Monthly Archives: October 2013

FDA Issues Jerky Treat for Pets Update

This is NOT a recall on the treats, this is merely an update on the jerky treat situation.  As with anything, I would not trust buying ANY brand of jerky treats for your dog or cat.  Just make them at home with the recipe I posted in this entry: https://furbabiesfurever.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/recipe-friday-chicken-jerky-for-dogs-and-cats/

 

Now onto the update:

October 23, 2013 — The US FDA has issued an update detailing its ongoing investigation of Chinese jerky pet treats. Readers are reminded this is not another recall — only a progress report.

The detailed update includes:
Chicken Jerky Pet Treats

A Brief Summary

The FDA has received about 3000 complaints of illness related to consumption of chicken, duck, or sweet potato jerky treats. Most involve products imported from China.

The reports involve over 3600 dogs, 10 cats and include more than 580 deaths.

The FDA continues to investigate the cause of these illnesses and is working with its partners in the Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network. The Vet-LIRN is a network of animal health laboratories affiliated with the FDA.

The complaints received this far by the FDA include adverse events involving different ages, sizes, and breeds of dogs.

About 60 percent of the reports are for gastrointestinal illness (with or without elevated liver enzymes) and about 30 percent relate to kidney or urinary signs.

The remaining 10 percent of jerky treat cases involve a variety of other signs including:

  • Convulsions
  • Tremors
  • Hives
  • Skin irritation

Potentially Serious Kidney Condition

Of the kidney and urinary cases, about 135 of the case reports have been for a condition known as Fanconi syndrome. Fanconi syndrome is considered a type of kidney disease.

Part of the normal function of the kidney is to filter out waste while retaining nutrients such as glucose, bicarbonate, and amino acids.

With Fanconi syndrome, a part of the kidney called the proximal tubule doesn’t work properly, and these nutrients are lost into the urine instead of being reabsorbed.

Dogs with Fanconi Syndrome usually drink and urinate much more than normal. This can also be a sign of diabetes. Yet Fanconi dogs do not have the elevated blood sugar that is a hallmark of diabetes.

They can also be lethargic and uninterested in eating. Some dogs may have all of these symptoms while others show only some of them. The symptoms may also be mild or severe.

These dogs often improve when they are no longer fed the treats. However, a positive urine test for Fanconi syndrome can still be detected several weeks later.

Not Just Chicken

It’s important to note that the reported illnesses are not limited to jerky treats made from chicken.

The FDA has received complaints about duck and sweet potato jerky treats and related products such as jerky-wrapped rawhide.

It’s known that the reported illnesses and deaths are mostly linked to jerky pet treats sourced from China.

However, pet owners should be aware that manufacturers do not need to list the country of origin for each ingredient used in their products.

What to Do?

Keep in mind, treats are only treats. They’re not a necessary part of a fully balanced diet. So, eliminating them will not harm pets. All the nutrients your pet needs can be found in commercially produced pet food.

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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Recipe Friday – Dog “Bone” Treat

These treats are not real dog bones, but homemade with a yogurt topping.

Ingredients:

For the Bones

  • 2 ½ cups non-bleached flour (or try two cups of rice flour for a gluten free option)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 chicken bouillon (if you are looking for a gluten free recipe, make sure the bouillon has no gluten in it)

For the Icing

  • 1 cup non-fat plain yogurt (gluten free for dogs with gluten allergies)
  • 1/2 cup water

 

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and spray the cookie pan lightly to prevent the bones from sticking.

2. Mix all of the ingredients together and knead dough until it forms a ball.

3. Take a small piece of dough and roll until it looks like a 6″ round line of dough, about the thickness of a marker.

4. Place the dough in the bone shaped cookie pan and press it into the shape of the bone.

5. Bake for 30 minutes.

6. Take out of the oven and allow the bones to cool. Don’t you just love the cracks? They make them look like real skeleton bones!

7. Mix 1 cup of non-fat plain yogurt with about ½ cup water. Mix well so that there are no lumps.

8. Place the cooled bones into the bowl with the yougurt “dip” and cover the entire bone.

9. Place the “dipped” bone on to wax paper.

10. Place bones in freezer until the yogurt dip is frozen. They were hard in about an hour.

Vomiting vs. Regurgitation

Here is an article from the vet I received and wanted to share:

When you come home to find a mess on the floor, it is easy to assume that the dog vomited. Vomiting is very common in dogs, as they often eat weird things! There are actually many other causes of vomiting, including parasites, kidney disease, liver problems, pancreatitis, and food allergies. Overall, there are probably at least 101 causes of vomiting.

When you take your dog to the veterinarian, the doctor will ask questions and determine if the dog is truly vomiting, or if the dog really has regurgitation, because they have different causes. You will be asked if you saw the process and what the mess looked like.

Vomit

Vomiting has many causes, but results in the stomach ejecting its contents through the mouth. Very active vomiting can also cause intestinal fluid to be brought up. When vomiting, a dog will often precede the act by retching, actively using the abdominal muscles, to force the contents up and out of the body. The process is often strenuous and dynamic.

The vomitus, meaning the material that was vomited up, comes from the stomach or intestines, and therefore contains a lots of fluid. The fluid may be a range of colors, from clear, to white foamy, yellow, green, brown, or even red if there is fresh blood.  Blood that has been in the stomach longer will become digested, and look like coffee grounds when vomited up.

Of course, there could be many other things in the vomitus depending on what was eaten. There could be dog food, which will look like it is starting to digest rather than its original form. Non-food material may look digested, or it may look like the original form depending on whether the  material can be digested. Objects like metal, plastic, and many fabrics cannot be digested.

Regurgitation

Regurgitation, on the other hand, comes from problems in the esophagus, the tube that leads from the mouth to the stomach. A dog that is regurgitating will just burp up  material. There is no active movement from the abdominal muscles pressing on the stomach.

Since the food or other material does not make it to the stomach, it is not digested;  food will look much like it did when it was eaten. Sometimes there can be water in the material that is regurgitated if the problem is a megesophagus. This is a disease where the esophagus is not a straight tube, but becomes flaccid and dilates. Things that are ingested may just sit in this dilated area, not reaching the stomach, and will be regurgitated later.  Often, there can be fluid with food that is regurgitated.

Diseases of the esophagus include ulcers, inflammation, foreign bodies stuck inside the esophagus, tumors, and megesophagus. This is why it is important to know if that mess on the floor is caused by vomiting, or by regurgitation.

It is important to differentiate between vomiting and regurgitation.

Vomiting is a dynamic process, with the dog actively using its stomach muscles.

The material produced by vomiting will look digested.
Regurgitation is a passive process, the dog appears to just burp up contents.
The material produced does not appear digested.

Talk to your veterinarian if you have any questions or notice continued vomiting or regurgitation from your dog.

Recipe Friday – Blueberry Bats For Dogs

Halloween is just around the corner and we don’t want to forget about our furry friends.  Here is a treat your dogs should love!

Ingredients:

Bats:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Blueberries
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered Milk
  • 2 Cups Wheat Flour (for gluten free, you can use about 1 3/4 cups rice flour)

Optional Icing:

  • 2 Cups Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup approximately of blueberry juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey

 

Directions:

Bats:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Puree blueberries in a blender and combine all ingredients in a large bowl until well mixed. Knead dough into ball and roll onto a floured surface 1/4 inch thick and cut with cookie cutter of your choice (or try to cut out bats using a knife). Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 20 to 30 minutes until slightly browned.

3. Cool before serving and refrigerate.

Optional Icing:

Beat cream cheese and honey together until fluffy, add juice from blueberries for blue tint color. Spread on cookies.

 

Recipe Friday – Sweet Potato Mini Cupcakes for Dogs

Here is a great treat for your hungry pooches out there!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat all-purpose flour (or you can use about 1/4 cup rice flour for a gluten free version)
  • 1/4 cup water (adjust measurement according to size of potato used)
  • Mini-cupcake pan and mini-cupcake skirts
  • Some parsley (if you want to add something to freshen your dog’s breath, totally optional)

 

Directions:

1.  Wash, peel and dice sweet potato; although you can leave the skins on if desired.

2.  Steam sweet potato until it is nice and soft, even a little mushy.

3.  Mash sweet potato in a bowl with a fork.

4.  Mix in flour, parsley and water at the same time to achieve a thick paste.

5.  Scoop mixture into mini-cupcake skirts and bake for 40 minutes at 350 until crisp and golden.

6.  Allow to cool then treat your pup!

 

Lumps and Bumps

Here is an article that Isis’ vet shared with me.  Please read on:

When was the last time your pet visited the veterinarian? If you answered “not in a while,” it is time to book your next appointment. Have you recently discovered a lump or bump on your pet? Don’t let that new discovery go unexamined.  While it may be completely benign, it is essential for your pet’s health to make an appointment with your veterinarian soon after discovery. Ruling out health concerns such as tumors, cysts, and infections will help to keep your pet healthy.

Discovering and Diagnosing Lumps and Bumps

Without regular veterinary visits, subtle illnesses such as pet lumps and bumps can go unnoticed and develop into more serious health concerns such as cancers, arthritic conditions, and infections. When you brush and groom your pet, feel around behind ears, along the neckline, underneath their bellies and along legs and joints for wounds, lumps, and bumps.

Your groomer can help discover things you may miss. Furrier animals can hide lumps and bumps for a long time without anyone noticing until the animal becomes sick. While many pet owners consider grooming a pampering ritual for pets, it could be life-saving, especially when you choose a groomer who works in an environment with a veterinarian on site.

What to Look for on Your Pet

There are many types of masses, but a lipoma is the most common lump found on pets. This soft, round or flat, and painless lump presents just under your pet’s skin and is generally benign, although, rarely a liposarcoma is found. More of a problem though, is that mast cell tumors, a type of skin cancer, can look and feel just like a lipoma.  Because of this, it is always best for your pet’s overall wellness to have these lumps and bumps accurately evaluated and diagnosed.

Occasionally benign masses can grow into other surrounding tissues. While the actual lump itself is not a concern, the tissue it can disrupt sometimes is problematic. The mass may affect the way a limb moves, or an eyelid closes. In some cases lumps must be removed surgically, and removing them early is the key.

Talk to Your Veterinarian

Have you been maintaining your pet’s preventive care visits? If your pet has not been receiving annual examinations, now is the time to do so,  to ensure optimal health for your pet.

While many lumps and bumps are benign, some can present serious health implications for your pet.

Wouldn’t you want to know if something was getting in the way of your pet’s health?

 

Sources:
Goodman Lee, Jessica, “Lumps & Bumps: Team Training Plan.” Veterinary Team Brief, 2013

Recipe Friday – Doggie Cupcakes

These interesting treats for dogs will surely be a hit.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour (or white flour) (you can use 1 3/4 cups to 2 cups of rice flour for gluten free)
  • 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise (this ingredient is to get the other ingredients to bind together.  If you don’t want to use it, you can substitute with an egg and a bit of milk)
  • 3 heaping tablespoons carob powder (DO NOT use chocolate powder, chocolate in any form is toxic and lethal to dogs).
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (try to find alcohol free vanilla to use)
  • 12 small dog biscuits (these are decorations on the top of the cupcakes, if you do not want to use them, you can omit).

 

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  In a large bowl, blend all ingredients except for dog biscuits together very thoroughly.  The mixture will be a little thick.
3.  Grease a muffin tin or use cupcake liners and fill each 2/3 full.
4.  Bake for 10 minutes or until a thin baked layer forms on top.
5.  Remove pan from oven and firmly press one dog biscuit into each cupcake.  Some batter will gush out on the sides of the dog biscuit. (again, if you do not use the dog biscuits, you can omit this step)
6.  Place muffin tin back into oven and continue baking for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle of a pupcake. (if you do not use the dog biscuits, you can leave the cupcakes in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean).
7.  Cool completely and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container or ziploc bag.