September 24, 2010

Cause of Brutus' Death Indeterminate

The final results from Brutus' spleen are back from the veterinary pathologist, and no sign of cancer was found, other than that the spleen was enlarged. However, hemangiosarcoma is not distributed throughout the whole spleen, and researchers warn that unless the entire spleen is examined it is impossible to know whether the spleen was cancerous. Unfortunately we were unaware of this possibility when we sent pieces of the spleen to the pathologist. All we knew was that the spleen was enlarged. In dogs, 75% with enlarged spleens have hemangiosarcoma. Thus chances are good that Brutus, too, endured this fate.  One symptom is that the animal loses its appetite.  Is that why Brutus starved? Unfortunately, we'll never know for sure.

September 15, 2010

Brutus Probably not the Father of the Pups

These pup-poop results just in from the geneticists:

"We feel confident in saying that these pups are not from this father [Brutus]."

The above was based on genetics of a specimen from Brutus and of 24 pup scats that were each assessed at 22 loci. Only 4 of the 5 known pups were represented by the 24 scats, so the possibility remains that Brutus could have been the father of the fifth pup. This possibility is enhanced by the fact that 2 females were nursing the pups, so possibly the fifth pup, not yet represented genetically in our sample, was from Brutus.  Several more weeks will be necessary before we get any more info on this.