∙ SPAN Thrift Store is now open to the public and looking for donations of adult clothing, household items and tools. SPAN Thrift Store regularly provides $10 spays and neuters for low income households with cats and dogs.
Upcoming clinics: Free spay and neuter cat clinic: Monday, July 18th at the Albert H. Soliz Library – El Rio, 2820 Jourdan St., Oxnard, 93036, and dog and cats on Tuesday, July 27th at Shiells Park in the parking lot at 649 C St., Fillmore, 93015.
∙ Research confirms what dog lovers know — every pup is truly an individual.
Many of the popular stereotypes about the behavior of golden retrievers, poodles or schnauzers, for example, aren’t supported by science, according to a new study. “There is a huge amount of behavioral variation in every breed, and at the end of the day, every dog really is an individual,” said study co-author and University of Massachusetts geneticist Elinor Karlsson.
She said pet owners love to talk about their dog’s personality, as illustrated by some owners at a New York dog park.Elizabeth Kelly said her English springer spaniel was “friendly, but she’s also kind of the queen bee.” Suly Ortiz described her yellow Lab as “really calm, lazy and shy.”
And Rachel Kim’s mixed-breed dog is “a lot of different dogs, personality wise — super independent, really affectionate with me and my husband, but pretty, pretty suspicious of other people, other dogs.”
That kind of enthusiasm from pet owners inspired Karlsson’s latest scientific inquiry. She wanted to know to what extent are behavioral patterns inherited — and how much are dog breeds associated with distinctive and predictable behaviors?
The answer: While physical traits such as a greyhound’s long legs or a Dalmatian’s spots are clearly inherited, breed is not a strong predictor of any individual dog’s personality.
The researchers’ work, published in the journal Science, marshals a massive dataset to reach these conclusions — the most ever compiled, said Adam Boyko, a geneticist at Cornell University, who was not involved in the study.
∙ HealthDay News- Dogs may be famous meat lovers, but canines who follow a vegan diet might be a bit healthier, a new survey suggests.
British and Australian researchers found that dogs on vegan diets (one without animal products or byproducts) tended to have fewer health problems, based on their guardians’ reports, than those who ate “conventional” meat-based products. Owners in the vegan group reported lower rates of obesity, digestive troubles, arthritis and issues with eye and ear health.
Overall, 70% rated their vegan canine companion as “healthy,” versus 55% of owners whose dogs ate conventional dog food.
Those numbers, however, do not prove vegan diets are healthier for dogs, according to veterinary nutritionists who reviewed the findings. “This is really a study of owners’ perceptions,” said Dr. Julie Churchill, a professor of veterinary nutrition at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.
It’s very likely, Churchill noted, that “pet parents” who give their dogs a vegan diet are themselves vegan. That complicates the survey results for a number of reasons.
Because those individuals believe veganism is the healthiest diet choice, they may see their dogs as healthier. Beyond that, Churchill said, vegan humans probably have generally healthier lifestyles — including more physical activity for themselves and their dogs.
In general, evidence is lacking that vegan dog foods actually help dogs live longer, healthier lives, said Dr. Joseph Wakshlag, a professor at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Like Churchill, he said the current findings may reflect the perceptions and lifestyles of the humans surveyed, rather than effects of their dogs’ diets.
Overall, half of respondents in the conventional-diet group said their dog had some type of health issue, versus 43% of those who used raw meat, and 36% in the vegan group.
Dogs eating raw meat made fewer visits to the vet. But that does not necessarily mean they were healthier, all three veterinarians stressed.Vets generally warn against giving dogs raw meat, because of the risk of contamination with pathogens. So people in that raw-meat group may have tended to shun veterinarians’ advice, the experts said.
∙ Officials with the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine said in response to questions that they have been reviewing scientific literature regarding the role and amount of copper in dog foods for the past year.
Anne Norris, spokesperson for the CVM, said the FDA has received some reports of dogs that developed liver disease with suspected links to excess dietary copper. Those complaints have been uncommon, and evidence suggests some dog breeds have genetic predispositions for diseases that affect their ability to metabolize copper.
“The FDA has been reviewing the relevant facts and current scientific literature to assess whether regulatory intervention is appropriate,” she said. “As part of its assessment, FDA scientists are looking at the level of copper in the food, the physiology of the particular animal the food is intended for, how much of the food the animal is likely to eat over the course of a lifetime, and other potential exposures that might add to the animal’s overall dose.
“We are aware of some papers on the topic of copper toxicosis in dogs and will continue to track this issue as the veterinary community advances its understanding.”
Norris said CVM and AAFCO officials have discussed establishing a maximum amount of copper in dog food. In the absence of such a limit, manufacturers remain subject to a regulatory principle that no more of an ingredient should be used than is necessary to provide the intended effect.
“For copper-containing ingredients, this would be no more than is needed to meet the animals’ nutritional requirements,” she said.
Dr. Valerie J. Parker is a professor of small animal internal medicine and nutrition at The Ohio State University. She is an internal medicine specialist and nutritionist and is not connected with the work by Dr. Center and Dr. Wakshlag. She thinks the February 2021 JAVMA commentary made a valid point that it’s worth considering how much copper is in pet foods, whether that amount is justified, and whether it should be lowered.
Dr. Parker said it’s unclear whether dog food generally contains too much copper, though, since the amount can vary by tenfold or sometimes even thirtyfold between two products. She said the low-copper diets available today tend to be general formulations for dogs with liver diseases, including liver failure or hepatic encephalopathy.
“The lowest-copper commercially available diets are not necessarily diets that you would want to feed a 2-year-old otherwise healthy dog because they are lower in protein,” Dr. Parker said. (HealthDay News) — Chasing light shimmers reflected onto a wall. Obsessive licking or chewing. Compulsive barking and whining. Pacing or tail chasing.