Using high-field MRI and micro-computed tomography, researchers have produced 3D images of the syrinx, a vocal organ similar to human vocal cords but unique to birds. The images show the structures that make up the syrinx and work together to enable birds to produce an astounding range of intonations and sounds. "This study provides the basis to analyze the micromechanics, and exact neural and muscular control of the syrinx," said lead researcher Coen Elemans.
The U.S. Tax Court has concluded that people can deduct some of the expense of fostering a pet for an approved charity. The ruling was the culmination of a case in which a woman sued the Internal Revenue Service commissioner disputing the assertion that she could not claim a $12,068 charitable contribution for expenses she incurred while caring for foster pets in her home.
A Massachusetts man, his wife and his nephew are undergoing rabies prophylaxis injections after they were attacked by a bobcat that was in their garage. The bobcat bit the man and the boy. The woman wasn't bitten but was exposed to the bobcat's blood as she and her husband subdued, shot and killed the animal.
Some debate whether there is a shortage of food-animal veterinarians or simply a distribution issue, but in either case, the result is the same: There are large areas in the U.S. with substantial livestock populations and insufficient numbers of veterinarians available to provide regular care, according to the AVMA. The situation compromises the safety of the U.S. food supply, the AVMA notes. Financial incentives for new veterinary graduates may help entice some into food-animal medicine, while bringing technicians to work in the field with veterinarians could also help cover underserved areas.
A pet obesity epidemic is under way in the U.S., according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, which reports that some 88 million U.S. cats and dogs are overweight or obese. Veterinarian Ernie Ward, the organization's founder, says owners do not understand animals' caloric intake requirements, tend to overfeed and under-exercise pets and would benefit from clearer food labels. "The public perception today is that a fat cat is a healthy cat," Dr. Ward said. "But we must bust that myth. It's what's killing our pets and costing untold dollars."