U.S. retail sales of pet medications — including sales through veterinarians, brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers — reached $12 billion in 2022, according to Packaged Facts’ just-released Pet Medications in the US, 8th Edition report.
Packaged Facts estimates that the vet channel continues to dominate the market, at 71% of total sales. By type of pet, dog medications represent the majority of sales, at 69%. By product type, parasiticides (which include flea/tick preventatives, heartworm preventatives and other dewormer medications) make up the largest share of the market, at 59%.
Packaged Facts survey data show that although pet food tops the list of products that pet parents consider “most important” to pet health (at 81%), flea/tick medications (57%) and heartworm medications (47%) claim the next two spots.
Growth in the pet medications market has slowed since the large pandemic-era increases in 2020 and 2021, with those two years the biggest contributors to the market’s 2018-2022 compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5%. The more recent inflationary conditions raised prices but cooled sales, with 2022 growth reaching only 3.7%.
Despite its centrality to the market, the veterinary sector experienced relatively lower growth in pet medication sales than the retail sector, reflecting the growing role of online sales and lower veterinary usage rates. In addition, market growth continues to be dampened by the entry of less expensive generic options – particularly as these generic versions infiltrate brick-and-mortar and online channels, where margins are lower. Even so, a strong pipeline of patented prescription drugs, along with unprecedented price inflation, has kept widespread price erosion at bay.
But as explained by Shannon Landry Brown, brand manager for Packaged Facts pet market research, “The ultimate support for pet medications market growth is ever-sharper pet parent focus on their pets’ health and wellness, in this pets-as-family era.”
Forefronted by the COVID-19 pandemic, pet health and wellness remains an ongoing concern and focus of attention among pet owners, with the pet medications market a key beneficiary. Packaged Facts’ February 2023 Survey of Pet Owners shows that:
- 68% of dog owners and 67% of cat owners look for products to improve their pet’s health and wellness.
- 21% of dog owners and 22% of cat owners continue to pay closer attention to their pets’ health and wellness because of COVID-19.
- After spending far more time than usual with their pets due to pandemic restrictions, pet owners are thinking more proactively when it comes to pet health, taking preventative measures such as staying up to date on their pets’ pest control needs and vaccinations.
A man jumped the fence into the alligator habitat at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay on Wednesday, and it was all caught on camera.
Nick Reid told NBC2 that the man was within approximately five feet of an alligator.
Several park visitors surrounded the alligator enclosure, took their phones out, and began recording.
One man is heard saying, “You gotta get back out!”
“Another wild Karen. Crikey!” the daring man responded while pointing.
A few minutes later, he jumped back over the two fences that block guests from the alligator habitat.
Busch Gardens told NBC affiliate WFLA that the man violated park policy with “complete disregard for the safety of himself, our employees, and our animals.”
There are clear “do not enter” signs and many barriers that indicate the habitat is a restricted access area.
Fortunately, no guests, employees, or animals were hurt.
“We will not tolerate this blatant disregard of our safety rules and are working with law enforcement on this matter. The safety and well-being of our guests, ambassadors, and animals remain a top priority,” the theme park said, according to WFLA.
Moving to a new state is not always straightforward when you have a pet.
Most states require dogs and cats to have a valid health certificate and a current rabies vaccination, at minimum, according to a new report from Hire a Helper.
The company has published a list of which states are the strictest in terms of moving with a pet — and which are the most lenient. For the ranking, rules for the importation of cats and dogs from other U.S. states or territories were gathered from the official government websites of each state. The rules mostly centered on certificate of veterinary inspection and rabies vaccination requirements.
As it turns out, Hawaii is the strictest state for moving with animals, requiring both dogs and cats two rabies vaccinations and an antibody test, or to be placed in quarantine. New York and Nebraska are the next hardest states to move with dogs and cats, according to the report.
North Carolina, meanwhile, is the most lenient state for inbound cats and dogs. It’s followed by New Jersey and Maine. For a complete list go to www.talkinpets.com in our news section for the link to a complete list of state requirements. https://blog.hireahelper.com/2023-study-the-strictest-state-laws-for-moving-with-pets/
Morris Animal Foundation is now accepting proposals for canine cancer research. For this call, the Foundation has a particular interest in studies in the areas of genetic epidemiology, genetic and epigenetic changes predictive of cancer risk, development of diagnostic and therapeutic biomarkers, and tumor genomic profiling.
The Foundation encourages projects that leverage specimens and data from the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, but also welcomes submissions that utilize other data sources. “The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study provides a unique opportunity to understand the origins of canine cancer,” said Dr. Kathy Tietje, Chief Program Officer at Morris Animal Foundation. “We encourage the scientific community to include Study resources in their research proposals.”
The Foundation also encourages Fellowship applications from individuals from historically marginalized groups. These Minority Fellowships are being funded by Sally R. McIntosh through the Donor-Inspired Study program. McIntosh seeks to provide fellowship funding to support applicants from historically marginalized groups interested in studying canine health, stating that she hopes to make "a tiny dent" in diversifying the animal health research community. Interested researchers can find more information, including proposal documents, on the Foundation’s Grants page. Proposals are due Aug. 16, 2023.
The Arctic Ocean's ice cap will disappear in summer as soon as the 2030s and a decade earlier than thought, no matter how aggressively humanity draws down the carbon pollution that drives global warming, scientists said. Even capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris climate treaty will not prevent the north pole's vast expanse of floating ice from melting away in September, they reported in Nature Communications.
"It is too late to still protect the Arctic summer sea ice as a landscape and as a habitat," co-author Dirk Notz, a professor at the University of Hamburg's Institute of Oceanography, told AFP. "This will be the first major component of our climate system that we lose because of our emission of greenhouse gases."
Decreased ice cover has serious impacts over time on weather, people and ecosystems -- not just within the region, but globally. "It can accelerate global warming by melting permafrost laden with greenhouse gases, and sea level rise by melting the Greenland ice sheet," lead author Seung-Ki Min, a researcher at Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea, told AFP.
Greenland's kilometres-thick blanket of ice contains enough frozen water to lift oceans six metres. By contrast, melting sea ice has no discernible impact on sea levels because the ice is already in ocean water, like ice cubes in a glass. But it does feed into a vicious circle of warming. Three times faster
About 90 percent of the Sun's energy that hits white sea ice is reflected back into space. But when sunlight hits dark, unfrozen ocean water instead, nearly the same amount of that energy is absorbed by the ocean and spread across the globe. Both the North and South Pole regions have warmed by three degrees Celsius compared to late 19th-century levels, nearly three times the global average.
An ice-free September in the 2030s "is a decade faster than in recent projections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)", the UN's science advisory body, said Min. In its landmark 2021 report, the IPCC forecast with "high confidence" that the Arctic Ocean would become virtually ice-free at least once by mid-century, and even then only under more extreme greenhouse gas emissions scenarios.
The new study -- which draws from observational data covering the period 1979-2019 to adjust the IPCC models -- finds that threshold will most likely be crossed in the 2040s. Min and his colleagues also calculated that human activity was responsible for up to 90 percent of the ice cap's shrinking, with only minor impacts from natural factors such as solar and volcanic activity.
The record minimum sea ice extent in the Arctic -- 3.4 million square kilometres (1.3 million square miles) -- occurred in 2012, with the second- and third-lowest ice-covered areas in 2020 and 2019, respectively. Scientists describe the Arctic Ocean as "ice-free" if the area covered by ice is less than one million square kilometres, about seven percent of the ocean's total area. Sea ice in Antarctica, meanwhile, dropped to 1.92 million square kilometres in February -- the lowest level on record and almost one million square kilometres below the 1991-2020 mean.
Last Saturday, June 3rd, San Diego Nonprofit Meals on Wheels held its annual gala with a special highlight – a celebration of its 40-year partnership with Helen Woodward Animal Center. The two big-hearted organizations have shared four decades of kindness to those in need through the Center program AniMeals.
Each year, Meals on Wheels San Diego delivers over 650,000 nutritious meals with friendly visits to older San Diegans, helping them stay fed and in their homes. The organization advocates for issues that impact the health, wellness, and independence of San Diegans who are 60 or older, veterans with disabilities of any age, and their caregivers.
As Meals on Wheels’ mission addresses the nourishment of the body, Helen Woodward Animal Center’s mission addresses the nourishment of the soul, with the love of a pet proving particularly crucial to elderly and disabled pet owners who often depend on this pet as their primary companion. Overwhelming research has shown that pets are a real health benefit for their owners. Compared to non-pet owners, those with four-legged friends at home have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, have a better sense of security, are more active, experience less depression, and even live longer. Unfortunately, the cost and ability to acquire pet food can often prove to be insurmountable obstacles for homebound senior and disabled individuals.
In 1984, a volunteer with the Meals on Wheels program discovered one of her clients was sharing her delivered food with her cats. Realizing the woman was sacrificing her own health in order to keep her furry companions, the volunteer brought the problem to Helen Woodward Animal Center and the AniMeals program was created. The AniMeals program strives to remove financial obstacles and keep its clients together with their pets for their physical health as well as their emotional well-being. Initially serving just 10 clients, today AniMeals has grown exponentially and feeds more than 850 pets every month owned by homebound seniors, wounded veterans and people with disabilities.
“There really aren’t enough words to accurately describe the gratitude we feel for this collaboration,” explained Helen Woodward Animal Center VP of Development Renee Resko. “Keeping beloved pets in the homes of their owners is at the very heart of our mission. Working with Meals on Wheels allows us to get pet food into the homes of individuals in need, benefitting the pets but equally benefitting the owners who love them. It’s beautiful program and a wonderful partnership.”
The program’s only limitation on continued expansion stems from necessary funding. For information, to donate pet food, or to volunteer for the AniMeals program, call (858) 756-4117 x 341 or click on www.animalcenter.org.
Thirty-six parrots (Amazona autumnalis, Amazona albifrons and Pionus senilis) were released in the Rio Azul National Park, in Peten, Guatemala, on May 25, after being rescued from illegal trafficking and going through a rigorous rehabilitation process.
The birds’ release resulted from a joint effort by non-governmental, non-profit organizations, Asociacion Rescate y Conservacion de Vida Silvestre and Humane Society International/Latin America, who have been working together since 2007 in wildlife protection and conservation in Guatemala.
Under the guidance of the National Council for Protected Areas (in Spanish: Consejo Nacional de Areas Protegidas, or CONAP), ARCAS Wildlife Rescue Center and HSI staff facilitated the return of the 36 parrots of different species to the forest. Some of the parrots were victims of wildlife trafficking and others experienced negative interaction with humans .
According to ARCAS director, Fernando Martinez, the rescue center carries out physical, medical and ethological rehabilitation of the different species that enter as a result of illegal trafficking, under strict scientific management standards. The animals are later released in the Mayan Biosphere Reserve.
“The Rescue Center’s mission is to reinforce existing wildlife populations, to prevent the extinction of species, and thus ensuring that there are healthy populations capable of adapting and reproducing in their natural habitat,” said Martinez.
Mauricio Mota, advocacy officer for ESAP, supported by HSI/Latin America, explained that keeping parrots as pets is a frequent activity in Guatemala, and they are obtained mainly through illegal wildlife trafficking, which puts populations at risk.
“That is why HSI/Latin America and ARCAS work to ensure a successful rehabilitation of these animals and thus give them a second chance to live in freedom. Also, we urge everyone to refrain from buying these animals as pets, to not purchase objects that contain parts or derivatives of wild animals, and to report to the authorities any suspicious activity regarding wildlife,” said Mota.
The parrots will be monitored during a couple of weeks after the release, through sightings on trails and on observation platforms.
Photos snapped near San Juan Island show a swimming black-tail deer crossing paths with a Bigg's orca.
A naturalist, Sam Murphy with Island Adventures Whale Watching and the Pacific Whale Watching Association (PWWA), captured the photos at Battleship Island. Murphy didn't see the deer initially, according to PWWA Executive Director Erin Gless, who shared the photos with KING 5.
"She said that the whale swam right by and didn't seem interested in the deer at all," Gless wrote. "Sam didn't notice the deer until she was looking at her pictures afterward, making for a fun surprise. Probably not enough meat/fat on a deer's bones to tempt these whales, who are used to eating seals and sea lions, but would probably be an intimidating experience for the deer, I'm sure!"
Bigg's killer whales are also known as transients, with a home range that spans from Alaska to Northern California, according to the Georgia Strait Alliance. In recent years, the whales have been spotted more and more often in the Salish Sea, with sightings reported year-round. The orcas are apex predators and hunt other marine mammals in groups, including sea lions, seals, and other types of whales, including juvenile gray and humpback whales, according to the Georgia Strait Alliance.
Deer are excellent swimmers and are known to be frequent visitors to the San Juan Islands. However, the deer population has decreased in recent years according to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, thought to be related to a deadly adenovirus hemorrhagic disease that is believed to have reached the San Juans in 2021. However, the Department of Fish and Wildlife estimated the population could rebound relatively quickly.
A banned breed of dog reportedly mauled a grandmother to death while she was sunbathing in the United Kingdom.
The woman, in her 70s, was killed as her daughter, 49-year-old Anita Singh, attempted to fight off the dog as it attacked her mother in Warwickshire, England, according to the Sun.
The incident prompted seven police vehicles, three ambulances, an air ambulance and a dog van, which swarmed the residence following the canine attack, according to a neighbor.
Both the daughter and her husband, 52-year-old Jas Singh, were reportedly arrested on suspicion of harboring a banned dog breed following the attack. Both have been released on bail amid further police inquiries.
Anita Singh was reportedly taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries she received attempting to fend off the dog as it attacked her mother.
"They are a lovely family, three generations live in the house, and it is a terrible thing to have happened," the neighbor said. The neighbor claimed the dog attacked the woman "while she was in the back garden lying on a sun lounger." The neighbor said Jas Singh was at work during the attack and "is very shocked and shaken and said he had no idea why the dog suddenly turned and described it as an awful tragedy."
The neighbor claimed police said the dog involved was of a banned breed. The pit bull terrier, the Japanese Tosa, the Dogo Argentino and the Fila Brasileiro are banned in the U.K.
"I don't know what it was — quite a size with a big head, a bulldog Mastiff type," the neighbor said.
"No one knows why it attacked and killed the poor woman," the neighbor added. "It could have gone crazy after being stung by a bee, or it could have had something wrong with its brain. It could be anything."
"When we heard the gran had died I was shocked," he said.
Another neighbor said there have been "a lot of fatal dog attacks recently."
Police Superintendent Sutherland Lane described the attack as "a tragic isolated incident," according to the BBC. "Thankfully dog attacks of this nature are exceedingly rare, but I recognize this will be deeply upsetting for the local community."
A brightly colored orange lobster found off the coast of Maine is now part of a collection of multicolored crustaceans that call the University of New England home.
Most lobsters are known to be a mottled brown color, but according to the Smithsonian Institution’s Ocean Initiative, pigments can migrate into the shell, where proteins cause color changes.
Experts with the Marine Science Center believe the lobster’s coloration is due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors that scientists don’t completely understand.
"Rare lobsters, like this brilliant orange one caught by Turner’s Lobsters, are excellent ambassadors for education because they spark so much curiosity. Sharing these amazing animals with our students and visitors is a special opportunity that wouldn’t be possible without the Maine lobstering community all along the coast," Lindsay Forrette, a lab coordinator and chemical hygiene officer at UNE’s School of Marine and Environmental Programs, said in a statement.
According to crew members, the captain said he has only seen two of the brightly colored creatures during his career.
In addition to the bright orange color, the lobster only has one claw, which is common in the wild.
Forrette said the crustacean likely lost her claw in an altercation with another lobster or fish, but it will mean a unique opportunity for students to learn about limb rejuvenation.
"We plan to document the regrowth of this lobster’s claw in real time, something we’ve only done once before with Banana, our female yellow lobster," Forrette stated.
While the university didn’t state how old they believe the animal to be, restaurant-sized creatures are around 5–7 years old, and if not caught by boaters, lobsters are thought to live up to about 100 years.
The next step for this lobster is getting acquainted to her tank and receiving a name.
In 2019 a blue lobster, who was later nicknamed Blueberry, was donated to the university and in 2021, a yellow lobster named Banana joined the collection.
An Oklahoma man said he was the victim of an hourslong bee attack, leaving him with a broken hip and over 200 stingers in his body.
Carl Amos, 81, was mowing his yard in Maysville when his family said he was swarmed and attacked by what appeared to be “killer bees," an aggressive subspecies also known as Africanized bees.
“They were going in my hair and going in my ears and in my nose, and I thought I better keep my mouth shut because those bees will be in my mouth,” Amos said in an interview with NBC News affiliate in Oklahoma City KFOR.
“I hit some of them with my hands,” he told the outlet. “You just can’t kill ’em fast enough.”
Amos tried to run from the bees but fell and injured his leg in the process. “I knew I had broken my leg because I heard it pop, so I thought this is not good,” he told KFOR.
He said the bees continued to sting him as he lay on the ground for nearly three hours.
A man who worked at a business nearby discovered Amos and called an ambulance. “I feel like I owe him my life,” he said.
Amos was subsequently transported to a local hospital where staff began to remove the bees' stingers, according to a statement posted on GoFundMe from his daughter Heather Garvey.
“The hospital has removed over 200 stingers and are still removing them three days later,” Garvey said.
“After all this, he is in good spirits but it will be a long road to recovery,” Garvey wrote.
Three recent incidents of orcas seemingly attacking and sinking boats off the southwestern tip of Europe are drawing intense scrutiny over whether the animals deliberately swarmed the vessels and if they are learning the aggressive behavior from one another. Encounters between orcas, or killer whales, and boats have been increasing since 2020, though no human injuries or deaths have been reported. In most cases, the whales have not sunk the boats.
The string of incidents since 2020 prompted one scientist in Portugal to say the attacks may indicate that the whales are intending to cause damage to sailing vessels. Others, however, are more skeptical, saying that while the behavior may be coordinated, it’s not necessarily coordinated aggression.
“I think it gets taken as aggression because it’s causing damage, but I don’t think we can say that the motivation is aggressive necessarily,” said Monika Wieland Shields, director of the Orca Behavior Institute, a nonprofit research organization based in Washington state.
At least 15 interactions between orcas and boats off the Iberian coast were reported in 2020, according to a study published last June in the journal Marine Mammal Science.
In November 2020, Portugal’s National Maritime Authority issued a statement alerting sailors about “curious behavior” among juvenile killer whales. The statement said the whales may be attracted to rudders and propellers and may try to approach boats. The subsequent sinkings have caused more alarm. The most recent encounter occurred on May 4 off the coast of Spain. Three orcas struck the rudder and side of a sailing yacht, causing it to eventually sink, as was reported earlier this month in a German publication called Yacht.
One theory put forward by Alfredo López Fernandez, a biologist at the University of Aveiro in Portugal, suggested that the aggression started from a female orca that was perhaps struck by a boat — a traumatic experience that caused her to start ramming sailing vessels. López Fernandez, who co-authored the June 2022 study published in Marine Mammal Science, told Live Science that other orcas may have then picked up that behavior through social learning, which whales have been known to exhibit.
But Shields said orcas have not historically been known to be aggressive toward humans, even when they were being hunted and placed in captivity. “They’ve certainly had reason to engage in that kind of behavior,” she said. “There are places where they are shot at by fishermen, they’ve watched family members be taken from their groups into captivity in the ‘60s and ‘70s. And if something was going to motivate direct aggression, I would think something like that would have done it.”
Shields added that there are no clear instances of killer whales exhibiting what could be thought of as revenge behavior against humans yet she claims it could be a fad, a game of sorts. “We know their brains are wired to have really complex emotions, and so I think they could be capable of something like anger or revenge,” she said. “But again, it’s just not something that we’ve seen any examples of, and we’ve given them plenty of opportunities throughout the world to want to take revenge on us for various things. And they just choose not to.”
The “unfortunate” police shooting of a dog in Texas has inspired an online fundraising campaign in support of the veterinary technician owner and her family.
The incident occurred on June 3 at 3:17 p.m. when the Waco Police Department was called for a burglary in progress.According to the department’s public information officer, Cierra Shipley, when dispatchers entered the reported address into their system, “the address autocorrected with the same house number in the 3200 Block N. 20th St., but the corresponding adjacent “A” street was not included.”
“Our officers acted in good faith to the dispatched address,” Shipley said in a statement released on the Waco Police Department Facebook page.
When officers arrived at 3200 Block of N. 20th, they saw a backdoor ajar, “which corroborated information received in the initial call.” Upon announcing their presence and entering the residence, “multiple dogs came towards officers who retreated,” according to Waco Police Department.
“After the dog lunged a second time toward the officer, the officer made the decision to fire one round of his duty-issued weapon, striking the dog,” Shipley says in the release.
The injured dog—a 10-year-old Labrador named Finn—was taken to the emergency medical clinic by its owner, Cassie Page.
A Waco PD Commander met Page at the veterinary clinic to offer “sympathy, and provided information regarding services provided as a result of the incident,” according to Waco Police Department.
Page, who is a veterinary technician at Hewitt Veterinary Hospital, told KWTX the police officers “never knocked” on her front door.
“They strictly just jumped the fence,” she said. “They responded to the wrong address of a breaking and entering, and saw my back door open. I leave it cracked so my dogs can go in and out. We have five large dogs.”
A friend of the couple, Tori Russell, has launched a GoFundMe page to help pay for legal services for the incident.
Plasma nucleosome concentrations can be a useful tool for treatment monitoring and disease progression in dogs with hematopoietic cancers.
This is according to VolitionRx, Ltd. The epigenetics company has shared the results of a study, evaluating the use of its proprietary nucleosome quantification technology, Nu.Q Vet Cancer Test.
Specifically, researchers used the suite of routine blood tests to assess circulating plasma nucleosome concentrations at diagnosis, throughout treatment, and during remission monitoring for 40 dogs with lymphoma, acute myelogenous leukemia, and multiple myeloma, says the study’s lead, Heather Wilson-Robles, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology). C-reactive protein and thymidine kinase-1 levels were also recorded.
The findings showed plasma nucleosome concentrations were “significantly higher” at diagnosis and progressive disease than they were when dogs were in remission, VolitionRx reports.
“The study also showed that nucleosome concentrations nearly always returned to the low range during treatment and are associated with clinical remission,” says Dr. Wilson-Roble, chief medical officer at Volition Veterinary. “In addition, nucleosome elevations often recur at the time of disease progression, mirroring the clinical course of the disease and that higher nucleosome levels are inversely correlated with survival.”
Cancers that begin in blood-forming tissue, such as bone marrow or in the cells of the immune system, are common in dogs and represent almost a third of malignancies diagnosed each year, according to VolitionRx.
“Veterinarians typically rely on physical exam findings, radiographs, ultrasound, and baseline blood work to monitor dogs with hematopoietic cancers for treatment response and remission status,” Wilson-Robles says. “However, to date, there has been a lack of useful circulating biomarkers available in veterinary medicine.”
The North Carolina Zoo has announced the birth of 3 sand cat kittens born on May 11, 2023. The sexes are currently unknown. The mom and triplets are doing well and starting to venture into their surroundings at the Desert Habitat.
Fun facts about sand cats
Sand cats are1:
- The only cats to live solely in desert environments (native to deserts of North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and Asia)
- One of the world’s largest feline species, weighing from 4 to 8 lbs
- Nocturnal in nature
- Not often sighted in the wild because they live in remote landscapes, hunt at night, and have secretive behavior, so they are challenging to study with little known about the population size and lifespan in the wild
- Great at hearing which they use to detect animals under the sand and use their excellent digging skills to capture their prey
According to an organizational release,1 this is the third birth at the zoo in less than 2 weeks, following the births of a male giraffe calf and female chimpanzee infant. The North Carolina Zoo is going to offer a public naming poll for the kittens with details soon to come on its social media channels and website.
Despite meticulous care and attention to soundness, young racehorses are often sidelined by shin soreness, known also as “bucked shins” or “shinny.” Characterized by fatigue and microfractures on the fore cannon bones, a region called the dorsal metacarpus, the disease is common in two-year-olds and occurs with less frequency in three-year-olds.
About 70-80% of two-year-olds in one older study were diagnosed with shin soreness, and nearly all of those injuries occurred during race preparation that required fast work.*,** A period of reduced fast work or rest is usually warranted following diagnosis, but nearly all horses return to work following resolution of soreness.
In a study conducted by Kentucky Equine Research, the relationship between bucked shins, blood parameters, and cannon bone measurements was studied in 30 Thoroughbreds as they were prepared for two-year-old in training sales.+ The horses were in moderate to intense exercise, and the study period lasted 56 days.
Each horse galloped four days, breezed once, and then either lightly jogged or rested two days each week. Radiographs of the dorsal and lateral metacarpal were taken monthly, and bone measurements were made from these images. Bone mineral content was measured. Plasma levels of calcium, phosphorus, and osteocalcin were also measured. Synthesized by osteoblasts, or specific bone-building cells, osteocalcin was measured in plasma as a biochemical indicator of bone formation.
During the study, five of the 30 two-year-olds displayed clinical signs of bucked shins following breezing, namely swelling, heat, and soreness of the cannon bone.
Researchers observed that two-year-olds with shin soreness do not produce as much bone in the dorsal metacarpal region as normal or unaffected horses. Despite increased osteocalcin levels in plasma, bone width and total bone mineral content was reduced. The horses in the study were managed similarly, so the reason for these differences is unclear.
Young athletes in intense training benefit from a nutritionally balanced diet that includes high-quality forage and a well-fortified concentrate formulated for performance. In addition to these, strategic supplementation is also appropriate.
Triacton contains a novel source of calcium shown to be more highly digestible than other forms of the mineral, including calcium carbonate. Coupled with calcium, Triacton features other bone-building nutrients, including magnesium, boron, silicon, iodine, zinc, and manganese, as well as vitamins A, C, D, and K, all of which are important for bone health.
Studies conducted at Kentucky Equine Research with Triacton demonstrated an increase in bone density among Thoroughbreds in race training. Horses receiving 120 grams per day of Triacton for 90 days had a threefold greater increase in shin bone density compared to horses that received a placebo. Aside from its benefits to skeletal health, Triacton supports digestive health through its buffering properties in the stomach and hindgut.
Horses readily consume all sorts of fruit and vegetables without any ill effects. One unlikely fruit, however, damages the lining of the stomach and upsets the gastric environment: the mango. In Brazil, mangoes are present in many horse-grazing areas during the driest parts of the year, between September and March. Because there is less forage available in pastures at these times, horses often voluntarily consume mangoes. “Mangoes are full of soluble carbohydrates, and diets rich in soluble carbohydrates may predispose horses to ulcers in the squamous or upper region of the stomach,” said Catherine Whitehouse, M.S., a nutrition advisor for Kentucky Equine Research. “The stomach houses a microbial population that rapidly ferments dietary starch and sugar,” she explained. “The end products of fermentation are thought to be partially responsible for the development of ulcers by damaging the delicate lining of the stomach.” Further, mangoes and other feeds high in soluble carbohydrates purportedly cause gastric relaxation, which shortens the passage time of these foods through the stomach. Because these feeds remain in the stomach for less time, the interval between meals is longer, which promotes a drop in pH, predisposing horses to ulcers.*
To determine the effect of mango consumption on gastric health, five horses were included in a study. The horses were maintained on pasture and offered supplemental Tifton hay. No concentrated feeds were offered during the study, which lasted from November to February, which coincided with the mango harvest season. Gastroscopies were performed on each horse at 15-day intervals throughout the study to directly visualize the lining of the stomach. The first gastroscopy was performed 30 days prior to harvest season and the last was performed 30 days after harvest season. “Before the harvest, when mangoes were not available to horses, no gastric lesions were observed in these horses. Two horses rapidly developed gastric lesions early in the harvest when mangoes were readily available in pastures, and three horses had gastric ulcers by midharvest,” explained Whitehouse. In total, four of the five horses had ulcers at some point during the study. All ulcers occurred in the squamous region of the stomach, and those lesions were assigned a grade of 2, 3, or 4 based on the four-point scale in which 4 denotes the severest ulcerations. By 15 days postharvest, no gastric lesions were noted in the horses.
The researchers concluded that the mangoes appeared to be the cause of the gastric ulceration in the squamous region of the horses’ stomachs. Those lesions, however, did not require treatment as they self-resolved following the mango harvest. “These findings corroborate the idea that the incidence of gastric ulcers in athletic horses, when fed a large amount of soluble carbohydrates, often present gastric ulcers, but the reduction of feedstuffs with this characteristic can have a positive impact on the horse’s health, especially when combined with a reduction in the typical stress surrounding training and competition venues,” wrote the researchers. Although mangoes did not make up a significant portion of the horses’ diets, they still negatively affected gastric health. Mango intake was not reported in the study. Only 1% of body weight in hay was provided when stalled, so perhaps it was the combination of low forage intake and mangoes that caused ulcers when compared to free-choice forage and mangoes. “This study highlights the different challenges horse owners face based on growing conditions in different geographical locations. It is not uncommon for horse pastures to contain, or fences to be lined with, fruit trees that can pose similar management challenges,” said Whitehouse.
For horses either at risk for or affected by EGUS, offering ReSolvin EQ helps protect sensitive stomach tissue. This supplement contains a mixture of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids proven to resolve squamous gastric ulcers in 80% of horses treated.
Climate change is bringing different types of challenges to each region of the country. These findings are from the Third3 and Fourth4 National Climate Assessment Reports, released by the U.S. Global Change Research Program.
Is it too late to prevent climate change?
- Northeast. Heat waves, heavy downpours, and sea level rise pose increasing challenges to many aspects of life in the Northeast. Infrastructure, agriculture, fisheries, and ecosystems will be increasingly compromised. Farmers can explore new crop options, but these adaptations are not cost- or risk-free. Moreover, adaptive capacity, which varies throughout the region, could be overwhelmed by a changing climate. Many states and cities are beginning to incorporate climate change into their planning.
- Northwest. Changes in the timing of peak flows in rivers and streams are reducing water supplies and worsening competing demands for water. Sea level rise, erosion, flooding, risks to infrastructure, and increasing ocean acidity pose major threats. Increasing wildfire incidence and severity, heat waves, insect outbreaks, and tree diseases are causing widespread forest die-off.
- Southeast. Sea level rise poses widespread and continuing threats to the region’s economy and environment. Extreme heat will affect health, energy, agriculture, and more. Decreased water availability will have economic and environmental impacts.
- Midwest. Extreme heat, heavy downpours, and flooding will affect infrastructure, health, agriculture, forestry, transportation, air and water quality, and more. Climate change will also worsen a range of risks to the Great Lakes.
- Southwest. Climate change has caused increased heat, drought, and insect outbreaks. In turn, these changes have made wildfires more numerous and severe. The warming climate has also caused a decline in water supplies, reduced agricultural yields, and triggered heat-related health impacts in cities. In coastal areas, flooding and erosion are additional concerns.
The guidance that goes for humans also applies to pets: When the air is intensely polluted, limit the time your pet is outside.
“The air we breathe, pets feel it too,” said Dr. Jerry Klein, the chief veterinary officer at the American Kennel Club. Older animals with underlying medical problems, like heart, respiratory or pulmonary conditions, are particularly vulnerable, he said.
Birds are especially at risk because of the construction of their respiratory systems, said Meghan Rebuli, an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine who specializes in air pollution. Birds that are exposed to smoke may act lethargic and struggle to breathe; their tails may bob, and they may sit in the bottom of their cages. Those symptoms can manifest days or even weeks after exposure, Dr. Rebuli said.
Watch out for coughing or gagging, particularly in cats, which rarely exhibit these behaviors. The first thing you should do is call your veterinarian if you see those symptoms, Dr. Klein said. If your pet is stumbling or acting more lethargic than usual, you should also reach out to your veterinarian, said Dr. Lori Teller, the president of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Take note if your pet seems unable to eat or drink.
You should also call your veterinarian if you notice dogs and cats pawing at their eyes, which indicates irritation; in the meantime, you can saturate a cotton ball with lukewarm water and squeeze it over your animal’s eyes to help flush them out, Dr. Klein said. And keep an ear out for noisy, labored breathing, especially in certain breeds like pugs, which are prone to breathing difficulties. Get them to a vet as soon as possible.
While indoors, keep your windows closed, Dr. Rebuli said, and you may want to keep pets in a room with an air purifier, like one with a HEPA filter.
Make sure your pets are not exercising outside, said Dr. Teller. If you are stuck indoors for prolonged periods, consider playing ball with a dog in a long hallway, if you have the space, or using puzzle toys to help occupy your animal.
You can take dogs out to relieve themselves, but keep it short. “You want to be in and out,” Dr. Klein said.
Morris Animal Foundation, a global leader in advancing animal health, is celebrating its 75th anniversary this month with June 15 declared as Morris Animal Foundation Day by Colorado Governor Jared Polis.
The Foundation traces its roots back to 1948, when a forward-thinking veterinarian – Dr. Mark L. Morris Sr. – founded the organization to improve the health and well-being of animals everywhere. As the Foundation celebrates its 75th anniversary, it reflects on its decades of work – funding nearly 3,000 studies to date – and its continued push to advance veterinary medicine on a global scale.
Currently, the Foundation has about 200 active studies aimed at addressing significant health challenges in dogs, cats, horses and wildlife. This includes the largest cancer-focused study of its kind in dogs, improved and novel vaccines for infectious diseases in cats, as well as critical research to safeguard endangered species worldwide. Every year, the Foundation funds a new set of impactful studies to meet emerging health needs.
Morris Animal Foundation through the years:
- In 1950, the Foundation funded its first two studies, which investigated cat and dog nutrition at Rutgers University and Iowa State University, respectively.
- About a decade later, the Foundation ventured into equine health, supporting its first nutrition health study for horses.
- By 1967, the Foundation expanded its research to include wildlife studies, with its first study focusing on bacterial blood infections in zoo animals.
- In 1971, actress Betty White joined the Foundation as Trustee, and served as Board President from 1982-85.
- In 1986, funding from the Foundation led to the establishment of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, the first effort to provide desperately needed veterinary care to the highly endangered mountain gorillas of Rwanda.
- In 2012, the Foundation launched its Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, the most comprehensive, prospective study collecting health data on 3,000+ golden retrievers to help identify risk factors for cancer and other diseases in dogs.
- Thanks to the Foundation’s long history of funding animal health research, veterinarians and wildlife managers have better diagnostics, treatments and even some cures for diseases and other health challenges for animals in their care and in the field.
As Morris Animal Foundation continues its journey, it remains committed to improving the health and well-being of animals around the world through scientific research, training new veterinary researchers and continued advancements in veterinary medicine.