Spotlight On... Study: Fat cats will still love you if you put them on a diet; Jaguar nabs Merck veteran as chief veterinary officer; Indiana lifts bird flu restrictions; Zoetis declares Q2 dividend; and more...

The Twitterverse went nuts last week when The New York Times tweeted "Fat cats don't hold a grudge if you put them on a diet, a new study shows." Indeed, it's true. Veterinarians at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine took 58 obese cats, randomized them to three different diets for 8 weeks, and asked their owners to record their behavior over that time. They found that the cats were actually more affectionate after their calories were restricted. Even better, more than 75% of them lost weight, according to the study, published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior. Overall, the cats on a high-fiber diet did the best, losing a median of 6.5% of their original weight. The study's lead author told the Times she believes cat owners inadvertently create fat cats by rewarding affection with high-calorie treats--a behavior on the part of pet owners that may not be necessary, according to this trial anyway. Study | Article

> Jaguar Animal Health ($JAGX) appointed Merck ($MRK) veteran Philippe Brianceau as chief veterinary officer. The company also released additional details from its proof-of-concept study of SB-300, its drug to treat ulcers in horses, indicating that the treatment did not alter gastric pH, which the company believes may be an advantage over existing drugs. Release | Release

> State health officials in Indiana are preparing to lift all restrictions imposed in January to contain an outbreak of the H7N8 strain of avian flu. Article

> Zoetis ($ZTS) declared a second-quarter dividend of 95 cents per share, payable June 1. Release

> Afimilk, an Israel-based provider of dairy management products, announced it has acquired Silent Herdsman, a U.K.-based company that developed a collar-based monitoring system that can detect estrus and health problems in dairy cows. Release

> The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, working with the Royal Veterinary College, won £1.1 million ($1.5 million) in funding from the U.K.'s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for a new project that will examine the genetics of the bacteria that causes bovine tuberculosis. Article

> Scientists at the University of Washington reported in the journal Veterinary Pathology that they discovered two cases of cancer in naked mole rats, a species previously believed to be immune to the disease. Study

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