Adopt a dog month

October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month.

If you're ready to offer a home to a shelter dog, Petfinder.com has resources to help.

If you're not ready to adopt, the website has 10 easy ways you can help shelter dogs.

The website also includes the following features:

 

•Pre-adoption checklist

•Dog-adoption videos

•First 30 days tips

•New puppy guide

•Dog breed directory

Growths on dogs

Sebaceous gland adenomas (oil producings glands create the growths in some dogs as they age) are almost always benign and usually do no harm. But sometimes they annoy the dog.

The growths can be removed with traditional surgery, laser surgery, cryosurgery (using extreme cold) or electrosurgery (applying a high-frequency electrical current to destroy cells).

Aside from easing the dog's discomfort, the growths can be biopsied to find out if they're cancerous.

When removed properly, such growths don't return in the same place, although new ones might pop up.

•To declaw, or not

A declaw, or onychectomyi, is an amputation. A cat's toe has three bones, and the claw grows from the end of the last bone. In a declaw surgery, the veterinarian is amputating the last bone, which contains the growth plate for the claws.

An alternative to declawing would be to train the cat not to scratch the wrong things by providing scratching posts.