DEAR READERS: I received this release about a new frontier in veterinary treatment, and share it with you out of great interest:
“A human placenta-derived compound developed by a University of Florida faculty member in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering is being used with promising results by veterinarians at UF’s College of Veterinary Medicine to treat animals with severe bone loss.
“Without the compound, the animals, which included a giraffe at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens and two pet dogs, would have almost certainly faced amputation of the affected areas, the veterinarians said.
“The product’s developer, Peter McFetridge, Ph.D., the Integra LifeSciences Term Professor in the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, studies the engineering of viable ‘living’ tissues and organs for the repair and regeneration of diseased tissues. Stan Kim, BVSc., an associate professor of small-animal surgery at UF, learned of McFetridge’s work and was intrigued about the placental compound he had been testing in rodent models with some success.
“McFetridge and Kim began discussing possibilities for the product’s additional use in small animals. Kim treated the dogs with the new compound at UF’s Small Animal Hospital earlier this year.
“’Both dogs had very bad fractures that did not heal and had lost a lot of bone,’ Kim said. ‘Typical treatments usually fail in these types of cases.’
“The dogs were completely healed after the placental treatment, he said, and are doing very well.
“’The most exciting thing about the placental compound is that it seems to regenerate bone in a remarkable manner,’ Kim said. ‘Although our main excitement is with regenerating bone, we have also had very positive results with wounds.’”
DEAR DR. FOX: Please keep up the good work re: your advocacy on the subject of animal and human health. It has changed how I hope to source my food supplies.
Incidentally, my 10-year-old Shih Tzu has nearly perfect teeth, and I attribute that to a daily dental chew from Ark Naturals. It is the only oral care I provide. -- B.H., Naples, Florida
DEAR B.H.: Thanks for confirming one of many good dental products now on the market for dogs. Not all dogs enjoy chewing, so it may be necessary to try different kinds of safe, chewy products to find which the dog likes best. Avoid pig and other animal parts -- dehydrated and/or smoked -- that may be contaminated by bacteria, chemicals and radiation sterilization.
Some dogs prefer to chew on one side only, so dental cleaning from chews in these cases is far from complete. This is why I advise from puppyhood on to get our canine companions used to having their teeth brushed, or rubbed with a gauze wrap around one finger soaked in a paste of equal parts sea salt, baking soda, aloe vera gel and green tea.
STUDY CONFIRMS DOGS TRY TO RESCUE PEOPLE IN DISTRESS
Dogs are likely to try to rescue their owners if they perceive distress and can figure out how, researchers reported in PLOS ONE. Dogs were more likely to try to open a box if their owner was inside signaling distress than if the owner was calmly reading aloud or if food was dropped into an empty box.
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