Author Archives: Dr. Kristi Henderson

Protect your family, pets, and livestock from rodents and rodenticides

Millions have seen the social media video “RAT on the New York subway!”, but did you know that the CDC website states that “rats and mice spread over 35 diseases”?  The AVMA has developed a resource to help you protect your family, pets, and livestock from rodents and rodenticides.

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Wild animals – to own, or not to own

While responsibility and commitment are inherent to owning any animal, exotic pets (certain species of small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates) and wild animals (raccoon, deer, bear, and all other species that, whether or not raised in captivity, are normally found in a wild) may have special requirements or pose risks that owners might not be aware of or truly appreciate until it’s too late.  Many regulations pertaining to possession of wildlife and exotic pets exist to protect these animals, as well as people, ecosystems, and other animals.  All who own or are considering owning such animals should educate themselves about the husbandry, welfare, and safety requirements of the animals, as well as the risks the animals may pose to humans, other animals, and ecosystems. Measures should then be taken to reduce those risks.  People who won’t do this shouldn’t own these animals.

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Wondering what to do with expired or unused medications?

Whether the unwanted medications – prescription or over-the-counter – were originally intended for humans or animals, proper disposal of unwanted medication is crucial to protect people, animals, and the environment. To help out, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is holding its fourth National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 28, 2012, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Find a collection site near you by visiting the DEA’s National Take Back Initiative

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All-natural vs. Manmade: The debate’s not as simple as some may think.

It’s all-natural; so, it must be safe – right?  Not necessarily. 
Ebola, rabies, arsenic, radon, and curare are all-natural; however, none of them are “safe.”  Even though nature provides us with excellent nutrition, livelihoods, therapy, recreation, and much more, some of the world’s most powerful toxins exist naturally.  Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium that’s commonly found in soil, produces one of the most deadly neurotoxins ever known.  The Box jellyfish, death cap mushroom, foxglove, and blue-ringed octopus are just a few more examples of the plethora of nature packing a deadly punch.  Lesser known or publicized, yet with potentially the same final outcome for those effected, are situations in which people or animals are given or exposed to seemingly “safe” natural products.  Grapes and raisins are simple and all-natural, but they can cause renal failure and death in dogs.  Yard clippings seem pretty harmless, yet feeding them to a horse may result in a fatal colic.  Imbalanced or unnecessary supplements can also cause problems such as overdosing your dog with vitamin C could result in it developing urinary stones.  Thus, to blindly equate the term “all-natural” with the notion that it must be safe and good for you is a naïve and potentially fatal mistake.

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