May 25, 2016
LSU veterinarians collaborate with cancer center to treat mascot’s tumor
Louisiana State University mascot Mike the Tiger has been diagnosed with spindle cell sarcoma, and a tumor on the right side of his face is crowding his eye. Mike will be transported to the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center to receive stereotactic radiotherapy, which zaps the tumor with X-rays but spares surrounding cells. “Just think that some of the diseases that humans suffer from afflict animals as well, and the study of these can benefit understanding and treatment of the other,” said LSU Veterinary School Dean Joel Baines. “In this way, veterinary medicine can benefit humans and human medicine can benefit animals.”
The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) (5/23), USA Today/The Associated Press (5/23)
May 23, 2016
Cat clairvoyance, independence and territorialism
A cat who prowls the house and cries all night after moving to a new home might be staking out territory, but the cat should be checked by a veterinarian to rule out an underlying problem such as thyroid disease or hearing loss, say veterinarian Carlo Siracusa and fellow cat expert John Bradshaw. A cat who starts visiting a neighboring house might be staking out new territory. And a cat’s excellent senses of hearing and smell might make him seem clairvoyant when it comes to knowing when his particular human is the one who just stepped into the apartment building.
National Geographic News (free registration) (5/21)
May 20, 2016
LSU veterinarians seek dogs for osteoarthritis drug trial
Louisiana State University veterinarians are accepting dogs for a multi-center clinical trial of 117m Sn colloid, an anti-inflammatory compound under development for osteoarthritis. The trial is testing the drug on dogs with osteoarthritis in one or both elbows. The drug is injected directly into the joint, where veterinarians hope it will target local inflammation without harming other tissues in the body.
KLFY-TV (Lafayette, La.) (5/18)
May 19, 2016
UK feline, canine diabetes incidence skyrockets
UK pets are developing diabetes at an alarming rate, according to Animal Friends Pet Insurance. A report from the company found that since 2011, feline incidence is up 1,161% and canine incidence is up 850%. Pet owners should be alert to possible signs of trouble such as increased water intake and urination. Keeping pets at a healthy weight with appropriate feeding and exercise can help mitigate risk, experts said.
The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (5/16), Diabetes.co.uk (U.K.) (5/17)
May 19, 2016
N.Y. considers ban on cat declawing
Some New York veterinarians are lobbying for the state to ban feline declawing, saying the practice is unnecessary and harmful. Other veterinarians, including the New York State Veterinary Medical Society, oppose the ban, noting that declawing may be the only way to prevent euthanasia in some situations. The society argues that the decision to declaw should be made between an owner and their veterinarian, not by lawmakers. Declawing is illegal in some countries and certain US cities, but no US states have banned the procedure.
Portland Press Herald (Maine)/The Associated Press (5/17)
May 12, 2016
Guinness crowns 30-year-old world’s oldest living cat
Guinness World Records has named a 30-year-old male Siamese cat called Scooter the oldest living cat in the world. Scooter was born on March 26, 1986, and still lives with the same owner in Texas. Scooter’s veterinarians say the cat has a “strong will to live,” and his owner says she has worked to keep him active, to which she credits his longevity.
ABC News (5/10)
Pet-Limit laws are unconstitutional
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May 10, 2016
Author: Humane Watch Team
Subject: Update: HSUS was on the Hook for Nearly $11 Million to Settle RICO Lawsuit
|With news of Ringling Bros.’ circus elephant acts ending last week, we’ve been reminding the public of the Humane Society of the United States and its major legal blunder involving the circus. Feld Entertainment, which owns Ringling, sued HSUS and other animal rights groups, gaining through settlement $9.3 million from the ASPCA in 2012 and $15.75 million from HSUS and other groups in 2014.
In a nutshell, Feld sued HSUS et al. because it emerged in a separate lawsuit—one brought by animal rights activists against Feld alleging that the circus abused elephants—that groups including HSUS had covertly paid the key witness, who had lied under oath. The animal-rights lawsuit was heartily dismissed, and a law firm representing the activists was even sanctioned. Feld countersued HSUS, two in-house HSUS lawyers, the Fund for Animals (an HSUS affiliate), and others for bribery, fraud, racketeering and other torts under the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. The $25 million settlement covered these two cases.
Based on HSUS’s 2013 financial statement, we believed that HSUS/FFA’s share of the settlement was $5.675 million. But according to court filings, HSUS/FFA was actually on the hook for nearly double that: $10.675 million. The difference of $5 million is apparently due to HSUS/FFA having a separate liability insurance policy through Traveler’s.
No doubt, their rates have gone up in recent years.
The court filings come from litigation HSUS and the Fund for Animals are still pursuing against an insurance company, National Union Fire Insurance Co., for coverage of the other part of the RICO settlement. In FFA’s case, National Union won at trial, but a Maryland appeals court sent it back to the trial court in February. Who knows how long the latest courtroom saga will last. But one thing’s for sure: Along with the money HSUS and FFA already paid out for the racketeering settlement, they’ve got new legal bills for this current litigation. Donors who want their money to be used on pets and not lawyers should look elsewhere.
May 10, 2016
Handling cats that urinate outside of the litter box
Urinating outside of the litter box is the top reason cats are surrendered to shelters, writes veterinarian Lawrence Gerson, but it’s possible to manage the situation with a veterinarian’s guidance. First, litter box availability, style and cleanliness must be evaluated, then medical causes of the problem such as cystitis should be ruled out, and finally, any stressful changes such as a move or construction at the home must be addressed. If addressing all those points does not solve the issue, veterinarians may prescribe the antidepressant Clomicalm, Dr. Gerson writes.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (5/7)
May 10, 2016
A primer on legal prescribing of animal medications
Veterinarian Lee Pickett writes that veterinarians can legally prescribe medications that don’t have FDA approval. She cites the example of levothyroxine, a hypothyroidism medication that’s been prescribed by veterinarians for years. One of numerous preparations of the drug recently received FDA approval, while others remain in clinical trials. Dr. Pickett also discusses ways to manage osteoarthritis in aging cats, noting that pain symptoms are difficult to detect in cats because they tend to hide signs of discomfort.
BerksPets.com (Reading, Pa.) (5/6)