Three women developed respiratory illness from Pasteurella multocida, a normal oral flora in 80 percent of cats and 60 percent of dogs, after consistent close contact with their dying pets, according to a recent study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases. While human infection is rare and the three cases were successfully treated with antibiotics, veterinarian Anthony J. Smith notes owners should adhere to common sense. "When you start licking your cat or dog or you start sharing utensils with your dog, you put yourself at risk for those things," Dr. Smith said.
The San Francisco Zoo's 42-year-old gray seal, Orkney, was euthanized Friday morning after zookeepers noticed he was lethargic and had breathing problems, despite medical treatment in recent months. Meanwhile, the Tautphaus Park Zoo in Idaho euthanized Panja, a 7-year-old snow leopard who was not responding to cancer treatment.
Americans spent a record $50.96 billion on pets in 2011, according to the American Pet Products Association. Pet services spending increased the most, from $3.51 billion in 2010 to $3.79 billion in 2011, a nearly 8% uptick. The veterinary care category saw a modest bump, from $13.01 billion in 2010 to $13.41 billion in 2011, though that number includes money spent on pet insurance, which totaled approximately $450 million.
Researchers have developed a hand-held device that successfully detects pathogens including those that cause Johne's disease in cattle and tuberculosis in humans and animals. As opposed to current blood tests, which must be sent to a lab for diagnostics, this device's microchip is encoded for several pathogens' antigens and can detect them in a blood drop after just a few minutes.
Although age itself is not a disease, the chances of developing an illness do increase as cats get older, writes veterinarian Ann M. Anderson. Symptoms of illness can be subtle in cats, and Dr. Anderson explains common signs of illness in aging cats and what they may indicate.