Pets – Just what the Doctor Ordered!

Despite my best intentions it has been a long time between blogs, In an attempt to rectify this situation and keep  the information flowing I have deputized my daughter, Katherine, to help with the writing. Together we will keep this blog relevant and informative 🙂 Thanks Kat!KatherineFor our first collaborative effort we wanted to discuss some of the tangible health benefits to pet ownership.

It is wonderful to see that research promoting the important contribution our furry family members make to our health and well being has been gaining momentum in recent months. Pet owners have long been championing the positive impact animals have in their daily lives, but recent studies confirm that there are both physical and mental health benefits.

Good for our minds…

Psychologists have discovered that pet owners tend to be less lonely, have higher self-esteem, be more extroverted and be less fearful about getting close to other people. They have also found that cuddling, stroking and playing with your pet can be a powerful mood enhancer, reducing stress, anxiety and depression (as if we didn’t know that already!). kitty

Good for our bodies…

Recent studies have also shown that pet owners get more exercise than their pet free counterparts. Dog owners are especially active as they are motivated to get out and about while taking their pooches for walks. Research has also shown that owning pets can improve your health by decreasing blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Though still in early stages, there has even been some study exploring the correlation between owning pets and decreased risk of heart disease and stroke! Amazing!

Pets are the best medicine

So next time you’re feeling a bit under the weather, try giving your kitty a cuddle or taking your dog for a walk – you may be surprised at just how much better you feel. 🙂


Hello world!

Well, maybe not the WHOLE world, but at least hello Zillmere and environs.

Much to my surprise, I have decided to start a blog. Those of you who know how technologically inept I am may laugh (yes, that means you Dirk), however I will try and keep my musings relevant and entertaining. Ah, who am I kidding, I will be happy if I can just get it on the web!

This foray into the world of internet blogging was triggered by a lecture I attended recently at the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) annual conference in San Diego.  My main purpose in attending was to support my husband, Dr Tom Catanzaro, as he was named the 2012 Leo Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year.  This is one of the most prestigous honours our profession can bestow and I am very proud of him. Of course while I was at the conference I took the opportunity to attend some first class continuing education lectures.

Even though I graduated from vet school 29 years ago (wow, I am soooo old), knowledge in our profession increases exponentially every year. One of the things I love about being a vet is that there is always something new to learn. Because of my dedication to continuing education, I have qualified as a Chartered Member of the AVA (Australian Veterinary Association). The qualification is awarded to vets who do serious and continuing post-graduate education and ensures we keep up to date with latest the advancements in the veterinary world.

Glad we don’t need one of these!

While I was in San Diego I visited a local practice. I was a little shocked (pun intended) to see this next to their first aid kit.

  I was also lucky enough to attend my very first baseball game.

It was a lot of fun and I was introduced to some interesting baseball rituals including the tailgate party, crackerjacks, 24 oz cans of beer,strange mascots (San Diegos mascott is the “Swinging Friar”) and the 7th innings stretch where you all stand up and sing “Take me out to the ball game”. 

No trip to San Diego is complete without a trip to the Safari Park, which is a beautiful open plan zoo with one of the best best records for breeding endangered species in the world. Their biggest success stories are probably re-establishing condors in the wild and breeding the white rhino.

Me bathing the rhino 🙂

Currentely, I am in NSW where I will speak to a group of Newcastle veterinarians about general practice dentistry and will be back in the practice this Saturday.

If this one works – I will aim for a weekly blog entry so fingers crossed 🙂