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Weekly News Roundup 9/4 to 9/10

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3 dog foods recalled over mold byproduct levels

Pet food manufacturer Sunshine Mills has issued a voluntary recall of dog food products due to potentially high levels of aflatoxin, a byproduct of mold. The family-owned company sold the dog food in question under the brand names Family Pet, Heartland Farms, and Paws Happy Life. The dog food was sold at retailers nationwide. The list of potentially hazardous products includes Family Pet Meaty Cuts Beef, Chicken, and Cheese Flavor Premium dog food; Heartland Farms Grilled Favorites Beef, Chicken, and Cheese Flavor; and Paws Happy Life Butcher’s Choice dog food. The Food and Drug Administration warns the products may contain too much aflatoxin, a naturally occurring mold byproduct that can be harmful to pets if consumed in significant quantities. . . . more  

Tuskegee University announces scholarships to increase diversity in veterinary medicine

Improving diversity, equity, and inclusion within the veterinary sphere is the goal of a new scholarship program at Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine. The college, which is the only veterinary program located on the campus of a historically Black college or university in the US, has received a $45,000 endowment from Hill’s Pet Nutrition to fund the program. Tuskegee’s veterinary scholarship committee will identify awardees annually, starting with the 2021–2022 academic year, based on criteria to be developed by the college and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF). According to the AVMF, Tuskegee is the alma mater of 20% of Black veterinarians practicing in the US. . . . more

Making dog food more delectable by analyzing aromas

For dogs, palatability depends on a food’s appearance, taste, texture, and, particularly, odor—just as it does for people. Some scientists have identified volatile compounds in dog food, but not much is known about how specific aroma compounds influence how readily the dog eats the food. Now researchers reporting results from a pilot study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry have identified key aroma compounds in dog food that seem to be the most appealing to canines. . . . more

Study reviews recent insights into the pathogenesis of feline leukemia virus infection

Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a gammaretrovirus that occurs worldwide in domestic cats as well as small wild cats. First described more than 55 years ago, FeLV has been the subject of intense research interest, which has led to increasingly robust diagnostic assays and efficacious vaccines. While the prevalence of this infection in domestic cats has reduced in many geographic regions, the disease is still something of an enigma and can spread quickly, particularly within naïve, multicat populations such as shelters and breeding catteries, as well as within pet homes with multiple cats. A new paper aims to contribute diagnostic expertise to veterinarians in practice by reviewing recent insights into infection pathogenesis, gained using molecular techniques. . . . more

Original New Guinea singing dogs still exist in the wild, study shows

The founding population of the New Guinea singing dog, a small- to medium-size canid thought to be extinct in the wild since the 1970s, is not, in fact, extinct, according to an analysis of the nuclear genomes from a dog population discovered during a recent expedition to the New Guinea highlands. First described in 1897, they became known for their unique and characteristic vocalization, described as a “wolf howl with overtones of whale song.” Though genetically similar to the Australian dingo and originally classified as a distinct species, Canis hallstromi, its taxonomy remains controversial. . . . more