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No evidence COVID-19 can spread to people from pet fur, AVMA says. BVA says otherwise.

With COVID-19 still plaguing the world, a lot of pet owners are worried about the possibility of passing it through their pets to other humans. Two of the world’s biggest veterinary associations are announcing differing stances on whether the virus can spread from people from pet fur. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) says that it is not possible for it to spread to pet fur, stating: “At this time, there is no evidence SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can spread to people from the skin or fur of pets,”. But on the other hand, The British Veterinary Association (BVA) states: “It is also the case that animals can act as fomites, as the virus could be on their fur in the same way it is on other surfaces, such as tables and doorknobs. That’s why our main advice for pet owners continues to be to practice good hand hygiene.”

Southwest US faces lethal rabbit disease outbreak

The first cases of wild rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus type 2 (RHDV2) have been discovered in the bodies of six rabbits in New Mexico, making it the first for the United States. These discoveries came after game hunters reporting seeing dead rabbits “lying out in the open, not undercover and hidden” which suggests that the rabbits died very suddenly. A vaccine is not widely available in the US however veterinarians in New Mexico are working with the United States Department of Agriculture to authorize veterinarians to use vaccines that are only currently available in Europe.

CSU veterinarians on front lines in the hunt for COVID-19 vaccine

Researchers at Colorado State University in Fort Collins are working hard to find a vaccine for COVID-19. The key to this is “a genetically modified form of Lactobacillus acidophilus that holds promise in preventing the virus from attaching itself to cells in the mucous membrane”. Before this, the researchers were working on a vaccine for feline coronavirus but quickly understood that there were many similarities between the virus in cats and humans. 

Dr Gregg Dean, DVM, PhD, DACVP, professor and head of CSU’s Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology says: “When we settled on the strategy for the feline virus, we looked at the human virus and the same features were there. So immediately we can identify the sequences that were similar in the human virus and basically substitute them for the sequences we had selected from the feline virus.”

Puppies spring from 20-year-old semen

Kris Kotsopoulos, detector dog trainer and registered breeder of working German Shepherds and Dobermans in Melbourne has successfully bred a litter of German Shepherds from the semen of a dog born way back in 1989. All the puppies except one, whom Kris kept, have gone to homes across Vicotria and New South Wales. 

Canine lung disease gene defect identified

Researchers at Helsinki University have discovered an underlying gene defect in the LAMP3 gene in Finnish Airedale terriers which may be associated with a severe hereditary lung disease that causes puppies to die within the first three days of being born. This will now allow researchers to identify the gene in carriers to prevent dogs that give birth to vulnerable puppies. 

BSAVA launches new anaesthetic resource to support the veterinary profession during the COVID-19 pandemic

Amid concerns of a shortage of oxygen due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) has launched a collection of resources on anaesthesia.

BSAVA President, Sue Paterson, said: “The potential prioritisation of oxygen cylinders into human medicines means that we must be ready and able to revert back to using some more basic anaesthetic techniques. BSAVA are pleased to be able to support the profession during these challenging through the provision of up-to-date guidance and resources to address these concerns.” 

Click here to access the resources, the BSAVA library remains free to use until the end of June:

The Ministry of Mindful Walking

With the lockdown ongoing across the world, one daily walk is all a lot of us can do right now for exercise outside the home. Here is an article detailing ways on how to make your walks more mindful.

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