Archive | February, 2013

Guinea pigs could help children with autism

28 Feb

Take a look at this very interesting article about how guinea pigs can help autistic children. Basically, research at the University of Queensland has shown that the presence of an animal makes it much easier for autistic children to interact with other children and adults. They become more talkative, cheerful and are more likely to make physical contact.

The article suggests a number of theories behind this discovery. Not only do animals have a calming influence, they also provide a common interest point to focus on and talk about. It is also suggested that if you’re looking after an animal it makes you look more friendly and less threatening, therefore conversation is more likely.

I hope to hear lots of stories of guinea pigs helping autistic children reach their full potential. It is amazing what spending time with animals can do for the human soul!

You can read the full article here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/02/27/172965436/how-guinea-pigs-could-help-autistic-children

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Birdwatching advice

27 Feb

There’s a great section about bird watching on the RSPB website for any of you who are interested in both garden birds or those species which are a little more rare. There is information on everything from bird behaviour and species identification, to what equipment to use and how to follow the birdwatchers’ code. It’s definately worth a look if you’re interested in birds.

Take a look here: http://www.rspb.org.uk/advice/watchingbirds/

Rescued seabirds released

26 Feb

Remember a few weeks ago when I wrote about the seabirds which had to be rescued after becoming covered in a dangerous unknown substance? Well I’m happy to report that some of the birds which were being cared for at the RSPCA’s Mallydams Wildlife Centre in Sussex have been released back into the wild!

More than 300 birds were rescued including many guillemots and some razorbills so the rehabilition process will take a while yet, but this is a great start. Most of the birds were taken to West Hatch wildlife centre in Taunton, Somerset and continue to be nursed back to health. They will be released when they are back to full health.

Now that experts have identified the contaminating substance as Polyisobutylene (PIB) they will be able to keep a close eye on any future repetitions. Hopefully these birds won’t have to suffer from this contamination again once they return to their natual habitat. Good luck to them all!

Help end the export of wild baby elephants to zoos

25 Feb

It’s shocking to hear how baby elephants are being taken from the African wild and flown to zoos in China. I’ve just read the saddening report on the RSPCA website regarding footage which shows the baby elephants living in appalling conditions, some of them in very poor health, waiting to be shipped to the Chinese zoos which ‘ordered’ them.

Not only are these poor animals being kept in appalling conditions, they also suffer from the long hours of transportation, and extreme stress from being torn away from their mother and social group. Many of the babies are in desperate need of veterinary care which they are not being provided with.

Help end the suffering of wild baby elephants by signing the RSPCA’s petition. I’ve just added my name and hope you will join me!

Find it here: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/No_more_baby_elephants_captured_for_Chinese_zoos_1/?cEcSkeb

Pet Symptom Checker

24 Feb

I found another helpful tool on the PDSA website today- the Pet Symptom Checker. Now obviously it’s no substitute for proper veterinary care BUT it’s a great place to start if you have any concerns about your pet’s health.

Rather than trying to diagnose what illness your pet may be suffering from, the Symptom Checker aims to alert you if your pet needs urgent veterinary attention and offers some helpful advice depending on what symptoms your pet is showing. At the moment the tool only focuses on dogs, cats, rabbits and birds but I’m guessing more species will be added if it’s a success.

It’s worth a look, but always remember to seek proper veterinary advice if you suspect your pet may be ill!

What’s your favourite animal?

23 Feb

Today I want to know what your favourite animals are! Horses, pigs and dogs are right up at the top of my list, but do you agree??

Leave a comment below with your personal favourites. Weird and wonderful species are especially welcome!

Putney Animal Hospital Bedding Appeal

22 Feb

A while a go I told you that Putney Animal Hospital had launched an appeal for bedding. This is a little reminder that the hospital still needs blankets and newspaper to use for bedding so if you live in the local area and could help out it would be greatly appreciated!

The following link shows the address and directions to Putney Animal Hospital: http://www.rspca.org.uk/inyourarea/detail/-/iya/Putney%20Animal%20Hospital/

Please donate as many blankets and newspapers as you can to keep the animals warm and comfortable!