After a cat named Midnight was found lodged between fence posts, Santa Cruz, Calif., animal control officials took the opportunity to point out the dangers of overweight pets. "Feline obesity is nothing to laugh about," said shelter field services manager Todd Stosuy in a statement. Animals such as Midnight, who weighs 14.4 pounds, face greater risk of health problems including arthritis, diabetes and heart disease. A microchip reunited Midnight with her owners.
Long-delayed FDA food safety guidelines have been proposed, and officials say the measures could prevent nearly 2 million cases of foodborne illness each year. The rules require steps on farms to protect against contamination such as requiring hand-washing, ensuring water for irrigation is clean and keeping animals away from agriculture fields, actions that are already being taken by many companies, according to this report.
A parasitic wasp larva that lives off the body of the cockroach it invades secretes substances with potent antimicrobial properties, according to German biologist Gudrun Herzner and her colleagues. A number of antimicrobial substances have been identified in animals, but they haven't yet proven useful in human medicine because it's difficult to obtain the compounds in large quantities and some are toxic. However, scientists are examining potential pathways to new antibiotics that may help combat antibiotic-resistant infections.
A 17-week-old bloodhound puppy is in training to help the Washington County, Md., Sheriff's Office find missing children and elderly people. Local breeder John Reece gave the dog to the department. "The bloodhound has been used since the middle ages to hunt human beings, and now they are often bred for that very purpose," said Deputy 1st Class John Martin, the dog's handler. "The dog is known for its ability to detect a human smell days after it leaves an area, over great distance and even across water."
Nestle Purina PetCare and Milo's Kitchen are recalling some dog treats because they might contain trace quantities of poultry antibiotics not approved by U.S. regulators. Purina's Waggin' Train treats and Canyon Creek Ranch treats, as well as Milo's Kitchen's Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers homestyle treats, are being recalled, but Milo's Kitchen noted there is no known threat to pet health. Both companies manufacture chicken jerky dog treats that are being investigated by the FDA after reports of dog illnesses and some deaths associated with such treats made in China, but Purina said there is no connection between the current recall and the FDA investigation.