Dogs are living longer than ever thanks to better veterinary care, good nutrition and devoted owners who extend their hearts, homes and wallets to ensure comfort for their silvering canine friends. "People who are devoted to elderly animals are very special people," said pain expert and veterinarian Lisa Moses. "They do the best they can to make their dogs' lives better for however long they have."
Researchers at the University of Georgia's College of Veterinary Medicine found that canine parainfluenza virus 5, which doesn't cause disease in humans, can be loaded with antigens from other pathogens and used in a vaccine to generate immunity to those pathogens. Tests in mice have already shown that a PIV5-based vaccine protected them from seasonal flu strains as well as H5N1, or avian influenza. It's possible that the PIV5 vaccines could be used to develop vaccines for HIV, malaria and tuberculosis, according to lead researcher Biao He.
A recent survey of U.S. millionaires reveals that the pet of choice among the nation's wealthiest is largely the canine variety. Some 58% of millionaires said they own a dog and 37% said they have a cat. According to the American Pet Products Association, the medical care, feeding and travel expenses associated with dogs are higher than for cats.
Soft tissue sarcomas develop from the connective tissue of the skin or just beneath it, and they are relatively common in dogs, writes veterinarian Robyn Elmslie. The tumors can be difficult to treat because they invade the nearby tissue with rootlike projections that can be invisible to the naked eye, Dr. Elmslie notes. Although tumor location has an impact on the prognosis, combining surgical excision of the tumor with radiation therapy can provide a good quality of life and a normal lifespan for some patients, she writes.
Ferrets can make great pets for a family, but prospective owners must do some research before obtaining one, according to veterinary behaviorist Valarie Tynes, who hosts the AVMA's video on ferret care. Dr. Tynes explains that families should identify a veterinarian in their area who treats ferrets. Ferrets have other special needs, adds Dr. Tynes, including requiring lots of play and exercise.