Pet Scoop: Police Save Dog From Choking, “Cancer Goggles” Help Spot Malignant Cells

Feb. 14, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Mit thanks one of the New Hamphire police officers who helped save him from choking on a dental bone.
Mit thanks one of the New Hamphire police officers who helped save him from choking on a dental bone.

Officers Sprang Into Action for Dog

When Mit, a 7-year-old Pomeranian and Poodle mix, got his nightly dental bone treat stuck in his throat last Saturday night, his owner Nicole Dale and her mother weren’t sure what to do. They didn’t think the little dog would survive long enough to make it to the nearest open veterinarian’s office, so Dale’s mom drove to the local police station in Farmington, N.H., with Mit to ask for help. Sgt. Scott Orlando and Officer Thomas McNulty sprang into action. They could see the bone lodged in the back of Mit’s throat. “The dog was so small, we couldn’t get our fingers in the mouth to grab the bone,” McNulty said. So, another detective quickly grabbed a pair of pliers and pulled the treat out, and Mit was back to normal within seconds. “I was so happy that someone was here to help him,” Dale said. On a trip back to the station this week, Mit was clearly thankful, giving the officers lots of happy kisses. — Watch it from New Hampshire’s WMUR

“Cancer Goggles” to be Tested on Dogs

The technology is still in the development stage, but surgeons are hopeful that the new goggles will allow them to see difficult to spot cancer cells so that they can remove every last one of them along with a tumor. The goggles work with the help of a contrasting agent that’s injected into the patient before surgery.  That agent makes the malignant cells glow when the infrared light shining from a small monocle on the goggles hits them. The “cancer goggles,” which are being developed by Dr. Samuel Achilefu, director of the Optical Radiology Lab and a professor of biomedical engineering at Washington University, will soon be tested on dogs by researchers at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. — Read it at Medical Daily

Gators and Crocs Can Climb

A new study finds that tree climbing is surprisingly common in alligators and crocodiles. Although the reptiles don’t have any special adaptations that allow them to grip the branches, they’re able to ascend to the tops of some trees, and out onto branches. Researchers think they do this to regulate their body temperatures, and to get a better view of potential threats and prey. “People who work or live around crocodiles knew about this behavior,” said lead author Vladimir Dinets of the University of Tennessee, Knoxille. “It’s really common, but nobody outside the crocodile research community was aware of it.” The study was published in the journal Herpetology Notes. — Read it at National Geographic

Duncan, a 1-week-old Asian elephant, made his debut at the Houston Zoo this week.
Duncan, a 1-week-old Asian elephant, made his debut at the Houston Zoo this week.

Baby Elephant Debuts in Houston

A 385-pound Asian elephant calf made his muddy debut at the Houston Zoo this week. Duncan was born to mom Shanti last Friday, while the whole nine-member elephant staff was on hand. The staff had been on birth watch since Thanksgiving. Shanti, who’s 24 years old, was pregnant for nearly 23 months with her fourth baby. “In the first 90 minutes after his first meal we saw him nurse more than 15 times. Duncan has a very good appetite,” said the zoo’s large mammal curator, Daryl Hoffman. Duncan’s dad is 48-year-old Thai. Keepers will keep Duncan and Shanti under a 24-hour watch for the next few weeks, but say they’re both doing well. — See photos from the Houston Chronicle and watch video of Duncan’s debut on YouTube

Bulldog Adopts Rescue Kittens

Don’t mess with Hammie’s feline family. In October, Hammie’s owner, Michelle Parden, took in Mommy, a pregnant stray cat. Mommy gave birth to six kittens on Halloween in Parden’s Nebraska home, and Parden gave them all names related to the holiday. (Pumpkin, Goblin, Frankenstein, Batman, Zombie and Elvira.) Hammie, Parden’s 1-year-old Bulldog, immediately fell in love with the new residents of his household. While the kitties have all been adopted now, adorable photos of Hammie protecting his unlikely loves have recently gone viral on Reddit. — See photos at the Huffington Post

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