Veterinarian Jeff Kahler explains that a cat that is pulling out clumps of fur may have an underlying illness. Dr. Kahler recommends first finding out if the cat is itching by prescribing an anti-inflammatory medication. Blood work and a diet trial using a novel protein diet under the direction of a veterinarian are additional diagnostic steps that can help identify the cause of the fur-pulling. Finally, if all the other tests don't reveal a cause, behavioral modification with medication can be instituted, Dr. Kahler writes.
Scientists have created affordable, easily powered underwater navigational systems by using as a model sensory tissue found on Blind Cave Fish, a species that can swim rapidly while avoiding obstacles. The sensors use water pressure and flow information to direct movement, an approach that is much less expensive than lights and cameras and does not pose the possible harm to marine animals of sonar. Applications of the new technology include better water ecology monitoring and military defense capabilities.
A tiger that became entangled in barbed-wire fencing at a coffee plantation in India is recovering at the Mysore Zoo. After they were alerted, wildlife officials sedated the animal, then untangled it and delivered it to the zoo, where veterinarians are attending to the tiger's injuries. Not all instances of accidentally ensnared wildlife end so well, and the Wildlife Conservation Society praised all involved with this tiger's plight.
Twelve raccoons with brain tumors were found to be infected with a newly identified virus called raccoon polyomavirus, and scientists think the virus may be causing the tumors. Raccoons live in close proximity to people and are exposed to items from our environment including waste, and researchers are evaluating the potential role of humans among factors that may have contributed to the tumors. They hope the study will ultimately benefit people. "Understanding how infectious agents may contribute to cancer in animals has provided fundamental new knowledge on the cause of cancer in people," said veterinarian Michael Lairmore, dean of the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine.
The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine's $20.9 million large-animal facility project is nearly complete and features several upgrades including an underwater treadmill and a circular horse walker for rehabilitation, as well as a large-animal MRI machine and new surgical suites and isolation areas. The AVMA's Council on Education alerted the school to the need for improvements after assessing the facility in 2008.