New pet products geared toward owners were featured alongside veterinary products at the Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas this week. Items included canine wheelchairs, biodegradable pet caskets, indoor pet booties and kosher pet foods. The conference is slightly smaller than usual this year, according to Western Veterinary CEO Guy Pidgeon, a veterinarian, possibly because of concerns about the economy and efforts to cut costs.
Houston Zoo veterinarians performed six root canals on a bobcat found emaciated near a Texas town six weeks ago. The Wildlife Center of Texas has been nursing the cat back to health. The animal has been successfully treated for fleas, sarcoptic mange and a bacterial infection, in addition to gaining 15% of its body weight since it was found.
Veterinarian Anna O'Brien explains the causes and treatment of two common equine eye emergencies: corneal ulcers and eyelid lacerations. Items commonly found in the barn are often the culprit behind these traumatic injuries, Dr. O'Brien writes, but timely and appropriate veterinary care is usually enough to treat them effectively.
The U.S. government has released guidelines for future avian influenza research, moving domestic researchers under a voluntary moratorium closer to resuming their work on the virus. The guidelines require a detailed analysis of the risks and benefits associated with making the virus more dangerous before government funding will be made available. At the University of Wisconsin's Influenza Research Institute, where a professor produced an avian influenza strain that was transmissible between ferrets, no structural changes are necessary, but proposals for new work will have to undergo the additional review.
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis are preparing to recruit people with Crohn's disease to ingest swine whipworm eggs as part of a study evaluating whether the parasites will help alleviate their symptoms. "It's a natural way to dampen inflammation," said physician and professor Themos Dassopoulos. "It resets the tone, the thermostat in the immune system of the colon. The goal is to change the balance so you have more of the good bacteria, and the bad bacteria gets suppressed by overpopulation of the good guys."