Animal bites point out rabies shot importance

By Jennifer Emert, WALB News

Two cases of rabies in Worth County have health officials warning you to vaccinate your pets.

In the two separate cases, dogs fought with raccoons that turned out to have rabies.

The dogs were protected because their vaccinations were up to date. Health officials say pet owners need to be aware that rabies is in our wild animal population.

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Once-a-month Pill For Both Fleas And Ticks In Dogs And Cats

Science Daily

Scientists are describing discovery and successful tests of the first once-a-month pill for controlling both fleas and ticks in domestic dogs and cats.

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New Flu Vaccine Approved — for Dogs

By Donald G. McNeil Jr., The New York Times

There is a new flu virus going around. It initially looked quite lethal, and caused panic. Now it is clear that it has killed relatively few victims — and many of those have underlying conditions. It is particularly dangerous to be the possessor of a pushed-in nose — that is, to be a Pekingese, a pug or a Shi-Tzu.

It is the H3N8 dog flu. The virus, scientists believe, jumped from horses to dogs at least five years ago, but it has never infected a human.

Last week, the United States Department of Agriculture announced that it had approved the first vaccine for it.

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Palladia, Pfizer’s Cancer Drug for Dogs, Approved by FDA

By Jacob Goldstein, The Wall Street Journal Health Blog

In a sign of several things — people’s willingness to spend money on their pets, the promise of targeted therapies for cancer, the drug industry’s push to expand multiple revenue streams — the FDA for the first time approved a cancer drug for dogs.

Palladia, a Pfizer drug, is approved for treating advanced mast cell tumors, a common form of cancer in dogs. In a study of 150 dogs, tumors shrank or disappeared in 43% of those that received the drug, compared with 8% of those who received a placebo. The study didn’t look at whether the drug extended the dogs’ lives, and side effects included vomiting and diharrea, said Cheryl London a vet oncologist at Ohio State who conducted early-stage research on the drug.

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Antibiotic ban on livestock may hurt U.S. food safety

By Christopher Doering, Reuters

A bill that would ban the nontherapeutic use of antibiotics in animals would hurt the health of livestock and poultry while compromising efforts to protect the safety of the country’s food supply, the leader of the largest U.S. farm group said on Tuesday.

Bob Stallman, president of the 6 million-member American Farm Bureau Federation, said in a letter to Congress that its members “carefully, judiciously and according to label instructions” use antibiotics to treat, prevent and control disease in animals.

“Antibiotic use in animals does not pose a serious public health threat,” said Stallman, who urged lawmakers to oppose the bill. “Restricting access to these important tools will jeopardize animal health and compromise our ability to contribute to public health through food safety” he added.

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Self-proclaimed experts expounding on antimicrobial use in food animals

By Mike Apley, Beef Magazine

More and more, I run into self-proclaimed experts expounding on antimicrobial use in food animals. I don’t suggest the food-animal industry doesn’t have a few issues to deal with, but a large proportion of what I see is based on data the reporter/activist doesn’t understand or is flat-out false.

For instance, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) put out a 2001 “report” entitled “Hogging it! Estimates of Antimicrobial Abuse in Livestock.” It’s still quoted to hugely inflate values for percent of animal antibiotics used for growth promotion and the percent of total U.S. antibiotic production used for growth promotion and in food animals in general.

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