Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Break out the treats. Head to the pet store. Visit the local shelter. Today is National Love Your Pet Day. The purpose of this holiday is to encourage pet owners to spend some time with their pets and show them the love and affection they deserve. Dogs, cats, turtles, lizards, fish; it doesn’t matter. It’s the day to show them just how much they mean to you.
No one knows exactly when it started but according to our research, wide-scale celebration began in the early 2000s.
The stats will surprise you
In 2017, U.S pet owners spent almost $70 billion dollars worth of products for their pets (American Pet Products Association). Compare that to the $41 billion spent in 2007. Want to know more about the pet industry in the United States? Then check out the following pet statistics:
Number of Households That Own a Pet (By Type. In Millions)
Number of Animals Owned in U.S (In Millions)
The benefits will blow you away
Strengthen a child’s immune system ̶ Studies have shown that children who live in homes with pets miss less school due to sickness than children who grow up in pet-free homes.
Lessen the chance of developing allergies— Contrary to outdated myth, children in households with pets are reported to have fewer allergies. Nowadays, several studies have shown that children in pet-friendly households lower the chances of developing related allergies by as much as 33% (National Institute of Health). You’ll want to introduce the kids to the animals as soon as possible. If a person has already developed an allergy, the allergy can’t be reversed.
Heart health—Another benefit to owning a pet may be improved heart health. Studies have shown that owning a pet can lower blood pressure, triglyceride and cholesterol levels; all are contributors to the risk of heart attack
Overall fitness—This one’s so obvious. You walk your dog 3X daily; you walk off excess weight and boost your metabolism. The pooch is happy and you get healthy. Win-Win!
Don’t worry; be happy—Yes, they can be expensive. Certainly they can be a pain in the neck. In spite of it all, pets have been shown to turn a bad day into a beautiful one. That’s why their presence in hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities is ever-rising.
Make new friends, keep the old—Pets are instant icebreakers; people are just more willing to stop and chat when they see a person out with their pet. And you’d be amazed by how often friends stop by for pet play dates. Just one more reason to make a dog, cat, reptile or bird a part of the family.
Celebrating National Love Your Pet Day
Stop by your local pet adoption center. Volunteer, foster or adopt. Animals provide love and companionship each and every day. February 20th is your chance to return the favor.
Monday, January 29, 2018
A veterinarian’s main concern is caring for animals. Pet owners, animal lovers, and farmers depend on these specialists to uphold animal health and well-being. Government relies on vets for research into disease, food safety and drugs.
The last thing the student or newly-graduated vet wants to think about is paying back loans.
Much like human medical school, veterinary school costs are staggering. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), 2016 veterinary graduates have a mean student debt of $141,000.
Fortunately, there are programs that can help with educational debt—veterinary student loan forgiveness and repayment programs. Here are just a few to consider:
U.S. veterinary student loan forgiveness and repayment programs
The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP), authorized by the National Veterinary Medical Services Act (NVMSA), helps qualified veterinarians offset a significant portion of the debt incurred in pursuit of their veterinary medicine degrees in return for their service in certain high-priority veterinary shortage situations.
To receive this award, you must agree to serve at least three years in a region with a veterinarian shortage. The type and amount of work you do for the yearly award depends on the area where you work. Note that this program focuses primarily on veterinary medicine for livestock raised for food.
You may receive up to $25,000 of your student loan debt per year.
For more info: nifa.usda.gov
State-by-state veterinary student loan repayment assistance programs
Some states (not all) offer repayment assistance. Note that even in states where legislation was enacted to establish these programs, funding needs to be appropriated. You’ll need to contact the specific programs to find out if they are currently funded and operational.
For more info: avma.org
Army Health Professions Loan Repayment Program
The Army offers a loan repayment program for a variety of health professionals, including veterinarians. Both active duty and reservists are eligible.
If you are on active duty, you can receive up to $120,000 over three years through the Active Duty Health Professions Loan Repayment Program. If you’re in the reserves, you can receive $50,000 in student loan repayment over three years.
For more info: military.com OR goarmy.com
Faculty Loan Repayment Program
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) offers loan repayment to those interested in pursuing a career as a faculty member at a health professions school. The Faculty Loan Repayment Program (FLRP) helps recruit and retain health professions faculty members by encouraging students to pursue faculty roles in their respective health care fields.
Loan payment assistance up to $40,000; Funding to offset the tax burden may be possible.
For more info: bhw.hrsa.gov
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program forgives the remaining balance on Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer. Eligible jobs are available for veterinarians in government, nonprofit, and military organizations.
For more info: studentaid.ed.gov
Veterinary medicine is a fulfilling career; the chief reward is the contribution to animal health. We suggest that you explore all repayment options, including private funding and debt consolidation.
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
There’s so much more to being a wildlife rehabilitator than a simple love of wildlife. Wildlife rehabilitators provide treatment and care to injured, sick or orphaned native species until they are well enough to be released.
Friday, December 22, 2017
As far back as anyone can remember, animals have been a central part of Christmas celebrations. These animals have been instrumental in the development of the stories of the holiday and date back all the way to the origin and birth of Christianity. The creatures of old—the camel and the owl for example—are not very common in present-day festivities. Some of the newer generation of Christmas animals that revolve primarily around myths and newer periods of celebration include the reindeer and polar bears. The miniatures of these animals are hung on the Christmas tree according to their significance. Read on to know more on the animals associated with the joyous festival of Christmas.
Reindeer are symbolic of good fortune and joy in abundance. They are happy creatures, who are most closely associated with Santa Claus. Reindeer are one of the first beasts of provision - meaning the first upon humankind relied for food, supplies, warm clothing, and tools. This puts the Reindeer on high status - worthy of honoring - and so it is an animal of nobility, worthiness and is symbolic of continuance.
Camels and Donkeys
These are the “go-to” animals of the Christmas story; it is said that they brought the three Magi to the birth scene of Jesus Christ. The donkey is believed to have carried Mary and baby Jesus into Bethlehem which is why it is of religious importance and is directly linked to Christmas today.
Sheep are an integral part of the Nativity Scene and are also popular animals associated with renewal, purification and compassion. Sheep are used as decorative items on the tree as a symbol of loyalty and devotion.
Many Scandinavians, as well as Americans of Nordic descent, include the figure of a Yule goat as a prominent Christmas decoration. It is also used as food in some Christmas feasts. And still other communities set up straw goats during Christmas as a part of historical tradition.
Birds such as the robin, the wren, penguins and doves are all linked with Christmas. Most of the time, these birds come in the form of traditional Christmas motifs and are mentioned in the Bible. The turtle dove is also mentioned in the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas. Birds are popular Christmas decorations for the house, the tree, etc., and often symbolize the coming of good news and family happiness.
There will never be an exact count of how many animals are associated with Christmas. A few of the other animals such as dogs, bees, pigs and cows are all believed to have a direct relationship to the holiday. At the end of the day, personal belief and cultural preference are all-important to the celebration.
Diagnostic Imaging Systems wishes you holiday cheer and a happy new year...
Thursday, December 14, 2017
An awesome addition to your pooch’s diet, olive oil packs a nutritious one-two punch. Ever wonder why? Here are just a few reasons to share with your canine buddy.
When it comes to homeopathic remedies for dogs, there are a variety of “people foods” that can provide some valuable benefits. A superstar in the category is olive oil – a wonderful source of monounsaturated fatty acids (aka healthy fat). We know that it’s great for humans, but what can olive oil do for dogs? Here are a few fabulous benefits.
It Boosts General Health
In addition to providing specific benefits for your dog’s brain and immune system (see below), olive oil can help to boost Fido’s overall health. Olive oil contains healthy monounsaturated fats which can reduce your dog’s risk for heart disease and diabetes. And it’s loaded with oleic acid, a compound that has been shown to reduce the risk for cancer.
It Defends the Immune System
In addition to moisturizing your dog’s skin and coat, olive oil can be beneficial for his immune system. Olive oil is rich in polyphenols and carotenoids which have been demonstrated to improve immune system health. A strong immune system will give your dog a better chance of fighting off infection. A robust immune system is important in transitioning from one season to the next. Like you, dogs can get sick when the weather changes, so add a little olive oil to prepare him/her for the transition.
It’s a Brain Food
You’ve already learned that olive oil is rich in antioxidants, but you may not realize just how important antioxidants are for your dog’s health (yours, too!). A number of animal research studies have confirmed a link between olive oil and brain health. In one study oleocanthal, a type of polyphenol found in olives (and extra virgin olive oil), was linked to risk reduction for Alzheimer’s disease. We’ve read that Mediterranean-style diets continue to be linked to lower levels of dementia in humans. It would seem that adding olive oil to your dog’s diet can help to protect his brain from cognitive decline. This is especially important for senior dogs.
It’s a Beauty Treatment
Fancy (aka overpriced) pet shampoos and conditioners are not a sure-cure for dry, flaky skin. The answer may be the addition of a bit of olive oil to your dog’s diet. Olive oil is rich in Vitamin E and other antioxidants, and it is a good source of natural chemicals (phytonutrients) that protect against germs. Pet owners have reported seeing improvements in their dogs in as little as one week! And by continuing to add omega-3 fatty acids rich olive oil, you may just keep that flaky skin at bay. Check with the veterinarian to see what the proper amount should be.
Now you know the benefits of this kitchen staple. Just a little bit in your dog’s diet may contribute to your pet’s health, happiness, and mental well-being—a part of your family for many years to come.
Monday, December 11, 2017
The farm cat, also known as a barn cat, is a domestic cat, usually of mixed breed, that lives primarily out-of-doors, in a feral or semi-feral condition on agricultural properties, usually sheltering in outbuildings.
Have you seen stray cats hanging around the barn or home? Wish they’d go away? Don’t be so sure they can’t lend a helping paw. Here’s what we’ve observed of our feline farm friends…
- Cats make the barn a happier place. Cats make people happy. Perhaps it’s the fact that they live their own independent lives. Or the fact that they seem to know just when you need your leg rubbed.
- They eat bugs. It’s a hunting thing. Like it or not, cats enjoy the hunt and the kill.
- They are gold medal-winning exterminators. Indoors and outdoors, you can count on a cat to keep rodents from feed bins, garbage cans, etc. Obviously, the humans must do their best to fend off these pests (covers, metal bins, traps, etc.). But sadly, that probably won’t do the trick at keeping them away for good. This is where having a barn cat around comes in handy.
You’ll just need to keep a couple of cats around your property, and you’ll likely find that your rodent population will begin to decline.
- They save money. Sure you’ll need to feed them and provide proper care. But consider this, for each bug or rodent they discourage…it’s one less pest consuming your feed. Feed or human food—it’s all expensive. The cost of keeping a barn cat healthy is small compared to the cost of the food.
- They make great friends. Maybe not always for the humans, but they make great animal companions, depending on their temperament. There are pictures across the internet of dogs and cats, goats and cats, pigs and cats, etc. Consider it a bonus to a barn cat.
- They are low maintenance. Barn cats are low maintenance. They require a few shots to keep them disease free. And perhaps some nutritious food. They need very little and usually give a whole lot back. So you don’t get a whole lot lower maintenance than keeping cats around your barn.
- They are orphans who need a home. Most barn cats are strays or orphaned cats that have nowhere else to live. Yet, if you give them a home in your barn or around your home, you give them a purpose. And it’s an amazing thing to watch this animal grow and thrive as a productive member of your farm.
There are a number of organizations with programs detailing feral cat adoption and barn cat training. Check with your local vet, animal society or rescue organization for more details.