Whether it’s a tip from a friend or something you discover on the Internet, there are a number of myths about animals that our students from the veterinary technology program can help you dispel.
Students from our Lab Animals, Exotics and Pocket Pets course and students taking Veterinary Pharmacology were asked to dispel the following myths as part of a classroom activity. They did the research and here are the facts about some common myths and misconceptions about animals:
1. Your dog is sick when his nose is warm. False. A dog’s normal temperature is 101 to 101.5, which is significantly warmer than a human’s normal body temperature of 98.6, so their noses are going to naturally feel warmer to us. The most reliable method of determining a dog’s temperature is using a rectal thermometer.
2. Cats always land on their feet. False. There are plenty of radio-graphs of broken bones on file at vet clinics across the country that prove otherwise.
3. Pets need to lick their wounds in order for them to heal. False. While a small amount of licking is good for debriding wounds, excessive licking exacerbates infection and inflammation delaying the healing of the wound.
4. Cats have nine lives. False. Some cats are just plain lucky!
5. Bats are blind. False. It is a known fact that bats use a type of sonar to find their way around, but they still actually can see and do have night and day vision.
6. Camels carry water in their humps. False. Their humps are made of fat . Their blood cells are what allow them to go a long period of time without water.
7. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. False. You can teach any age of dog a trick. It just takes time, patience and repetition, and a snack for treats helps, too.
8. Touching a frog or toad will give you warts. False. Warts are caused by a human virus. Toads and frogs do have glands behind their eye that contain a bad tasting poison that irritates the mouth of any animal that may try to bite them and it can cause also cause irritation to hands of people.
9. Penguins fall backward when they look up at airplanes. False. They have great balance but any type of large noise or stress can cause penguins to panic and leave their nests.
10. Ostriches bury their heads in the sand. False. Ostriches don’t bury their heads in the sand—they do dig holes in the dirt or sand to make their nest for their eggs. The ostrich will put its head in the hole and turns the eggs. This can happen many times during the day.
Submitted by Kim Sieverding, Veterinary Technology Program Chair; Autumn Whitely, CVT/VT Instructor; and Dr. Carmen Paulson, DVM and Vet Tech Adjunct Instructor