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Talkin' Pets News May 15, 2021 Host - Jon Patch Co-Host - Gino Sassani - Lost World Reptiles Producer - Devin Leech Network Producer - Darian Sims Social Media - Bob Page Special Guest - Nizar Ibrahim is a vertebrate paleontologist and comparative anatomist with a background in the bio-and geosciences and a Ph.D. in vertebrate paleontology, he will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 5/15/21 at 5pm ET to discuss Nat Geo Dinosaur celebration
Embattled Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit was treated with an ointment which might have led to its failed drug test, the colt's trainer said Tuesday, hours before the colt was cleared to run in the Preakness Stakes. The disclosure by trainer Bob Baffert marked a 180-degree turn from the Hall of Fame horseman's categorical denial that Medina Spirit had ever been treated with betamethasone, which showed up in the horse's system after winning the Derby on May 1. Hours after Baffert's disclosure, the Maryland Jockey Club announced that Medina Spirit would be allowed to run in the Preakness on today. The Preakness is run at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore and is middle jewel of horse racing's Triple Crown. "As a condition of acceptance of the entry, Baffert has provided his consent to the Maryland Jockey Club to allow for rigorous testing and monitoring in addition to that conducted by the Maryland Racing Commission," according to a club statement. Baffert on Sunday revealed that Medina Spirit tested positive for betamethasone, which put his Derby win in question. Officials at Churchill Downs, where the Kentucky Derby is run, said shortly after Baffert's announcement that he would be suspended indefinitely from the track. After the 3-year-old finished second at the Santa Anita Derby on April 3, Medina Spirit "developed dermatitis on his hind end" before a veterinarian "recommended the use of an anti-fungal ointment called Otomax," Baffert said in a statement Tuesday. "I was informed that one of the substances in Otomax is betamethasone," according to Baffert's statement. "While we do not know definitively that this was the source of the alleged 21 picograms found in Medina Spirit’s post-race blood sample, and our investigation is continuing, I have been told by equine pharmacology experts that this could explain the test results. As such, I wanted to be forthright about this fact as soon as I learned of this information." "The really troubling thing is ... is that the horse has never treated with that specific drug," Baffert told Peacock Network's "The Dan Patrick Show" on Monday. "So we're at a loss for words, trying to figure out how he got contaminated." Betamethasone is legal but any traces of that drug must be out of horse's system by the time it races, under Kentucky racing codes. The steroid can help a horse manage pain and inflammation, but could dangerously mask more serious bone and joint issues. Mary Scollay, executive director and chief operating officer of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, said she found it hard to believe Baffert and his veterinarian weren't aware betamethasone was in this medication. "It's on the tube," an incredulous Scollay told NBC News on Tuesday. "It's almost an aggravating circumstance at this point." And Joe Bertone, who teaches at Western University's College of Veterinary Medicine in Pomona, California, said it's common knowledge that Otomax contains betamethasone. "They should know," said Bertone, who specializes in equine medicine. "I'm not going say they did know and they did this on purpose. I'm just telling you they should have known and it's really a bad screw up." ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Lyndhurst — A Property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation • The 145th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will be held at Lyndhurst, a property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation • The 67-acre magnificently landscaped estate is on Route 9 in Tarrytown, New York, just 25 miles north of New York City • Originally built in 1838, Lyndhurst is considered by many to be the most important American home of the 19th century • Designed by A.J. Davis, the Frank Lloyd Wright of the 19th century in Gothic Revival style, Lyndhurst was one of the first homes to be built in the Hudson Valley as a romantic retreat • Noteworthy occupants include former New York City mayor William Paulding, merchant George Merritt, and railroad tycoon Jay Gould • The property was donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded not-for-profit, in 1961 by Jay Gould’s youngest daughter, Anna Gould, Duchess of Talleyrand-Perigord • Jay Gould’s youngest son, Frank Jay Gould, was an avid owner, breeder, and exhibitor of rough- and smooth-coated St. Bernards at Westminster in the late 19th and early 20th centuries • Frank Jay Gould bred and owned the St. Bernard named after the estate called Lyndhurst Choice • Lyndhurst is no stranger to dog shows having hosted them for more than three decades from 1973 to 2009 • Lyndhurst, located on the widest part of the Hudson River, is where the Hudson Valley begins Visit Lyndhurst.org to learn more. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most common bone cancer in dogs. Large and giant breeds such as Irish Wolfhound, Great Dane, Greyhound, Scottish Deerhound, Rottweiler, Boxer, Saint Bernard, and Irish Setter are most affected. Osteosarcoma is treated with a combination of surgical removal of the primary tumor and chemotherapy for metastatic disease. Surgical removal of the tumor usually involves limb amputation or limb salvage surgery, which can have high complication rates, and not all dogs are suitable for limb amputation. Even after surgical tumor removal and chemotherapy, the cancer often spreads to distant organs and dogs usually die of metastatic disease spread within an average of 12 months after diagnosis. Survival times have not greatly improved over the last 30 years. Histotripsy is a precision non-thermal focused ultrasound method that mechanically breaks down tissues, can potentially induce immune activation towards an anti-OS immune response, and is an emerging modality for treating multiple cancers including liver and brain cancer. Histotripsy holds exciting potential to be a non-surgical option for treating the primary tumor in OS and also as a therapy that stimulates an anti-tumor immune response. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ An offshore wind project off Massachusetts that would create enough electricity to power 400,000 homes and is touted by backers as a key piece of America’s transition to renewable energy was approved by the federal government. The 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind project, south of Martha’s Vineyard near Cape Cod, would be the first utility-scale wind power development in federal waters. The nearly $3 billion project is a critical part of the Biden administration’s plan to grow renewable energy in the U.S. The approval of the project, which could be completed in about two years, came after decades of debate about the sustainability of U.S. offshore wind. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland said the approval will create thousands of jobs and is a step toward President Joe Biden’s plan for 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030. The project would consist of up to 84 wind turbines located 12 nautical miles off Martha’s Vineyard. The project and Ocean Wind, a proposed 1,100-megawatt offshore wind project off New Jersey, are keystones in the Biden administration’s push to grow offshore wind as a way to fight climate change and create jobs. Vineyard Wind follows the scrapped Cape Wind project, which failed after opposition from some high-profile liberals and conservatives alike. Supporters of Vineyard Wind have said the newer project is better sited than Cape Wind, which would’ve been closer to shore, and that it’s more in tune with today’s political climate. But Vineyard Wind also faces opposition. Commercial fishing businesses have said the growth of offshore wind projects off the East Coast would make it difficult for them to harvest valuable seafood species such as scallops and lobsters. The Responsible Offshore Development Alliance, a coalition of fishing groups and businesses, characterized the approval of the project as a sellout to multinational corporations that hope to profit on offshore wind in the U.S. “For the past decade, fishermen have participated in offshore wind meetings whenever they were asked and produced reasonable requests only to be met with silence,” said Anne Hawkins, executive director of the group. “From this silence now emerges unilateral action and a clear indication that those in authority care more about multinational businesses and energy politics than our environment, domestic food sources, or U.S. citizens.” The project is a $2.8 billion joint venture of Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. Vineyard Wind CEO Lars T. Pedersen called the approval “not about the start of a single project, but the launch of a new industry.” He also said the approval “means the jobs, economic benefits and clean energy revolution” associated with the project can come to fruition. Environmental groups and clean power advocates trumpeted Tuesday’s approval. Heather Zichal, chief executive officer of the American Clean Power Association, called it a “historic day for clean energy and for our country” and a sign that renewable energy is on the rise in the U.S. “Now is the time to push forward on offshore wind, catch up to global competitors, and decarbonize our electric grid, so that the U.S. can deliver economic and environmental benefits to our citizens and combat climate change,” Zichal said. ++++++++++++++++++++ The Westminster Kennel Club announces the following changes to its judging panel for the 145th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Presented by Purina Pro Plan® at Lyndhurst, a National Trust for Historic Preservation property, in Tarrytown, New York, on June 12-13, 2021. Primarily due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, Mr. Dan Ericsson, Mr. Carl E. Gomes, Mr. Frank Kane, Dr. John A. Reeve-Newson, and Mrs. Robyn Joy Wallis have been removed from the judging panel. Mr. James S. Covey, Ms. Patricia Anne Keenan, Mr. Dennis McCoy, Ms. Marjorie Martorella, and Mr. Mark E. Threlfall have been added to the panel while Mr. George Milutinovich and Ms. Bonnie P. Threlfall, presently on the panel, will take on additional breeds. Mr. James S. Covey of Ballston Lake, New York will replace Mr. Frank Kane as the Sporting Group Judge and Mr. Dennis McCoy of Apex, North Carolina will replace Dr. John A. Reeve-Newson as the Non-Sporting Group Judge. Breed assignment adjustments include: SPORTING BREEDS Mr. Mark E. Threlfall of Merrimack, New Hampshire: German Shorthaired Pointers, German Wirehaired Pointers, Gordon Setters, Irish Setters, and Irish Red and White Setters. Ms. Marjorie Martorella of Millstone Township, New Jersey: English Setters, Golden Retrievers, and Labrador Retrievers. HOUND BREEDS Ms. Bonnie P. Threlfall of Cary, North Carolina: Basenjis, Basset Hounds, Beagles (both Varieties), Grand Basset Griffon Vendéens, Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens. TERRIER BREEDS Ms. Patricia Anne Keenan of Chehalis, Washington: Airedale Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Bull Terriers (both Varieties), Smooth Fox Terriers, Wire Fox Terriers, Parson Russell Terriers, Rat Terriers, Russell Terriers, Scottish Terriers, Sealyham Terriers, West Highland White Terriers. NON-SPORTING BREEDS Mr. George Milutinovich of Fresno, California: Boston Terriers and Finnish Spitz. All judging assignments are pending AKC approval. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, have investigated whether the stress levels of dogs are affected by the people they live with. Stress levels for the past several months can be determined in both dogs and humans by measuring the levels of stress hormone stored in hairs as they grow. The researchers have collected hair from both dogs and owners, and measured levels of cortisol, the most important stress hormone, in them. They were interested in whether there are differences between different dog breeds. Breeding has led to the genetic selection of different breeds for different tasks. The study included 18 dogs from breeds that have been bred for independent hunting, such as the Swedish elkhound, the Norwegian elkhound, and the dachshund. A second group included dogs from ancient breeds that are genetically more closely related to the wolf than other breeds. This group comprised 24 dogs from breeds such as the shiba inu, the basenji, and the Siberian husky. All owners completed questionnaires about their own personality and that of their dog. They also answered questions about their relationship with their dog, including such matters as how the owner experienced the interaction with the dog, degree of emotional attachment to the dog, and the extent to which owning a dog gave rise to problems. "The results showed that the owner's personality affected the stress level in hunting dogs, but interestingly enough not in the ancient dogs. In addition, the relationship between the dog and the owner affected the stress level of the dogs. This was the case for both types, but the result was less marked for the ancient dogs," says Lina Roth, senior lecturer in the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology at Linköping University. In a previous study, the same researchers had seen that dogs from herding breeds, which have been genetically selected for their ability to collaborate with humans, mirror the long-term stress level of their owner. When the researchers now added information about the relationship of the herding dogs to their owner, it became clear that the relationship was significant for the long-term stress levels also in these dogs. The researchers conclude that long-term stress is influenced least strongly by the owner and their relationship to the dog for ancient breeds. The hunting dogs show clear links between both the personality of the owner and their relationship to the dog, but it is only herding dogs that demonstrate the unique synchronisation with the long-term stress in the owner. "We believe that the synchronisation of stress is a consequence of breeding the herding dogs for collaboration with people, while the relationship to the owner and the owner's personality are important parameters that influence the synchronisation of stress levels," says Lina Roth. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Canine mammary gland tumors and the link between cancer and environmental toxin exposure are among the focus of research projects to receive funding from the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation (CHF). In honor of Pet Cancer Awareness Month (May), the foundation is awarding more than $850,000 in grants to 11 projects, each with a focus on canine oncology. The newly funded studies include: • “Use of CRISPR-based Genome-wide Approach for Identification of Vulnerabilities in Canine Oral Melanoma” (principal investigator: Maciej Parys, DVM, PhD; R(D)SVS and Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh), which seeks to identify the genes specific for melanoma development and evaluate drugs targeting them; • “Open-Label, Phase-2 Clinical Trial of Chlorambucil and Toceranib for Canine Mast Cell Tumors” (principal investigator: Kristen Weishaar, DVM, MS; Colorado State University), a clinical trial of combination chemotherapy for mast cell tumors; and • “Continued Investigation into Tumor-permissive Collagen Signatures in Canine Mammary Gland Tumors: Development of Prognostic Markers and Targeted Therapies for Improved Outcomes” (principal investigator: Susan W. Volk, VMD, PhD; University of Pennsylvania), a continuation study on cancer-associated collagen networks and how they can be used to predict clinical outcomes, prevent cancer development, and inhibit residual tumor growth and metastasis following surgery. “CHF’s recently awarded oncology grants utilize the latest technologies and knowledge of cancer biology to identify new and more effective ways to diagnose, prevent, and treat canine cancer,” says the foundation’s scientific review committee chair, Stephanie Montgomery, DVM, PhD, DACVP. “We are excited for the outcomes of this research which will advance our understanding of cancer formation and improve cancer therapies for all dogs.” Since its founding in 1995, CHF and its donors have invested more than $15.4 million in canine cancer research, AKC says. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Two of the world’s leading veterinary organizations are proud to announce updated recommendations in the 2021 AAHA/AAFP Feline Life Stage Guidelines. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) convened a Task Force of experts in feline medicine to define distinct feline life stages and provide a framework for individualized healthcare plans. Understanding a cat’s life stage and lifestyle greatly impacts healthcare strategies. Veterinary professionals have a responsibility to stress the need for ongoing care for feline patients at every stage of their lives. The updated Guidelines detail the evolution of feline biology and lifestyle over time,requiring different approaches to healthcare for kittens and senior cats. The Guidelines outline four age-related life stages, with the fifth, end-of-life stage, occurring at any age. Feline Life Stages• Kitten: Birth up to 1 year• Young adult: 1 to 6 years •Mature adult: 7 to 10 years• Senior: 10 years and older •End-of-life: Any age The Guidelines combine feline-friendly care approaches with a lifelong healthcare plan to improve health and wellbeing. “A cat-friendly approach tailored to the individual patient creates a more positive experience for the patient, client, and care provider, and promotes more frequent visits and improved compliance,” stated Task Force Co-Chair, Jessica Quimby, DVM, PhD, DACVIM. Quick reference tables are included in the Guidelines to aid veterinary professionals in developing evolving care plans that grow with cats as they age. “All cats of every life stage need full, thorough physical examinations at least annually for the best lifelong care; and we recommend checkups at a minimum of every six months for senior cats,” said AAHA Chief Medical Officer Heather Loenser, DVM.“The Guidelines provide discussion items and medical history questions for all life stages, as well as life stage-specific focal points for physical examinations, claw care, litter box management, nutrition, behavior, oral health, enrichment, and vaccinations.”Additionally, for veterinary teams, the Feline Lifestyle Assessment Form helps gather a deeper history for each cat. This form makes it easier to tailor the physical examination and to identify specific questions and discussions based on the client’s feedback.Supplemental cli ent resources accompanying the Guidelines include the new Your Cat’s Life Stages brochure, and an updated Feline Life Stages chart, which are useful educational tools to set clients up for success in managing their cat’s wellbeing. The 2021 AAHA/AAFP Feline Life Stage Guidelines are online at aaha.org/felinelifestage and catvets.com/life-stage. Cat owner resources are available at catfriendly.com/life-stages. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The prevalence of gastric ulcers among Thoroughbreds in training and racing is well known, but gastric ulcers also occur frequently in Thoroughbred foals and yearlings. Reports suggest one-quarter to one-half of foals have gastric ulcers. “Ulcers compromise the health of the horse, affecting appetite and feed conversion efficiency. In young foals, growth rates can be negatively affected. As many horse owners know, diagnosis with a gastroscope and treatment with omeprazole are expensive, so preventing ulcers is vital,” explained Clarissa Brown-Douglas, Ph.D., a Kentucky Equine Research nutritionist. In addition to the general stress associated with weaning, the type of feed a foal is offered, such as high-starch concentrate, can also contribute to the development of equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS). Tradition dictates feeding weanlings high levels of grain-based concentrates (such as oat-, corn-, and barley-based feeds) to achieve the accelerated growth required by Thoroughbred yearlings for sales. However, these high-starch feeds are linked to rapid growth rates and implicated in the manifestation of developmental orthopedic disease, including osteochondritis, angular limb deformities, and physitis. Considering the potential negative effects of high-starch diets in young, growing horses, there is evidence that the same level of growth can be achieved by feeding a diet in which the energy is provided by fiber as opposed to cereals. A recent report showed similar growth rates in foals born in the United Kingdom and fed either an all-fiber or a traditional cereal-based creep feed.* In this study, average daily gain, height at the withers and hip, heart girth, and body length were all similar between the groups of weanlings fed either the all-fiber or high-cereal creep feed for 18 weeks. Specifically, the average daily gain was in line with other reported growth rates of Thoroughbreds at the same age. This study also examined the effect of the two different feeds on stomach pH of the weanlings. Horses fed the all-fiber feed maintained a more consistent and less acidic gastric pH compared with those fed the cereal-based feed. The researchers deduced that the high-fiber ration had the potential to help reduce the incidence of acid-precipitated gastric ulceration. “This work supports several other studies that have reported a high incidence of gastric ulcers in weanlings, suggesting high-fiber diets protect against gastric ulcers in horses of all ages. Many feed companies are now producing feeds for young, growing horses containing high levels of digestible fiber, including beet pulp and soy hulls, with less reliance on cereal grains,” Brown-Douglas relayed. In sum, this study adds to the increasing pool of data supporting the use of high-fiber diets to achieve growth rates comparable to traditional cereal-based diets in young horses. Reducing the risk of the incidence of gastric ulcers in weanlings during their rapid growth can be achieved in one of two ways: by offering a high-fiber feed rather than a traditional cereal-based feed and by supplementing their diets with Triacton, a research-proven supplement developed by Kentucky Equine Research. Triacton contains a specific source of calcium proven to buffer the gastric and hindgut environments, restoring gastrointestinal normalcy. Triacton features the added benefit of boosting bone mineral density, which is advantageous for growing foals. +++++++++++++ Pet adoption surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, but now some of those animals are likely to be returned to shelters. As the economy and many people return to on-site work, some are concluding that they don’t have time for their pets, the New York Post reports. Penny Smith-Berk of Rescue Right in Bedford, NY, was quoted saying: “People can be very selfish. … People like me are left to pick up the slack, because quite a few people throw up their hands and say, ‘I can’t do this.'” Fox 35 in Orlando reports that shelters across the U.S. “are seeing higher than average rates of returns.” Aron Jones, executive director of Moms and Mutts Colorado Rescue, was quoted saying that “for the past four months, we have had an extreme number of returns.” As people return to their routines, “the dogs are not necessarily fitting into their lifestyles, and they are returning them instead of trying to make adjustments to keep their dog now that the world is opening up,” Jones said, according to KDVR-TV. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ A Bengal tiger named India still hasn't been found, three days after it was spotted in a Houston neighborhood and taken away by a man accused of murder. "I am extremely worried about what happens with this tiger and the people around it," said Carole Baskin, founder of Big Cat Rescue and star of the Netflix series, "Tiger King." "This has become commonplace in Texas," she told CNN on Wednesday. Owning a tiger is a violation of Houston law, but it is legal under Texas state law with certain restrictions. When Jose Antonio Ramos discovered the tiger Sunday on his front yard, he thought it was part of a TV commercial -- with ample security and safety measures nearby. But it wasn't. Ramos gingerly stepped outside "just to really make sure that what I was seeing was accurate, and basically to take a snapshot of it and alert authorities." His hands trembled as he shot photos and video. The tiger "was making full eye contact with me," Ramos had earlier told CNN. After posting photos on a neighborhood email forum, Ramos said an off-duty deputy who lives nearby showed up and kept his weapon trained on the tiger. That's when a neighbor came out of a house and pleaded with the deputy not to shoot the tiger, Ramos said. That neighbor, identified by police as Victor Hugo Cuevas, then straddled and grabbed the tiger and tried to move it away from others, cell phone video taken by Maria Torres and provided to CNN affiliate KTRK shows. When other officers arrived at the scene, Cuevas -- who happened to be free on bond for a murder charge -- put the tiger in a white SUV and drove off, Houston Police Commander Ron Borza said. Cuevas, 26, then fled with the tiger, authorities said. He is not India's owner, his attorney said. Cuevas was soon arrested, Houston police tweeted Monday, adding: "The whereabouts of the tiger are not yet known." Osteo
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