Just as health care for humans is always advancing, so is health care for you pets. Here are some of the latest hot topics in pet care:
A flu vaccine for Fido:
Yes, your pup can get the flu. And although most pets won't die from canine influenza, it's extremely contagious and can make your dog miserable for a week or more (symptoms can include coughing, sneezing, decreased appetite, and fever). Fortunately, the University of Rochester Medical Center has developed two new vaccines to fight common forms of canine flu. The vaccine is only recommended for otherwise healthy dogs who regularly come into contact with other dogs and thus have a high chance of contracting the virus. Check with your vet to make the best choice for your pet.
Advances in pet cancer care:
Cancer is a leading cause of death for pets over age 10, and can require costly and difficult treatment. But this is changing. Better diagnostic tools and targeted treatments are transforming the field of veterinary oncology and making treatment more affordable and more effective. One promising new treatment for both human and animal cancers is called immunotherapy. Immunotherapy seeks to promote the body's natural response to disease and increase antibodies that can slow tumor growth. Another human cancer treatment that has recently become available to pets is stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), a non-invasive radiation treatment that can directly target tumors and sometimes put pet cancer into complete remission.
Improve your pet's digestive health with probiotics:
Probiotics are all the rage for humans and studies show that they can benefit pets too. This "good bacteria" lives in the digestive tract and can boost immune system health, support digestion, and prevent inflammation and illness. Dogs and cats can both benefit from probiotics.
Brain support for cats and dogs:
Aging pets often develop cognitive problems that can affect their memory and their ability to learn and interact with others. Decreasing brain function can also be the cause of a pet's motor function and mobility problems later in life. Scientists are starting to believe that nutrition could be the key to helping domestic animals maintain their cognitive abilities as they get older. Supplements or oils containing omega-3s, antioxidants, or medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) can provide the best defense against degenerative brain disease in your pet. Specially formulated, animal versions of these supplements are now widely available. Some fruits, vegetables, lean meats and other pet-safe human foods can also provide valuable nutrition for aging pets. Check with your vet to find the best nutrition plan for your animal companion.
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