Premium pet foods may be hip, but that doesn't make them better, according to AVMA President Dr. Douglas Aspros. "There is no evidence to suggest that raw or natural diets will prolong pets' lives," Dr. Aspros said.
While most pets who fly the friendly skies arrive at their destination unscathed, there have been cases of injury and death in some, and this article provides some tips for owners to help ensure the safety of their animals during flight. Veterinarian Jay King suggests getting pets used to the crate they will fly in beforehand, and he says pets' disposition and the weather should be taken into consideration before putting animals on a flight. The ASPCA recommends ensuring your animal is up to date on vaccinations and that the collar and crate are labeled appropriately. Freezing a dish of water ensures pets have water to drink when they're ready for it.
Nature's Variety has issued a recall of a single batch of Instinct Raw Organic Chicken Formula for cats and dogs after clear plastic fragments were found in some bags. A consumer notified the company of the issue, and there have been no reports of pet problems associated with the recalled food.
Neutering dogs may impact the occurrence of disorders including hip dysplasia, cranial cruciate ligament tears, lymphosarcoma, mast cell tumors and hemangiosarcomas, according to a study led by veterinarian Benjamin Hart at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine. Researchers evaluated the medical records of 759 golden retrievers, male and female, finding that early and late sterilization were associated with an increased occurrence of certain disorders. However, Dr. Hart noted that disease vulnerability may vary among breeds, and any connection between neutering and health conditions is likely multifaceted.
Veterinarian Mary Ann Crawford explains that leptospirosis is contracted via contact with infected urine that may be present in water or moist soil, and it can affect dogs and humans. Because leptospirosis causes nonspecific symptoms and can progress to deadly liver or kidney infections in dogs, ill dogs should be evaluated by a veterinarian as soon as possible, Dr. Crawford advises. A vaccine is available for dogs and is the best way to prevent leptospirosis infection, she writes.
The AVMA designated February as National Pet Dental Health Month to highlight the importance of oral care for overall animal health. The majority of adult cats and dogs have dental disease, and if left untreated, the condition can have serious consequences. "Dental problems are extremely common, and many are very painful and can lead to serious systemic conditions," said AVMA President Dr. Douglas Aspros. "An untreated dental infection can spread to the heart, kidneys and other organs and suddenly become life-threatening."