Perhaps the hardest part of owning a pet is making difficult decisions when a beloved companion becomes seriously ill. That’s why researchers are developing a new tool to help people assess their ailing pets’ quality of life, a key factor in decisions about when to order life-prolonging procedures and when an animal’s suffering means it’s time to let go.
Another piece of the puzzle to better understand and treat obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) has fallen into place with the publication of new research that shows that the structural brain abnormalities of Doberman pinschers afflicted with canine compulsive disorder (CCD) are similar to those of humans with OCD. The research suggests that further study of anxiety disorders in dogs may help find new therapies for OCD and similar conditions in humans.
Researchers have come up with a new, mood-boosting therapy for teenagers in drug and alcohol treatment: Shelter dogs. Dog-interaction activities have been found to improve mood among teenagers living in residential treatment centers.
New research shows that households with dogs are home to more types of bacteria — including bacteria that are rarely found in households that do not have dogs. The finding is part of a larger study to improve our understanding of the microscopic life forms that live in our homes.
Veterinarians have completed the first global study that clinically documents the prevalence of hypothermia in dogs after surgery and after diagnostic tests that require anesthetic. The 83.6% of the 1,525 dogs studied presented this complication, whereas in humans this percentage is between 30 and 60% of cases.
A novel gene associated with canine atopic dermatitis has been identified. The gene encodes a protein called plakophilin 2, which is crucial for the formation and proper functioning of the skin structure, suggesting an aberrant skin barrier as a potential risk factor for atopic dermatitis.
Owning a pet, particularly a dog, could reduce your risk of heart disease. It is unclear whether owning a pet directly reduces risk. Despite the likely positive link, people shouldn’t get a pet solely to reduce heart disease risk.
Engineers have created a system of sensors that detects fruit odors more effectively than the human sense of smell. For now, the device can distinguish between the odors compounds emitted by pears and apples. Scientists have created an electronic nose with 32 sensors that can identify the odors given off by chopped pears and apples.
An assortment of saber-toothed cats, hyenas, an extinct ‘bear-dog’, ancestors of the red panda and several other carnivores died under unusual circumstances in a Spanish cave near Madrid approximately 9-10 million years ago. It now appears that the animals may have entered the cave intentionally and been trapped there, according to new research.
It may be slighter later than expected but spring finally seems to be upon us. Unfortunately, this also means the start of the tick season, both for humans and for their pets. But when exactly is the risk of dogs’ picking up ticks greatest?