Getting a diagnosis of cancer in your pet is usually the last thing anyone wants to hear, yet it happens fairly frequently. Now that our pets routinely receive adequate nutrition, preventative care, and are more often kept supervised and under control we don’t tend to lose them at young ages to viral diseases, heartworm, malnutrition, and being run over by the tractor in the field. As a result they live long enough to develop the diseases more common in older animals, one of which is cancer.

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Considerations When Getting a New Pet

One of the joys of being a general practice veterinarian is that I get to see lots of new puppies and kittens as they are getting their start in life with a new family. I get to talk about what is needed to keep them healthy and how to start early on the path to good citizenship all while holding an irresistibly cute fuzz ball. Unfortunately for the happy expectations can sour due to poor foresight prior to acquiring their new pet. Here are some serious considerations that need to be made before committing to care for an animal for the rest of its life.

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People find their pets in quite a wide variety of ways. Some come from pet stores, some from rescue organizations, and some even just saunter up to the front door and announce that they will now be living there too. Lately I have been seeing lots of pets who have been found on Craigslist. Although the stories behind each of the animals are as varied as the animals themselves, I am starting to see a disturbing trend that potential Craigslist adopters should keep in mind. For your consideration are three cautionary tales, all actual cases that have come through my hospital in the past 6 months.

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Cuterebra, Bot Fly Larvae in the Skin

Here it is again, cuterebra (cute-a-ree-bra) season. This is the time of year when my personal favorite clinical entity rears it’s not so cute little head on dogs and cats and rabbits around town. The appeal of this little beastie to me is that it is quick and easy to diagnose, quick and easy to fix, and you get a suitably gross souvenir for your efforts. I am talking about a type of fly larva that makes a little nest for itself inside the skin of mammals while it is waiting to pupate and become an adult fly.

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Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes mellitus. Not so long ago that diagnosis was an automatic death sentence for a dog or a cat. Both veterinary and human medicine have come a long way in dealing with the disease, and now we have excellent treatment options available that can often mean that family pets with diabetes can comfortably live the rest of their natural lives in spite of the disease.

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