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Veterinarian Technician July 2007 (Vol 28, No 7) Focus: Medical Advances

Tech News (July 2007)

by John F. Griffin IV, DVM, Jonathan M. Levine, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology), Sharon C. Kerwin, DVM, MS, DACVS

    "Live Strong" for Pets with Cancer

    It is a little-known fact that cancer is more prevalent in pets than in people, according to the Animal Cancer Foundation (ACF). Therefore, in an effort to raise funds for and awareness of pet cancer, the ACF has teamed with marketing company Genia, LLC to launch the nationwide Pet4Pets program. Orange wristbands and pet collars are sold on the program's Web site at www.pet4pets.com, and a portion of the sales will go toward animal cancer research. Individual bands and collars, as well as boxes for sale in the clinic, are available. Last year alone, sales of Pet4Pets collars raised just over $14,000 for the ACF.

    Cancer is 16 times more prevalent in dogs and 13 times more prevalent in cats than in people, according to ACF president Dr. Gerald Post. The ACF plans to provide pet owners with information about this disease and to work with industry partners to raise awareness about the value of cancer research. "Whether it is cancer in pets or in people, all of us are in this fight together," says Post.

    Jamie Bishop, general manager of Pet4Pets, explains that this initiative is very important to technicians because they communicate the most with clients and can provide the information that clients need regarding prevention and treatment. "Veterinary technicians are often on the front line with clients who are receiving the bad news," he says.

    The ACF is an organization committed to funding comparative oncology studies to help find a cure for cancer in pets and people. The ACF does not fund research that would harm, or induce cancer in, domestic pets. For more information about the ACF, go to www.acfoundation.org. To read or submit news on pet cancer and survivor stories, visit the Pet4Pets blog at pet4pets.blogspot.com.

    Veterinarians Help Stranded Humpbacks

    Veterinarians recently assisted in efforts to save a mother whale and calf that were stranded in the Sacramento River for 3 weeks this May. The veterinary professionals were successful in administering antibiotics to the whales to treat injuries sustained from a boat collison. The antibiotics, donated by Pfizer Animal Health and Bayer Animal Health Care, were injected into the muscle tissue of both whales via custom-made syringes that were deployed using a remote-operating apparatus. "We are very pleased that we were able to administer these medications," says Dr. Teri Rowles, Director of Marine Mammal Health for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "This is the very first time antibiotics have been administered to whales in the wild, and it took an exceptional collaboration." The whales' injuries had not been able to heal properly because of extended exposure to fresh water.

    Through analysis of skin samples collected from the whales, veterinarians determined that the whales are from the eastern North Pacific stock of humpbacks and that the calf is female. "The fact that the calf has been identified as a female and could possibly add to the population of already endangered humpbacks shows how significant our rescue efforts were in helping this species thrive in the wild," says Dr. Frances Gulland, Director of Veterinary Science at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California. The final analysis of the samples showed that the whales' skin condition and wounds were improving. On May 30, scientists determined that the whales crossed under the Golden Gate Bridge and returned safely to the Pacific Ocean.

    NEXT: Tech Talk (July 2007)
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