Rabies virus (RABV) transmitted by dogs is responsible for an estimated 60,000 human deaths per year, especially in Asia and Africa. A study now reports that six commercially available rapid rabies tests -- which could make testing dogs much easier -- fail to yield accurate results.
A veterinarian is conducting clinical trials to treat cancers in dogs, cats and other companion animals. But this research benefits humans, too. Many cancers in animals -- especially dogs -- are similar to those in humans, which means that the diagnosis, monitoring, treatment and response to treatment are also similar.
In Austria, the parasitic roundworms Dirofilaria repens and Dirofilaria immitis are usually considered to be unpleasant souvenirs from travels abroad. A preliminary study has identified indigenous mosquitoes as carriers of Dirofilaria repens, suggesting for the first time that the parasite has become endemic in Eastern Austria. Dirofilaria immitis, commonly known as heartworm, also appears to be on the verge of becoming autochthonous. The slow pace at which the parasites are establishing themselves is probably due in part to the keeping conditions of dogs in Austria.
Scientists have compared genetic data with existing archaeological evidence and show that man's best friend may have emerged independently from two separate (possibly now extinct) wolf populations that lived on opposite sides of the Eurasian continent. This means that dogs may have been domesticated not once, as widely believed, but twice.