Veterinarian Sam Dover removed a metal blade embedded in the flank of a 600-pound sea lion called Bubba. The animal was loitering around a dock in California’s Channel Islands Harbor, and residents spotted the weapon and wound in his side. SeaWorld rescuers and volunteers corralled Bubba and brought him to Dr. Dover for treatment. The stabbing is believed to have been intentional. KNTV-TV (San Francisco) (5/27)
I wish they would find who did this.
Veterinarian Yerzhan Madiyev said officials in Kazakhstan believe pasteurellosis, a bacterial infection that can sicken people, cattle and companion animals, killed 100,000-plus Ice Age antelope over the last two weeks. Experts are testing the soil, air and water, hoping to confirm the cause of the fatal respiratory infections that wiped out about 40% of the population. “The death of the saiga antelope is a huge tragedy,” said scientist Bibigul Sarsenova. “Should this happen again next year, they may simply disappear.” Reuters (5/27)
Ancient Egyptian animal keepers lacked modern tools for keeping animals in captivity without injuring them, according to archaeologists. Examinations of ancient animal skeletons unearthed near tombs of powerful Egyptians suggest harsh tactics were used by captors. Baboon, hippopotamus and other skeletons showed signs of extensive trauma, suggesting the keepers used force to subdue them. However, more recent skeletal remains had less evidence of trauma, a sign that Egyptian animal keepers’ tactics grew more humane over time. National Geographic News (free registration) (5/25)
ACCES Blood Bank in Seattle, which maintains a dog and cat blood bank used by veterinarians across the Western U.S., is short on feline donors. Normally, ACCES has a roster of at least 50 donor cats, according to veterinarian Jennifer Waldrop, but currently it has about two dozen cats. The result is at least a three-day wait for cats in need of blood, Dr. Waldrop said, noting the challenge of obtaining feline blood affects practices nationwide. Donor cats must meet certain criteria for weight, health and other variables. There’s no monetary reward, but Dr. Waldrop says owners can rest assured their efforts are life-saving. KING-TV (Seattle) (5/25)
Sign your cat up if he/she meets the criteria
Amid the rubble left by a recent tornado in Van, Texas, rescuers found an 8-year-old Great Pyrenees hiding in her dead owner’s arms. The dog, renamed Emma, has a new home with rescuer Michelle Shockley. According to a veterinarian who examined the dog after the storm, Emma was bruised extensively and had head trauma. ABC News (5/19)
This is great news!
When Georgia State University microbiologist Chris Cornelison realized the bacterium Rhodococcus rhodochrous prevents fungal growth on bananas, he wondered if the bacterium could help bats with white-nose syndrome. Cornelison treated 150 bats suffering from white-nose syndrome with R. rhodochrous-infused air, and half of them recovered and were released, although long-term effects are unknown. Treatment without direct contact is more practical because millions of bats suffer from the disease in cavernous hibernacula. More research is planned, including a prophylactic approach. Mother Nature Network (5/20)
Officials in New Mexico said a previously undocumented strain of rabies has been identified. Using genetic sequencing of a sample taken from an infected fox, scientists found a strain that resembles but is distinct from the virus carried by bats. A woman bitten by the fox received post-exposure prophylaxis and did not develop rabies. Dead animals in the area will be collected and tested. New Mexico state veterinarian Paul Ettestad said finding a novel form of rabies is unusual. Albuquerque Journal (N.M.) (free content) (5/19)