A steep decline of 58% in the world’s wildlife populations during the last 46 years has been reported by the Zoological Society of London and the World Wildlife Foundation in their biennial Living Planet assessment. Lake-, river- and wetlands-dwelling creatures are the most affected, according to the report, which attributes the decline to such human activities as habitat loss, pollution, climate change and wildlife trade.BBC (10/27)
Intertidal sea star populations have been decimated by sea star wasting disease, and a paper published in PLOS One suggests the damage extends beyond the low tide line, significantly affecting many sea star species there. The sunflower sea star is one such species, and veterinarian Joe Gaydos says the sea stars are important predators, meaning altering their numbers could have a widespread impact on the ecosystem.PLOS ONE (10/26), The Independent (London) (tiered subscription model) (10/26)
When a Florida couple learned their dog Maverick’s lymphoma had returned, they thought he’d like to spend his last days enjoying the company of people, something Maverick always seemed to love. Because the dog was too weak to walk, the couple loaded him into a wagon, and Maverick spent the day enjoying attention and affection all around town, and his health has improved a bit in the days since.CBS News (10/21)
Veterinarian Duncan Hockley, director of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s Veterinary Medical Centre in Canada, said Bruno, a 7-year-old Lab that narrowly survived being stuck in a well for close to a month, is recovering. Bruno lost half his body weight while in the well, surviving on rainwater and snow, and was discovered when another dog refused to move away from an area near the well’s opening.The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (tiered subscription model)/The Canadian Press (10/24)
Meo, the Melbourne Zoo’s 14-year-old female snow leopard, had a physical exam as keepers moved her to a temporary enclosure while her new habitat is being built. Veterinarian Sarah Frith conducted a complete physical exam on the anesthetized cat, and X-rays of Meo’s back revealed arthritis, which Dr. Frith says will be addressed with pain medication and a new diet for the slightly overweight animal.Brisbane Times (Australia) (10/24)
I had the privilege to work with a snow leopard at the Oregon Tiger Sanctuary. He lived to be I believe over 18, and we had to deal with horrific elbow arthritis and pain control. We did keep him comfortable until the end. Males generally do not live as long as the females. We did keep his body weight under control. He was on an excellent diet with geriatric-type and arthritis supplements.
A robotic computerized tomography scanner for horses at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine that allows the horse to remain awake and upright while undergoing scanning yields high-quality images, some of which are captured in 3D. Horses have to be anesthetized for traditional CT scans, which can be dangerous, and the new technology might also be useful for people who are not good candidates for traditional CT imaging.STAT/The Associated Press (10/19)
Inhibiting production of the Nuak1 enzyme in human and fruit fly cells reduced the production of tau proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease, researchers reported in Neuron. Hundreds of kinases were screened in fruit fly models before being tested in mice, and Nuak1 inhibition was associated with improvements in behavior and preservation of brain function in the mice, the researchers said.New Atlas (10/24)