Easy to read articles about Translational Research
Click to view and download PDF files of the current newsletter and previous newsletters for your offline reading pleasure
Current Issue: August, 2018
The Paws to People Board of Directors at their April meeting unanimously voted to fund its THIRD research project!
The environment plays a major role in the development of many diseases for both pets and people. Water is a link shared by all on the planet but we are just beginning to scientifically explore the connections between pollution and illness. This study will create a database to extend the body of knowledge about water contaminants and pollutants and their effects on specific autoimmune diseases in pets on a zip code based level.
Imagine the impact on research and community action of building this expandable database that models water quality district by district recording levels of specific water impurities overlaid with the pet incidences of certain diseases (specifically the auto immune illnesses, thyroidism and IMHA) which might be influenced by these pollutants. Then, additional data can be overlaid with the incidence of the same diseases in humans living in those same areas to see if there is potentially a similar correlation or pattern in people (a potential Phase II of the study).
The value as science and medicine searches for commonalities, patterns and potential causality…the heart of the translational medicine…will be tremendous. This water testing and data collection combines the skills of environmental engineers, veterinarians, and human medical practitioners to put together a resource for those doing specific research in both veterinary and human health into those diseases, and for communities assessing water safety.
The project will initially focus on Albuquerque, NM, establishing a template that could be repeated and used across the country as science investigates the connections between the environment and the development of disease.
Paws To People is at the front line to help define a new approach to medicine and to rediscover our connectedness to the rest of our planet. By building bridges we will find innovative solutions to how we detect, prevent and cure diseases that take too many too soon. For more information, visit the organization’s website: www.BridgesToCures.org or email them at info@BridgesToCures.org.
Since its founding four years ago, Paws To People has funded a study to improve testing for Lyme Disease (Dr. Jenna Mendell, Bridgewater State University) and a project exploring End of Life Decision Making Processes in Humans and Pets (Dr. Rochelle Heuberger, Central Michigan University). The organization is active in raising community awareness of translational medicine and the nearly 400 diseases that affect both people and pets, which makes us ideal partners in modeling and fighting these diseases. The group is based on grassroots and environment-based fundraising to accomplish its mission.
Paws To People is a recognized 501(c) (3) non-profit, founded and based in Albuquerque; it is an all-volunteer group of people filled with hope of the potential of translational studies research. They are determined that their work remains focused on funding this important research, and they keep operating costs minimal.
It’s no secret that dogs have an incredible sense of smell. We’ve been able to train them to do some really amazing things with their noses, but we still might not be able to fully grasp the complexity of the canine olfactory system. Just when we thought detecting drugs, weapons, cancers and other substances were awesome enough, we’ve learned that dogs can actually tell time with their noses. Yep, you read that right. Your pup can tell what time it is by their sense of smell.
DogWatch. Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Vol.21, No.12, December, 2017
Your dog is walking along and suddenly pauses. He inhales multiple times, making a snorting or gagging sort of noise. You panic thinking he is choking or has inhaled something. Most likely your dog is having a bout of reverse sneezing.
This action is called “reverse” sneezing because it is air going in, not out, as in a typical sneeze. It is generally caused by a spasm of the soft palate on the roof of your dog’s mouth. The spasm makes it temporarily difficult for your dog to bring as much air as normal into his lungs.
What stimulates a reverse sneeze? Lots of things--dust, excitement, or pulling hard on a leash. Actual irritation, such as harsh chemicals, can do this, too, as well as infectious agents like respiratory mites. It is felt that brachycephalic dogs (with short muzzles) like Boxers may be prone to this, but even dogs with longer muzzles may have bouts of reverse sneezing. For example, Corgis are prone to this, too.
Luckily, despite the disconcerting sounds, reverse sneezing is not serious. Most dogs can be stopped by either gently putting your hand over their nose and muzzle or blowing into their nose. Massaging the throat and getting your dog to swallow can also break the sneeze cycle. Most bouts of reverse sneezing last for a few seconds or to a minute.
Station WGNO from Metairie, LA, reports that a yellow Labrador retriever is the first US pet infected by a new drug-resistant strain of heartworms. The dog was on monthly heartworm prevention and contracted the heartworms in 2014. The story was just published in Parasites and Vectors.
The Department of Infectious Diseases at University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine confirmed that the heartworms were drug-resistant and named the strain “Metairie-2014.”The new strain is helping researchers at UGA better understand and help solve the problem of drug-resistance in heartworms.
17 May, 2017 Abridged http://petpav.com/vegetables-dogs-cats-absolutely/
Adding vegetables to your dog or cat’s daily diet (if they allow it) is healthy and offers variety, minerals and fibers. How many vegetables should you give your dog or cat? Where dogs can eat around 30% of plant foods in their daily diet, cats only require around 5-10%.
Dark green vegetables have chlorophyll which is great for cleansing. Green vegetables contain chlorophyll which is cleansing and detoxifying. Chlorophyll is a great liver ally, assisting in the removal of toxins and heavy metals from the body and also shows anti-carcinogenic potential.
Vegetable Choices that are safe and encouraged: You can experiment with most vegetables. Try any of the following: carrots, celery, chard, spinach, avocados, kale, squash, watercress, cabbage, turnips, broccoli, peas, green beans, cauliflower and asparagus. And yes, brussel sprouts!
Sweet potatoes are higher in sugar content and should be used in smaller proportion to any above-ground vegetable choices. Carrots are great for our pets teeth. And celery is high in fiber, water and low calorie! Consider steaming or boiling veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, as they are much easier to digest when cooked.
Vegetables that are unsafe your pets: Never feed your pet onions or garlic as they are toxic in all forms. These cause damage to the red blood cells, ultimately causing them to burst. Rhubarb and wild mushrooms also contain toxins.If you want to change your pet’s diet to a healthy, holistic, species-appropriate diet or are embarking on a natural homemade or raw food diet, consult your veterinarian.
DOGWatch, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, January, 2018, Vol. 22, No. 1
You finish a rousing game of fetch and bend down to pet your dog. Phew! A blast of foul air greets you!
Bad breath is not just a socially unpleasant trait in dogscan indicate a health problem. Any abnormal odor is reason to examine the dog’s mouth and/or schedule a veterinary visit. Treatment of the underlying condition will result in better breath and, most important, better health.
Causes for Bad Breath
Conformation: The way your dog is built may be behind the bad breath. Brachycephalic dogswith shortened muzzles and faces like Boxers and Pugsto sleep with their mouths open a bit. As the mouth dries out, the breath becomes less pleasant. Encouraging your dog to sleep with his head on pillows may help. Doggie breath mints only provide temporary relief.
Unsupervised Snacking: Dogs are attracted to goose poop, sheep and deer droppings, and other foul things. Some dogs roll in these “delights” while others eagerly snack on them. These treats can cause bad breath, but it is temporary and usually goes away after a drink or a little time.
Trapped Debris: Foreign bodies, like a piece of wood stuck across the roof of the mouth on the hard palate or a string wrapped around a tooth, can also contribute to poor breath. Your first hint of a problem is often pawing at the mouth, even before bad breath develops. Removing these items may require veterinary assistance.
Cancer: Cancers of the mouth often cause bad breath due to the diseased tissues. You will likely notice other signs firstat the mouth, drool with some blood, and poor appetite. You can look carefully if your dog is tolerant, but sedation may be required for a thorough exam of the mouth.
Disease: Chronic health conditions such as diabetes and kidney failure, can also cause poor breath quality. Diabetic dogs who are poorly regulated will build up substances called ketones. These can cause a “sickly sweet” odor to the breath. Dogs with severe kidney disease may build up toxins that lead to an ammonia-like odor to the breath.
Bad Teeth: By far the most common cause for bad breath in dogs is a dental problem. Puppies who are going through teething may have bouts of mild bad breath but that passes as the adult teeth come in.
Check His Mouth
Most dental problems are more involved than switching over to adult teeth. You should look carfully at your dog’s mouth.
Are gums red and somewhat inflamed? This would mean gingivitis.
Is there a buildup of plaque or tartar on the teeth? The incisors and canine teeth in front may look fine, but the premolars and molars toward the back of the muzzle may have a heavy buildup of plaque.
Plaque provides a medium for bacterial growth. This leads to inflammation and possibly even an abscess along with damage the tooth roots as bacteria invade the gum line.
The same sequence can occur with broken or cracked teeth as there is an opening for bacterial growth. As well as bad breath you may notice a swelling by your dog’s eye from an abscessed tooth.
Along with bad breath, most dogs with dental problems will show additional signs. Your dog may paw at his mouth, drool more than usual, and may have some blood in the drool, hesitate to drink, especially if the water is cool, and may avoid eating or just eat soft foods and treats.
Luckily, dental problems leading to bad breath are both treatable and preventable. The first step is a thorough dental examination by your vet. This may include taking some X-rays to look for root problems and abscesses. A dental cleaning and polishing along with removal of any cracked or broken teeth, plus treatment of any abscesses will start your dog off with a clean mouth and relatively fresh breath.
Of the five senses, smell is a dog’s predominant sense. While the human nose is equipped with roughly 5 million olfactory receptors, dogs have many millions morehave roughly 125 million olfactory receptors, beagles have 225 million, and bloodhounds have up to 300 million. Smell is how dogs define their environment.
When another dog comes along and smells feces or sniffs another dog’s rear, the sniffing dog can tell:
Cats are interesting pets and do many things that entertain us. What’s better than seeing your cat jump like an acrobat, roll on her back with her arms up or just give you that meaningful stare? One of the most adorable expressions is when your cat leaves her mouth open after smelling something.
The actual act is called the “flehmen recation” and occurs when your cat’s mouth opens to draw air to the Jacobson’s organ.
Cats often keep their mouths hanging open to help them check out their surroundings. When cats discover an interesting scent, they open their mouths to try to identify the aroma. The cat wrinkles her nose and her upper lip pulls back, creating a funny face. As your cat considers the scent, she sucks in air and transfers it to a Jacobson’s organ, also known as the vomeronasal sac, which is behind the teeth in the roof of a cat’s mouth. This organ processes the scents and sends signals to the brain.
The intriguing smells are usually related to territoriality issues such as cats smelling urine marks left by other cats. They also kick into gear when a female cat in heat leaves scents in an area. Male cats are more likely to display flehmen, but mother cats depend on it to keep track of their kittens. The behavior may also be used to distinguish certain food they love or even catnip!
The reason cats look dazed for a second or two, after taking in the smell, is because they can learn a lot of information about their surroundings. They mark territory using the scent glands on their cheeks and paws. The glands secrete pheromones, which are chemical substances that stimulate a behavioral response, such as an avoidance or even an aggressive reaction. When cats “spray” it’s another way they are marking their territory.