International


A report in the 6 April issue of Science explains why small dogs are small and large are large. Here’s a news article on the findings. Here’s the abstract.

A British cat won a giant Easter egg.

Tune in online to Heska’s annual shareholder meeting on 4 May 2007. Info about the Webcast is here. (The press release says to “click on the Annual Meeting of Stockholders link on the front page” of the Heska Web site, however when I checked today no such link yet existed; hopefully the PR and IT departments will coordinate a little more closely in the future.)

An editorial in the Times of Malta urges the Maltese to consider setting up their own college of veterinary medicine.

A U.S. military veterinary mission in Djibouti ends up rescuing a young man caught in a flash flood. “With a powerful current of water standing between them and the injured 19 year-old man, three military members, accompanied by a local Djiboutian, tethered themselves together with a rope and made their way into the river.”

A nice story on a Columbus, WI, veterinarian whose husband is reservist serving in Iraq.

A horse in Bakersfield, CA, that got trapped in an overturned, mangled horse trailer (in pouring rain) is rescued. The rescue is caught on camera. (Or you can read a transcript here.)

EquestrianMag.com reports on the end of the most recent outbreak of equine infectious anemia in Ireland.

CIO Asia reports on the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s development and implementation of a veterinary management information system. “With the value of the animals being cared for in excess of US$190 million, the stakes are high.” Indeed.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports on caprine acupuncture.

K9 Magazine explains how the Petplan Charitable Trust, a charity operated by a British pet insurance company, works.

The Veterinary News Network deems itself newsworthy.

Donations from grateful clients to veterinary colleges (and their teaching hospitals) are climbing.

Go for the title (“Plastic Rats and Disposable Lungs”). Go for the lead image (tandem parachuters, one holding a large gray plastic dog). Go to learn about the new generation of pet mannequins being used to train veterinarians. Just go! This story from Wired has so much going for it!

A profile of Emily Hilscher, a veterinary assistant who was one of the people killed at Virginia Tech last week.

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Dr. Elankurmaran Subbiah, a veterinarian and assistant professor at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine is studying a modified strain of avian Newcastle disease virus (NDV) as a treatment for human prostate cancer. According to the press release here, “Subbiah and his associates are altering the fusion protein of NDV to replicate only in the presence of prostate specific antigen (PSA), which is found exclusively in cancerous prostate cells.”

Eli Lilly and Co. is entereing the veterinary medicine market with a drug for canine separation anxiety, Reconcile (active ingredient appears to be fluoxetine).

A veterinarian’s report led to changes in a controversial Canadian art exhibit. More here.

A Taiwanese veterinarian lost an arm (later reattached) while treating a crocodile at the Shaoshan Zoo. (Warning! The story in the Sydney Morning Herald includes a photograph of the aftermath that some might find too graphic. A shorter version of the story with a nongraphic photo is here.)

India’s lions need more veterinarians.

The BBC reports on Mycobacterium bovis infections in human beings, including cases of human-to-human transmission.

Dr. Nancy Davis, top veterinarian for the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority, is retiring.

Another story of cats attacking humans! This one is surprisingly charming and focuses almost exclusively on the cat rather than the victim.

The New York Times profiles Indonesian governor (and vetceteraVeterinarian of Note“) Irwandi Yusuf.

“Cowboy poet and large animal veterinarian” Baxter Black appeared on NPR’s Talk of the Nation last week.

William Booth, in the Washington Post, asks of his dogs’ wet food, “what, really, is that grayish brown reconstituted lump in the can?”

I assumed it contained lamb lungs and chicken brains. But there’s a lot more. A 99-cent unit of “cuts and gravy” is the signal product of global industrialized food, where nothing is wasted, a brutal efficiency rules and ingredients are assembled from a relentlessly competitive international marketplace. There is no accident in a can of dog food. Just the opposite.

The story pulls quotes from Drs. Tony Buffington and Bonnie Beaver and makes it seem like dogs are the major animal affected (see Dr. Khuly’s comments on this), but then the writer doesn’t admit to owning any cats.

This first story has been all over the Internet, so apologies if you’ve seen it elsewhere. A cat in England has taken to riding the bus each morning. It’s a brief ride (one stop only) that takes the feline suspiciously close to a fish-and-chip shop. One blogger argues that only an escaped lab cat could navigate public transit, a feline Mrs. Frisby as it were. Catmanager thinks the blogger doesn’t know enough cats.

A story from earlier in year tells of Tama, a cat appointed honorary stationmaster of a Japanese railway station. Although the original news story doesn’t seem to be available, a photo and some text from the original article are preserved at this blog.

From one of catmanager’s favorite feline Web sites, Purr-n-Fur, a profile of the resident cats of the Ft. Smith, AK, Trolley Museum. Purr-n-Fur also has several stories of cats taking nonpublic means of transportation such as airship, military vessel, methanol tanker, and spaceship.

Lyme disease on the rise in Vermont.

World Veterinary Day is April 28. The AVMA has a press release.

The USDA has extended for another six months its BSE-testing contract with the University of Washington College of Veterinary Medicine. UW’s is the only BSE testing program in the Pacific Northwest.

An update from the New York Times on the 2005 fake veterinarian case. (You remember, the case in which Fred the cat went undercover to bust a Brooklyn man practicing veterinary medicine without a license. Sadly, Fred was later killed in a traffic accident.)

For the seventh straight year Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine has been ranked the top vet school in the country by U.S. News and World Report.

“Fat Cat Goes Wild”: another cat attack in the news.

Serbia is trying to give the veterinary and food production sectors of its economy a boost.

Veterinarians strike (briefly) in Cyprus.

The EU announced plans to form an emergency veterinary team similar to the AVMA’s VMATs.

News flash! Pet food scare over! So said a Florida veterinarian last week. The head of the AVMA says food is safe.

As Pet Connection notes, USA Today asks questions about how official the “offical” numbers are. Also of interest in the article:

The U.S. imports 70% to 80% of its wheat gluten, used widely in human and pet foods either as a protein source or, in wet pet food specifically, as a binding agent.

The Washington Post has a new story here.

The New York Times has corrected (scroll to the end of the article) an earlier report that claimed Menu Foods had expanded its recall. According to the Times, Menu Foods “did not expand its recall to all wet food products on Friday” (emphasis in original). This correction contradicts widely circulated reports in other media (including this morning on NPR).

The Globe and Mail offers a history of Menu Foods and an assessment of its future.

The latest lawsuit filed against Menu Foods is asking for $100 million (Canadian).

From New Zealand, a report that recalled food has made it to that part of the world. No animals are reported becoming ill from eating recalled food in New Zealand, however.

The American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine has posted an information sheet about the pet food recall.

Itchmo!Seattle catches a Rocky Mountain News story that notes the FDA “is looking into a small number of reports that pets have died after consuming food that was not included among the recalled products.” Itchmo has been collecting reports of pets allegedly sickened after eating dry Iams brand food.

Menu Foods has posted a consumer FAQ on its Web site. The FAQ confirms that Menu Foods does not manufacture any dry foods. Also of note:

Who is going to pay my vet bills for sickness and death?

If Menu Foods product is the cause of sickness or death, Menu Foods will take responsibility. Menu has engaged a professional firm to manage your concerns and is currently contacting concerned pet owners who have reached our call center. Specific direction will be received from these individuals. Please keep copies of all your vet records and receipts for pet food purchases as well as vet bills.

DVM News reports on new research finding a “similarity between known human protein pathways in osteosarcoma patients and the proteins of canine and feline patients that could help improve palliative care for animals.”

The Mara Mobile Veterinary Unit blog has a series of new posts (and photographs) on the travails of a veterinarian working through the Kenyan rains.

The San Diego Zoo blog interviews two of the zoo’s veterinary nutritionists.

Dr. Zwingenberger at Veterinary Radiology discusses hepatic and splenic infarction.

Your Pet’s Best Friend blogs about Von Willebrand’s disease.

Dr. Mathis of the Andy Mathis Art Co. blog posts a lovely new feline watercolor.

Veterinarians have many passions beyond the practice of medicine. Many are talented artists: musicians, painters, writers. Some become freedom fighters. (Others enter politics through more conventional means.)

Victoria Kusiyumbe, a Tanzanian veterinarian, has worked for over a decade to help her countrywomen, many of them widows, survive on their own by becoming economically self-sufficient. After her own husband died more than ten years ago, she used her veterinary income to assist other women on a case-by-case basis. Eventually she realized the needs were simply too great to be met by her alone. So she founded a company to provide micro-loans to Tanzanian women for use in purchasing equipment, modernizing their businesses, and strengthening their financial well-being. The loans are typically $500 or so, and the repayment rate is over 99 percent.

A brief profile of Dr. Kusiyumbe is here. “A cow named Sero” tells the story of how Dr. Kusiumbe came to start her micro-leasing company.

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