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Showing posts from May, 2024

What Age Should Dogs Be Spayed/Neutered to Avoid Increased Health Risks?

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New research adds more dog breeds to the list of those for which there are guidelines on when to spay or neuter them based on the health risks. Photo: Victoria Rak/Shutterstock By Zazie Todd PhD This page contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you. In North America, it’s common to spay female dogs by removing the ovaries and uterus, and to neuter male dogs by castrating them, but there are concerns about health risks if this is done too early. New research builds on previous work on 35 breeds and analyzes the risks of joint issues and cancer for an additional five breeds (all large ones).  The results mean there are now guidelines for the earliest age at which 40 different breeds of dogs should be spayed or neutered in order to avoid health risks.  The research was conducted by a team of researchers at the University of California, Davis and published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science . Previous research shows that in some br

Flat-faced Dogs and Cats with Dr. Dan O'Neill and Dr. Rowena Packer

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What are the disorders that tend to affect brachycephalic (flat-faced) pets, and what can be done to help with guests Dr. Dan O'Neill and Dr. Rowena Packer of the Royal Veterinary College. By Zazie Todd PhD Watch episode 17 of The Pawsitive Post in Conversation below or on Youtube, listen below or via your favourite podcast app (including Apple), or scroll down to read a transcript of the highlights. About this episode This page contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you. We talk about the health issues faced by flat-faced (brachycephalic) dogs and cats and why these breeds are still to popular with Dr. Dan O'Neill and Dr. Rowena Packer of the Royal Veterinary College. We start by talking about what we mean when we talk about brachycephalic dogs. Pugs, Bulldogs, and French Bulldogs are the poster children for these breeds and get the most attention, but we also get some surprising good news about Shih Tzus. When dogs

Companion Animal Psychology Book Club May 2024

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“Deeply reported and vividly told, Brookshire’s exploration of our most reviled animal neighbours will forever change how you see nature and our relationship to it.”—Riley Black.  By Zazie Todd PhD This month, the Animal Book Club is reading Pests: How Humans Create Animal Villains by Bethany Brookshire. From the publisher, “An engrossing and revealing study of why we deem certain animals “pests” and others not—from cats to rats, elephants to pigeons—and what this tells us about our own perceptions, beliefs, and actions, as well as our place in the natural world “A squirrel in the garden. A rat in the wall. A pigeon on the street. Humans have spent so much of our history drawing a hard line between human spaces and wild places. When animals pop up where we don’t expect or want them, we respond with fear, rage, or simple annoyance. It’s no longer an animal. It’s a pest. “At the intersection of science, history, and narrative journalism, Pests is not a simple call to look closer at our

Should Pets Have the Same Medical Care As People? What Pet Guardians Think

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Now that many more options are available for our pets, do people think advanced veterinary care is always a good thing or that it sometimes goes too far? Photo: SeventyFour/Shutterstock By Zazie Todd PhD This page contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you. These days, veterinary medicine is in many ways like human medicine. Tests and treatments that in the past were not an option for pets, such as MRIs, blood transfusions, and chemotherapy, are now available to those who have the funds or insurance to cover the costs for their dog or cat. Is this always a good thing, or does it sometimes mean that people are paying for tests and treatments that may not be in the animal’s best interests?  Researchers in three countries wanted to find out what ordinary people think of this. So they surveyed pet guardians in the UK, Austria, and Germany to get their thoughts on the availability of basic and advanced veterinary care. The results

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