Relevant to my recent posting about the ban on bark-softening procedures, Dr. Sharon Vanderlip, who was the only person courageous enough to speak up NOT anonymously in the original article I read in the New York Times, has a piece in the newsletter I mentioned in my previous listing: the National Animal Interest Alliance. She is extremely concerned that the California Senate may soon become yet another state that does not allow Bark Softening. Click HERE to read her exceptional letter to the California politicians who are considering laws that they have no business considering. Some of her more salient points are that kittens and puppies are extremely sensitive to anesthesia:
An excerpt from her excellent letter....I am a veterinarian licensed to practice in California and I vehemently oppose AB1634 as amended May 31, 2007. California veterinarians overwhelmingly oppose AB1634.....
For 28 years I have worked in reproductive medicine. I have worked extensively with responsible dog breeders and I have also worked in a very large California animal shelter. I have performed thousands of spays and neuters during my professional career, including early spays/neuters. I am convinced that AB1634 is a disastrous bill that will not solve a single problem, but will definitely create many more. This letter explains some reasons how and why AB1634 WILL SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE THE NUMBERS OF ANIMALS IMPOUNDED, ABANDONED, AND EUTHANIZED EVERY YEAR.
Veterinary medical decisions, including when/if to spay/neuter an animal, should be made by veterinarians and the pets’ owners, not by politicians. I am a proponent of spay/neuter, but on a medical case by case basis, when the time is right for each individual animal patient.For complex physiological reasons, young puppies and kittens cannot clear some drugs and medications from their bodies, or tolerate anesthesia and surgery, as well as adolescent or adult animals can. Puppies and kittens can develop hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and have difficulty maintaining a normal body temperature during and after anesthesia. The three main causes of death in puppies and kittens are hypothermia, hypoglycemia, and dehydration—all of which can occur as a result of anesthesia and surgery and can progress to shock and death. In short, puppies and kittens are high risk patients. Words create images in our minds and direct our thoughts—and our decisions. “Neuter” and “spay” sound harmless and suggest these are simple procedures without consequences. These words don’t raise mental images of incisions, organs, blood—or risks. “Spay”, derived from the French word espeier, means “to cut with a sword”. Castration, from Latin, castratio, means “to cut”. Now, with these original words in our heads, our mental images change from something benign to something startling. For balance, we should call these procedures by their correct names that describe what they really are: gonadectomy, ovariohysterectomy, castration. By doing so, we remain cognizant of the difficulties and risks associated with an invasive intra-abdominal surgical procedure (including those required for abdominally retained testicles), the removal of body parts, and their long-term effects. Gentle words like “spay” and “neuter” have lulled many non-veterinarians into a casual, worry-free attitude toward these surgical procedures.
Politicians and animal activists supporting
AB1634 also take these surgical procedures and their profound medical
consequences casually— so casually as to mandate the procedures for
young pet companions with a broad brush stroke in a “one size fits all”
approach. This is an excellent example of why politicians and animal activists must not be allowed to dictate how veterinarians practice their profession. It's dangerous and it's wrong." ....
# # #
TO MY READERS...I invite you to read the rest of her letter. And to start thinking BIG PICTURE, not knee-jerk reacting to the occasional news stories...and the sad reality that, for both people and animals, there is suffering and death is an inevitable part of life.
OF NOTE [NOT at all part of Dr. Vanderlips letter, but perhaps relevant]: The lawsuit and horribly
publicity about PETCO, based on "neutering bunnies without
anesthesia"....a doctor friend of mine informed me that bunnies are highly
intolerant of most general anesthesia, and their lives are far more endangered
by general anesthesia than by the equivalent of a baby bunny bris. This "scandal" was all over the news, shut down a lot of the PetCo stores that offered bunnies, and caused a lot of negative publicity, calls for picketing and shutting down of PETCO.
While it should not surprise any of us, we tend to over-react to the media, which picks up stories that are "fed" to them, and frequently those doing the feeding have their own agendas and/or are maybe 'extremists.' I mean, in Afghanistan, where women are regarded as "property"....and a woman mis-behaves, she might have her nose cut off....without anesthesia.
When seen in the context of some of the world's problems, having our politicians wasting tax-payer money getting involved in decisions about how we are to treat our pets...it is not appropriate.