There's no doubt that pets improve humans' quality of life, providing companionship, decreasing stress and prompting exercise. However, people with compromised immune systems, such as young children, the elderly and people with certain illnesses, can be at increased risk from pathogens pets may carry. This article provides hygiene guidelines that allow even those with compromised immunity to enjoy their pets safely.
We are a nation of animal lovers, according to the AVMA's latest U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook, which finds that more than half of U.S. homes include a pet. However, ownership is down 2.4% compared with data the AVMA collected in 2006. "That is something I was not expecting," says AVMA president Dr. Douglas Aspros. "Pets are important for people's mental, psychological and physical health. It's also bad for pets because there are a lot of animals left in shelters." Vermont is the top dog for pet ownership with 70.8% of households including a pet, while only 21.9% of Washington, D.C., homes include a pet.
Veterinarian Linda Randall notes that at-home euthanasia of pets has steadily increased in recent years, and about 25% of the euthanasia procedures she performs are carried out at the owner's home. Dr. Randall creates a quiet, soothing environment and gives the pet a sedative before the euthanasia injection. "It's very painless and very peaceful," Dr. Randall said. "We wish more people would do it at home." However, it's not for everyone, Dr. Randall says, because the cost is roughly twice that of in-office euthanasia and some people do not want their home associated with the pet's death.
According to a recent study, canine patients with lymphoma were significantly more likely to have proteinuria than control dogs who did not have lymphoma. The findings suggest that dogs with lymphoma should be managed with an understanding of potential renal complications, the authors noted in their report.
CyberlinkASP and Animal Intelligence Software have developed software for veterinarians that allows them to store, access and manage clients' medical records in the cloud. The system can be accessed from any device, the information is secure, and tools include prescription refill reminders and dose calculators.