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One Health

We are celebrating and promoting Animal Health Week at Wascana Animal Hospital!  The theme this year is the concept of "One Health".  Have you ever thought about how closely the health and well-being of animals and their owners are intertwined?  This blog post we will be focusing on this unique interaction and would like to share some information on behalf of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association: Animal Health + Human Health + Planet Health = One Health

"As we become more interconnected globally, it is apparent that veterinarians, doctors and scientists
need to work together to ensure the healthy future of animals, humans and the planet.
The recipe for success is: Animal Health + Human Health + Planet Health = One Health.
None of the three components in the above “recipe” work alone—just as in baking, one must mix the
right high quality ingredients and use proper tools to make the recipe work well. When all of these
efforts mix well together, we can enjoy one health!

How are these interconnected?
Historically, about 75 per cent of human infectious diseases originated in animals (think plague or
tuberculosis), and outbreaks of diseases like West Nile virus and Zika virus remind us that new diseases keep emerging. Familiar diseases in Canada include rabies and certain pet and wildlife parasites that can be transmitted between people and animals (zoonoses) with or without vectors (pests that carry and spread diseases).  Both animals (big and small) and people need a healthy environment within which to thrive. Taking care of our pets to keep diseases and parasites in check allows us to provide a barrier to risks like fecal contamination of watercourses and groundwater that can spread to the wider animal community and people.  Protection of our precious environment is an exceptionally important mission in itself, but it is also important to maintain the living area of wildlife so they can find enough food and are not crowded out by development, are not subjected to harmful pollutants, or even undergo extinction. We are all a part of the web of life and need to manage our pets, livestock, living areas and the food supply for sustainability.

The take home message is that by protecting your animal’s health you also help provide for the health of
humans and protect the environment as well. We need to work together to protect the animals we live
with and the animal communities who share our planet environment. This is a global effort!"
-(8.09.2016) Dr. Kathleen Cavanagh, Online Editor, CVMA

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