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February 20, 2019

More bad news about longhorned ticks

Originally from East Asia, the longhorned tick, or Haemaphysalis longicornis, successfully established itself in other areas of the world, including Australia, New Zealand, and, as of last November, eight states in the US, mostly in the East. These little guys get around. But where are they going next?

February 07, 2019

Breakthrough bone cancer vaccine for dogs could help humans, too

Imagine coming up with cures for human disease through laboratory testing on companion animals and coming up with a cure for the same disease in the animal while you’re at it? Talk about a win-win. Researchers at the University of Missouri (MU) aren’t quite there, but they’re getting close.

February 04, 2019

Are big dogs smarter than small dogs?

It depends on what you mean by smart. A new study published in Animal Cognition indicates that bigger dogs, who have larger brains than smaller dogs, perform better than smaller dogs on some measures of intelligence. Specifically, bigger dogs with bigger brains do better on a specific type of intelligence called “executive functioning,” which is linked to self-control in both humans and canines.

January 28, 2019

Study: We’re finding new feline viruses faster than we can figure them out

Things are moving fast in the world of feline pathogens. The authors of a recent review article in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery say “the rate at which novel [or previously unknown] viruses are being discovered now exceeds our understanding of their clinical relevance.” And it’s not just happening to cats: A 2008 paper in Nature described the discovery of 335 infectious diseases in the global human population between 1940 and 2004.

January 23, 2019

Are dogs’ personalities hardwired into their DNA?

When we think of certain dog breeds, specific characteristics come to mind: Beagles are boisterous. Afghans are aloof. Pembroke Welsh Corgis are sycophantic and suck up to royalty (not really). But it’s well documented that different breeds have different personalities. Are those differences determined by DNA?

January 04, 2019

Lyme disease on the rise in places it shouldn’t be

Lyme disease in dogs is showing up in places it didn’t used to. And that could mean humans are at increased risk for catching a disease that’s already on the rise in dogs. That’s according to a new study by the Companion Animal Council (CAPC), an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of the threat parasites present to pets and family members.

December 21, 2018

To protect kids from allergies, pile on the puppies (and the cats)

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).

December 19, 2018

New report: Barriers to veterinary care largely financial

In the past two years, nearly 28% of households with pets couldn’t provide those pets with the veterinary care they needed. That troubling statistic is among the findings in a new report on access to veterinary care released this week by the Access to Veterinary Care Coalition (AVCC), a partnership of for-profit and nonprofit veterinary service providers, animal welfare and social service professionals, and educators working with the University of Tennessee (UT) College of Social Work. And the overwhelming barrier for all groups of pet owners is financial.

December 12, 2018

Study: If your cat brings home lots of dead birds, you may be a serial killer

Granted, that’s a pretty loose interpretation of the findings, but a new study by researchers at the University of Liverpool suggests that while dogs may look like their owners, cats act like them. Researchers measured five personality traits in cats known as the “Feline Five”: friendliness, impulsiveness, dominance, neuroticism, and extroversion.

November 30, 2018

Survey: Being raised with pets could make you successful

Want your kids to grow to be successful in business? Get them a dog. It’s cheaper than putting them through Harvard Business School. At least, that’s one possible conclusion from a new survey by Banfield Pet Hospital on the relationship between pet ownership and professional success. An astonishing 93% of C-suite executives—people who hold positions like CEO or CFO—who answered the survey grew up with a pet.

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