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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cute AND tasty?

I could almost hear the collective "awwwwwwwww..." after the country learned of the piglet that wiggled its way from the confines of a transport truck onto the shiny asphalt of North America's busiest freeway, the 401, to then be saved by a good Samaritan who brought the pretty porcine to the THS. The piglet was examined by veterinarians there and will be treated for a broken leg.

Though admittedly adorable, I cannot but think of the piglet's fate, had it not fallen from the truck: it would have arrived at a pig farm, to grow and be fattened up over a few months or more, to then be slaughtered and used for our consumption, the beings so willing to wolf down menu items of pork chops, bacon, and pancetta, and yet with hearts so warm as to rescue this pre-fab menu item in order to alleviate its suffering. This story should be both heart-warming and also a reminder of the thousands, no, millions of adorable piglets and pigs being led to slaughter at this very moment.
Is this blatant hypocrisy or rather a more innocent manifestation of our contemporary human condition?

Humans eat pork products willingly. Our hearts also warm when seeing images such as this.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Carrying your dog around

I've blogged about this before: how inappropriate it is to conduct your day with your dog in a purse or other semi-capacious item not normally used to tote living things.
How it has come to incense me so, I do not know, but that I feel sorry for the dogs is clear.
Humans had it right millenia ago. Their behavior towards humans has changed little since then, while ours towards them has inexorably led to the very many doggie behavioral issues that need to be eschewed from the development of our intimate human-canine relationships.
I will continue to bring this topic up, as I would like to drill it into the minds of as many people as possible, in an effort for all of us to achieve the healthiest human-canine bond possible.
It's work, but well worth it!

The skull of what may be the earliest known dog, which dates to 31,700 years ago. The prehistoric skull was excavated at Goyet Cave in Belgium ( photo: Mietje Germonpre).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Human rights

Unrelated to veterinary issues, I am ashamed by the most heinous violations committed by Russia against the gay community during a pride rally in Moscow. Activists were arrested during this peaceful rally, hours before the all-inclusive Eurovision finals were to take place (which was won in 1998 by Dana International, an Israeli transsexual). As GPOC writes on his blog: an attack on the liberties of one group is an attack against us all. Where are Toronto's lefty protests now? We must all decry Russia's devolution to barbarism.

It's 2009 and this is still occurring on this planet.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Training Tips

I knew Twitter was good for something: I would never have found this page with 12 excellent tips (I think they're essentially mandatory) every dog owner should follow.
Click here for an obedient dog.

Lookee the photo I found online.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


I joined Twitter yesterday in order to boost readership of this blog. I have many great followers and readers (for which I am grateful), but I would love to reach out to more people out there in the blogosphere. Is it egotistical to want this? To want thousands and thousands of people following what I have to say? My training as a vet has helped bring me to this: a practitioner, a blogger... someone who is opinionated and isn't afraid to share it.
By joining this ultra-popular networking site, I, too, have been introduced to some spectacularly interesting blogs - there are some darn incredible writers out there!
My quirkiness notwithstanding, there are important things to bring to the forefront and I hope that this blog, my writing, my opinions, will evolve towards something more important, more intelligent, and of course, remain relevant to all of us.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Spring is here!

Spring is a time when many people take their pets to the vet for their yearly check-up. The snow has melted - in areas that receive snow - and pets become exposed to different things, like plants, dirt, baseball fields (and therefore baseballs), fossils, fault lines, fleas, ticks, and trolls (where they're indigenous).

Ok, jokes aside: dogs (and cats - cats are more complicated with respect to heartworm disease) require heartworm testing, monthly flea, tick and heartworm prevention, and possibly vaccines/boosters.
You should always your vet which vaccines are being administered to your pet and why. Ensure that a rabies vaccine is not given more frequently than what is labeled by the company (i.e., 1 year vs 3 years for rabies) or less frequently than required by law (which often correlates with manufacturer's recommendations. "Core" vaccines, like distemper and parvovirus (for dogs) and panleukopenia and rhinotracheitis (for cats) have been shown to provide immunity for at least several years, if not lifelong immunity. That's right: lifelong protection. I am confident that my patients are protected if their titers are sufficient. Vaccine titers are therefore becoming ever more popular. This entails the measurement of antibody against a certain disease (virus or bacteria). My recommendation is to check titers every year (if affordable - remember, the more people ask for this service, the more vets will offer it, and certainly vice versa - prices should go down as a result). I do not subscribe to yearly vaccines - this practice is outdated and medically unsound.
This does not mean that I don't believe in vaccines! In fact, the opposite is true. I would convince every owner whose puppy/kitten or naive pet (naive in the immune sense, meaning never vaccinated) that their pet MUST be vaccinated and booster a year later.
Dogs living in areas where Leptospirosis and Lyme disease are endemic should discuss these vaccines with their vet.
Not all dogs are candidates for all vaccines. So ask your vet, you've got the right to know!

Which one is right for your pet? Find out more by reading the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) canine vaccination guidelines here.
Guidelines for cats can be found here.
Lotsa reading, folks and may be complicated - my apologies!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Voracious cat

As you now know, my cat is acromegalic and diabetic. This means his diabetes is difficult to control and his high levels of circulating growth hormone (and uncontrolled diabetes) means he's constantly hungry. As I blog, he is bothering me for crackers and peanut butter, and is slowly making his way towards the New York style banana pudding (courtesy of Red Rocket Coffee).
Aside from a lick, which he now and then steals, I do not let him eat these things.
While slightly humorous, I must remember that not long ago, he would never have wanted to eat these things. Isaac, I must remember, is sick. This fact I have accepted.

Not Isaac, but I haven't ruled this scenario out.