They’re being called the first identical twin dogs in history, which isn’t really true.
They’re being called the first “confirmed” or “recorded” identical twin dogs in history, which technically isn’t true either.
Not to be too nitpicky, and not to rain on anyone’s parade, but the first confirmed twin canine was born in 2005, created by man in a laboratory, with help from a few jolts of electricity.
He was an Afghan hound, named Snuppy. And his twin was the donor dog, whose extracted cells he emerged from. Thousands of identical twins have been born since then. They are called clones.
So to be annoyingly accurate, we must call the Irish Wolfhound brothers born in South Africa earlier this year the first confirmed and recorded identical twin dogs that aren’t clones.
They were delivered by Kurt de Cramer, a veterinarian in South Africa’s Rant en Dal Animal Hospital in Mogale City, who, during a Caesarean section, was surprised to find two puppies in the same placenta.
“When I realizd that the puppies were of the same gender and that they had very similar markings, I also immediately suspected that they might be identical twins having originated from the splitting of an embryo,” de Cramer. told the BBC.
The significance of that is that — though dogs from the same litter often look alike — it has never been documented before.
de Cramer called upon colleagues to help confirm the finding. The team, including Carolynne Joone of James Cook University in Townsville, Australia and Johan Nöthling of the University of Pretoria in South Africa, obtained blood samples when the twins were two weeks old.
Those tests, and subsequent ones on tissues six months later, showed their DNA to be identical,
Their findings were published in the journal Reproduction in Domestic Animals.
While it is the first case of its type to be recorded in scientific literature, the birth of identical twin dogs may not be all that rare.
Pups in a litter often look similar. DNA tests are not routinely performed. And because mother dogs generally eat (or if you prefer, clean up) the placenta after birth, evidence of two dogs sharing a placenta doesn’t linger.
Twins can be either monozygotic (identical), meaning they develop from the same zygote (or egg cell), which is fertilized by the same sperm cell; or they can be dizygotic (fraternal), meaning they develop from two different egg cells, each fertilized by separate sperm cells.
Twinning in mammals is uncommon, occurring regularly only in humans and armadillos. While it has been reported in horses and pigs before, both twins rarely survive.
Today the twin dogs, called Cullen and Romulus, are doing well. They were slightly smaller than normal at birth, but by six weeks of age they had reached a similar size to the other pups in their litter.
Cute as they are, Cullen and Romulus are not really trailblazers. Most likely, many identical twin dogs have been born over the years — the natural way — and gone undetected.
For sure, hundreds more have been born in recent years the grossly unnatural way.
So, sorry about that nature, but when it comes to the “first” identical twin dogs — at least according to the written record, and the “scientific literature” — technology beat you to the punch.
(Photos: Kurt de Cramer, via BBC)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 2nd, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, breeding, caesarian, clone, cloned, clones, cloning, cullen, dna, dog, dogs, first, identical, identical twin dogs, identical twins, irish wolfhounds, kurt de cramer, litters, monozygotic, pets, placenta, recorded, romulus, science, shared, south africa, technology, twin dogs, twins, veterinarian, veterinary
When a veterinarian told a California dog owner that his suspicions were accurate, and his pet had indeed ingested methamphetamine, the owner turned down further treatment for the 10-year-old Chihuahua and left with his dog.
Given the dog, named Jack Sparrow, was in danger of dying, the vet contacted animal control, and the dog was seized from his owner to get the treatment he needed.
Police in Fontana said in a press release that Isaiah Nathaniel Sais walked into the Inland Valley Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center in Upland on July 5.
A urine test confirmed that to be the case, but when vets informed Sais of that, and of the treatment needed, he walked out with his dog.
Because doctors had observed Jack suffering from convulsions and seizures and felt Jack’s life was in jeopardy, they called Fontana Animal Services, which sent officers to the home of Sais.
They seized the dog from the owner after observing he was still convulsing and living in neglectful conditions.
“There was the smell of urine in his fur and his nails were over-grown,” Jaime Simmons, of Fontana Animal Services, told KTLA.
Officers suspected Jack may have been kept indoors for months.
Jack was taken back to the vet’s office, where he continues to recover, and is expected to be transferred into a temporary foster home in the next few days.
The case was immediately submitted to the San Bernardino Animal Cruelty Task Force and an arrest warrant issued for the owner.
Sais was being held at the West Valley Detention Center in San Bernardino on a felony animal cruelty charge.
Posted by John Woestendiek July 12th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, california, chihuahua, dog, dogs, drugs, fontana, Inland Valley Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center, jack sparrow, meth, methamphetamine, neglect, pets, veterinarian, veterinary
He was a well-traveled dog who loved the road more than anything, except maybe you and me.
He was a survivor of Baltimore’s less tender side who was picked up as a stray, placed in a city shelter, found a home with some writer guy and went on to become a therapy dog and minor celebrity.
He was the subject of a five-part newspaper series examining his roots, a book (unpublished and unfinished), the inspiration for this website, and my reason for being.
And now the hardest words I’ve ever written: Ace is dead.
Last week, he was frolicking in the woods. This week, he slowed down to a state near lethargy and showed little interest in eating, and in the past two days he began swelling up — mostly in the belly region.
Having recovered from his recent bladder surgery, he was the same dog he always was — until Monday night when he came inside showing no interest in his nightly treat.
The vet’s diagnosis was congestive heart failure and possible tumors — hemangiosarcoma.
Blood was not getting to his liver, and fluids were pooling up inside.
Based on Ace’s age (nearly 12, a good 90 in human years for a dog of his size), based on the poor outlook in either case, or the even worse outlook in the case of both, and based on his apparent discomfort, the vet recommended putting him down.
When I asked for some time to think about it, the vet said that wasn’t a good idea. When I asked to take Ace home and bring him back today, he said that wasn’t a good idea, either.
So we took an hour before the deed was to be done. We started walking. It started raining. It was taking all of his effort to keep up with me, and I (being a fellow member of the congestive heart failure club) walk pretty darn slow.
We stopped at a Domino’s and sat on the pavement under an overhang. I bought him a small cheese pizza — his favorite food. He took two bites, but only because I insisted.
We stopped in the rain on the way back. I briefly debated whether I was doing the right thing. I held his head in my hands, rested my head on his and looked into his eyes. I could still see the love in them, but not the joy.
Back at the vet, on the floor with his head in my lap, the vet administered a sedative. Ace was soon snoring. Once the lethal injection was administered, his heartbeat slowed within minutes and then, around 6 p.m. Thursday, stopped.
I’ll get his ashes in a week or so, and I’ll spread them in Black Walnut Bottoms, the trail in Bethania he loved.
Having written a lot about dogs and death, I thought I’d be better prepared for this. But I’m a wreck.
In answer to one of the questions asked a lot over the years, no — a resounding NO! — he will not be cloned. Having written a book on dog cloning, people ask that of me. Clearly, they never read the book.
In 2011, Ace and I set off on a trip duplicating the route John Steinbeck took in “Travels with Charley.”
It ended up lasting a year, and covering 27,000 miles. I think I speak for both of us when I say it was the time of our lives.
“Travels with Ace” didn’t interest any publishers, but it will hang around on the Internet — at least until my time comes.
I still need to finish the last chapter, but I can promise you this:
In the book, Ace won’t die.
(Photos: Top, Ace at Salvation Mountain in California; Ace at the Bandera County Courier in Texas; Ace and John (photo by Brendan Finnerty); Ace with a bust of John Steinbeck in Monterey, California)
Posted by John Woestendiek May 20th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, ace is dead, animals, baltimore, baltimore sun, barcs, dead, death, died, dies, dog, dogs, goodbye, heart failure, hemangiosarcoma, inspiration, lethal injection, muse, obit, obituary, ohmidog!, pets, put down, stray, therapy dog, travels with ace, tumors, veterinary
A new medication that claims to soothe dogs who are frightened by loud noises, such as fireworks and thunderstorms, will be available to veterinarians in the U.S. within a week — in plenty of time to help make the 4th of July less traumatic.
Sileo (not a very serious sounding name, is it?) comes in a gel form and is the first prescription medicine for treating anxiety over loud noises in canines– a widespread problem that leads to property destruction, running away and life-threatening injuries.
Its U.S. maker, Zoetis of Florham Park, New Jersey, says Sileo (pronounced SILL-lee-oh) works by blocking norepinephrine, a brain chemical similar to adrenaline that pumps up anxiety.
It is applied to a dog’s gums via a pre-filled, needle-less syringe.
Zoetis says the medication will give owners of the estimated third of the 70 million dogs in the U.S. who have problems with loud noises an alternative to human anti-anxiety pills, like Xanax, that sedate dogs for many hours.
Sileo takes effect within 30 minutes to an hour.
The pre-filled applicator costs $30, and contains enough for two doses for a dog of 80 to 100 pounds, four doses for a 40-pound dog, or six doses for a small dog.
Dogs can be re-dosed every two hours, up to five times during each noise event, Zoetis said in a press release.
Zoetis has exclusive rights to distribute Sileo in the U.S. under an agreement with the medication’s developer, Orion Corp. of Finland.
In testing on 182 pet beagles conducted on New Year’s Eve, 75 percent of their owners rated its effect good or excellent. Side effects were rare and minor, the company says.
(Photo: Provided by Zoetis)
Posted by John Woestendiek May 17th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 4th of July, animals, anxiety, behavior, canine, dog, dogs, drugs, fear, fireworks, first, fourth of july, gel, july 4, loud, medication, medicine, new years, noise, noises, pets, prescription, sileo, syringe, thunderstorms, veterinarian, veterinary, zoetis
A Chihuaua mix named Daisy is running as she has never run before — thanks to some blade-like prosthetics.
Abandoned on the streets of Los Angeles when she was two months old, Daisy had congenital deformation of her elbows, right shoulder, and back hips, making it difficult for her to walk, and impossible for her to run.
She was set to be euthanized at a local shelter when A Home 4Ever Rescue pulled her out.
For years, she used a a set of wheels to move around, but that put too much pressure on her spine. She has been using the blades, designed by Animal Ortho Care in Chantilly, Virginia, since August.
(Photo: From Daisy’s Facebook page)
Posted by John Woestendiek November 25th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: a home 4ever, animal ortho care, animals, blades, chihuahua, daisy, disabilities, dog, dogs, los angeles, mix, pets, prosthetics, run, running, veterinary
Rowdy has been poisoned by river water and shot by police officers, but it’s a far less threatening skin condition that gives the 13-year-old black Lab his unique look
Rowdy has vitiligo, a disease whose most famous victim was Michael Jackson. In Rowdy’s case, it causes him to lose color in different patches on his body.
“He’s like our own little celebrity around town,” Rowdy’s owner, Tim Umbenhower told KPTV. “Everybody loves to stop us and wonder what we did to him or if we painted it on there.”
Umbenhower and his wife Niki, who livein Canby, Oregon, say Rowdy survived poisoning by river water and had to have his stomach pumped.
He was also once accidentally shot by police during what they thought was a burglary.
Niki, on her Facebook page, mentions the possibility of appearing on The Ellen Show and in a movie — and while she might just be joking, stranger things have happened.
(Photos: Niki Beiser Umbenhower’s Facebook page)
Posted by John Woestendiek November 18th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, black lab, canby, condition, disease, dog, dogs, health, labrador, mask, michael jackson, patches, pets, retriever, rowdy, skin, skin condition, veterinary, vitiglio, washington
Call it an early birthday present — Ace is home and doing remarkably well.
After surgery to remove his bladder stones, and an overnight stay at the animal hospital, I picked him up yesterday evening.
I was warned he could be leaky for a few days, and that his pee could contain blood — much like that I’m still scrubbing out of my living room carpet from the morning before surgery — but, sequestered in the kitchen, he made it through the night.
When I let him out this morning (after relieving myself, it should be noted), he walked down the stairs, did his business, and came back to lay down on the front porch, just as he normally does.
All of which leads me to marvel, yet again, about what a stoic and resilient beast he is — far more so than I.
I turn 62 tomorrow and, believe it or not, I am happy to do that. I am happy for my year as a 61-year-old to be over. It included, in this order, quintuple bypass surgery for me, the death of my father, and the death of my mother.
When Ace became completely blocked up this week by what X-rays showed was a horrific number of bladder stones, and the veterinarian recommended, even with some risks, immediate surgery, I balked.
Might it be possible, I asked, to wait until after Sept. 5? My 61st year has been a particularly accursed one, I explained, and I don’t want to give it one last chance to hurt me.
Between saying it out loud, and the look on my vet’s face, I realized I was being ridiculous. Tomorrow is fine, I agreed. That was Tuesday.
Thursday, Ace was home, having emitted just one tiny whimper on the drive. On my ride home from the hospital, after heart surgery, I emitted a dozen whimpers, six grunts, four goddammits, and more than a few dirty looks at my brother for hitting bumps.
During the night, I heard Ace moan once. I, due to back problems, probably moaned 10 times last night.
I took three months to recover from my surgery; Ace looks like he is going to take about three days.
True, they were different kinds of surgeries. True, Ace is on pain pills, more than I would ever be permitted. Ace was prescribed Tramadol — and is to be given eight 50-milligram pills a day. My doctor, who prescribed the same for my back pain, at the same dosage, says I can only take two.
Still, on the one-to-ten scale of stoicism, Ace rates at least a nine, while I can barely eke out a two.
Ace — in his early 80s, if you compute his age in human years — is handling old-man-hood much better than I am.
He didn’t like being sequestered in the kitchen. He prefers following me from room to room and keeping me in sight. But he put up with it, and with no leakage or accidents the barriers have already been lifted, at least during daytime hours.
He is mostly sleeping, and mostly sleeping with his eyes wide open, which I’ve never been able to figure out how he does.
There were hundreds of little stones, enough to make a nice bracelet, should there be a jewelry maker out there who is interested in — and not too grossed out by — taking on the job.
I also brought home a dog without the monstrous front claws Ace used to have. I’ve written before about our efforts to control those. Since Ace was going to be under anesthesia anyway, I requested he be given a pedicure. In retrospect, given the vet spent hours meticulously removing all the stones from Ace’s bladder, I feel a little guilty about that.
On the other hand, it symbolizes the fresh start that I hope comes for both of us when I turn 62 tomorrow.
He, with his bladder purged of rocky deposits, and his claws at a reasonable length. Me, with a still-ticking heart, my favorite season virtually upon us and, most importantly, my dog back at my side.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 4th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 61, 62, ace, animals, bladder, bladder stones, dog, dogs, health, pets, resilience, resilient, stoic, stoicism, superstitions, surgery, veterinarian, veterinary