Friday, 17 May 2024 00:29

Talkin' Pets News Featured

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Talkin' Pets National Radio Show
May 18, 2024
Host - Jon Patch
Co-Host - Jillyn Sidlo - Celestial Custom Dog Services - Mt. Roan, TN
Producer - Lexi Adams
Network Producer - Sydney Hubbard
Special Guest - 1/ST Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Dionne Benson with the Preakness Race will join us at 5pm EST
New Network New Number to call in live Saturdays 5-8pm ET

The first man to receive a genetically modified pig kidney transplant has died two months after the operation, the hospital which carried out the procedure has said.

Richard "Rick" Slayman, 62, was suffering with end-stage kidney disease before undergoing the operation in March.

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) said on Sunday there was no indication his death was a result of the transplant.

Transplants of other organs from genetically modified pigs have failed in the past, but the operation on Mr Slayman was hailed as a historic milestone.

In addition to kidney disease, Mr Slayman also suffered from Type 2 diabetes and hypertension. In 2018, he had a human kidney transplant, but it began to fail after five years.

Following his pig kidney transplant on 16 March, his doctors confirmed he no longer needed dialysis after the new organ was said to be functioning well.

"Mr Slayman will forever be seen as a beacon of hope to countless transplant patients worldwide and we are deeply grateful for his trust and willingness to advance the field of xenotransplantation," MGH said in a statement.

Xenotransplantation is the transplanting of living cells, tissues or organs from one species to another.

MGH said it was "deeply saddened" at his sudden death and offered condolences to his family. Mr Slayman's relatives said his story was an inspiration.

"Rick said that one of the reasons he underwent this procedure was to provide hope for the thousands of people who need a transplant to survive," they said. "Rick accomplished that goal and his hope and optimism will endure forever. "To us, Rick was a kind-hearted man with a quick-witted sense of humour who was fiercely dedicated to his family, friends, and co-workers," they added.

While Mr Slayman received the first pig kidney to be transplanted into a human, it is not the first pig organ to be used in a transplant procedure.

Two other patients have received pig heart transplants, but those procedures were unsuccessful as the recipients died a few weeks later.

In one case, there were signs the patient's immune system had rejected the organ, which is a common risk in transplants.


The All-American of Ellicott City, Maryland with owner and handler Cynthia Hornor won the 11th Annual Masters Agility Championship at Westminster. The event was held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Saturday, May 11 as part of Westminster’s Canine Celebration Day.

Nimble, a 6-year old female, officially known as NAC MACH Breezy Blue’s Be Quick! T2B MXF, bested a field of 26 All-American (mixed breed) Agility competitors among 351 total Agility competitors over two rounds of competition under judges Zach Davis of Jersey City, NJ and Susan Leitner of Vancouver, WA. After advancing to the Championship round of 50 finalists, Nimble and Hornor, the winners of the 12-inch height division, posted the fastest clean round of 28.76 seconds to become the 2024 Top All-American Dog and Masters Agility Champion.

This marks the first time in Westminster history an All-American dog has taken home both the Top All-American Dog award and the Masters Agility Championship. Additionally, this historic win signifies the first time a dog from the 12-inch division has taken home the Masters Agility Championship. Owner and handler Cynthia Hornor previously won the 10th Annual Masters Agility Championship at Westminster in 2023 with her 6.5-year-old male Border Collie, Truant.

The Westminster Kennel Club donates $5,000 to honor the winner of the Masters Agility Championship to the AKC training club of the winner’s choice or the AKC Humane Fund. A donation of $1,000 will also be made in the names of the Highest Scoring All-American Dog and the four remaining first-place dogs in their height classes.

The 11th Annual Masters Agility Championship is part of Westminster Week which includes the 148th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and 9th Annual Masters Obedience Championship.

For full results and video, visit


The Border Collie of Caseyville, Illinois, with owner and handler Kimberly Berkley, won the 9th Annual Masters Obedience Championship at Westminster. The event was judged by Barbara Wedekind Selton at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Zayne, a seven-year-old male, officially known as RNC TC OTCH13 AGCH MACH5 PACH RACH Norwood Color Me Zayne HSAd HSBd HXAd HXBd UDX14 OGM RM4 RAE3 HSAD HSBD HXAD HXBD MXC PDS MJC PJS MXPB MJPB PAX MFG TQX T2B5, bested the field of top Obedience entrants over two rounds of competition, and posted the best combined score of 398 out of a possible 400 to become the 2024 Masters Obedience Champion.

Zayne is the Sire of Zuko, the four-year-old male Border Collie, who took Third Place overall in the competition.

The Westminster Kennel Club donates $5,000 to honor the winner of the Masters Obedience Championship to an AKC training club of the winner’s choice or to the AKC Humane Fund.

For streaming of the Masters Obedience Championship and full results visit


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is revising its regulations for importing dogs to safeguard the well-being of people and animals. Effective August 1, 2024, all dogs entering the U.S. must meet the following requirements:

  • Demonstrate good health upon entry.
  • Be at least six months old.
  • Have a microchip.
  • Come with a CDC Dog Import Form receipt from online submission.

Further conditions depend on the dog’s travel history in the past six months, and its vaccination status in the U.S. Dogs from countries with high risk of rabies are required to be vaccinated against the virus.

The CDC reports canine rabies has been eliminated in the country since 2017, and these new set of rules will help prevent its reintroduction. Additionally, it tackles recent issues in international dog imports, including fake documents and dogs kept in unsafe conditions when failing U.S. entry criteria.

For more information, visit the CDC website.


This month, Helen Woodward Animal Center is tackling a first – the checking off of a Bucket List of adventures that every dog should experience.   Hannah, a 6-month-old Shepard-blend, has a unique and severe medical condition that may keep her from being officially adopted but the staff at Helen Woodward Animal Center is making sure her days are filled with the finest things in life. 

 At first glance, Hannah is a Shepard blend puppy like any other. She is energetic, enjoys chasing the ball, and is loving and cuddly. In fact, when Hannah arrived at Helen Woodward Animal Center in early January, she appeared so healthy and ready for a forever family that she was adopted immediately.  Unfortunately, only weeks later she was returned with concerns of constant urination.  Testing revealed that she was dealing with a rare condition called renal dysplasia.  Renal dysplasia is a hereditary condition in which a dog’s kidneys fail to develop properly. As a result, the kidneys struggle to filter out toxins.  Hannah’s case is severe. At first diagnosis, she was classified with Stage 2 kidney disease. She has since graduated to Stage 3.

 Helen Woodward Animal Center has never given up on any orphan pet that comes through its doors.  Although the length of her life is uncertain, the Center wants Hannah to live her life to the fullest and enjoy all of the activities other dogs would experience during their lifetime.  Currently, the staff at Helen Woodward Animal Center is checking items off of Hannah’s bucket list.  The checklist includes such activities as: getting a puppuccino, going to the beach, trying a hotdog, picking a toy from a pet shop, being on TV, and much more.  Of course, the most heartfelt item on the list is finding Hannah a forever foster to care for her for the rest of her life – however long that may be.

We ask the community to support Hannah.  In order to make sure Hannah experiences all the things a puppy deserves, the Center is asking for donations which will not only help cover the cost of Hannah’s medical treatment, but will allow her experience all of her puppy dreams. Every donation made to help Hannah on her bucket list journey will be matched due to the generosity of The R J Family Foundation. Each matched dollar will allow Hannah twice as many joys and puppy adventures.

 Additionally, Helen Woodward Animal Center is seeking a very special forever foster home or an adopter for Hannah.  This person should be comfortable with her condition, and understanding of the requirements of frequent vet care, that may become more demanding as time progresses.  The donations to Hannah’s fund will also assist the Center in covering the costs of medical care this foster will need in their caring for Hannah.  Currently Hannah only needs to visit the vet every 3-6 months unless an urgent situation arises. But as she gets older, vet visits may increase to monthly, or even weekly.

 Hannah has a lot of experiences to check off of her bucket list. If you are not able to foster or adopt this sweet puppy, please donate. Your donations help Hannah experience life to the fullest and live comfortably no matter how much time she has. Remember, all donations are automatically doubled due to the kindness of the R J Family Foundation. Donate today!  For more information on Helen Woodward Animal Center, please visit, call (858) 756-4117, or stop by 6461 El Apajo Road, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067.


The Open Wing Alliance (OWA), a global coalition of 95 animal protection organizations in 75 countries across six continents, today released a new report revealing that 89% of all corporate cage-free commitments with deadlines of 2023 or earlier have been fulfilled. Nearly 2,600 commitments have been made by food corporations around the world to remove cages from their egg supply chains. Of these, 1,199 food companies, including restaurants, retailers, and manufacturers, successfully completed their transition to cage-free facilities.

This new data shows groundbreaking momentum within the global egg industry, driven by growing consumer pressure, farm animal legislation, and corporate commitments secured by negotiations and campaigns by the OWA. Eleven U.S. states have passed laws to ban the production and/or sale of eggs raised from hens in cages, and the European Parliament has voted to support a ban on cages. Numerous countries have addressed the cruelty of cages by banning them entirely, such as Austria, Luxembourg, and Switzerland, and many other countries have enacted laws that will come into force in the coming years.

"With nearly every food company around the world pledging to remove cruel cages from their egg supply chains, it's clear that cage-free is the expectation—not the exception," says Carley Betts, Director of The Open Wing Alliance. " Many cage-free commitments made by over 1,000 food companies come due next year, as almost 40% of all policies were made with a 2025 deadline. Therefore, this will be a critical year for stakeholders to hold companies accountable for their promises.  Key findings:

  • Over 2,599 corporate cage-free policies have been secured—1,342 with deadlines of 2023 or earlier.
  • 1,199 companies (89%) removed battery cages from their egg supply chains.
  • 2% of companies with pledges aren't fully cage-free but are publicly reporting.
  • 7% are not publicly reporting on their transition.
  • Major brands completed their cage-free transitions in 2023 (or years ahead of schedule):
    • Hershey
    • Woolworths
    • Famous Brands
    • Scandic Hotels
    • Monolog Coffee
    • Special Dog
    • Azzuri Group
    • McDonald's
    • TGI Fridays
    • The Cheesecake Factory
  • A complete transition to cage-free eggs has been seen across industry sectors:
    • 394 restaurants
    • 231 manufacturers
    • 133 retailers
    • 96 foodservice and caterers
    • 73 hospitality companies
    • 38 producers
    • 16 distributors

Despite significant progress, approximately 4 billion hens are still confined in cages worldwide. Caged systems promote poor physical and mental health in hens, unable to even spread their wings or engage in natural behaviors critical to their well-being. To take action against this practice, visit and the Open Wing Alliance's Action App. For more information about the Open Wing Alliance, please visit Follow along with the cage-free movement on X @GlobalCageFree.


Sales of raw milk appear to be on the rise, despite years of warnings about the health risks of drinking the unpasteurized products — and an outbreak of bird flu in dairy cows. Since March 25, when the bird flu virus was confirmed in U.S. cattle for the first time, weekly sales of raw cow’s milk have ticked up 21% to as much as 65% compared with the same periods a year ago, according to the market research firm NielsenIQ.

That runs counter to advice from the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which calls raw milk one of the “riskiest” foods people can consume. As of Monday, at least 42 herds in nine states are known to have cows infected with the virus known as type A H5N1, federal officials said. The virus has been found in high levels in the raw milk of infected cows. Viral remnants have been found in samples of milk sold in grocery stores, but the FDA said those products are safe to consume because pasteurization has been confirmed to kill the virus. It’s not yet known whether live virus can be transmitted to people who consume milk that hasn't been heat-treated.

But CDC officials warned last week that people who drink raw milk could theoretically become infected if the bird flu virus comes in contact with receptors in the nose, mouth and throat or by inhaling virus into the lungs. There's also concern that if more people are exposed to the virus, it could mutate to spread more easily in people.

States have widely varying regulations regarding raw milk, with some allowing retail sales in stores and others allowing sale only at farms. Some states allow so-called cowshares, where people pay for milk from designated animals, and some allow consumption only by farm owners, employees or “non-paying guests.”

The NielsenIQ figures include grocery stores and other retail outlets. They show that raw milk products account for a small fraction of overall dairy sales. About 4,100 units of raw cow's milk and about 43,000 units of raw milk cheese were sold the week of May 5, for instance, according to NielsenIQ. That compares with about 66.5 million units of pasteurized cow's milk and about 62 million units of pasteurized cheese.

From 1998 to 2018, the CDC documented more than 200 illness outbreaks traced to raw milk, which sickened more than 2,600 people and hospitalized more than 225. Raw milk is far more likely than pasteurized milk to cause illnesses and hospitalizations linked to dangerous bacteria such as campylobacter, listeria, salmonella and E. coli, research shows.

Before milk standards were adopted in 1924, about 25% of foodborne illnesses in the U.S. were related to dairy consumption, said Alex O’Brien, safety and quality coordinator for the Center for Dairy Research. Now, dairy products account for about 1% of such illnesses, he said. “I liken drinking raw milk to playing Russian roulette,” O’Brien said. The more times people consume it, the greater the chance they’ll get sick, he added.

Despite the risks, about 4.4% of U.S. adults — nearly 11 million people — report that they drink raw milk at least once each year, and about 1% say they consume it each week, according to a 2022 FDA study. CDC and FDA officials didn’t respond to questions about the rising popularity of raw milk. ++++++++++++++++++++

A miniature poodle named Sage won the top prize Tuesday night at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, in what veteran handler Kaz Hosaka said would be his final time at the United States' most prestigious canine event. After 45 years of competing and two best in show dogs, he plans to retire. Sage notched the 11th triumph for poodles of various sizes at Westminster; only wire fox terriers have won more. The last miniature poodle to take the trophy was Spice, with Hosaka, in 2002.

Sage bested six other finalists to take best in show. Second went to Mercedes, a German shepherd whose handler, Kent Boyles, also has shepherded a best in show winner before. Others in the final round included Comet, a shih tzu who won the big American Kennel Club National Championship last year; Monty, a giant schnauzer who arrived at Westminster as the nation’s top-ranked dog and was a Westminster finalist last year; Louis, an Afghan hound; Micah, a black cocker spaniel; and Frankie, a colored bull terrier. While Sage was going around the ring, a protester carrying a sign urging people to “boycott breeders” tried to climb in and was quickly intercepted by security personnel. Police and the animal rights group PETA said three demonstrators were arrested. Charges have not yet been decided.

In an event where all competitors are champions in dog showing's point system, winning can depend on subtleties and a standout turn at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the U.S. Open tennis tournament. Dogs first compete against others of their breed. Then the winner of each breed goes up against others in its “group.” The seven group winners meet in the final round. The best in show winner gets a trophy and a place in dog-world history, but no cash prize.

Besides the winners, there were other dogs that were hits with the crowd. A lagotto Romagnolo named Harry earned a chuckle from the stadium audience by sitting up and begging for a treat from his handler, and a vizsla named Fletcher charmed spectators by jumping up on its handler after finishing a spin around the ring. There were big cheers, too, for a playful great Pyrenees called Sebastian and a Doberman pinscher named Emilio. Other dogs that vied in vain for a spot in the finals included Stache, a Sealyham terrier. He won the National Dog Show that was televised on Thanksgiving and took top prize at a big terrier show in Pennsylvania last fall. Stache showcases a rare breed that’s considered vulnerable to extinction even in its native Britain.

“They’re a little-known treasure,” said Stache’s co-owner, co-breeder and handler, Margery Good of Cochranville, Pennsylvania, who has bred “Sealys” for half a century. Originally developed in Wales to hunt badgers and other burrowing game, the terriers with a “fall” of hair over their eyes are courageous but comedic — Good dubs them “silly hams.” The Westminster show, which dates to 1877, centers on the traditional purebred judging that leads to the best in show prize. But over the last decade, the club has added agility and obedience events open to mixed-breed dogs.  And this year, the agility competition counted its first non-purebred winner, a border collie-papillon mix named Nimble. And Kramer, the best in show judge, made a point of thanking "every dog, whether it’s a house dog or a show dog. “Because you make our lives whole.”


The first star to arrive on the red carpet at the 77th Cannes Film Festival came on four legs.

Messi, the dog from the film “Anatomy of a Fall,” walked up and down the Cannes carpet on Tuesday ahead of the opening ceremony. Lines of tuxedo-clad photographers called out “Messi! Messi” while the border collie strolled past and climbed the stairs to the Palais des Festivals. There, he sat and held his front paws up in the air, like a movie star waving to the crowd.

For some 20 minutes, Messi had Cannes' complete attention while frolicking on the carpet. His bark echoed down the Croisette. The red carpet went unsoiled.

For Messi, it was a kind of return to the scene of the crime. Justine Triet's murder mystery “Anatomy of a Fall” last year premiered in Cannes where it went on to win the festival's top award, the Palme d'Or. Messi — Snoop in the film — won the Palm Dog, a journalist-created prize for the festival's top dog.

And as “Anatomy of a Fall,” in which the dog's perspective holds certain keys to the whodunit, continued through awards season, Messi emerged as Hollywood's favorite new pooch and a particularly cuddly Oscar campaign prop. He attended both the academy luncheon of nominees and the Oscar ceremony. “Anatomy of a Fall” won best original screenplay.

Messi isn't in Cannes just for an encore bow/bone. The festival is shooting daily one-minute videos of Messi for French television that will be collected for a TikTok video. On Tuesday, he carried a camera stick in his teeth.


Preakness favorite Muth has been ruled out of the second leg of the Triple Crown after spiking a fever, taking arguably the best horse and one trained by Bob Baffert out of the race.

The Maryland Jockey Club announced Muth’s status change Wednesday morning, roughly 12 hours after the horse arrived at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Baffert said Muth's temperature reached 103 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) and the camp had no choice but to scratch him.

“We are sick about this. The horse had been doing really well,” Baffert said. “But we have to do what’s right by the horse.”

Muth was set to be one of two horses running in the Preakness on Saturday for Baffert, a Hall of Famer and two-time winner of the Triple Crown who is still expected to saddle Imagination as part of what's now a field of eight. Baffert was not expected to fly in until Thursday, though assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes accompanied the horses on their flight to Newark, New Jersey, and the drive down to Maryland.

At the post-position draw Monday, Muth opened as the 8-5 favorite with Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan second at 5-2 and Imagination and Brad Cox-trained Catching Freedom tied for third at 6-1.

"It takes a lot out of the equation," said Ray Bryner, the assistant trainer for Mystik Dan. “We don’t have to worry about him, so there’s eight horses now and we can kind of run our race and not worry about chasing the horse they call the favorite.”

Muth had beaten a field that included Mystik Dan, who finished third, in the Arkansas Derby on March 30.

“I was confident we were going to get revenge,” Bryner said.

That was Muth's last race because of Baffert's ban at Churchill Downs prohibiting him from entering anyone in the Kentucky Derby, a race won by Mystik Dan in the closest finish since 1947. Mystik Dan now figures to become the Preakness favorite.

“I’m sure there’s a lot of disappointed people on that end of it," Bryner said. “I’m not disappointed, I have to be honest. With him out of the race, it makes us pretty strong. Especially if we get the off (muddy) track like he’s shown he can already handle, I think we’re in pretty good shape.”


A sailing yacht sunk in the Strait of Gibraltar on Sunday after an unknown number of orcas  slammed into the vessel with two people on board and caused a water leak, officials said. Both crew members were rescued by a passing oil tanker, said Spain's maritime rescue service, marking the latest killer whale attack on a boat in what has become a pattern in recent years.

The incident happened at around 9 a.m. local time in the narrow strait between Spain and Morocco that has become a notorious site of human interactions with pods of killer whales that, for reasons still not fully understood, ram into boats and at times even sink them. In this case, crew members on board the SV Alboran Cognac yacht put out an emergency call for an evacuation after they encountered orcas roughly 14 miles off the coast of Cape Spartel. 

The crew members reported feeling blows to the hull of the vessel and rudder, which was damaged by the whales, the rescue service said. The agency's coordination center in Tarifa, on the Spanish side of the Strait of Gibraltar, helped arrange for their evacuation via the tanker MT Lascaux. The tanker was able to collect the crew members from the sinking yacht within the hour, and they disembarked in Gibraltar before 10:30 a.m. They abandoned the SV Alboran Cognac, which proceeded to completely disappear into the ocean.

Anyone sailing through waters from the Gulf of Cádiz in southern Spain and the Strait of Gibraltar, either in a larger motorized vessel or a personal sailing boat, is advised to avoid certain areas that the maritime rescue service marks as potentially dangerous spots for orca interactions. The greatest threats exist between May and August, when officials say that pods of killer whales are most commonly seen in those parts of the Atlantic. 

But previously recorded incidents suggest those dangers may be present at any time. Last October, a Polish boat touring company reported that a pod of orcas had managed to sink one of its yachts after repeatedly slamming into the steering fin for 45 minutes, causing it to leak. Last June, two sailing teams competing in an international race around the world reported frightening scenarios in which multiple orcas rammed into or pushed up against their boats or as they sailed west of Gibraltar. 

No one on board any of the vessels was hurt in those encounters, but the documented rise in confrontational behavior has researchers and sailors trying to determine why orcase have attempted to sink or capsize so many boats off the coasts of Spain and Portugal. Some sailors have even resorted to blasting thrash metal music in a bid to deter the apex predators.

Reports of orcas interacting with humans have more than tripled in the last two years or so, according to the research group GTOA, which has documented hundreds of such incidents in the region since 2020. But some of the latest data points to possible changes in the orcas' etiquette, with the group reporting only 26 interactions in the Strait of Gibraltar and Bay of Biscay areas between January and May of this year. That number is 65% lower than the number of interactions recorded in the region over the same months last year, and 40% lower than the average number of interactions recorded in the same months between 2021 and 2023, according to GTOA.


The AKC Museum of the Dog is thrilled to announce that Anthony Rubio, pet couturier and women’s wear designer, will host his inaugural “Pet Gala” at the AKC Museum of the Dog on Monday, May 20th. Tickets are available now!

Occurring two weeks after the Met Gala, the Pet Gala will feature re-creations of looks from this year’s event but designed for canines. The Pet Gala will include the iconic staircase red carpet, a runway show inside the Museum, and sit-down dinner.

"Having borne witness to the stunning fashions of the Met Gala for decades, it was instantly clear that the AKC Museum of the Dog is the only suitable home for Anthony Rubio's Pet Gala,” said Christopher Bromson, Executive Director of the AKC Museum of the Dog. “Just like the Met, the Museum boasts one of the world's most impressive collections of dog art. On May 20, it will be the steps of the AKC Museum of the Dog that brim with glamour, where breathtaking pieces will wind their way through our gallery. Together, we'll celebrate these creations for what they truly are: art."

Born and raised in New York City, Anthony Rubio has been in the fashion industry for twenty years and has been re-creating looks from the Met Gala for dogs for over a decade. His most famous re-creations include looks worn by Salma Hayek, Cardi B, Rihanna, Pedro Pascal, and much more. His designs have been featured in PEOPLE Magazine, Hola Magazine, The Daily Mail, and on Inside Edition and Access Hollywood. He is also a passionate advocate for animals.

“The designers for The Met Gala have months to create their looks for celebrities to shine on the red carpet. I have two weeks to recreate them and for dogs,” said Anthony Rubio. “When I design for my Fashion Week runway shows, it's all my aesthetic. For The Pet Gala, I have to figure out how to translate garments worn by humans onto our four-legged stars. Humans can suffer for their fashion, but dogs will not. Their comfort and safety is my top priority.”


To purchase tickets for the event,


Octavia Stensen with her Norwegian Buhund “Pineapple” won the title of Best Junior Handler under judge Diego Garcia of Lillington, NC at the 148th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show presented by Purina Pro Plan, held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Tuesday, May 14.

Stensen, handling her 3.5-year-old female, officially known as GCHB CH Cultiva Cruisin For A Bruisin Pineapple Express CGC TKN, took top honors in the Junior Showmanship competition besting a field of 104 entrants, narrowed down to eight finalists. Finalists were selected over two days of preliminary competitions by judges Rebecca Cross of Gettysburg, PA, and Stacy Threlfall of Apex, NC.

As the 2024 Westminster Kennel Club Best Junior Handler, Stensen will receive a $10,000 Junior Showmanship Finalists Scholarship Award. All other finalists also receive scholarship awards: Second place $5,000, Third place $4,000, and Fourth place $3,000. The remaining four finalists receive a $500 scholarship award. The scholarships are for their use in post-secondary schooling for the college or technical school of their choice.

Junior Showmanship is a competition assessing the handling skills of children 9-18 years of age, independent of the traits of the dog. This competition has been held as part of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show since 1934.

For full results and video, visit


The FDA has issued a conditional approval for the first torsemide drug for dogs (UpCard-CA1; Vetoquinol). This drug is intended to be used alongside concurrent medications including pimobendan, spironolactone, and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. This therapy combination will help manage pulmonary edema, a buildup of fluid in the lungs seen in dogs with congestive heart failure caused by myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD).1

MMVD is an abnormality in the heart valve or muscle that prevents the valve from closing properly and should be diagnosed by a veterinarian through thorough physical and cardiac evaluations.1 This abnormality affects the heart's ability to pump blood efficiently and can lead to an enlarged heart (cardiomegaly). If left untreated, MMVD can progress to congestive heart failure, causing fluid buildup in the chest and abdomen. MMVD is prevalent across various dog breeds, with a higher occurrence in smaller breeds such as Cavalier King Charles spaniels, Yorkshire terriers, and dachshunds. At the 2023 American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) forum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, third year cardiology resident at Texas A&M University, Tess Sykes, DVM presented a poster on the link between cardiac complications including MMVD in Borzoi dogs.

According to the FDA and Vetoquinol, UpCard-CA1 is packaged in vials containing 32 or 96 mL and should be administered orally once daily at a dose of 0.05 to 0.2 mg/lb (0.11 to 0.44 mg/kg) of bodyweight.1

The FDA allows drugs treating serious or life-threatening diseases in animals to be marketed after demonstrating safety and manufacturing standard before receiving full approval. The organization allows recognized the difficulty this disease poses for gathering effective studies as it would be time consuming and difficult to gather a large data pool.1 Therefore, the FDA has deemed UPCard-CA1 has met the necessary requirements for expanded conditional approval.

However, during the conditional approval time, Vetoquinol must demonstrate that it is actively working toward collecting the remaining effectiveness data needed to achieve full approval. Full approval must be attained within 5 years after receiving conditional approval, or this drug will no longer be in effect.1


A syringe used by pet owners to administer a drug for treating anemia in cats with chronic kidney disease could become unreadable, raising a danger of misdosing, according to an alert sent to veterinarians by the pharmaceutical company Elanco Animal Health.

The drug, Varenzin (molidustat), is a new product that launched in September. An oral suspension, it's typically given at home through a syringe that delivers the medication into the cat's mouth. In its letter to veterinarians, dated March 28, Elanco said the scale on the outside of the syringe can become unreadable if it comes in contact with the medicine.

Asked for elaboration, the company said via a spokesperson: "Because the medication is based in a flavorful sunflower and fish oil base, these oils can remove the ink on the outside of the syringe after several exposures."

Elanco told veterinarians that it is "exploring options for a long-term solution," which it confirmed involves procuring syringes that aren't vulnerable to the problem. In the meantime, the company said veterinarians should direct cat owners to carefully follow the dosing directions on the product label, especially noting to "place the syringe nozzle firmly into the opening of the bottle" so product doesn't leak out.

In brief

* The measurement scale on a syringe that delivers Varenzin, a treatment for anemia in cats with chronic kidney disease, could become illegible if it comes in contact with the drug.

* Drug producer Elanco Animal Health says practitioners should urge cat owners to make sure they place the syringe nozzle firmly into the opening of the bottle to prevent leakage.

* Elanco is providing replacement syringes free of charge while it works on procuring other syringes that aren't vulnerable to the problem. It said the longer-term fix could take some time.

Varenzin is the first FDA-approved drug that controls nonregenerative anemia associated with chronic kidney disease in cats. Nonregenerative anemia, which can be fatal, is characterized by a failure of the patient's bone marrow to produce sufficient red blood cells, resulting in an inability of the blood to carry adequate amounts of oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Anemia is a frequent complication of chronic kidney disease, which commonly affects older cats. Elanco told the VIN News Service that the Varenzin syringe issue has occurred in "just a handful of cases," but it issued the warning letter swiftly to limit further incidents.

In the product insert, Elanco recommends that owners wash their hands after medicating the cat. The insert also says women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should administer the product with caution. If cats were to receive a chronic underdose of Varenzin, the drug may not work as well or at all. As for the consequence of chronic or acute overdosing, Elanco and Klein concur that too much drug potentially could result in polycythemia, an overabundance of red blood cells that reduces blood flow and promotes clotting. +++++++++++++++

In humans, herpesviruses are associated with gastric ulcers, and stress plays a critical role in their development. In contrast to humans, researchers investigating herpesviruses in horses found no association between the presence of the equine herpesviruses-2 and -5 and equine glandular gastric disease (EGGD).*

Lesions in the glandular or lower region of the stomach occur commonly, with affected horses presenting with behavior changes, poor performance, and variable other clinical signs. The underlying cause of EGGD remains unknown but could result from the failure of natural gastric defenses. Like humans with stress-induced peptic ulcers, stress may be a contributing factor for EGGD. Further, the equine herpesviruses-2 and -5 may also be linked to glandular ulcers.

To determine if a link between those herpesviruses and EGGD exists, horses with and without EGGD were identified via gastroscopy, and samples of gastric tissue were collected. Researchers retrieved healthy and diseased tissue in the pyloric region of the stomach lining during gastroscopy. In total, 29 horses were included in the study. Eleven horses were considered normal, having no evidence of EGGD or equine squamous gastric disease (ESGD), 12 horses were diagnosed with only EGGD, and six horses had both EGGD and ESGD.

All biopsies were analyzed for viral genetic material (both DNA and RNA). Equine herpesviruses -2 and -5 were frequently identified in the studied horses. Specifically, all samples were positive for equine herpesvirus-2, and all but two horses were positive for equine herpesvirus-5. Importantly, normal horses had higher viral loads of both equine herpesvirus-2 and -5 than horses with EGGD.

“This finding is in direct contrast to the researchers’ hypothesis and what is reported in humans, where a link between herpesvirus and peptic ulcers exists,” explained Catherine Whitehouse, M.S., a Kentucky Equine Research nutrition advisor. Additional studies are needed to determine the underlying cause of EGGD, a prevalent condition in horses.

“Unlike squamous disease, treating horses with antacids such as the proton pump inhibitor omeprazole, is not always effective. Once a better understanding of the pathophysiology of EGGD is attained, improved targeted therapies can be developed and initiated,” explained Whitehouse. Currently, treatment options for glandular disease include omeprazole, sucralfate, misoprostol, and nutritional management. In Australasia, look for Sucralox.

“Further, reducing stress is a key part of managing horses with EGGD, requiring each situation to be assessed individually. Several practices are known to support horses with glandular disease, including providing at least two days of rest days after exercise, reducing the number of handlers, and maximizing time with herdmates in environments that allow interaction, such as mutual grooming,” shared Whitehouse.

Nutritionally, it may be beneficial to supplement the diets of horses with EGUS with long-chain omega-3 fatty acids to help support a healthy immune system and address potential sources of chronic inflammation. “Fish oils, such as EO-3, are rich sources of both long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA,” Whitehouse said.


Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) facilitated a critical ear surgery for a 10-year-old German Shepherd and the unique teaching opportunity in this unusually severe case. A collaboration with San Diego Humane Society (SDHS) for surgery not only improved the senior canine’s quality of life, but also offered valuable hands-on training to further develop the skill set of HSSV’s veterinary team.

After arriving as a stray to the City of San Jose Animal Care & Services, Smokey was diagnosed with severe ear infections and moved out of the municipal shelter and into a foster home. Recognizing the urgency of his condition and the shelter’s budgetary constraints, the shelter reached out to HSSV who, in turn, tapped Dr. Leilani Im from SDHS for consultation. 

The surgery, known as Total Ear Canal Ablation and Bulla Osteotomy (TECA-BO), involves the complete removal of the ear canal and part of the surrounding bony structures to eliminate chronic and severe ear infections. As with Smokey, it is recommended in cases of end-stage otitis in which treatment is no longer helping due to a bacterial infection that is resistant to antibiotics or other underlying conditions predisposing the ears to chronic inflammation and infection.

At an estimated cost of $8,000 to $10,000 per ear, SDHS agreed to perform the surgery at no charge and teach the technique to HSSV staff veterinarians, furthering a commitment to advance shelter medicine and enhance the quality of care for animals in need. Dr. Im, alongside HSSV's veterinary team, performed the intricate procedure which lasted six hours.

"When we learned about Smokey's situation, we wanted help, but we also needed help to do so,” said Dr. Cristie Kamiya, Chief of Shelter Medicine at HSSV. “Collaborating with San Diego Humane Society was essential in providing Smokey with the care he needed, and it aligns with our strategic priorities.”

HSSV’s strategic priorities include changing the game by advancing shelter medicine and cultivating the next generation of veterinary professionals, increasing access to veterinary care and pet services, and helping shelters save more lives. By investing in staff with new skill sets and learning opportunities, HSSV is better equipped to save more lives and ensure shelter animals receive the quality care they need and deserve.

“Smokey's surgery embodies our priorities,” said Dr. Kamiya. “His quality of life is dramatically improved, and our staff received invaluable training that will enhance our life-saving efforts."

The partnership between HSSV, City of San Jose Animal Care & Services and San Diego Humane Society symbolizes the collective spirit around the human-animal bond within the shelter and animal rescue community.


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