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According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 37 percent of households in the United States have a dog and 32 percent have a cat. Those who own pets know the feeling you get when a purring cat curls up in your lap or when a dog shakes his entire body to greet you when you walk through the door. Scientists are now validating what these pet owners already knew: having a pet makes you feel better. Research has proven that pet owners have lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels; less stress, depression, and loneliness than those who don’t own pets. A study conducted at Kean University in Union, New Jersey, found that people feel better after watching a Lassie movie because of a drop in their cortisol levels, a hormone associated with stress. And it’s not just cortisol that’s affected by animals. Patricia McConnell, a certified applied animal behaviorist, writes in her book For the Love of a Dog, that levels of oxytocin, a mood-affecting neurotransmitter and “feel-good” hormone in the brain, increase by simply petting a dog. Cats also have health-sustaining effects on their owners. A 10-year study at the University of Minnesota showed that those who owned…
Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine was ranked first in the nation for the fourth consecutive time by U.S. News and World Report on March 15. Faculty said the college’s innovative training and research programs, reputable clinical hospital and dedicated faculty and students helped the college secure the top spot. Last realeased in 2008, U.S. News rankings acknowledge the best veterinary programs in the nation; since 2000, Cornell has consistently held the top rank. According to Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine Michael Kotlikoff, Cornell’s program earned an average score of 4.5 on a scale of one to five. The second ranked school, U.C. Davis, earned a 4.1. The quality of the graduate veterinary program is rated through a peer assessment, which forms the basis of the ranking, said Barbara Knuth, vice provost and dean of the graduate school. “We’re very proud of the ranking and the recognition of our peers,” said Prof. Avery August, microbiology and immunology. “Rankings attract high quality faculty, which attract high quality students.” Additionally, as the college faces potential budget cuts from New York State, faculty said they believe the ranking will help the veterinary program increase its funding. “[The ranking] makes us a stronger…
Activities When the veterinarian advises "leash walks only" and "no active play," it can be a difficult prescription to follow for an active, intelligent dog. Here are some things to do with your dog that don't require a lot of physical activity but that do exercise their brains. Scent fun Outside game: I assume your pup can move around a little. So instead of giving her kibble in a dish, scatter it on the ground and let her forage for it. Scatter according to her mobility. I promise you, she'll keep hunting with great interest long after all the kibble is gone. Then she'll fall asleep a happy hunter. (Margie English) Inside game: find the cookies. A similar game to that above, except place hard treats (I use Charlee Bears) around the perimeter of the room, including on top of sofa cushions, behind chair legs, etc. I have used this as a game for rainy days when the dogs could not get to play outside in the morning. It is also a fairly quiet game for a dog that is under restricted activity. Shell game. Use three margarine containers, or other small plastic containers. Turn them all upside down. Place…
Ask your family veterinarian to talk about what he or she has found inside the stomachs of dogs and you will be in for an afternoon of stories. For a variety of reasons, our canine pets seem to enjoy gobbling up the oddest things! Recently, a leading manufacturer of veterinary x-ray products held a contest to find the oddest objects. Some of the winners included another Labrador with 14 golf balls in his stomach, a Boxer with 208 rocks of various sizes, a Pit Bull puppy who swallowed an 11 inch steak knife, and a Pug with expensive taste. The 7-month old pup had swallowed his owner's 2-carat diamond ring! The winner of the dog category though went to the Samoyed who had 8 batteries of differing sizes, from a "D" cell all the way down to AAA, a plastic raccoon, 7 rocks, a marble, 2 broken light bulbs, machine parts, and a variety of staples. Many of these pictures can be seen below. Most amazingly, from the follow up reports, everyone of these pets has done fine and most left their veterinarian's hospital the next day wagging their tails and anxious to head home. What perplexes many owners, and…
As human medicine races toward an ever-expanding horizon of technology, veterinary medicine is running a close second. Advances in human medicine seem to occur on a daily basis as research and new technology bring new possibilities and hope of healing. And veterinary medicine and surgery continues to follow closely behind. Within the past twenty years, new technologies in diagnostics and surgical techniques have made it possible to greatly extend a family pet or animal athlete's life and competitive career. But while these new technologies bring hope, they often come with a high price. And some veterinarians and pet owners are concerned that "hi-tech" with its high cost has taken away from the "hi-touch" that has been a cornerstone of what many deem "the compassionate profession." When veterinarians began practicing just twenty years ago, the scalpel was their main tool in the operating room. Today, laser technology can make it possible to reduce surgical pain and bleeding and shorten surgery time. Endoscopy can retrieve objects from a pet's gastrointestinal tract and bypass surgery all together. Arthroscopes and laparoscopes make joint and abdominal surgeries almost seem like minor procedures. Advances in diagnostics such as ultrasound, echocardiography, and even MRI's are becoming more…

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Laura M. Perez, DVM, CVA, CCRT
PO Box 125
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Phone: (518) 222-4275
Fax: (518) 282-6026
spacityvetrehab@gmail.com 

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Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner