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Dogs Understand What’s Written All Over Your Face

Article Found on ScienceDaily

Dogs are capable of understanding the emotions behind an expression on a human face. For example, if a dog turns its head to the left, it could be picking up that someone is angry, fearful or happy. If there is a look of surprise on a person’s face, dogs tend to turn their head to the right. The heart rates of dogs also go up when they see someone who is having a bad day, say Marcello Siniscalchi, Serenella d’Ingeo and Angelo Quaranta of the University of Bari Aldo Moro in Italy. The study in Springer’s journal Learning & Behavior is the latest to reveal just how connected dogs are with people. The research also provides evidence that dogs use different parts of their brains to process human emotions. Read more

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Crinkling Tin Foil and Other Sounds Can Cause Seizures in Cats

By Samantha Drake
Everyday sounds, like crinkling tin foil, a metal spoon hitting a ceramic bowl, rustling paper or plastic bags, or hammering a nail, can have a worrisome effect on your cat, according to a new study. Researchers say certain high-pitched sounds cause noise-induced seizures in older cats — and the response is not all that unusual.
Until now, the condition has not been well-documented, so many cat owners tend to dismiss the seizures as a sign of old age, notes Dr. Mark Lowrie of Davies Veterinary Specialists in Hertfordshire, England. Lowrie is the lead author of the study recently published in The Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.
“We don’t know the prevalence of this condition currently but it is far more common than anyone first thought,” he says.

Older Cats Affected

The media has dubbed the seizures the “Tom and Jerry Syndrome” after Tom, the cartoon kitty who often jumps suddenly in response to the antics of Jerry, his cartoon mouse nemesis. Researchers call the disorder “feline audiogenic reflex seizures (FARS).”
FARS affects older cats, says Lowrie, with 15 being the average age of the cats in the study. Although any breed of cat could have FARS, about one-third of the cats in the study were Birmans, specifically those with blue and seal points, he adds.
The study of 96 cats, a population roughly half male and half female, also found that even relatively quiet sounds, like squeaky shoes or jangling keys, can cause a seizure. Lowrie explains that cats have an ultrasonic hearing range, including frequencies humans can’t detect. Many of the domestic sounds found to trigger seizures have a high amount of ultrasonic frequencies. “Therefore, they may sound innocuous to us, but to cats sensitive to these frequencies, they actually sound more startling,” he says.
Interestingly, about half the cats in the study were hearing-impaired or deaf, he points out.

Managing FARS

Obviously, many of the sounds that trigger FARS can’t be entirely eliminated from a domesticated cat’s environment. Although there’s currently no cure for FARS, the anti-seizure medication levetiracetam helps to effectively manage the condition in cats, says Lowrie.
The researchers began investigating FARS after the charitable organization International Cat Care brought the condition to their attention, Lowrie explains, adding, “This was a real concern.”


Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital (OVSH) has been serving the Portland and Beaverton area community since 1979. Drs. Steven F. Skinner (Neurology, Neurosurgery) and Robert T. Franklin (Internal medicine.) We welcome referrals from veterinarians all over the Pacific Northwest. Our goal is to help your pet regain health and live a long and happy life.

Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital

Address
9339 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy,
Beaverton, OR 97005.
Phone: 503.292.3001
Fax: 503.292.6808
Email: info@ovshosp.com

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Why Do Cats Like Heights?

By Monica Weymouth | Found on PetMD
To us humans, a refrigerator is simply a kitchen appliance—no more, no less. But to some cats the top of the refrigerator is the Promised Land, a must-visit destination to be reached at all costs.
What’s behind the strange choice of hang-out? It’s not about the food (this time, at least). As one of the highest vantage points in your home, the refrigerator holds a special place in your cat’s height-loving heart.
“Cats live in three dimensions—they’re not earthbound creatures like dogs,” says Trish McMillan Loehr, a certified cat behavior consultant. “They simply love to climb.”
Read more

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Dogs Could be More Similar to Humans than We Thought

Article Found on ScienceDaily

Dog and human gut microbiomes have more similar genes and responses to diet than we previously thought, according to a study published in the open access journal, Microbiome.

Dr Luis Pedro Coelho and colleagues from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, in collaboration with Nestlé Research, evaluated the gut microbiome of two dog breeds and found that the gene content of the dogs microbiome showed many similarities to the human gut microbiome, and was more similar to humans than the microbiome of pigs or mice. Read more

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Unraveling the Genetics of Disc Disease in Dogs

Article Found on Science Daily

Since the early 1900s, veterinarians have observed intervertebral disc disease — a common cause of back pain, rear limb paralysis and inability to walk — more frequently in dogs with short legs (dachshund, French bulldog, and Pekingese to name a few.) But they couldn’t pinpoint why — until now.

This week, University of California, Davis, researchers reveal the discovery of a genetic mutation across breeds that is responsible for chondrodystrophy (the skeletal disorder leading to shorter legs and abnormal intervertebral discs) in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read more

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New Study Asks if Arthritis in Dogs Causes Mood Changes

Article by Dr. Nancy Kay, DVM | Found on PetHealthNetwork
If you live with osteoarthritis (OA), you’re probably all too familiar with the impact that joint pain can have on your mood. In fact, according to healthcommunities.com, it is known that arthritis in people has a definite link to mood disorders. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that that 52.5 million adult Americans suffer from arthritis, and many of them also suffer from depression.  Read more

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Caring for a Sick Pet Can Really Drain You

Article Found on MedLinePlus
As much joy as a pet can bring to the life of its human, when a beloved dog or cat falls ill, the emotional toll can be high.
In fact, caring for an ailing animal often ends up placing a significant “caregiver burden” on its owner, new research finds. Read more

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The Sniff Test of Self-Recognition Confirmed: Dogs Have Self-Awareness

Article Found on ScienceDaily

A new research carried out by the Department of Psychology of the Barnard College in the USA, in publication on the journal Behavioural Processesused a sniff-test to evaluate the ability of dogs to recognize themselves.

The experiment confirms the hypothesis of dogs’ self-cognition proposed last year by Prof. Roberto Cazzolla Gatti of the Biological Institute of the Tomsk State University, Russia (Cazzolla Gatti, R. (2016). Self-consciousness: beyond the looking-glass and what dogs found there. Read more

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Pet Exposure May Reduce Allergies and Obesity in Children

Article Found on Science Daily

If you need a reason to become a dog lover, how about their ability to help protect kids from allergies and obesity?

A new University of Alberta study showed that babies from families with pets — 70 per cent of which were dogs — showed higher levels of two types of microbes associated with lower risks of allergic disease and obesity.
But don’t rush out to adopt a furry friend just yet. Read more

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How Dogs Help People Get Along Better

Article by Jill Suttie | Found on Animal Health Foundation

A new study suggests that when dogs are around, groups are closer, more cooperative, and more trusting.
My dog, Casey, is one of my favorite beings on the planet. Not only is he extremely cute, his presence calms me, makes me happy, and helps me to meet new people…especially when I take a walk with him.
My husband and I often joke that if everyone had a dog like Casey, there simply wouldn’t be any wars—the assumption being that everyone would just get along if he were around. Now, a new study suggests that we might be onto something.

Researchers at Central Michigan University gave small groups tasks to do with or without a companion dog in the room. Read more