Pets are considered by many to be a part of the family. Because of this, more and more pet parents are willing to do whatever it takes to keep their pets healthy and happy. And because of the demand for higher levels of care, complicated procedures to improve the quality of life are becoming more common.
Reconstructive surgery for a pet? Absolutely. From skin and bone grafts, eyelifts and nose jobs, Michael M. Pavletic in Massachussetts has pioneered dozens of reconstructive techniques for companion animals. And there’s definitely a demand for this- from pets with facial cancer to dogs involved in accidents requiring reconstructive surgery to ‘nose jobs’ for dogs like pugs with breathing problems, plenty of pets are going on to live healthy, happy lives with injuries that used to warrant euthanasia.
And through research into new reconstructive techniques, they’re currently testing an experimental compound- by creating a scaffold out of this material, they have been able to successfully grow new bone! And this is great news for the pets in treatment as well as for the rest of us. An awesome example of research in animals that will benefit us all!
It sounds strange… but it’s possible that buying your baby a puppy might be a GOOD idea. Let me explain.
The dust in your house consists of dead skin cells, decomposing insects, fibers from clothes and other fabrics, dirt and plant debris from outdoors, bacteria, pet dander, and a lot of other stuff that you probably don’t want to know about. Another fun fact: the microbes found in household dust usually correspond to the microbes found in the homeowners’ guts. Gross, right?
Well, microbes in your gut can influence your immune system. And research has shown that owning pets increases the diversity of the bacteria found in your household dust. (Not surprising.) But when researchers at UC San Francisco fed this bacteria-rich dust to mice, they found that the mice that ingested the “dog dust” were less likely to have allergic reactions than mice that ingested bacteria found in a non-pet home.
So far, it seems that the protective effects have their greatest impact on young offspring- especially newborns. If these new findings are confirmed in humans, this could help researchers in the development of probiotics for infants that could potentially reduce the risk of allergies later in life. But as this isn’t the first study showing a correlation between animal exposure early in life and reduced sensitivity to allergens, that puppy doesn’t sound like such a bad idea! Read more: