Author: Dr. Clarissa G. Noureddine, DVM, MS, MS
Check out what’s been in the news this past month about animals. Additionally, since Halloween is coming up next week, we’ve included some Halloween safety tip articles to help keep your pets safe during the holiday.
- Did you hear who won the 2018 Hambone Award (Nationwide’s award for the most unusual pet insurance claims of the year)? The winners were Ziva and Zeus, 2 German Shepherds who went missing for 21 days and were found inside an abandoned missile silo. Nationwide honors perilous pups with Hambone Award (blog.nationwide.com)
- Gecko butt-dials ‘gazillion’ times from Hawaii seal hospital This entertaining story focuses on a gecko that was perched on a phone and making a lot of ‘mysterious’ phone calls. (Chicagotribune.com)
- Study: dogs have some understanding of language: A study found that dogs could differentiate between words they’ve heard before and words they’ve never heard. (US News & World Reports) It’s always fun to see science prove something that dog owners have known for a long time!
- Why do Huskies have blue eyes? The answer is in the DNA – on canine chromosome 18. (Newsweek.com)
- What has four wheels and crawls? An injured Maryland turtle recovers in a Lego wheelchair (The Washington Post)
- Should you pet your dog before an absence? (Hint: The answer is yes according to this small pilot study) (Psychologytoday.com)
- Study: Therapy dogs can spread superbugs to kids: In a recent study out of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the researchers found that children undergoing cancer treatment who interacted more with therapy dogs were 6 times as likely to carry methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria. The study also found that efforts to ‘decolonize’ the dogs before and during therapy sessions were effective. The authors felt the dogs who visited the hospital did not bring the bacteria with them – instead, they proposed the idea the dogs likely acquired the bacteria through interactions once in the hospital. Hence, decolonizing the dogs with ‘special wipes’ between therapy sessions was deemed helpful. (Mercurynews.com)
- CDC warns against dressing up pet chickens for Halloween: The CDC is asking pet owners not to dress up their backyard chickens in Halloween costumes. They also note that you should not cuddle or kiss your pet chickens to minimize the risk of Salmonella transmission (www.cdc.gov). At least 92 people in 29 states have been infected with a multidrug-resistant strain of Salmonella after coming into contact with raw chicken products. (abcnews.com)
- Three people in Northwest D.C. attacked by rabid raccoon, officials say (The Washington Post) (Reminder: NC state law requires that all dogs, cats, and ferrets maintain a current rabies vaccination at all times!)
- 7 things you can do to make your Halloween safer for your pet This helpful link highlights topics such as the importance of not giving your pet candy (especially chocolate or things sweetened with xylitol), using care with lit candles, keeping pets indoors, guidance for dressing up your pet in costume, and making sure your pet is microchipped in case they got lost. Learn more here. (AVMA.org)
- Louisiana family reunited with lost dog after six years: Read this one for a happy ending (and a reminder to microchip your pet)! (wfab.com)
- National Rx Take Back Day: The 16th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, October 27th, 2018. You can locate a collection site by searching the DEA’s Diversion Control Division website here.
- Common weed killer – believed harmless to animals – may be harming bees worldwide (sciencemag.org)
- Are household chemicals harming your cat’s thyroid? (consumer.healthday.com)