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Veterinary Info on the Internet

Finding reliable information outside of your field can be hard, especially when it comes to the health of your dog. The Dog Trainer provides a roundup of sites that offer sound information about canine care.

By
Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA,
September 28, 2012

Veterinary Info on the Internet

 

When you’re looking for reliable information outside your field, it can be hard to tell the real experts from the quacks and charlatans. And the stakes are high when you’re worried about the health of someone you love – your dog, for example. With that in mind, here’s a roundup of some sites that offer sound, scientific, clear information about Dogalini’s health. Bonus: Most are good sources if the patient is Kittylini or Tweety Bird, as well.

For clear, well-written articles written by veterinarians about specific health conditions and medications, head for Veterinary Partner. It’s huge. It’s comprehensive. It links to other sources of useful information and it’s updated regularly. My first stop.

I also like the Mar Vista Animal Medical Center site. The articles there, also by vets, are shorter and simpler than those at Veterinary Partner. Many come with helpful photos. Fair warning: That includes the articles about common surgeries!

Just as there are board-certified internists, surgeons, oncologists, and so on for people, so there are certifying boards for many veterinary specialties. Like the human-medicine certifying boards, they’re called “colleges.” The American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine includes not only veterinary internists but also cardiologists, neurologists, and oncologists. The American College of Veterinary Surgery is … what it says on the box. Both sites offer not only information about the various specialties but also referral lists and articles about conditions their specialists might treat. I find the articles drier than some on other sites, but any slogging is worth it for the expertise.

Another site I especially value is the Veterinary Analgesia and Anesthesia Support Group. It’s intended for vets, but take a tour anyway. Pain relief for animals has taken huge leaps in recent years, but plenty of vets out there are still undertreating post-surgical pain and pain caused by disease. The info at the VASG site can help you make sure your vet is up to speed in these areas, and save your animal companion unnecessary misery.

Many people seek help from practitioners of “complementary and alternative medicine.” It’s important to know that many of these therapies have never been properly tested, and that many of the ones tested have been soundly debunked. Your source for hard research is the SkeptVet, who offers articles and a regular blog on homeopathy, supplements and probiotics, Bach flower remedies, and basically any other CAM-related topic you care to name.

Last but not least, I love Nancy Kay at Speaking for Spot. Dr. Kay is a board-certified veterinary internist whose mission in life is to help you be your pet’s best health advocate. The articles posted on her website cover everything from spaying to supplements.

Veterinarians Examining Australian photo from Shutterstock