Stingrays in aquarium tanks do not mind being touched by humans and might even enjoy it, a study at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium showed. The study, published in the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine and led by Columbus Zoo and Aquarium veterinarian Jimmy Johnson, was part of a larger investigation of the effects of bacteria, fungi and other organisms on animal health.
Two Boy Scouts joined the staff of a local ambulance and paramedic service for a course on cardiopulmonary resuscitation and other first-aid techniques for dogs and cats taught by veterinarian Lisa Booth. Dr. Booth taught participants to check vital signs and perform CPR; reviewed responses for choking, smoke inhalation, drowning, heatstroke and poisoning; and talked about how injured, frightened dogs and cats might try to defend themselves.
Veterinarian Jon Geller works with the Street Dog Coalition in Fort Collins, Colo., providing free checkups, vaccinations and other veterinary care, as well as vouchers for spaying and neutering, for dogs and cats that live with homeless people. Companion animals provide affection, a sense of purpose and security to homeless people, says Dr. Geller, who initially funded the 3-year-old charity out of his own pocket.
Brown and black bears in southeastern Alaska disperse seeds from fruit-bearing plants better than birds do, and in doing so they shape the ecosystems around them, according to researchers at Oregon State University. Bears eat berries while they wait for spawning salmon to arrive, and the findings, reported in Ecosphere, suggest that a decline in bear population density would have a significant effect on ecosystem structure.
The last known Carolina parakeet, Conuropsis carolinensis, died 100 years ago at the Cincinnati Zoo, shortly after the death of his mate of more than 30 years. No serious effort had been made to protect the species -- the only parrot species endemic to the continental US -- which early settlers deliberately extirpated as a pest before realizing the bird's role in their ecosystems.
Philadelphia, which has a high opioid overdose rate, is implementing two new strategies to help treat more patients and reduce the problem. Clinicians are providing faster and easier access to the opioid substitution therapy Suboxone, and the city is establishing a supervised drug consumption site that also will offer social services.
WellSpan Health hospitals in central Pennsylvania are using an interpreter to help Amish and Mennonite patients who generally speak Pennsylvania Dutch at home. Joanne Eshelman, director of Plain community relationships for WellSpan, said beyond language, interpreters can help patients navigate a complex health care system.
Research published in the special Go Red for Women issue of Circulation found 87% of women ages 18 to 55 and 89.5% of men in the same age range reported chest pain as a symptom of acute myocardial infarction, but women were more likely to have at least three other associated symptoms. Women were more likely to attribute symptoms to stress and anxiety than men and were also less likely to link them to muscle pain.
After myocardial infarction, women had about twice the rate of mental stress-induced myocardial ischemia and ischemia with conventional stress, compared with men, according to a study in the special Go Red for Women issue of the journal Circulation. "Microvascular dysfunction and peripheral vasoconstriction with mental stress are implicated in MSIMI among women but not among men, perhaps reflecting women's proclivity toward ischemia because of microcirculatory abnormalities," researchers wrote.
The American College of Cardiology's Electrophysiology Council said the benefits of implantable electronic monitoring devices are far greater than the risk that the devices may be hacked. There have been no reports of hackers reprogramming a device, and the likelihood appears low, but the authors write in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that malware could affect communications with hospital networks.