February is National Pet Dental Health Month, but pets' oral health should be a year-round priority because dental disease can lead to systemic problems involving the liver, kidneys and heart, writes veterinarian Karen Dye. Fear of anesthesia is not a reason to forgo veterinary dental cleanings, Dr. Dye notes, because thorough lab tests before the procedure, appropriate anesthetic choices and monitoring during anesthesia all tailored to a specific breed and animal help ensure a pet's safety.
Salmonella bacteria that traveled to space returned three to seven times more potent than their Earth-grown counterparts, and researchers hope to identify the mechanism behind the change and use it to help prevent and treat human infections and foodborne pathogens. “This research opens up new areas for investigations that may improve food treatment, develop new therapies and vaccines to combat food poisoning in humans here on Earth, and protect astronauts on orbit from infectious disease,” said NASA's Julie Robinson.
Schmallenberg virus, a vector-borne virus that causes abortions, birth defects and other problems in sheep, goats and cattle, was introduced to the U.K. from other European countries more than a year ago and already has spread across England and Wales, affecting more than 1,200 farms. Farmers and others in the industry are on edge ahead of the upcoming lambing season. Although a vaccine is being developed, it won't be available in time for this season, and some farmers are urging the government to invest more resources toward stemming the virus' spread.
It takes more than a love of cats to care for them properly, according to veterinarian Lorie Huston. Prospective owners should think through the decision to add a cat to the family, and be prepared for a lifelong commitment to the animal's care and health, Dr. Huston notes. Such a commitment includes meeting the cat's basic needs but also providing enrichment, veterinary care and including the pet in planning for an emergency.
A startup called Zenefits is looking to make managing employee benefits easier for small businesses. The traditional method for setting up benefits can take weeks and reams of paper, but Zenefits provides an online option that allows small businesses to import employee information from certain payroll services. Entrepreneur Parker Conrad co-founded the company based on his own frustration with managing the benefits process at two startups.