Feline hypertension is often linked to kidney diseaseAs cats age, they face a greater risk of developing kidney issues. Veterinarians also have discovered a link between feline kidney disease and hypertension, a potentially deadly condition. Since cats typically make fewer trips to the veterinary clinic, identifying and treating either condition can be tricky. (Have you ever tried slipping a blood pressure cuff on a cat that's already stressed out from the visit?)
"They don't understand what a blood pressure cuff is or what a vet is doing, so they get excited, which changes their blood pressure," says Dr. Scott Brown, a board-certified veterinarian at the University of Georgia's College of Veterinary Medicine.
Also see: 10 surprising facts about cats
To understand how feline hypertension is associated with kidney disease, an organization called Visionaire Research & Education is conducting a three-year clinical trial at 35 locations across the United States and Canada. The University of Georgia helped design the study, which will
Blog Posts by Mother Nature Network (mnn.com)
Feline hypertension is often linked to kidney diseaseAs cats age, they face a greater risk of developing kidney issues. Veterinarians also have discovered a link between feline kidney disease and hypertension, a potentially deadly condition. Since cats typically make fewer trips to the veterinary clinic, identifying and treating either condition can be tricky. (Have you ever tried slipping a blood pressure cuff on a cat that's already stressed out from the visit?)Read More »from How to Tell If Your Cat Has High Blood Pressure
ADI President Jan Creamer and 'Lion Ark' director Tim Phillips rescue a lion cub in Bolivia.An undercover investigation by Animal Defenders International or ADI led to a 2009 ban on circus animals in Bolivia. The circuses were given a year to comply with the law, but many kept their animals, including a number of lions, caged in deplorable conditions.Read More »from 25 Abused Circus Lions Saved in Dramatic Rescue
In 2010, with the aid of Bolivian wildlife officials, ADI stepped in.
The new movie "Lion Ark" follows ADI's team as they track down eight illegal circuses, face off against angry circus owners and race against time to transport 25 lions to a Colorado animal sanctuary.
Also see: Pilots, volunteers unite to rescue animals
The movie opens in the middle of a confrontation between rescuers and a knife-wielding circus owner, and through a series of interviews and flashbacks, viewers learn how ADI located the illegal circus in a remote Bolivian town.
Over the course of the film, rescuers track down filthy, starving lions - some living eight to a cage - and transport them 5,000 miles to freedom.
Although the film
Cat MJ hitches a ride with Rudi SaldiaRudi Saldia has become the most famous bike courier in Philadelphia, thanks to his 1-year-old tabby cat, MJ, who accompanies him on deliveries.Read More »from For Bike Courier, a Cat is His Co-pilot
MJ, short for Mary Jane, perches on Saldia's shoulder as he delivers parcels, and the pair has been turning heads on city streets since they began their rides last year. The cat had always loved nestling on Saldia's shoulders, so he decided to train her to accompany him to work.
Also see: 6 infamous animals that ride public transportation
"The first day we managed one block. The next day we managed two blocks and now we can do around 25 miles with her on my shoulder," he told the Daily Mail.
Using a GoPro camera mounted on his bike, the 26-year-old courier began shooting footage of MJ's urban adventures to prove to his mom that his cat could ride a bicycle.
Saldia posted his first video to YouTube in October, where it's since amassed more than a million views and even attracted the attention of GoPro. The sports-camera company reached out
- Mother Nature Network (mnn.com) | Parenting – Thu, May 30, 2013 9:39 AM EDT
Heather and Adam Barringer's idea has been called horrible by expertsAdam Barringer, 29, and his pregnant wife Heather, 27, have traveled from North Carolina to Pohoa, Hawaii, to welcome their forthcoming baby, Bodhi, into the world - surrounded by a pod of dolphins. Because when a plain old water birth isn't enough, why not introduce some giant marine mammals to the mix?Read More »from Worst Idea Ever? Couple Plans Dolphin-Assisted Birth
Aside from unicorns and narwhals, dolphins may be the creatures most revered by the New-Age set, but as lovely and magnificent as they may be, experts warn that dolphins can be unpredictable and dangerous. They are, after all, wild animals.
Also see: Dolphin spies serve in the military
"My professional opinion: this has to be, hands down, one of the worst natural birthing ideas anyone has ever had (and that is saying a lot)," writes Christie Wilcox at Discover Magazine.
Wilcox cites research revealing that dolphins will "toss, beat, and kill small porpoises or baby sharks for no apparent reason other than they enjoy it, though some have suggested the poor porpoises serve as practice
A lion and a dog have become friendsA 500-pound lion and an 11-pound dog have formed an unlikely friendship, proving that cats and dogs really can get along. Bonedigger the lion and Milo the dachshund live together at Garold Wayne Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, Okla., along with three other dogs.Read More »from Crippled Lion is Dachshund's Best Friend
The puppies were introduced to Bonedigger in 2008 when he was just a 4-week-old cub. A metabolic bone disease rendered the lion mildly disabled. Park president Joe Schreibvogel - who goes by the name "Joe Exotic" - thinks the lion's state has something to do with the connection the animals formed.
Also see: 16 unlikely animal friendships
"The dogs thought it was just a big puppy and have loved each other since," he told The Today Show. "I also think they know the lion is not as normal as the rest."
Exotic says that Milo and his littermates sensed that Bonedigger was crippled, and they sought to protect him. Today, the animals cuddle, dine on raw meat together and even mimic each other.
Milo is Bonedigger's closest friend, and he
Lucero named the piglet Chris P. Bacon after a video game character and took the little piggy to his Clermont, Fla., home, where he fashioned him a wheelchair out of K'nex construction toys. Using a veterinary version of the wrap used on sprains, Lucero attached the two-wheeled device to Chris P. Bacon and let him take it for a spin.
"He screamed and yelled. He didn't like it at first, but he got used to it," Lucero told the Orlando Sentinel.
After a few minutes though, Chris P. Bacon seemed to take to his wheelchair, and Lucero shot a video of the tiny piglet testing out his new wheels in the living room. He posted the six-minute video on YouTube to share it with friends, but within a few days the video had hundreds of thousands ofRead More »from Disabled Piglet Gets New Wheels
- Mother Nature Network (mnn.com) | Author Blog Posts – Fri, May 24, 2013 12:43 PM EDT
BeardvertisingCalling all hirsute hipsters.Read More »from Beardbertising: Beards Become the Latest Turf for Ads
"Do you have an epic beard? Do people stare at its awesomeness? ... Do you wanna get paid for having an epic beard? ... Join the world's first Beardvertising network," reads the plea from a Kentucky-based advertising agency that is paying $5 per day to men willing to adorn their whiskers with wee billborads.
The agency, Cornett-IMS, created the "beardvertising" campaign for A&W Root Beer; it was designed to help bodaciously bearded men capitalize on their natural resources. (Not to mention to help a baby-boom brand find its way into the hearts of hipsters everywhere.)
Also see: 5 amazing health benefits of beards
Whit Hiler from Cornett-IMS told Business Insider that the campaign isn't limited to Kentucky, and will be employed "anywhere that there were epic beards willing to host these little 'beardboards.'"
And apparently, men with exuberant facial fur are game. Hiler said, "We're getting a ton of emails from guys with epic beards that want to host
Grumpy CatThe Internet knows her as "Grumpy Cat," but Tardar Sauce - "Tard" for short - isn't actually all that grumpy.Read More »from 'Grumpy Cat' Isn't so Cranky After All
The mixed-breed cat became an Internet sensation when her photo was posted on Reddit in September. Many users suspected that the feline's frown had been Photoshopped, so her owners shared some videos of her to prove that Tardar's face really does look a bit cranky.
"Tardar has what looks kind of like an underbite," owner Tabatha Bundesen of Morristown, Ariz., told Fox News. "She looked unique, as did her brother, at birth, with a flat face, bubble eyes, and a short tail."
Also see: 10 of the web's best cat memes
Tardar was born on April 4, 2012, and although she's said to have some ragdoll, snowshoe and Siamese in her line, her mother is a calico cat and her father is a gray-and-white tabby cat.
"Many have said that she is a 'dwarf' cat or a 'munchkin,' but she was born from two normal-sized cats," according to Grumpy Cat's official Facebook page. "Her back legs are a bit
- Mother Nature Network (mnn.com) | Author Blog Posts – Thu, May 23, 2013 9:07 AM EDT
One of the dogs taken from the Cleveland home of Ariel CastroThree dogs taken from the Cleveland home of Ariel Castro, the man charged with kidnapping and raping three women over a decade, will remain in foster care until the women decide if they want to adopt them.Read More »from Kidnapped Women Will Have Chance to Adopt Captor's Dogs
The women may have bonded with the dogs during their captivity, and it's possible the animals could help the women as the acclimate to freedom, says John Baird, chief Cleveland animal control officer.
Also see: A gallery of history's 10 greatest escapes
"It kind of makes sense, maybe that there were three dogs, three women," he told The Associated Press. "They may have bonded with these dogs. and we would like for them to have a shot at them if they want them, just because it was something they could attach themselves to."
Dogs Unlimited Rescue will care for the dogs until Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight make a decision.
The dogs include a Chihuahua and two terrier-poodle mixes. The rescue group said the animals had matted hair, but otherwise appeared to be in good
Bridget Evans and her 6-year-old chocolate LabradorCaps and gowns are a common sight this time of year, but attendees at a recent commencement were surprised when a dog in a cap and gown of its own walked alongside a graduate in a wheelchair.Read More »from Service Dog Wears Cap and Gown at Graduation
The 6-year-old chocolate Labrador escorted Bridget Evans at the convocation ceremony of the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign on May 11. They wore matching caps and gowns, and a photo that an attendee snapped of the pair went viral after it was posted on Reddit.
"The girl and the dog received the loudest applause hands down. Very adorable," the user wrote.
Also see: 5 lesser-known facts about service dogs
Evans later identified herself as the girl in the photo and shared her story. Born with spina bifida, a spinal birth defect that has required her to have 37 surgeries, Evans gets around in a wheelchair. But the 24-year-old's life is made a little easier with the help of her service dog, Hero.
Hero knows more than 40 commands and assists Evans