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6 Ways Pets Improve Your Health

You've heard before: Adopt a pet from a shelter or rescue and you save a life. And while those words ring true 365 days each year, they have even more meaning on April 11 – National Pet Day, founded by animal welfare advocate Colleen Paige in hopes of saving some of the 16,000 unwanted pets killed each day in U.S. shelters. Indeed, providing a forever home for a dog or cat is a loving, noble and worthwhile act. But based on findings from some four decades of medical research, their lives aren't the only ones being "saved" in their adoption. Here are six ways pets can save your life from America's top killer – heart disease – and improve your overall health. Credit: Getty Creative STRESS MA...

Pancreatitis is a scary and confusing disease for any pet parent to encounter. For veterinarians, it's maddening. Pancreatitis is often difficult to diagnose, difficult to identify its underlying cause, and sometimes resistant to treatment. To fully understand why, you must know what exactly is pancreatitis. Credit: Flickr/Bev Goodwin What is Pancreatitis? The pancreas is a small organ that is located between the stomach and the first part of the small intestine. It has two main functions: the production of the hormone insulin and the manufacture of digestive enzymes. Pancreatitis develops when the organ becomes inflamed for any of a number (or no particular) reason. The symptoms of panc...

I have an unusual fascination with the concept of medicine as both an art and a science. Superficially, the two disciplines have little to do with each other. Where medicine is sterile, factual, statistical, and specific, art is paradoxically relaxed, fluid, and imaginative. Credit: Thinkstock The role for creativity in the mind of a doctor is limited. We are thinkers and memorizers of minutia. Artists are thoughtful and philosophical. The proverbial war of the left brained versus the right brained prevails. The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates is credited with being the first to truly separate medical science from religion and philosophy, based on his belief that disease was not a pun...

Zeus the Blind Owl

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