What Are The Best Internet Sources For Information
About Your Pet's Health?
Pet Health Information
Ron Hines DVM PhD
These are the websites I find most helpful in learning about current treatment trends for your pet.
When you surf the net for information, remember that commercial sites that sell products can never be relied upon when discussing the possible benefits of those products and that sites that describe surgical procedures that they themselves perform, tend to overstate the success rates of those procedures. (The profit motive can have a bending effect on science. (ref)
The following is a list of informative sites that you can trust with confidence:
Merck Veterinary Manual Published online by the non-profit arm of Merck Pharmaceutical Company, the Manual gives a brief, but remarkably comprehensive summary of cause, diagnosis and treatment of all common diseases of pets. First published in 1955 the Manual was completely revised last in 2008. It represents the combined knowledge of 470 experts in veterinary medicine. Use their internal search engine to find specific information.
Vetlearn Compendium , This monthly online and hardcopy publication offers continuing education for veterinarians. Each health-condition article is written by top experts in the field and gives detailed advice regarding the most successful methods of diagnosis and treatment.
The Mar Vista Pet Library Mar Vista Animal Medical Center is Located in West Los Angeles, CA. This talented group, lead by Dr. Wendy Brooks, maintains the best animal hospital website on the internet. Dr. Brooks' articles are informative, concise and up-to-date concerning diagnosis and treatment of pet illnesses. Because they deal with pet owners in real-life situations, the perspective of their articles on treatment is more realistic that that of veterinary school teaching staff and textbooks.
Veterinary Partners.com and The Veterinary Information Network (VIN). The, VIN, based in southern California, distributes information to keep veterinarian's up-to-date on the diagnosis and treatment of health problems in your pet. One of their services is to maintain this series of well-written healthcare articles that veterinarians can distribute to their clients. These articles will give you a good overview of the treatment options available for your pet. Type in the condition you are interested in, followed by the letters vin and it will come up on a Google search.
Wikipedia Wikipedia, the Web-based, free-content encyclopedia, founded in 2001 by Jimbo Wales, is an excellent starting point to understanding your pet's health problem. I link back to it frequently regarding medical terminology and basic medical science. But Wikipedia's non-judgmental approach and the possessiveness of some pet health-topic editors make it less helpful when it comes to evaluating the benefits of current treatment options for your pet. People who serve as the site's policemen (topic administrators or editors) tend to hold and promote strong opinions. (ref) and my personal experiences in correcting article errors and omissions have been quite mixed.
Be very cautious about links given on Wikipedia that go to sites where buying something is an option. The system is being gamed by hucksters who add those links to the bottom. Anyone can do it . They are not above changing the content of the articles either. There is more about that here.
ncbi - The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) This site is run by the National Institutes of Health, my alma mater. The Federal government requires that all published research findings that receive federal dollars have an abstract published in this data base. The studies have been reviewed by experts at three levels, first, by the NIH before funding was granted, then by the research institution and then by the publishing journal. If you do not live near a large medical school library, these abstracts can be very helpful in learning about new veterinary and medical discoveries. Type in the condition you are interested in, followed by the letters ncbi, and it will come up on a Google search
Western States Conference Held every year since 1928, the WSC meets annually in Las Vegas, Nevada. Veterinarians from throughout the Country meet there to improve their skills. Reviewing their lecture topics and speakers will tell you who the top specialists are in any veterinary field, where they are located, their current interests and the treatment plans they recommend.
AAHA The American Animal Hospital Association published a list of treatment guidelines that represent their members opinion as to what constitutes optimal treatment and care. Veterinarians and veterinary hospitals that participate in AAHA tend to be the most dynamic and advanced in their communities.
Cornell Feline Health Center Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine sponsors the non-profit CFHC. The highly-urban nature of much of New York, made Cornell a leader in feline health care long before cats became the most popular pet in the United States. CFHC publishes online client information articles that give a brief - but accurate - summary about the condition. Simply typing in the name of the medical condition, followed by the word Cornell, will bring up these articles on a Google search.
Quackwatch This site, operated by retired psychiatrist, Stephen Barrett, scours the internet for worthless remedies and treatments. Eventually, most of the products he zeros in on are offered to the pet-owning public as well.
Not all information is available to you online. If you have an exceptional interested in dog or cat health topics, the best concise reference books available in 2012 are Clinical Veterinary Advisor by Dr. Etienne Côté. Dr Côté is a professor at the Atlantic Veterinary College, Prince Edwards Island, Canada. The other is Feldman's 2009 update of Stephen Ettinger's Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine: Expert Consult 7th edition. For those and other more specific subjects, go to the veterinary student book list of the UPSVM (last entry:Suggested Clinical Books) . If you live in the USA, you can order them through Dolbeys-online PennVet bookstore or the Univ. of Cal. Davis bookstore.
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