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It's a dog's life: Doggy database aims to define pet health

1 Climate model simulations analyzed as part of the study revealed that the relationship between sea surface temperatures and atmospheric convection in the Indian Ocean changes rainfall in East Africa. Specifically, wet conditions in coastal East Africa are associated with cool sea surface temperatures in the eastern Indian Ocean and warm sea surface temperatures in the western Indian Ocean, which cause ascending atmospheric circulation over East Africa and enhanced rainfall. The opposite situation—cold sea surface temperatures in the western Indian Ocean and warmer in the East—causes drought. Such variations in sea-surface temperatures likely caused the historical fluctuations in rainfall seen in the paleorecord. Credit: Jessica Tierney, et al, 2013

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Using data collected about Labrador Retrievers, research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Veterinary Research is beginning to quantify the health, illnesses, and veterinary care of dogs. The UK is a nation of pet lovers -- but what do we know about the health of our pets? To date the long term (longitudinal) study of canine diseases has been patchy, relying on information from referral centers and details about pet illnesses which are not reported to a vet have never been studied before.
The Dogslife internet-based project (http://www.dogslife.ac.uk/) was organized in conjunction with the Kennel Club. From the 1st July 2010 the owners of all Labrador Retrievers born after 1st January 2010 and registered with the Kennel Club were invited to be part of the project. In the first year of the study 1407 dogs were enrolled in the study.
Early results to come out of this study show that four out of ten of all dogs were ill at some point. Analyzing their data the researchers estimated that about 80% of dogs had been ill by the time they were one year old -- but that only half were considered by their owners to be ill enough to need to visit the vet.
Discussing the Dogslife project, Dr Dylan Clements from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and The Roslin Institute, which are both part of The University of Edinburgh, and lead author of the study said, "Labrador Retrievers are the most popular pedigree dog in the UK, and breeders and owners are passionate about the health of their pets. We are extremely grateful for the time and commitment provided by owners and breeders contributing to the study. We hope to follow the health of these dogs throughout their lives so that we can identify aspects of care which might reduce the risk of dogs developing disease in the future."
The study is on-going, so any Kennel Club registered Labradors born in the UK after 1st January 2010 can join the project.

Source: BioMed Central Limited

need } � e r �(� 0� r if the models will eventually prove correct in their projections of increased precipitation in East Africa," says co-author Jason Smerdon, of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
While it's currently unclear which theory is correct, the discovery of the importance of the Indian Ocean may help solve the mystery. "In terms of forecasting long-term patterns in drought and food security, we would recommend that researchers make use of patterns of sea surface temperature changes in the Indian Ocean rather than just looking at the shorter term El NiƱo events or the Pacific Ocean," says Tierney.
In addition, Tierney and her colleagues lack paleoclimate data from the region that is most directly affected by the Indian Ocean -- the Horn of Africa. The paleoclimate data featured in this study are limited to more equatorial and interior regions of East Africa. With support from National Science Foundation, Tierney and her colleagues are now developing a new record of both aridity and sea surface temperatures from the Gulf of Aden, at a site close to the Horn.
"This will give us the best picture of what's happened to climate in the Horn, and in fact, it will be the first record of paleoclimate in the Horn that covers the last few millennia in detail. We're working on those analyses now and should have results in the next year or so," says Tierney.
This research was based on work supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Source: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

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Posted by Omkarr singh on Saturday, January 19, 2013. Filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

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