Proventricular Dilatation Disease (PDD) is a lethal disease found mainly in the psittacine (parrot) family. But hope is on the horizon. Researchers at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) have developed a highly effective vaccine against PDD, caused by Avian Bornavirus and which results in blindness, heart failure, or intestinal blockage. The use of the vaccine against the Avian Bornavirus prevented the development of the disease in captive birds with no obvious adverse effects.
A new study by scientists at the University of Liverpool and Mars Petcare’s Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition showed that the lifespans of overweight dogs were up to two-and-a-half years shorter than those of ideal-weight dogs.
The FDA issued a warning about the risks of the artificial sweetener xylitol to dogs and ferrets.
Everyone knows cats love fish, but these days, dogs are eating their fair share, too. Especially salmon. Salmon is an increasingly common ingredient in commercial dog food because manufacturers are looking for unconventional protein sources and they want to include more omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Salmon fits the bill on both counts. Sadly, it’s also a great source of mercury.
Dog owners who cook food for their pets at home may be putting a lot of love into the recipes, but they are likely not adding enough nutritional value, according to researchers from the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine.
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.