Sunday, December 20, 2015

Tail Wagging Side Dominance

"You might think a wagging tail is a wagging tail, but for dogs there is more to it than that.  Dogs recognize and respond differently when their fellow canines wag to the right than they do when they wag to the left. The findings show that dogs, like humans, have asymmetrically organized brains, with the left and right sides playing different roles."
Read the entire article at  Science Daily or see the October 31, 2015 issue of the Cell Press journal.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Canine Microbiome -

I published an article in the summer issue of The Bark magazine on the canine microbiome.  In summary - Kiss your dog. It's good for you in more ways than one.

Here's an excerpt:
"Affected by age, environment, ancestry, evolution, genetics and diet, microbial communities vary widely between species and across individuals within a species. A recent study suggests that our housemates—including the family dog—may also affect the composition of our personal microbial signature. 
If you and your significant other kiss, hug and/or share a bed with your dog, the three of you have more in common than you think. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder,  revealed several similarities: Adults who share a dog have more similar mouth microbes than those who don’t. Dog-owning families have more diverse and different microbial colonies than dogless households
Parents tend to share more kinds of mouth bacteria with their dog than they do their children. And children raised with dogs have a wider variety of microbes than dogless kids (Song et al. 2013). 
Whether these spit-swapped microbes serve a purpose or are just passing through is not clear. But research shows that children raised with dogs are less likely to be afflicted by eczema (Epstein et al. 2010) and asthma (American Society for Microbiology 2012)."
Read the entire article in this issue-
 canine microbiome.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Identical Twin Dogs? It's Rare but Possible

I posted this originally in October of 2013, saying that identical twin puppies delivered in a single amniotic sac rarely if ever occur.  Well… I stand corrected. Several people have responded to the post describing identical twin pups in one of their litters.  This is what they said:

"I  have to say that until it happened to my dog, I never knew it could happen. 2 puppies, one sac with umbilical cord going from puppy to puppy and a 3rd cord going to mom. It looked like a Y or T. I just buried the babies as they did not survive. I could seal them up and send them to you if you wanted to see this yourself. Shocked the heck out of me - a seasoned and experienced breeder. My vet says this does happen just not very often."Anonymous 4-25-2015

"My dog had a litter of 15 on 11/12/15. She had a set of twins at 7:57am. 2 pups, one male on female, come out the same sac attached to the same placenta. So yes, it is possible! I couldn't get a picture as the mother quickly tended to them. The female twin is very tiny about a third her twin brothers size but she is doing well and is definitely a fighter."Samantha S 11-15-2015

"My dog just had identical twin girls, she had a couple of hours after birth of first pup, then delivery of second was much more of a struggle. When it finally came out she got straight in and began cleaning the sack away so I never got a good look immediately, but the slimy blob definitely seemed bigger than the first. When I lifted her leg to make sure she was getting the membrane off it's face, I realised it was actually 2 pups in the same sack, one laying on top of the other, both head first. They were identical, both cream, both females and even both exactly the same weight, at 174g each, whereas the first pup only weighed 145g also a female, but pure white".Mandy 12- 9- 2015
"Add me to your list! I had three sets where two pups attached to each other via a Y umbilical cord in one litter [of Alaskan Malamutes]. I have never seen that before or since. I was told by Cornell that it is a very rare occurrence and was due to the uterine environment and that I most likely will never see it again." 6-9-2016 

The original post is below:

Can dogs be identical twins, meaning two animals developed from the same fertilized egg, having the same genetic material and delivered in a single amniotic sac? The answer is somewhere between not likely and probably never.
That's just your reflection Bud, not your twin.
Puppies in a litter are usually fraternal twins or triplets and so on, no closer than you and your siblings, having the same mom and dad.

They can also be half sibs meaning they have the same mom, but different dads.

But monozygotic twins? The only foolproof way to identify identical twins is to use a DNA test, and no reports exist. Sometimes breeders report two pups in one placenta, but more likely the placentas grew together during the pregnancy.

Identical twinning in cats is
 fairly common.
What about pups with identical markings?  Random cell divisions that occur after the fertilized egg splits determine spot placement, along with where the fetus develops in the womb.  So two pups may look the same, but that doesn't mean they are identical.
Are these Aussie twin pups? Not likely.

Twin cows aren't unusual

Baby armadillos are  identical quadruplets.
Identical twins are fairly common in sheep cattle, cats, ferrets, deer, and humans, but identical twinning in dog just doesn't happen.

Just a band of brothers (and sisters)