Monthly Archives: November 2014

In ferret DNA, researchers find key markers for influenza and cystic fibrosis

Researchers who sequenced the ferret genome are studying how the animals respond to influenza and cystic fibrosis, discovering information that may help people. The researchers found that two different forms of influenza — the 1918 virus responsible for 25 million deaths and the still-active virus that sparked a pandemic beginning in 2009 — elicited different transcriptional responses in the trachea but had similar effects in the lungs. The cystic fibrosis study found disease processes appear to begin and rapidly accelerate early in life. Business Weekly (U.K.) (11/19)

Marker could indicate kidney disease months to years earlier than other tests in cats

A newly identified biomarker known as SDMA can be used to identify kidney disease in cats an average of 17 months earlier than standard tests, according to research by veterinarians at Oregon State University and IDEXX Laboratories published in The Veterinary Journal. “Damage from it is irreversible, but this is an important advance, in that we should be able to identify the problem earlier and use special diets to slow the disease,” said OSU veterinarian Jean Hall. PhysOrg.com (11/20)

Biologists track bats to combat deadly fungus

Scientists estimate 90% of the bat population in the Northeast has been wiped out, primarily due to the fungal disease white-nose syndrome. Biologists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are using telemetry and tagging to learn more about bats’ migration. The scientists hope the data can help fight the fungus, which attacks the bats during hibernation and damages wings and muzzles. The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (11/17)

Researchers demonstrate octopus anesthesia technique

In an effort to comply with the European Union’s humane treatment guidelines for cephalopods, researchers have developed a technique for anesthestizing the common octopus for transport and handling. Adding isoflurane to seawater and then submerging the animal led to anesthesia, and when immersed in seawater without the agent, the animals recovered within about an hour. ScienceMag.org (11/14)

Zoo treats big cat in new vet hospital

This is tragic however

Veterinarians at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Fla., treated the first patient to visit the zoo’s new veterinary hospital — a 2-year-old male Florida panther. The young animal suffered shotgun blasts to the hindquarters and face, leaving one eye ruptured and the other so severely infected that he is now clinically blind, according to zoo and BluePearl Veterinary Partners experts. “His health has improved significantly and he has adapted well to a managed setting — two of the keys to rehabilitation, though his future is still uncertain,” said veterinarian Ray Ball, the zoo’s director of medical sciences. WTSP-TV (Tampa, Fla.) (11/14), SeattlePI.com/The Associated Press (11/15)

Dozens of cats to be euthanized due to rabies risk

Over 50 cats living in a Delaware woman’s home must be euthanized because one of her kittens tested positive for rabies and she lacked clear evidence the others had been vaccinated. The cats were in poor condition, and others had already died, possibly due to rabies infection. Officials are using the case as an opportunity to remind pet owners of the importance of vaccination and having pets spayed or neutered. The News Journal (Wilmington, Del.) (tiered subscription model) (11/14)