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US vets perform pioneering CT scan on a python
The veterinary team had previously used radiographs to assess Hanna, but found that they were affected by her skin and scales.

Team had to coil 18-foot-long snake in half 

US vets have carried out a pioneering CT scan on a reticulated python.

Staff at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio suspected that 20-year-old Hanna was suffering from a respiratory infection after noticing some swelling on her face.

“As you can imagine, a serious infection in a 135-pound snake can present some challenges—even in one as gentle as Hanna,” said the Zoo’s vice president of animal health, Dr Randy Junge.

“Even though Hanna is 18 ¾ ft. long, her scan took only a few minutes. Staff had to coil her a bit and scan her from both ends, but they were able to image her entire body length in great detail.”

The team had previously used radiographs to assess Hannah’s lungs and airways. However, x-rays do not of a very good job of showing detail in reptiles.

This year, the veterinary team had the option of using its new CT scanner, which provides much more detail and is not affected by structures like skin and scales.

From the CT scan, the animal care team were able to see that the swollen area was caused by glandular tissue. Hanna was placed on antibiotics for two weeks and the animal care team reports that she appears to be doing well.

Image (C) Graham S. Jones and Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”