Why you should get to know your local veterinarian BCMJ, Vol. 52, No. 1, January/February 2010, page(s) 15—BC Centre for Disease Control Sue L. Pollock, MD, FRCPC, Craig Stephen, DVM, PhD Our health is inextricably link­ed to our environment through the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink. Animals are an integral part of this environment, and our lives are increasingly intertwined with theirs. The recent H1N1 pandemic (swine flu) and an outbreak of E. coli 0157:H7 associated with farm animals in BC have highlighted the importance of this close relationship.  Almost everyone has some daily interaction with animals, whether through food animals and animal products, wildlife, or household pets. In particular, pet ownership, including exotic animals such as reptiles and birds, is increasingly widespread in Canadian households. It is estimated that more than 50% of Canadian households have at least one cat or dog in their home,[1] which speaks to the importance of pets within the family structure.  … Read more: