Friday, 16 April 2021 21:26

Talkin' Pets News Featured

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Talkin' Pets News April 17, 2021 Host - Jon Patch Co-Host - Jillyn Sidlo - Celestial Custom Dog Services Producer - Devin Leech Network Producer - Darian Sims Social Media - Bob Page Special Guest - No matter where you stand on the climate change debate, we all want clean air and water. Just in time for Earth Day on April 22, Bill Pekny shares five ways to fight pollution everyone can get behind. He joins Talkin' Pets 4/17/21 at 5pm ET Celebrity Dog Trainer Bash Dibra will join Talkin' Pets 4/17/21 at 630pm ET
The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council has released updated comprehensive guidance to pet businesses on how to correctly handle aquatic moss ball products and aquariums that could contain Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha), an invasive species recently discovered in the United States. Zebra mussels, which are fingernail-sized mollusks native to the Caspian Sea region of Asia, were found last month within moss balls being sold and used in aquariums in stores in multiple states, including Oregon, Washington and Florida. “We at PIJAC are actively working with our members as well as state and federal agencies led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to update and share guidance to mitigate the spread of invasive zebra mussels,” said Bob Likins, PIJAC vice president of government affairs. “We urge the entire pet care community, as responsible environmental stewards, to take immediate and aggressive action to eliminate Zebra mussels and keep them from entering waterways where they will cause significant damage to both aquatic ecosystems and property.” Zebra mussels are regarded as one of the most disruptive invasive species in North America. Adult mussels can stay alive for several days outside of water and commonly attach to boats, fishing equipment and aquarium plants. They clog water filtration pipelines, render beaches unusable, and damage boats, as well as negatively impact aquatic ecosystems by harming native organisms. Based on the best available science, the guidelines have been updated to include information on how to properly dispose of moss ball products and decontaminate tanks specifically for suppliers, retailers and consumers/hobbyists. Pet businesses carrying aquatics products are asked to share the guidance with their suppliers and customers. Additional information on invasive species prevention and making wise pet choices to protect the environment can be found at and ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ One of President Joe Biden's two dogs, Major, is headed to training outside the White House after two biting incidents at his new home, a spokesman for first lady Jill Biden said Monday. The off-site, private training will take place in the Washington area, and it is expected to last a few weeks, said Michael LaRosa. "Major will undergo some additional training to help him adjust to life in the White House," LaRosa said. Major, the younger of the Bidens' two German Shepherds, did not break skin in the first incident, the president told ABC last month. Later in March, the dog bit a security staff member causing a "minor injury," a White House spokeswoman said at the time. "Nipping is probably more accurate than biting," LaRosa said on Monday. Following the first incident, the rescue dog had a round of training in Biden's home state of Delaware to help acclimatise him to life at the 18-acre (7-hectare) White House complex in Washington, where he is surrounded by aides and security officers. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ A male western lowland gorilla was born at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens early Friday morning. This is the fifth gorilla born at the Zoo, and the first since 2018. The male was born to mother Madini and father Lash. This is the third viable offspring for 44-year-old Lash and the second for 24-year-old Madini. Her daughter, Patty, still resides at the Zoo and will be 6 years old on May 9. Madini and Lash were recommended to breed by the Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP). This group of zoo professionals cooperatively manages the gorilla population at zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). They are responsible for making science-based breeding and transfer recommendations as well as providing support and guidance on all aspects of gorilla management at AZA institutions to maintain a healthy, diverse, and sustainable safety-net population to enhance conservation of this species in the wild. Madini was born in 1996 to mother Bulera, and they both were transferred to Jacksonville in November 2006. Lash was born on Christmas Day in 1976, and he moved to Jacksonville in 1998. He lived in a bachelor group with Rumpel for eight years before being introduced to Madini and Bulera. This infant is now the ninth member of the largest gorilla group in the Zoo’s history. This includes the last infant to be born, 2-year-old Gandai, who was reared by keepers after her deaf birth mother, Kumbuka, could not properly care for her. After five months of bottle feeding and teaching her how to be a gorilla, keepers introduced her to a surrogate mother, Bulera. Since then, the mother and daughter have been slowly reintroduced to surrogate father, Rumpel; surrogate brother, George; surrogate sister, Madini; Madini's daughter, Patty; and ultimately her biological mother, Kumbuka, and biological father, Lash. “We have many reasons to celebrate this new infant. He will further enrich the social environment and experience of his amazing group and strengthen the sustainability of the Gorilla SSP. Although raising Gandai was an incredibly rewarding experience, the gorilla care staff is elated to see this infant thriving in the care of his own mother,” said Tracy Fenn, Assistant Curator of Mammals. Western lowland gorillas are the most widespread of the gorilla subspecies inhabiting forests and swampland of central Africa, however the subspecies is critically endangered due to deforestation, poaching, and introduced diseases. Mature male gorillas, or “Silverbacks” are much larger than females. Infants usually weigh around four pounds at birth and are dependent on their mothers for up to five years. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens will be raising awareness of species like the western lowland gorilla at Party for the Planet on Saturday, April 24. This event is presented by The Wild Things, a young professional group at the Zoo, and is a celebration of Earth Day, Endangered Species Day, and World Oceans Day. Guests are encouraged to donate old cell phones to help save gorilla species in the wild. Visit for more info. +++++++++++++++++++ A Continental Giant rabbit named Darius that holds the Guinness World Records citation for the world’s longest rabbit has been stolen from its home in central England, according to the West Mercia police. Darius — gray-brown and four feet, three inches long at full stretch — disappeared from his enclosure in a backyard in the village of Stoulton overnight last Saturday, the police said. They wouldn’t say why they thought it was a theft rather than the big bunny merely finding a way to escape. The police appealed for any information about or sightings of Darius. Continental Giants are, as the name says, very big rabbits, weighing 15 to 20 pounds. Darius’ owner is Annette Edwards, a large-rabbit breeder and model. Edwards said it was “a very sad day” and urged whoever took Darius to bring the rabbit back to its home 100 miles northwest of London. At first, she offered a reward of 1,000 pounds — about $1,370. But then she tweeted that she was doubling the reward, writing: “Please Please I am so upset Can you bring my Darius back I am putting the reward up to 2,000 pounds.” +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Muldrow Glacier, perched on the side of Alaska’s highest peak, is on the move for the first time in more than 60 years. Scientists noticed last month that the 39-mile stretch of ice had begun to “surge” down the northeast slope of Denali. Surges are natural events in which ice begins to flow downhill at faster and faster speeds. Muldrow is speeding down the mountain at a rate of about 30 to 60 feet per day—that’s 50 to 100 times faster than its normal rate over the last 60 years, according to the National Park Service. It might continue for several more months. This surge was a long-awaited event, scientists say. Muldrow typically surges about once every 50 years, and the last event was back in 1956. In fact, some researchers had begun to suspect climate change might be preventing the glacier from surging. It may sound counterintuitive. It seems as though an increase in warming and melting should speed up the flow of ice. But that’s not always the case. Only a small number of mountain glaciers ever surge at all, according to Martin Truffer, a glaciologist at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Among those that do, surges are typically triggered by a long series of events. Ice tends to build up near the tops of mountain glaciers where temperatures are colder. It happens over the course of years or decades, as snow falls and freezes onto the surface of the ice. At the same time, any ice that melts will flow downslope. Some of this meltwater gets trapped near the bottom of the glacier, making the ground slippery. “So over time, the glacier grows in the upper areas and it diminishes in the lower areas,” Truffer said. “So it gets steeper and a bit thicker in the upper areas.” Eventually, the glacier gets so out of balance that the ice rushes forward. Climate change, however, can disrupt this process. As temperatures rise and glaciers melt at faster rates, ice might not accumulate quickly enough to trigger a surge. Truffer has seen it happen at other sites. Black Rapids Glacier is another rare surge-type glacier in Alaska—or at least it used to be. Its last surge occurred in 1937, and it hasn’t happened again since. As the climate has warmed, the part of the mountain where freezing happens faster than melting has moved farther and farther upslope. That point is now so high up that ice isn’t accumulating fast enough to trigger a surge, Truffer said. “That one, for all intents and purposes, it looks like it’s not gonna surge again,” he added. That’s not to say all mountain glaciers respond to warming in the same way. It’s possible that symptoms of climate change in some parts of the world could actually raise the risk of surging—for instance, if an increase in rainfall makes the ground more slippery. There are also recent reports of mountain glaciers catastrophically collapsing, at least in part because of warming. Southeast of Denali, in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, a single glacier actually crumbled twice—once in 2013, and then again in 2015. A study later concluded that unusually warm temperatures, which spurred an increase in melting, helped trigger the events. More generally, mountain glaciers all over the globe are shrinking as they melt away. A study published in January in the journal The Cryosphere suggests mountain glaciers worldwide have lost at least 6 trillion tons of ice since the 1990s. Muldrow Glacier is one of them. Research from the National Park Service suggests the ice there has gotten shallower over time, thinning by at least 60 feet between 1979 and 2004. It seems the glacier is still able to surge, though—at least for now. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Legislation aimed at minimizing student debt and improving access to veterinary care in America’s rural areas has been reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. Launched with support from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the proposed bill would expand on the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP), which provides food animal and public health veterinarians up to $25,000 a year for student loan repayment in exchange for at least three years of service in one of the U.S. Department of Agriculture- (USDA-) designated rural veterinary shortage areas. Specifically, the VMLRP Enhancement Act (VMLRPEA) would remove a withholding tax to maximize funding and allow the program to reach more communities in need of veterinary services in each cycle, AVMA says. “The proposed legislation reintroduced is a common-sense solution to enhancing a program that helps address two of the biggest challenges the veterinary profession faces: student debt and rural veterinary shortages,” says AVMA president, Douglas Kratt, DVM. Due to the current withholding tax on service awards, 37 percent of the limited federal funding provided to the program is returned to the U.S. Department of Treasury, according to the association. Since 2010, 1,632 veterinarians have applied to the VMLRP, but only 552 have received service awards. “Eliminating the tax on VMLRP service awards would allow more veterinarians to reach rural communities that need their essential services,” Dr. Kratt says. “We applaud this action taken by Congress and the AVMA looks forward to working with the House and Senate to enact this bill into law.” Sponsored by Reps. Kurt Schrader, DVM (Oregon), and Dusty Johnson (South Dakota), co-chairs of the Veterinary Medicine Caucus, the VMLRPEA was reintroduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Ron Kind (Wisconsin) and Adrian Smith (Nevada). A Senate companion bill is expected to be reintroduced soon. “Recruitment and retention of veterinarians in rural practice continue to be a challenge for the profession,” says K. Fred Gingrich, DVM, executive director of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP). “The VMLRP has proven successful with retention; however, the tax implications for the award decreases its impact factor. AABP supports the passage of the VMLRP Enhancement Act to further the reach of this program to veterinarians in rural practice. Retaining these colleagues in underserved areas has implications on animal health, food safety, and welfare.” +++++++++++++++++++++++++ Gaining insight into the incidence, prevalence, and varieties of a behavioral disorder impacting adult dogs is the driving force behind a newly announced partnership. Questionnaires for Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study will now include a section focused on canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS), thanks to a $225,000 contribution from the Purina Institute. The newly added questions will address behaviors around learning and memory, disorientation, social interactions, sleep/wake cycles, house soiling, activity, and anxiety, Morris Animal Foundation reports. CDS is a behavioral syndrome that affects about 14 percent of dogs eight years and older. Pets with the condition may become disoriented, show a loss of housetraining, and exhibit decreased interaction with their owners. “We are excited to partner with Morris Animal Foundation on this project and want to provide the study’s participants the tools they need to identify dogs at risk for CDS or with mild to severe cases,” says Purina Institute’s group director, Natalia Wagemans, MD, PhD. “We look forward to being able to publish impactful research results to make real, positive change in canine health.” The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is among the largest, most comprehensive prospective canine health studies in the U.S. While primarily intended to identify the nutritional, environmental, lifestyle, and genetic risk factors for cancer and other diseases in dogs, extensive data collection is informing other areas of canine health as well. Last month, for example, Morris Animal Foundation announced a partnership with Elanco which added a canine osteoarthritis-focused section to the study’s client/veterinarian questionnaire. “We collect valuable information about the dogs in this study and can use this data to learn much more about canine health beyond cancer, including dog aging and associated cognitive decline,” says the foundation’s president and CEO, Tiffany Grunert. “Right now, much is unknown about canine cognitive dysfunction, but with the observations from our dedicated owners and veterinarians, we know we can help dogs everywhere enjoy a better quality of life as they age.” ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Arming veterinarians with the tools needed for early detection of feline hypertension is the goal of a newly published industry resource. The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) has released the Hypertension Educational Toolkit, a digital offering that emphasizes the importance of routinely checking the blood pressure of feline patients to aid in the timely diagnosis of systemic atrial hypertension. While veterinary professionals are advised to use the information in the kit when examining feline patients at any age, it is particularly beneficial for cats older than 10 years, AAFP says. “Assessing blood pressure in the feline species is an important part of feline preventive care, yet it is uncommon for practices to routinely perform this test,” says Kelly St. Denis, MSc, DVM, DABVP (feline), chair of the resource’s task force. “This toolkit provides a quick, go-to reference that will help veterinary professionals overcome the difficulties and obstacles associated with assessing blood pressure in cats.” For easy reference, the kit organizes information in sectioned tabs (e.g. regulation, classifications, clinical signs, treatment, measuring blood pressure, etc.). It also offers a downloadable blood pressure assessment form, as well as information on cuff selection and placement, tips for successful blood pressure management, and recommendations for taking measurements. “With its user-friendly format, veterinary professionals can quickly learn how to perform a cat-friendly blood pressure assessment, how to interpret the numbers, and how to treat hypertensive cats,” Dr. St. Denis says. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ More than 1,100 veterinary care workers at clinics in 27 states are now enjoying a boost in pay, thanks to a new initiative by CareVet. The veterinary hospital network has launched a new program to ensure its team members receive a living wage. Moving forward, all employees will earn a minimum of $15 per hour. Additionally, the company will adjust compensation for employees currently making $15 per hour or more to maintain pay equity. The initiative will also be adopted at all hospitals that join the network in the future. The group is the first company in the veterinary industry to achieve the standard for its employees, CareVet reports. “Great medicine starts with great teams, and we are laser-focused on building great teams with well compensated, happy, and growing professionals in their chosen field,” says president and chief veterinary officer, Kent Thornberry, DVM. “When our teams feel supported, they are more empowered to deliver a superior level of care to our patients that clients can see and feel.” Many veterinary technicians, nurses, and other animal health professionals across the country and beyond struggle with issues related to low pay, compassion fatigue, and burnout, as well as lack of recognition and limited opportunities for advancement, CareVet says. “Until now, veterinary team-members were frequently paid below a living wage, and not given the growth opportunities they deserve,” says CEO Greg Siwak. “This program offers our veterinary team-members’ exponential growth personally and financially.” +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ WHEN THE THEFT OF Lady Gaga’s two French Bulldogs and the brutal attack of her dog walker, Ryan Fischer, made international news in February, a flood of concern permeated the pet-sitting and dog-walking community. And understandably so — pet sitters and dog walkers must make their personal safety a top priority, but they also have the responsibility to protect their clients’ pets. A recent article published by BBC News touted the past year of lockdown as the “worst ever” for dog thefts, so if you are a pet sitter and dog walker, it’s a good time to review your policies and not grow lax in taking common-sense measures to keep the pets in your care safe. Leaving a pet alone in public — even for just a few moments — can have disastrous results. While it should go without saying, never leave a dog in your care tied up outside of a store, restaurant or location while you run inside. You should keep the dog with you on leash while they’re in your care. The same is true for leaving a pet alone in your vehicle — never do it. Even if you plan to be gone for a brief time, leaving a pet in your car can pose health risks (since temperatures can rise or drop significantly inside a vehicle in a matter of minutes), and it also makes them a target for potential theft. Even while at a client’s home, be vigilant when letting a pet out into the yard. You want to make sure any fences or gates are secure to avoid the pet’s escape, but also keep in mind that fences don’t always deter would-be dog thieves. So, it’s best practice to supervise a dog when they’re outside. Also, make sure all dogs in your care have on a collar with ID and are microchipped. When taking on new clients in neighborhoods unfamiliar to you, take time prior to your first dog walk to familiarize yourself with the route. Make note of any places to avoid, such as areas that aren’t well lit or spots that are secluded. Choose an alternate dog-walking route if necessary. You may also want to check recent crime records in your service area to learn if there have been any recent dog thefts and, if so, in what area and if specific breeds were targeted. When walking a client’s dog (or your own), it’s also important to always be focused on the dog and be aware of your surroundings. This means not talking on your cellphone or having your earbuds in. While walking may seem like the perfect opportunity to listen to music or catch up on your favorite podcast, this may prevent you from hearing a person or automobile approaching you. You may also consider seeking out local situational awareness and self-defense trainings — online and in-person options are available — to help you better prepare should the unthinkable happen. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ An alligator attacking a pet isn't common in Mississippi, but a wildlife official said there are confirmed cases of it each year. "Alligators can and do perceive them as a food source," said Ricky Flynt, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Alligator Program coordinator. "We know it happens and because of that you should keep dogs away from the water's edge where alligators are known to exist. Simply don't allow dogs to go out near the water when not attended." If you live on or near water inhabited by alligators, Flynt said restricting their access to your lawn and pets is key. "Honestly, if you have pets and live in an area near water where alligators are known to exist, there needs to be a barrier or fence to keep them out of the yard," Flynt said. "When we get into late April, early May, we'll be at the peak of breeding season," Flynt said. During the breeding season, mature alligators display dominance and force to younger male alligators to seek new territory and they can travel relatively long distances. "If you have a private pond within 5 to 10 miles of a waterway, you're subject to have an alligator in your pond," Flynt said. "They are prominent enough that it can happen just about anywhere in the state." In many cases their stays are temporary because they don't find enough resources to sustain them or other large gators are present and they move along until they find suitable conditions. "Pond-hopping — they move from one location to the next," Flynt said. In the event an alligator does move onto your property and it seems to be a threat, Flynt said do not try to take action yourself. "Call the MDWFP and we'll come out and take care of the situation ourselves," Flynt said. To report a nuisance alligator, call your regional MDWFP headquarters or the radio communications room at 601-432-2170. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Believe it or not! Amazing images have been leaked from a secretive Pentagon investigation of UFOs. The Task Force has been gathering evidence for a comprehensive report for Congress which is due in June that includes photographs and videos of UFO encounters with U.S. military assets, including Navy destroyers off the southern California coast. Part of the report is to educate other military and intelligence officials about the nature of the UFO mystery. The new images were gathered by the Task Force and obtained by investigative filmmaker Jeremy Corbell, who confirmed their authenticity. Mystery Wire has independently confirmed that the visual materials are included in the briefing presentation prepared by the UAP Task Force. One remarkable video was recorded in July 2019 by Naval officers using a night vision device, showing what appear to be pyramid shaped objects hovering 700 feet above a Navy destroyer. “A (video) was taken on deployment from the USS Russell,” Corbell said. “It shows what they described as vehicles. And they made a great distinction. They made sure in this classified briefing, they made a great distinction that this is not something that we own either a black project, this is not something of a foreign military, that these were behaving in ways that we did not expect. And that they were you know shaped non aerodynamically. Like pyramids, these are flying pyramids!” The video is one of several forms of visual evidence gathered by the UAP Task Force to document bizarre encounters reported by the U.S. Navy during the past two years, including photos of three stationary drones of unknown origin, reported earlier this week. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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