A Common Artificial Sweetener Is Poisoning Dogs

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in everything from toothpaste to peanut butter to sugar-free gum. And, it turns out, it’s poison for dogs.

Source: A Common Artificial Sweetener Is Poisoning Dogs

It’s not peanut butter/etc per se – it’s the artificial sweetener in certain brands when they want to make it low calorie.   So it might just be a small amount of the wrong kind.

Why Your Labrador Retriever Loses Its Mind Around Food

As a breed, labrador retrievers often have serious food-related issues—a behavioral quirk that often leads to over-eating and canine obesity. Researchers have finally figured out why, and the answer could influence the way we treat human obesity.

Source: Why Your Labrador Retriever Loses Its Mind Around Food

It seems like with all the pure breeds there is some kind of really really detrimental flaw in their genetics that just keeps getting worse and worse the more they breed them to “look better” or do that one thing that their breed is “supposed to do”.

Avoid These Holiday Plants If You Have Pets

For a full list, check out the Humane Society’s chart here.
Many people are decorating their homes for the holidays, but pet owners should be aware that some plants used for holiday decorating can be dangerous to cats and dogs. Understanding which plants are toxic, and which are not, can help bring home the festive spirit and avoid danger for pets.

Source: Which Holiday Plants are Toxic to Dogs?

Cats aren’t pets – we’re their pets.

If you do have any of these around for the holidays, bitter apple spray (available at most pet stores) helps keep the pets away from trouble.

Dogs Can Sniff Out Thyroid Cancer in Your Urine

Now we know why they smell our crotch!

Researchers from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) presented findings at the Endocrine Society’s ENDO 2015 conference March 6 in San Diego showing nearly 90 percent accuracy using scent-trained dogs to detect thyroid cancer.

“Detecting and diagnosing thyroid cancer can be difficult, because it’s often looking for a very small number of occurrences in a very large background of benign nodules. It is also difficult to say with certainty that a patient is cancer-free after surgery,” said Donald Bodenner, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of geriatrics at UAMS and director of the Thyroid Center and chief of endocrine oncology.

“Having a technique with which to do these things with a higher degree of certainty would be a tremendous advance in thyroid cancer,” he said.

the researchers believe the training could potentially be used in diagnosis of other cancers such as ovarian, breast, kidney, bladder and prostate.

Source: UAMS Researchers Use Scent-Trained Dogs to Detect Thyroid Cancer

Non-invasive, just shy of 90% accuracy… But I have to wonder about costs to train, house, and exercise the dogs for their life (10 years on average).  Still, it’d be one of the more fun lab jobs I can think of.