Spay/Neuter: It’s More that Population Control
Although many people know about the risks and benefits of spaying/neutering their dogs and cats, some don’t realize that you can also spay/neuter your bunny! Luckily, groups like Ohio House Rabbit Rescue and House Rabbit Society Chapters are making an effort to change the way people think about spay/neuter for bunnies, and we’re able to connect rabbit owners with experienced veterinarians to do the surgery.
First, spaying/neutering your bunny is one of the best choices that you’ll make for your family. Because they no longer have the urge to mate, altered rabbits tend to be calmer and less aggressive than unaltered rabbits. That means more petting, snuggling and bunny kisses!
Next, spaying/neutering is best for your house. Altered bunnies are less prone to destructive behavior such as chewing and digging, and they’re much easier to litter train. Also, unaltered male rabbits will spray to mark their territory, a nasty habit that can be avoided.
Spaying/neutering is best for your bunny. Unaltered rabbits are prone to certain, reproductive cancers, and the risk of getting these cancers is virtually eliminated by spaying/neutering. Also, while it’s almost impossible to bond an unaltered rabbit due to sexual/aggressive behaviors, spaying/neutering allows bunnies to be successfully bonded to a new bunny friend.
Finally, spaying/neutering is best for the future. Spaying/neutering ensures that you and your bunny won’t be responsible for unwanted litters of rabbits, meaning you won’t be contributing to the problem of bunny overpopulation.
A HEART OF GOLD
Sara Beavin, Pet First Aid & CPR
One of the cutest things you will ever see is a puppy. That being said, I love senior dogs. Old dogs are a treasure - it takes a long time for a soul to become so sweet. And a senior dog loves you no matter what. In fact, they pretty much love everyone. But senior dog homelessness is a huge problem. Often these dogs are viewed as money pits and being difficult to care for. Add to this, many seniors have health issues which can become more complex with the years.
I have heard many stories of older dogs or those with health problems who are dropped off at shelters by the very people who raised them from their puppy days simply because they have become old or sick or those people want another puppy. This breaks my heart. Sadly, a faithful companion who has loved unconditionally is left to watch the only family he has ever known walk away forever. Now he is confused, depressed, dejected wondering what has happened. Those dogs wait every day for their families to return but every night they go to sleep brokenhearted.
But dogs have a way of finding the people who need them and filling an emptiness those people didn't even know existed. That has happened to our family time after time. Many precious seniors and dogs with special needs have chosen us and welcomed us as their new family. These amazing animals love you instantly. They accept you as you are. They accept their new life and forgive any and all injustices that have been done to them. We have been adopted by dogs with diabetes, mobility issues, cancer, dementia, fear and mistrust due to abuse and neglect, Cushing's Disease, seizures, heart disease, blindness, deafness, liver disease, IBD and many other problems. Each of these furry angels chose us.
Some people think it is strange to adopt an elderly or ill pet, that it is a waste of time and money as that pet won't be around very long. That may be true. A pet with special needs may not be with you for many years or even for many months, but that time is very special and filled with love. You are giving that pet the best years of their life, making those last years the happiest they can possibly be. Even though they may be short, they are priceless.
And when the time comes for that special pet to leave, please don't say that you will never have another dog because the pain of his passing is too great. The best way to honor that pet and the life you shared is to save another - to share your home and your love with a deserving animal. Take the time to meet the scared, the shy, the ones that don't stand out, the old ones, the blind ones and the ones missing a limb. Give them the same love you gave to all of your pets. A special pet is waiting for you - a pet that you need just as much as he needs you.
Choosing the Right Nutritional Supplement for Your Pet
Dr. Donn, Ohio Holistic Veterinary Hospital
What are your goals? Knowing what you want to accomplish for your pet will be a good first step.
o Complete nutrition
o Treating a specific condition
o Safer and fewer side effects than a prescribed medicine
o You take it and have benefitted; you want your pet to benefit, too
If you decide to give supplements to your pet, "buyer beware." There are estimated to be over 50,000 nutritional supplements for sale, and they could be helpful or harmful, depending on which one(s) you choose. Be aware that the New York attorney general has taken action against big retailers for selling fraudulent products, finding that the suppliers have misrepresented the ingredients listed on the labels.
Pet parents could spend all their waking hours looking for the best product, and one that can be trusted. Here are some considerations:
Who formulated the product and what is its purpose?
What are the qualifications of the person who formulated the product?
What evidence exists to support the product in independent research and analysis? (Testimonials and websites can be informative but might also be very misleading.)
Does the manufacturer have a licensed health care professional who can consult with your veterinarian to answer questions about the product?
What quality control measures does the manufacturer have in place?
If there is a recall, is there a way to track the product to the consumer?
Is there ongoing feedback and clinical evaluation available from the users of the product? I prefer clinical evaluations from licensed health care professionals.
Has the manufacturer inspected the farm or growing location? (Plants grown next to a highway have been found to have high amounts of lead. The soil, water, and air around herbs can affect the product's quality.)
How are the ingredients harvested, processed, stored, and shipped?
I have been studying nutrition and nutritional supplements for several decades, including visiting some manufacturing locations. I have also studied extensively and received accreditation in herbal medicine, and I continue that study, including consultations with veterinarians world-wide regarding nutritional supplements. It's daunting for a pet parent to find the time and resources to do sufficient research on nutritional supplements to attain trust. Giving your veterinarian feedback and the opportunity to follow your pet's progress will help you to fine tune your pet's nutrition program and your pet's likelihood of optimized health.
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