Pet Scoop: Crews Use Jaws of Life to Free Trapped Dog, Rare Sea Turtle Rescued

March 10, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Firefighters in Oceanside, California, freed a dog trapped between two heavy metal storage containers.
Firefighters in Oceanside, California, freed a dog trapped between two heavy metal storage containers.

Happy Dog Freed From Tight Spot

When Spike, a 12-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback, got stuck between two heavy metal storage containers outside an Oceanside, California, school Sunday, his owner called 911 for help. Firefighters arrived on the scene and used the Jaws of Life to widen the space by about 3 inches. Spike’s owner was then able to coax her dog out of the 1-foot space. Despite his predicament, Spike remained in good spirits the whole time. “He was uninjured,” said Oceanside Fire Department Battalion Chief Pete Lawrence. “He came out, he was wagging his tail, thumping on the sides of the containers. Spike had a pretty good attitude through the whole event.” — Watch it at Fox 5 San Diego

Scent-Trained Dog Sniffs Out Thyroid Cancer

A new study found that Frankie, a rescued German Shepherd mix, was able to accurately detect whether patients' urine samples had thyroid cancer or were benign about 88 percent of the time. "Scent-trained canines could be used by physicians to detect the presence of thyroid cancer at an early stage and to avoid surgery when unwarranted," said the study's senior investigator, Donald Bodenner, MD, PhD, chief of endocrine oncology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. The dog’s diagnostic accuracy is only slightly less than that of fine-needle aspiration biopsy, which is generally used to test for thyroid cancer. The study was presented at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting. Bodenner said they plan to expand the program by working with the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. — Read it at Science Daily

Study: Sheep Use Brains to Reduce Water Loss

New research from the University of Western Australia finds that sheep can save up to 80 percent of their daily water intake by using a heat exchange system in their brains that cools down their blood. Sheep are known to go for up to a week without water. In an experiment, nine sheep weren’t given water for five days. The researchers measured the animals’ water loss and brain and body temperature every five minutes. They found that the longer a sheep went without water, the more time it spent with its brain cooling system turned on. This decreased the amount of water the animals lost. A 50-kilogram sheep can save 2.6 liters of water a day, or about 60 percent of its daily water intake, by using its brain cooling system for 50 percent of the day, the researchers said. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE. — Read it at Discovery News

Yawkey is the first leatherback sea turtle to be found stranded alive in South Carolina.
Yawkey is the first leatherback sea turtle to be found stranded alive in South Carolina.

Rare Sea Turtle Stranded

An endangered leatherback sea turtle weighing about 500 pounds was rescued from a remote beach in South Carolina Saturday. The turtle, named Yawkey for the area where it was found, had low blood sugar and is being treated with fluids and antibiotics at the South Carolina Aquarium. Although the aquarium has treated more than 150 sea turtles, this is the first leatherback it’s cared for. Yawkey is also the first leatherback known to have been stranded alive in South Carolina. The aquarium’s Kelly Thorvalson said she expects to release Yawkey quickly. "This turtle is in good enough condition that we can give it a good head start and release it. I do feel good about its prognosis,” she said. — Read it from the AP via Yahoo

Gorilla Mom Snuggles With Baby

With a little help from her keepers, 11-year-old Western Lowland gorilla Dara is doing well as first-time mom to her little girl. Baby Arlene weighed about 5 pounds when she was born on Feb. 22 at the Como Zoo in Minnesota. Although the animal care staff tries not to intervene so mom and baby can bond, Arlene seemed to have some trouble nursing. Veterinarians were able to examine the baby and give her fluids, and gave mom and baby some nursing guidance. Regular nursing began shortly after that. The baby was named Arlene as a tribute to the late Arlene Scheunemann, who fostered more than 200 wild animals for the zoo over a span of 45 years. Western Lowland gorillas are critically endangered in the wild. — See photos at Zooborns and see more cute zoo babies born in 2015


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