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Health News Results - 77

One reason why cats have nine lives has emerged from an Australian study.

Cats are twice as likely as dogs to survive the bite of a poisonous snake, according to an international team of researchers. The reason: Cats' blood clots faster than dogs' does.

For the study, the researchers compared the effects of 11 different snake venoms from around the world on the blood-clott...

Every weeknight in April, Charley Bednarsh flung open the windows of her fifth-floor apartment across from the World Trade Center. At 7 p.m., she'd lean out, bang a metal spoon against a pan and shout with joy as part of the chorus of New Yorkers saluting health care workers fighting the coronavirus.

With the kids below cranking their noisemakers, another neighbor blowing his trumpet an...

At a time when it's hard to be close to old friends, new furry ones are helping fill the gap. They also may be helping improve their humans' health.

Amid COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, animal adoptions and foster care have skyrocketed, with shelters across the U.S. reporting empty kennels. From March 15 to late April, nearly 600 people had completed online applications for the New York C...

With sporadic reports of tigers and housecats picking up the new coronavirus from nearby humans, a new trial gives more details on whether cats can pass the virus to each other.

The answer: Yes, and quite easily, according to the new trial involving six felines.

But there was good news, too: Even though cats can transmit the new SARS-CoV-2 virus to other felines, none of the...

Scientists say they have unlocked the secret to what causes catnip, or catmint, to drive cats crazy.

The plant comes from the mint family. It contains enzymes called iridoids that help defend it from being eaten by plant-eating animals. One particular iridoid, nepetalactone, can send cats into a frenzy, the researchers said.

Unlike other types of plants in the same family,...

Pets are stress-relievers for parents of children with autism and benefit their kids, too, a new study suggests.

On average, parents of kids with autism have higher stress levels than other moms and dads, the study authors said, so some look to pets to help them relax.

For the study, the researchers surveyed more than 700 families who have a family member with autism about t...

Nadia, a tiger at New York City's Bronx Zoo, tested positive for the coronavirus. A few pet cats in the United States (and maybe one dog) have, too.

And since the novel coronavirus causing the current pandemic is thought to have originated at a live animal market in China, some people have wondered if they need to worry about their own pets.

The good news is that any risk t...

Here's a little secret from your favorite feline: Even if he acts aloof when you're around, he really doesn't like it when you're away.

Turns out that more than 1 in 10 felines have separation issues, according to a surprising new study out of Brazil.

Many studies have investigated separation problems in dogs, but none have looked at cats. While it's often believed th...

Having a furry, fluffy or feathered friend can have a profound effect on seniors' mental health, possibly even helping prevent some suicides, new research suggests.

In a group of 35 older people who were pet owners, more than one-third said they were "actively suicidal" or "significantly traumatized," but their pets gave them a reason to live.

One of these men had dogs and...

Fostering a shelter animal during the coronavirus pandemic could benefit both of you, an animal welfare group says.

"Shelters are swamped in the best of times, and with more and more staff in every sector of American life self-quarantining and falling ill, animals already abandoned and without homes are going to be increasingly vulnerable," said Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of Ame...

It's hard to believe, but America's favorite puppy wrangler used to live in a housing development that didn't allow pets.

"They lifted the ban a few years ago and all of a sudden everything changed," said Dan Schachner, a New York-based actor and official referee of Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl who fosters dogs for adoption. "People go outside more. They get more exercise. I know my ne...

There's more evidence that the canine-human bond is a tight one: New research finds that stray dogs pick up on human commands, even though they haven't been trained.

Of the untrained dogs in the study, 80% went to the place a person pointed to. This suggests dogs understand complex gestures by watching humans, which might be a clue to reducing conflict between stray dogs and peop...

You might just want to throw Fido a few extra bones for the holidays, as new research suggests that growing up with a dog may lower schizophrenia risk by as much as 24%.

Unfortunately, cat lovers are out of luck. No similar link was seen with respect to feline ownership.

"We found that a history of having had a pet dog present at birth or before age 3 was associated wit...

Pets may be on your child's holiday wish list, but if you've nixed the idea, you're not alone.

Forty-two percent of American parents say they wouldn't allow their child to receive a pet as a holiday gift. The same number say maybe, and only 1 in 6 say they'd approve, a new survey finds.

Just 15% of parents said they've given their child a pet as a gift, the C.S. Mott Chi...

Puppies in pet stores appear to have transmitted a dangerous, antibiotic-resistant germ that's sickened 30 people across 13 states, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned on Tuesday.

The infection in question is a multidrug-resistant form of Campylobacter jejuni, the agency said in a statement. So far, of 24 patients interviewed by the CDC, 21 (88%) said...

Only a few people seem able to decipher what most people consider unreadable expressions on cats' faces, researchers find.

These "cat whisperers" can discern subtle differences on feline faces that reveal their mood. Women and people in the veterinary field, but not necessarily cat lovers, are most likely to have this ability.

"The ability to read animals' facial expressions...

Calling all dogs! 10,000 of them, to be exact.

The 40 researchers behind the Dog Aging Project want that many of man's furry companions to be enrolled in a 10-year study of what helps canines live long, healthy lives.

"Aging is the major cause of the most common diseases, like cancer and heart problems. Dogs age more rapidly than people do and get many of our same diseases o...

Don't get too mad at that new puppy who piddled on the rug or chewed up your favorite slippers.

In the long run, that scamp is going to help you live a longer and healthier life.

A pair of new reports found that dog owners have a lower risk of early death than people without canine companionship, particularly when it comes to dying from a heart attack or stroke.

Do...

Most dogs and owners share an unbreakable emotional bond. But can they also share expanding waistlines?

Yes, said Danish researchers, who found that Fido is twice as likely to be heavy or obese if his owner is as well.

Why? "Based on our findings, it seems that the way owners give their dog treats is related to the owner's weight," explained study author Dr. Charlotte Bjornv...

Your cat may often act indifferent, but deep down, Fluffy is as attached to you as your child or your dog, new research shows.

The finding suggests bonding goes beyond species, the researchers said.

"In both dogs and cats, attachment to humans may represent an adaptation of the offspring-caretaker bond," said Kristyn Vitale. She's a researcher in the Human-Animal Interaction...

The loss of a loved one is one of life's most stressful events. But new research suggests that having a furry loved one still at home may help ease the pain.

Investigators looked at 437 older adults, some of whom lost a spouse, either through divorce or death. They found that having a cat or dog at home was linked to an easing of loneliness and depression.

Study leader Daw...

Pet food-related infections in people are rare in households that feed their pets raw food, according to a large international survey.

There is ongoing controversy about whether feeding raw pet food such as uncooked meat, internal organs, bones and cartilage puts people at risk.

Researchers at the University of Helsinki in Finland surveyed more than 16,000 households in 81 c...

A big floppy-faced St. Bernard saved the life of Army veteran and combat medic Brian Gliba -- but not in the way you might think.

Gliba first met Zeus in 2009 while battling post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and dealing with the medical havoc wrought by an IED blast he survived in Iraq.

Zeus' main job was to help Gliba remember to take the heavy doses of medication he re...

Your dog might be your heart's best friend, if a new study is any indication.

Researchers found that compared with people who had no pets, dog owners tended to have fewer risk factors for heart disease: They got more exercise, and had healthier diets and lower blood sugar levels.

Even compared with other pet owners, they were doing better with diet and exercise.

Th...

Your dog bounds heedlessly into a local lake or pond, playfully splashing in the water.

But within minutes, your canine companion is staggering, drooling or suffering seizures. Left untreated, the dog will likely die.

This fate has befallen a handful of pooches exposed to toxic algae blooms this year, experts say.

"Blue-green algae is a bacteria that during certain...

Could the newer flame retardants now being used in many household products be making cats sick?

A new study says it's possible.

Rates of hyperthyroidism, the most common endocrine-related disease of older cats, have soared since the first case was diagnosed in 1979, researchers report.

Cats with the disease experience weight loss, increased appetite, and increased ...

People who use marijuana know that the drug should be kept out of the reach of small children. But many may not realize that it can also be dangerous for their beloved animals.

As more states legalize marijuana, the drug poses an increased poisoning risk to pets, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) warns.

In June, Illinois became the 11th state to legalize pot...

More than 500 reports of heart disease in dogs and cats linked to some pet foods have been confirmed, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday.

The cases of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) -- 515 in dogs and nine in cats -- were logged between January 2014 and April 2019. Some of the reports involved more than one pet in a household, so the total number of pets affected is lik...

Pooches look up at people with quizzical, pleading eyes that are tough to resist. Now, research suggests evolution played a role in that irresistible gaze.

Dogs were domesticated more than 33,000 years ago and have changed over time to communicate with people, the study authors noted.

Dogs' eyebrows are particularly expressive. Dogs can raise them, which makes their eyes lo...

Apart from the sheer fun of owning a pet, having a dog enhances well-being and even personal growth in many ways.

Caring for a dog teaches kids responsibility and offers everyone in the family unconditional love. Many studies have found that the social support that dogs -- and pets in general -- provide boosts their owner's emotional health.

There are also many physical ben...

Summertime is vacation time, and plenty of people bring their pets along on their adventure, so one expert offers tips on how to make the trip fun for all.

"Before attempting a car ride, acclimate your pet to the harness or crate," said Kit Darling, infection control coordinator at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.

Start by giving yo...

This dog-eat-dog world got you feeling anxious? If so, your canine companion probably feels the same way, new research shows.

A Swedish research team measured levels of the stress hormone cortisol in hair samples taken from dogs and their owners.

"We found that the levels of long-term cortisol in the dog and its owner were synchronized, such that owners with high cortisol l...

No parent wants their child to suffer a dog bite, and new research offers some guidance on which dogs are the riskiest around young kids.

The body size and head shape of dogs affect the bite and injury risk they pose, the researchers found.

For the study, the investigators examined 15 years of visits for facial dog bites at two emergency departments, and more than 45 years o...

Ten more cases of salmonella linked to pet hedgehogs have been reported in the United States, bringing the total to 27, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The latest cases were reported in six states: California, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Oregon and Tennessee.

Forty-two percent of those sickened are kids 12 years and younger, and two people h...

Could a love for canines be contained in your genes?

New research from Europe suggests that's so after comparing the genetic makeup of more than 35,000 twin pairs with dog ownership. The researchers concluded that genetic variations explained more than half of the likelihood of having a dog.

"We were surprised to see that a person's genetic makeup appears to be a significant...

Pets make us healthier. They can raise our spirits, extend our lives, lower our blood pressure and make us more active, research shows.

Do we do the same for them? If not, we may not be keeping up our end of the bargain.

The annual survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), released in March, showed 60 percent of cats and 56 percent of dogs in America wer...

Richard McIntosh hadn't had any pets since his childhood farm dogs, but then he started a relationship with a competitive dog trainer and found his life filled with Golden Retrievers.

Now McIntosh, 59, of Cornelius, Ore., can't imagine growing old without a dog or two by his side.

"There was a little something missing from my life," McIntosh said. "These dogs give me activit...

They're tiny, furry and cute, but hedgehogs as pets can bring salmonella dangers, U.S. health officials warned on Friday.

There have been 17 cases of the serious gastrointestinal infection across 11 states -- all linked to contact with hedgehogs, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Hedgehogs can carry salmonella germs in their droppings while a...

Walking the dog can be great exercise for seniors, but there could be one downside: bone fractures.

Fractures suffered by elderly Americans while walking their dogs have more than doubled in recent years, new research shows.

Still, taking your dog for a walk can also bring big health rewards, one joint specialist said.

"Pets can provide companionship for older adul...

High levels of harmful bacteria found in many raw meat dog foods may be dangerous for more than just Fido, a new study suggests.

Not only can these foods put a dog at risk, but people who live with that dog, particularly the elderly, young and immunocompromised, are vulnerable, scientists say.

"This research offers further compelling evidence to support vets' concerns about ...

An experimental vaccine for bone cancer in dogs could offer a road map for a human version of the treatment, researchers report.

More than 10,000 cases of bone cancer in dogs occur in the United States each year. But the disease is not common in humans, with only 800 to 900 cases a year. About half of those cases occur in children and teens.

The new vaccine is made from a do...

They're cute, but cuddling a pet hedgehog could transmit potentially deadly salmonella, U.S. health officials warned Friday.

As of Jan. 23, "11 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from eight states," according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nobody has died, although one person needed to be hos...

Wherever Kathleen Simmonds goes, her service dog, Emma, isn't far behind. Emma -- also known by her Instagram handle, "Type 1 Wonder Dog" -- has been trained to sniff out dangerously high and low blood sugar levels and alert Simmonds so she can take action.

Simmonds, 48, has had type 1 diabetes for more than three decades, but she reached a point where she was no longer able to feel...

Carrying extra pounds isn't just bad for humans: New research indicates dogs' lives may be significantly shorter if they're overweight.

The study, which evaluated data from more than 50,000 dogs across 12 of the most popular breeds, found that the life span of overweight dogs was up to 2.5 years shorter than that of normal-weight canines.

"We know that in people, there's a ...

To fight America's opioid epidemic, lawmakers and regulators have clamped down hard on doctors' prescribing practices.

But one avenue for obtaining prescription opioids appears to have been overlooked, according to a new study.

Veterinarians are prescribing large quantities of opioids to pets, raising concern that some people might be using Fido or Snuggles to feed their add...

Rolling around, meowing and generally acting blissed-out: cats love the plant known as catnip.

Now, British scientists say they're closer to knowing how catnip works -- and their insights might end up helping felines' two-legged friends.

The substance in catnip that intoxicates cats is nepetalactone, explained a team led by Benjamin Lichman of the John Innes Center in Norwic...

Eight brands of dry dog food have been recalled because of potentially deadly amounts of vitamin D, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

Vitamin D is an important nutrient for dogs. But too much can cause symptoms such as vomiting, appetite loss, increased thirst and urination, excessive drooling and weight loss. Toxic levels of the vitamin can lead to kidney failure and death....

Do so-called hypoallergenic dogs really protect you against asthma?

Many dog-lovers believe it, but Swedish researchers found no evidence that "allergy-friendly" breeds -- such as poodles and miniature Schnauzers -- actually lower the risk for the wheezing lung disease.

Previous studies have shown that growing up with dogs can reduce a child's asthma risk, but researchers w...

As part of a new effort to cut the use of dogs in drug trials, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday launched an initiative to keep canines out of studies for certain veterinary medicines.

The project is aimed at "bioequivalence" trials -- studies conducted to test whether a new generic version of a drug is equivalent in effectiveness and safety to an existing medicine.

...

The "hygiene hypothesis" holds that early exposure to a variety of microorganisms may decrease the risk for chronic inflammatory diseases, like asthma.

Two Swedish studies that tracked 650,000 children found that exposure to farm animals and even dogs can have this kind of beneficial effect. Living on a farm cut kids' asthma rate by half. Just having a dog in baby's first year was lin...

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