Pet Scoop: Early Contact With Dogs Lowers Asthma Risk, Stuck Dog Freed From Recliner

Nov. 3, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

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Study Links Dogs, Asthma Prevention

A new study from Sweden shows that children who grew up with dogs in their household had about 15 percent less asthma than children without dogs. Prior research has found a link between dog ownership and reduced risk of asthma, but this is the largest study to do so. Researchers used data for more than one million children who were born in Sweden between 2001 and 2010 to reach their finding. They also found that children who had early exposure to farm animals had a 25 percent lower risk of developing asthma compared with kids who didn’t grow up on a farm. The researchers said having a dog in the household may affect a child’s microbiome, and the child may spend more time outside getting exercise with the dog, which could help as well. The exposure to dogs must be early and constant, but once a person develops asthmas or a particular allergy, it’s best to avoid the triggers, reports Discovery News. The results are being published in JAMA Pediatrics. — Read it at Newsweek

Elusive Whale Caught on Camera

The mysterious Omura’s whale has been filmed for the first time ever off the coast of Madagascar. Until now, it had been known only by its sporadic strandings on shore and a small amount of genetic data obtained in 2003 from earlier Japanese whaling expeditions. Now, 44 groups of Omura’s whales have been documented over the course of two years by a team led by Salvatore Cerchio, a guest investigator with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and a staff member at the New England Aquarium. The team was able to document the small whales’ foraging behavior, habitat preferences and vocalizations. The findings have been published in the journal Royal Society Open Science. — Read it at Discovery News

Rescued Baby Sea Turtle Gets a Temporary Home

A tiny loggerhead sea turtle hatchling will make the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California his home for the next one to two years. The staff there will rear him to a larger size and prepare him for life on his own in the ocean. The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores loaned the endangered little one to the aquarium, where he’ll be an ambassador for his species until he’s big enough to return to the sea. When he’s ready, he’ll be flown back to North Carolina to be released into his native waters in the Atlantic Ocean. — See photos at Zooborns

Lyn Kirkwood called the fire department for help when she noticed her dog, Cagney, was trapped in a recliner.
Lyn Kirkwood called the fire department for help when she noticed her dog, Cagney, was trapped in a recliner.

Firefighters Free Dog From Chair

When Cagney, a Lhasa Apso, got trapped inside an electric reclining armchair in her home in England Thursday night, her desperate owner called the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue and the RSPCA for help. Lyn Kirkwood said she knew something was wrong when the 7-year-old dog didn’t bark at the doorbell, and then saw her hind legs in the chair. Three firefighters turned off the electricity, dismantled the chair and rescued the pooch, who was “unfazed” by her ordeal, an RSPCA officer said. "When they freed her she just walked off as if nothing had happened,” Kirkwood said. Luckily, Cagney wasn’t injured and has since made a full recovery. — Read it at the U.K.’s BBC News

Separated Seal Couple FaceTime Each Other

Two seals who were separated after living together for seven years recently reconnected — with a live video link on their iPads. Sija and Babyface lived together at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary in the U.K., defying the odds and having two pups together, even though keepers thought Babyface was too old to breed. Finally, it was decided the pair would need to be separated. In May, Sija was moved to a girls-only enclosure at the Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park, and is “thriving and happy “ there. But her caretakers thought she probably missed Babyface, so they arranged a meeting via FaceTime. “At first the seals were both unsure about approaching the iPad, but once they saw each other they nosed up to it, which was really nice to see,” said Fiona Smith, of Weymouth SEA LIFE. — Read it at ABC News

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