Weekly News Roundup 3/19 to 3/25


Chemotherapy usually intended for dogs is treating a red fox’s lymphoma

The Purdue University Veterinary Hospital works with many patients across species. None are more unusual perhaps than Joker, an eight-year-old silver-phased red fox undergoing treatment for lymphoma. Joker resides at Wolf Park, a nonprofit conservation facility located in nearby Battle Ground, Indiana. After a diagnosis of T-cell lymphoma, Wolf Park veterinarian Julia Becker referred Joker’s case to Christopher Fulkerson, DVM, MS, clinical assistant professor of veterinary medical oncology in Purdue’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Fulkerson hadn’t previously worked with a fox patient. He and his team couldn’t find any literature about this type of lymphoma in foxes, so they are treating Joker based on a protocol often used for dogs with lymphoma. . . . more

Link found between invasive species and commercial success in global pet trade

A pair of researchers at the University of Lausanne has found a link between invasive animal species and commercial success in the global pet trade. In their new paper, they describe their study of sales of invasive species and what they learned about them. Biologists have become concerned as more invasive species are being found in environments around the world. The reason for the concern is that oftentimes, invasive species can adapt so well that they take over ecosystems, leaving few resources for native species; additionally, invasive animal species often find themselves in regions where they have no natural predators. In this new effort, the researchers looked into the role of the global pet trade in the growing threat of invasive species. They found that approximately 12.6% of the pet trade is made up of invasive species. . . . more

A majority of companies plan to make their offices more pet friendly postpandemic, survey finds

Six in ten companies plan to be more flexible in a postpandemic world to ensure Americans’ pets don't get lonely throughout the day, according to new research. A survey of 500 C-suite executives revealed 59% personally plan to allow more flexibility for employees wanting to stay remote with their pets, once workplaces reopen. For respondents, the top concern for returning to work was fearing their pet would face separation anxiety if left home alone all day (38%). . . . more

Pilot study finds evidence of Bartonella infection in schizophrenia patients

A pilot study from North Carolina State University (NCSU) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has found evidence of Bartonella infection in the blood of people with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. “Researchers have been looking at the connection between bacterial infection and neuropsychiatric disease for some time,” says Erin Lashnits, MS, DVM, PHD, DACVIM (SAIM), a former veterinary internist at NCSU, current faculty member at the University of Wisconsin, and first author of the study. “Specifically, there has been research suggesting that cat ownership is associated with schizophrenia due to the zoonotic parasite Toxoplasma gondii, but, to date, there has been no conclusive evidence in support of a causative role for this parasite. So we decided to look at another cat-associated infectious agent, Bartonella, to see if there could be a connection.” . . . more

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