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Talkin' Pets News

May 25, 2019

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Dr. Linda Register - East West Animal Hospital

Producer - Lexi Lapp

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Social Media - Bob Page

Special Guest - BRONZE SCULPTURE OF ‘AMERICA’S FIRST WAR DOG’ TO BE HOUSED AT THE AKC MUSEUM OF THE DOG and Alan Fausel, the museum's Executive Director and Susan Bahary will join Jon & Talkin' Pets 5/25/19 at 5pm ET to discuss the unveiling

 

The anti-vaccination movement has spread to pets, and that could be dangerous, according to a National Pet Insurance company.

Rob Jackson, CEO of Healthy Paws, told People.com that his company has noticed a decline in dogs getting their “core” vaccinations. That includes vaccines against rabies vaccine, parvovirus, distemper and adenovirus-2.

“Anti-vaccination sentiments are spilling over into pet parenting,” he said.

A blog post on the company’s website states:

Much like the human anti-vaccination movement, pet parents’ reasons run the gamut, but at the core they all lead back to a belief that vaccinations can be harmful to pets. Some are concerned that vaccines trigger immune disorders and life-threatening side effects, while others think pets can gain immunity much like humans can – through exposure.

The company also noted: “Our pets rely on us to take care and protect them, and vaccinations are one way we can fulfill this promise.”

On May 22, 2019, The Florida Aquarium’s Animal Response Team, supported by Florida Blue, returned four green sea turtles into the Atlantic Ocean at Wilbur-By-The-Sea in Volusia County.

The green sea turtles were brought into The Florida Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center in Apollo Beach in early February from Volusia County. These are among the first turtles to be cared for at the facility since it opened in January. All the turtles had suffered cold-stunning and were rescued on the state’s east coast. Cold stunning occurs when ocean water and air temperatures decrease rapidly and for an extended period of time, rendering the reptiles immobile since they are cold-blooded.

Cold-stunned turtles are unable to swim and can develop symptoms, including decreased heart rate, low blood circulation, and pneumonia. If they do not receive treatment, cold-stunned sea turtles can be susceptible to drowning, infections, predation, or boat strikes.

The Florida Aquarium’s Animal Response Staff worked around the clock to monitor the treatment of the sea turtles affected by cold-stunning. They were able to warm the sea turtles to raise their body temperature and provided them with additional medical care.

Sea turtles are a critical part of the ocean’s ecological system and play an essential role in the health of our oceans. The Florida Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center in Apollo Beach combines research and rehabilitation programs to give much-needed support to animals in distress or imminent danger and ecosystems faced with both natural and human-made threats.

All care and turtle rehabilitation by The Florida Aquarium is done with the approval of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) under conditions not harmful to marine turtles and authorized under conservation activities pursuant to FWC MTP-19-179.

So, you love animals and want to make a difference but aren’t sure how? Maybe you’ve even been considering dedicating your career to animals. Well, you’re in luck, because the ASPCA put together seven incredible jobs you could find in animal welfare. And yes, these are all totally real jobs!

1. Animal Care Technician  Animal Care Technicians (ACTs) work at shelters to help care for and feed the animal residents, as well as cleaning kennels. This hands-on job is a great one to consider for anyone wanting to be face-to-face with animals.  

2. Forensic Veterinarian This is a job that requires a bit more studying. Veterinary forensics is a burgeoning field in which veterinarians are trained to collect and analyze crime scene evidence pertaining to animal victims so that they can help law enforcement during criminal cases. 

3. Animal Behaviorist  No one’s perfect, and shelter animals need compassion and understanding as they adjust to new surroundings. Every animal’s background and personality are unique to them. That’s why many shelters rely on Behaviorists to help assess an animal’s individual behavioral needs so that they can get ready for a new home. 

4. Field Responder  Responders are those who work in the field during times of critical need, such as during a natural disaster or a criminal case. Responders are on the front lines, assisting and rescuing animals as needed. 

5. Neonate Specialist  Small, young kittens often arrive at shelters at vulnerable stages in their lives. “Bottle babies,” or neonates, require special care to help them grow strong and healthy if they’re brought to shelters without their mothers. Neonate specialists are trained to care for these tiny animals and prove to be invaluable during feline breeding season in the summer months. 

6. “Matchmaker”  Matchmakers at shelters help ensure that an animal is going to a home where they will be best suited and live their fullest life. This also helps potential adopters ensure that they are getting a new family member who will best fit their lifestyle. 

7.  Photographer This one may not seem specific to animal welfare, but photographers are always needed. In our digital age, many rescues and shelters need professional photographers to help them promote their adoptable animals online. And what’s better than a puppy or kitten photoshoot?!

Even if you aren’t quite ready for a career change, there are many ways you can help animals in need. One of the easiest ways is by becoming an ASPCA Guardian! May marks our annual Member Drive, and we are hoping to encourage all animal lovers to consider joining as monthly donors. Check out ASPCA.org

In Pennsylvania, Luzerne County SPCA's humane officer is looking into a possible case of animal cruelty after a cat was found with a fish hook in its mouth.

A rescue group who found the cat believes someone in Plymouth is baiting fish hooks and feeding them to cats, according to WNEP.

With visible facial wounds showing, a stray cat is on the mend at the Pittston Animal Hospital after it was found with a fish hook caught in its mouth.

Volunteers with Happy Hearts and Tails Safe Haven Animal Rescue say it was found around an abandoned house on East Main Street in Plymouth. They believe someone living on the block is feeding baited fish hooks on strings to the strays living there.

“There was a string with a hook, and then he put food on it, dangling for the cat and the cat ate it,” said Dawn Mandygral, who runs the rescue group. “He deliberately-he was fishing for cats. That's what he said.”

Mandygral says that cat is among 15 cats left behind when their owners were evicted. She and others were at the home searching for more cats who were fed baited hooks. “There's definitely two more. We know that there's three with string coming out of their mouths,” said Mandygral.

A humane officer with the Luzerne County SPCA says they have spoken with the person believed to be doing this and that there is an investigation into possible animal cruelty. “[I hope] that he's prosecuted to the fullest extent for every single cat that he's harmed,” said Mandygral.

As for the cat at the hospital, Dr. Inayat Kathio says it is recovering after extensive and expensive medical work.

“Take the string out from the stomach, that costs money,” said Kathio. “Drained the abscesses from the cat and give them the treatment. That costs lots of money.”

Plymouth police also confirm they are looking into what has been happening to the stray cats. The SPCA humane officer says at this time they are not releasing the name of the person they are investigating.

Lampreys are one of the oldest surviving species of eel-like jawless fish. They populate both rivers and coastal sea waters in temperate regions around the world.

These strange-looking fish are rendered particularly uncanny by their boneless, tooth-lined mouth. They are also parasitic, feeding on the blood of other fish.

New research suggests that these aquatic-dwellers may provide an adaptable vehicle for drugs that treat the biological effects of conditions or health events affecting the brain.

A recent study, conducted by a team of scientists from University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Texas at Austin, has looked at a type of molecule from the immune system of lampreys, called "variable lymphocyte receptors" (VLRs).

The researchers explain that what makes VLRs interesting is their ability to target the extracellular matrix (ECM), a network of macromolecules that provide structure to the cells they surround.

This network makes up a large part of the central nervous system, so the research team believes that VLRs can help carry drugs to the brain, boosting the effectiveness of treatments for brain cancer, brain trauma, or stroke.

It might be hard to imagine that an essential part of the horse’s diet could contain potentially deadly hidden toxins. But it’s a hard truth that horse owners must be aware of: Alfalfa hay can harbor blister beetles (Epicauta spp), which can contain a harmful toxic substance called cantharidin.

A member of the Meloidae family, blister beetles live throughout the United States and Canada. Their average body length is about 0.3 to 1.3 inches. A blister beetle’s diet is mainly composed of pollen, blossoms, and leaves of flowering plants, making alfalfa the perfect meal for them. Most alfalfa infestation occurs during late summer and early fall, when the adult blister beetle population also peaks.

Male blister beetles produce a natural defense toxin called cantharidin. This irritant can cause blisters on skin (of both horses and humans) within a few hours of contact, hence the insect’s name. When ingested, cantharidin is lethal in horses with as little as half a milligram per kilogram of body weight, equivalent to consumption of around 125 beetles for an average-sized horse. And it’s not just the live insects that are harmful: The toxin is still effective long after the beetle dies.

Cantharidin negatively impacts horses’ urinary and digestive systems, and signs of toxicity can include colic; diarrhea; elevated temperature, heart rate, and respiration rate; and frequent urination. There is no specific treatment for blister beetle poisoning, and therapy typically focuses on supportive care, reducing toxin absorption, and administering intravenous fluids, gastrointestinal protectants, and broad-spectrum antibiotics. If treatment is unsuccessful, or if a horse us untreated, death usually occurs within 72 hours of blister beetle ingestion.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of inadvertently feeding blister beetles, including:

  • If practical and possible, and your horse requires alfalfa hay in his diet, grow your own so you can use proper preventive management practices;
  • Buy from local sources, develop a relationship your hay producer, and learn about their production practices and hay quality;
  • Buy first cutting hay, since blister beetles are not active early in the season;
  • Because blister beetles are attracted to alfalfa’s flowers, purchase hay cut prior to flowering;
  • Inspect hay closely for blister beetles when purchasing or before feeding alfalfa hay. Do not feed any hay that you think could contain blister beetles; and
  • Consider eliminating alfalfa hay from your horse’s diet if he doesn’t need it and switching to a different type of forage.

Blister beetles can be deadly to horses, but you can reduce that risk by checking alfalfa hay closely before feeding and choosing cuts that are less likely to contain these insects and the toxins they contain.

Spider venom research has so far focused on a relatively narrow area. Now, a group of scientists in Switzerland has dug a little deeper to find out exactly how deadly it is.

But Could the secrets of spider venom help design new drugs?

Animal venom has long been used in medicine. While the industry used to focus on snake venom, spiders are now under intense examination.

The two types work in very different ways; snake venom targets the cardiovascular system, while spider venom aims for the nervous system.

Understanding precisely how spider venom works could lead to effective treatment methods for the likes of epilepsy and stroke.

Scientists already know that arachnid venom causes a breakdown in the function of ion channels. These channels must be able to open and close at specific times in order to control muscles and other critical bodily processes.

When spider venom enters a body, it disrupts the usual ion channel flow, resulting in paralysis and sometimes death. Focusing on the relationship between these channels and venom could be the ticket to a revolutionary new treatment.

Research into spider venom has been ongoing for the past few decades, but much of it has revolved around the effects of neurotoxins. This has contributed to the development of successful insecticides, but drug-related uses are still being investigated.

The state has confirmed three additional cases of rat lungworm disease in visitors to the Big Island.

The three adults contracted the disease separately ― and months apart.

One of the visitors got sick after purposely eating a slug on a dare while visiting East Hawaii in December 2018, the Health Department said.

The visitor brings the number of rat lungworm cases in Hawaii last year to 10.

The two other new cases were among individuals who visited the west side of the Big Island.

One of the visitors got sick in January, but was not hospitalized. It’s not known how the individual got infected, but the Health Department said the visitor ate “many homemade salads” while on vacation.

The other visitor got sick in February, and was hospitalized. The Health Department said the individual likely got sick while “grazing” for fruits and vegetables.

The two cases this year bring to five the number of people who have fallen ill with rat lungworm so far this year. All five cases were contracted on the Big Island.

“It’s important that we ensure our visitors know the precautions to take to prevent rat lungworm disease, which can have severe long-term effects,” said Health Director Bruce Anderson.

“Getting information to visitors about the disease is just as critical as raising awareness amongst our residents.”

To cut down on the risk of getting rat lungworm, the state recommends:

  • Washing all fruits and vegetables under clean running water to remove any tiny slugs or snails.
  • Control snail, slug, and rat populations around homes, gardens and farms.
  • Inspect, wash and store produce in sealed containers.

Rat lungworm disease is caused by a parasitic roundworm and can have debilitating effects on an infected person’s brain and spinal cord.

In Hawaii, most people get ill after accidentally ingesting a snail or slug infected with the parasite.

Nearly 600 pit bulls and roosters were removed from two properties in Indiana after authorities received a tip that the animals were allegedly being trained for fighting.

Investigators seized one pit bull Thursday morning at the Morgan County home of Martin Anderson, the Indianapolis Star reports. More than 550 roosters and nine pit bulls were found at a farm in Owen County, reportedly owned by Anderson.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), which assisted in recovering the animals, the dogs were found tied to heavy chains and "housed in a manner consistent with dogfighting," the agency said in a press release.

The roosters had "physical alterations commonly associated with cockfighting," the ASPCA said. The agency said it was not able to provide details on the alterations because this is an ongoing investigation.

Animal-fighting paraphernalia was also found at both properties, according to the ASPCA.

Anderson is being held in the Morgan County Jail on one count of purchasing an animal to be used in an animal fighting contest, according to the Indianapolis Star. He faces up to two-and-a-half years in prison if convicted.

The Indiana Gaming Commission executed search warrants on the properties after Crime Stoppers received a tip that the dogs and birds were allegedly being trained for animal fighting. "There’s no place in Indiana communities for animal fighting and the illegal gambling that goes with it, and we are very pleased that we were able to shut down this operation," said IGC Superintendent Rob Townsend in the ASPCA release.

Jessica Rushin, senior manager of Partnerships for ASPCA Field Investigations and Response, told NBC News on Friday that the rescued animals were taken to temporary shelters in undisclosed locations for evaluations and to receive medical and behavioral care until a court decides on where to place them. In the past, rescued dogs were placed in homes, Rushin said.

Animal fighting has become a growing concern in the United States. Last year, the ASPCA assisted in rescuing more than 4,500 animals from dogfighting and cockfighting cases, Rushin told NBC.

“Animal fighting is one of the most heinous forms of animal cruelty, and sadly it is far more common in the United States than many people realize,” she said in a statement. “To betray animals by forcing them to fight for their lives for so-called entertainment is despicable."

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