Bats have the capacity to survive infection with deadly zoonotic pathogens such as Ebola, Hendra, Nipah and SARS, something that could be explained by their ability to fly, according to the results of a recent genetic study. The genes involved in flight appear to have the added benefit of conferring disease resistance and longevity, the authors suggest, and delving into this line of research may one day help humans with illnesses including infectious disease and cancer. "The majority of new diseases in humans come from animals and the viruses that come from bats are the most deadly of all," said researcher Chris Cowled.
Whirlybird, a sea lion found unresponsive at a California beach, has recovered after veterinarians treated the animal for a gunshot wound to the face. When Whirlybird was found, veterinarians noted one eye was lost and the other was severely damaged, and metal fragments were dispersed in the animal's head. Whirlybird, who would likely not survive if released into the wild, has found a home in captivity at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium.
Although clothes for pets can be trendy, the AVMA says certain breeds benefit from wearing coats, sweaters, booties and other items when the temperature is too cold for them to handle naturally. However, dogs can overheat in sweaters, so owners should closely monitor the weather, the dog and the dog's activity, according to Dr. Bonnie Beaver, a past president of the AVMA.
With pet obesity often tied to owner habits and health, veterinarians are faced with a complicated situation when dealing with obesity in a pet whose owner has the same issue. Veterinarians can engage in an education plan that involves direct client communication about healthy diet and lifestyle for pets in addition to working at the community level to promote pet and human health, this article suggests.
Some 2,500 service dogs that aid disabled veterans may soon be insured for routine veterinary medical care including annual vaccinations, exams and certain lab tests. The Department of Veterans Affairs is seeking veterinary medical insurance for the dogs. The coverage will only apply to those that are actively engaged as working dogs.