Monthly Archives: October 2012

Dog Food Recall – Wellness Dry Dog Food(Batch)

It’s pretty scary, but there is another recall for Wellness, a batch of dry dog food.  Here is the e-mail I received:

October 30, 2012 – WellPet LLC of Tewksbury, MA has announced the withdrawal of a limited number of one of its dry kibble products due to possible moisture contamination.

This action affects Wellness Small Breed Adult Health Dry Dog Food in the 12 lbs package and bearing a “Best By” date of August 18, 2013.

No other dates, bag sizes or recipes are affected.

According to a statement made by the company on its Facebook page…

“A small batch of the product with this specific date code was found to be higher in moisture than our recipe calls for. High moisture may cause food to mold before its expiration date, but poses no health risk.”

What to Do?

As far as what to do with your affected product, the company goes on to state:

“We want you and your pet to be completely satisfied, so we are asking those who may have this limited supply of food to contact us for a replacement.”

Consumers with questions may call Wellness Customer Service at 800-225-0904.

You can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

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How Safe is Your Dog’s Food

Sasha’s vet shared this article with me and I wanted to pass it along, considering all the pet food recalls lately:

How Safe is Your Dog’s Food?

 

dog_food_200.jpg
My dog’s food was recalled – what should I do now?
1. Immediately stop feeding your dog the recalled food; save a small sample of the food and the barcode label in case government regulators need to test the food.

2. Disinfect everything, including your dog’s food bowl, food storage container and feeding space with bleach and hot, soapy water.

3. Immediately take your dog to your veterinarian for a wellness exam, even if your dog does not show symptoms of food poisoning. In some cases, internal organ damage can accumulate slowly over time; early intervention is essential to protecting your pet’s health.

Over the last several years, numerous dog food brands and treats have been recalled for chemical contamination or Salmonella. This last summer many dog food brands were recalled due to Salmonella; all were manufactured in a Diamond Pet Foods plant in Gaston, South Carolina, USA. This plant makes many brands besides their own Diamond brand; Solid Gold, Canidae, Taste of the Wild, and Kirkland (Costco’s brand) were just some of the types of food affected. Further investigation showed that problems extended back to October 2011.  By July 2012, at least 49 people had been sickened from the Salmonella in the dog food, and ten had been hospitalized. Salmonella can cause illness in dogs as well, such as vomiting and diarrhea. It is not known how many pets were affected from this infection.  And like humans, some dogs and cats may not show any symptoms, but become carriers of Salmonella and can infect other animals and people.

An even larger problem is the chicken jerky treats made in China. It has been known for a few years that  many dogs have been sickened from them, and the number of cases is increasing. The FDA just reported that in the last 18 months, 360 dogs and one cat have died from ingesting them. Extensive analysis has not revealed the cause. They have been tested for several chemical compounds including melamine, heavy metals, pesticides, and other toxins and infectious agents. The warning has now been extended to duck and sweet potato jerky treats.

For pet owners and veterinarians, there’s nothing quite as scary as discovering the food that you feed your dog is actually making him or a human family member sick. While you can’t prevent your pet’s food from being recalled, you can take the following five steps to reduce the risk for food poisoning and contamination or at least document a problem.

1. Store food in an airtight container. Before adding a new bag of food to the container, thoroughly wash it out with soap and hot water.

2. Save the barcode. Cut the barcode off your dog’s current food bag. Oftentimes a brand will only recall certain bags of food, depending on where they were manufactured. This information is contained in the barcode.

3. Wash bowls and food space regularly, and then disinfect them in bleach.   If dry dog food falls on the floor, treat it the same as you would raw meat or chicken; clean the floor immediately with antibacterial spray.

4. Watch for symptoms. If you notice a change in your pet’s behavior and energy levels, contact your veterinarian. Common symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea. It is always possible that your dog’s food may be making him sick but it has not officially been recalled.

5. Practice good hygiene. When feeding your dog, it’s natural to reach down and pick up fallen pieces of food off the floor and put them back in your pet’s bowl. If the food is contaminated with E. coli or salmonella, however, then doing so will spread these dangerous bacteria to your hands. Always wash your hands with soap and water after feeding your dog; never touch your eyes, ears or mouth with unwashed hands.

If you suspect that your dog’s food is making him sick, contact your veterinarian and government regulators. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) formally tracks complaints about suspect dog food and treats. You can contact the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator.

Source:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

KTLA 5 News

Product Review – Firstrax Carpet Chase Cylinder Base Swat Toy (For Cats)

The swat toy is a cylinder shaped toy with a spring and a furry ball at the end that the cat is supposed to bat at and it will bounce right back up to give hours of playtime fun.  The carpet covering encourages the cat to use it as a “scratching post” in order to not use furniture to scratch on.

The idea of this toy is great, and if you have a kitten or a cat that likes toys that pop right back and there is no real “catch and win” with the toy, meaning the cat cannot catch the ball and drag it away, then this is the toy for your cat.  Your cat will be able to grab onto the ball but then when they release it, it pops right back up in place.

This toy…annoyed Isis to no end.  We knew it was time to get rid of it when she actually hissed and growled at it, which she NEVER does to anyone or with anything else.

We showed her how to play with it, encouraged her to play, we played with it to get her to play with it.  We put her favorite catnip on it to get her interested.  Finally one day she started to play with it and then just hissed at it and growled.   Every time she would pass by it, she would go around it with a wide birth and just never got into playing with it.

Final verdict: I would not recommend this as it sees that not many cats are interested in playing with it (after reading the reviews from other pet parents on the website).  It did not provide any fun for Isis, it was far from anything she would ever play with.  If your cat likes toys of this sort and doesn’t mind not being able to win, this is the toy for them, otherwise, steer clear of this toy.  Not recommended.

The toy is available on wag.com for $8.99, at least it wasn’t a huge waste of money.

 

Recipe Friday – Chicken Stew (For Cats)

This recipe will be sure to have your kitty drooling for more!

Ingredients:

  • 32 oz ground chicken (or beef or pork)
  • 3 small carrots (grated and cooked, if your cat does not like carrots, you can substitute 2/3 cup of canned pumpkin, the 100% pumpkin, no spices kind).
  • 1 1/2 cup of rice (cooked)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2  clove garlic

 

Directions:

1. Fry chicken until cooked.

2. Combine all ingredients in a blender/food processor and mix well until in canned cat food consistency.

3. Serve to your cat, store the rest in a plastic container for up to one week or you can freeze the rest.

 

Fears And Cats – Fear or Anxiety

Many cats get scared of things we may not understand (Isis has an insane fear of lint balled up from the dryer), they will run and hide.  But if your cat runs and hides for the whole day and doesn’t want to come out at all, does this teeter into anxiety territory?

Fear is something that makes a cat want to leave the situation, hide and possibly act aggressive before running off.  With anxiety, it can make a cat become stressed out and show aggressive behavior, causing them to avoid situations or things all the time (such as a glass breaking on a linoleum floor, the cat will not walk on a linoleum floor ever again).

If your cat tends to react like scenario 2, anxiety is probably the issue and it may be time to look at therapy for your cat.  It is NOT the time to try to perform your own therapy by showing the cat the issue or situation again and telling them “see it won’t hurt you”, this will just cause more unneeded stress and could make the cat lash out or worse, have them hide indefinitely.

It is also not time to punish your cat for being scared and anxiety – ridden over something that may very well be a rational fear.

The ASPCA wrote an amazing article on how to work with your cat through their fears and anxiety, you can read it here.

Overweight Cats (Or Pets In General)

Obesity doesn’t just affect us humans, our furry friends can also be affected.  This article that my vet shared with me is very useful and helpful in fighting those extra pounds that our pets may have:

Rather than provide wholesome nutrition in the form of species appropriate, meat-based food, the pet food industry continues to load our pets up with genetically modified corn and soy grown in depleted, toxic soil; massive amounts of fiber; and artificial enhancers (colorings, flavorings, texturizers, the list goes on and on!). Pet food always has been and remains a product of human food processing leftovers. Given what most people eat these days, this is NOT a good thing!

So…of course our pets are fat! They are starving to death on their “complete and balanced” food. When junk food is left out all the time, our pets will continue to eat, desperately searching for the fundamental nutrients that just aren’t there. Pet food companies know how to make foods that will keep our pets alive in some semblance of “normal” — but their normal is nothing like the optimal health our pets can have if they’re fed real, honest-to-goodness FOOD!

I was walking with a friend this afternoon, and we were talking about health in general, and how for us, exercise, sleep, and good nutrition are the three legs of the stool upon which our whole lives are built. This certainly goes for our pets, too. When will we wake up and see what has been done–to us and to our pets–by Big Agribusiness, Big Pharma, and all the rest that are out for their own gain, at our expense.

If you want to make a stand against the big-money interests and for our pets, please join us at Pet Parents Action Group, an international advocacy group that is educating people about the dangers of over-vaccination and commercial pet food. There is power in knowledge, and in numbers! Do this for your pet and for yourself!

For more information on nutrition, please browse our Nutrition Category. And definitely read our article on Vaccination before you let your veterinarian give your pet another shot!

For another view of this topic, please read this article.

Source: littlebigcat.com

Cat Dental Health – Resorptive Lesions

My vet shared this article with me and I thought I would pass it along.  The lesions cause pain, so it is definitely a good idea to get your cats dental health taken care of annually:

 

Cats are prone to a serious and very painful dental disease called “tooth resorption.” Various studies have found 28-67% of cats have tooth resorption. Tooth resorption is the most common cause of tooth loss in cats.

Tooth resorption results in the loss of tooth structure, starting with the outer enamel surface, usually at or below the gum line. The lesions, which are NOT cavities, begin as a loss of tooth enamel and can eventually spread to the dentin and then the pulp canal, which contains the blood vessels and nerves to the tooth. Sometimes, the entire crown of the tooth may be missing.

Tooth resorption is progressive and may be singular or multiple and on either side of the tooth. Some lesions are readily apparent and others may be hidden under areas of plaque or swollen gums. This is why a cat needs to be anesthetized to determine if such lesions are present: the entire surface of each tooth must be examined.

The cause of resorptive lesions is unknown. One theory is that the inflammation caused by plaque may stimulate cells called “odontoclasts,” which eat away at the enamel of the tooth. Other possible causes include autoimmune disorders, changes in pH in the mouth, viral diseases, or a problem with calcium metabolism.

Resorptive lesions that have eroded through the enamel may be very painful. Cats with oral pain may appear irritable or aggressive, have a change in appetite or food preference, and may have difficulty chewing and eating (food falls from their mouth). Cats with resorptive lesions may show pain when their jaws are touched and may also have increased salivation or oral bleeding.

 

STAGE I: Loss of enamel only, extending
less than 0.5 mm into the tooth.
STAGE II: Lesion extends into the dentin.
STAGE III: Lesion extends into the pulp
canal, but good tooth structure remains.
STAGE IV: Lesion extends into the pulp canal
and there is extensive loss of tooth
structure.
STAGE V: Crown of tooth is missing, but
roots are present.
Resorptive Lesions

Dental radiographs are essential in diagnosing this condition and evaluating the extent of disease. Resorption lesions are graded according to the amount of tooth that is lost (see right).

Depending upon the stage of resorption, the entire tooth with the roots may be extracted, or only a portion of the tooth is removed. Cats who have a history of tooth resorption should have a prophylaxis (professional dental cleaning) every six months. Good home dental care is important for cats with tooth resorption.

Source: Dr. Foster’s Smith.com

Product Review – Kong Extreme Kong

If you have a dog that loves interactive, treat-filled toys, the Kong may be right for your dog, but with reservation.

Sasha loves toys that have treats in them, she goes nuts for them.  Sasha is also a chewer.  She has calmed down considerably from when we first adopted her over a year ago, but she still has her moments.

The Kong Extreme is another toy in the Kong toy line that promises it is virtually indestructible.  You can put a treat inside and your dog can figure out how to get it out, thus making the dog think, and play at the same time.

For Sasha, we bought both the large and king sizes just to make sure she would have something that wouldn’t destruct in a matter of seconds.  (We won’t discuss how it took her  30 seconds to rip apart a plush toy she received as a present…ahem, anyway!) We placed a Bully Stick that was thick enough to fill the hole at the bottom of the Kong.

We gave her the treat and watched her carefully.  We tried the large size Kong first.  It seemed all right for about two minutes and then it happened, she chewed on the Kong for a very short time and it started to come apart.

The next day, we tried the king size Kong.  Same type treat inside it, gave it to Sasha and watched her.  For about ten minutes, all went well.  Then it happened again.  The Kong was chewed on (and not much, just softer mouthing and not back teeth chewing, which usually is the more aggressive type chewing) and it started to come apart.  Talk about frustration.

The Kong would be a wonderful toy for dogs that are older, and ones that aren’t so…mouthy or that love to chew.  Sasha had them wrecked within minutes and that’s a bit too quick and too expensive for us.

Final verdict: Overall, I cannot recommend this toy for people who have dogs that love to chew.  Sasha loved it, but we didn’t want to chance her eating the pieces of rubber that were coming off the Kong.   Right now on Wag, the Kongs are on sale they range in price from $5.99 – $20.99.  If your dog is not a chewer and likes toys with treats in them, this might be a perfect match.

Dog Treat Recall – Yoghund Frozen Yogurt Dog Treats

This is getting ridiculous and scary.  I have recipes to make treats for your dog and cat, it seems that many packaged treats cannot be trusted.  I won’t be posting a recipe this week in lieu of this post, however, you can check out all the recipes I have posted.  Here is another e-mail I received that I thought I would share:

October 18, 2012 — TBD Brands has announced a voluntary recall of Yoghund brand Organic Banana and Peanut Butter flavor frozen yogurt dog treats due to possible contamination with Salmonella bacteria.

The event was reported by the FDA in a news release updated October 17, 2012.

Yoghund claims this is a cautionary action, as these products contain organic peanut butter linked to recent recalls of Sunland, Inc. of Partales, NM.

Salmonella can affect both humans and non-human animals and are the result of ingesting contaminated food.

What Products Are Being Recalled?

Although there have been no reported incidents of human or animal illnesses in connection with their product, the company has elected to recall all case product of Lot Code 268-12 and earlier with a cup and four pack Best By Date of 9-24-14 or earlier.

Where Were the Recalled Products Sold?

Recalled lots of Yoghund brand Organic Banana and Peanut Butter flavor frozen yogurt dog treats were distributed through retailers nationwide.

What to Do?

Salmonella is serious business — for both you and your pet. So, if you can confirm your package of treats is one of the products being recalled, stop feeding or handling it immediately.

If you’ve already discarded the packaging – or you’re in any way in doubt – do not take chances. Be safe. Stop feeding the product anyway.

In its bulletin, the FDA suggests:

Pet owners who are unsure if the product they purchased is in the recall or have additional questions may call us at 603-775-7772 extension 1007 between 9 AM and 5 PM

You can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

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Dog Treats Recall – Boots and Barkley Pig Ears and Dog Treats

Is there anything safe anymore? Another recall has been announced.  I am sharing the e-mail I received.  If you want to receive these alerts, there is a link at the bottom of this recall notice:

October 17, 2012 – Kasel Associated Industries of Denver, CO is voluntarily recalling its Boots and Barkley Roasted American Pig Ears and American Variety Pack Dog Treats product because it may be contaminated with Salmonella.

The event was reported by the FDA in a news release dated October 17, 2012.

According to the FDA bulletin:

Salmonella can sicken animals that eat these products and humans are at risk for salmonella poisoning from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the pet products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever.

Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms.

Consumers exhibiting these symptoms after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain.

Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has any of these signs, please contact your veterinarian.

According to the bulletin, the affected Roasted Pig Ears and Variety Pack Dog Treats were distributed nationwide through Target Stores in August 2012.

What Products Are Being Recalled?

The recalled Roasted Pig Ears product comes in a clear plastic bag containing 12 pig ears marked with UPC bar code 647263899158.

The Variety Pack Dog Treats product also comes in a clear plastic bag weighing 32oz and marked with UPC bar code 490830400086.

Kasel Industries is recalling lot number BESTBY 13SEP2014DEN for both products because this lot code tested positive for the Salmonella bacteria through analysis by the Colorado Department Of Agriculture.

No illnesses have been reported to date in animals or humans in connection with this problem.

What to Do?

Consumers are urged to return the recalled product to the place of purchase for a full refund. Those with questions may contact Kasel Associated Industries at 1-800-218-4417 Monday thru Friday from 7am to 5pm MDT.

You can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

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Delivered to You by Email

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