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August 27, 2012
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News for animal health professionals

  Veterinary Medicine Update 
  • Swine parasite tested for treatment of human immune disorders
    A new drug composed of pig whipworm eggs may help people fight autoimmune diseases because the eggs somehow manipulate the human immune system, instructing it to stop attacking itself. The drug, called trichuris suis ova and developed by Coronado Biosciences, is entering human trials for patients with Crohn's disease, and the company hopes the drug will one day be useful for other disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. Chicago Tribune/Reuters (free registration) (8/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study recommends microchipping over branding of horses
    Researchers from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna found that branding is an unreliable means of identifying horses, with 84% of breed symbols legible but only 40% of identification numbers discernible on the 250 live horses involved in the study. The researchers suggest that microchipping, already used by some, is a less painful and more reliable way to identify horses. (8/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Researchers find "genius" chimpanzee
    Natasha, a female chimpanzee at the Ngamba Island sanctuary for chimpanzees in Uganda, is a relative genius compared with her mates, according to researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. Natasha consistently outscored even her companions on tests designed to measure multiple aspects of intelligence. The results come as no surprise to the most experienced keepers at the sanctuary, who all ranked Natasha as the smartest chimpanzee. Natasha has kept keepers on their toes with numerous escapes and her fondness for teasing humans by luring them close, then spraying them with water. Discovery (8/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
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  Animal News 
  • Veterinarians offer science-based vaccination recommendations
    When it comes to making decisions about health issues for pets, veterinarian John de Jong reminds owners that veterinarians use factual, scientific information to make decisions about appropriate care for pets, and he says they are the experts on animal health. In an example, Dr. de Jong explains why one breeder's claim that vaccines cause hypertrophic osteodystrophy is inaccurate. Dr. de Jong says vaccines help animals live longer, healthier lives. Boston Herald (8/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Prepare livestock for impending storm, official warns
    Veterinarian Mike Strain, Louisiana's commissioner of agriculture and forestry, provides a checklist for keeping livestock safe during Tropical Storm Isaac. Dr. Strain recommends moving livestock to higher ground, evacuating genetically valuable livestock, calling ahead to find shelters that accept livestock and preparing trailers well ahead of the storm. St. Tammany News (La.) (8/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Around the Office 
  Policy Watch 
  • At Walking Horse event: What is congressman celebrating?
    Rep. Scott DesJarlais was honored with a fundraising reception at the National Walking Horse Celebration hosted by industry insiders. The setting of the gala is interesting, according to this opinion piece, because DesJarlais has not been an advocate for animal welfare. The gala comes after DesJarlais raised concerns in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack over steps the agency took amid increasing efforts to stem abuse of Tennessee Walking Horses and follows his vote against a bill that would make attending a chicken fight or a dogfight a crime. (Tenn.) (8/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AVMA in the News 
  • Loans burden grads seeking careers in food animal medicine
    The gap between loan debt and income for large-animal veterinarians is widening because graduate students are no longer eligible for government-subsidized Stafford loans, which don't accumulate interest until after graduation, and a federal loan repayment program has been cut. According to the AVMA, only 17% of veterinary graduates work in food animal medicine, and the shortage of rural veterinarians is expected to increase by 4% to 5% every year through 2016. Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (8/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Top five news stories selected by Animal Health SmartBrief readers in the past week.

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The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment."
--Lady Dorothy Nevill,
British writer

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