I hit you for dog and cat research last week

Dogs think about their toys using multiple senses

everything dog The owner dreamed of knowing exactly what their fur baby had in mind. OK New study Published in the magazine animal perception He found that when dogs think of an object – such as their favorite toys – they imagine its different sensory features, such as shape or smell.

“If we can understand the senses that dogs use while searching for a toy, it could reveal how they think about it,” explains co-author Shani Dror, from the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Eötvös University Loránd, Hungary.

“When dogs use their sense of smell or sight while searching for a toy, this indicates that they know what that toy looks like or smells like.”

in Previous studythe team found that some uniquely gifted dogs can tell the names of objects, so they investigated how four Gifted Word Learner dogs search for and identify a target game (among four others), both when the lights are on or off.

They found that although the dogs’ success rate did not differ in the dark or the light, their searching behavior was: the dogs mostly relied on vision and turned to other senses (including the sense of smell) when searching in the dark.

This reveals that when dogs play with a toy, they pay attention to its various features and record information using multiple senses.

Genetic variants associated with disease in pedigree cats

The largest ever DNA-based study Of the pet cats, 13 genetic mutations associated with the disease in cats were found in more pedigree breeds than previously thought.

Researchers Genotyping Over 11,000 domestic cats (including 90 breed and breed types and 617 non-breed cats) to discover subtle differences in genes associated with known diseases, blood type and physical traits in cats.

They identified 13 disease-associated variants in 47 breeds or breed types in which the variant had not previously been documented. However, they also found that these variants are declining in frequency in breeds that are regularly screened for genetic markers.

These findings highlight the need for comprehensive genetic screening of all cat breeds and have been published in the journal Genetics PLOS.

Ginger cat sitting on lap
More than 11,000 domestic cats in this study were genotyped for blood type, disease variants and traits by Wisdom Panel’s commercial DNA test of owner-supplied cheek swab samples. Credit: Kinship Partners, Inc., Anderson H, et al., 2022, PLOS Genetics, CC-BY 4.0

Update on the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study

Morris Foundation for Animals Golden Retriever Lifelong Study It is the most comprehensive study in the field of veterinary medicine. Researchers track and monitor a group of more than 3,000 Golden Retrievers in the United States long-term to investigate nutritional, environmental, lifestyle, and genetic risk factors for cancer and other common diseases in dogs.

Every year owners and veterinarians complete online questionnaires about their dogs’ health and lifestyle. Biological samples are also collected, and each dog undergoes a physical examination examination.

With the study now approaching its 10th anniversary, researchers have published a paper in the magazine PLUS ONE To review the results so far. To date, 352 dogs have died and 70% of these deaths have been attributed to cancer.

The primary objective of the study was to document and collect data on 500 dogs diagnosed with primary endpoint cancers: hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma, osteosarcoma and high-grade mast cell tumors. To date, they have obtained 223 and found hemangiosarcoma to be the most common (n=120), followed by lymphomas/leukemias (n=85). There were also fewer diagnoses of high-grade mast cell tumors (n = 10) and osteosarcomas (n = 8) than expected.

“The study and sample data are a legacy for these special dogs, which will continue to influence scientific discovery for decades to come,” says co-author Dr. Janet Patterson-Kane, chief scientific officer at Morris Zoo in the US.

Graph of the cumulative incidence of the four primary end point cancers in golden retrievers
Graph of the cumulative incidence of the four primary endpoint cancers in Golden Retrievers. Credit: Labadi et al. (2022)

Doggy dates rid students of stress

Primary school children in the UK were less stressed after spending just 20 minutes with a dog twice a week, compared to children who spent the same time in a relaxation session that included meditation and those who did not, according to New study in PLUS ONE.

Researchers tracked the levels of cortisol in the saliva of 150 children aged eight to nine years over four weeks old – cortisol is known as the “stress hormone” because it is produced by the body during times of stress.

Comparing average cortisol levels before and after the four-week intervention revealed that children in the dog intervention group had lower stress levels, while cortisol levels increased in the other two groups.

Immediately after the dog appointments, both neurotypical children and children with special educational needs also showed a significant reduction in stress, while no change in cortisol levels was found in children who practiced meditation or received no intervention.

A group of children patting a dog
Credit: FatCamera/Getty Images

England may ban the breeding of English bulldogs

UK vets have warned English bulldog breeding could be banned unless urgent action is taken to change breeding standards towards milder features, according to the New study in Canine medicine and genetics.

They evaluated the veterinary records of a random sample of 2,662 English Bulldogs and 22,039 other dogs using veterinary compass database, and found that the English bulldog was at least twice as likely to be diagnosed with one disorder as other breeds.

Bulldogs also had an increased risk of breathing, eye and skin diseases due to their severe physical traits – including short muzzles, folded skin and a squat body.

And only 9.7% of the English Bulldogs in this study are over eight years old, compared to 25.4% of the other breeds.

Lead author Dr Dan G O’Neill, Associate Professor of Companion Animal Epidemiology at Royal Veterinary College, University of London, UK, concluded: “These findings suggest that the overall health of English dogs is significantly lower than that of other dogs.”