Pet Scoop: “Miracle” Puppy Beats the Odds, Unexplained Illness Kills 20 Bald Eagles

Dec. 27, 2013: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Miracle the puppy surprised veterinarians at a Colorado shelter when she started crying 45 minutes after she was born.
Denver’s ABC 7 News
Miracle the puppy surprised veterinarians at a Colorado shelter when she started crying 45 minutes after she was born.

Puppy’s Survival Surprises Vet

A Colorado veterinarian is crediting a holiday miracle with the unlikely survival of a puppy at the Aurora Animal Shelter. Dr. Nicole Bartley said a small dog was brought in to the shelter on Monday, struggling with labor. After a quick examination, Bartley determined that an emergency C-section was needed because the puppy was too large for the mom to give birth naturally, and the dog had been in labor for a long time. There was a lot of infection, and little chance for the pup to survive. The technicians tried to help the puppy, but when it didn’t breathe, they shifted their attention to the mom, and to try to rid her of infection. It was 45 minutes later when “we heard a sound from the inside the blanket where the puppy had been wrapped. It was alive! And crying for its mama!” Bartley wrote on Facebook. “It should not have been possible for that puppy to be alive that much later when we couldn’t get it to respond right away.” So, the staff named the newborn Miracle, and she and her mom headed to foster care in time for Christmas. They will be available for adoption in February. — Watch it at Denver’s ABC 7 News

Deer Ticks May Be Spreading New Virus Strain

Researchers in Maine say that a strain of Powassan virus, which killed a well-known artist there last week, is passed by deer ticks rather than woodchuck ticks. The artist, Marilyn Ruth Snow, was bitten by a tick in early November. Because deer ticks are much more common and more likely to bite humans, the new strain is “something of a game-changer,” says Charles Lubelczyk, a biologist with Maine Medical Center Research Institute. While Lyme disease, which is also carried by deer ticks, can be treated with antibiotics, Powassan is a virus and there’s no known cure. Doctors can try to control the symptoms, but the illness often leads to encephalitis and meningitis. Researchers aren’t yet sure how prevalent Powassan has become in the state. — Read it at the Portland Press-Herald

Mysterious Bald Eagle Deaths Mount in Utah

At least 20 of the iconic, protected birds have died from an unexplained illness in northern and central Utah. The ailment has left the raptors with leg paralysis and tremors before their deaths. "It appears to be more disease-related since we're seeing birds with neurological symptoms and enlarged hearts,” said Leslie McFarlane, Utah’s wildlife disease coordinator. “That doesn't rule out all toxins, but it shortens the list of suspects.” Officials are looking for links to the die-off of thousands of shore birds around the Great Salt Lake. The eagles are known to prey on small shore birds, and may have contracted a disease that way. — Read it at NBC News

Noland, a Pit Bull puppy, snuggles up to his feline mom with one of his littermates.
Noland, a Pit Bull puppy, snuggles up to his feline mom with one of his littermates.

Cat Wins Grant for Her Shelter

In June, we told you the sweet story of Lurlene, a new mama cat at the Cleveland Animal Protective League who melted hearts everywhere when she adopted a 1-day-old Pit Bull puppy named Noland. The puppy was eventually placed in a foster home with other puppies his age, but he still visits his feline mom and siblings occasionally. "Noland blended in with the family so well, he was even found using the litter box a few times," said the shelter’s director of development, Judy Hunter. Now there’s more good news. The story of interspecies love has resulted in the Cleveland APL getting a $25,000 grant from the Petco Foundation's "Holiday Wishes Grant Campaign" contest. It’s one of many grants given by the group this year. — Read it at The Hollywood Gossip

Kitten Joins Kardashian Clan

Kourtney Kardashian apparently got a cat for Christmas. The reality TV star introduced the adorable kitten in a photo on Instagram on Wednesday. "Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas! Our newest member of the family," she posted with the photo. There’s no word yet on the kitten’s name, but we have a sneaking suspicion that it will start with a K. — Read it at People Pets


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