Monthly Archives: January 2017

Cats likely have episodic memory, study suggests

Only recently have studies been done to show that many animals have episodic memory, once thought a defining thing for humans only. Those of us who work and live with animals I think all know they do have episodic memories, sometimes way better than ours!!!!

Cats likely have episodic memory, the ability to recall unique events, according to a study published in Behavioural Processes. Researchers tested the ability of 49 cats to remember what food bowl they ate out of in 15-minute intervals and found the felines could recall those bowls, suggesting the presence of episodic memory.BBC (1/25)

Grapes, raisins pose grave risk to dogs

I think we need to do a study in ferrets, since ferrets like raisins and many people give them to them. The only good thing IME is that the raisin in a ferret goes through the ferret pretty whole and ends up in a pile of mucus about 2 hours after it is eaten. It may not be broken down, which is a saving grace. But we need to look at this closely. They have found problems in monkeys with grapes – kidney function inhibition.

Veterinarian John de Jong explains that grapes and raisins are toxic for dogs, causing vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, loss of appetite and irreversible kidney damage if not treated promptly. Although raisins are more potent than grapes because they are concentrated, and the toxic dose for grapes is about one-half ounce per pound of body weight, the effects can vary, so any consumption of grapes or raisins should be taken seriously, Dr. de Jong writes.Boston Herald (1/15)

Ornamental shrub wipes out 50 pronghorn antelope

a good reason to not put this in your yard.

Fifty pronghorn antelope were found dead in Payette, Idaho, this week, and ingestion of the Japanese yew plant is to blame, said state Department Fish and Game wildlife veterinarian Mark Drew. The Japanese yew plant is a common shrub in residential landscaping, but it can be deadly for a number of species, including dogs, elk, moose, horses and even humans.Idaho Press-Tribune (Nampa) (1/18)

Canine gelotology: the study of dog laughter

They really need to look at ferrets. Ferrets giggle when they are having a lot of fun. Very obvious what their vocalizing.

The discipline of gelotology examines laughter, and researchers have applied their work to not only humans, but also animals, including dogs. Researcher Patricia Simonet zeroed in on what she characterized as “forced breathy exhalation through the mouth,” finding the sound was associated with play and sparked a behavioral response in shelter dogs.Dogster (1/3)

Wedge-tailed eagle recovering after removal of tumor

Veterinarian Andrew Turner of Australia’s Healesville Sanctuary successfully operated on a cancerous tumor that had developed on the eyelid of the facility’s oldest inhabitant, a 46-year-old wedge-tailed eagle. The care involved excision of the squamous cell carcinoma tumor and treatment of residual tissue with radiation therapy, possibly the first instance of radiotherapy for a wedge-tailed eagle with such a lesion.The Age (Melbourne, Australia) (1/16)

Healesville is outside of Melbourne.

How elephants could be cancer’s worst nightmare

We need engineered P53 for ferrets, which have the highest cancer rate among mammals.

Pediatric oncologist Josh Schiffman discovered that elephants, which rarely get cancer, have 40 copies of the gene that encodes tumor-suppressing protein p53, and the elephant form of the protein is stronger than the p53 found in humans. Laboratory testing with the protein found it readily kills lung, breast, bone and other types of cancer cells, and Schiffman hopes to re-create the results using an engineered p53 packaged in nanoparticles for treatment of cancer in mice and pet dogs, then eventually humans.The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah) (1/17)