An article in this week’s New York Times Magazine, The Mystery of the Wasting House-Cats highlights the question of whether cats are developing hyperthyroidism because of exposure to flame retardants or other chemicals in house dust. An example of the research on this topic can be seen in the Canary Database listing here.
The article also tells the story of the “dancing cats” of Minamata, Japan, that became sickened with mercury poisoning before the widespread outbreak of mercury poisoning in human children and adults in that area. More infomation can be found on this Canary Database page.
Finally, the article discusses the utility of looking at animal illnesses to understand the human health risks of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas- again, see this Canary Database record.
All of these emphasize the importance of “listening to what the animals are trying to tell us” about our changing environment and risks to human and animal health.