Off the Leash Off the Leash

Puppy alerts boy’s mom to danger.

By Vetstreet Oct 11, 2013 3:31PM

TaterTot is being credited with saving 4-year-old Peyton from a dangerous dip in his blood sugar level. / KMSP-TVIt didn’t take TaterTot long to earn a special place in the hearts of a Minneapolis family. Just days after Christi Smith brought the 10-month-old pit bull home as a foster, he detected a life-threatening drop in her son’s blood sugar level.

Smith says it was the middle of the night on Oct. 2 when TaterTot, who had been close to being put down when Smith took him in, alerted her that something wasn’t right with her 4-year-old son, Peyton Anderson. The pup tried to wake Peyton up by licking him and jumping on him.

"He kept on whining and barking and running between the two of us," Smith said. "I checked on him, and he was barely breathing."


Study: Pet obesity a growing epidemic.

By Vetstreet Oct 10, 2013 3:24PM

Otmar Smit/Getty ImagesIt’s time to get Fido of the couch.

Recent data from Banfield Pet Hospital shows that, compared with data from five years ago, overweight dogs have become 37 percent more prevalent while overweight cats have become a whopping 90 percent more prevalent.


Study aims to understand how cats live alongside humans and other felines.

By Vetstreet Oct 9, 2013 3:49PM

Zhenikeyev/Getty ImagesYou may think you’ve made inroads by getting your reluctant cat to let you pet him. But, an international group of researchers says that what’s a happy moment for you may be a stressful experience for your cat.

Evidence from a new research study suggests that the owner's urge to pet their cat may be a stressful experience for the animal.

“Our data suggests that cats who tolerate, rather than enjoy or dislike being petted, seem to be the most stressed,” said Daniel Mills, a professor of veterinary behavioral medicine at the University of Lincoln in the U.K.


Endangered otter a first for Asia.

By Vetstreet Oct 7, 2013 3:23PM

An endangered giant river otter pup was born in Asia in August. / Wildlife Reserves SingaporeA giant river otter — the world’s largest and rarest otter — was born on Aug. 10 at River Safari in Singapore, the zoo has announced.

The male pup’s birth marks a first for a zoo in Asia. The pup weighed 3.5 pounds at birth and was nearly 2 feet long. Native to South American rivers, the otters can measure to 6 feet long and weigh 75 pounds when they’re full grown.


Research on what's killing the animals has stalled

By Vetstreet Oct 4, 2013 3:14PM

With an “unusual mortality event” on track to kill a record number of bottlenose dolphins on the East Coast, the government shutdown is threatening to stall research on what’s been killing the animals. So far, 600 dolphins have died. In 1987 and 1988, 700 bottlenoses were lost in the last major dolphin die-off.

James Sullivan, Reuters "If this [shutdown] runs into weeks and longer, we're talking about significant impacts to our ability to investigate this mortality event," said Mark Swingle, director of research and conservation at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center. The researchers have been left without enough scientists to study all of the deceased dolphins because of the shutdown. — Read it at NBC News

Image: James Sullivan/Reuters

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They're soooo cuuuuute

By Vetstreet Oct 4, 2013 3:07PM

Baby pandas, courtesy of Atlanta ZooThis month, the Zoo Atlanta pandas cubs will turn 100 days old. In Chinese tradition, that’s when their births are celebrated, and they get their names! On Thursday, the zoo revealed the five pairs of names that it’s selected for the fluffy baby boys, who are the first set of panda twins born in the U.S. to survive. They’ll be putting the names to a public vote through ABC’s Good Morning America beginning on Wednesday. The choices include: Mei Lun (may loon) and Mei Hua (may hwaa), meaning “Lun Lun’s twin cubs born in the U.S.;” Mei Lun (may loon) and Mei Huan (may hwaan), from a Chinese idiom that means “something indescribably beautiful and magnificent;” Tian Lun (tee-an loon) and Tian Le (tee-an luh), a modified version of a Chinese idiom meaning “joy of family life” or “family happiness;” Lan Tian (lan tee-an) and Bi Shui (bee shway), meaning “blue sky and clear water;” and Da Lan (dah lan) and Xiao Lan (sheow lan), meaning “bigger one” (a reference to the larger Cub B) and “smaller one” (Cub A). — Watch it at Good Morning America and follow the zoo on Facebook or Twitter to get voting details

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Meet Sundance, the one-eyed dog who was redeemed this week

By Vetstreet Oct 3, 2013 6:12PM

Sundance the dog//Eliza Wiley, Independent RecordIn April, we told you the story of Sundance, the 12-year-old Golden Retriever who helped himself to five $100 bills that he found tucked away in his owners’ car when they stopped to eat dinner on a drive from Montana to Colorado at Christmas time. (Sundance, who has expensive taste, left a $1 bill behind). Owner Wayne Klinkel spent his vacation following the dog around, using gloved hands to collect pieces of the bills and wash them after Sundance passed them. Then, he pieced them back together as best he could and sent them to the U.S. Treasury Department in April, asking to be reimbursed. On Monday, he opened his mail to discover a check for the full $500. “I gave Sundance a pat, showed it to him and told him not to eat it,” Klinkel said. — Read it at Montana’s Independent Record

Image: Eliza Wiley / Independent Record

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The government shutdown doesn't affect this one

By Vetstreet Oct 2, 2013 4:59PM

Panda at Atlanta ZooOne of the flashiest headlines to come out of the federal government’s shutdown has been the temporary closure of the National Zoo and its Panda Cam. (The zoo has a 1-month-old panda cub.) Other zoos around the country have been getting questions about their status. Because they’re not affected by the federal government, many zoos are posting on Facebook to ensure customers that they are open for business. And Zoo Atlanta reminds you that you can still watch their adorable 2 ½-month-old panda cub twins on their cam. Meanwhile, the animals at the National Zoo are still being cared for — and they may even be enjoying the unusual peace and quiet.

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