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Dog Bites, Exotic Pets, and Tap Water: What Every Good Vet Tech Should Know

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When the owners of Fifi, Fido, and Tweety need advice, they may ask you for your guidance. Here"s some background information that you can have at the ready when they ask. 
 
Have you been asked, "Is tap water okay for my dog?- Owners that pose that question want to do whatever it takes to keep their little Fido healthy and happy, even if it means running their drinking water through reverse osmosis. The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association investigated this concern in June 2008, and discerned that tap water will NOT cause bladder cancer in canines. 
 
It seems that chlorine-treated water has been associated with bladder cancer in people, so it would be logical to think it could do the same to dogs. The reason why dogs are unaffected may center on the fact that the water in pet bowls sometimes sits for hours, all the while allowing the chlorine concentration to diminish into the air. Or it may be that dogs do not bathe as much as humans, so they are not exposed to the by-products of chlorine as much.
 
That Bites
 
 The American Veterinary Medical Association (www.avma.org) of Schaumburg, Illinois, offers some tips you can give to the public when it comes to bite prevention. Children especially need to be reminded to ask for permission before petting a strange dog. Tell kids, "Let a dog sniff you before touching it, pet it gently, and avoid its face, head, and tail. Leave the dog alone if it is sleeping, eating, or caring for young puppies. If it threatens you, avoid eye contact and slowly back away. Curl into a ball if it throws you down.-
 
Exotic Pets and Little Kids
 
The AVMA believes the public needs to be re-educated about nontraditional pets. You may be asked, "Will my kid catch something from my exotic pet?- The answer is that good hygiene practices GREATLY reduce the spread of disease. Pet owners who don"t realize this often turn their pets loose in the wild, fearing the worst out of ignorance. Kids simply need to remember to wash their hands when handling pets, exotic or otherwise!
 
With all the public"s misconceptions, you are in a powerful position to correct them and give them the real facts about Fifi, Fido, and Tweety.

By Neil Whitehall
Get Veterinary Technician Jobs, Contributing Editor

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