It’s the weekend or an evening and you have a question about your dog’s health that is just begging an answer right now. You can’t get ahold of me – I am not answering your Facebook or Google+ messages in the last minute or so since you posted and you are getting worried something has happened to me or my family, but worse yet your question is not being answered!
What to do?
You are in luck! There are websites out there with veterinarians that are ready to answer your question!
Granted they may not have my wit and personality but some may. Also you may not receive the integrative or holistic touch that you really want, but when you are desperate for an answer, the vets on these websites are more than qualified to help you out in deciding if your question about your dog’s health can wait for my reply or if you need to get help sooner.
Just Answer Veterinarians (http://www.justanswer.com/sip/veterinary) is a cool site that has experts from many different fields including in this case veterinarians. Most of the time there is a veterinarian actually online and will answer your question in real time. The cost is $14-$38 depending on Urgency and Level of Detail Required and you have to be 100% satisfied.
Ask A Vet (https://askavet.com/) claims we’ve got America’s Best Veterinarians ready to answer your pet’s health, nutritional and behavioral questions. How can they say that? Well their vets are board certified in their area of expertise, which means they went to even more schooling than your typical vet and they have really focused on a specific area of veterinary medicine. They have sat for boards just like a medical doctor would that has board certification – certifications in cardiology (heart), oncology (cancer), neurology (nerves), etc.It is a flat fee of $18 and 5% of that goes to charity. Again there is a 100% money back guarantee.
VetLive (http://www.vetlive.com/) run by Drs Jed and Laci Schaible is a 24hour chat service of a hand selected group of veterinarians chosen by Dr Jed and Dr Laci. Most of the time though you will be dealing with the owners of the site. The price depends on time of day, demand and if a vet has to be woken out of bed to answer your question. From $17-$50 and $35-$70 for second opinions that would include detailed information from the previous vet visit.
Pawbly (http://www.pawbly.com/) is free! I figured I would tell you the best part of this website right away. It does not mean that the value is any less than the paid sites. Pawbly is advice and assistance for everything pet 24 hours a day from reliable, local experts. Pawbly allows you to find or seek out experts based on their responses to your questions, their location, or their availability. Several veterinarians including my internet friends and colleague Dr Krista Magnifico and Jana Rade are verified Pawbly Advisors. ?
With these choices you can find a veterinarian to answer your questions anytime. So the next time you can not get ahold of me then please try one of the above websites. Writing this article has given me an inspiration of doing a something similar with an integrative more holistic approach…hmmmm.
With the wider acceptance of raw feeding for dogs, meaning feeding uncooked meats, with bone and vegetables and seeing how it is helping a number of dogs with health issues and improving overall health for dogs, a couple of companies are reaching out to vets and have veterinary programs to help veterinarians determine when and how to institute a raw feeding program for their clients.
Nature’s Variety has a program helping vets become more aware and more knowledgeable about raw feeding. I have their vet packet in front of me, which is filled with information and ways to find out more information. Interesting information such as case studies, online resources and a good explanation on why their raw food is safe, using High Pressure Pasteurization (HPP) which kills harmful bacteria but does not affect proteins, enzymes, nutrients, prebiotics, vitamins or minerals.
Nature’s Variety has been helping vets get over the other hurdle of feeding raw by going through the process of AAFCO food trials to be certified complete and balanced. According to NV they are the 1st and only raw food company to have done this; not that it matters to most raw feeders, but it does matter to the scientific community including veterinarians.
Some of the disease conditions that vets use nutrition to help treat that can be benefited by raw feeding are food allergies, obesity, digestive disorders, skin and coat disorders and diabetes. I am really impressed by this company taking the time to try and integrate the raw feeding world and bring it to the scientifically based veterinary community that many times is concerned with new and non-traditional ways of treating pets and improving their health.
What are your thoughts? Would you like to see more companies like Nature’s Variety go mainstream and try to connect with more veterinarians or do you think raw feeding is a fad and will die off or become a cult for a select few?
I read an interesting article from my friend and fellow veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker on her blog/website – Mercola Healthy Pets – This One Procedure Could Reduce Your Pet’s Lifespan by Over 30% The article is based on a study done by the Gerald P. Murphy Cancer Foundation in which David Waters, DVM and others discovered that female Rottweilers that kept their ovaries for at least 6 years were 4 times more likely to have exceptional longevity.
After reading this article I am not ready to jump ship and say that I am not going to spay or neuter anymore. I agree with Dr. Becker in that each case is an individual situation and that there is no specific age right for all dogs. I believe owners should be informed of all the pros and cons of the procedure and make the decision based on all the information. One thing that I will say is that dogs should be older not younger to have the procedure done. The hormones are NEEDED for growth plate closure, which means most dogs will be over a year of age, except for toy breeds, and giant breeds may be closer to 2 years of age before neutering/spaying.
I also believe that certain situations were left out in the study as well. Now I have not read the study (yet), but there are some things that need to be noted when believing that not spaying or neutering increases the lifespan of the dog. I can not argue the fact and the common sense behind that a dog needs hormones, just as humans do, to have a properly functioning body and taking away the hormones can cause health issues. Leaving them in also causes health issues such as some cancers, some hormonal diseases, prostate issues and pyometras. So it is not the health issues that I can argue with, since there are advantages and disadvantages to both sides, but rather the social issues in today’s society that dogs have to live. The life span of an un-altered male or female can and does decrease with an increase in accidents from the desire to breed, such as being hit by a car in search of a mate. Un-altered dogs are much more likely to find ways to escape and get out. The desire to breed is very strong and for the average owner it is not possible to train them to not listen to that instinct. Multi-dog households will have an increase in fighting between unaltered animals. Male dogs as with most males of all the animal kingdom have much more aggressive attitudes and tend to have behavior problems associated with this, such as aggressive dominance and a more willingness to fight both other dogs and humans. Even if you did vasectomies and tubal ligation these behavior/social issues will still exist.
Another major decrease in life is of the unwanted puppies that are euthanized due to unwanted pregnancies due to accidental breedings. Even the most responsible, conscientious dog owner can have an accident happen and then it will affect the lives of not only their own dog but to the average of 6 other puppies that can be born of that accident.
So I am not in complete believe that not spaying or neutering will increase a dogs life because in many instances especially in today’s society it will lead to a decrease in life span. However it does warrant more investigation and it definitely is an individual thing for most owners and their pet.
Other articles related to Spay/Neutering
With the new research coming out with the negatives of spaying and neutering, I would think that buyers with a proven record of responsibly owning intact dogs would not be required to s/n a “pet” dog. I know that I would be willing as a …
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Aside from spaying or neutering your pet to help with the overpopulation crisis, spaying and neutering has both medical and behavioral benefits for your dog and cat. Neutering male dogs and cats make them less likely to fight with other …
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I went to a Chris Zink seminar recently and the spay talk was very interesting. She said that the hormones are needed to tell the dog to stop growing and to close growth plates by the time they are 15 months. She said that is why early …
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