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December 14, 2012
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News for animal health professionals

  Veterinary Medicine Update 
  • Hound cake dog treats recalled due to possible mold contamination
    After retailers reported mold in some pet cake treats, Claudia's Canine Cuisine recalled some lots of its DogCandy Holiday Hound Cake and Blueberry Hound Cake. The company discovered some of the product had been sealed while still warm, promoting the growth of mold. No illnesses have been noted, and only 7.5-oz packages are included in the recall. (Mich.) (12/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Dog detects deadly bacterial infection in humans
    Cliff, a 2-year-old beagle, has been trained to detect the bacterium Clostridium difficile, which is responsible for up to 14,000 human deaths annually in the U.S. Cliff correctly identified the infection in 25 of 30 people and determined that 265 of 270 uninfected people didn't have the bacteria. Researchers say dogs could be trained to detect the infection more quickly than conventional tests. "One big question for me is, 'What else can a dog's amazing sensory apparatus be utilized to detect?'" said physician Bruce Hirsch, an infectious disease specialist. WebMD (12/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Animal News 
  • Getting to the root cause of pet's increased drinking and urinating
    When an owner asks why a pet is constantly drinking water and urinating more frequently, veterinarian Robert Runde explains the potential conditions that could lead to the symptoms in dogs and cats, discusses tests used to help discern the cause and points out the health consequences in pets who are not diagnosed and treated. Dr. Runde emphasizes the importance of promptly seeing a veterinarian for any animal whose drinking and urinating habits have increased. (Fort Pierce, Fla.) (12/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Holidays aren't always merry for pets
    The holidays present numerous opportunities for pets to ingest toxic substances and foreign objects or otherwise get hurt. According to pet health insurance companies, claims increase around Christmas, Halloween and Easter, with claims linked to ingestion of chocolate, candy or raisins by dogs far more likely Dec. 21-31 than the rest of the year, according to Petplan Pet Insurance. Dogs are of particular concern. "Dogs will eat almost anything," said veterinarian Jules Benson, Petplan's vice president of veterinary service. "Cats tend to be much more discriminating." The Hartford Courant (Conn.)/Insurance Capital blog (12/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Research is going to the dogs with playtime study
    In an effort to characterize the communication that occurs between humans and dogs during play, the Horowitz Dog Cognition Lab is conducting a study in which researchers collect 30-to-60-second videos of owners playing with their dogs. Project: Play with Your Dog is recruiting people and their canine friends worldwide. Blog (12/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Around the Office 
  • Creativity helps capture and hold customers' attention
    When it comes to building your brand online, it may be a good idea to follow the example set by Sour Patch Kids and insert some humor into your messaging, writes Lee Price. "Hold a fun contest, tell Friday jokes, or post funny behind-the-scenes office shots," Price advises. "Even if your product isn't silly, you can make your customers smile." Also, try taking a creative approach like that used by Chobani, which posts artistic pictures of yogurt on its Instagram feed. (12/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AVMA in the News 
  • Women gain ground in veterinary medicine
    Women have made great strides in a number of professions, and veterinary medicine is on the forefront of that trend, according to census data. Half of U.S. veterinarians today are women, up from 40% in 2000. Law and dentistry have also seen an uptick in female professionals, as has human medicine, although at 32%, the share of female physicians and surgeons is smaller than in the animal medicine profession. Former AVMA President Dr. Bonnie Beaver said a career in veterinary medicine can often be balanced with personal obligations. CNN/In America blog (12/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Association News 
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  Editor's Note 
  • Correction
    Because of an error in a source story, an item in Thursday's Animal Health SmartBrief should have stated that an FDA warning notes mistakes in pet prescriptions do occur and are similar to those that occur involving human prescriptions. SmartBrief regrets the error. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
The best preparation for tomorrow is to do today's work superbly well."
--William Osler,
Canadian physician

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The news summaries appearing in Animal Health SmartBrief are based on original information from news organizations and are produced by SmartBrief, Inc., an independent e-mail newsletter publisher. The AVMA is not responsible for the content of sites that are external to the AVMA. Linking to a website does not constitute an endorsement by the AVMA of the site or the information presented on the site. Questions and comments should be directed to SmartBrief at
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