By Ann Hohenhaus, DVM
This is the last post for Tales from the Pet Clinic. The end of anything – the year, college days or a career, leads to reminiscence. I will use this final post to look back at Tales from the Pet Clinic through my experiences at the WKC show earlier this week.
Every year when the Westminster Kennel Club (WKC) dog show comes to New York City, The Animal Medical Center goes to the dogs. It sets up a vendor booth in the middle of the benching area, which was held this year at Pier 92/94 overlooking the Hudson River, instead of the usual location in the outer ring basement of Madison Square Garden.
Few Cat Questions
Not surprisingly, the majority of veterinary questions were asked about dogs. A few slightly embarrassed people walked up to the booth and sheepishly asked permission to have a cat question answered. This reluctance of cat owners to ask cat health questions mirrors one of the current feline healthcare issues: cat owners are providing less healthcare for their cats than dog owners provide for their dogs.
Food, food, food
One of the most frequent topics discussed with pet owners was pet food, which has also been a common topic here at Tales. At the dog show, several pet owners asked, “Which is better, dry or canned food?” Some cat owners had heard the myth: dry food is bad for your cat and others heard dogs should have a mixture of dry and canned food. Both of these are pet food myths.
If you have a healthy dog, cat, puppy or kitten, my guidelines for choosing a pet food include:
• Food that carries the AAFCO nutritional adequacy label
• Matching your pets life-stage and species, (i.e. puppy food for a puppy)
• Food that is easy for you to obtain
• Food that your pet likes
The choice between canned and dry belongs to you and your pet.
Where Animal and Human Health Meet
One of the visitors at our booth was a physician. We chatted a bit about the similarities between veterinary and human medicine. This too has been a common theme in my blogs over the past two years. Pets and their people share infections like Salmonella, get similar cancers, such as melanoma, and everyone gets sick with the flu. The physician was surprised to find out The AMC staff consists of 92 veterinarians, 30 who are board certified specialists and five who hold two certifications.
Possibly the best part of staffing The AMC booth was talking with the grateful pet owners who came to say thank you to The AMC. Those kind words and smiling faces are what makes my job, and the job of every veterinarian worthwhile every day.
And on that note of thanks, I will sign off from Tales from the Pet Clinic by saying thank you to my loyal readers. This blog has been a learning experience for all of us and I have enjoyed every word I have written.