Archive for September, 2012

Dogsbutter Peanut Butter for Dogs Recall

Saturday, September 29th, 2012
by Mike Sagman for The Dog Food Advisor

September 24, 2012 – Sunland, Inc. has announced the voluntary recall of some of its human food products has now been expanded to include a pet food product, Dogsbutter RUC with Flax PB,  due to possible contamination with Salmonella.  The event was reported by the FDA in a news release dated September 24, 2012.

Based upon the FDA bulletin, the recall appears to include the 16 ounce jars of Dogsbutter RUC with Flax PB.

The recalled product has a Best-If-Used-By date of between May 1, 2013 and September 24, 2013. This information is stamped on the side of the jar’s label just below the lid.

What Caused the Recall?

According to the FDA bulletin…

The voluntary recall was initiated after learning that between June 11, 2012 and September 2, 2012, twenty-nine people reported Salmonella Bredeney PFGE matching illnesses in approximately 18 states, including Washington, California, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Virginia, Connecticut, New Jersey and Maryland, according to a report issued on September 22, 2012 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

What to Do?

Consumers are urged to discard the recalled product immediately. They are also invited to contact the company at 866-837-1018 for information on the recall.

In addition, a consumer services representative is available Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM MT at 575-356-6638.

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.

 

AHF Board Member Study Featured in NY Times

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

AHF Board Member Dr. Alice Villalobos is an expert in an animal’s Quality of Life.

Read More about Dr. Villalobos’ work and compassion for your pet’s end of life issues

September 24 – 30 is Deaf Pet Awareness Week

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Read More About Deaf Pets

Angel Fund helps a pug named Baby

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

Read how the Angel Fund helped Baby thanks to the Rainbow Vet Hospital

http://www.animalhealthfoundation.net/case-of-the-month/item.html/n/20034

RECALL: Boots & Barkley American Beef Bully Sticks

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 21, 2012 – Kasel Associated Industries of Denver, CO is voluntarily recalling its BOOTS & BARKLEY 6 COUNT 5 INCH AMERICAN BEEF BULLY STICKS product because it may be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella can sicken animals that eat these products and humans are at risk for salmonella poisoning from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the pet products or any surfaces exposed to these products.
Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these symptoms after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has any of these signs, please contact your veterinarian.

The recalled American Beef Bully Sticks were distributed nationwide through Target retail stores from April through September 2012.

The product comes in a clear plastic bag containing 6 bully sticks marked with bar code number 647263899189. Kasel Industries is recalling all lot numbers because the following lot codes tested positive through analysis by the State of Colorado Department of Agriculture: BESTBY20APR2014DEN, BESTBY01JUN2014DEN, BESTBY23JUN2014DEN, and BESTBY23SEP2014DEN.

No illnesses have been reported to date in animals or humans in connection with this problem.
The recall was the result of a routine sampling by the State of Colorado Department of Agriculture which revealed that the finished products contained the Salmonella bacteria. The company has ceased the production and distribution of the product while FDA and the company continue investigating as to the source of the contamination. No other products made by Kasel Associated Industries are included in the recall.

Consumers who have purchased the 6 count 5 inch packages of Boots & Barkley American Beef Bully Sticks are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact Kasel Associated Industries at 1-800-218-4417 Monday thru Friday from 7am to 5pm MDT.

FDA Press Release

Tufts University openspet obesity clinic

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012
In an effort to combat the American pet obesity epidemic, veterinarian and board-certified veterinary nutritionist Deborah Linder opened an obesity clinic at Tufts University last month. The facility provides exams and nutrition and lifestyle recommendations aimed at decreasing a pet’s weight and improving health. The pet obesity epidemic mirrors the human obesity problem in the U.S., and while it can be a touchy subject to raise, veterinary experts agree that obesity in pets must be addressed because it exacerbates many medical conditions and makes animals prone to other ailments. The Boston Globe

Lisa Baruzzi with golden retriever Richie at the Tufts obesity clinic for animals in North Grafton.

Lisa Baruzzi admits she used to slip Richie a few too many treats. She just wanted to show him how much she loved him — “he’s just the sweetest dog you’ll ever meet.”

Then, Richie started having heart trouble. A cardiologist told Baruzzi the golden retriever would have a better recovery if he weren’t 20 pounds overweight, and referred the dog to a pet nutritionist.

America’s pets are having their own obesity crisis, studies show, with at least 35 percent of household dogs and cats above their ideal weight. And the nation’s two obesity epidemics — pet and human — are tightly entwined: Americans, it seems, are as indulgent with their animals as they are with themselves.

Last month, Dr. Deborah Linder of Tufts University opened an obesity clinic at the school’s North Grafton campus to help people help their pets lose weight. She recently taught Baruzzi to show her love for Richie with attention instead of bullysticks and Frosty Paws. The board-certified veterinary nutritionist also put Richie on a strict diet of kibbles, helping him shed 5 pounds in six weeks.

Linder expects to see a handful of cats and dogs a day while conducting research into pet obesity. The clinic’s standard care package costs $250 for an extensive initial session and six checkups, plus phone and e-mail follow-up, as needed.

Although there are other pet weight-loss clinics ­— and neighborhood vets regularly treat plump animals — few are associated with veterinary schools and staffed by specialists with training in pet obesity and other health problems.

The biggest challenge in addressing pet obesity, Linder and other specialists say, is that most owners are not good judges of their pet’s weight. Nearly 40 percent of owners of overweight pets think their animal does not have a problem, research shows. And veterinarians are leery of pointing out fat cats and dogs, because they do not want to insult the owners.

For most dogs, the best way to identify a weight problem, Linder said, is to touch around the rib cage, which should feel about as padded as the back of the owner’s hand.

For cats, “if there’s a fat pad in the abdomen between the back legs, that cat is overweight,” said Dr. Kathryn E. Michel, medical director and nutrition professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

The difference between ideal and overweight for a pet isn’t much. A small cat could be considered overweight if it weighs 10 pounds instead of 8; Baruzzi’s now 100-pound golden retriever should ideally weigh 85.

Pet trusts protect animals if they outlive their owners

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

According to the 2012 AVMA pet ownership survey, there are some 164 million cats and dogs in homes across the U.S., and attorneys Elizabeth Carrie and Robert Kass recommend that pet owners plan for the possibility that they may no longer be able to care for their animals. Naming a caregiver, providing detailed pet care instructions and dedicating money specifically to the pet’s care are all important parts of the plan, according to Kass and Carrie. Bundling all the essentials into a specific, separate trust is the best way to ensure the plan will be implemented in the manner the owner intends, they said. Fox Business

If you’re a parent, odds are you’ve thought about the unthinkable: Who will  raise your children if something happens to you? Who do you trust to love and  care for them the way you would? How do you provide the money needed and ensure  that it will be used properly?

These concerns also come into play if you become disabled, even temporarily.  Who can you depend on to step in until you recover?

Now consider this: there are three times as many households in the  U.S. that have pets than have children- 57%, according to the American  Veterinary Medicine Association’s 2012 survey.

Compared to the 28 million children living in this country, Americans own  more than 164 million cats and dogs. Adding birds to the mix brings the total to  nearly 181 million pets (not to mention horses, small animals, fish,  etc.).

For many of us, our pets are our “children.” And, if you want to know they  will be properly cared for in the event you can no longer do this yourself,  Detroit attorneys Robert Kass and Elizabeth Carrie stress that you need to take  some basic steps to ensure your wishes will be carried out.

Kass cites the case of a woman who committed suicide by jumping off a bridge.  Although her body wasn’t recovered for months, it took five days for co-workers  and neighbors to realize she was not just away on a trip, but actually missing.  During that time her cats were without food, water, and of course, their primary  human companion. “When the authorities finally went into her apartment, the cats  were crazed,” he says.

If no one steps forward to take in an animal that, for whatever reason, can  no longer be cared for by its owner, it is routinely taken to a shelter and put  up for adoption. That’s traumatic enough. Unfortunately, unless it is a “no-kill” shelter, if it isn’t adopted within a certain period of time, an  animal that was once your beloved pet, will be euthanized.

As Kass and Carrie point out in their book, Who Will Care when You’re Not  There?, the biggest mistake a pet owner makes is assuming she or he will  outlive her cat, dog, rabbit, African Grey. If you truly care about your pet,  that’s a pretty big risk. Depending upon your age and health, the life  expectancies of many species- parrots, for instance- make it very likely your  pet will outlive you.

Another potential disaster is assuming that your cousin (Fast) Eddie- who  always got along great with Fido on Thanksgiving visits- will: 1) know how to care for him (favorite toy, food allergies, medications, afraid of  thunder, etc.) and 2) be willing to do so, even when Fido grows old and  arthritic

While Eddie may, in fact, be an animal lover (he’s always been fond of the  horses- the Kentucky Derby and Belmont kind), there have been sporadic family  rumors about money problems. If you leave a bequest to cover the cost of Fido’s  care, are you certain Eddie will use it for this purpose?

In the event Eddie surprises the family and ends up being a flawless  replacement for you, what if he, himself, is incapacitated, hospitalized, or  dies? Naming a successor caregiver is essential, say Kass and Carrie.

There are various avenues you can take to provide for the care of your furry  and feathered “kids” if you become incapacitated. You can start with a Power of  Attorney, which, unlike a typical POA (which generally covers financial assets)  gives another individual the legal power to make decisions about your animal’s  care. This includes everything from moving it into their own home, to giving  them discretion to take it to the vet, and so forth. If the individual isn’t  familiar with the pet, it’s a good idea to attach an instruction sheet listing  the veterinarian and grooming names, the preferred type of food and any other  important notes about the pet to help it assimilate to a new home.

However, to be on the safe side, Kass and Carrie recommend creating a  free-standing trust, separate from the trust that deals with your material  possessions and human children. You can fund it with an amount of money that you  feel will cover the care of your pet(s) for the remainder of their lifetimes,  leaving anything that remains to, perhaps, a pet-affiliated charity. They  recommend using attachments to the trust since these can be easily amended as  your pets and the care they need change.

Ideally, you want to have an attorney with experience in pet planning and the  laws of your state draw up the documents. “If you can’t afford to do this,” says  Carrie, “legalzoom.net offers pet trusts online for less than $100.” This  document won’t be as customized, but it’s far better than nothing.

Consider everything you pet gives you- unconditionally and daily. Don’t you  want to be sure it will receive the care it needs if and when you’re not able to  provide it?

Ms. Buckner is a Retirement and Financial Planning Specialist and an  instructor in Franklin Templeton Investments’ global Academy. The views  expressed in this article are only those of Ms. Buckner or the individual  commentator identified therein, and are not necessarily the views of Franklin  Templeton Investments, which has not reviewed, and is not responsible for, the  content.

Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2012/09/17/what-happens-to-your-pet-if-something-happens-to/#ixzz26wzrZl4w

8-year-old orangutan being treated with chemotherapy

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Veterinarians and physicians are teaming up in an attempt to cure Peanut, an 8-year-old orangutan at Miami’s Jungle Island, of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, marking what is likely the first time an orangutan has been treated with chemotherapy, according to North Carolina Zoo senior veterinarian Ryan DeVoe. Her doctors are using a chemotherapy regimen similar to that used in humans, but at a lower dose. “I’ve never had the same combination of fear and enthusiasm in one patient before,” said oncologist Joseph Rosenblatt, one of the physicians helping to treat Peanut. CBS News/HealthPOP/The Associated Press (9/17)

(AP) MIAMI – Peanut is an 8-year-old orangutan and a star attraction at Miami’s Jungle Island. These days she’s also got a team of cancer doctors huddling around her, watching as the chemo drip flows into her veins.

Peanut, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, is not the first great ape to be treated for cancer like a human. An orangutan with advanced stage cancer at the National Zoo in Washington had surgery to remove a cancerous intestinal tumor in 2000. In 2009, two female gorillas at the North Carolina Zoo underwent radiation therapy. All three cases involved much older apes, in their 30s or 40s, and all had to be euthanized.

But while other animals are treated with chemotherapy, it’s not common among orangutans.

Dr. Ryan DeVoe, senior veterinarian at the North Carolina Zoo where the two female gorillas lived, said he has found no record of other great apes being treated with chemo. But he also noted that many cases involving great apes with cancer are not reported or documented.

DeVoe said another unique aspect of Peanut’s case is that, unlike the older apes, she has age on her side for either being cured or at least experiencing remission and living normally and comfortably for a long period of time.

The orangutan has been undergoing chemotherapy to treat the aggressive lymphoma since August.

Peanut’s diagnosis came by chance when her veterinary team found she had an intestinal obstruction and further testing revealed the cancer. The private zoo had no board certified veterinary oncologist on staff and turned to the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. A team there, along with UM’s Division of Comparative Pathology, which specializes in wildlife, confirmed the diagnosis and is now providing guidance for Peanut’s treatment.

“I’ve never had the same combination of fear and enthusiasm in one patient before,” said Dr. Joseph Rosenblatt, one of the doctors treating Peanut. “We don’t know what to expect and yet we’re intensely curious and potentially hopeful that we can help the animal.”

Working on an orangutan is a first for Rosenblatt, who has never worked on an animal larger than a mouse.

“When the animal looks at you in the eye, it’s both a sympathetic as well as a look that radiates intelligence,” he said.

Peanut has a fraternal twin named Pumpkin, a rarity in the animal kingdom. They are the youngest of six orangutans at Jungle Island and a hit with park visitors. Both are highly intelligent and have been taught to use sign language and an iPad to communicate with their trainers, but they have distinct personalities. Peanut is welcoming and demanding, offering her doctor a twig in return for his water bottle. Pumpkin is quiet and her hair hangs low over her forehead. Pumpkin has not been diagnosed with the disease.

Rosenblatt said doctors chose a plan for treatment that has been most effective in humans, adding that they are treating Peanut’s lymphoma with slightly reduced doses in an effort not to overshoot. The process that might take four to five hours in a human takes about three hours in Peanut, who will get six doses — 21 days apart — unless her body can’t handle it.

Peanut’s doctors caution against raising expectations about her future and how effective the treatments will be.

“They work very well in human beings, but we don’t know if they will work as well in this setting,” Rosenblatt said.

Unlike humans, Peanut must be sedated for her treatments at an animal clinic in Miami. And although doctors know anesthesia causes nausea in animals, it is not clear if that or the chemo caused Peanut to vomit after her first treatment. She stays indoors out of sight of park visitors soon after the treatments and comes outside into an enclosure only when she feels up to it.

Her caretakers say explaining cancer to a human is difficult, but explaining it to a highly intelligent animal such as Peanut who communicates with her trainers and park visitors is nearly impossible.

“That is one part of cancer we do not have to deal with,” said veterinarian Jason Chatfield, Jungle Island’s general curator. “We made it a point not to even talk about the cancer in front of her because she may not comprehend cancer, disease, lymphoma and all these fancy words. She absolutely knows something is wrong, something is different with her.” He said the team wants to keep a positive attitude around her.

Born in captivity, Peanut and Pumpkin came to the zoo when they were 6 months old.

“I have been with her since she was born,” said Linda Jacobs, Peanut’s trainer, holding back tears. “So I really am very sensitive to her needs and her moods.”

Jacobs said Peanut is fatigued but hasn’t lost much of her reddish-orange hair “and she still has that twinkle in her eye.”

Despite possible complications and an uncertain outcome, Rosenblatt said Peanut is still a model patient “and God willing, she will be a cancer survivor.”

Pets can have high blood pressure, too

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Hypertension occurs in humans and pets, but the causes are different in each species, writes veterinarian Ann Hohenhaus. Humans with hypertension may have a genetic predisposition to the problem or lifestyle habits that increase their risk, such as smoking and obesity. Dogs and cats develop hypertension from health conditions, most often kidney disease, but also from other ailments, according to Dr. Hohenhaus. Eye problems, strokes and heart enlargement are potential consequences of hypertension in pets, and treatment is similar to that in humans, Dr. Hohenhaus explains. WebMD/Tales from the Pet Clinic blog

When you visit the doctor, before the physician comes into an examination room, a nurse measures your weight, temperature and blood pressure. When your pet goes to the veterinarian, the nurse comes in to take his weight and temperature, but not blood pressure. Does this mean blood pressure is not important in dogs and cats?

Blood pressure measurement is important in our pets, but in a different way than in humans. As many as one-in-four Americans suffers from high blood pressure and most may not even know it. Hypertension, aptly named the silent killer, causes heart attacks, strokes, and kidney disease.

Smoking, drinking, and obesity increase our risk of developing hypertension. Some of us are prone to developing hypertension even without smoking, drinking, or eating too much due to a predisposition in our genetic profile. Pets become hypertensive from completely different medical conditions.

Pets have different risks

Genetics is the first point where we and our pets differ with regard to hypertension. Inherited hypertension is extremely rare in dogs and cats, and because dogs and cats do not drink alcohol or use tobacco, these are not risk factors either. Obesity causes serious medical problems in pets, but not hypertension.

What causes pet hypertension?

The number one cause of hypertension in pets is one form or other of kidney disease. The normal kidney plays a critical role in controlling blood pressure. A diseased kidney can no longer perform well as a blood pressure regulator. Since we see more kidney disease in cats, we see more hypertension in cats, but I have a nice Wirehair Fox Terrier patient who has hypertension as a consequence of kidney disease. Hyperthyroidism, exclusively a feline disease, is another cause of hypertension. Finally, some rare tumors of the adrenal gland can cause hypertension, and I have seen only a small handful of pets with this type of hypertension.

Consequences of pet hypertension

Untreated hypertension causes serious problems in pets: strokes, heart enlargement and damage to the eye, causing blindness. Controlling hypertension decreases the risk of these disorders.

Treatment is the same for everyone

If you have hypertension, your doctor has recommended lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and losing weight. You will be prescribed drugs to decrease blood pressure and you may even be asked to monitor your blood pressure at home since some patients get nervous at the doctor’s office and suffer from “white coat” hypertension.

If your pet has hypertension, your veterinarian will recommend lifestyle changes such as a special kidney-friendly food. A common drug used to treat pets with hypertension is amlodipine, a drug also used in people with hypertension. Other treatments will be needed to manage kidney disease or an overactive thyroid gland. Finally, your veterinarian may ask you to monitor your pet’s blood pressure at home since pets also get white coat hypertension. The procedure is not very difficult and The Animal Medical Center has blood pressure monitors to lend pet owners for home monitoring. If your pet has hypertension, ask if home monitoring is necessary.

 

Ultrasound is an important diagnostic tool for veterinarians

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012
When an animal is ill, veterinarians use physical exam results, blood tests, X-rays, and sometimes an ultrasound, writes veterinarian Lawrence Gerson. Ultrasounds are painless and noninvasive and only require the fur over the area of interest to be shaved. Dr. Gerson relates one case in which an ultrasound of a jaundiced cat revealed gallstones as the culprit, a condition that is uncommon in dogs and cats.

By Lawrence Gerson, V.M.D.

When presented with an ill animal, veterinarians will start with a history of  the problem and will perform a comprehensive physical exam. If the diagnosis is  not obvious, we usually rely on diagnostic testing that may include urinalysis,  a fecal exam, or blood tests for a complete blood count and a blood chemistry  and a thyroid test. X-rays may also be needed.

Occasionally, additional imaging such as an ultrasound is performed. An  ultrasound exam is a noninvasive test that can show the details of body systems  with great accuracy. Not only can we see the size and shape of the organs but  also the inner structure of most of the abdominal and cardiac structures

Amarillo, a 9-year old gray tabby cat had been losing her appetite over  several weeks. Her gastrointestinal tract was upset, and she had not eaten for  two days before seeing the veterinarian.

By that time, she had lost a significant 10 percent of her body weight. The  veterinarian noticed that her eyes were yellow-tinged, indicating jaundice.

“A yellow kitty is a very sick kitty,” the veterinarian said.

Getting an accurate diagnosis of liver malfunction can be a difficult and  expensive process. A blood test confirmed that the liver was not working well as  the bilirubin level was high. Because her thyroid level was normal, that  eliminated thyroid disease as the cause of jaundice.

She was not anemic, which is another cause of jaundice because of the  breakdown of red blood cells.

Palpation of the abdomen did not reveal any obvious tumors or other  abnormalities, but she was a bit tender about having her abdomen examined.

The veterinarian recommended an abdominal ultrasound. Commonly, humans have  diagnostic ultrasounds of their kidneys, liver, gallbladder or urinary bladder.  Ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves (higher than can be heard by human or  even dogs) to look at the organs and tissues of the abdomen and into the chest  of animals.

Ultrasound is painless and only requires a shaved stomach and some gel to get  a good image. Some veterinarians will ultrasound pets in their offices, while  others use the services of a specialist with many years of additional training  and experience to view the internal organs.

Amarillo had gallstones. Although not unusual in humans, gallstones are very  uncommon in cats and dogs. Additionally, she had stones in her bile duct,  causing a blockage of bile flow.

She eventually had surgery to flush out and re-route her gallbladder, and she  was back to her adventurous self in two weeks.

Pittsburgh is fortunate to have numerous specialists who can consult with  local veterinarians on difficult cases. Some of these specialists will visit  area veterinary hospitals to provide additional expertise.

Additional care is also provided at specialty hospitals, giving veterinarians  and pets many options and hope for those complicated cases.

Lawrence Gerson is a veterinarian and  founder of the Point Breeze Veterinary Clinic. This column was co-written by  Nathaniel Myers of Pittsburgh Veterinary Internal Medicine. The biweekly column  is intended to educate pet owners. Consultation with a veterinarian is necessary  to diagnose and treat individual pets. If you have a question you’d like  addressed in Pet Points, email petpoints@post-gazette.com. Please  include your name and municipality or neighborhood. First Published  September 15, 2012 12:00 am

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/life/pet-stories/pet-points-ultrasound-reveals-cause-of-jaundiced-cats-ailment-653415/#ixzz26wegq0D7