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ScienceDaily: Dog News 

Lemurs match scent of a friend to sound of her voice

Scientists report that ring-tailed lemurs respond more strongly to the scents and sounds of female lemurs when the scent they smell and the voice they hear belong to the same female -- even when she's nowhere in sight. Linking a particular female's call with her unique aroma gives the lemurs a way to figure out if she is nearby, since the scents tend to linger.

Dog ownership benefits families of children with autism

Dog ownership decisions in families of children with autism have been studied in a new project. Researchers have found, regardless of whether they owned dogs, the parents of these children reported the benefits of dog ownership included companionship, stress relief and opportunities for their children to learn responsibility.

Wolves at the door: Study finds recent wolf-dog hybridization in Caucasus region

Hybridization of wolves with shepherd dogs in the Caucasus region might be more common, and more recent, than previously thought, according to new research. Scientists found recent hybrid ancestry in about ten percent of the dogs and wolves sampled. About two to three percent of the sampled wolves and dogs were identified as first-generation hybrids.

Can animals really help people in hospitals, aged care?

While many people have an opinion on whether animals can help to improve well-being and care for patients in hospitals, does anyone really know whether there are benefits both for the patients and the animals themselves? Not according to a team of researchers that has conducted a worldwide review of all studies looking at the impact of "animal interventions" in healthcare settings for children.

'I can haz blood?' The surprising world of pet blood transfusions

Don Juan, Napoleon, Gucci, Azur, and Marissa are very friendly and will rush to welcome anyone who enters their room, and that’s what makes them good blood donors. “I chose them for their hematological characteristics, but also for their good disposition. We didn’t want cats that would be stressed when handled or that needed excessive sedation,” said Dr. Marie-Claude Blais, Professor at the Univer

Cleft palate discovery in dogs to aid in understanding human birth defect

Discovery of a genetic mutation that causes a form of cleft palate in a retriever breed provides the first dog model for this craniofacial defect and offers a tool for better understanding cleft palate in humans. Although cleft palate is one of the most common birth defects in children, affecting approximately one in 1,500 live human births in the United States, it is not completely understood.

Undocked working dogs at greatest risk of tail injuries in Scotland

Undocked working dogs in Scotland are at greatest risk of tail injuries, indicates a survey of their owners. Of 2860 working dogs, 13.5% sustained at least one tail injury during the 2010/11 shooting season. But undocked spaniels (56.6%) and hunt point retrievers (38.5%) were at greatest risk.

Dog walking attitudes: Stoop to scoop the poop?

Most dog walkers are happy and even proud to bag and bin their dog's waste, some might leave waste if they are off the beaten track or in more rural locations, while a small proportion of dog walkers are totally disengaged from the idea that picking up their dog waste is the "right thing to do". Researchers looked at what factors influence dog walker behavior and how those who do not do the right

Veterinary diagnosticians using test to determine severity of new dog disease

A molecular diagnostician uses newly developed test to determine if a the dog circovirus is deadly. Canine circovirus, also called dog circovirus, was discovered in 2012; however, researchers are still trying to determine the severity of the disease.

Attention changes in the course of a dog's life mirror those of humans

Dogs are known to be 'Man's best friend'. No other pet has adjusted to human lifestyles as well as this four-legged animal. Scientists have been the first to investigate the evolution of dogs' attentiveness in the course of their lives and to what extent they resemble humans in this regard. The outcome: dogs' attentional and sensorimotor control developmental trajectories are very similar to those

Ancient African cattle first domesticated in Middle East, study reveals

The genetic history of 134 cattle breeds from around the world has been completed by a group of researchers. In the process of completing this history, they found that ancient domesticated African cattle originated in the 'Fertile Crescent,' a region that covered modern day Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Israel.

Mosquito season unpredictable; year-round heartworm prevention is best

Mosquito season is as unpredictable as Kansas's weather. A veterinarian warns that year-round heartworm prevention is only safe way to protect pets. It only takes one or two worms to cause significant harm to a cat and unlike dogs, there is no treatment for heartworm once cats are infected, the veterinarian states.

Sometimes less is more for hungry dogs

Hungry dogs would be expected to choose alternatives leading to more food rather than less food. But just as with humans and monkeys, they sometimes show a 'less is more' effect. Thus conclude scientists who tested the principle by feeding baby carrots and string cheese to 10 dogs of various breeds.

Dog DNA has role in developing new therapies for human cancers

Using genomic analysis to study cancer in dogs can help develop new therapies for humans with cancer, according to a proof-of-concept study underway. Pure-breed dogs, whose genetics have been standardized by hundreds of years of human intervention, provide highly predictable genetic models from which specific drugs are matched to the molecular profiles of human patients. While there are, relativel

Scent of the familiar: You may linger like perfume in your dog's brain

An area of the canine brain associated with reward responds more strongly to the scents of familiar humans than it does to the scents of other humans, or even to those of familiar dogs. This is among the first brain-imaging studies of dogs responding to biological odors. When humans smell the perfume or cologne of someone they love, they may have an immediate, emotional reaction that's not necessa

How the science of deer hunting can help patients with diabetes

Body odor is a deer hunter’s worst enemy, an alert to animals that an ominous presence is lurking, but the science behind suppressing it to give hunters an edge oddly enough could help researchers develop a life-saving device for diabetes patients. Scientists have now presented the latest advances that tie together these two seemingly unrelated fronts.

Preserving large carnivores in ecosystem requires multifaceted approach

Social species, such as the African wild dog, require strict participation from group members to be successful. This strategy can enhance fitness benefits for the group, but also a higher critical threshold for extinction. Awareness of life history needs to guide management strategy. "Failure to consider the impacts of group dynamics may result in underestimation of critical threshold population s

New structure in dogs' eye linked to blinding retinal diseases

Vision scientists report that dogs have an area of their retina that strongly resembles the human fovea. What's more, this retinal region is susceptible to genetic blinding diseases in dogs just as it is in humans.

Doggy agility: are emotions thwarting performance?

With Crufts fast approaching, and canine agility in the spotlight, researchers ask if right and left-sided brain function and stimuli affect canine performance. There is a long established and debated human right brain/left brain theory: does lateralization of brain function affect dogs too? Their study reveals fascinating insights into workings of the canine brain.

Study reveals how dogs detect explosives, offers new training recommendations

Researchers have helped determine the science behind how canines locate explosives such as Composition C-4 (a plastic explosive used by the US military). The study found the dogs react best to the actual explosive, calling into question the use of products designed to mimic the odor of C-4 for training purposes.

Warm weather in Texas means watch out for snakes, says expert

Visiting your zip code very soon: snakes, and perhaps plenty of them. With warm temperatures and upcoming spring rainfall, experts say it’s getting that time of year when snakes are on the prowl, or at least on the slither. With Texas a ground zero for many snake populations, people and pets should be aware that snakes are out and about, says an expert regarding the creatures.

Human and dog brains both have dedicated 'voice areas'

The first study to compare brain function between humans and any non-primate animal shows that dogs have dedicated voice areas in their brains, just as people do. Dog brains, like those of people, are also sensitive to acoustic cues of emotion, according to a new study.

Endangered black-footed ferret and its plague-impacted prey need new conservation approaches

The black-footed ferret is one of the most endangered mammals in North America, but new research suggests that these charismatic critters can persist if conservationists think big enough.

Cheaper, more efficient method for detecting leishmaniosis developed

Leishmaniosis is a parasitic disease mostly afflicting dogs, but in impoverished countries it affects over 12 million humans, of whom 70,000 lose their lives every year. Researchers have developed a new method of detecting the illness in animals, based on a single hair sample, and saves a significant amount of money, time and human resources when compared with current combined methods of diagnosis

Debilitating effects of disease on toy dog breeds uncovered

A new study has identified the specific effect Chiari malformation has on the shape of a dog’s skull and brain. This condition has become prevalent as a result of selective breeding and affects many toy dog breeds which have been bred to look more doll-like, including Griffon Bruxellois, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Chihuahuas and their crosses.

Tibetan mastiffs equally adapted to high altitudes of Tibet

In a new study published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution, author Dong-Dong Wu, et. al., explored the genetic basis of high-altitude adaptation of Tibetan Mastiffs, which were originally domesticated from the Chinese native dogs of the plains. Overall, they identified more than 120,000 SNPs, and in their analysis, narrowed these down to 16 genes that have undergone positive selection

Smaller meals more times per day may curb obesity in cats

Just as with people, feline obesity is most often linked to excessive food intake or not enough physical activity. Attempts to cut back on calories alone often result in failed weight loss or weight regain in both people and their pets.

Delist gray wolf from threatened and endangered list? Panel issues report on science

As the Endangered Species Act celebrated its 40th anniversary at the end of 2013, its administrative agency, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, was mired in controversy. At issue was a proposal to remove the gray wolf (Canis lupus) from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and add the Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi).

Protein found to be associated with canine hereditary ataxia

Researchers have found a link between a mutation in a gene called RAB 24 and an inherited neurodegenerative disease in Old English sheepdogs and Gordon setters. The findings may help further understanding of neurodegenerative diseases and identify new treatments for both canine and human sufferers.

Fitness study pairs dogs with seniors

Researchers have designed an exercise study to see if exercising with dogs yields better health outcomes.

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