At the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in New Orleans, double-blind lab tests have shown how two canines can correctly pick out the scent of children infected with malaria parasites seventy percent of the time. While all the schoolchildren appeared healthy, blood tests administered on-site discovered that thirty children were actually carrying the disease. This work is just a proof of concept, but the hope is that one day bio-detection dogs could be deployed at airports, ports of entry, or other border crossings, in order to prevent asymptomatic carriers of the parasite that causes malaria from bringing it back into areas where the disease has been eradicated.
The work was funded by a $100,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has made malaria a priority in recent years. In their facilities an hour outside of London, human trainers place a few drops of a standard training liquid into small glass jars. The dogs are instructed to walk down the line, pausing to sniff each one. If they stop at the new smell a trainer croons, “That’s it, good dog.” The dogs eventually learn that if they stop, sit, and point at the right jar, they will get a treat.
• Some specialist toothpastes for human-use contain ingredients which are unsafe for pets, for example xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is very poisonous to dogs. Chewable treats and bespoke dental diets aimed at preventing plaque hardening are recommended as alternatives.
More than half of the dog owners surveyed by OnePoll said they thought bad breath was normal, rather than a symptom of poor dental health. Some admitted giving their dog chewing gum when bad breath struck, while others thought a haircut would purify the scent.
There were also respondents who thought their dog’s unsavory habits might be the root cause – and sought to keep toilet lids firmly shut to stop them drinking the water.
Only a fifth of dog owners worried about bad dog breath being a sign of a serious health problem, the survey found.
Rodney Zasman, a leading London veterinary surgeon, said: “A lot of dog owners aren’t aware of how important it is to look after their dog’s dental health.”Poor care of dogs’ dental hygiene can result in complications such as dental plaque, gum disease, tooth abscesses and difficulty eating.
”Bacteria can spread from the teeth and gums causing damage to the kidneys, liver and the heart. Painful and extensive dental surgery and treatment may be needed to cure this.”
•Recently a group of Illinois veterinary students went on an unusual field trip. The board of the Human Animal Bond Association student chapter organized a trip to tour the new dog training program located at Shawnee Correctional Center (SCC) in the small town of Vienna, Ill.
SCC houses about 1800 inmates and is a medium to maximum security prison. The program called SWATT, or Shawnee Wellness Assistance Therapy Training, was started in March, 2018 and is run by Angela Galbraith in conjunction with Project Hope Humane Society of Metropolis, Ill., which supplies the dogs and the funding for their care.
A unique feature of SWATT is that, while the program helps both the inmates and the dogs, it also helps our U.S. veterans. When the dogs graduate the training program at the correctional center, they are given, free of charge, to veterans who have applied to adopt them.
The dogs receive basic obedience training from the inmates with the assistance of a professional dog trainer, who donates her services to the prison. The dogs receive their Canine Good Citizen Ready certificate and then are ready for advanced training, which involves more specialized skills and varies according to the needs of their future owners.
The dogs are taught about wheelchairs and how to properly approach people in them. They are taught about navigating stairs and elevators or retrieving items. Also, during their stay in the prison, the dogs are brought out to local veterans’ events to help acclimate them to different social situations. They visit the VA homes and attend local parades. Angela said the veterans just love when the dogs visit; the visits really brighten their day.
•A woman who bred and sold sick puppies from her Plainfield home to people across New Jersey will never own a pet in the state again, under a sentence handed down.
Suzie Bourdouvales, 38, pled guilty to two counts of third-degree animal cruelty and was sentenced to probation. She was barred for life from owning, breeding, or selling pets in New Jersey.
The New Jersey SPCA and the prosecutor’s office searched her home after a yearlong investigation and seized 19 puppies of “varying ages and medical states” that were living in “unsafe and unsanitary conditions,” Union County Assistant Prosecutor Patricia Cronin said in the release.
Authorities said Bourdouvales had hoarded dozens of sick puppies, many of which died under her care.
Many of the dogs she sold died despite their new owners’ desperate attempts to save them, officials said.
This was not her first time selling sick animals. She previously pled guilty to selling them out of her car in Plainfield in 2015, and she was ordered to pay nearly $20,000 in restitution, the prosecutor’s office said.
The dogs seized from her home were placed into the care of the Cranford-based Best Friend Dog and Animal Adoption and Traveling Paws Animal Rescue, as well as Brendan’s Meadows Rescue in Mountainside.
Bourdouvales must also pay over $30,000 in restitution to her customers, undergo a psychological evaluation, comply with all ordered treatment, and submit to periodic monitoring.
Ethel was half of a pair of Siamese sisters – her twin being Lucy (of course). Ethel was a cross-eyed little bundle of fun and the loved and loving companion of Jane Van Note for all of her sixteen years. She will be deeply missed by Jane, Lucy, Copper, Jack, Charlie, Princess, Orange, Alice, Taz and Cappi