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Talkin' Pets News Featured

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Talkin' Pets News

May 30, 2020

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Dr. Suzanne Topor - Livingston Animal & Avian Hospital

Producer - Daisey Charlotte

Network Producer - Darian Sims

Social Media - Bob Page

Special Guest - Dr. Samantha Saunders will join Jon & Talkin' Pets 5/30/20 at 630pm ET to discuss Extraordinary Innovations in Animal-Free Vaccine Testing that offer Hope towards Covid-19 Vaccines, Treatments and our future

 The doggies and kitties of a Cairo veterinary clinic have an important message, and they are taking it to the internet.

Don't abandon us. We don't spread the coronavirus.

"We started this campaign after noticing that there were many people leaving dogs and cats outside our clinic," explained veterinarian Corolos Majdi at the Animalia clinic in the Egyptian capital.

Pets looked after at home are highly unlikely to spread any disease, but dogs or cats abandoned on the street can be dangerous, he said.

Doctors at the clinic decided to let the pets spread the message. They began photographing dogs and cats wearing signs explaining that keeping them is safe. The photos are posted on social media sites on the internet.

"I don't transmit the coronavirus. Please don't be frightened of me," said Loola, a white French Poodle. Or rather that's what was written on the sign she sported for her photoshoot.

Poosey, a 3-year-old long-haired cat, and Snowy, a white Griffon dog, took turns posing with a sign saying: "I love you. Please don't throw me out in the street."

"Please don't worry, dogs don't transmit the coronavirus," said Snowy's owner, a young girl named Julia Joseph. "God created these animals so we can care for them."


Protecting dogs from deadly parasites and combating drug resistance to heartworm medications are the central goals behind a new Morris Animal Foundation-funded study.

Researchers at the U.K.’s University of Liverpool are working to identify key proteins as the basis for developing a canine heartworm vaccine.

As many as one million dogs in the U.S. are infected annually with heartworm disease, Morris Animal Foundation says, adding that cases have increased by more than 20 percent since 2016.

“Currently, there are very few options for the sustainable prevention of heartworm disease in the likely event that drug resistance continues to spread,” says Ben Makepeace, BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, the study’s principal investigator. “If we don’t find an alternative, treating established adult worms will be very difficult in dogs.”

The university’s research team is building off findings from a previous study it conducted that identified how filarial parasites (similar to those that cause heartworm) avoid destruction by producing a protein, which blocks a key pathway alerting immune systems to their presence. This, combined with a produced second protein that prevents T-cells from attacking the parasites, destroys a host’s immune system and allows the worms to flourish.

If the same is found to be true for heartworm, researchers will test how different surface proteins on immature worms interact with white blood cells from donor dogs to see which proteins optimally stimulate a dog’s immune system. The results could lay the groundwork for vaccine development and clinical trials, the foundation says.

“An eventual heartworm vaccine would be highly beneficial for canine health, as current preventive methods can be costly and rely on owner compliance,” says Morris Animal Foundation’s chief scientific officer, Janet Patterson-Kane, BVSc, PhD, FRCVS. “A vaccine would also address the growing problem of drug resistance, which is of great concern to both pet owners and veterinarians.”


Protecting America’s dogs and people from parasites and contagious disease is central to a new bipartisan bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Healthy Dog Importation Act would require every dog entering the U.S. to have a certificate of veterinary inspection, ensuring the animal has received all necessary vaccinations and has tested negative for illness.

Sponsored by Congressmen Ralph Abraham (Louisiana), Ted Yoho (Florida), and Kurt Schrader (Oregon), the legislation aims to protect the health of America’s animals and humans by ensuring imported dogs are free of disease and parasites before entering the country, says John Howe, DVM, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

“For far too long, dogs have been entering the U.S. without proper inspection, increasing the risk of disease introduction and transmission,” he says. “We commend Reps. Abraham, Schrader, and Yoho for introducing common-sense legislation that would establish health and vaccination requirements for dogs imported into the U.S.”

The American Kennel Club (AKC) says it is in support of the bill, adding the legislation is a vital step in ensuring public health.

“In the last several years, zoonotic diseases such as rabies, canine influenza, and distemper have been carried into the U.S. by dogs imported without basic veterinary checks or valid health certificates,” says the group’s president and CEO, Dennis Sprung. “With an estimated one million dogs entering the U.S. annually, this represents a ticking time bomb for animal and public health. The basic health certifications this bill requires for every dog imported will protect the health and well-being of all dogs in our nation and the humans who care for them.”


Veterinarians might see an increase in patient visits and owner compliance in the post-pandemic “new normal.”

This is according to a recent survey of 1,000 pet owners, conducted by Banfield Pet Hospital. The study, which explored the impact weeks of stay-at-home measures have had on pets and their owners, saw 84 percent of respondents say they feel more attuned to their companion animal’s health after spending more time with them. Sixty-seven percent say they plan to make changes to how they care for their pets moving forward.

Specifically, 20 percent of owners report they are committed to taking their pets to the veterinarian for preventive care checkups “more often” after the pandemic than before, with 42 percent saying they contacted their veterinarian during quarantine, either in person, over the phone, or via a telehealth service.


  • 44 percent feel they are more responsible and attentive toward their dog or cat;
  • 37 percent are paying more attention to their pet’s personal care (e.g. dental health); and
  • 42 percent are exercising their pets more as compared to before the pandemic.

“The human-animal bond now, more than ever, plays an integral role in people’s lives,” says Banfield’s chief medical officer, Molly McAllister, DVM, MPH. “We are firm believers regular preventive veterinary care is key to helping our pets live happy, healthy lives.”

The COVID-19 crisis has also left many owners wondering how their animals will cope once stay-at-home measures are lifted, with 73 percent saying they are concerned about being away from their pets and 59 percent worried their dog or cat will experience separation anxiety.

To that end, 47 percent of respondents intend on spending more quality time with their pets, post-pandemic, with 21 percent saying they will adjust their schedules to do so. Additionally, 10 percent plan to adopt another pet to help keep their dog or cat company.

“This survey shows pets are always here for us—even, and especially, during the most difficult of times—and we’re encouraged that as a result of spending more time together, people are committed to finding new ways to better be there for their pets,” Dr. McAllister says


Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) is excited to announce it has been selected by National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to be the forever home to a new rescued male dolphin. The new dolphin will provide a companion for CMA rescued resident Nicholas, another male Atlantic bottlenose dolphin.

In July 2019, the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin stranded in shallow waters off Fiesta Key, Fla. When he was rescued, the dolphin was weak and was found to have severe pneumonia. After several weeks of treatment, the dolphin’s health improved but further testing indicated he had hearing loss. Due to his ongoing health issues and hearing loss, NMFS ultimately determined the dolphin was not a candidate for release.

“Like all the rescued animals at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, we are looking forward to providing the best care possible for this dolphin,” said CEO Frank Dame. “He will have a loving and enriching home here at CMA and we’re so proud to be selected by National Marine Fisheries Service to care for him. I’d like to thank the teams at NMFS, SeaWorld, and Dolphins Plus Marine Mammal Responder for rescuing and caring for this incredible animal.” Dame continued, “We’re especially excited to invite our guests to help us in welcoming him and naming him. To encourage locals to come see him, we are extending our Florida resident reopening special until June 7!”

Estimated to be approximately 26-years old, the dolphin weighs 700-pounds and will join Nicholas at CMA’s Dolphin Terrace.

“Clearwater Marine Aquarium has a history of providing excellent care for rescued marine life and their team has expertise with dolphins who exhibit hearing loss, like Panama and PJ,” said Dr. Erin Fougères, NOAA Fisheries Marine Mammal Stranding Program Administrator.

Home to the famous rescued dolphins Winter and Hope from the Dolphin Tale movies, Clearwater Marine Aquarium also cares for two other rescued dolphins, Nicholas and PJ, as well as sea turtles, pelicans, otters, and nurse sharks. All dolphins are deemed non-releasable by NMFS due to injuries and the lack of survival skills. In the Fall, CMA will open an expanded facility with a brand new dolphin habitat, tripling its current habitat space.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium reopened to guests on Friday, May 15 after being closed for 60 days. CMA implemented significant additional safety precautions to protect staff, animals, and guests while ensuring a fun and educational visit with limited guests. The public is invited to provide suggested names for this dolphin at The deadline for submissions is June 7 at midnight EDT.


A large-scale animal rescue operation over Memorial Day Weekend saw city Community Service Officers remove 33 Yorkshire Terriers, two deceased, from a single residence in the 1000 block of Melvin Avenue of Racine. The rescued canines were brought to the Racine Campus of the Wisconsin Humane Society, 8900 16th St., Mount Pleasant. As of Friday, Melby said no criminal charges had been filed in the animal hoarding incident.

Angela Speed, vice president of communications for the five-campus Wisconsin Humane Society, said the 33 dogs brought to the shelter on late Sunday afternoon were all Yorkshire terriers, ranging in age “from just a few weeks to about eight years old.”

Speed said the 31 live Yorkies processed through intake were “in general in acceptable health,” noting that while “a handful of the dogs had matted fur and a few others had otitis (ear infections) … there was no widespread illness among the group.” Sunday’s large scale animal rescue incident was the first such intake for the Wisconsin Human Society since moving into its new 16,000-square-foot shelter on March 17. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the facility is only open for emergency stray intakes and surrenders, with staff on-site daily to take care of animals.

“Most of our adoptions have actually been what we call ‘foster-facilitated adoptions,’ in which foster parents are connecting with their friends, family, neighbors and networks in finding placement directly from the foster home, and that’s what we expect for the majority if not all of these dogs. A few have already been adopted” said Speed. For more information, contact the Wisconsin Humane Society in Racine County at 262-554-6699.

The May 24 animal hoarding incident on Melvin Avenue comes a few months after a Racine County animal hoarding incident in which 158 cats, 20% of them deceased, were removed from a single residence over the course of 10 days in late February and early March. That incident ranks as the largest single animal rescue and removal operation in Wisconsin Humane Society history.

“Unfortunately, we have had quite a few large hoarding situations,” Speed said. “Animal hoarding is defined as the inability to provide proper standards of care to your animals. In most hoarding cases that we see … the animals are not receiving proper care because of the sheer number of animals … most of the time, the hoarding cases that we deal with are situations that started with good intentions and spiraled out of control. Oftentimes the owner doesn’t realize how many animals they actually have.”

Speed encourages citizens to reach out to appropriate parties—local law enforcement, animal welfare organizations, health departments, or mental health agencies—if they suspect cases of animal hoarding.

In these cases, of course the animals need help and intervention, but so does the person. Wherever there is animal suffering, there is human suffering. This is classified as a mental illness and the person often needs supportive resources as well.”


Animal Control removed 65 cats from a home May 23, of which 30 had to be euthanized; 91 more were found dead on the property in Boise, Idaho.

The owner of the cats, Jeanette R Elliot, 64, was cited for 30 counts of committing cruelty to animals. The animals will stay within protective custody.

Animal Control and Nampa Patrol were called to an address on the 16100 block of N Franklin Blvd May 22. They initially had concerns about cats inside the home, but Elliot was not there.

Officials came back the next day and found the animals had been living in conditions that made it necessary to remove all of them immediately. The West Valley Humane Society helped remove 65 cats from the home.

All cats were in various states of health and age and were seen by a veterinarian. NPD says about 30 cats were euthanized due to health issues.

About 91 dead cats were also taken from the property. If you see or know anyone that is keeping animals under such horrid conditions it is best to report those persons to authorities for the benefit of those animals.


Earthquakes can disrupt sperm whales’ ability to hunt for up to a year, according to the first-ever study to look at the effects of the temblors on marine mammals. On November 14, 2016, the magnitude 7.8 Kaikoura earthquake struck New Zealand’s South Island, causing a destructive tsunami, as well as two deaths and a few dozen injuries. Under the surface, the seismic event spawned strong currents that swept away and mostly killed off diverse ecosystems of invertebrates living along the Kaikoura underwater canyon. The massive landslide not only clouded the water, it flushed the animals hundreds of miles away, likely rearranging the makeup of the entire ecosystem.

As a result, sperm whales had to dive deeper and longer to find food—a “major shift” in their behaviour, says co-author Liz Slooten, a marine biologist at the University of Otago in New Zealand. The impact earthquakes have on land animals has been well documented, but scientists know relatively little about what happens underwater. Recent research on Caribbean sharks, for instance, has revealed the fish dive deep to escape roiling surface waters during hurricanes.

Such research is important for government agencies, which may need to take recent earthquakes into consideration when considering fishing quotas, notes Rochelle Constantine, a marine mammal ecologist at the University of Auckland who was not involved in the study. The Kaikoura underwater canyon, part of a mountainous coastal region, drops to up to half a mile deep not far from land. “There’s only a couple of other places in the world where you can see sperm whales so close to shore,” says Slooten, whose study was published recently in Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers.

The canyon’s upper reaches are rich in invertebrate life, providing food for the squid and bottom-dwelling fish that make up the sperm whales’ diet. As part of their ongoing study, the scientists were tracking 42 individual whales, which they'd identified by their unique tail flukes. After the earthquake, the team used directional hydrophones to tune into the cetaceans' sounds, and then travelled to the source in their boat.

Once close to the whales, the scientists would time when the animals came up for air and rested between their dives. In all they recorded data on 40 whales, showing that the abundance of whales in the general area did not change post-quake. However, the whales altered how they used their habitat. The results revealed sperm whales spent about 25 percent more time at the surface between foraging dives than they had before the quake. Slooten says this suggests the whales were gathering more oxygen and recharging their muscles for longer or deeper dives—likely because less prey was available.

Supporting this theory, before the quake, the whales often concentrated their foraging in the upper part of the canyon. But afterward, the whales mostly abandoned that area and ventured into deeper parts of the canyon.  

A year after the earthquake, the researchers observed the whales returning to their past surface-breathing intervals—perhaps because sediment settled and the invertebrate community began to recover. Sperm whale activity in the area had already been declining, though it’s unknown whether it’s due to natural changes in prey abundance, whale-watching tourism, fishing, or warming ocean temperatures. “There is something going on in Kaikoura,” expert say.

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