Forest No Longer Suspect in Dog Assaults

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SciShort_5_14_15_option1A recent spate of dog illnesses that seemed to be linked to their owners taking them for walks in McDonald Forest has had pet owners on edge all week. Indeed if you have any local friends who have both dogs and Facebook accounts, a Venn diagram that is just a circle, you’ve probably seen some panicked calls to not take your dog to the popular area. Now OSU researchers are weighing in and seem to think you all need to take a chill pill, not to get overly technical with the science jargon.

“After reviewing these cases, we could find no evidence that suggests something in McDonald Forest is posing a special risk to animals,” said Jana Gordon, an assistant professor in the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine, in a recent press release. “In light of that, the forest will remain open for public use and pets will continue to be welcome there.”

Gordon is an expert in small animal internal medicine, and recommends the following standard precautions when walking your best friend anywhere, particularly McDonald Forest:

  • Keep your pal on a leash
  • Avoid encounters with wildlife
  • Bring water; make sure your dog is hydrated especially when it’s very warm out
  • Consult your vet if there are any physical restrictions your friend should heed

Scientists from both the Vet School and the College of Forestry came together to inspect the recent cases of dog illnesses, which many suspected were stemming from some sort of water contamination in the forest. After a thorough investigation, which included speaking with several of the owners, they found no links between the areas where the dogs were, what they were doing, their symptoms, or any toxins found in their systems.

In other words, feel free to take your dog to McDonald Forest, but prepare for conspiracy theories.

by Sidney Reilly

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