This week, I read a fascinating article in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, summarized nicely by the Huffington Post. The article was co-authored by a fantastically talented colleague, Dr. Jennifer Reetz, a board-certified veterinary radiologist who is on the staff at Penn Vet. The article details the surprising finding that dogs diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer known as hemangiosarcoma, when given a compound derived from a specific type of mushroom, had longer survival times than with any other previously reported treatment for this form of cancer.
Our foster cat Mango had her kittens just over a week ago. Strawberry, Pineapple and Watermelon are thriving! Mango is an experienced mama cat, and she has been taking excellent care of her babies. Things are pretty easy for me at this point, since Mango is meeting all the kittens’ needs. Around 4 weeks of age, I will start to introduce kitten food and a litter box to the little ones, and thats when things may get messy!
This is my first hands-on experience with fostering a pregnant cat, and with birthing kittens. It has been an amazing learning opportunity. Fortunately, we rarely see unspayed cats and dogs, so pregnancies in our patients are rare. Most small animal veterinarians today have very limited experience with reproduction since we have been successful in convincing owners to spay and neuter their pets by 6 months of age.
What are some things to consider if you have a pregnant cat in your care? Read more →
A new study out of Penn Vet confirms what most of us in the veterinary industry have known for a long time: puppies purchased from pet stores have a dramatically increased likelihood of psychological problems as adults. These pet store pups, which primarily come from puppy mills, were shown to be substantially more likely to display aggression toward their owners and toward other dogs. The authors of the study theorize that these problems stem from a lack of socialization, early weaning, and increased maternal stress during pregnancy.
There are so many reasons to avoid purchasing puppies from pet stores; thankfully we now have concrete scientific evidence to add to the campaign to end puppy mills!