Blog Archives

Dog and Cat Food Recall – Bravo Turkey and Chicken

Please read the following information regarding the recall due to salmonella:

 

September 26, 2014 – Bravo of Manchester, CT is recalling select lots of Bravo Turkey and Chicken pet foods for dogs and cats because they could be contaminated with Salmonella.

Bravo Dog Food Recall Label Images

About Salmonella

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.

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.

How Was the
Product Distributed?

The recalled product was distributed nationwide beginning on November 14, 2013 to distributors, retail stores, internet retailers and directly to consumers.

What’s Being Recalled?

The product can be identified by the batch ID code (best used by date) printed on the side of the plastic tube.

1) These products are being recalled because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! TURKEY BLEND FOR DOGS AND CATS
Product Number: 31-102
Size: 2 lb. (32 OZ) plastic tubes
Best used by date: 11-05-15
UPC: 829546311025
Keep Frozen

Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend diet for dogs & cats
Product Number: 21-102
Size: 2 lb. (32 OZ) plastic tubes
Best used by date: 08-11-16
UPC: 829546211028
Keep Frozen

2) These products are being recalled out of an abundance of caution because they were manufactured in the same manufacturing facility or on the same day as products that tested positive.

Premium Turkey Formula BRAVO Balance RAW DIET
Product Number: 31-405
Size: 5 lb. (80 OZ) 2.3KG plastic tubes
Best used by date: 11-05-15
UPC: 829546314057
Keep Frozen

Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend diet for dogs & cats
Product Number: 21-105
Size: 5 lb. (80 OZ) 2.3KG plastic tubes
Best used by date: 08-11-16
UPC: 829546211059
Keep Frozen

Why It’s Being Recalled

The recall was initiated after routine testing by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture revealed the presence of Salmonella in two lots of product.

This batch tested negative by a third party independent laboratory prior to release for distribution to consumers.

No additional products affected by this recall.

The company has received no reports of illness in either people or animals associated with these products to date.

Other Products Being Withdrawn

In addition to the voluntary recall of the above products, Bravo has chosen to voluntarily withdraw the following poultry products from the marketplace to provide its customers with the certainty of safety.

Those products include all sizes (2 lb., 5 lb. and 10 lb.) of Bravo Chicken Blend(s), Bravo Turkey Blend(s), Bravo Balance Chicken Balance and Bravo Balance Premium Turkey Formula frozen raw diet products with best used by dates between June 20, 2016 and September 18, 2016.

This is being done out of an abundance of caution despite no evidence of any manufacturing defect or distribution problem.

None of these products are known to have tested positive for the presence of pathogens.

This market withdrawal has not been requested by the FDA but is being conducted voluntarily by Bravo.

What to Do

The recalled product should not be sold or fed to pets.

Pet owners who have the affected product at home should dispose of this product in a safe manner (for example, a securely covered trash receptacle).

Customers who have purchased the recalled pet food can return to the store where purchased and submit the Product Recall Claim Form available on the Bravo website for a full refund or store credit.

More information can be found at www.bravopetfoods.com. Or by calling 866-922-9222 Monday through Friday 9 am to 5 pm ET.

Regulatory Contact

U.S. citizens 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.

Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.

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Cat Food Recall – Abady

This food company has recalled some of its cat food formula, please read on:

 

Contact:
Consumer:
Erika Kaye
845-473-1900

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – April 8, 2014 – The Robert Abady Dog Food Co., LLC of Poughkeepsie, NY, is recalling its 2 lb, 5 lb & 15 lb boxes of “Abady Highest Quality Maintenance & Growth Formula for Cats” because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

The recalled “Highest Quality Maintenance & Growth Formula for Cats” were distributed nationwide in retail stores and through mail orders.

The product comes in a 2 lb, 5 lb & 15 lb, corrugated boxes with plastic liners marked with lot # 14029/21 stamped on the right side top of the box.

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

The potential for contamination was noted after routine testing by the company revealed the presence of Salmonella in some 2 lb, 5 lb & 15 lb boxes of “Abady Highest Quality Cat Maintenance & Growth Formula for Cats.”

Production of the product has been suspended while FDA and the company continue their investigation as to the source of the problem.

Consumers who have purchased 2 lb, 5 lb & 15 lb boxes of “Abady Highest Quality Maintenance & Growth Formula for Cats” are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-845-473-1900, Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 5:00pm, ET.

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.

Catnip: Why Cats Love It

Here is an article that Isis vet shared with me.  Enjoy!

Few things stimulate a cat’s pleasure faster than catnip. Exposure to this simple herb can reveal a new side to their feline personality. Many cats will go crazy at the smell of this plant.

Catnip has a reputation of being a feline drug and many cat owners wonder if it is safe to give it to their pet. Giving catnip in small doses does no harm. Using it as a treat can be quite good for your cat’s emotional health. It relieves stress and can help them get rid of nervous energy.

What Is Catnip?

Catnip is a type of mint plant found  in many countries throughout the world. It can grow up to three feet high and has many branches filled with purple flowers and heart shaped leaves.

The catnip plant has an aromatic oil called nepetalactone. When cats smell this compound, it triggers the part of the feline brain that responds to happy pheromones. This is why cats react the way they do.

Many cats seem to go crazy when they smell catnip by rolling, rubbing and running around. Eating catnip seems to produce the opposite effect. Cats often become mellow when they ingest the plant. This response to catnip usually lasts up to 10 minutes before the cat loses interest.

Catnip as a Training Tool

Creative cat owners can use catnip as a reward or incentive to promote good behavior in their felines. Rubbing dried catnip on a scratching post or cat tree can entice your cat to go there when they need to sharpen their claws instead of tearing your couch to shreds.

Lacing a cat toy with some catnip can be beneficial for inducing an indoor cat to exercise. It will encourage them to be more active and play and prevent obesity. These cat toys should be stored in an airtight container when not in use, so the catnip stays fresh longer.

Growing Catnip

You can grow your own catnip plants in a home garden. You can buy more mature plants from a nursery or plant the seeds after the last major frost of the season. It is important to put the plant in an area where it has plenty of room to grow. Take steps to protect the growing plant from your cat so they don’t tear it out of the soil before it is fully mature.

Is Catnip Right for Your Cat?

Catnip does not have the same effect on every feline. Some cats don’t care about it at all.

The love of this plant is inherited, so only 50 to 70 percent of cats respond to catnip. Kittens typically ignore it until they are three to six months old.

Catnip is non-toxic but cat owners should use caution in giving it out too often. Some cats exhibit aggressive behavior when exposed to catnip and should not have it under any circumstances.

Consult your veterinarian if you notice problematic behavior when your feline uses catnip.

 

Sources:

“Catnip Confidential,” Veterinary Practice News. February 1, 2012.

FDA Finds Harmful Bacteria In Some Raw Pet Food Samples

This is a short post today.  I will link to the article.  It is an interesting read.  Take the time to read and comment on the article on the site if you wish.  Draw your own conclusions and see where you stand with this issue.

Here is the article.

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

Planning For Your (Dog’s or Cat’s) Health Care

This is an article I got from Sasha’s vet.  I put dog and cat in brackets because I think this could apply to both, even though the article says Dog’s health care.  Please read on:

Before adopting a dog, take a moment to consider the amount of care your pet will require and your ability to provide that care. Too often a cute face and wagging tail inspires individuals to bring home dogs without really considering the amount of time and financial resources required to raise healthy and happy dogs. As a result, animal shelters fill and pets do not receive the care they deserve.

Budget

Before adopting, look at your household budget. Dogs should have a yearly check-up at the veterinarian and get the required vaccines. Don’t forget the daily expense of pet food, medications, toys, and other supplies. Keep in mind, the bigger the animal, the higher the cost. Before you settle on adopting a St. Bernard or Great Dane, consider the quantity of food the animal will require and how much room your budget has to accommodate your new pet’s appetite. Remember to calculate your pet’s average expenses into your monthly budget as well as a reserve emergency savings for any accidents or unexpected trips to the veterinarian. If you don’t have emergency savings available, pet insurance might be a responsible option; the monthly cost will be consistent and most of your pet’s veterinary care will be covered. You can check on-line to compare the dozen pet health insurance companies. Be sure to ask about exclusions or what is not covered. You can always contact your veterinary office for information about the specific cost of care.

Veterinary Appointments

Regular veterinary appointments are necessary for your dog’s welfare. When bringing a new puppy or dog home, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible to screen your pet for any unknown conditions and to make sure all vaccinations are up to date. Your veterinarian will also help you select the best food for your dog, answer any questions you might have about making your home safe for your dog, and help you to provide the best care for your pet throughout its different stages of life.

Planning Ahead

Planning for a dog’s future is often overlooked, but should always be taken into consideration. If you have a dog at home, carry a pet emergency notification card in your wallet. If something prevents you from returning home, an emergency contact will be notified that your pet is in need of care in your absence. Establish either a formal or informal agreement with a trusted individual who will be able to care for your pet in your absence. Be sure this individual will have the time and financial resources which your pet needs. Keep a pet folder with all of your pet’s information (medications, food, habits/behavior, and veterinary records) and instructions with your other important documents.

Your Dog’s First Visit to the Veterinarian

During your pet’s appointment, your veterinarian will likely ask you a few common questions. Consider these questions before you arrive to ensure an efficient check up.

1. How long have you had your pet?

2. Where did you adopt him or her?

3. What vaccinations has your pet had? When?

4. What do you feed your pet?

5. Is your pet drinking more or less water than usual?

6. Has your pet lost or gained weight?

7. Has your pet displayed any odd behavior or symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, or vomiting?

8. Does your pet go outside?

9. Has your pet ever suffered any serious medical condition?

Contact your veterinarian to schedule a health screening for your pet. Be sure to ask your veterinarian when you should schedule your pet’s next appointment.

Sources:

American Veterinary Medical Association

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Recipe Friday – Lickable Liver Treats For Cats

I may have posted a recipe similar to this before, but I thought I would share a cat treat recipe since I haven’t for a while.  Remember to feed in moderation.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of chicken livers (fully cooked)
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 1 ¼ cup of whole wheat flour (for gluten free flour choice, you can use 1 cup of rice flour)
  • ¼ cup of pumpkin (just the plain 100% pumpkin out of the can, or if you are ambitious, you can buy a pumpkin and cook it until you can mash it and  use it in this recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon of butter (unsalted or salted)

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 and grease a cookie sheet with olive oil or butter.

2.  Combine the flour and butter in a bowl.

3.  Blend the livers and water (in a blender or use a fork to mash well, then add to the flour and butter)

4.  Next, roll the mixture into balls and then cut it up into small, cat bite-size pieces.  Place the pieces on your greased cookie sheet.

5. Bake for 12 minutes, let cool and then serve.  You can keep these in an airtight container for about a week, then freeze.

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.”