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When it comes to spreading viruses, bats are thought to be among the worst. Now a new study of nearly 900 nonhuman primates in Bangladesh and Cambodia shows that macaques harbor more diverse astroviruses, which can cause infectious gastroenteritis or diarrhea in humans.

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Antimicrobial use in animals has decreased in 2014 due mainly to decreased consumption in the pig production. In general very little of the critically important antimicrobials – which are used to treat humans – is used in the production of livestock. The use of critically important antimicrobials in companion animals has also decreased.

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In most Western cultures cats are simply feline pet companions eager to greet us at the end of the day. In continents such as Asia and Africa, the social norms surrounding cats are very different; our furry friends commonly double up as dinner for a number of reasons ranging from food insecurity, simple preference or superstition. It is estimated that 4 million cats are consumed annually in Asia alone. New research on cat consumption reveals motives for, prevalence and methods of cat consumption in Madagascar and resulting public health implications for Malagasy citizens and beyond....
A method of epidural anesthesia, although proven efficient in humans, had never been tested in animals until now. Two specialists in Veterinary Anesthesiology have successfully used for the first time in dogs the Baraka technique, proving that it is simpler and faster when trying to identify the epidurial space. With this research the two experts intend to reduce the risk of the traditional anesthesic technique in these animals.

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Researchers have identified both similarities and differences between a single tumor type in multiple dogs breeds; a finding they believe parallels the situation in the cancer of human patients.

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Scientists have identified two naturally occurring genetic mutations in dogs that result in achromatopsia, a form of blindness. One of the most promising avenues for developing a cure, however, is through gene therapy, and to create those therapies requires animal models of disease that closely replicate the human condition.

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Horses with a rare nerve condition have similar signs of disease as people with conditions such as Alzheimer's, a new study has found. The findings shed new light on the causes of the rare but predominately fatal horse condition and could help to develop new tools for diagnosing the illness.

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Imitation behaviors play a key role in many collective phenomena seen in animals. An analysis of the collective movements of grazing sheep has revealed that sheep alternate slow dispersion phases with very fast regrouping, in which they imitate the behavior of their neighbors. This study shows that the intensity with which the sheep mimic one another plays a crucial role in the ability of a herd to maximize the grazing area explored while minimizing the time needed to regroup when faced with potential dangers.

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The Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease crisis in Europe was a turning point for the diet of the Galician wolf, which until the year 2000 had primarily fed on the carrion of domestic animals. A new study shows that, after European health regulations made it illegal to abandon dead livestock, wolves started to consume more wild boars, roe deer and wild ponies, but also began to attack more cattle ranches when faced with food shortages in certain areas.

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Dr. Jane Sykes, BVSc (Hons), PhD, DACVIM

The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) is pleased to announce that Dr. Jane Sykes has been appointed as the chief veterinary medical officer (CVMO) of the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) effective June 1, 2016 for a five-year term. (The position was previously referred to as "director.") She served as interim director of the hospital for the past year, following Dr. David Wilson. Dr. Wilson was appointed director of Veterinary Medical Center Facilities Planning, as UC Davis...