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Earlier this week, we reported that bald eagles are dying in Utah, baffling biologists. Now, it seems that wildlife officials have finally pinpointed what's killed at least 27 eagles in the state: West Nile virus. Credit: Thinkstock The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources reported that their lab tests have indicated West Nile virus as the cause of the mysterious bald eagle deaths. The DWR said they still believe, as they suspected earlier, that the eagles were contracting the disease from grebes, another bird species upon which the bald eagles prey. The grebes' migration will end soon, and that should end the danger to Utah's bald eagles....

The baffling deaths of at least 20 bald eagles in Utah this month alone are suspected of being linked to diseases that state wildlife officials believe have killed thousands of other birds around the Great Salt Lake, Reuters reported. The bald eagles have suffered from tremors and seizures, as well as paralysis in their wings, legs and feet. The cause remains a mystery. "It's just hard to have your national bird in your arms, going through seizures in a way it can't control - when you can see it's in pain but don't know what's happening to it," said Buz Marthaler, 56, co-founder of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. So far, testing has ruled out as a potential cause...

Last week we discussed cardiac issues in horses. This week, I'd like to explore the bovine heart. Jersey cow on a sunny afternoon. Credit: Thinkstock. Rarely do I suspect heart conditions in cattle. If I do, it's secondary to gastrointestinal issues. The reason behind this is a cattle-specific condition commonly called hardware disease. Hardware disease, medically known as traumatic reticuloperitonitis, is due to the fact that cows tend to resemble me on Thanksgiving; that is, they eat like a vacuum cleaner. When cows come up to a feed bunk after grain has been poured in, their prehensile tongues lick and grab anything in there, be it soybean hulls and corn silage, or the occasional nail,...

Dolphins in the area of BP's 2010 oil spill suffered from extreme health problems, with many not expected to survive, a study conducted a year after the spill shows. Credit: Thinkstock Nearly half of the 32 dolphins examined from Louisiana's Barataria Bay in 2011 were found to be in "guarded or worse" condition, according to the study led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and published Wednesday in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. Seventeen percent were listed as "grave" and "not expected to survive." The Deepwater Horizon spill dumped up to four million barrels of oil (according to government estimates) in the Gulf of Mexico's Barataria Bay. The...

By Dr. Ann Hohenhaus How much does a label matter? This isn't a new question; in Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare's heroine famously questions the importance of a name: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Credit: Thinkstock In other words, a label is just a label and has nothing to do with the essential value of the thing it names. I would advise pet owners to think similarly about the names of certain products that they buy: Labels such as "natural," "organic" and "low fat" may not only be misleading but even incorrect. RELATED: 10 Dangerous Foods for Pets Every pet owner strives to make the best possible choices in order to promote...