Posts Tagged ‘Rabbits’

Mammalian Neurogenesis Breaks Into The Most Static Brain Region

June 9, 2008

Fifteen years ago, the discovery of adult neurogenesis (the production of new neurons) in the highly static, non-renewable mammalian brain was a breakthrough in neuroscience. Most emphasis was put on the possibility to figure out new strategies for brain repair against the threath of neurodegenerative diseases. Yet, unlike lower vetebrates, which are characterized by widespread postnatal neurogenesis, neurogenic sites in mammals are highly restricted within two very small regions. Hence, the fact that protracted neurogenesis in mammals is an exception rather than the rule slowes down hopes for generalized brain repair.

Work carried out in the recent past at the University of Turin, involving Federico Luzzati and Paolo Peretto at the Department of Animal Biology, and Giovanna Ponti and Luca Bonfanti at the Department of Veterinary Morphophysiology, revealed striking examples of structural plasticity and neurogenesis in the nervous system of rabbits. These Lagomorphs show remarkable differences under the profile of neurogenesis with respect to their close relatives Rodents (mice and rats).

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Eat more squirrel?

May 27, 2008

The latest “ethical” food in England is squirrel. That’s right, those fuzzy-tailed little rodents that scurry about your yard. Of course, Southerners have always eaten squirrels. It was a part of our food pyramid, and we didn’t give it up until we could afford hamburger.

Rural Southern families always have depended on the family sharpshooter to furnish a little alternative meat for the family table: squirrels, rabbits, possums, quail and other wild game. When the South finally caught up financially with the rest of the nation, we turned to beef, lamb, etc. If wild game is involved in Southern meals today, it is likely duck or deer meat. But there are those who still enjoy an occasional squirrel or rabbit, and certainly quail is always a treat.

On my visits to the backcountry of England, I have observed rabbit hutches in most backyards, but it seems that squirrel meat has caught the English fancy, and the rodent meat is in much demand, according to recent articles in British newspapers.

One newspaper account reports that squirrels are “low in fat, low in food miles and completely free range.” In other words, “environmentally friendly.” Some Brits claim that, “The grey squirrel is about as ethical a dish as it is possible to serve.” Hunters provide the meat to butcher shops, and the shop owners say they can’t get enough to satiate the hunger for the meat. British women even exchange squirrel recipes.

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PHOTO: Introducing the latest addition to the Playboy Mansion

May 9, 2008

The Playboy Ferret!

New Age of ‘Pocket Pet’ Medicine Begins

May 4, 2008

The American Veterinary Medical Association ( AVMA ) has granted provisional recognition to the first completely new veterinary specialty since 1993. The new specialty will focus on small mammals including rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, mice and other small mammals, commonly known as “pocket pets.”

The new Exotic Companion Mammal ( ECM ) specialty was granted provisional recognition by the AVMA Executive Board on April 12, 2008, following recommendation from the AVMA American Board of Veterinary Specialties ( ABVS ) and Council on Education.

“The public and the profession will see these specialists as providing that next level of care of small exotic pets,” explains Dr. Beth Sabin, assistant director of the AVMA’s Education and Research Division. “This new specialty is really the outgrowth of the growing and ever increasing knowledge base of the particular needs of these animals in order to keep them healthy.”

Americans own 6.2 million pet rabbits, 1.2 million hamsters, 1.1 million ferrets, and a million guinea pigs, according to the 2007 AVMA U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook. The new ECM practice area includes these and other more unusual small pets, including hedgehogs and sugar gliders, but doesn’t include illegal pet species—sometimes referred to as “fad pets”—which have been linked to the spread of zoonotic diseases. In 2003, prairie dogs and Gambian giant pouched rats kept as pets were linked to a serious monkeypox outbreak.

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New York bans grisly electrocution of animals for fur

April 30, 2008

New York has become the first state in the nation to ban the electrocution of animals in a particularly gruesome way to harvest their fur.

The law bans the practice of anal and genital electrocution of fur-bearing animals, including mink, foxes, chinchillas and rabbits. The misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail.

National animal rights advocates on Wednesday said they hope it will force similar measures in other states.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants to use the law to push other states to ban similar practices on farms, which are often hidden in rural areas where animals are born and bred unsheltered in cages.

“Anal electrocution is common practice in fur farms across the world,” said Melissa Karpel of the Norfolk, Va.-based PETA. “A lot of these methods aren’t effective and these animals will wake up while they are being skinned.”

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Troubled teen says “Animals saved my life”

April 29, 2008

Every morning, 17-year-old Lim Weiting wakes up to 50 small animals waiting to be fed.

Among them are a cat, a rabbit, guinea pigs, chinchillas, hamsters and gerbils, which she lovingly grooms, feeds and talks to like old friends.

Most of the animals in her room are for sale, along with a range of pet supplies.

But hers is no ordinary pet shop.

Her small business is run out of a room in the Andrew and Grace Home in Aljunied, a home for troubled teens run by Pastor Andrew Choo and his wife, Grace.

The animals, she says, saved her.

Weiting was sent to the home last year, after her parents filed a beyond parental control complaint against her.

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Rapid rise in dumped pets – RSPCA

April 28, 2008

The RSPCA says it was called on to save nearly 150,000 animals last year.

Many of these were farm animals and pets rescued during the summer floods, or birds injured by oil spills.

However, 7,347 rescued animals were abandoned pets, compared with 5,959 in 2006. The charity warned that abandoning pets was an offence.

Examples of dumped animals included a litter of kittens left in a dustbin bag, and a rabbit abandoned in a box in a crushing machine at a recycling centre.

Excuses given by owners who no longer wanted to look after their pets were said to have included: “My dog hurts my legs when she wags her tail,” and “my cat doesn’t match my new carpet.”

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How to Talk to a Rabbit, or, The Language of Lagomorphs

April 18, 2008

We all know how frustrating it is when we’re unable to understand and be understood by others. It’s especially important to be able to communicate with those who share our living space, and for many of us that means being able to fluently speak and understand Rabbit. Unfortunately, too few who share their lives with a rabbit know what their rabbit is trying to tell them, or how to express themselves in terms their rabbit will understand. This guide was written to help remedy this situation by explaining some of the signals rabbits use to communicate, and answer the common question, “What did my rabbit mean by that?”

Being able to speak and understand Rabbit requires that you learn to think at least a little like a rabbit. Your rabbit will never learn to understand many of the mysterious things you do (“Why the heck did she just change into three different outfits before leaving for work?”), but you can certainly understand why rabbits do what they do. You’ll be pretty close to the truth if you think of rabbits as being from a society very different from your own, with different priorities, goals, important lessons, and gestures. Learning Rabbit is in some ways like human cultural studies, but of course the subject individuals have much longer ears.

People who expect rabbits to be like dogs often find the most important difference in the relationships they form with humans is that dogs may give unconditional love and trust, but rabbits don’t. Please repeat after me… rabbits are not like dogs, rabbits are not like cats, rabbits are like rabbits. This is why it’s so important to know how they think and what they want! As it turns out, what all rabbits want more than anything is respect and affection, and when you learn to give these properly (i.e. like a rabbit) you’ll freely get them in return.

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Animals in Space: From Research Rockets to the Space Shuttle

April 18, 2008

The animals that paved the way for Neil Armstrong and his cohorts have inspired a fresh take on the ubiquitous lost dog notice. Suzy Freeman-Greene revisits some walkies on the wild side.

One winter’s day, in December 1958, a fluffy squirrel monkey called Gordo was given a helmet and strapped onto a tiny rubber couch. Soon after, he was blasted into space in the nose of an American Jupiter missile. Gordo experienced nine minutes of weightlessness and is thought to have survived his capsule’s re-entry to earth. But the craft landed in the Atlantic Ocean and his body was never found.

Gordo was one of hundreds of animals sent into space from 1949 to 1990. In the name of science, monkeys, dogs, cats, rabbits, mice, rats, frogs, worms, fish, tortoises and even spiders have journeyed towards the stars. While plenty survived, many others died.

Click here for the full article.

Photo: Bunny caught during a night-time lettuce raid!

April 9, 2008

CSI goes four-legged

April 2, 2008

I first encountered an animal cruelty case as a veterinary student eight years ago. The patient, a pet rabbit, had a 10 centimetre cut across her left thigh. The wound itself was clean, the edges neat. My boss explained that this was consistent with the use of a sharp instrument, probably a razor blade. It was the third occasion a rabbit from this household had come in with the same kind of wound.

I was dumbfounded when my boss agreed to stitch up the wound without grilling the owner, an unhappy-looking teenage boy accompanied by his distraught mother. Surely we had a duty of care not to return this rabbit to a high-risk household. We could seize the rabbit and notify the authorities, putting an end to this cycle of cruelty.

“It would never get to court,” my boss explained. “How would you prove it?”

She had a point. We’d be unlikely to find a witness willing to testify, given both boy and mother reported that the rabbit had simply “fallen over”. We didn’t have the resources to collect samples for forensic testing, and we had only written records to back up our claims that rabbits from the same household had come in with similar wounds.

Veterinarians have always worked on the front line of animal welfare, but when it comes to animal cruelty, many have felt they can do little more than patch up or put down abused animals.

But times are changing. This month the University of Florida Centre for Forensic Medicine and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) will host the first international conference on veterinary forensics.

Click here for the full article.

Humans Have More Distinctive Hearing Than Animals, Study Shows

April 2, 2008

Do humans hear better than animals? It is known that various species of land and water-based living creatures are capable of hearing some lower and higher frequencies than humans are capable of detecting. However, scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and elsewhere have now for the first time demonstrated how the reactions of single neurons give humans the capability of detecting fine differences in frequencies better than animals.

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Bunnies gotta get clean. And they gotta look cute during the process.

March 30, 2008

Happy Easter from Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo!

March 23, 2008

 

When bunnies aren’t so cute anymore

March 20, 2008

Rarely now do cowboys ride the range lassoing stray doggies. The 21st century is a tamer time. These days, what animal roundups remain are more likely to pursue lesser targets. Like rabbits.

In Kelowna on the weekend, several dozen rabbit wranglers took to the bushes and sidewalks on a small-game hunt they hoped would save as many of the hoppity critters as possible from a lethal cull some are proposing to rid the Okanagan city of its “rabbit problem.”

Using big fish nets, the rabbit-lovers managed to corral 25 of the furry little creatures, dispatching them immediately to local veterinarians for spaying and neutering.

“The rabbits have been running around free so it’s not that easy,” said Sinikka Crosland of the Responsible Animal Care Society, which organized the roundup.

“You have to be quick and watch which way they run.”

Click here for the full article.

White Rabbits join Radiohead’s label, schedule many dates

March 16, 2008

Things seem to be going pretty well for White Rabbits these days. Tonight, they play a benefit for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City (tickets are still available here), the theme of which is “Enchanted Forest” (awesome!). They then hit the road, starting with a few SXSW dates, followed by a U.S. stint with Spoon and The Walkmen, followed by some headlining European gigs (see below).

Oh yeah, and they signed to TBD Records, which means they’re labelmates with Radiohead and Underworld. That’s none too shabby company for the still-young band. According to a recent statement, White Rabbits hope to have a new album out in early 2009.

In the meantime, there are plenty of live dates…

Click here for tour dates and article source.

Ohio’s coyote comeback good news for gardeners

March 16, 2008

 I’m not really sure if I would consider this to be good news.  I LIKE rabbits and racoons and deer and geese (but then again, I have only one member of that menagerie at my house – racoons).  Besides, coyotes also attack and kill domestic pets.  I wonder if they would also attack and kill small children left to play by theirselves?  Readers, do you know?

Anyway, while I don’t want coyotes to disappear, I probably wouldn’t be too excited about having a bunch of them in my backyard, either.  How about you?

-Kitty Mowmow

Ohio’s coyote population is growing. That’s good news for many of you.

Coyotes prowling your yard will eat the rabbits and rodents that munched your garden. They will scare away trash-raiding raccoons and the deer eyeing your favorite bushes. They also eat the eggs of those messy Canada geese so many of you loathe.

“I call coyotes nature’s animal-control officers, because they control the populations of every kind of urban wildlife people complain about, and do it so neatly, quietly and efficiently that most of the time most folks have no idea that coyotes are among them,” said Merritt Clifton, editor of the international Animal People newspaper.

Click here for the full article.

Pets for Life: Homes For Hares

March 9, 2008
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Rabbit
Raising Rabbits
Easter isn’t such a treat for rabbits who are given as gifts or for the animal shelters and rabbit rescue groups tasked with helping them after the Easter glow wears off. Learn more about the care of these complex creatures and what you need to know if you’re looking into adoption. more
 
 
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Trap, Neuter, Return, Repeat
Ann Maffitt had never heard of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)—a method for keeping feral cat populations in check—but she wanted to help the cats in her barn. Her local TNR training program taught her more about feral cats than she ever thought possible. Read Maffitt’s story on how she helped give her barn cats a better life. more
 
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Easter Advice

RabbitEaster Sunday will be here faster than a racing rabbit, so be sure to check out our top five tips to help keep your pets safe and healthy during the holiday. more

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Dogfighting a Nationwide Felony
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Dogs have something to celebrate with Wyoming’s passage of a bill making dogfighting a felony crime. Now the cruel bloodsport carries felony penalties in all 50 states.

 
   
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Paris Keeps Animals in Check

February 28, 2008

 On the one hand, I wonder why you would have so many animals if you’re too busy to spend time with them, and I hope they have enough love and attention.  On the other hand, it’s good that there is no doubting Miss Hilton’s ability to afford proper medical attention and living arrangements for all the animals.

-Kitty Mowmow

At last count, Paris boasted of having 17 doggies under her care, which earned her a visit from Animal Services.

Well, we can officially report that she’s lightened her load a bit.

“I only have 10 now,” Paris tells E! News. “Some of my dogs had puppies, so I gave some of them away to people I really know and trust. I gave some to my stylist and to a few of my best friends, so now I’m down to 10.”

But not even all 10 get to stay with Paris all the time. Her new Beverly Hills mansion, where she’s building a mini dog mansion just for her pooch pals, is still under construction. 

“And I travel so much, it’s hard to have them all with me all the time,” says Paris.

Often, her furry friends end up staying with Paris’ parents, her aunt Kyle and her kids, or other relatives.

But what about those more exotic pets we heard she was so fond of collecting: two monkeys, two rabbits and a couple of ferrets?

The entire brood resides on a ranch owned by the Hilton family in Nevada.

Says Paris, “I have a zookeeper who watches over them.”

Click here for the article source.

Animal testing ban spurs scientists into cultivating human tissue – lab Rabbits universally rejoice

February 22, 2008

This is the team that has grown human skin from the leftovers of cosmetic operations. The resulting living epidermis, called Episkin, is used in tiny samples to test cosmetics, avoiding the need to use animals. This is significant because, from next year, the EU Cosmetics Directive will ban the use of animals in testing cosmetics and their ingredients.

L’Oréal, the cosmetics company that runs the lab, secured a breakthrough last May when Episkin, which has taken more than 20 years and £500 million to develop, was awarded validation by a European Commission regulator as an official alternative to animal testing for skin irritancy. The regulator ruled it as at least as good as a rabbit test.

Click here for the full article.