Cancer Kills Many Sea Lions, And Its Cause Remains A Mystery

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For 14 years, since they first reported that a disturbing proportion of deaths among rescued California sea lions were caused by metastatic cancer, researchers have been trying to pinpoint the source of the illness.In 1996, Dr. Frances Gulland, the director of veterinary science at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, and colleagues at the University of California, Davis, found that a striking 18 percent of deaths in stranded adult sea lions were the result of tumors in the reproductive and urinary tracts.

“It’s such an aggressive cancer, and it’s so unusual to see such a high prevalence of cancer in a wild population,” Dr. Gulland said. “That suggests that there’s some carcinogen in the ocean that could be affecting these animals.”The center has not observed the same syndrome in other seals.Years of study have led researchers to think the answer lies not with any one culprit, but with several. Their research has added to a body of evidence concerning industrial contaminants in the ocean and their effects on the health of its inhabitants.
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Cesar Millan's Beloved Pit Bull Daddy Dies At 16

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Cesar Millan’s unique understanding of dogs earned him the name the Dog Whisperer, but he didn’t work alone. He had a secret weapon, a capable assistant and constant sidekick in the form of 16-year-old pit bull Daddy, who died last week after spending nearly his entire life with Millan and his family, according to Cesar’s Way magazine.

Daddy came into Millan’s life when he was just a 4-month-old puppy. Too challenging for his original owner, rapper Redman, Daddy was folded into Millan’s family, and eventually became an example of a calm, submissive pit bull that was always around to help Millan in a training pinch.
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Cesar Millan's Beloved Pit Bull Daddy Dies At 16

001124753

Cesar Millan’s unique understanding of dogs earned him the name the Dog Whisperer, but he didn’t work alone. He had a secret weapon, a capable assistant and constant sidekick in the form of 16-year-old pit bull Daddy, who died last week after spending nearly his entire life with Millan and his family, according to Cesar’s Way magazine.

Daddy came into Millan’s life when he was just a 4-month-old puppy. Too challenging for his original owner, rapper Redman, Daddy was folded into Millan’s family, and eventually became an example of a calm, submissive pit bull that was always around to help Millan in a training pinch.
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Common Cat Health Problems

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While cats are not, by nature, complainers, that doesn’t mean that they do not get sick. There are many common cat health problems. Fortunately, most can be treated with good results if caught early enough
Here are some of the most common cat health problems of which cat owners should be aware. Keep in mind that no information provided here is meant to take the place of advice from you vet.

Fleas

Fleas are probably the most common problem relating to your cat’s health. Fleas are not just a nuisance, they can carry diseases which can be transmitted to your cat.Also, some cats are allergic to flea bites and serious skin irritation can result.While getting rid of a flea infestation is no small task, preventing an infestation is much easier.Applying topical flea prevention each month is the best way to stop fleas from infesting your cat.Fleas can hide deep within your cat’s coat, so you may never see a flea until it is too late.Regular grooming of your cat will help you spot a flea problem at the very early stages. Be sure to take a look deep within the fur as fleas like to make their home close to the base of the fur. If you cat is scratching a lot, that is one obvious signs that fleas may be present. Also, if you notice what look like specks of dirt in her fur, that is likely a sign of fleas as well.


Feline Leukemia

Feline leukemia is spread from cat to cat through interactions such as biting and grooming. It can also be spread through urine and by sharing a litter box. Because of the way this disease is spread, an outdoor cat has a much higher risk of contracting the disease than does an indoor cat. While it is a good idea for all cats to be vaccinated, it is absolutely essential that a cat that spends any time outdoors receive the vaccine for this disease. This virus can cause cancer, blood disorders and weakens the immune system. Many of the complications resulting from this disease can be life threatening.When first infected, it is unlikely that the cat will show any symptoms at all. As time goes on, and the virus begins to cause secondary diseases, symptoms will begin to appear. These may include gradual weight loss, diarrhea, swollen lymph nodes, pale gums and seizures. Of course, any one of these symptoms should result in a trip to your vet.Because vaccines are not effective 100% of the time, the only sure way to stop your cat from getting Feline Leukemia is to be sure that she does not come in contact with cats that are infected. Keep cats indoors and be sure that any new cats you bring into the home have tested negative for the disease.

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Fish-Killing Toxin Could Kill Cancer Cells

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A powerful fish-killing toxin could have cancer-killing properties as well, according to collaborative research led by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) microbiologist Paul V. Zimba and chemist Peter Moeller of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The toxin, called euglenophycin, has a molecular structure similar to that of solenopsin, an alkaloid from fire ant venom known to inhibit tumor development.

The findings were published online in July in the journal Toxicon.In the summer of 2002, a commercial aquaculture facility in North Carolina reported mysterious fish mortalities in its ponds. More than 21,000 striped bass had died in July and August, resulting in losses of more than $100,000.

To find out why the fish had died, Zimba and Moeller collaborated with Michigan State University biologist Richard Triemer. Zimba works at the ARS Catfish Genetics Research Unit in Stoneville, Miss. The scientists isolated and analyzed dissolved compounds, bacteria and algae from pond water samples.
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Cancer-Sniffing Canines Could Save Your Life

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At first glance, cancer researcher Michael McCulloch’s lab at the Pine Street Foundation in San Rafael, Calif., looks predictably humdrum – a computer, a few beakers and some vials. And yet, if you look a little closer, there’s something downright peculiar about the place. Most notably, the water bowls, leashes and the roll of paper towels used for sopping up slobber.

For the past 10 years, McCulloch, an acupuncturist by training, has been exploring whether the sensitive nose of his furry, four-legged research subjects can detect cancer. And after hearing accounts of canines that reportedly saved the lives of their human owners by sniffing, pawing and barking at their tumors (long before being diagnosed by a physician), he has been grappling with a thought-provoking theory: If a dog can do that spontaneously, that suggests they can be trained to do it.
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R.I.P.: Gibson the World's Tallest Dog Dies of Cancer

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Gibson, the world’s tallest dog according to Guinness World Records, died in the “loving arms” of his owner on Aug. 7 in Sacramento, Calif., according to the dog’s Web site. The 7-year-old pooch, who was suffering from cancer in recent months, measured in at 42.2 in.-tall when the Guinness World Records gave the canine the title in 2004.

In April, the harlequin great dane was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of canine bone cancer. Soon after, the dog had to have his right front leg amputated and went through chemotherapy treatments.

Sadly, just last week Gibson’s owner Sandy Hall found out that the cancer had spread. “Gibson began having trouble using his back legs. X-rays showed that the cancer had spread to his spine and his lungs,” Dr. Peter Walsh, Gibson’s veterinarian, said in a statement. “Ms. Hall made the very difficult decision based on her concern and love for Gibson to have him humanely euthanized. Gibson died peacefully in the loving arms of Ms. Hall.”

Hall will continue raise canine cancer awareness through the organization she launched during Gibson’s cancer battle, Three Paws for the Cause. And Gibson’s son, Brewster, remains a loving memory of her giant canine friend.

(source)

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