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Latest University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna Stories

2011-12-29 11:04:03

Winters in the Gobi desert are usually long and very cold but the winter of 2009/2010 was particularly severe, a condition Mongolians refer to as “dzud”. Millions of livestock died in Mongolia and the re-introduced wild Przewalski´s horse population crashed dramatically. Petra Kaczensky and Chris Walzer from the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology (FIWI) of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna have used spatially explicit loss statistics, ranger survey data and...

2011-12-16 14:02:58

Although the temperate climates of central Europe provide plentiful food in summer, finding enough to eat is much more problematic in winter. Many small mammals avoid the problem by hibernating but this survival strategy is generally not practiced by larger animals. With the exception of some bears, large mammals remain fully awake throughout the year, yet they too must reduce their metabolism to cope with the comparative scarcity of food. Red deer, for example, are known to lower their heart...

2011-12-06 12:34:47

Alpine marmots (Marmota marmota) live in extended family groups of up to 20 individuals. The groups consist of a dominant territorial pair and a number of subordinate individuals, typically descendants of the dominant pair. Over a 14-year period, Klaus Hackländer of the Institute of Wildlife Biology and Game Management, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna and Walter Arnold of the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology (FIWI), University of Veterinary...

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2011-12-05 21:41:25

Young pigs are known to be particularly susceptible to intestinal problems, which not only discomfort the animals but also slow their growth — and thus increase the cost of meat production.  The most common cause of intestinal problems in suckling pigs is the parasite Isospora suis, which according to the literature can be treated by a class of drugs known as sulfonamides. Anja Joachim and colleagues at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna) have...

2011-11-08 15:18:16

Although Burkitt´s lymphoma is thankfully fairly rare in the general population, it is the most common form of malignancy in children in Equatorial Africa and is very frequent in immunocompromised persons, such as those suffering from AIDS.  It is invariably accompanied by an increase in the expression of a particular gene, the so-called c-myc gene.  An increased level of c-myc is not usually enough to cause cancer and most patients also have alterations to another gene. ...

2011-10-19 10:34:57

People generally exercise to lose fat or build up muscle but it is an unfortunate consequence of hard training that muscle is often lost.  To counter this effect, people may elect to take various dietary supplements — legal or otherwise.  But what can legally be done to help train sport horses?  Recent work at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna has shown that a special mixture of amino acids and proteins is able to prevent muscle breakdown in horses following...

2011-10-06 11:05:51

It is widely believed that being born is about the most stressful thing that can happen to anybody.  But being weaned cannot be too far behind it in the list of traumatic experiences.  Most humans come to terms with it eventually and the situation in animals is probably no different.  How weaning takes place, however, can have a dramatic effect on the length of time required to overcome the shock.  That this is so, at least for horses, comes from the latest work of the...

Asian Elephants Ride Out High Daytime Temperatures
2011-09-30 10:15:37

Scientists at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna´s Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology have discovered the mechanism by which Asian elephants are able to tolerate hot daytime temperatures.  Their results are published in the current issue of the international Journal of Comparative Physiology B. The heat is on where elephants roam.  Daytime temperatures in the natural environment of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) average between 30 and 35 degrees...

2011-09-28 14:41:40

One of the most controversial topics in horse breeding circles relates to the best method for identifying foals. For animal welfare reasons, many veterinarians are currently promoting the method of implanting a microchip over the traditional practice of branding, while officials of major sport horse breed registries deny that branding really causes pain or stress to foals. But what do the horses themselves think?  The team of Christine Aurich at the University of Veterinary Medicine,...

Treating Diabetes In Dogs
2011-09-23 08:37:00

   Diabetes affects not only humans but also animals.  While humans generally show some willingness to modify their behavior to help their treatment, pet owners face additional problems in that animals generally do not understand the need for intervention.  Treatment plans should be based on an understanding of natural fluctuations in blood glucose levels but these are very hard to determine.  Nadja Affenzeller and colleagues at the University of Veterinary...


Word of the Day
lunula
  • A small crescent-shaped structure or marking, especially the white area at the base of a fingernail that resembles a half-moon.
This word is a diminutive of the Latin 'luna,' moon.
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