Blog Archives

Dog/Cat Food Recall – Pro-Pet LLC

Here is another recall for salmonella, on Pro-Pet LLC dog food from St. Marys, Ohio. There are a few cat food batches that are being recalled as well. Please read on:

 

February 5, 2014 – Pro-Pet LLC of St. Marys, Ohio has announced a voluntary recall of a limited number of dry dog and cat foods for possible Salmonella contamination.

Pro-Pet LogoAccording to the FDA, a single field test indicated products manufactured during a two-day period and on the same line of production may have the potential to contain the bacteria.

There have been no reports of illness related to this product to date.

What’s Being Recalled?

The three affected brands include:

  • Hubbard Life
  • Joy Combo
  • QC Plus

Pro-Pet Dog Food Recall Lot Numbers

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

Where Were the Products Distributed?

These products were distributed through select stores, distributors and on-line retailers in:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • West Virginia

About Salmonella

Salmonella can affect animals eating the product, and there is a risk to humans from handling contaminated products.

People handling contaminated dry pet food can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with surfaces exposed to this product.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, 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 exhibit decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. If left untreated, pets may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting.

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.

What to Do?

Customers should immediately discontinue use of any recalled product.

For more information, customers can contact the Pro-Pet customer service line at 888-765-4190. Representatives will be available Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm CT.

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.

Get Critical Dog Food Recall Alerts
Delivered to You by Email

Get dog food recall alerts delivered right to your Inbox the moment we become aware of them. Subscribe to The Dog Food Advisor’s Dog Food Recall Alert email notification list now. There is no cost for this service.

Advertisements

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.

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.

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.

 

Why Pet Nutrition Matters

I thought I would share an interesting article my vet sent to me:

The First Step in Preventative Care

With more than half of all dogs and cats overweight or obese, pets are increasingly at risk for a number of chronic health problems, according to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). An appropriate, balanced diet can make a significant difference for a pet’s overall health, reducing the risk for chronic health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and other types of chronic pain.

Nutrition counseling and weight management are an essential part of every veterinary wellness exam. Just like humans, dogs and cats have unique wellness needs. A one-size-fits-all approach to dietary management overlooks important aspect of nutrition counseling. Today’s veterinarian makes dietary recommendations based on a pet’s specific needs, such as weight loss, organ function, mobility restrictions, or a chronic pain condition. A veterinary nutrition evaluation will also take into account a pet’s medical history, food preferences, and current activity level.

For some health conditions, dietary management can completely resolve the problem, no medication or surgery required. For example, consider the case of Max, a dog who was overweight and suffered from disc-related back pain. Max had been on chronic pain medication, including muscle relaxers, but was still unable to be active. Dietary management helped Max safely lose weight and today he romps in the neighborhood dog park like he was never in pain. The lesson here is simple: nutrition and dietary management matters.

Dietary management should start as soon as pet owners introduce a new pet into their family. Puppies and kittens have unique nutrition requirements in order to grow into healthy adult pets. For example, large-breed puppies should be fed a large-breed puppy food; this food helps these puppies safely grow slowly over time. Rapid weight gain should be avoided as it can strain the musculoskeletal system and increase the risk for skeletal and joint problems, including hip dysplasia.

In addition to considering which pet food to use, the AAHA also reminds pet owners to keep a close eye on their pets’ treats. Treats can be a sneaky source of calories and sabotage a pet’s weight management diet. Positive praise is just as effective and calorie free.

An extra few pounds may seem insignificant to us, but those pounds can adversely affect a pet’s health. Veterinary care that proactively monitors a pet’s weight and diet is the best way to keep pets healthy and active throughout their lives.

How to Pick the Right Food for Your Pet

With an almost overwhelming number of food choices in today’s pet superstores, choosing the right food for your pet can be a challenge. Your veterinarian can help. Ask your veterinarian the following:

•    How much food should I feed my pet each day?
•    Should I feed my pet once or twice per day?
•    Does my pet need a special dietary food to address a health problem?

Don’t wait until your pet is sick or overweight to ask these questions; a proactive approach will keep your pet healthy and active for life.

Sources:

American Animal Hospital Association, “Nutrition: The First Step in Preventative Care.”

Tips To Keep Pets and Kids Safe

Here is an article from Sasha’s vet that I thought I would share with you:

Parents love both their children and their pets. Many pet owners even call their pets fur children. But it is important to create a safe and healthy environment for both children and pets. We especially worry about parasite and bacterial transmission from animals to people, although the reverse can occur as well. The following are some ideas to keep children and pets safe.

1. Take a pet’s stool sample to your veterinarian at least twice yearly to check for parasites. This is a routine test, but some parasites are “sneaky” and won’t show up in every sample.

2. Make sure all your dogs and cats are on monthly parasite preventatives.  Some of the heartworm preventatives will also prevent some intestinal parasites that can infect people.  Discuss with your veterinarian which preventative medications are effective for which organisms.

3. Do not ever feed raw meat to your pets.  Uncooked meat can harbor parasites and bacteria that are dangerous to both people and pets.

4. Keep your cats as indoor-only pets.  Cats that are allowed to roam can eat mice or other animals that can give them parasites such as Toxoplasma, which then can be transmitted to people.

5. Reptiles can be fun to own but they are frequently found to harbor Salmonella.  There is no method to determine with certainty which reptiles have this bacteria or any way to clear them of the organism.  It might be best to not allow small children to own reptiles until they are old enough to understand that hand washing is imperative after handling.

6. Do not have a sand box in your yard or allow your children to play in one.  Roaming cats love these as they think sand boxes are a great big litter box.  Serious parasites can be transmitted from the cat’s stool to kids for months or even years after the sand is contaminated; the eggs can even survive freezing and hot weather.  These parasites can cause blindness or organ damage.

7. When your dog goes outside to defecate, pick up the stool immediately.  Parasites will have less time to become infective. If the stool is allowed to sit on the yard, the parasites are spread into a wider area by rain or water from sprinklers.

8. You should deworm puppies and kittens even before you bring them home.  It is best to obtain medicine from your veterinarian for this, as the dewormers used by breeders are usually less effective over-the-counter medicine.

9. Wash food and water bowls daily.  A recent study showed that hand scrubbing and then washing in a dishwasher was the only effective method of cleaning.  Each method done separately did not provide good sanitation.

10. A different topic is keeping kids safe from bites.  Do not let your child run up to a strange dog. Teach your children what to do if approached by a dog:  don’t run, don’t put your hands out, and don’t stare into their eyes.  If the child is able, they should back up slowly. If in danger, they should roll into a ball on the ground and protect their head.

Pets and children are wonderful, they give us so much joy and are very important members of the family. They may be initially uncertain around each other, but with some knowledge and precautions we can keep everyone in the family happy and healthy.

Leptospirosis

This is a disease that affects dogs and other animals, causing liver and kidney issues.  The scariest part of this disease is that it can be transferred from animals to humans.  Sasha’s vet sent me this article and I am passing it on to you:

Leptospirosis is a re-emerging disease. This bacterial disease most commonly causes liver and kidney problems in dogs, but can also cause lung, pancreas, and eye symptoms.  It is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can be transferred from animals to people, in fact, it is the most common zoonotic disease in the world.  Drinking contaminated water is a common mode of transmission for humans and animals.  It is present in the urine of infected animals, so bodies of water, food (for instance, if rodents have access), soil, or even the beach (California sea lions carry leptospirosis) can easily be contaminated.

Decades ago, veterinarians routinely vaccinated for this disease in a combination vaccine with distemper, hepatitis, and parvo, until problems with the Lepto part of the vaccine developed.  The older vaccine protected against only two types of Lepto, the immunity lasted only about six months, and it was the Lepto portion of the vaccine that was most likely to cause an allergic reaction.  More recently, when it became apparent that the disease was becoming more prevalent, a new and better vaccine was developed.  The newer vaccines protect against four different types of lepto, the immunity lasts for a year, and allergic reactions are not likely.

Many veterinarians are now recommending that dogs be vaccinated for Leptospirosis if they are at risk due to their lifestyle.  So dogs that go on hikes, go to the beach, go to lakes, streams or rivers, or have access to wildlife should be vaccinated.  If you have a rodent problem at your house, you should have your dog vaccinated.  Discuss your dog’s risk with your veterinarian.  There are even some urban areas that have a problem with Lepto.

The first year your dog is vaccinated, it will receive a set of two vaccines, given three weeks apart.  The vaccine is given annually there after.   Ask your veterinarian if you have any questions.

Important Facts

1. There are many different types of Lepto organisms.
2. The current vaccines protect against four of them.
3. It is a disease of dogs, some livestock species, and people.
4. Ask your veterinarian if your dogs are at risk.

PBDE’s and Your Pet

I received this interesting article from my vet and wanted to pass it along. PDBE’s are polybrominated diphenyl ethers, which will be explained in the following article:

Can PBDEs Harm Your Pet?

 

Eliminate Toxic PBDEs
An industrial chemical known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) used in home furnishings could be diminishing your pet’s health.  This chemical is a flame retardant used by manufacturers to reduce the flammability of padded chairs, sofas, mattresses and other cushy seats in homes and offices.

You can reduce or eliminate the PBDE levels in your environment by choosing electronics made with alternatives to PBDEs available from Apple, Sony, Intel, Erickson, HP, Canon and Dell.  Select wild salmon rather than farmed fish.  Use lean meats, poultry, and low-fat dairy products rather than their higher fat counterparts.  Fatty tissue serves as an accumulation zone for PBDEs.

The Environmental Protection Agency indicates that polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have a negative impact on your health and environment.  These chemicals in your home environment may be causing harm to your pet without your knowledge.

In the body, PBDEs are found in breast milk, blood and the blood of umbilical cords.  These chemical compounds persist in the environment and accumulate in wild animals.  They are thought to cause brain damage, birth defects, and contribute to disease of the liver and thyroid.

PBDE chemical compounds are used as flame retardants in industries that produce electronics, furniture and foam.  These products have a propensity of giving off airborne particles that build up in your home’s dust.  Seventeen pet dogs who live primarily indoors participated in an analysis at Indiana University.  The analysis found their PBDE concentration levels to be five to 10 times higher than that of humans.

“In the U.S., we the have highest levels of flame retardants in our dust and in our bodies,” indicates Arelene Blum, Executive Director of the Green Science Policy Institute.  Pollution in People asserts that these toxic PBDE industrial chemicals have been used for more than 30 years in the manufacturing of mattresses, furniture and consumer-used electronic plastics.

Household furniture is frequently produced with flame retardant chemicals and materials before it is shipped to consumers.  Furniture that is made with organic cotton stuffing or wool padding will be free of the hazards of PBDE.  This means when shopping for sofas, loveseats, easy chairs, mattresses and other furniture with seat, arm or back padding, it will be important to ask the contents.  Ask if flame retardants are used and if there are alternate choices.  Request that organic cotton or wool padding be provided as a condition of your purchase.  The use of flame retardant materials varies from state to state.  Its use will depend on governmental laws and regulations that are in effect.

It is estimated that approximately five percent of the weight of the petroleum-based fill known as polyurethane foam is flame retardant chemicals.  Polyurethane foam is used in nearly all sofas, easy chairs, loveseats and mattresses manufactured.

“PBDEs are an important, but generally unrecognized, persistent organic pollutant,” advised Robert C. Hale in Nature.  Hale is a professor at the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences.  Persistent organic pollutants can remain in our environment for many years without breaking down.  Body fat in animals and humans become the storage zones for these pollutants.

”There is an enormous need to act quickly when there is a problem with a chemical that is not only toxic but is persistent and accumulates,” says Gina Solomon, Natural Resources Defense Council senior scientist.

Talk with your veterinarian about the impact of these industrial chemicals on your pet’s health and wellness.  Your veterinarian will guide you in reducing the negative impact on your pet’s health.

Sources:

Environmental Protection Agency.

Green Science Policy Institute.

Hale, Robert. Nature.

Main, Emily. Flame retardant furniture: Unhealthy, and doesn’t stop fires.

Natural Resources Defense Council.

Pollution in People.

Practically Green.

Diabetes and Dogs

Diabetes can be such a scary diagnoses when you don’t arm yourself with information.  If your dog receives this diagnosis, all is not lost.  First we need to know how which dogs are more likely to get diabetes and what we can do to help stop this.

As humans become more sedentary, sometimes our pets do as well.  It is vitally important to keep your dog active by taking walks and playing, all dogs need exercise, some more than others.

The major risk factors to know are:

  • Age (middle-aged to older dogs are more affected)
  • Unspayed females
  • Genetics
  • Obesity

The breeds that are more susceptible to contracting diabetes are:

  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Dachshunds
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • German Shepherds
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Pomeranians
  • Terriers
  • Toy Poodles

You will notice when treating your dog, you may use many of the same treatments that are being used on humans (insulin injections and glucose testing items).

It is important to know that dogs who live with untreated diabetes can develop cataracts and eventually go blind.  If you suspect your pet has diabetes, take them to the vet and get tested, as early detection is the best defense and can prolong the life of your loved one.

For more information on diabetes, click here.

Most Common Cat Ailments

If your cat is acting off, many can be suffering from some of the following ailments.  Of course, if you are at all worried about your cat, a trip to the vet would be in order.  Many times the vet can reassure you to let you know that your cat is all right and just needs a bit of medication to become all better.

If your cat is showing signs of lethargy, dull coat, weakness and vomiting, these can be symptoms of hyperthyroidism.  It can be treated with medication and your cat can go on and live a long and healthy life with treatment.  This disease usually affects senior cats.

If your cat is scratching, has pimples, inflammation, hair loss, this can usually mean food allergies, flea allergies, or sometimes ringworm and all are treatable if you take your cat to the vet, get some tests and medication, or ointment can help.

As well, having your cat on pet insurance BEFORE these ailments rear their ugly heads can help to cut down the costs considerably.

Here is the article I found this information in, and you can find out more common ailments and how they can be treated by your vet.