Kitty's first vet visit

If your kitty is making its first trip to the veterinarian, a little prep can help the visit go smoothly. If possible, take a preliminary visit to familiarize yourself with the clinic. For the checkup, have your kitty in a cozy carrier. If it seems nervous, spritz it with some soothing feline pheromones. If there are dogs in the waiting room, leave your kitten in the car, inside its carrier, while you go sign in. Ask the receptionist to call or text you when they're ready to take you and Fluffy straight to the exam room. Don't forget treats. They'll help distract your pet during the exam and create positive associations with the experience.

Behind those baby blues

Siberian huskies are known for their striking blue eyes. Now researchers may have discovered the source of the trait, thanks to dog DNA testing. A study published recently in the journal PLOS Genetics looked at a panel of more than 6,000 genetically tested dogs whose owners provided phenotypic (appearance) information such as eye color about their pets. They found that a duplication on canine chromosome 18 was strongly associated with blue eye color in Siberian huskies, as well as with blue eye color in non-merle Australian shepherds. Scientists at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine partnered with dog DNA company Embark to make the discovery. In a blog post, senior scientist Aaron Sams wrote, "While more work will need to be done to figure out exactly how this duplication leads to the development of blue eyes, we think that this duplication may disrupt the process by which pigment is deposited in the iris of the eye during development."

Pet Connection