Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

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Tag Archive for ‘dog’

Do negative facial expressions impact dogs?

As a dog owner, it seems to me as if my canine pal understands when I am happy or mad. But, is that seeming awareness due to my facial expressions or the tone of my voice? In a new study published in Behavioural Processes, researchers at the University of Lincoln and University of Sao Paulo attempted to unravel this mystery of how angry or happy human facial expressions might make […]

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Evidence your dog may be red-green color blind

You would think that Thanksgiving is already over when visiting most stores as there are Christmas decorations and merchandise everywhere. Reds and greens are popular colors for Christmas decorations and dog toys. However, a new study suggests that your dog may be red-green color blind. The study examined the ability of dogs to detect colors by exposing animals to a colored image on a screen and measuring the eye, head […]

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Is your pet overweight?

A new study conducted by the Banfield Pet Hospital (Vancouver, Washington) reports that as many as 1 in 3 dogs and cats living in the United States are overweight. The study was based on data collected by Banfield veterinary clinics on 2.5 million dogs and half a million cats over the past year. Obesity in pets was not related to the weight status of their owners. In fact, overweight pets were less prevalent in states whose populations […]

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Walking your dog is good for your health, and theirs

A new study shows that walking your dog is good for your health. Here is a YouTube video summarizing the findings of the study: Let’s not forget that walking your dog is also very good for your dog. According to PetMD, some benefits include weight control, keeping your dog limber, controlling destructive behaviors and hyperactivity, and of course building a bond between you and your pet. If you have a […]

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Discovering markers of kidney disease at earlier stages in dogs

Proteins are not normally found in the urine of healthy individuals as the filtering units of the kidney prevent the loss of large proteins and smaller ones are typically reabsorbed. A team of researchers at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil and Ohio State University recently searched for biomarkers indicative of early stages of kidney disease in dogs. They discovered that the urine of dogs in stages 1 or […]

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Blood biomarker of heart disease discovered in dogs

The mitral valve is located between the left atrium and left ventricle of the heart where it serves an important role in preventing backflow of blood into the left atrium as the ventricle contracts. Mitral valve prolapse, a condition that occurs in humans, is characterized by regurgitation of blood into the left atrium, which receives blood from the lungs. Hence, this condition can lead to congestive heart failure as blood backs up in the […]

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Obesity gene found in Labrador retrievers

Researchers at the University of Cambridge in Britain recently studied ‘willpower’ in pet Labrador retrievers. After allowing each dog to smell a hot dog, the researchers placed the hot dog in a hamster cage and sealed it shut with duct tape. While some dogs showed only mild interest in the sealed-up hot dog, others were fixated on the out-of-reach treat. One dog, named Ash, broke apart the contraption to obtain the treat. This […]

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‘GMAs’? Genetically modified animals

Researchers in China are exploring the use of gene-editing technologies to create customized animals. Take for example research at the Shaanxi Provincial Engineering and Technology Research Center for Shaanbei Cashmere Goats where animals have been genetically-modified to have longer hair (i.e. more wool) and more muscles (i.e. meat). This was accomplished using the relatively new technology CRISPR-Cas9 developed in the United States that allows researchers to cut out a piece of DNA from embryos. Chinese scientists […]

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Catnip for dogs?

A reader asked if there was an herb equivalent to catnip for dogs. In my search for the answer to that question, I came across many articles claiming that although some dogs will actually respond to catnip, aniseed is to dogs what catnip is to cats. Foxhounds will reportedly follow the scent of anise oil in drag hunting and the artificial rabbit that greyhound dogs chase during racing is laced […]

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