Monthly Archives: August 2014

Veterinarians join forces with physicians to save Houston Zoo orangutan

Veterinarian Lauren Howard and specialists from Texas Children’s Hospital and Ben Taub Intensive Care Unit pooled their expertise to help save the Houston Zoo’s oldest female orangutan, Cheyenne, who had stopped eating and become lethargic. Exploratory surgery found no abnormalities, so the team improvised and kept their patient lightly sedated for over a week while she received intensive care including constant fluid infusion. She improved and is back on exhibit. Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model) (8/28)

Barking dogs may be stopped with Swine pheromones

Pheromones from male swine appear to help curb excessive barking in dogs, according to research by scientists at Texas Tech University. In the study, spraying a pig pheromone at barking dogs stopped the behavior immediately and had no observable adverse effects. More studies are needed to determine the length of effect and whether repeated sprays are needed to maintain the calm behavior, but the product is already available for purchase under the name Stop That. PhysOrg.com (8/25)

Barking dogs may be stopped with Swine pheromones

Pheromones from male swine appear to help curb excessive barking in dogs, according to research by scientists at Texas Tech University. In the study, spraying a pig pheromone at barking dogs stopped the behavior immediately and had no observable adverse effects. More studies are needed to determine the length of effect and whether repeated sprays are needed to maintain the calm behavior, but the product is already available for purchase under the name Stop That. PhysOrg.com (8/25)

Fruit Bat likely source of Ebola for “patient zero”

A team of scientists spent three weeks questioning villagers and testing bats in an effort to identify the source of the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa. A toddler and his mother died shortly after the boy came into contact with a fruit bat, a common food source in the region, and the disease subsequently spread to mourners at a funeral. The Zaire strain, causing the current outbreak, passed between fruit bat colonies until it reached the boy’s village in Guinea. Other species also can be exposed to fruit bats and may be vulnerable to infection. The New Zealand Herald/Agence France-Presse (8/25)

Safety tips for visiting state fairs

Fairgoers who don’t follow certain precautions around animals are at risk of zoonotic disease transmission, but state fair officials in Minnesota say washing hands, keeping food and drink out of animal buildings and watching young children to be sure they’re not putting their mouths on railings can help people stay safe. Fair staff also work to mitigate risks with frequent sanitizing, rapid manure cleanup, ventilation improvements and signs alerting visitors to the potential for disease transmission. Minnesota Public Radio (8/22)

Veterinary clinics to test bacteria to fight cancer

Injecting modified bacteria to shrink cancerous tumors may become a new treatment for dogs and people with inoperable disease, according to a report published in Science Translational Medicine. Sixteen dogs from seven veterinary practices participated in a trial in which the bacteria Clostridium novyi was injected into cancerous tumors. In three cases, the tumors decreased in size, and they disappeared completely in three other dogs. One human patient who received the injection also experienced a reduction in tumor size. FoxNews.com/Reuters (8/13)