to people by their pets. It’s thought that the cat caught coronavirus from their owner, who had previously tested positive for the virus. Both have now recovered. Health officials stress the case is very rare and no cause for alarm. UK Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said, “This is a very rare event, with infected animals detected to date only showing mild clinical signs and recovering within in a few days.” . . . more

California revokes veterinarian’s license following string of complaints by pet owners

The veterinarian running Alta View Animal Hospital in Mountain View, California, lost his license to practice medicine this month after state officials found dozens of instances of unprofessional conduct, incorrect prescriptions, and errors in animal care. The decision to revoke the license of Tejpaul Ghumman, DVM, which took effect July 13, comes after four local pet owners came forward in 2017 with complaints about the treatment of their animals, two of whom died during or after being treated at Alta View. A total of 53 violations were alleged, about half of which were sustained in court. Ghumman is challenging the decision in a new civil case, however, contending that the revocation of his license was excessive and based on erroneous findings. An attempt to reinstate Ghumman’s license during the challenge failed last week. . . . more

Hundreds of pet owners conned into buying fake medicines

Bayer Animal Health has carried out market research that suggests that as many as 1 in 10 pet owners have been duped into buying counterfeit pet medicines. For the research, 2,000 pet owners were asked whether they had bought counterfeit pet medicines online. Of those surveyed, 31.3% said yes. When asked if they had reported the matter, 62.2% said they had. . . . more

Grant launches Dog Aging Project biobank at Cornell

The Cornell Veterinary Biobank has received a $2.5 million federal grant to process, store, and distribute biological samples for the Dog Aging Project, a massive national effort to study aging in dogs—and humans. The National Institute on Aging, a division of the National Institutes of Health, selected Cornell for the four-year grant, in part because of the biobank’s International Organization for Standardization (ISO) accreditation. The Cornell biobank is the first to meet ISO’s rigorous international standard for biobanks and offers a complete range of services, including sample collection, acquisition, preparation, preservation, testing, analysis, storage, and distribution. The Dog Aging Project is the single largest longitudinal cohort of companion dogs. . . . more

The unlikely pandemic pets: Chickens

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the food supply in America was in question. Images of barren grocery store shelves, cleared-out meat sections, and empty freezer aisles littered the internet. It was then that Gillian Frank and his wife, Kathryn Jones, both 41, discussed getting pet chickens. “Wouldn’t it be kind of a fun hobby? And it would ensure that we had eggs if we got chickens,” Frank said. Frank, who’s a historian at the University of Virginia, and his wife, who’s a lawyer, both grew up in the suburbs of Toronto. Owning chickens had never been an aspiration of theirs, until now. In April, they added six chickens to the backyard of their Richmond, Virginia, home. They already had two dogs and two cats, but Frank said the chickens are actually much lower maintenance than their other pets. . . . more