Getting Old(er): How Long is a Lifespan?

Dogs are amazing for many reasons. One reason is their range in size within one species – from less than 1 kg right up to nearly 100kg – a one-hundred-fold increase.

Another reason is their lifespan. Smaller dogs – on average – live more than twice as long as giant breeds despite near-identical physiology, diet and environmental conditions.

For cats, lifespan is on a much more linear trajectory. Members of the Felidae family range from 15 to 30 years old. Larger cats like lions live longer than smaller cats like your own moggie domestic cat.

Why do big dogs die young? And how do small dogs – and cats – manage to avoid this early death trap?

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Pets Say NO to Smoking! PART 2

In Part 1 of this article, we took a look at exactly what cigarette smoke is and why it is so dangerous.

In this part, Part 2, we take a look at a random selection of a few of the thousands of studies published on the effects of smoking in humans, and especially children in SECTION B. There is less known about the negative effects of second-hand smoke on pets, but in SECTION C, we summarise the results of most of the studies that have been done in dogs and cats.

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Pets Say NO to Smoking! PART 1

“Tobacco is the only legal drug that kills many of its users when used exactly as intended by manufacturers.”

This is the chilling opening sentence of the World Health Organisation’s global report on trends in tobacco smoking 2000-2025 (WHO, 2015).

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The trouble is, many of these tobacco users are the dogs and cats living with us. This is wrong and it must stop. This is what this article is about. Please read it and then use it to help us end this now. We can do this if we work together. THANK YOU…

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Bloat in Dogs: An Update

Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), in the dog-world commonly called bloat, remains an enduring concern for all owners of at-risk breeds. Despite numerous studies on this horrible disease, a definitive cause has yet to be identified. This has left owners of susceptible breeds with a ‘shopping list’ of potential causal factors along with recommendations of how to avoid them, for example avoiding feeding from a raised food bowl.

Image Copyright © 2017 Robert Falconer-Taylor

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Life’s a Bitch for Puppies Too

When I started out in veterinary practice, I had the opportunity to care for army dogs and horses at the local army barracks. The best thing about it was that there were never any surprises. The animals I had to see were always lined up and ready when I arrived, and the dogs in particular were temperamentally very similar, rather like their human handlers I guess. This is why I like studies using military dogs. It eliminates much of the inevitable variability between pet dogs, their owners and their environments. This allows the collection of less cluttered and cleaner data sets. A potential disadvantage, of course is that the dogs may all be the same breed and sometimes from the same, potentially small, genetic pool. This could mean that the results of the study may not reliably reflect what one would expect to find in the general dog population.

Copyright © 2017 Kerstin Hasper. Used with permission.


But, I argue that studies looking at the maternal care of puppies are always interesting, especially when the results can be compared with other similar studies.


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Fake News, Politics and Self-Confidence: Why Animals Don’t Feel Pain Anymore

We live in an amazingly connected world where information propagates into every nook and cranny across the globe in an instant, something we could never have imagined just a couple of decades ago.

We Stand United – NYC Rally on Night Before Trump’s Inauguration. By mathiaswasik

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Critical Periods (Sensitive Periods) in Puppies – Revisited Again

Recently, I reviewed a new study on critical and sensitive periods in puppies (Morrow et al., 2015) HERE and came to the conclusion that is was an important addition and update to Scott and Fuller’s seminal work done in the 1960’s.

Puppy-fest collage. HUGE THANK YOU to Catherine Burniston, Claire Martin, Connie Versteeg, Elinore Vickery, Esther Platell Vd Kleijn, Jane Ardern, Jillandsteve Tubbs, Jo Crawford and Kerstin Hasper. Copyright © 2017.

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