Saturday, 29 February 2020 18:09

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Talkin' Pets News

February 29, 2020

Host - Jon Patch

Co-host - Jasmine the Dog Trainer, Tampa, Florida

Producer - Lexi Lapp Adams

Reporter - Dan Adams

Network Producer - Darian Sims

Social Media - Bob Page

Special Guest - Lea Price, Director of Communications for the Doris Day Animal Foundation will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 2/29/20 at 630pm ET to discuss Doris, her love of animals, the foundation and the property from the estate of Doris Day Auction


A new dog collar translate’s your pet’s barks into curse words.

The Cuss Collar from MSCHF produces words like bullsh*t and the f-bomb, CNN reports. It goes for $60 but is currently sold out.

The company states that the product isn’t a “shock/vibration/training collar” and that it “is not intended for anti-bark training use.”

The company’s website has details on how to be alerted when the collar is available again.

MSCHF specializes in novelty products, such as sneakers with water from the Jordan River in the soles and a rubber chicken bong.


The North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) today announced a donation of $25,000 to WIRES (NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc.) to help animals impacted by the catastrophic wildfires and drought in Australia.

As part of its mission to support the global veterinary community, the NAVC collected and matched donations to support Australia relief efforts during its recent annual Veterinary Expo & Meeting (VMX 2020), which drew more than 18,000 veterinary professionals from around the world.

“WIRES is on the ground in Australia 365 days a year, working tirelessly to rescue and care for animals in distress. With more than 1 billion animals injured by the recent fires and drought in Australia, WIRES has the experience and network to have a great impact during this tragic time,” said NAVC CEO Gene O’Neill.  “Members of the international veterinary community have come together, donating their time, money and love to help those in Australia, and NAVC is proud to contribute alongside them. We thank those who gave so generously and we are pleased to match and make their donations go even further.” 

“On behalf of WIRES, a heartfelt thank you for your generous donation and support of our native animals in the aftermath of these devastating bushfires and ongoing drought. We have been overwhelmed and very touched by the concern being shown for our wildlife both locally and around the world,” said WIRES CEO Leanne Taylor.  “With the assistance of NSW vets, WIRES’ 2,600 volunteers are doing a tremendous job of saving every joey and fire-affected animal possible to help rebuild the decimated wildlife populations and your efforts in raising funds for this cause are greatly appreciated.”

WIRES has been rescuing and caring for wildlife for over 30 years and is the largest wildlife rescue organization in Australia. For more information about their mission and how they are helping to rescue the many animals displaced by the tragic fires visit them at:


Advances in deworming over the last several decades have reduced the number of horses that perish from parasitism and its collateral damage, namely colic. Are horses still challenged by the same parasite species as 30 years ago? French scientists recently investigated this question using nearly 1,700 necropsy reports.1

As they reviewed the reports, the researchers loosely classified the burden of both strongylid and non-strongylid species in these horses.

Strongylid species, also known as redworms, were subdivided into large strongyles (Strongylidae subfamily) and small strongyles (Cyathostominae subfamily). Small strongyles are also referred to as cyathostomes. Important large strongyles included S. vulgaris, S. edentatus, and S. equinus, all of which migrate extensively through the body. Other species of large strongyles are less migratory. Nearly 50 species of cyathostomes affect horses, but only about 10 species were common. Non-strongylid species included Parascaris spp. (pinworms), Gasterophilus spp. (bots), and Anoplocephala spp. (tapeworms).

Researchers noted a marked change in the parasites responsible for fatal infections in the last two decades (from 2000 onward). They found a reduction in deaths caused by large strongyles, particularly S. vulgaris, and tapeworms, and an increase in fatalities due to small strongyles and pinworms.

Further, researchers observed that over one 10-year period (1998-2007) there was a rise in deaths attributed to pinworm infestation and a decline in deaths ascribed to bots and tapeworms.

The take-home message: certain non-strongylid parasites are becoming more prevalent as other parasites recede in significance.

How do horse owners detect and track parasite burdens? One way is through fecal egg counts (FEC), though not all horse owners take advantage of this test.

Surveys of European horse owners indicated that 50-60% of respondents routinely used FEC to assess parasite burden. In contrast, a 2015 study by the National Animal Health Monitoring Systems of horse owners in the U.S. indicated about 22% of respondents used FEC, suggesting little has changed since an earlier nationwide survey in 1998.2

Parasitism adversely affects the health of horses, sometimes to the point of death in the severest of cases. Prior to death, though, horses can withstand a considerable population of parasites, but this comes at a significant cost. Of note, parasitism can divert calories from growth and performance, so energy intended for the well-being of the horse is expended in supporting parasites. To avoid this, implement regular FEC in a parasite-management program and work with a veterinarian who is well-versed in deworming protocols.


The novel coronavirus outbreak in China may end up saving one of the world's most trafficked animals after Beijing announced a total ban on the sale and consumption of the pangolin.

The pangolin, the most trafficked mammal on Earth, is prized for its meat and its unique scales, which are said to have medicinal properties. 

The scaly mammal -- listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (ICUN) as threatened with extinction -- is a traditional delicacy across China and much of southeast Asia.

Following research linking the critters with the transmission of coronavirus to humans in the outbreak epicenter of Wuhan, Chinese officials on Monday slapped a ban on eating wild animals.

The measures, intended to halt the spread of the virus that has infected over 80,000 people worldwide and killed more than 2,700, could end up helping a number of endangered species -- but only if the ban holds long term.

Beijing implemented similar measures following the SARS outbreak in the early 2000s, but the trade and consumption of wild animals, including bats and snakes, made a comeback. 

The international sale of pangolins was outlawed in 2016 under the CITES convention against species exploitation. 

CITES secretary-general Ivonne Higuero welcomed China's move to ban the domestic trade but stressed that the animals were far from out of the woods. 

The illegal trafficking of wild species is estimated by the WWF to be worth around $15 billion annually, particularly among booming Asian markets.

While the ban has been welcomed by the conservation communities, there are fears that humans could come to blame pangolins for the outbreak, and seek revenge.

For Andrew Muir, CEO of Wilderness Foundation Africa, the solution is simple. 

"If we do not eat wildlife they will not harm us," he said.


The pet dog of a Hong Kong Covid-19 patient tested “weak positive” for the new coronavirus, the government announced on Friday.

The city’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said in a statement the dog had not shown any symptoms and there was no evidence to suggest that pets could contract the coronavirus or be a source of infection in people.

It said more tests would be conducted to confirm if the dog had really been infected or if this was a result of environmental contamination of its mouth and nose. Oral, nasal and rectal samples were collected for testing.

According to the World Health Organisation, there is no evidence that companion animals or pets such as dogs or cats can contract Covid-19.

Hong Kong’s agriculture department said it was alerted to take care of the dog of an infected patient who lives in Tai Hang on Wednesday and that the pet was immediately sent to the dog-keeping facilities at the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.

It added repeated tests would be performed on the animal, and it would only be returned to its owner once results had come back negative.

The dog is believed to belong to a Jockey Club member who is a Covid-19 patient. Her domestic helper is also infected. The pair were among the 93 cases that have been reported in Hong Kong so far.

A spokesman for the department said in the statement that infected patients were strongly advised to put their mammalian pets under its quarantine to ensure public and animal health.

He said the pets would be delivered to designated facilities for veterinary surveillance for 14 days. Samples will be collected for testing of the Covid-19 virus as appropriate.

The spokesman reminded owners to maintain their pets’ hygiene and to wash their hands thoroughly with soap or alcohol sanitiser after contact with the animals. Pet owners should wear masks while going out, he added.

He said if there were any changes in a pet’s condition, advice from veterinarians should be sought as soon as possible.


Deciding what to feed your pet can be a daunting task. Americans now spend over $31 billion each year on pet food and there are dozens of different companies, each having a variety of diets to choose from. Most pet food companies are experts at advertising and quick to promote “trendy” diets, even if they may not be the best food for your pet. It has recently come to light that this may be the case for grain-free or BEG (boutique, exotic, grain-free) diets for dogs.

Over the past couple of years, veterinary cardiologists noticed an increase in the number of dogs they saw who had dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a heart condition that decreases the heart’s ability to pump blood. There are some dog breeds that are more likely to develop DCM, but the cardiologists were diagnosing the condition in breeds without a known genetic predisposition, so the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) began an investigation.

The FDA received 515 reports of DCM in dogs between January 1, 2014, and April 30, 2019. When they looked into what these dogs were eating, they found that 90% were on a grain-free food and 93% were on diets that contained peas and/or lentils. The foods were tested for minerals, metals and amino acids and no significant abnormalities were found.

A relationship between grain-free diets and the development of DCM hasn’t been fully proven. However, there are numerous reports of dogs with DCM whose condition improved or completely resolved after they were taken off a BEG diet and started on a special amino acid supplementation (Taurine). The short answer is, we still don’t know why this is happening, but it appears that DCM is more likely to occur in dogs who are only eating BEG diets.

If your dog eats a BEG diet, they should be closely monitored for any signs of heart disease by your veterinarian or even a veterinary cardiologist. If your dog has a food allergy, there are alternatives to grain-free diets and exotic ingredients that have no known health risks.  

When selecting a diet for your pet, the best advice is to ask your veterinarian. Veterinarians receive training in animal nutrition while in school and at educational conferences throughout their career; they are much better suited to advise you about proper diets than a pet store employee. It is worth noting that there have been no reported cases of dogs developing nutritionally mediated DCM while eating a food that meets the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) guidelines, so that is a good place to start.


Anne Shackelford was heartbroken when her beloved cat, Riley, went missing prior to her move from Clarksville, TN to Seattle, WA. Thanks to a group of animal advocates in the Clarksville community, after nearly a year apart, Shackelford was reunited with her fur baby earlier this month.

On February 13, 2020, Shackelford made another attempt to find her lost cat on the Facebook Group Lost and Found Pets of Clarksville Tennessee. Riley the cat originally went missing in February 2019, when the cat was seen climbing out of the doggy door of her Clarksville home.

After months of searching, there was no sign of the cat. To complicate things further, Anne had just accepted a new job in Seattle, WA and was preparing to move across the country. Still, she never lost hope in finding Riley.

“He’s so special to me, and everyone was like ‘you can just get another cat,’ and ‘I’m like I can’t. There’s no way I can replace him,’” Shackelford said.

Desperate to locate Riley, Anne took to a Facebook group, Lost and Found Pets of Clarksville Tennessee, to engage the nearly 22,000 group members in the search. Anne was hopeful that fellow pet lovers would recognize Riley’s unique markings and could help.

Little did Anne know, but Riley had been found by Jamie Martin and Annie Rodia with Cats M.E.O.W TNR, a local all-volunteer catch-and-release service in Montgomery County that neuters stray cats and releases them back into the community to help control the stray population.

One night in early February, almost a year after Riley disappeared through the doggy door, Anne was scrolling through old posts on the Facebook group when she saw a picture of Cats M.E.O.W TNR, capturing a cat that looked just like Riley.

“I scrolled through their Facebook and I found a screenshot of them capturing my Riley, and I sent it to them,” Shackelford said, “And from there it was history!”

Anne reached out directly with pictures of Riley to confirm they were a match. With the assistance of several Clarksville residents, Riley then made the 2,300 mile trip to Seattle to be reunited with Anne.

“We are a community team”, said Linda Smith, administrator of the Clarksville Lost and Found Pets Facebook Group. “We have a group of over 21,000 area residents, partnerships with animal control and area rescues, all committed to reuniting lost pets with their families. We’re amazed that Anne and Riley found each other after a year apart. Thank you to our followers, our partners at Cats M.E.O.W. TNR, and all those that had a hand in reuniting this family.”


Farmers in India are fighting tooth and nail to keep a scourge of opium-addicted parrots at bay. The birds have been causing headaches for poppy cultivators in the state of Madhya Pradesh, NDTV reports, pillaging their crops and gorging themselves on the precious narcotic. And their daily raids are starting to have a significant impact on the locals’ livelihood, prompting many people to call on the authorities for assistance in staving off the drug-addled birds.

"One poppy flower gives around 20 to 25 grams of opium. But a large group of parrots feed on these plants around 30 to 40 times a day and some even fly away with poppy pods,” said Nandkishore, a poppy farmer from the Neemuch district of central India. “This affects the produce. These opium-addicted parrots are wreaking havoc."

Nandkishore claims that his cries for help have thus far fallen on deaf ears, forcing him and other opium cultivators to take matters into their own hands. Farmers have reportedly been guarding their poppy crops at all hours day and night, but nothing appears to be stopping the junkie parakeets.

"We have tried making loud sounds and even use firecrackers to scare the birds. But nothing has helped," Nandkishore said. "We are already suffering because of uneven rain, and now this. Nobody is listening to our problems. Who will compensate for our losses?"

Video footage shows the wild parrots feverishly ripping into the poppies. Often the birds wait until the farmers cut the poppy pods to help them ripen, according to, exposing latex that is rich in morphine and opium milk, while in other cases they simply cut the stalks of the plant themselves and make off with the whole pod in their clutches.

Opium is big business in Madhya Pradesh, with 38,000 of the 44,000 hectares of India’s licensed poppy cultivation taking place between the state and neighbouring Rajasthan. But Neemuch district isn’t the only place to be hit by waves of addicted parrots looking for their fix. Last year local media reported that the birds were raiding poppy farms in parts of Rajasthan, and in 2015 DNA India published an article about a similar problem in the districts of Chittorgarh and Pratapgarh.


A seafood processing firm in Niigata Prefecture recently mixed deadly toxic "fugu" blowfish ovaries into shipments of soft roe sent to at least eight wholesalers in three cities, the prefecture announced on Feb. 27.

The wholesalers in the cities of Niigata, Nagaoka and Sanjo -- all in Niigata Prefecture on the Sea of Japan -- do much of their business with restaurants, and authorities are calling on buyers to return the products.

According to the prefecture's hygiene division, Maruto Fresh Fish Co. in the city of Murakami packed 60 Styrofoam boxes with 3 kilograms of soft blowfish roe each on Feb. 22. Twenty of the boxes were sold to the eight wholesalers in Niigata Prefecture through markets. The remaining 40 boxes were purchased directly by businesses in other parts of Japan.

The boxes have a label listing the company, Maruto Fresh Fish, and the packing date, 2.22.

The toxic organs were discovered by one of the Niigata wholesalers on the morning of Feb. 27. Workers unpacking the box of soft roe noticed that some of the product was tinged with red and yellow. They cut open the organs and found that they were actually the highly poisonous ovaries of the blowfish, not soft roe. The firm then reported the problem to the city of Niigata's public health center via a market.

Maruto Fresh Fish has apparently told the prefecture's hygiene division that the firm doesn't know how the ovaries got mixed in with the soft roe. The firm has since stopped sales of blowfish soft roe.

According to Niigata Prefecture, the ovaries from one "fugu" blowfish contain enough toxin to kill five adult humans.

Read 472 times Last modified on Saturday, 29 February 2020 18:34
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