Saturday, 04 January 2020 17:05

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Talkin' Pets News

January 4, 2020

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Maria Ryan - DogGone Positive

Producer - Lexi Lapp Adams

Reporter - Dan Adams

Network Producer - Darian Sims

Social Media - Bob Page

 

The American Kennel Club (AKC®), the world’s largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for dogs, announced today that the Barbet and Dogo Argentino will receive full recognition and become eligible to compete in their respective groups on January 1, 2020. These additions bring the number of AKC-recognized breeds to 195.

“We’re happy to have the Barbet and Dogo Argentino as part of AKC’s family of recognized breeds,” said Gina DiNardo, AKC Executive Secretary. “Both are unique, offering dog lovers very different choices. As always, we encourage people to do their research to find the best breed for their lifestyle when looking to add a dog to their home.”

Joining the Sporting group, the Barbet is a medium-sized water dog from France. The breed was originally used to hunt waterfowl in its native country. It’s a smart, even-tempered dog with a happy, friendly nature. The Barbet is loyal and loves to be near its owners. It has a moderate activity level, requiring daily physical and mental stimulation. The breed’s coat is thick and curly, and kept in its natural state only needing trimming to keep it neat.

Joining the Working group, the Dogo Argentino is a large hunting dog developed in Argentina. It was originally used to hunt big game, such as boar and mountain lion. Dogos are confident, courageous, loyal and affectionate with their family. They aren’t for the inexperienced dog owner, however. They have strong guarding instincts and tend to be very protective and territorial. The breed is a powerful, athletic working dog that needs a great deal of daily exercise and frequent interaction with people. Dogos have a short, smooth coat that needs weekly brushing. Because of their white coat, they can get easily sunburned.

To become an AKC recognized breed there must be a minimum number of dogs geographically distributed throughout the U.S., as well as an established breed club of responsible owners and breeders. Breeds working towards full recognition are recorded in AKC’s Foundation Stock Service® (FSS®). Additional information on the process can be found at akc.org.

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The Mojave Desert tortoise may be an icon of its ecoregion, but researchers struggle to gather even basic information about this shy, burrowing reptile. Its scat, however, is easy to find and collect. The stool can be used to identify individual animals, allowing agencies to monitor this threatened, federally protected species.

As reported in the current issue of Chelonian Conservation and Biology, researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey and University of Nevada, Reno, compared protocols for extracting DNA from scat samples to determine the genetic makeup of individual tortoises and identify the ideal method for desert tortoise studies. Such scat genotyping has been helpful in studying mammals, and the technique is touted as being non-invasive to animals and their habitats. Until now, relatively few studies have applied it to tortoises.

"Sometimes even what might appear to be basic information (such as how many tortoises reside in an area, how they interact with each other and how far and how often they roam) can be difficult to determine because tortoises are elusive," said researcher Amy Vandergast. "Their sign, including scat, can be easier to find. Because all individuals shed epithelial cells in their stool, scat that is found during field surveys provides another means of identifying individuals using molecular markers."

The researchers tested six DNA extraction protocols on scat samples collected from a threatened tortoise species, Gopherus agassizii, in the Mojave Desert area in southern Nevada and California. They aimed to find out whether they could accurately identify individual tortoises from stool samples and hoped to pinpoint the ideal tool for genotyping the samples and using the genetic markers to monitor tortoise populations.

The study found that sample quality was paramount; the caliber of the genotype depended more heavily on the quality of the DNA sample than the type of extraction method used. Despite a relatively small sample size, 30 percent of field-collected scat and 70 percent of fresh scat were genotyped accurately. The researchers decided that the Qiagen DNeasy Plant Mini extraction kit extracts DNA most efficiently from tortoise scat.

The results of the study indicate that collecting scat in the field and analyzing the DNA can supplement standard survey and monitoring techniques. With additional information from the DNA extracted from scat, researchers and management agencies could learn more about the population dynamics, relationships and movements of individuals throughout the tortoise species' range.

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Thomas Hafner, of Mootral, believes that his garlic supplement could cut methane emissions from cows by 38 per cent.

The cows on Joe Towers’s dairy farm have been burping a lot less since he began adding a little garlic to their feed.

They seem to like the flavour but he is not doing it to keep them happy. His 400 cows have taken part in the largest trial of adding a natural supplement to cattle diet to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas they belch.

Scientists found the mix of garlic and citrus extract reduced methane emissions by up to 38 per cent. The effect was produced by adding only about 15g of the supplement to the cows’ daily feed.

Mr Towers hopes the results, published in a study involving the dairy research and innovation centre at Scotland’s Rural College, will help consumers to feel less guilty about eating meat and dairy products. About 15 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock and a third of that is from methane, which traps 25 times more heat than carbon dioxide but remains in the atmosphere for a shorter period. Most of the methane produced by cattle comes from their burps.

The trial also found that milk yield rose by up to 8 per cent. The cows were also less stressed because the garlic appeared to deter the flies that bother them.

The supplement, which is blended in Abertillery in Monmouthshire by the Swiss company Mootral, had no effect on the milk’s taste or smell. Several methane-reducing supplements have been tested on cattle, with the University of California showing that seaweed could reduce methane by 60 per cent. Garlic is cheaper and more readily available. It also claims the supplement reduces udder infections, saving on antibiotics.

However, Mootral concedes that farmers may need an extra incentive to buy the supplement and has developed a system of “cow credits” under which the benefit of the methane reduction could be sold to those seeking to offset their emissions.

For Mr Towers, one of the greatest benefits is improving the image of dairy farming, which he says has been tarnished by unfair attacks by environmentalists who ignore the nutritional benefits of milk. “This is a good opportunity to show the dairy industry does care about the environment,” he said.

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The Patterson Foundation has announced $94,530 in grant funding to 12 nonprofit organizations, including two animal health groups.

Washington-based Summit Assistance Dogs and Guide Dogs for the Blind in California will receive a portion of the funds. The organizations place assistance dogs with veterans or individuals with disabilities.

Also set to receive funding are 10 organizations that provide oral health-care to humans.

“We are dedicated to continuing to support organizations in the dental and animal health fields,” says Lindsay Stewart, senior foundation manager. “These organizations are carefully selected based on the impact in their communities and alignment with the foundation’s mission”

Last year, Patterson Foundation bestowed more than $1.4 million in grants and scholarships to nonprofit groups across the U.S., resulting in over 48 assistance dogs being placed with veterans or individuals with disabilities and 21,244 patients receiving oral health-care.

“The foundation is thrilled to be able to make an impact in the lives of the people and animals these organizations serve,” Stewart says.

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Given the foaling process from beginning to end, it is not surprising that mares’ bodies perceive parturition as stressful. Despite years of research into equine reproduction, timing of parturition remains poorly understood. “Unlike cows and other domesticated species, mares appear to have more control over when they deliver. Under stud farm conditions, for example, over 90% of mares deliver their foals at night when disturbances are minimal,” said Catherine Whitehouse, M.S., a Kentucky Equine Research nutrition advisor.

According to Austrian equine reproduction experts,* although the degree of maternal control over the onset of parturition appears to differ between species, stress-like responses occur in many species. These responses seem to be controlled by two distinct hormone pathways: the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical and the sympatho-adrenomedullary systems.

“These pathways serve as links between the nervous system and hormone-producing organs, and play important roles in stress and response to external stimuli,” explained Whitehouse. “The hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical system controls the release of the stress hormone cortisol into the bloodstream, which is thought to have profound effects on the timing of parturition.”

Cortisol concentrations in a mare’s bloodstream are already elevated during gestation. At the time of parturition, cortisol levels continue to rise, becoming markedly increased compared to the already high prepartum values. These exceptionally high cortisol levels appear to be restricted to the short expulsive phase of foaling, or when the foal is actually delivered, which often lasts less than 15 minutes.

The researchers wrote, “Cortisol concentration in maternal blood during expulsion of the foal is more than threefold higher than in horses exposed to known stressful challenges such as road transport, acute abdominal disease, traumatic conditions, or abdominal surgery.”

One study found that exposure of actively foaling mares to an experimental stressor during the expulsive phase of foaling (e.g., transfer to a new stable) did not further increase cortisol release. Those data suggest that expulsion of the foal may be perceived as a marked stressor and that further stressors are comparatively inconsequential.

Another recent study conducted by the Austrian researchers looked at foaling mares that were transferred from their familiar, straw-bedded, and dimly lit foaling stall to an unfamiliar, bright stable with only rubber mats on the floor upon fetal membrane rupture. This change, believed to be perceived as a stressful event to foaling mares, increased the time until complete birth of the foal from approximately 5 minutes to 10 minutes compared to mares allowed to foal in their familiar, dimly lit stalls. Specifically, transferring actively foaling mares to a novel environment delayed the onset of foal expulsion (i.e., time until passage of the fetal feet through the vulva); however, progression of the foal through the birth canal proceeded normally.

In conclusion, the researchers underscored that the effects of stress on the initiation and progress of parturition in domestic animals is only partially understood. Due to the potential negative effects on both mare and foal, the researchers felt acute disturbance or manipulation of late-pregnant and foaling mares should be avoided unless veterinary intervention is required. ---------

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Nearly 3% of horses colic during any given year, and up to 17% go to surgery because of it. If that’s not enough to worry about, 11-42% of horses get an incisional infection after colic surgery. But Kajsa Gustafsson, DVM, and researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Koret School of Veterinary Medicine might have found a promising solution to preventing these postoperative infections: medical-grade honey.

Honey has been known for its medicinal properties since ancient times, said Gustafsson during her presentation at the 65th Annual American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 7-11 in Denver. The rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria has created renewed interest in this natural infection-fighter. Both doctors and veterinarians have been using honey topically to treat wounds to good effect, but Gustafsson investigated if its antimicrobial properties might also work below the surface and significantly decrease the incidence of colic surgery incisional infections.

In a two-year study using 89 horses, the Koret surgical team applied medical-grade honey (L-mesitran soft) within the incision after suturing the linea alba prior to skin and subcutaneous closure. The veterinarians randomly assigned horses to treatment and control groups. The evaluators, who did not know which horses had been treated with the honey and which were not, conducted assessments for postop incision four times in a 14-day period. After the horses were discharged, researchers continued to follow their progress with the animals’ referring veterinarians.

Of the 49 horses in the treatment group, four developed incisional infections (8.1%), compared to 13 horses in the untreated group (32.5%)—a statistically significant difference. With the application of medical-grade honey, horses in the study were four times less likely to get an infection. There also appeared to be no adverse effects at the incision line in any of the honey-treated horses.

Bacteriological samples were obtained from the incision sites of 12 of the 17 horses with infected incisions. Eleven of the 12 suffered from multiresistant infections to common antimicrobials, and three out of these suffered from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections. Notably, all three were members of the control group, meaning they did not receive intraoperative medical-grade honey.

“Applying medical-grade honey on the linea alba intraoperatively is a simple, easy, and rapid procedure that does not appear to have any adverse effects,” Gustafsson concluded. Medical-grade honey appears to have strong protective factors, she added, and using it prophylactically offers another line of defense against incisional infection in horses undergoing colic surgery.

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A new cat owner is being sued for not letting the feline sleep in her bed at night.

Danette Romano faces a lawsuit from the cat’s owner, Carol Money, who gave up her pet after becoming ill with breast cancer, the New York Post reports.

Money, 73, claims in a court filing that Romano “knew that she would not let Lacie sleep with her at night and purposefully withheld this information from [Money] in order to induce Plaintiff into letting her adopt Lacie.” She is suing Romano in New York’s Onondaga Supreme Court.

Money claims she told Romano, who adopted the cat in spring 2018, that “Lacie’s distress at night from not sleeping with her was the only reason she would consider letting someone adopt Lacie.”

She’s claiming breach of contract and asking for unspecified damages.

The Post reports that Money is “seeking [Lacie’s] safe return.”

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Across snow-covered North Dakota, U.S. farmers are stuck with fields full of weather-damaged corn - a crop they planted after the U.S.-China trade war killed their soybean market. Many don't know yet what crops they'll plant next season among a host of dicey options.

In Texas, Kansas and Colorado, farmers are weighing whether they should plant fewer acres of corn and more sorghum, even though China has all but stopped buying it. That's because sorghum costs about half as much as corn to plant, which appeals to farmers wary of investing too much for an uncertain return.

As the U.S. farm economy reels from the worst harvest in decades after nearly two years of the trade war, U.S. grain growers are struggling to decide what crops might keep them in business.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced last month that China had agreed to double its pre-trade war purchases of U.S. agricultural products over the next two years as part of a Phase 1 trade deal. That brought little comfort to U.S. farmers because China still has not confirmed the commitment or signed any deal.

"President Trump said that we're all going to need to go buy bigger tractors," said North Dakota farmer Justin Sherlock. "I don't think many farmers are going to invest much money until we see that this is a done deal and a long-term deal."

Trump administration officials say the Phase 1 trade deal with China will be signed in January, though many tariffs will remain in place during further negotiation. Commodity market analysts and agricultural economists warn an agreement won't be an immediate fix for the U.S. farm economy because the conflict has spurred China to develop new supply chains.

China has, for instance, deepened ties with rival exporters such as Brazil and Argentina. Brazilian soy cultivation is expanding after record exports to China in the past year and China is investing in South American ports.

Making matters worse, China's need for soy and sorghum to feed livestock is waning because of a deadly pig disease that experts estimate has killed off about half the world's largest hog herd. China's hog industry has also worked to reformulate pig rations to include less soy and more alternative feeds that don't have to be imported from the United States.

"We won't go immediately back to where we were 18 months ago - maybe not for a long time," Jay Debertin, chief executive officer of CHS Inc <CHSCP.O>, the largest U.S. farmer cooperative, told grain producers at a recent conference in North Dakota.

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Already besieged by one of the worst wildfire seasons in Australian history, evacuees and those staying put brace for conditions to grow even more dire as the sky bleeds blood red..

Across Australia’s southeast, supermarket shelves emptied, gas stations closed and roads became clogged with traffic as skies turned a hellish red or a smoke-choked white. Firefighters were overwhelmed by more than 100 raging blazes and families were forced to make perilous stay-or-go decisions.

The toll so far includes 18 deaths, 1,000’s of homes destroyed and thousands of animals killed. Experts and government officials offered a grim warning: This weekend is likely to be the most dangerous yet.

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Patti Smith marked Greta Thunberg’s 17th birthday with a short poem celebrating the work of the young climate activist.

Smith posted a photo of Thunberg on Instagram and wrote in the caption: “This is/Greta Thunberg, turning/seventeen today, asking/for no accolade, no gifts,/save we not be neutral./ The Earth knows its kind,/ just as all deities, just as/animals and the healing/spring. Happy birthday/to Greta, who stood today,/as every Friday, refusing/ to be neutral.”

Greta Thunberg was born on January 3, 2003 in Sweden as Greta Tintin Eleonora Ernman Thunberg. She is known for her work on Answers to Questions You Didn't Know to Ask About Climate Change (2018), Climate Change: The Facts (2019) and Youth Unstoppable (2018).

[to the U.N. Global Climate Action Summit, September 2019] You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words... People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are at the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of an endless economic growth. How dare you!

What's the point in educating ourselves and learning the facts when the people in power refuse to listen, to be educated and pay attention to the facts? Everywhere I've been the situation is more or less the same: the numbers of politicians and celebrities who want to take selfies are the same, and the lies are the same.

Read 135 times Last modified on Saturday, 04 January 2020 17:32
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