DEAR DR. FOX: We adopted a mother dog, Sunnie, and her son, Danny, from the local shelter.
Sunnie's DNA test says she is half Lab, one-quarter standard poodle and various amounts husky, Australian shepherd, vizsla, one of the coonhounds (I forget which) and "too many other breeds to list out." Gotta love those algorithms.
Danny's test says he's one-quarter beagle and various amounts Aussie, husky, American foxhound, harrier and "too many other breeds to list out." I asked Wisdom Panel (the DNA company) where Sunnie's Lab/poodle genes in Danny were, since there was so much of those in her. They said sometimes the obvious DNA just doesn't show up. They ran the test again with the same results. -- B.W., Zanesville, Ohio
DEAR B.W.: I am amused by the results of the DNA tests of the mother and son dogs, and would like to hear from other readers about curious, dubious and impossible results from the companies they have paid to find their dogs’ recent ancestry. The inaccuracies in this branch of the biotechnology industry in other sectors is concerning and well documented. One veterinarian told me that a client had her two purebred dachshunds' DNA tested, and neither came back with any indication of having any dachshund ancestry!
DEAR DR. FOX: I just wanted to let you know that I did what you said: I am giving my cat Gabby sardines, and she likes them a lot.
Gabby seems to be more alert and playful since I have been giving her these sardines. I am seeing another vet right now, and he examined her and said she is doing very well for her age. Her heart and lungs sound great, and her weight is holding at around 10 pounds.
The vet didn't push booster shots like the other vet did. Also, Gabby is using her litter box more. Thank you so much for helping me with my cat. -- J.B., St. Louis
DEAR J.B.: I always appreciate hearing back from readers who follow my advice and let me know the results.
It is a challenge for me, not seeing readers' animals, but so many conditions that have been passed on to me over many decades have been effectively resolved by addressing nutrition and giving various supplements.
Canned sardines are not a panacea, but as you affirm, they can be a small miracle for many cats. Just remember: All things in moderation -- no more than one sardine a day. And some cats are allergic to fish!
BPA FROM CANNED FOODS MAY BE HARMING DOGS
A study by veterinarians at the University of Missouri found that dogs' levels of the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A nearly tripled after the animals ate a canned-food diet for two weeks, and the exposure was associated with metabolic and microbiome changes.
Increased BPA may also reduce one bacterium that can metabolize BPA and related environmental chemicals. The researchers said the findings may have implications for humans, too, saying: "Indeed, our canine companions may be the best biosentinels for human health concerns."
I would add that cats are also very much at risk and that BPA should not be put in the lining of canned products for their consumption, either. This is a factor in the virtual epidemic of hyperthyroidism in cats today.
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