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Nepal Earthquake: Man’s best buddy is making its contribution count

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Sniffer-dog-2-500

By NewsGram Staff Writer

No doubt, help is pouring over disaster-struck Nepal from every corner of the world. With pledges of money, water and food supplies, every country is doing its bit to offer relief to this land-locked country.

In fact, in this hour of crisis, human’s best buddy is also making its contribution count.

Notably, the canine mates possess special abilities to sniff and locate the remains of people who are stuck or buried beneath the rubble. Body structure of dogs allows them to climb high on the mountains, thus speeding up the rescue process.

Just a few hours after the powerful 7.9 earthquake jolted Nepal, India sent a pack of sniffer dogs to Kathmandu via an IAF craft to help with the rescue operations. The sniffer dogs were part of India’s first rescue deployment.

Just a day after the disastrous earthquake, a team of six Essex firefighters and rescue dog Darcy have joined the international operation to assist with the earthquake recovery operation.

Five dogs from Gilroy, United States, were also sent to Nepal to look for people who may be buried alive under tons of debris due to the deadly earthquake.

Pluis Davern, who trains the highly skilled dogs, said, “Those disaster search dogs are going to be incredibly helpful. They cover terrain that we as humans never can, and pinpoint where potentially people who are still alive are buried.”

These dogs have been trained to bark as soon as they sniff the scent of a living person.

“It’s electrifying, because there is a chance to save somebody who otherwise, potentially, would never be found,” he said.

A team of 15 volunteers and six dogs were sent to Nepal from France and Spain to lend a hand in the rescue operations.

“These dogs have a vital role in identifying victims buried under the debris,” said Jose Castello, a volunteer with Intervention Ayuda Emergencical (IAE).

Hitherto, nearly 5,000 people have been reported dead after a powerful 7.9-magnitude struck Nepal on last Saturday.

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Study Shows That Dogs Born in Summers Are More Likely to Suffer From Heart Disease

Owing to higher level of outdoor air pollution during summers, dogs born during this time are more likely to be at higher risk of heart disease, according to a study.

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Dog's hormone oxytocin sensitivity study. Pixabay

Owing to higher level of outdoor air pollution during summers, dogs born during this time are more likely to be at higher risk of heart disease, according to a study.

For both dogs and humans, outside air pollution during pregnancy and at the time of birth appears to play a role in later development of heart disease.

 

Man's best friend
Dogs are among the most popular domestic animals. Wikimedia

 

Overall, dogs have a 0.3 to 2 per cent risk of developing heart disease depending on breed, but among those that are genetically predisposed to the heart disease, the birth month difference in risk was found to be marginal.

However, breeds not genetically predisposed to the disease, such as Norfolk terrier, Berger Picard, American Staffordshire terrier, English toy spaniel, Bouvier des flandres, Border terrier and Havanese were also found to be at highest risk.

This suggests that the effect supports an environmental mechanism, the researchers said, in a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, also supports earlier findings in humans pointing to the role of early gestational exposure to fine air particulates and increased risk of heart disease later in life.

 

People raised in cities without pets at risk from mental illness
People raised in cities without pets at risk from mental illness. Pixabay

“It’s important to study dogs because the canine heart is a remarkably similar model to the human cardiovascular system,” said Mary Regina Boland, Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the US.

“Also, humans and dogs share their lives together and are exposed to similar environmental effects, so seeing this birth season-cardiovascular disease relationship in both species illuminates mechanisms behind this birth-season disease relationship,” Boland added.

Because dogs’ pregnancies are shorter than humans (lasting only 2 months), pollution as a possible mechanism is still thought to be through the mother’s inhalation of air pollution effecting the uterine environment, which in turn affects the developing cardiovascular system of the baby or puppy, the study showed.

For the new study, the team examined 129,778 canines encompassing 253 different breeds.

Also Read: Study Shows, Dogs of 8 Weeks of Age are Found Most Attractive by Humans

The research team found that risk climbs to the greatest level in dogs born in July, who have a 74 per cent greater risk of heart disease than would typically be expected. (IANS)

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