A new study by researchers in Sweden found that children who are exposed to household pets early in life are less likely to develop conditions like asthma, eczema, and hay fever—and the more pets, the better. For the study, the researchers interviewed and sought information on pet ownership from the parents of 249 children (who were 6 to 12 months old at the time).
When veterinary professionals consider the question of pets traveling on airplanes, the first thing that comes to mind may not be human allergies. But that is a major concern for the authors of a recent editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). According to the article, Canadian air travelers “lost their access to dander-free flights in July 2009,” when Air Canada did away with a ban on small pets in the cabin. “It’s understandable that owners prefer to keep their small pets close when travelling and that airlines are keen to compete for their business,” the article reads. “But about 1 in 10 people have allergies to animals. Many will have an allergic reaction when they’re trapped in an enclosed space, often for hours, close to an animal.” The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) said it recognizes that pet allergies can be a serious health concern for some people, but it does not have a position on pets in airplane cabins.
Using the high-pitched “dog voice” toward pets works better for puppies than adult dogs. Researchers decided to look into this pet-directed speech, which is similar to the tone of voice used for human babies “known to engage infants’ attention and promote language learning.”
Canine inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is most common in middle-aged and older dogs, and includes inflammation of the intestines and chronic, gastrointestinal symptoms, according to Pet MD. A new study offers some insights into its cause. Researchers from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Texas A&M University identified a pattern of microbes indicative of IBD in dogs, and were able to predict which dogs had IBD and which did not with more than 90 percent accuracy. The study was published in Nature Microbiology on Oct. 3.
By September, college campuses are buzzing with life. But for some first year students, that excitement is tempered with homesickness that translates into dropout rates. Canine relief is now a valid antidote, according to a new study. Researchers from the University of British Columbia in Canada recently concluded that animal-assisted therapy not only helps students combat homesickness. It is also useful in in lowering post-secondary dropout rates. The study was published in the journal Anthrozoös on Aug. 17.
A new study offers evidence that methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) can be passed from human to animal and back again without undergoing any adaptation.
Pet owners with an affinity for technology will have a new toy to play with this summer with the upcoming release of the Whistle, a wearable device for dogs that tracks their activity and rest patterns.
Catch up on the latest pet and veterinary news from the last week. In this update: people considered marijuana-derived treatments to soothe pets' nerves, the research that has been done on the benefits of therapy animals, and how a cat helped discover a new plastic.
Changes in the DNA—of a pet or a person—can mean the difference between a cell that works properly and one that is potentially cancerous, according to the National Human Genome Research Institute. Currently, researchers can scan human samples for genetic changes in a cancer but the findings aren't easily transferrable to canines. A new study hopes to change that. Scientists at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna have compiled findings on the molecular genetics of cancer development in canines. Their study was published in BMC Genomics on Nov. 16.
Do your canine patients look to you, or their owners, for direction? It could be because dogs have been trained to solicit that direction rather than act independently, a new study suggests. The study, published September 16 in Biology Letters by Oregon State University, concluded that social sensitivity plays a key role in a dog’s willingness to problem solve.