The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed findings of virulent Newcastle disease in a flock of backyard exhibition chickens in Los Angeles County, Calif., marking the first confirmed case of the highly contagious virus in the US since 2003. The virus is shed in feces and respiratory discharges and can cause eye inflammation and fever in people, but it can be prevented by following good biosecurity practices.
Veterinarian Lois Wetmore, an assistant professor of clinical sciences at Tufts University's Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, told new graduates in a commencement speech not to forget about their own well-being. Wetmore emphasized the importance of a healthy lifestyle, self-forgiveness and strong relationships and cautioned graduates not to be perfectionists.
Sarcoptic mange cases have reached epidemic levels in Pennsylvania's bears, according to the state Game Commission, which initiated a study along with Pennsylvania State University to track and compare healthy bears, bears with moderate mange and bears that will receive medication for mange. The researchers will also try to determine whether tick infestations compromise bears' immune systems.
Scientists are trying to figure out why the population of variable harlequin frogs in Panama appears to be rebounding after being nearly wiped out by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a pathogenic fungus that causes chytridiomycosis and was likely spread by global trade and the sale of exotic pets. The fungus has not grown less virulent, suggesting that surviving frogs and their offspring have a natural resistance or that some had migrated out of the danger zone.
Feral dogs abandon their pups after about two months, leaving the pups to either learn for themselves to scavenge or to get adopted by people. A study published in Anthrozoos found that people find 2-month-old puppies to be cuter than newborn pups or adult dogs, suggesting an evolutionary component to the development of canine appearance.
Elephants' normal gestation period is 18 to 22 months, so keepers at England's Chester Zoo were surprised when a 35-year-old elephant gave birth to a healthy male after a 25-month gestation period. Keepers assumed the pregnancy failed when the elephant had not given birth and her weight and hormone levels began returning to normal.
The AVMA is seeking input from members on license portability, reducing student debt and the AVMA's role in the global community ahead of the Veterinary Information Forum in July. The AVMA House of Delegates will discuss these and other topics at the forum.
The AVMA recognizes 22 veterinary specialties requiring between two and five years of specialized training beyond a veterinary medicine degree as well as certification and successful completion of an examination. Veterinarians might refer complex cases to a specialist, who will work closely with the referring veterinarian to ensure the best possible outcome, writes veterinarian Gary Thompson.
As advances in veterinary medicine have increased, so too has the need for blood banks for our pets, as well as pet blood donors. To meet this need, many veterinary professionals are reaching out to educate the public about the importance of blood donation and to find donors. In this AVMA interview, Kym Marryott, a veterinary technician and manager of the Penn Animal Blood Bank at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, discusses feline blood donation and the importance of feline blood donors. Listen to the interview.
The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.
Thomas Carlyle, philosopher and historian
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