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Cat Food Recall -Red Flannel Cat Food

Here is a recall for Red Flannel cat food.  The recall is for possible salmonella contamination.  Please read on:

Contact:
Consumer:
(800) 332-4738

Media:
Rebecca Lentz
(651) 375-5949

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 25, 2014 – PMI Nutrition, LLC (PMI), Arden Hills, Minn., has initiated a voluntary recall of its 20 lb. bags of Red Flannel® Cat Formula cat food for possible Salmonella contamination. There have been no reports of illness related to this product to date. This recall is being issued out of an abundance of caution after routine testing by the FDA Detroit District Office identified possible Salmonella contamination.

Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the 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 signs 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 these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

Red Flannel® Cat Food was manufactured by a third-party manufacturer for PMI. The product was sold through dealers to customers distributed in the following states: Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

The lot number is printed on the lower back side of the bag in a white box on the right-hand side. The lot number will be preceded by a time stamp that will be unique to each bag. (Example 14:32) The lot number and best-by date impacted by this recall are as follows:

Best by 05 06 14 096 13 SM L2 1A (lot number)

The UPC code for the recalled product is: 7 42869 00058 5.

No other products/lot numbers are affected by this recall.

Customers should immediately discontinue use of and return impacted product to their dealer for a full refund or replacement. We continue to work with impacted dealers and distributors to trace the bags.

For more information on the recall, customers can contact the customer service line for PMI products at 1-800-332-4738. Customer service representatives will be available Sunday, Jan. 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. CST and Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST.

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Recipe Friday – Chewy Treats For Cats

It’s been a while since I posted a recipe for cats.  I may have posted something similar to this recipe ages ago, but I figured this is a good one, and one that I made for Isis over the holidays.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 4-oz jar chicken and brown rice baby food (or something meaty which may include canned wet cat food)
  • 1/4 Cup parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 Cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 Cup cooked white (or brown) rice
  • You may also want to add: 1 tablespoon of catnip or a hearty tablespoon of extra wet cat food.

 

Directions:

1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, baby food (or wet cat food), parsley, olive oil,  and water.  Add brown rice flour and cooked rice.  Stir to incorporate.  The mixture will be thick but spreadable.

3. Spread mixture onto prepared baking sheet creating a rectangle that is about 1/3 of an inch thick.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

4. Remove from the oven.  Let rest until cool enough to handle, then slice soft dough into bite-sized pieces.  Return pieces to the oven to bake for another 8 minutes.  Remove from the oven.  Allow to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Store treats in the fridge just to be safe.

 

New Uses For Animal DNA

Very interesting article that was sent to me by Isis’ vet.  Please read on:

Advances in science have enabled the decoding of several animals’ DNA. Knowing the genome of a species has enabled medical professionals to detect some diseases that have a genetic basis. But it also has other uses, even in the criminal justice system.

The Veterinary Genetics Laboratory Forensic Unit at the University of California, Davis is the first accredited crime lab dedicated to animal DNA profiling. There are three main types of cases: where an animal is a victim, where the animal is the perpetrator, and where the animal is a witness.

DNA can be used to confirm the ownership of an animal that has been stolen or to identify the remains of a lost pet.  Tissue samples can be compared to items that would have the animals DNA on it, such as brushes, bedding, or food and water bowls.

When an animal is suspected of being the perpetrator, samples from the victim may lead to the culprit. Collection of samples from bite wounds, or clothing if the victim is a person, can be studied to determine what species performed the attack, and even to determine which individual is guilty.

Cases where animals are a witness are usually human crimes. Animal DNA can link a suspect with a crime scene or a victim. Transfer of DNA from saliva, blood, hair, stool, or urine can occur during the commission of a crime.  The UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Lab has been involved in solving or proving several serious crimes. One was a kidnapping and domestic abuse case in West Virginia where they analyzed hair from around a drill bit and blood on a hammer owned by the suspect and matched them to two puppies belonging to the victim. Another case in Texas involved a serial rapist who rolled in dog feces during an attack. The victim owned three dogs, and they matched the stool found on the suspect to the victim’s chihuahua.  He was found guilty after lab personnel testified.

In a triple murder case in Indiana in 2000, a suspect denied he had ever been at the location of the murders. An examination showed that he had a very small amount of dog feces on a shoe. The UC Davis lab was able match this to the only dog on the property where the slayings occurred. The killer is now serving life in prison.

The use of DNA is opening up a whole new field of science, just one aspect is its use in the criminal justice system. The UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Lab is still in the process of informing criminal investigators of their capability of analyzing any type of animal DNA. Who knows how many cases can be solved now?

Another goal of the UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Lab is to help eliminate dog fighting. It has come together with the ASPCA, a Missouri humane society, and the Louisiana SPCA, to form the Canine CODIS (Combined DNA Index System).  This is the first ever database dedicated to collecting DNA profiles from dogs that are seized during dog fighting investigations, as well as blood samples from suspected venues. The DNA is used to identify relationships between dogs, and thereby allow officials to expand their investigations to those who breed and train dogs for fighting.

Medical Benefits of At Home Grooming For Cats

I really enjoyed this article that Isis’ vet sent to me, so I thought I would pass it along to all my cat parents out there:

 

The condition of your cat’s coat and skin is an important feline health indicator. Healthy coats are shiny and smooth, and healthy skin will be supple and clear. While nutrition and health status will influence a cat’s appearance, regular grooming also has an impact. At-home grooming care, including daily brushing, is an important part of feline wellness care.

While most cats are fastidious groomers and rarely require a bath, regular at home grooming, including daily brushing, is still important. Brushing is especially important for long-haired cats, which are more susceptible to tangles and matted fur. Daily brushing is the best way to remove loose hairs. Daily brushing will also help owners who suffer from allergies as regular grooming reduces the amount of hair and pet dander in the home. For people with mild cat allergies, daily brushing may sufficiently reduce airborne feline allergens, making it possible for these individuals to comfortably share a home with cats.

Regular brushing also helps to reduce the amount of hair that cats naturally swallow through self-grooming. This may reduce  the quantity and severity of hairballs.  If pet owners do choose to bathe their cats, choose shampoos that are specially formulated for felines.  Older or obese pets with mobility restrictions may need additional grooming assistance, including at-home baths, if they are unable to fully groom themselves.

Nails should be checked during weekly grooming sessions and trimmed as needed. Cat nails grow differently than dog’s or people’s nails.  Cats shed their nails like a reptile sheds its skin. As cats age, they use scratching posts less, and the nail caps can build up to the point where the nails curl around and penetrate the pads of the feet. Cat nail clippers can be used to trim nails and prevent this from happening.

During at-home grooming, pet owners should also perform a mini-physical on their cat, evaluating the cat’s skin and coat condition, feeling for any lumps and bumps, or noting any painful areas.  While rubbing a cat’s head or scratching the chin, use the forefingers to gently raise the upper lips, checking for abnormal teeth or red gums.  In addition to being a special bonding time for cats and their owners, a feline health assessment during grooming is critical for older cats who are masters at hiding the symptoms of illness. Early diagnosis of health problems starts with proactive at-home care.

Effective at-home grooming starts with the right products. Talk to your veterinarian about what brush is best for your cat; long-haired cats will need a different brush than short-haired cats.

Once you have the right products, brush your cat on a daily basis. Cats prefer routine, which is why your veterinarian may recommend brushing your cat in conjunction with an evening feeding or right before bedtime. If you will also be bathing your cat, ask your veterinarian which shampoo would be best to use.

Source:

Cornell Feline Health Center, “The Special Needs of the Senior Cat.”

Recipe Friday – Simple Dog Biscuits

These are quick and easy to make, your dog should jump for joy for these!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour & additional flour for dusting surface (for gluten free, you can use almond flour or rice flour, about 2 1/2 to 3 cups of either one, just use your judgment to make sure it keeps a doughy consistency).
  • 2 large eggs
  • Something to flavor the biscuits (I used some parsley and some cinnamon).  You can use whatever you want and how much you may want, just make sure it will work with the dough and not make it runny.  I suggest dry ingredients like I used.
  • Approximately 1/3 cup water

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, forming a stiff dough with your hands. Add more water if necessary.

3. Dust surface with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll out dough about 1/4 inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut into shapes (or use a knife to cut into small strips).

4. Place onto baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned on bottom (tops of treats will not be as browned).

5. Cool on a wire rack & store in an airtight container for several weeks, but make sure before putting them in the container that they are completely cooled.

Is My Dog Sick?

Here is an article I received from the veterinarian.  Hope it will help those when deciding to bring their dog to the vet:

Identifying the signs of sickness in a dog can be challenging, even for the most vigilant pet owners. Since a sick dog is unable to verbally communicate what hurts, pet owners must pay close attention to identify the signs of illness. Subtle changes in behavior or appetite may be symptomatic of an underlying health problem. While dogs cannot verbally tell us when they are sick, they use physical symptoms and behavior changes to communicate.

Determining when a trip to the doctor is warranted can be challenging. One of the most common symptoms of illness is vomiting or diarrhea. Dogs, however, may vomit on occasion without actually being ill. Eating food too quickly or drinking water too fast can cause vomiting, although the dog will feel much better afterwards. So how can a vigilant pet owner tell when a dog actually needs veterinary care?  Profuse vomiting, bloody vomiting, lethargy or anorexia concurrent with vomiting all require immediate medical intervention.  Vomiting or diarrhea for more than 24 hours is a sign that a pet needs veterinary care. Vomiting or diarrhea for an extended period may be symptomatic of many things, including pancreatitis, infections, ingestion of foreign material,  accidental poisoning, or parasites, all of which require urgent veterinary care.

Dog owners should also be alert for signs of lethargy. If a normally active dog suddenly loses interest in playing fetch or no longer runs across the room, this may be a sign of illness. A long run at the park may cause exhaustion, but if a pet owner cannot identify a specific cause, then contact a veterinarian. Lethargy can be symptomatic of hundreds of disorders, one example is  heart disease, which requires veterinary care. Pet owners should also look for a change in exercise tolerance and unexplained weakness. A loss in consciousness, difficulty breathing, bleeding, or seizures always requires immediate emergency care for all animals.

Pet owners should also be on the lookout for the following symptoms: poor appetite, lameness, weakness, frequent urination, excessive scratching or licking, nasal discharge, constipation, an unusual bump, or excessive thirst. If these symptoms occur for more than two days, pet owners should contact their veterinarian.

In general, it is better to be proactive about veterinary care than to wait. In the wild, animals instinctively mask symptoms of illness so they will not appear weak to predators or be shunned by their own kind. Consequently, a dog will instinctively try to hide any health problems. Prompt care thanks to a vigilant pet owner can make a big difference for a dog’s health.  If you question whether a visit to the doctor is needed, please call and discuss it with your veterinarian.

Source:

American Animal Hospital Association, “Urinary Tract Infections.” 2013.

 

Is Your Dog Sick?
If your dog exhibits the following symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately:

•    In distress with Vomiting or diarrhea
•    Swollen abdomen
•    Labored breathing
•    Collapse, loss of consciousness or seizures
•    Bleeding
•    Symptoms of acute pain, such as crying out, whining or whimpering
If your dog exhibits these symptoms for more than 2 days, contact your pet’s doctor
•    Lethargy or general weakness
•    Excessive thirst
•    Frequent or inappropriate urination (e.g., wetting the bed, or accidents in the house)
•     Frequent panting

When in doubt, talk to your veterinarian.

 

Pets Can Have Allergies?

Instead of a product review, I figured I would share this article from my vet with you.  It is a good read in helping to deal with food allergies and an elimination diet:

Managing Food Allergies in Pets with an Elimination Diet

Food allergies are the third most common allergy that affects dogs and cats, outranked only by fleabites and inhaled allergens (e.g., pollen). Allergies to common food ingredients are also on the rise and now account for at least 30% of all allergy cases. Unfortunately for many pets, the most common food allergens are also the most common pet food ingredients. Consequently, as a pet owner, identifying and isolating the trigger for a pet’s food allergy can be difficult.

The first step in diagnosing a food allergy is to recognize the symptoms. Common food allergy symptoms including excessive itching and scratching. Dogs with a food allergy commonly lick their feet, scoot their rear end in an attempt to scratch it, or have ear problems. Cats have a wider variety of skin symptoms, almost any pattern of hair loss or scabs can be a sign of an allergy. Food allergies can also cause gastrointestinal problems such as chronic vomiting or soft stools. If a pet suffers from recurring gas or diarrhea, a food allergy may be the cause. Symptoms of a food allergy may slowly build over time as a pet’s immune system mounts an increasingly greater response. It may be several months before hair loss, coat deterioration and skin lesions occur.

Food allergies have a genetic basis, although environmental factors can also have an impact. Recent research suggests that different environmental factors in early puppyhood or kittenhood may increase the chance that the immune system overreacts to certain food substances. However, a genetic predisposition for this overreaction must first occur for an allergy to develop. Dogs are most commonly allergic to beef, chicken, and wheat. The most common allergens in cats are fish and dairy. However, any pet can be allergic to any ingredient they have eaten in the past.

An elimination diet is the most effective way to determine a food allergen as there is no valid blood or intradermal skin test for food allergies. A veterinarian will recommend a “novel” diet that is entirely different from a pet’s regular food. All protein and carbohydrate sources must be swapped out and fed for a length of time to see if the symptoms disappear or at least lessen. The dog or cat must consume nothing but the novel diet for 8 to 10 weeks. During this time, allergy symptoms should gradually disappear.

Next, owners can gradually reintroduce elements of the past diet one ingredient at a time. One ingredient should be introduced and then monitored for one to two weeks. If symptoms return, this ingredient can be confirmed as at least one source for the food allergy. Talk to your veterinarian before beginning an elimination diet.

“Does my pet have food allergies?”

If your pet has the following symptoms, he or she may have food allergies:

•Itching, scratching, biting the skin
•Licking feet
•Scratching rear
•Chronic soft stool
•Excess gas

•Chronic vomiting

If you suspect that your pet has a food allergy, talk to your veterinarian. Food allergies may even lead to weight loss.

Identifying food allergies in your pet can be a difficult, but necessary, process. Your veterinarian will work with you to replace your pet’s current diet with alternate protein and carbohydrates sources.

Sources:
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, “Food Allergies.”

Product Review – Omega Paw Mouse Pom Pom

The Omega Paw Mouse Pom Pom toy promises hours of fun for your cat with a pom pom ball on a spring and a carpet layer on the base that the cat can pounce on.  It claims that it will become your cat’s “favorite playmate”.

I bought this for Isis and set it down for her to play with.  It sat there for two days without being touched, just looked at and passed by for other toys.  I then put some catnip on it because that normally gets her interested in playing.  Even with that, she wouldn’t go near it.

Finally, about two weeks after I brought it into the house, she started to play with it.  It did not take long for her to kick the majority of the fuzz off the ball on the spring.  As for pouncing on the base carpet, that never happened.  She did try to chew and swallow the carpet though.  After her eating a bit of it and then throwing it back up, I took the toy away and threw it in the garbage.  Luckily the price was such that I didn’t mind wasting that money.

Final verdict: Do not buy this toy.  I think it was more of a health hazard for her than anything else.  She didn’t play with the toy unless I was playing with it and wiggling the spring.  Even then, she didn’t play with it for long, and it ended up losing most of the fuzz (this was after playing with it for maybe a half hour total).

I was very disappointed in this toy and I wrote to the company to tell them what happened and how Isis ate some of the carpeting and threw it back up.  I have yet to hear from them, and I will not get my hopes up that they will respond back.

If after all this you would still like to purchase this toy, it is on sale on wag.com.

Steer clear of this toy!

Product Review – West Paw Design Hair Ball

When purchasing this toy, remember if you leave it on the floor, or at 3am, if you get up, you might find this toy and step on it, and scream, thinking you just stepped on a mouse.  Okay, maybe that was just me, but this toy definitely scared me several times when I would spy it out of the corner of my eye.

The West Paw Design Hair Ball is a small ball, with synthetic hair/fur on it, making it look like a long haired hamster.  The toy has organic catnip inside to attract the cat to get your cat to play with it.  It is similar to stuffed mice that seem to be very popular with many cats to pounce on and throw in the air, or kick with their back feet.

I bought two or Isis to play with and at first I let her smell the wonderful catnip aroma emanating from the belly of this strange looking toy.  She became mesmerized very quickly and once I threw it on the floor, it was game over for the hair ball.

Pouncing, chasing, and kicking of this toy ensued for several hours off and on.  The toy was batted across the floor and chased after and even I got involved and shook the toy on the floor and enjoyed some play time and interaction with Isis.

Even after one month of having this toy, it is still a favorite for Isis to play with.  Every other day she seems to have a pounce or two, then puts it in her mouth and walks around with it, like she just killed her prey.

The downside to this toy is the long hair/fur.  It can come off easily and for some cats, if they swallow it, it cannot be digested so they may have it come right back up.

Final verdict: If you can get past the way it looks, and the fact that sometimes the fur falls out, it is a great toy that your cat should enjoy thoroughly.  Hours upon hours of fun can be had by your cat, and you can get involved with this toy.  I did buy two and I took the second one and tied it to a stick and I will play with Isis by swinging the toy around and swishing it just overhead so that she has to jump and play that way.  It is for sale for a modest price on wag.com.  I hope your cat enjoys it as much as Isis has.

 

https://i0.wp.com/www.onlynaturalpet.com/images/products/195021_500.jpg

Non-Profit Provides “Food Stamps” For Pets

I am still waiting on publishing a product review as I like my little tester (Isis) to test out the stuff for about a month before I give it a thumbs up or thumbs down.  I came across this video/article that warmed my heart.

The economy has been rough lately and a lot of people may be on public assistance.  A non-profit agency has started a program for those who are on public assistance for themselves, they can now apply for “food stamps” for their pets.  The Pet Food Stamps non-profit agency has teamed up with Pet Flow to send people and pets in need, their dog or cats food.

The family that cares for the pet must apply for this program and if they are accepted, they will have the food delivered to their door.

I thought it would be good to share here because you never know who may need this program.  If you have a friend or family member that is struggling, this might be something to help them breathe and not stress as much, or it might even help someone not have to give their pet away because they can no longer handle paying for food for their pet.

Please take a look at the video and read the article, and please pass on this information to anyone you know who may need it.  I think it is a wonderful program that may save a pet’s life.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57581800/non-profit-provides-food-stamps-for-pets/