According to new research, babies who were exposed to pets that spent most of their time outside experienced fewer ear infections and required fewer antibiotics than children who did not spend time around animals. It's possible the dirt tracked in by pets helps boost young immune systems. The study supports the notion that pets are good for children, but parents must be aware of potential hazards and take steps to prevent dog bites. According to the AVMA, some 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs annually in the U.S.
Pets tend to be vulnerable to a number of health problems, such as joint pain and arthritis, as they get older. Hence, it is crucial for owners to look for warning signs of aging in their pets to ensure a healthy transition into their senior years. Experts suggest providing pets with a healthy diet, regular exercise and health insurance, among other recommendations.
As the number of Oregon's Spanish-speaking pet owners continues to grow, many of the state's veterinary practices are struggling to keep up. Often, children must translate for their parents, a practice that means nuances get lost in the translation. Nationally, the number of new veterinarians and technicians isn't keeping pace with the growth in the Spanish-speaking population, according to figures, and AVMA is working to combat the problem with a program that certifies foreign veterinarians to work in the U.S.
The recent foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks in Asia have spurred calls from the U.S. livestock sector for increased awareness of the disease and heightened compliance with biosecurity measures. "Early detection through surveillance is critical in providing the best opportunity to limit the negative effects of a foreign animal disease outbreak on the pork industry," said Dr. Patrick Webb, Pork Checkoff's swine health program director.
Cats and dogs, just like people, also can be at risk for diabetes. A veterinarian in Massachusetts says that cats tend to suffer from type 2 diabetes because of obesity issues, while dogs are more prone to the type 1 category and are generally insulin dependent. Pets diagnosed with diabetes usually are treated with insulin injections, the vet says.