Leeches - great for venous congestion, and as pets?

Apparently some 'pet' owners are feeding them their own blood

Patients are often startled to learn that leech therapy is used in modern medicine — and that, oddly, they’re listed with regulatory authorities as ‘medical devices’.

Live blood-suckers are deployed to benefit patients undergoing reconstructive surgery to ease venous congestion, while alternative medicine practitioners tout them for a variety of indications.

Published studies include leech therapy for improving arterial function, and alleviating eczema and cancer pain.

There is of course a lingering ‘yuk’ factor at the thought of applying leeches to the body.

So it’s somewhat surprising to learn that increasing numbers of people keep the critters as pets.

So what do you feed your pet leech? Websites selling them note that one way to feed them is to apply them every few months to your dog or cat — they can live for several months on one big feed.

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