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Is Secondhand Smoke Killing Your Cat?

Recent studies confirm Dr. Sullivan’s assertion, warning that secondhand smoke may lead to deadly diseases in your cat. So if personal health risks haven’t compelled you and your houseguests to quit smoking yet, there is a new incentive: the well-being of your cat.

Consider the Dangers
The health risks associated with inhaling secondhand smoke have proved to be just as worrisome for cats as they are for people. But unlike you, your cat doesn’t have the choice to escape the environment to get fresher air, says Shera Dickie, DVM, of St. Julian’s Cat Care, in Dearborn, Mich. What’s more, pollutants from the smoky air collect on your pet’s coat. Since cats are meticulous groomers, they can easily ingest these harmful substances as they lick their fur.

According to a Swedish study cited by Dr. Dickie, “six out of seven cats that lived in a smoking home had pathological changes in their lungs.” These changes foretold the emergence of cancer for the majority of the cats. Here are a few other diseases your cat runs the risk of developing if regularly exposed to secondhand smoke:

Malignant Lymphoma
This aggressive type of cancer occurs in the lymph nodes and can be fatal. In fact, “Three out of four cats with this disease are dead within a year of diagnosis,” says Dr. Dickie. Cats living with smokers are twice as likely to get this disease, and the risk elevates with increased exposure.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma
This type of cancer plagues a cat’s mouth. A study conducted at Tufts College of Veterinary Medicine found there is a higher incidence of this illness among cats living with smokers for more than five years.

Nicotine Poisoning
Feline explorers drawn to unknown objects, like a forgotten cigarette butt, are especially threatened by nicotine poisoning. The affliction occurs when a cat ingests tobacco. Cigarette butts contain much harmful nicotine – about 25 percent of the nicotine of a whole cigarette – so even a small cigarette butt can lead to the death of a cat.

Asthma
Cats exposed to secondhand smoke are not only more susceptible to asthma, but they also “tend to heal slower from respiratory diseases, such as viral infections and pneumonia,” notes Dr. Sullivan. Increased coughing and breathing difficulty is a possible sign that your kitty suffers around secondhand smoke.

What Can You Do Now?
Proactive, responsible owners have many options to protect their cat from secondhand smoke. But how do you do that if you can’t quit smoking so easily? Here are

Designate Smoke-Free Areas
Consider smoking outside, or smoke only in rooms that pets are not allowed in. The less the exposure, the greater the chances your cat will stay healthy.

Use Air Filters
Air filters may help clean the environment, removing harmful chemicals in the air that could block your kitty’s respiratory passage.

Clean Your Pet And Your House
Regular baths, or at the very least wipe-downs with a damp cloth, can help remove smoke residue from cat fur, says Dr. Dickie. Vacuum and keep all cigarette butts, tobacco products and even nicotine patches out of sight to prevent accidental illness, poisoning or even death.

Look For Symptoms
Excessive drooling or difficulty eating are symptoms of oral cancer, while labored breathing is a sign of lung cancer. Observe your cat frequently, since catching diseases early on always helps with treatment. If something is out of the ordinary, contact your veterinarian immediately.

The best solution of all? Quitting if you’re a smoker – and encouraging cigarette-carrying visitors to do the same. In the words of Dr. Dickie: “Why expose your beloved furry friend to a potentially preventable disease?”

by Natalia Macrynikola

Source:  Pet People’s Place

(These same dangers apply for any and all animals and pets, especally indoor or house pets that are regularly exposed!)

Posted:  Just One More Pet

May 22, 2009 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cloner’s Ark: Ten Notable Cloned Animals

 

Researchers in Dubai made news this week by announcing the arrival of the world’s first cloned camel, a singular achievement in a region where top racing camels are prized.

Iran followed two days later with the birth of the country’s first cloned goat, though many other cloned goats have been born elsewhere.

Most cloned mammals now lead regular lives, but as recently as 10 years ago they often died young of lung malformations, a problem that appears to have been largely overcome. Healthy cloned dogs and cats are the most recent significant achievements.

Many researchers are getting closer and closer to human cloning by trying to clone monkeys.

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, all attempts at cloning monkeys from adult donor cells have failed, with one researcher deeming the resulting embryos “a gallery of horrors.” (Splitting newly formed regular monkey embryos does work, but that can be seen as just inducing natural twins.)

The following is a list of significant animal species cloned from adult cells, in chronological order — plus one that’s even more remarkable.

Frog: The first amphibians cloned from adult cells were made in 1962 by John Gurdon, a British biologist at Cambridge University. His experiments showed that cloning adults was theoretically possible (clones made from embryonic cells had been created a decade earlier).

But his tadpoles didn’t survive to full adulthood, and it wasn’t until years later that he was able to get cloned frogs that lived full lives.

Carp: Way back in 1963, a Chinese researcher named Tong Dizhou apparently created the world’s first cloned fish when he transferred the genetic material from an adult male Asian carp into a carp egg, which developed and was born normally, and even sired children.

But since his work took place behind the “Bamboo Curtain” at the height of the Cold War, Tong’s achievements went unheralded in the West. He died in 1979.

Sheep: The famous Dolly was born on July 5, 1996, in Edinburgh, Scotland, the first known mammal of any species to be cloned from an adult donor. She was the only one of 277 cloned embryos to survive.

She quickly became a media sensation, yet went on to live a short but quiet life, bearing six lambs naturally. Cloned cattle, genetically similar to sheep, followed within the next year.

In February 2003, suffering from a virus-borne form of lung cancer common among sheep, Dolly was put to sleep. Some experts wondered whether she was already “old” at birth, due to her genes coming from an adult animal, but her creators disputed that.

Goat: The world’s first cloned goat was born on June 16, 2000, the result of work by scientists at Northwest University of Agriculture and Forestry Science and Technology in Xi’an, China. Unfortunately, the kid, nicknamed “Yuanyuan,” died after a day and a half from lung defects.

On June 22, 2000, another cloned goat was born in the same facility. Named “Yangyang,” she lived at least six years and had kids, grandkids and great-grandkids.

Housecat: CC, or Copy Cat, the world’s first cloned domestic cat, was born Dec. 22, 2001 on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Though she was the clone of a calico, her surrogate mother was a tabby, and CC’s coloring was a mixture of the two.

She currently lives in the household of one the scientists who worked to create her and has had naturally conceived kittens of her own.

White-tailed deer: The same Texas A&M team responsible for CC the cloned cat also created the world’s first cloned deer, which was born on May 23, 2003. Dubbed “Dewey,” he was cloned from a dead buck. Three years later, he became the father of female triplets, who were conceived the old-fashioned way.

Horse: Five days after Dewey, the world’s first cloned horse was born in Italy. A female named “Prometea” — presumably after Prometheus, the god who gave man fire in Greek mythology — news reports from the time indicate she was healthy.

Dog: Snuppy, an Afghan hound born April 24, 2005, was the world’s first cloned dog. He was created by a team led by Korean genetics researcher Hwang Woo-suk, who also claimed to have cloned human stem cells, later found to be untrue; Snuppy was the sole part of Hwang’s work that was untainted.

Snuppy has since fathered 10 puppies through artificial insemination of two cloned female dogs.

Pyrenean ibex: The world’s first extinct mammal to be “resurrected” was a subspecies of the more widespread Spanish ibex, or mountain goat. The last known Pyrenean ibex was found dead in early 2000, but tissue samples that had been taken when it was alive led to a joint Spanish-French cloning program.

After hundreds of failed attempts, a live Pyrenean ibex was born in January 2009, for the first time in more than a decade. The surrogate mother was a domestic goat. But the achievement was short-lived; the kid died 9 minutes after birth due to malformed lungs.

Camel: Injaz, the world’s first cloned camel, was born April 8, 2009 in Dubai, one of the United Arab Emirates. Her name means “achievement” in Arabic, and she likely won’t be the last cloned camel, as camel racing is very popular in the Gulf states and certain animals are prized.

However, Injaz won’t ever get to know her older “twin” — the donor animal was slaughtered for its meat in 2005.

And last but far from least:

Fatherless mouse: Japanese researchers went beyond cloning in 2004 to create the world’s first fatherless mammal.

The mouse, nicknamed Kaguya, was born in 2004 and was a “parthenote” — she literally had two mommies. Genetic material from two mouse eggs was modified and combined so that one “fertilized” the other.

Kaguya has almost certainly died of old age since, but bore at least one litter of naturally conceived pups.

Source:  Fox News

Posted:  Just One More Pet

May 22, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dachshund Adopts Tiger Cub At German Zoo

A tiger cub was adopted by a wirehaired dachshund at a small zoo in Germany

A tiger cub born last weekend at Germany’s Stroehen Zoo has already experienced the loss of two mother figures in its short life.  The cub was rejected by its mother shortly after its birth.  Things began looking up when the cub was adopted by Monster, a wirehaired dachshund that belonged to the zoo’s owners.  Then Monster also died (read below).

After Monster’s death, his daughter Bessi (shown here with the cub) took over mothering duties — indeed, a zoo representative said she “fell in love” with the infant and has proved a capable guardian.

More photos of Bessi and her as-yet-unnamed charge after the jump!

A tiger cub was adopted by a wirehaired dachshund at a small zoo in Germany

A tiger cub was adopted by a wirehaired dachshund at a small zoo in Germany

— Associated Press

German tiger cub loses second “mother” in three days

Stroehen, Germany – A tiger cub born in a German zoo at the weekend and rejected by its mother has experienced a further tragedy, as a dachshund which adopted the newborn was run over by a postman’s van, the zoo reported Wednesday.

‘We are totally shocked, he only wanted to go out to do his business,’ said Almuth Ismer, of the dog’s death. Ismer is the tiger cub’s carer at Stroehen Zoo in Lower Saxony.

The nine-year-old dog, named Monster, had shown great affection in caring for the tiger cub, which was twice its size.

The fatal accident happened Tuesday afternoon on a gravel path outside the home of the Ismer family. The only vehicle to frequent the quiet road was the daily post delivery, zoo director Nils Ismer said.

The dog appeared not to have seen the vehicle, as he was healthy and ‘always responded to his name,’ Ismer said.

The tiger cub has now been adopted by Monster’s one-year-old daughter Bessi, which ‘fell in love’ with the young predator after the death of its father, the zoo said.

It was unusual for such a young dog to develop maternal instincts, the zoo added. It is not uncommon, however, for dogs to adopt and raise other animals.

The German public had previously been captivated by the similarly tragic tale of Knut the polar bear, whose mother also rejected him shortly after birth. The unfortunate ursus then lost his human keeper to a heart attack, but retained his media stardom.

 

Posted:  Just One More Pet

May 22, 2009 Posted by | animals, Animals Adopting Animals, Just One More Pet, On The Lighter Side, Pet Friendship and Love, Success Stories, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment