October 29, 2014

5:49 PM | Cultural Biases: The Good Adopter
Something that has come up in a few of our lectures and in one of our Google HangOuts from the MOOC has been the idea that some people who adopt animals from shelters are motivated by the need to adopt, … Continue reading →
12:30 PM | How Does a Dog's Brain Respond to the Smell of a Familiar Human?
And what does it tell us about the importance of people to their dogs?Photo: hitmanphoto / ShutterstockNew fMRI research by Gregory Berns et al (in press) shows that dog’s brains respond differently to the smell of a familiar human compared to an unfamiliar human and other canines – suggesting that certain people are special to their dogs.The research focussed on a part of the brain called the caudate, which has been much investigated in humans, monkeys and rats. The scientists […]

Berns, G., Brooks, A. & Spivak, M. (2014). Scent of the familiar: An fMRI study of canine brain responses to familiar and unfamiliar human and dog odors, Behavioural Processes, DOI: 10.1016/j.beproc.2014.02.011

11:02 AM | Disciplinary case continues for veterinarian-turned-regulator
Budding legislation to OK nonprofits stirs controversy among veterinarians
12:00 AM | New veterinary degrees may not pay off, economists find
AVMA conference highlights debt, salary issues

October 28, 2014

3:56 PM | Dead Bird Quiz answers
Before I launch into the DBQ answers, it’s time to revisit an old quiz. Edward wrote in to say that our conclusion on a bird we featured a while back in this DBQ may have been erroneous. He writes that the bird more closely resembles a Brown Booby than the juvenile cormorant we deemed it to […]
3:45 PM | Dr. Peterson Presented with Outstanding Speaker of the Year Award
Add captionDr. Peterson was awarded the Outstanding Speaker of the Year Award on Saturday, October 11 at the New York State Veterinary Conference Celebration Dinner. The award was presented to him by the New York State Veterinary Medical Society and Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.Dr. Peterson celebrates by dancing with Jennifer Mauer of the NY State VMS. 
2:46 AM | Can prenatal stress be reversed?
I was scanning the titles of new journal articles a while back, and came across one that made me think, hey, that may be about rats, but it is totally relevant to dogs. And then I thought, why don’t I teach a class on it? Read and interpret this really interesting journal article with a group of dog trainers and dog lovers?I will be teaching the class Prenatal Stress and Anti-Depressants for APDT the week of November 18 (and you are invited to take it). This post will be used as reading […]

October 27, 2014

9:37 PM | Even Mandatory FDA Recalls Can’t Make Supplement Manufacturers Stop Lying About What’s in their Products
There is ample evidence that under the current lax regulatory system in the U.S., dietary supplements are frequently mislabeled and adulterated with pharmaceuticals, toxins, and other undesirable substances. Apart from the lack of evidence to support the claims of benefits … Continue reading →
12:15 AM | EBVM 2014: Building a Community to Advance Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine
I have just returned from one of the most exciting scientific meetings I have ever attended, the EBVM 2014 conference organized by the RCVS Knowledge, the charity arm of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Over 250 people from around … Continue reading →

October 26, 2014

1:46 PM | Chronicles of Athena – Thirteen Weeks
Athena likes to play on my laptop, and my phone, resetting things and sending strange, garbled messages to all and sundry. The internet really is full of cats, it seems. So if you are a cat and you want to … Continue reading →

October 24, 2014

7:45 PM | Dead Bird Quiz: Sarah Porter edition
First off, the SEANET data entry site is back online! Huzzah! Thank you all for your patience; you should be all set now to enter surveys again. Let’s celebrate with a Dead Bird Quiz.   Both these birds were found by volunteer Sarah Porter in April in Massachusetts. What do you think everyone? Bird A: […]

October 22, 2014

6:55 PM | Punishment is Dangerous
Last week I spoke about punishment as a training aid, and denounced the way some people say you should never punish when training. But it’s very important to recognise that punishment is very dangerous and should be used sparingly. I … Continue reading →
3:21 PM | Are All Labrador Retrievers the Same?
Or do show dogs and field dogs vary in temperament?Photo: c.byatt-norman / ShutterstockIt’s often said there are personality differences between Labrador Retrievers bred to show (conformation dogs) and those bred to work (field dogs). And chocolate labs have a reputation for being different than black and yellow labs. Is it true? New research by Sarah Lofgren et al (Royal (Dick) Veterinary School, University of Edinburgh) investigates.Although many Labrador Retrievers are family pets, […]

Lofgren, S., Wiener, P., Blott, S., Sanchez-Molano, E., Woolliams, J., Clements, D. & Haskell, M. (2014). Management and personality in Labrador Retriever dogs, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 156 44-53. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2014.04.006

1:39 PM | Data entry portal is down!
Many of you have found your attempts to enter your surveys online stymied in the past week or so. I have also noticed this, and it appears that something is amiss with the server that usually dishes up our website. I am trying to track down the problem and have it remedied, but until I […]

October 21, 2014

4:38 PM | New Systematic Review of Veterinary Homeopathy: Still no Reason to Believe It Works
I have reviewed the overall evidence concerning homeopathy, from basic science through clinical trial research in great detail previously. Despite more than 150 years of effort by advocates for this practice, virtually no reliable evidence has been developed to show … Continue reading →

October 20, 2014

12:00 AM | Dog under Ebola watch gets high-level caretakers
Pending quarantine protocol for pets unlikely to involve private clinics

October 19, 2014

10:57 AM | Chronicles of Athena – Twelve Weeks
I don’t know how to say this in a not-bragging way, but I think I got one of the clever ones. It’s not necessarily a good thing (unless, like me, you place an unreasonable amount of value in cleverness). At … Continue reading →

October 18, 2014

9:17 PM | Domestication and human evolution, streaming!
Domesticated humans, domesticated canids, domesticated finches! The Center for Academic Training & Research in Anthropogeny held a conference on domestication and human evolution, and live streamed it. I watched live, refusing to speak to my husband or dogs during it, which didn’t go over well. You, however, can watch the archive on YouTube.The conference was a series of short talks from researchers. These included:Robert Wayne, “The transformation of wolf to dog: history, […]

October 16, 2014

8:44 PM | State of the Zombieverse
I haven’t been blogging much lately, and it’s mostly because I’ve been writing so much for more mainstream media outlets:“Neutering without a Scalpel” in the summer issue of the Whole Dog Journal. This story was about Zeuterin, a new product for performing chemical castration on a dog — in other words, non-surgical neutering. I tried to cover all the possible pros and cons of using Zeuterin versus the traditional surgical approach. I don’t think either […]
12:00 AM | Changes coming to common rodent poison
Potent anticoagulants to be discontinued

October 15, 2014

11:17 PM | Journal articles, stress, and anti-depressants with me and APDT
I’m teaching another online course for APDT: Analyzing Journal Articles: Pre-Natal Stress and Anti-Depressants. I’m trying something new with this one. It's just one week long. Basically, I’m going to be walking through a recent journal article that I thought had interesting implications for dogs. There will be several short lectures at different experience levels. Some will provide background in the area to students who don’t have an extensive science background. Some […]
7:02 PM | We'll All Try to Remember That, Eleanor
"It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan."- Eleanor Roosevelt #quotes #quoteoftheday— Jeffrey N Kirk (@JeffreyNKirk) October 15, 2014
5:52 PM | My Dog Comes First: The Importance of Pets to Homeless Youth
Dogs and cats have both advantages and disadvantages for street-involved youth.Photo: everst / ShutterstockResearch by Michelle Lem et al (University of Guelph) asks homeless young people (aged 18-24) what their pet means to them. Previous studies have focussed on the benefits to homeless people of owning a dog or cat. The aim of this study was to get a balanced picture of both the advantages and disadvantages. Ten homeless young people took part in in-depth interviews about their pet. 8 […]

Lem, M., Coe, J.B., Haley, D.B., Stone, E. & O'Grady, W. (2013). Effects of companion animal ownership among Canadian street-involved youth: A qualitative analysis, Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, XL (4) 285-304.

5:37 PM | NC Zoo's New 10-Year Plan
A 10-year strategic plan for the NC Zoo is in the works now, David M. Jones, Zoo Director, told the NC Zoo Society Board, which just adjourned its quarterly meeting. The Board asked that he make a presentation of the plan to the Board's next meeting, January 14. It also offered to fund a presentation of that plan, suitable for offering the NC General Assembly, as it convenes in early 2015 to set the next bi-ennium budget for North Carolina. The Society Board also agreed to build a 5-year, $20 […]
1:45 PM | Unforgettable? (Think so.)
Something this little girl is not likely to forget!— Binder Park Zoo (@binderparkzoo) October 10, 2014

October 14, 2014

8:32 PM | "A Failure to Communicate" @OregonZoo
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) reports problems at Oregon Zoo. "The delegation reports power struggles between the Oregon Zoo's veterinarians and animal keepers; animosity from zoo staffers toward Metro; and a lack of information from Metro to the Oregon Zoo Foundation, the nonprofit that recruits private donors."
7:41 PM | Q: How Do You Know It's a Wolf?
A: ""When your hair is standing up on the back of your neck, you know it is a wolf and not a coyote." Wolves are visiting northeastern Utah. The question is, will they ever be allowed to stay? @sltrib— Brian Switek (@Laelaps) October 14, 2014 "It is a little unnerving to be by yourself at 11,000 feet and hear something howling back."
5:59 PM | Punishment is Good
Before we start, I’d like to remind you that the opinions expressed in this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my colleagues. With that out of the way – I think punishment gets a bad … Continue reading →

October 13, 2014

11:35 PM | The Santa Ana Mountain Lions
South Californian mountain lions are having their genetic diversity cut by human roads and fences. New TSS.— Nautilus (@NautilusMag) October 13, 2014
10:06 PM | Trick or Tweet...or Quack
Trick or ReTweeting! MT"@sylvanheights: Make plans to join us at Sylvan Heights for Trick or #Tweet!" #TrickOrTreat— russwilliamsiii (@russwilliamsiii) October 13, 2014
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