Animal Health

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1992:

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons on
November 10 announced that it would ask the British
Parliament to ban routine docking of dogs’ tails as, “an
unjustified mutilation and unethical,” over the objections
of Buckingham Palace. Under the RCVS proposal, vet-
erinarians who perform medically unjustified tail-dock-
ing could lose their licenses. Princess Anne vehemently
defended tail-docking at a recent meeting of the British
Veterinary Medical Association. Of the 7.5 million dogs
in Britain, about 1.3 million have been tail-docked,
mostly by breeders. Among the 185 breeds registered by
the Royal Kennel Club, about 50 are traditionally tail-
docked, including corgis (a royal favorite), boxers,
Dobermans, old English sheep dogs, poodles, and

The Yorkshire Terrier Club of America has
raised $15,000 to partially fund a medical investigation
of genetic disorders afflicting the breed. Preliminary
studies are already underway at Kansas State University,
North Carolina State University, and Michigan State
Recent reports in the journal Animal
Behavior closely correlate animal play with brain devel-
opment. As in human infants, intense play coincides
with the formation of cerebellar synaptic connections,
and is apparently an essential part of motor development.
Young rhesus and squirrel monkeys spend up to half
their waking hours at play, while all mammals studied to
date have engaged in play.
As many as 24,000 Americans per year are
afflicted by cat scratch fever, which can cause swollen
lymph glands, but complications are rare, according to
the Centers for Disease Control. Cat scratch fever came
under study last year after two boys in the same elemen-
tary school in northern Connecticut suffered brief comas
during bouts with it, but no parallels to the Connectciut
incident have been discovered. An unknown additional
factor is believed to have been involved.
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