We’re Talking About ...
BY JACKIE BROWN, FREELANCE WRITER
SPECIALIZING IN THE PET INDUSTRY
Could there be a link between your area’s water supply and your cat’s urinary problems? Pet- insurance provider Trupanion recently analyzed
data from its claims to test a hypothesis that drinking
water could be a potential factor for common urinary
issues, including urinary tract infections, cystitis (
inflammation of the bladder), urinary obstruction, and crystalluria (crystals in the urine).
Using data and reports on drinking water quality, Trupanion compared its claims data for urinary
health conditions to U.S. regions identified by the
Environmental Protection Agency as having higher hard
According to a report posted in Trupanion’s blog,
“Male cats specifically, living in areas given an ‘extremely
hard water’ rating by the EPA, had a much higher inci-
dence of urinary health issues — especially crystalluria
— and were three times more likely to have urinary
complications compared to male cats living in areas with
‘slightly hard, ‘hard’ or ‘very hard’ water.”
Although Trupanion’s analysis of its claims data has
not been published in a peer-reviewed journal, it’s food
for thought and does seem to suggest at least a link
between hard water and urinary problems in male cats.
By Kim Campbell
Is the world tiger population increas- ing? Statistics
presented in April at
the 3rd Asia Ministerial
Conference on Tiger
that the population of
Panthera tigris has risen
3,200 in 2010 to a currently estimated 3,890.
It’s the first time in more than a century that
wild tiger numbers have increased.
That’s something to celebrate, but tigers
remain endangered across their range.
Continuing challenges to the tiger’s survival
include poaching for the illegal wildlife trade,
deforestation of habitat, and conflicts with
humans. According to the International Union
for Conservation of Nature, tiger habitat has
decreased by 40 percent since 2010.
The higher numbers may simply represent
better efforts at gathering data, said John
Goodrich, Ph.D., a conservation biologist and
senior tiger program director for Panthera, a
global wild cat conservation organization.
Those efforts include analyzing DNA of
tiger excrement and use of camera traps to
photograph animals as they move by the
camera’s location. With their unique striping
patterns, individual tigers can be more readily identified and counted.
“You can think of them as walking bar-codes,” Dr. Goodrich said. “We flood the
forest with remote cameras placed on trails
where we expect tigers will pass. You get
those pictures, and you can identify individuals and then use statistical methodology to
get a solid estimation of their numbers.”
In the Wild