Q: Why is it Dangerous for Dogs to Eat Chocolate?

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A: Many pet owners come to me with questions about dogs and chocolate. The topic is especially timely now, when Halloween candy is in so many homes across the US. During the holiday season in general vets see an increase in visits from owners whose dogs have ingested chocolate simply because there tends to be more of it lying around the house. The reason we see chocolate ingestion more in dog than cats is because dogs will often eat anything that smells good whereas cats are more picky.

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How The Butterflies Got Their Spots

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How two butterfly species have evolved exactly the same striking wing colour and pattern has intrigued biologists since Darwin’s day. Now, scientists at Cambridge have found “hotspots” in the butterflies’ genes that they believe will explain one of the most extraordinary examples of mimicry in the natural world.Heliconius, or passion-vine butterflies, live in the Americas — from the southern United States to southern South America. Although they cannot interbreed, H. melpomene and H. erato have evolved to mimic one another perfectly.

These delicate butterflies have splashes of red and yellow on their black wings, signaling to birds that they contain toxins and are extremely unpalatable. They mimic one another’s colour and pattern to reinforce these warning signals.Scientists have studied these butterflies since the 1860s as a classic case of evolution in action, but only now is modern sequencing technology unlocking the underlying genetics.The Cambridge-led team of researchers from UK and US universities, which has been breeding the butterflies in Panama for the past decade, has been searching for the genes responsible for the butterflies’ wing patterns and the answer to the question of whether the same genes in two different species are responsible for the mimicry.
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Pet Prozac To Treat Depression

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Dog owners will soon be able to give their pets Prozac to treat their depression.The once-a-day chewable tablet, which tastes of beef, has been launched in the US and will soon be available in the UK after being granted a licence.Its makers say it can help cure ‘canine compulsive disorder’, which apparently affects thousands of dogs and causes excessive licking, whimpering and tail-chasing

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The drug, called Reconcile, is also designed to curb the compulsive pacing, chewing and dribbling which its makers claim is a result of depression brought on by their owners’ long absences.The anti-depressant Prozac has been used to cure compulsive behaviour in humans, and works by increasing the brain’s levels of serotonin, a ‘happiness’ chemical.Trials involving more than 660 mentally-disturbed pets in Europe and the US produced improvements in behaviour within eight weeks.

Eli Lilly, the drug’s US manufacturer, said: ‘Treatment for companion animals is a relatively new area for us.’They point to research which shows that as many as 8 per cent of dogs suffer from canine compulsive disorder.Critics say gods are now being diagnosed with ‘lifestyle’ illnesses so that drugs can be marketed to treat them.Roger Mugford, an animal psychologist, said: ‘Most breakthroughs in dog behaviour are achieves by carrying a titbit and using it wisely, not by drugs.’Reconcile has now been granted a licence by the UK’s Veterinary Medicines Directorate.However, it was first licensed in the US three years ago for separation anxiety from being left alone for long periods.
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Not Just China US Under Fire For Tiger Trade

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Conservationists appealed Wednesday for an end to the commercial tiger trade, warning that demand in China, Southeast Asia — but also the United States — was threatening the big cats with extinction.Environmental campaigners see 2010 as crucial to spread their message as East Asian nations celebrate the Year of the Tiger and Russia prepares to hold a summit on tiger conservation in September in Vladivostok.

Only some 3,200 tigers remain in the wild, nearly half of them in India, down from 100,000 worldwide a century ago due to burgeoning human populations and a demand in China, Vietnam and Laos for tiger parts in folk medicine.But environmental campaigners said the problem was not just in Asia. They worried about the United States, where more than 5,000 tigers are believed to be in private hands as backyard pets or roadside zoo attractions.
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A Six-Legged Deer Discovered

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A mutant, six-legged deer was discovered in Everett Springs, Georgia in the US after being viciously attacked by two dogs. The little one has two distinct pelvises and uses one leg from each to walk. It also had two tails but lost one following the attack of the dogs.

The veterinarian treating it said the deer’s case is truly abnormal: the legs are part of a twin that didn’t form all the way. It seems to move pretty well, considering the two central legs almost always get in the way. The owners of the dogs said they realized the mutation right after they separated the dogs from the deer and wanted to release it.

Nonetheless, the little one can barely survive in the wilderness on its own. According to the veterinarian, it will be taken at the deer facility at the University of Georgia once it has recovered. Here is a video of fawn trying to run around.

(source)

Bling Bling:Woman Wearing LIVE Gem-Encrusted Beetle As Brooch!!!

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U.S. customs officers stopped a woman on her way into the country because she was wearing a jewel-encrusted beetle as a brooch – and it was alive.The woman was entering America from Mexico when she was stopped at a border outpost in Brownsville, Texas.The live insect – which is studded with gemstones and gold – was fastened to her sweater by a gold chain and safety pin but was able to wander on her jumper.

She declared the live insect to officials and said she had bought it in Mexico as a brooch but it was immediately confiscated by pest control.Officials refused to allow her to keep the live jewellery because she did not have the correct documents.Because the woman had declared the insect correctly, she was not handed any fine or penalty.

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US Woman Claims Her 7-Foot-Long Dog Is World’s Tallest

An American woman has claimed that her pet dog is the world’s tallest canine

TALLEST DOG

At 3 feet tall at the shoulders and 7 feet long from nose to wagging tail, he might be a contender.
Caryn Weber claims that her 3-year-old Landseer Newfoundland keeps all four paws on the floor when he drinks from the kitchen sink in her family’s farm house in eastern North Dakota. Boomer can stare into a car window eye to eye with a driver, Ms Weber says. A 20-pound bag of dry dog food lasts the 180-pound animal just a couple of weeks.

Ms Weber says the fluffy black and white dog “comes into the house and his tail is so high everything gets knocked around”.

Weber plans to send Boomer’s measurements to Guinness World Records. The previous record holder was a Great Dane that measured nearly 4 feet tall. That dog died last summer.

(source)

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