Thursday, September 23, 2010

An Unpleasant Subject

USA Today ran an unpleasant, but useful article on pet necropsies.   Most of the time, there is no reason to have one performed.  But the article lists some reasons that you might, and noted something that I didn't know:

Sometimes, when you sign off on euthanizing a pet, you might be authorizing the vet to perform one.

I have lost count of all of the animals that have come and gone from my house, and I only had one performed.  It was on my late, great cockatoo, Hawk.  Molluccan Cockatoos live 50ish years and Hawk was only 25ish when he died rather suddenly.  Because I was/am volunteering at a parrot rescue, it was important to me to confirm that he didn't die of a contagious disease.  The results gave me some comfort and some trauma: he had heart disease.  This makes sense because we fed him the same terrible seed-based diet that everyone fed their parrots back in the day.

The article notes that necropsies are helpful to the doctors that care for our pets.  Every case they can learn from makes for better care for all of our other pets.  I'm thinking Hawk would be good with that, too.

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