A disturbing e-mail arrived the other day: Hello, Dr. Bellows: I have a 5-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever that I have routinely cleaned her teeth (with enzyme toothpaste and a brush, recently using Sonicare). Despite all best efforts, she is building up tartar and I think may have a dark spot (cavity on a rear molar).
Alex Martin was raised in a dog-friendly home. As a child, he shared a bedroom with his brother and a 60-lb Labrador retriever. Most of his family photos include various dogs the family owned over the years, but no cats are in the portraits. "Cats hung around the house, but were never considered part of the family," Martin says.
A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine attempted to evaluate the quality of care provided to patients by comparing medical records from hospitals with the standard "evidence-based" best practice relative to the patient's particular medical problem.