VOLUME 32, NUMBER 17 THURSDAY, January 25, 2001
ReporterElectronic Highways

Pet care can be found online

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According to the Information Please Almanac http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0764353.html, approximately 64 million households own companion pets. Dogs, cats, birds and horses make up the top four, with dogs and cats being by far the most popular. More than $9 million is spent each year caring for pets, much of that going for visits to the vet. Knowing how to keep a pet healthy is an integral part of caring for an animal and, just as with human health, information abounds on the Web.

There are several directory sites offering extensive lists of Web pages, ranging from the general (NetVet) to very specific (Avian Hematology). The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) has created an Internet Sampler on Veterinary Medicine Resources http://www.nnlm.nlm.nih.gov/pnr/samplers/vetmed.html that lists not only Web sites, but electronic journals, discussion lists and fee-based resources.

Another extensive list of sites is available from the World Wide Web Virtual Library, Animal Health & Disease page http://netvet.wustl.edu/vetmed.htm. Two other sites with a wide range of listings are Pet Health and Veterinary Medicine Links from Animal Friends Online, and Selected Web Sites for Biomedical, Pharmaceutical, Veterinary and Animal Sciences http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/pubs/awic9802.htm from the Animal Welfare Information Center, National Agriculture Library.

Many schools of veterinary medicine offer health information to pet owners. Some of the more well-known sites include Cornell University's Animal Health page http://www.vet.cornell.edu/publicresources/animalhealth/, Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine's Information for Pet Owners page http://www.tufts.edu/vet/petinfo/owninfo.html and Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine's Information for Animal Owners page http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/.

Several commercial ventures, professional organizations and private veterinarians offer pet health information, too. Notable sites include AltVetMed http://www.altvetmed.com/, which focuses on complementary and alternative veterinary medicine; PetSmart's Acme Pet.com http://acmepet.petsmart.com/index.html, the American Veterinary Medical Association's Care for Pets page http://www.avma.org/care4pets/default.htm, and the American Animal Hospital Association's Pet Care Library http://www.healthypet.com/Library/.

All of the sites listed above include behavioral as well as physical health information. Many have chat options with other pet owners and vets, and offer the chance to ask questions directly to qualified veterinarians. Access to scholarly as well as popular literature on pet health is easily attainable. With the sheer amount of information and the relative ease in creating a Web site, it always is important-especially with health sites-to check the authenticity, making sure the information and sponsoring body is up-to-date and reputable.

For information on connecting to the World Wide Web via UB computer accounts, contact the CIT Help Desk at 645-3542.

-Sue Neumeister and Lori Widzinski, University Libraries

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