This is a friendly reminder that vets and vet students on tumblr are not ethically permitted to diagnose any animal they haven’t personally examined, and that sending them asks detailing your pet’s symptoms and asking for a diagnosis does nothing but waste valuable time. Please take your animal to a vet.

anonymous asked:

Hi Dr. Ferox. I have a question in regard to the ethics of the procedures declawing/ear cropping. A veterinarian I worked with explained to me that she will declaw a cat because she fears that if she does not do it herself, the owner will find a way to have it done, and that way may not be through a licensed veterinarian. Do you think denying people such a "service" may lead to the animal being harmed by unlicensed people attempting to do it themselves? What can be done about this? Thank you.

I seriously hope there isn’t some layperson going around chopping off the last bone of a cat’s toes because a veterinarian declined to do it. If that is happening, both the owner seeking the procedure and the non-veterinarian should be heavily prosecuted for animal cruelty and performing acts of veterinary medicine without a license.

Originally posted by softly-satanic

Some vets will reluctantly agree to perform declawing of cats as a last resort because they feel that they understand just how much pain the cat will be in and use a higher quality analgesia protocol than another vet might. They feel that if it’s going to be done somewhere, it might as well be done by them with practiced surgical technique and the best quality pain relief available.

They may also believe that the cat will be rehomed, abandoned or euthanised due to not being declawed, and that therefore performing the procedure effectively saves the cat’s life. I think this belief is false, as the procedure is illegal here in Australia with no difference in the oversupply of cats. If someone is going to surrender their cat, they will do so. If they don’t have the surgical declawing option, which they perceive as an ‘easy’ solution, they are more likely to pursue a better compromise like soft paws or regular nail trimming.

Ear cropping is a little different in that it is a 100% cosmetic procedure with zero medical benefit for the dog. It’s only done for human aesthetics because somewhere along the line dog breeders decided that surgically altering a dog’s ears to the desired shape was easier than breeding them that way. It should be banned and universally condemned. If you want a breed with straight ears, then breed them to have straight ears. No breed should require surgery to ‘look right’.

Cat declawing, dog ear cropping and dog tail cropping are banned in Australia without a specific medical intervention, as it should be. Dog breeds that were traditionally docked and cropped have had no downturn in popularity, no increase in injury, and more and more breed clubs have banned surgically altered dogs from being shown. These are steps in the right direction.

If somebody attempts to dock tails or crop ears at home, they can be prosecuted for animal cruelty and I have had no hesitation in reporting them in the past. When I graduated the ban had only just come into effect, and many old school ‘breed enthusiasts’ were moaning about it. They complained that 'young vets these days didn’t really understand dogs’ and similar such nonsense. They’ve had to get over it, and dogs get to keep their natural ears and tails as a result. Interestingly, Rottweilers in general seem much more confident with tails.

As veterinarians we are supposed to promote good animal welfare. That’s what started us on this path, right? Most (all?) professional veterinary associations condemn declawing, ear cropping and tail docking.

If we don’t decline to do unnecessary cosmetic surgery, then public opinion will never change, and the demand will never lessen. We owe it to the countless future dogs and cats yet to be born to speak out against these practices. This it why even if they were legal down here, I would personally refuse to do them.

(As a side note, desexing is entirely different. Desexing has a proven medical and social benefit, and is only soft tissue surgery compared to a partial amputation or cutting away cartilage. Far less pain, far more benefits.)

You know what pisses me off the most about the whole “cage-free”, “humanely raised”, “free range”, etc. trend that’s been picking up steam lately? The fact that people just believe it.

The only reason these labels even exist in the first place is because activists exposed the abuse that is rampant in the industry. This presented a big problem to animal farmers, but do you think they were just going to pack up and go home? Hell no! They’re gonna keep that gravy train right on a-rollin’. So they get their friends in high places to make up bullshit standards for labels like “humane” and “cage free” that they can slap on their products, so they can deceive gullible idiots into continuing to give them money for essentially the same amount of torture, and jack up the prices to boot because they’re “better”.

They don’t care about the well-being of animals, they just care that they got caught, and they’re trying to save face. How can people possibly think that these animal farmers wouldn’t gladly lie to their faces again given the chance, which they continue to do?

anonymous asked:

There's a service dogblr who says that spaying and neutering are more invasive and worse for a dog than cropping and docking. But you said they're not comparable. Can you elaborate?

If you mean the post by a 18 year old kid who has falsely been told that speying and neutering removed the genitals of dogs then I can certainly elaborate. I am a practicing veterinarian who decided long ago she wasn’t going to perform procedures that were ethically questionable, so I think I have a decent background knowledge with these things.

First, let me talk about desexing dogs, only briefly from a pain perspective.

Speying - for female dogs, a small incision is made through the flesh of the abdomen, ideally through a band of fibrous tissue called the linea alba. The ovaries (gonads) and uterus are removed. The dog retains her vagina and all external genitals. This is the equivalent of an ovariohysterectomy in humans and only soft tissue need to heal.

Neutering/castration- for male dogs, a small incision (sometimes only keyhole) is made between the penis and the scrotum to remove both testicles only. The dog retains its penis, prepuce, scrotum and all the internal bits. Only soft tissue needs to heal.

Soft tissue damage is considered to be lower on the pain scale than bone or other tissues.

Tail docking - amputation of the tail involves soft tissue damage, plus disarticulating bone, severing tendons and cutting the end of the spinal cord. This often results is abnormal sensation, increases sensitivity at the amputation site and painful neuromas. The frequency at which neuromas develop would be reason alone to ban cosmetic tail docking of dogs. 

Ear cropping - Surgically amputating up to 2/3 of a dog’s ear flaps, consisting of skin and cartilage. Ears are then generally bandages up to ‘train’ the ears into the desired shape, which the puppy may have to endure for several weeks.
The pain is at least as much as desexing. It is not like poking a tiny hole in an ear for an earring stud.

So from that information you might conclude that tail docking is the most painful, both short and long term. Desexing and ear cropping may induce similar levels of surgical pain, though ear cropping requires more discomfort while training the ear.

So why do we do any of this in the first place?

Well Anonymous, certain breed enthusiasts spend their time fear mongering about trauma, specifically ripped off tails and ears. Let me tell you that in all my years in practice, including with farm dogs, bush dogs, two police dogs and a suburban emergency clinic the ONLY times I have ever seen a ear or tail “ripped off” or damaged badly enough for amputation was either the result of a dog fight or a car accident. I practice in Australia where ear cropping and tail docking are not legal, so you would think if this was a real problem my colleagues and I would be seeing it.

Numerous reviews of these practices have resulted in many countries banning them for cosmetic purposes, and many more veterinary bodies urging for them to be banned in their country.

The only reason the practice continues at all is that breed enthusiasts in those countries like the ‘look’ that results from these procedures. There are zero medical benefits and some surgical/post-op pain. In a cost-benefit analysis, there is no reason for the dog to have this done. This is why veterinary organizations condemn these procedures. This is why I don’t do them.

The only reason cosmetic ear cropping and tail docking are done is because the human that owns the dog believes their desire to have an aesthetically pleasing dog is more important than the dog’s pain at and after surgery.

Moving on to speying and neutering (desexing), there’s no denying they cause some surgical/post-surgical pain, but we perform these procedures to benefit the animal and that is why I almost always recommend desexing at some point in a dog or cat’s life.

Pets that are desexed, on average, liver longer. They are less likely to roam and face those associated dangers. Females have almost zero risk of ovarian and uterine cancer, and speying is the best method to prevent pyometra (which is basically lethal without an emergency spey, and that is not the relatively minor procedure a routine spey is by any stretch of the imagination). Females are also at less risk of mammary cancer, and the sooner they are speyed the lower their risk. Males that are castrated eliminate the risk of testicular cancer and lower the risk of perianal adenocarcinoma.

There was a study to suggest that some cancers were more common in desexed golden retrievers. Though the study was good, the results weren’t replicated in Labradors, so you can’t extrapolate 100% to other breeds. Also, the tumors ‘prevented’ by keeping those dogs entire were already relatively uncommon, compared to something like mammary cancer which will affect 1 in 20 of female entire dogs.

There may be something to be said for delaying desexing in large breed dogs, but that also needs to be weighed against the potential benefits of PennHip radiographs and hip dysplasia risks. The time of desexing should be planned on an individual basis to manage all the potential risks and benefits.

Some owners don’t wish to desex their pets. That’s fine, so long as they’re aware of the risks and capable of managing them.

Speaking of evaluating things individually, ear cropping, tail docking and desexing should also be assessed individually. Just because a procedure like declawing or tail docking is worse than ear cropping, it doesn’t make it okay when it still provides zero benefit to the dog.

Animal Neglect Rant (Long Post Sorry)

Growing up as the daughter of a vet, I was around animals, and animal owners, a lot. And I’ve heard a lot of excuses made for giving an animal sub par care and I’ll tell you that unless you took this animal in unannounced as an emergency and are actively looking for a suitable home, none them hold water.

But the one I just never get over is the “I don’t have the time/space/money for this animal’s proper care.”

Don’t buy or take in an animal you can’t care for. There’s just no excuses here, don’t buy an animal if you don’t have the time/space/money for it.

If you’re unsure about your animal’s needed care, research it! Buying blind then retroactively complaining about not having enough time/space/money for that animal is not a valid excuse. It just means you didn’t do your research which doesn’t bode well for you as an animal keeper.

I don’t care if it’s a tiny betta fish or a giant Clydesdale, you need to give your animal proper care. Period.

You know, I’d really appreciate it if certain people on this site could stop dismissing basic animal welfare as “classist”. Animal welfare is, for the most part, based on the idea that any captive animal (regardless of whether they happen to be exotics, pets, or livestock) is entitled to five basic needs (sometimes altered into the “five freedoms” in some literature). And these needs are as follows:

  1. An animal should have somewhere suitable to live.
  2. An animal should be provided with a proper diet, including fresh water.
  3. An animal should have the freedom to express normal behaviour.
  4. An animal should have its needs to be housed with, or apart from, other animals met.
  5. An animal should have protection from, and treatment of, illness or injury. 

These five needs are all required to ensure that an animal is being cared for properly, and that an owner is meeting their responsibilities as a caretaker. If you fail to meet any of these criteria then you are, at best, neglecting your animal. Need number five, which I’ve helpfully emboldened, states that a good owner has a responsibility towards both preventing and treating illnesses in their animals. This means that, by taking on an animal whose routine veterinary needs are beyond your means, you are not making a responsible decision.

Yes it sucks that some people simply don’t have the means to properly care for an animal and therefore shouldn’t have one, but in the end it is the animal’s welfare that counts, not the hurt feelings of the would-be owner. All of the most reputable animal rescue centres in my locality make sure to inspect every prospective adopter for suitable living conditions and the means to care for an animal properly. And if said adopter happens to live in a dilapidated shack and barely earns enough to keep himself warm and fed, guess what? He doesn’t get a dog. That’s just how it is. If you can’t meet an animal’s needs then you have no right to demand one.

TL;DR: A pet is not a right, it is both a privilege and, above all else, a responsibility. You are not entitled to an animal you cannot care for just because you want one, and if you cannot afford routine vet care then buying a pet is inherently an irresponsible decision.

“You can’t love animals and exploit them at the same time!”

I guess vegans can’t love animals either since their diet relies on the exploitation of bees. Or because crop production relies on exploitation and mass slaughter of both domestic and wild animals. Or because any medication they need resulted in the exploitation of a lab animal or the byproduct of a slaughtered animal. Nobody is allowed to love animals anymore. Humans are physically incapable of loving animals since we all contribute to exploitation in one form or another. Oops. There goes that argument.
Wind farms can be DEADLY for birds of prey
The study from various research institutes including the Aarhus University in Denmark, tracked the birds using laser range finders and radar.

Migrating raptors are attracted to turbines as potential landing spots

Wind turbines at sea are a danger to birds of prey particularly during bad weather, a study has found. Buzzards (pictured), kites, harriers falcons and sparrowhawks were all attracted towards turbines – putting them at risk of getting killed by the spinning blades.

The findings published in Biology Letters said birds of prey like to migrate across narrow straits and sounds.

They are also attracted to islands and are strongly dependent on updrafts and thermals – rising columns of warm air which come off the land…