Man's best friend

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 28 June 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1914
  1. Trisha Greenhalgh, general practitioner
  1. London

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    A few years ago I wrote an article for the lay public on the medical pros and cons of owning a pet. I made sure that I extolled the many benefits of animal contact (offering such gems of scientific information as the fact that a tank of tropical fish in the dentist's waiting room lowers the dose of analgesic required for tooth extraction) before giving a somewhat melodramatic account of the role of animal danders in atopic illness and describing a dozen or so obscure zoonoses, the names of which I had not encountered since medical school.

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