Tag Archives | Dogs

Dogs Poop In Line With Earth’s Magnetic Field

dogsAre other species engaging in advanced behaviors related to Earth’s magnetic field to which we are oblivious? Will humanity’s pooping without regard to planet-level electromagnetic fluctuations eventually be our undoing? Motherboard writes:

A team of Czech and German researchers found that dogs actually align themselves with the Earth’s magnetic field when they poop.

The researchers measured the direction of the body axis of dogs during 1,893 defecations and 5,582 urinations over the course of two years, and found that dogs “prefer to excrete with the body being aligned along the North-south axis under calm magnetic field conditions.”

It is still enigmatic why the dogs do align, whether they do it ‘consciously’ (i.e., whether the magnetic field is sensorial perceived (the dogs ‘see,’ ‘hear’ or ‘smell’ the direction) or whether its reception is controlled on the vegetative level (they ‘feel better/more comfortable or worse/less comfortable’ in a certain direction). Dogs not only prefer N-S direction, but at the same time they also avoid E-W direction.

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Google Plans Wearable Computer For Dogs

Hund der in den Computer schautCan you imagine your favorite mutt using its wearable computer to tell you to take it for a walk… NOW!?

You might not have to imagine it for much longer as Google moves beyond its Glass project, reports MIT Technology Review:

…[W]earable tech needn’t be just for people. At the Georgia Institute of Technology, visiting associate professor Melody Jackson, professor and Google Glass technical lead Thad Starner, and research scientist Clint Zeagler are working on a system called FIDO, which stands for “facilitating interactions for dogs with occupations.”

Jackson, who has been training assistance dogs for about 18 years, says FIDO is meant to make it easy for the animals to communicate clearly with their handlers (whether a disabled person or a police officer) by activating a sensor on their vest or collar to transmit a verbal command the handler can hear through an earpiece or see on a head-mounted display.

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For The Canine Crowd: DogTV

There is a cable television network for seemingly every human interest, from motocross to knitting, so how about expanding the choices to include animal interests too? Variety reports that DogTV is coming to DirecTV:

Release the hounds: DogTV — touted as the first TV network aimed at man’s best friend — is a real 24-hour channel that will be unleashed on DirecTV starting Aug. 1.

For the first two weeks of August, DogTV will be available for free to any DirecTV subscriber. Pooch owners who register to subscribe before Aug. 10 will receive 30 days free through mid-September, after which the channel will be $4.99 per month. In addition, those signing up for the early-dog special will receive a PetHub dog ID tag and $10 coupon codes for PetBest.com and Dog Is Good.

According to PTV Media, the company behind DogTV, it spent more than four years developing and testing a 24-hour TV channel aimed at pups of all breeds…

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Can Animals Get High On Marijuana?

ram-RACannabis can have tremendous benefits for sick creatures, but veterinarian Dr. Andrew Springer Browne, who has treated numerous pets that got a hold of their owners’ pot brownies, warns that animals should never ingest THC. Via the The New Inquiry:

Yes, an animal can get high on marijuana, but I would call it a very bad trip rather than being stoned or high.

The main clinical signs in dogs are low body temperature, dilated pupils, increased sensitivity to noise and movement, being unsteady on their feet. The animals are usually distressed and whimpering or howling. With really high doses they are collapsed, with a slow heart rate, barely responsive. This can last 24 to 48 hours. Usually they survive.

I would say though that any amount of marijuana is too much for an animal. Also, marijuana can have a variable amount of THC in it and also may contain contaminants like fungal spores, pesticides, or fertilizer.

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Ritual Killings Suspected As Dozens Of Pet Dogs Disappear In Idaho’s Magic Valley

Beware the purple cloth. Fox News reports:

The disappearances of nearly 40 dogs from southern Idaho is baffling authorities and raising concerns after dogs were found dead under mysterious circumstances, with one found with its head crushed in a suspected ritual killing.

Nearly 40 dogs have been reported missing since November in an agricultural region in south-central Idaho known as the Magic Valley. “The dogs seem to vanish into thin air,” said animal shelter director Debbie Blackwood.

Authorities grew even more concerned after a German shepherd was found apparently stoned to death earlier this month. Blackwood says the dog appeared to have suffered a “ritualistic execution,” in which its head was crushed with rock and its carcass covered with a purple cloth.

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Should Medical Marijuana Be Legalized For Dogs?

Pet website Dogster.com writes that veterinarians are awakening to the miraculous abilities of cannabis to heal sick animals:

Christine L.’s Rottweiler, Sampson, had a rare form of blood cancer. After giving Sampson cannabis flower-bud material mixed with virgin coconut oil, whereas before Sampson had been too weak to walk, almost overnight he became a born-again youngster. “He was a puppy again, happy and playful,” Christine recalls. “Cannabis saved my dog’s life,” she says. “It brought him back from the brink.”

Since Sampson’s passing, Christine consoles herself by reaching out to others in a similar situation. Online, she found Dr. Doug Kramer, whose mission is to improve pets’ quality of life by outlining safe and effective dosing guidelines.

Kramer’s become an outspoken, tireless advocate of pain control for animals and has established a veterinary practice, Enlightened Veterinary Therapeutics, specializing in palliative and hospice care. He’s the first vet in the country to offer cannabis consultations as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for pet patients.

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Dogs Are Smarter Than Cats

Beagle and sleeping black and white kitty-01Continuing the media assault on cats, the Wall Street Journal says that canines outsmart felines:

With half as many neurons in their cerebral cortex as cats—and half the attitude, some would say—dogs are often taken to be the less intelligent domestic partner. While dogs drink out of the toilet, slavishly follow their master and need a chaperone to relieve themselves, cats hunt self-sufficiently and survey their empire with a regal gaze.

But cats beware. Research in recent years has finally revealed the genius of dogs.

Like other language-trained animals—dolphins, parrots, bonobos—dogs can learn to respond to hundreds of spoken signals associated with different objects. What sets dogs apart is how they learn these words.

If you show a child a red block and a green block, and then ask for the chromium block, not the red block, most children will give you the green block, despite not knowing that the word “chromium” can refer to a shade of green.

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Eight Million Dog Mummies Uncovered In Egyptian Chamber

We were not the first culture to deify our pets. Ahram Online reports:

During routine excavations at the dog catacomb in Saqqara necropolis, an excavation team led by Salima Ikram, professor of Egyptology at The American University in Cairo (AUC), and an international team of researchers led by Paul Nicholson of Cardiff University have uncovered almost 8 million animal mummies at the burial site.

“We are recording the animal bones and the mummification techniques used to prepare the animals,” Ikram said. “We are trying to understand how this fits religiously with the cult of Anubis, to whom the catacomb is dedicated,” she added.

Saqqara dog catacomb was first discovered in 1897 when well-known French Egyptologist Jacques De Morgan published his Carte of Memphite necropolis, with his map showing that there are two dog catacombs in the area.

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There’s Someone Who Nose How to Sniff Out a Problem

Picture: CDC (PD)

“There was a programme on our TV sets called ‘Dogs with jobs’, right? Dogs with jobs?  And they used to put it on at 11.30 in the morning, right? I was unemployed at that time and I resented a programme called ‘Dogs with jobs’ being put on telly when they knew unemployed people would be watching. [...] Oh f—ing hell, even the dogs have got jobs!!”

- Russell Brand

There’s a doggy which has been trained to sniff out patients who have the ‘superbug’ C.difficile. It can clear an entire hospital ward in minutes with a recorded 80 per cent success rate, The Telegraph reports:

The dog, a beagle named Cliff, can sniff out the potentially deadly infection on samples taken from patients and even just from walking around the ward sniffing the air, according to a report published online in the British Medical Journal.

Dogs have been trained to sniff out a variety of diseases, warn epileptics of impending fits and can be trained to assist disabled people, but this is thought to be the first time one has been found to able to detect Clostridium difficile.

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Nasal Cells Help Paralyzed Dogs Walk Again; Could Help Humans

Picture: NIH (PD)

Scientists at Cambridge University have discovered an innovative new treatment that could lead to reversal of human spinal cord injuries. For now, paralyzed pooches are the ones reaping the rewards:

Via BBC:

The pets had all suffered spinal injuries which prevented them from using their back legs.

The Cambridge University team is cautiously optimistic the technique could eventually have a role in the treatment of human patients.

The study is the first to test the transplant in “real-life” injuries rather than laboratory animals.
Olfactory ensheathing cells

The only part of the body where nerve fibres continue to grow in adults is the olfactory system.

Found in the at the back of the nasal cavity, olfactory ensheathing cells (OEC) surround the receptor neurons that both enable us to smell and convey these signals to the brain.

The nerve cells need constant replacement which is promoted by the OECs.

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