The decision to euthanize a beloved pet is one of the most heart wrenching decisions pet lovers have to make. I am quite certain every pet family with an ill or aging pet hopes their pet will die peacefully in their sleep. I am also certain pets rarely die peacefully in their sleep, forcing most pet families to decide to euthanize their favorite fur person. Not only do they have to decide when, but also where. I frequently talk with pet families about the pros and cons of home euthanasia.
Last month, the New York City Council voted to make composting of organic waste mandatory in the city’s five boroughs, starting with Brooklyn and Queens in October and expanding to all boroughs by the end of 2024. The exact details and timing of the plan are still being legislated, but New Yorkers can expect a composting program in the next few years. This will divert a significant amount of waste from landfills, and anything we can do to decrease the amount of waste going to our landfills is, as Martha Stewart would say, “A good thing.” However, this good thing does pose some risk for our canine friends.
Our pets endear themselves to us when they exhibit human-like qualities – affectionate licks and “kisses,” a cuddle when we are low and an exuberant greeting when we return home. Snoring is another human-like trait that sometimes occurs in pets. But snoring is often a sign of an underlying health problem, so should pet families consider snoring an endearing quality or a health concern?
Last winter, Martina Navratilova announced she had been diagnosed with both breast cancer and throat cancer. Unfortunately, the simultaneous occurrence of two different types of cancers in a person is not a rare occurrence, with 2% to 17% percent of people with cancer developing multiple types.
The same situation occurs in both dogs and cats, and I have detailed some specific patients in prior blogposts. In this blogpost, I’ll expand on the occurrence of more than one cancer at a time in veterinary patients.
The dog is the first animal domesticated by humans, and we have done a brilliant job creating a variety of dog breeds to meet our needs. Selective breeding, which began roughly 9,000 years ago and expanded dramatically during the Victorian era, has resulted in dogs specialized for herding, hunting, retrieving, ratting and companionship. We also created a single species ranging in size from two to 200 pounds. While veterinarians love the variety of dogs we care for, the challenge for us is to understand all the variations that make up normal dogs in order to provide excellent veterinary care. Here are a few of the issues in medical care for species with a 100x range in size.