Human breast cancer drug helps dogs with lung cancer

The HER2 gene which is found in women with breast cancer, has been linked with canine pulmonary adenocarcinoma (CPAC) in dogs. Researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) which is an affiliate of the City of Hope and Ohio State University found that a drug, neratinib, can help the over 40,000 dogs who develop CPAC each year.

CPAC is an aggressive cancer that is similar to the type of human lung cancer that non-smokers develop. This study has given researchers more information about the genetics of this disease and treatment options that can help both dogs and humans.

Raw meat diet in dogs associated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria

No matter what age the dog is, eating a raw meat diet causes them to pass antibiotic resistant Escherichia coli (E.coli) in their feces which can be transmitted to humans.

Researchers from the University of Bristol conducted an in-depth study of 823 dogs of all ages.

They found that dogs who lived in the country had a strong risk factor in passing antibiotic resistant E.coli but dogs who live in the city had more complicated risk factors that may be linked to the variety of lifestyles and exposure to other dogs.

E. coli is found in the intestines of both humans and animals and is a common cause of various diseases including urinary tract infection and can cause sepsis in other parts of the body.

The bottom line is that feeding raw meat to dogs is not safe for both the dog and humans. If a dog owner insists on feeding raw meat to their dog, they must be very careful of infection.

A link between a dog’s sense of smell and vision

Researchers at Cornell University have found that there is a neurological link between a dog’s sense of smell and their vision. This study shows that a dog perceives his environment using both vision and scent. This is the first time that scientists have found a neurological connection of this nature in any animal.

In addition, scientists have found that dogs have connections between areas in the brain that process memory and emotion which are similar to humans but that they also have connections between the spinal cord and the occipital lobe which are not found in humans.

Riley

This finding explains why blind dogs are able to function, being able to play fetch and navigate their surroundings much better than people with similar blindness. That is comforting for people who own dogs who are blind or have gone blind.

Author’s Note: Although blind dogs can find their way around better than people, it is still a good idea to not move furniture around. If you have to move or add furniture, you can put a unique gentle scent on the corners of the furniture at the dog’s level to help the dog locate and identify the new or moved object.

We also have to think about how the relationship between scent and vision affects dogs in terms of training and their reaction to the environment, taking into consideration personality traits such as friendliness, fear, aggression etc. While we know that many of the personality traits of dogs are inherited, is it possible that these findings might explain further exactly how and what is inherited. Many people do not realize how complex dogs and perhaps other animals are.

Male dogs more likely to develop Transmissible Venereal Tumors

Researchers at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Veterinary Medicine discovered that male dogs, especially free roaming dogs, were four to five times likely to develop the Oro-nasal form of Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumors (CTVT) than female dogs.

CTVT is an unusual cancer that can spread between dogs that come in contact. This type of cancer is infectious because the living cancer cells can be physically transplanted from one animal to another. The researchers feel that the reason it is more prevalent in male dogs is because they spend more time sniffing and licking female dog genitalia.

The common symptoms are difficulty breathing, nasal deformation or bloody or other discharge from the nose and/or mouth. Fortunately, this type of cancer is treatable with Vincristine chemotherapy.  

The researchers noted that transmissible cancers are found in Tasmanian Devils as well as marine bivalves such as mussels and clams.

Does a dog owners stress level affect their dog?

According to a study conducted at the Linköping University, Sweden dogs mirror their owners stress level. The study is just the beginning and more research is needed. The dogs in the study were Border Collies and Shetland Sheepdogs owned by woman. The researchers did note that the higher level of stress did not influence the dog’s personality but it did affect the owners. They also took into consideration that the two breeds studied are bred to respond quickly to commands from their owners. Additional studies are planned to

explore other breeds with the goal of being able to match dogs and people more successfully. They want to see if other breeds are not as affected by their owner’s stress level.

Sue’s Note: It is critical that the climate of a household and the people in it are seriously considered when selecting a breed or type of dog to add to the family. Certain breeds are more active than others. It is never a good idea to introduce a highly excitable dog into a very active household. For example, some terriers may not be a good match for a home where there are young, highly active children. Just like people, dogs can reach their tolerance level and if pushed too far may withdraw or bite.

How old is your dog, really?

The old standard that one year of a dog’s age equals seven years in human age, is not true. Consider that some dogs live to be 20 and others are very short-lived. Dogs also share many of the medical issues associated with aging that people have. To further understand the aging process in dogs, a team of scientists are studying “normal” aging in dogs to unravel the aging process. They want to understand what makes one dog live longer than another.

The Dog Aging Project, (DAP) will conduct their studies for at a minimum of ten years to unravel the mysteries of canine aging. So far, they have studied more than 32,000 dogs, all pets privately owned.

They are especially interested in studying 300 of the oldest dogs. Pet owners can join the project by going to: https://dogagingproject.org

Very shortly the research team plans to open their huge data base which will be completely anonymized, to scientists around the world. As usual, new information about aging and health issues in dogs will help with medical research in people, and perhaps other animals as well.

What you feed your puppy can cause adult skin problems

A team of researchers from the University of Helsinki have studied over 4000 dogs to determine how the food a puppy eats influences their likelihood of having skin allergies as an adult dog.

They found that a diet that does include raw tripe, organ meats and human meal leftovers resulted in the adult dog being less likely to have skin issues. Puppies that ate only prepared food such as kibble, heat dried meat, canned food, sausage packed food and fruit had a tendency to have more adult skin problems.

According to the research, it only takes adding 20% of raw food and human leftovers in a puppy’s diet to help protect the puppy from adult skin issues.

While the study did say that sweet fruit is included as a negative for puppy’s, it does not mention vegetables. I personally have always fed my dogs raw vegetables and some fruit as well as leftovers. No pet food has the human grades prime meat that humans eat, so leftovers are healthy for a dog to eat and should be added to the diet.

It is also very important to feed you dog and any other pet the highest quality food that you can find. I personally like Wysong and Annamaet.

COVID in dogs and cats

A study in the Veterinary Record, has reported a few cases of dogs and cats contracting the SARS-CoV-2 variant in England. In these cases, the pets caught the variant from their owners who had shown symptoms several weeks before the pets became ill. Heart problems were manifested in the pets who contracted the variant.

While this is not widespread and actually rare, it is a good idea for pet owners to be aware of the possibility since COVID-19 is so widespread. At this point the research does not indicate that people can catch the variant from pets.

Household noise and stress in dogs

We all know that some dogs seem to be more stressed than other dogs. Part of the reason is the genetics of the dog. Certain breeds tend to be more noise sensitive than others. But all dogs can be stressed by certain types of noise. Researchers at the University of California found that dogs are often stressed by common household noise. Particularly noises that are high frequency or very loud. Examples are smoke detectors, microwave ovens, and vacuum cleaners.

Many loud and high pitches noises actually hurt a dog’s ears. Most owners recognize obvious signs of fear or stress, such as trembling, hiding, howling, barking and running away. However, owners often miss a dog’s more subtle signs and therefore do not help their dog when stressed.  Some of the subtle signs are panting, licking their lips, turning their head away, a rigid body, ears turned back or flattened against the head, and lowering their head below their shoulders.

By watching your dog or cat carefully you can learn to recognize their relaxed body language. This will help you recognize when your pet is not relaxed.

Babs, totally relaxed

Whenever a stressful noise occurs, a concerned owner will remove the dog from the area. It is important to watch the dog’s body language to see how far away the dog needs to be to avoid being stressed.  

Cats are also stressed by noises therefore cat owners should also be aware if noise bothers their cat.

Pluskat totally relaxed

Help for pets with dementia

I have had dogs who suffered from cognitive decline or dementia in their old age. Often these dogs are put down because they can no longer function properly. I wish this product had been available years ago.

Noted Veterinary Surgeon Dr. Theresa Fossum Adds CogniCaps, a cognitive function supplement, to her Popular Line of Natural Animal Supplements

Noted veterinary surgeon Dr. Theresa Fossum DVM, MS, Ph.D., Diplomate ACVS, and author of the most referenced book on its topic, Small Animal Surgery, has added a new product to her popular line of natural animal supplements Dr. Fossum’s Pet CareCogniCaps, to support healthy brain function in aging dogs.

Dr. Curtis Dewey, a veterinary neurologist with extensive knowledge of the brain concerns aging dogs often experience, collaborated on the development of CogniCaps with Dr. Fossum. The supplement, a combination of eastern and western modalities, was created in an easy to administer capsule format and contains a proprietary blend including our own BioCog formula (registration pending) plus vitamin E, zinc, naturally occurring phytochemicals such as curcumin, oral S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), and phosphatidylserine, a membrane phospholipid. In addition, the supplement contains a number of herbs from Traditional Chinese Medicine that have been shown to support cognitive function.

According to Dr. Dewey, the estimated prevalence of cognitive concerns in older dogs generally varies between 14% and 35% of the pet dog population; however, these numbers are likely an underestimation. As with people, cognitive decline in dogs can increase dramatically with age; as many as half of all dogs 11-12 years old are likely experiencing age-related decline, and nearly 70% of dogs over the age of 15 are affected. Importantly, dogs may show evidence of brain changes as early as 4-6 years of age.

Even mild or moderate changes in cognitive ability can make living with affected pets difficult. Dogs may become disoriented and frequently become “stuck” in a corner of a room, they may urinate or defecate in the house because they may be temporarily confused about where the appropriate place to go is. They may seem stressed, they may bark at inappropriate sounds or objects, and they may become less interactive with their owners. Affected dogs often develop sleep disturbances (they are active and may vocalize at night, but they sleep during the day). In a word, these pets show signs of senility.  

Dogs affected with changes in cognitive ability typically respond well to intervention, especially if instituted early in the process. Precautionary measures such as dietary changes and environmental enrichment can both help, and slow the progression of cognitive decline due to aging. This suggests that simple changes including health supplements as provided in CogniCaps may be generally advisable in pet dogs as they approach middle age.

Because there are so many individual health supplements for cognitive decline, veterinarians and their clients are often faced with the prospect of recommending multiple separate supplements to produce a positive response. It is also common practice to separate the recommendation into the categories of western and eastern medicine. Again, this conceptualization leads to the necessity of multiple supplements-both western (conventional) and eastern (non-conventional, holistic, etc.). Although pet owners often will administer multiple supplements to their senior dogs, it can be challenging. Also, it is unlikely that the average pet owner will administer multiple supplements to a well seeming middle-aged dog. CogniCaps is a truly integrative health supplement, combining a mixture of both western and eastern ingredients in one small capsule, allowing for ease of use for pet guardians to support keeping dogs’ minds sharp as they age.

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For more information on CogniCaps, please see https://drfossums.com/product/cognicaps-cognitive-function-supplement/. For information on Dr. Fossum’s full line of natural pet wellness products please see https://drfossums.com.