Pet travel safety focus of new program
• Animals traveling by air may have better protections with a new standardized global certification program developed by the International Air Transport Association. Based on IATA Live Animals Regulations, developed with input from veterinarians, animal welfare experts and government agencies, the program provides training and on-site audits by independent inspectors. In a statement, Nick Careen, IATA’s senior vice president of airport, passenger, cargo and security, said: “Animal owners and shippers rely heavily on airlines to carry their precious cargo. As an industry, we have a duty of care to ensure that standards and best practices are in place around the world to protect the welfare of these animals.”
• If you haven’t taken a pet first-aid class, now is a good time to sign up for one: April is Pet First-Aid Awareness Month. Knowing how to stop bleeding, clean and bind wounds, recognize signs of shock and other emergency conditions, and what to keep in a pet first-aid kit can help to save your dog or cat’s life. Courses are available from the Red Cross, humane associations and other organizations.
• Does your dog or cat have a health problem that’s difficult to treat or about which little is known? You may want to see if there’s a veterinary clinical trial or study that needs canine or feline participants. The American Veterinary Medical Association has a health studies database (ebusiness.avma.org/aahsd/study_search.aspx) that allows pets and their owners to contribute to veterinary knowledge and maybe even get helped themselves. Current studies include a University of Pennsylvania study on the role of the microbiome in treating canine chronic enteropathy, and another on the use of noninvasive cardiac ultrasound for diagnosis and management of congestive heart failure in cats. Your veterinarian can help you decide if participation is a good choice for your pet.
— Dr. Marty Becker, Kim Campbell Thornton and Mikkel Becker