Did you hear the latest animal deemed a hero? Does animal science news interest you? Want to know about some of the new cutting edge procedures that can impact your pet’s quality of life? Then look no further than our website. Click on the headings below to read about pets in the news.
“Real Kill” Rat Poison Especially Dangerous for Pets
All brands of rat poison are harmful when ingested by pets, but pet-owners should be particularly cautious with a brand of poison called “Real Kill.”
“Real Kill” is especially dangerous because there is no known antidote for pets that have ingested the product. Usually, pets who have ingested rat poison are treated with vitamin K and have a good prognosis, but this isn’t the case with “Real Kill.”
Rodenticides (rat poisons) kill rats by interrupting the body’s blood clotting system, resulting in fatal bleeding. This same result occurs if enough poison is ingested by humans or pets. Vitamin K is usually administered to rejuvenate the body’s blood coagulation ability. For most brands of rat poison this is an effective treatment, but “Real Kill” poison is not responsive to vitamin K.
Pets that have ingested “Real Kill” poison have to be treated with alternative methods. These methods include induced vomiting, charcoal, plasma transfusions, intravenous fluids and possibly blood transfusions.
Ingestion of rat poison can be a frightening and expensive ordeal for pet-owners, so it is best to keep all brands of rat poison out of reach from pets unless a tamper-resistant bait station is used.
If you think your pet has ingested rat poison, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Signs that your pet has ingested rat poison include:
-Paleness in gums
What to do if your pet is hit by a car
Hopefully, most pet owners won’t ever have to face the trauma of their beloved pet being hit by a car. However, it’s important to be knowledgeable if this unfortunate accident ever occurs. The number one thing to remember is to stay calm so that you are able to properly deal with the situation.
Here are some basic instructions:
1.) Call your veterinarian immediately. If it is after hours, contact a 24-hour emergency vet clinic. Calmly explain what happened and be prepared to answer any questions about visible injuries or behaviors.
*Call your veterinarian no matter what, even if there are no major visible injuries. Your pet could be suffering from an internal injury.
2.) Carefully place your pet in your car. If possible, have another person sit with the animal for comfort and to keep the animal as still as possible. Sudden movements can worsen injuries.
3.) Go to the nearest animal hospital.
4.) Be prepared to pay out of pocket for medical expenses. Costs may include the initial exam, x-rays, cast application, antibiotics or any procedures that may be necessary.
5.) Follow recovery instructions carefully so that your pet can fully and comfortably heal.
Life-saving Benefits of “Fixing” Your Pet
Most people know the benefits of spaying and neutering your pet include preventing overpopulation, saving the cost of caring for a litter and diminishing a host of unattractive behaviors. But what many pet owners may not know is that “fixing” a pet could save his or her life.
Risk of several dangerous and costly medical conditions in dogs and cats can be eliminated by spaying or neutering the animal early in life. Testicular torsion, pyometra, urethral prolapse, ovarian cancer, testicular cancer, and breast cancer are all potentially life-threatening conditions that can be prevented. Diagnosis of one of these conditions for a beloved family pet is emotionally difficult and financially draining for families.
According to John Hart, DVM and Emergency/Critical Care Specialist at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Sorrento Valley, spaying or neutering is usually safe when your pet is at least 8-weeks-old and weighs at least 3 pounds.
For a referral to a veterinary clinic that provides reduced cost spay/neuter fees, contact SNAP (Spay Neuter Action Project) at (619) 525-3047.
Snail Bait Poses Deadly Danger to Pets
With spring quickly approaching, the season for snails and slugs is upon us. Homeowners battling against these squirmy enemies in their yards should take precautions to keep dogs and cats safe from poisonous snail bait.
Ingesting snail bait poison can cause death in less than 24 hours, said Janan Abed, DVM an emergency/critical care resident at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital in San Diego. Less severe cases can cause liver damage within two to three days of ingestion. For your pet’s best chance at a full recovery, immediate veterinary care is needed after exposure.
Signs of snail bait poisoning include:
Lack of coordination
Increased respiratory rate
Increased sensitivity to stimuli
Cocoa Mulch Hazardous to Pets
Green thumbed pet owners should be advised not to use a brand of mulch called “Cocoa Mulch” when tending to their gardens because it is highly toxic to dogs and cats.
Cocoa Mulch contains a chemical called theobromine, which can be lethal when ingested by dogs or cats. Theobromine is the same chemical found in most forms of chocolate. Although theobromine isn’t particularly dangerous to humans, even small amounts can be deadly for pets. For animals, theobromine can cause dehydration, excitability, seizures, and sometimes death.
There have been several documented cases of dogs falling ill due to ingesting Cocoa Mulch, which suggests that the mulch’s scent is especially enticing to dogs. Cocoa Mulch is sold at Target, Home Depot, and other garden supply stores. There is no warning on Cocoa Mulch packaging about the potential danger it poses for pets.
Are Dogs the New Chimpanzee?
Dogs can serve as a model for human behavior, according to a study soon to be published in the journal Advances in the Study of Behavior. Lead researcher Jozsef Topal believes that adapting to living situations over the past 10,000 years has caused dogs to possess similarities to humans. According to the study, humans share three things in common with dogs.
- Sociality—We organize into groups and become loyal to one another.
- Synchronization—Following laid out rules unites us.
- Constructive Activity—We communicate and cooperate with each other to achieve goals.
Topal and his team taught actions to dogs and toddlers by way of verbal commands. The dogs "performed surprisingly well and at a comparable level to the 16-month-old child," Topal said.
Man’s Best Friend, for Eternity
Archaeologists have found the mummified remains of a 2,300-year-old dog in Egypt. Named Hapi-Puppy by University of Pennsylvania museum staff, the small dog was found at the feet of his master, Hapi-Men. CT images of the canine revealed a long head and Jack Russell-like legs. Its young age suggests it was killed upon his master’s death. Though looked down on today, the practice was common in ancient Egypt. Egyptians were regularly buried with jewels and animals to bring to the afterlife. Known for preserving cats and birds, they not often mummified dogs, making the find rare.
Stem Cells Help Ailing Pets
Imagine your pet being free from joint pain or arthritis, or jumping and playing a mere two weeks after surgery. That is what San Diego-based company Vet Stem is promising with its innovative stem cell therapy.
The process starts when fat cells are taken from your animal by your veterinarian, who sends them to Vet-Stem for processing. Vet-Stem extracts the stem cells from Fido’s fat and sends them back to your vet, who in turn injects them back into Fido. These cells can help repair tendon and ligament damage after injury. Though expensive, the procedure is a great alternative to invasive surgery.
Students at the University of Florida will have a new choice of major come 2010, when the school unveils a program in animal forensics. In partnership with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the program will be the first of its kind in the country and hopes to draw interest from those currently in criminal justice and animal control fields. Crimes against animals are investigated the same way as their human counterparts, but there are differences in what the corpses show. Possible classes include the study of blood splatter evidence, bite-mark analysis and body decomposition.
Parrot Deemed a Hero by Red Cross
Willie, a lime green Quaker parrot, has been awarded the Red Cross’ Animal Lifesaver Award for helping save a young girl’s life.
Willie was left alone with 2-year-old Hannah Kuusk when Hannah’s babysitter went to use the restroom. The normally quiet bird began crying "Momma baby, momma baby" while flapping his wings. Hannah’s babysitter rushed in to find Hannah choking and promptly performed the Heimlich maneuver.
Willie is the first bird to receive the award. Said Red Cross spokesman Jim Rettew, "This was not just a bird chirping for his food. He saw that there was an emergency and used exemplary behavior to notify the babysitter that the child was choking. How could you not give the award to this bird?"