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Pets and Vets: Sea turtle receives skull surgery and more


A sea turtle recovers from skull surgery in North Carolina and other state news from the world of animal health



A miniature donkey born with a severe congenital hind limb deformity underwent amputation and was fitted with a prosthetic leg by a team from the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine and the Hanger Clinic. Hanger is most notable known for making the prosthetic tail for "Winter" the dolphin made famous in the 2011 movie "Dolphin Tail." Equine surgeon Fred Caldwell, DVM, performed the surgery, and Billy Fletcher of the Hanger Clinic, created the prosthetic limb. The donkey, Emma, is continuing to do well and getting stronger each day.


The office of the state veterinarian held more than a dozen workshops to take input on new proposed minimum animal care standards in Alaska. The standards would establish minimum levels for care and give the state better tools to deal with neglect and abuse. The regulations will be out for a 60-day public comment period by the end of August.


Arizona could be the next state in accordance with the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to create a sanctuary for wild horses. The sanctuaries are part of a new management strategy to assist with population control and adoptions of wild horses and burros. The state's terrain and dry conditions may not make the site ideal, but Arizona BLM spokesman Roger Oyler is hopeful.


The waning California condor population may trigger emergency conservation measures. A new study by the National Academy of Sciences states that despite three decades of conservation efforts, the endangered bird remains near extinction. The study claims that lead poisoning from leftover ammunition is preventing the recovery of the condor population.


The Colorado State University Equine Reproduction Laboratory is being overhauled and rebuilt after a fire destroyed its main building July 26, 2011. The new $5 million facility will consist of a 12,200-square-foot laboratory complex is expected to be completed by March 2013. Insurance will cover some of the construction costs, but fund raising projects are underway. Construction is scheduled to begin next spring.


Authorities in Bay County, Fla., said employees at Parkway Animal Hospital saw a pit bull violent shaking the arm of fellow employee Laura Miller. The staffers kicked and hit the dog until it released its grip. After the July attack, a hospital spokeswoman said Miller, 43, was in guarded condition in the intensive care unit. Doctors later amputated Miller's arm at the shoulder. No criminal charges were filed.

In Miami-Dade County, the South Florida Veterinary Medical Association Inc. (SFMVA) is urging citizens to put an end to Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) by voting to repeal the county's breed ban targeting pit bulls. The SFMVA cites an April 2012 study by the American Veterinary Medical Association which concludes that BSL is not shown to increase community safety.


The School of Veterinary Medicine at Purdue University plans to build a $12 million veterinary care facility near the Indiana Downs racetrack aimed at providing advanced treatment for horses and training for students. The plans call for a 23,000-square-foot facility on 20 acres. Fund-raising is still ongoing.


The Minnesota Zoo will close its dolphin exhibit this fall stating there are no viable options to increase the necessary social group for the zoo's remaining two dolphins. Zoo officials say closing the popular attraction has nothing to do with the Feb. 6 death of the young dolphin, Taijah, the sixth dolphin in the zoo's collection to die in as many years. The exhibit opened in 1978.


Kevin Keegan, a professor of equine surgery in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri, has developed a system to assess lameness in horses dubbed the "Lameness Locator." Since detection still relies on simple visual observation, the system uses small sensors placed on the horse's head, right front limb and croup, near the tail. The sensors monitor and record the horse's torso movement while the horse is trotting. The information is compared against data recorded from the movement of both healthy horses and lame horses to assist equine veterinarians and streamline evaluations. More information can be found at www.equinosis.com.


The Columbus Zoo welcomed two Amur Tiger cubs June 28 and 29. The twin cubs weighed just two to three pounds at birth. Due to concerns for the health of the first-born cub, who did not nurse for an extended period after nursing successfully initially, the pair was removed for hand rearing. The cubs, whose conditions are improving, are being raised together to ensure companionship and socialization.


Senator Mark Allen, R-Spiro, wants horse processing facility constructed in eastern Oklahoma. He is in contact with Wyoming State Representative Sue Wallis, Unified Equine LLC, who is working to open several slaughter facilities around the country.


Waterville, Ore., veterinarian Russell Danner is seeking a patent on a mixture of spearmint and wintergreen oils that causes a loss of consciousness in fish. He found the need for an alternative anesthesia to the currently used ethyl 3-amitobenzoate methanesulfonic acid salt, which is dangerous to humans, while working as a state fish pathologist.


A 9-year-old girl died after accidentally falling from a third floor window at the Kutztown Animal Hospital, in Reading, Penn. Police say Michaela Downes was playing with her siblings when she lost her balance and fell through an open, screened window. The girl was a relative of a clinic employee.


Nathan Lee, DVM, at the University of Tennessee's Veterinary Medical Center, used precisely targeted radiation to treat an 11-year-old African lion, "Tsavo," for a tumor near the mouth of the 357-pound animal. The 10-centimeter tumor had shrunk to six centimeters at the time of the lion's fourth and final treatment. If the tumor does not continue to shrink, it will be necessary to remove surgically.


A bobcat "broke in" to the Monroe Corrections Complex in Seattle, a facility designed to keep 2,400 state prisoners locked up. Prison staff called Roger Hancock, DVM, who shot the cat with a tranquilizer gun and took it to the Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital in Snohomish, Wash. The cat suffered a few cuts from the facility's razor-wire, but was stitched up and given a good prognosis.

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