dogs

This year's flu season is going to be bad. So far, 20 children have died from the flu.

But, as it turns out, influenza won't be bad just for humans; it will be bad for our canine companions, as well. According to news sources, canine influenza ("dog flu") has been reported in 46 states.

Dog flu is incredibly infectious. Though there is no "dog flu season," the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) says that nearly all dogs that are exposed to it will become infected, with 80% showing signs of illness. Symptoms in dogs are similar to those seen in humans: fatigue, cough,...

In the 1996 film Multiplicity, Michael Keaton plays an overworked construction worker who gets cloned so that he can spend more time with his family. Eventually his clone gets cloned, but this clone is defective, with a low IQ and weird personality. As might be expected, the movie was a total flop at the box office*.

Silly as it was, the movie does raise an interesting question: How healthy are clones? What about clones of clones?

Dolly the sheep, the world's first cloned animal, died young at the age of six. This, along with other data, suggested that cloned animals may not be entirely healthy, specifically that they may have shorter lifespans. However, a follow-up study that...

It's been one of those days where the truth is stranger than fiction.

House of Cards has been cancelled because of sexual assault allegations against Kevin Spacey. MSNBC fired journalist Mark Halperin for similarly bad behavior. The long-anticipated Russia investigation has resulted in its first charges. And a dog bit my dad in the butt.

In exchange for free golf, my retired dad volunteers at a Boise area golf course. As he was gathering golf balls out of a pond, a man with dementia and his German shepherd service/therapy dog were sitting nearby. My family has owned many German shepherds over the decades (some wonderful, some slightly unhinged), so he was quite comfortable with a big, strange dog in his vicinity.

"Hi boy, how ya doin'?" he shouted, as the...

Writing in Scientific Reports, Dr. Juliane Kaminski of the University of Portsmouth, UK and colleagues studied the facial reactions of dogs when a stranger faced them and when the same person faced away from them. In addition, in each position the person also held food in their hands.

The experimental subjects were 24 pet dogs of various breeds that were comfortable with strangers. They ranged in age from 1-12 years, with an average of about 5 years old. After they were allowed to explore the experimental room, they were leashed and exposed to a stranger who either faced towards or away from them for two minutes. Video cameras recorded the animals' facial reactions and any body movements under each...

Spend enough time with another person, and you begin to pick up their mannerisms. Such behavioral "synchronization" is a mechanism by which we build social cohesion. It operates as a positive feedback loop: the more you know somebody, the more synchronized you will be and vice versa.

Synchronization occurs to be a general phenomenon among all social creatures. People tend to walk in step and sway together in separate rocking chairs. Even dolphins have been observed to breathe in sync.

This raises the question of whether synchronization occurs across species. And what better interspecific relationship to test than that between man and his best friend, the pooch? So a team of researchers did just that, examining behavioral synchronization between 48 dogs and their owners....

Are you your dog? Is your dog you? Or, elements of your personality traits anyway. Researchers set out to explore these and other queries.

Can we extrapolate from this new science to apply these questions to your human children?

Faculty from the University of Vienna’s Department of Behavioral Biology in Austria sought to explore the human-dog dyad (aka a group of two -units, entities, humans, animals) suggesting owner and dog social characteristics impact each other’s stress responses and thereby influence coping capacity. Recognizing the human role is more influential, they investigated “intra-individual cortisol variability” (iCV) which is regulated and adjusted by interactions that range from contentious to emotionally supportive. Heart rate (HR) and its fluctuations...

Your dog loves rawhides - that's a fact. But someone may have told you to stay away from them. Why? Take a look at the Good, the Bad, and the Debunked about your pet's favorite chew bone. 

Man's best friend — the dog — is a versatile creature. Dogs can work as herders, guards, guide dogs and even provide therapy for hospitalized patients. But which dogs are suited to which tasks (and here I mean individuals, not breeds) must be uniquely determined. There are behavioral tests, to be sure, and now there seems to be yet another way to tell whether a dog's personality can suit it to the job of ministering to the sick. And strange as it may seem, whether or not the dog becomes prematurely gray (i.e. before the age of 4 years) could provide the key.

In a...

If the photo attached to this article does not make you smile, then I question whether you have a soul.  The act alone contributes to such known positive health benefits.  So, take a little look inside and find your joy - whether it is with animals or an activity.  Your world and the one around you will be enhanced.

We always hear that pediatric and veterinary medicine are similar, but is this true?  I often thought there were commonalities, but after becoming a pet parent and experiencing the other side I am certain.  Let’s journey through the lessons I have learned.

I always wanted an English Bulldog.  They made me laugh.  I crossed the street and was perpetually diverted whenever I encountered one.  But, the refrain was always ‘you are in medical school you won’t have...

Dogs love peanut butter— but just because they go nuts over that delicious goodness does not mean every type of nut is safe for your furry friend. We chatted with Dr. Tim Hunt about which common types are safe to feed your pooch!