Archive for June, 2013

Abady Dog Food Recall

Monday, June 24th, 2013

ROBERT ABADY DOG AND CAT FOOD CORPORATION

201 SMITH ST, POUGHKEEPSIE, NEW YORK 12601

TELEPHONE (845) 473-1900

Dear Abady Users,

After so many years of making frozen foods we have to give you the bad news that we have
voluntarily recalled two of our limited specialty products:

1. Abady Frozen High Stress/High Performance Dog Food 3 lbs

2. Abady Frozen Growth Formula for Puppies of the Large & Giant Breed 31bs.

The decision was made due to a positive salmonella test by the FDA. At this time we are removing
the products from the market place.

Our first priority is to produce foods with great care and keeping in mind the safety of pets and their
owners. We have many safety measures in place, and continually search for the best technologies and
procedures to ensure product safety.

When handling these raw frozen pet foods please make sure to wash hands thoroughly after handling
the product
Please contact us at 845-473-1900 or 877-99ABADY with any question that you have.
Thank You
The Robert Abady Dog And Cat Food Company

Human-Animal bond research funding

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013
Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Announces Upcoming Human-Animal Bond Research Funding Opportunities
WASHINGTON
Business Wire
Bob Vetere, president of HABRI, is pleased to announce there will be funding made available for high-quality research designed to better understand the human and animal health benefits of the human-animal bond in seven areas. Requests for pre-proposals are open now through June 28, 2013 and approximately $300,000 in funding will be awarded to 10 grant recipients.

“We are excited to announce this upcoming funding opportunity for research surrounding our seven key topics, which to date have seen the most promising scientific evidence in terms of the positive impacts of the bond, but could still benefit from a greater understanding,” said Vetere. “This is a great opportunity for students, researchers and various industry professionals and we look forward to receiving pre-proposals and awarding the grant recipients this fall.”

Pre-proposals should focus on the health effects of animals on humans with the following conditions: autism; cancer; cardiovascular disease; dementia/Alzheimer’s; depression; post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); or childhood allergies and immunity.

Pre-proposals will be evaluated by an independent review board comprising experts in the field based on study design, capabilities of investigators, adequacy of facilities, cost-effective yet realistic budget, and potential for impact on the way the disease areas of interest are diagnosed, treated or otherwise understood. Full proposal submissions will be invited from selected applicants.

Application review and oversight of HABRI research awards will be managed by Morris Animal Foundation, a nonprofit organization that invests in science that advances veterinary medicine for companion animals, horses and wildlife.

For additional details regarding application process and project requirements, go to https://www.morrisanimalfoundation.org/researchers/small-animal/ and scroll to proactive research funding.

For more information on HABRI, visit www.habri.org or for media inquiries or executive interview opportunities, contact Brooke Gersich at brooke@theimpetusagency.com or 775.322.4022.

Founded by The American Pet Product Association (APPA), Petco Animal Supplies Inc., and Zoetis (formerly the animal health business of Pfizer), HABRI is a broad coalition of companies, organizations, entities and individuals whose mission is to achieve formal, widespread scientific recognition that validates and supports the positive roles of pets and animals in the integrated health of families and communities, leading to informed decisions in human health.

1155 Fifteenth Street, NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005(202) 580-6280 www.habri.org

Many animals may be smarter than they get credit for, studies show

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

white chickensChickens can plan ahead and may have better spatial skills than young children; sheep can recognize colors and shapes; pigs and monkeys can use mirrors to find hidden food; and even flies can remember their destinations and get there despite distractions, according to a variety of studies from the past few decades. “Finding sophisticated learning and awareness in animals can alter the way people think about the species and may result in better welfare in the long run,” said researcher Donald Broom. The Guardian (London)/Shortcuts Blog (6/19)

Perhaps it is no coincidence that the animals we think of as being the most stupid – pigs, chickens, sheep – are also the ones we don’t always treat too well. However, humans might be the ones who have to rethink the definitions of “bird-brain” and “pig ignorance”.

According to a new report, chickens appear to be much more intelligent than previously thought, with better numeracy and spacial awareness skills than young children. “The domesticated chicken is something of a phenomenon,” Christine Nicol, professor of animal welfare at Bristol University, told the Times. “Studies over the past 20 years have revealed their finely honed sensory capacities, their ability to think, draw inferences, apply logic and plan ahead.”

When we underestimate the intelligence of animals we already consider clever – for instance, last year, researchers at the University of Manchester who had been studying orangutans in Indonesia found the apes built complex nests in trees, using a wide variety of specially chosen materials – it is hardly surprising that those considered to be at the low end of the smart scale can surprise us.

We know that flies can remember their destination, even when a distraction is put in their path. Researchers have found that fish can be trained to associate a sound with feeding times, and even remember this when released into the wild; an earlier study suggested the idea that a goldfish had a three-second memory was unfounded – goldfish could learn to press a lever for food, something they would be able to recall months later.

Sheep have been found to be far more intelligent than their unfair reputations suggest. In a series of tests involving learning how to get food from differently coloured buckets and recognising different shapes, carried out by researchers at Cambridge University, sheep performed as well as monkeys, and better than rodents. Sheep have also been found to recognise and remember the faces of 50 individual fellow sheep, as well as human faces.

It is only relatively recently that pigs have become more widely regarded as highly intelligent, following a number of studies. One, published by researchers at Cambridge in 2009, found pigs could use a mirror to find a bowl of food that had been hidden (something monkeys can also do). “Finding sophisticated learning and awareness in animals can alter the way people think about the species,” Professor Donald Broom told Wired magazine, “and may result in better welfare in the long run.”

AKC list of things that are poisonous to your pet

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Substances Poisonous to your Pet

Friday, June 21 is Take Your Dog to Work day

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Under DeskCompanies see benefits when furry friends visit the office
Friday marks the 15th annual celebration of Take Your Dog to Work Day. Although not all companies participate and employers are advised to ensure staff concerns such as allergies are addressed, studies show having pets in the workplace can reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol and improve collaboration and trust, and employers say they think having an animal around helps customers and businesses connect. The Oregonian (Portland) (6/14)

June 21 is the 15th annual “Take Your Dog to Work Day,” created by Pet Sitters International to introduce employees to the benefits of dog ownership and promote adoptions from local shelters and rescue groups.

Companies that want to include other species can take part in “Take Your Pet to Work Week” June 17-21.

Even in pooch-friendly Portland, not every company allows pets in the workplace every day. Some find that allowing their employees to take their pets to the office during the annual “holiday” decreases stress, boosts morale and may even be good for business.

“Most people do like dogs, whether they have one or not,” says Lori Venneberg, human resources operations manager for Beaverton-based Digimarc Corporation. “It just improves mood, cuts the tension, and it doesn’t necessarily interfere with productivity. In fact, it kind of reduces stress level.”

Recent research backs her up. A 2012 Virginia Commonwealth University study found that having dogs at work reduced levels of cortisol, the hormone released in response to stress. Another study by researchers at Central Michigan University revealed that the presence of dogs established a sense of employee collaboration and trust.

Digimarc participated in Take Your Dog to Work Day for the first time last year. Venneberg, who worked previously in a dog-friendly office, had heard about the day and thought it would be fun to implement at her current company.

The management did some homework first by identifying potential issues, such as allergies or a fear of dogs, and determined that employees with those concerns could choose to work from home that day.

The participants signed a liability waiver and agreed to bring dogs that were flea-free and current on vaccinations.

All employees had the chance to interact with the dogs during an ice-cream social, and the dog owners received a “doggie bag” filled with paw towels and poop bags and treats.

 Buster participates in Take Your Dog to Work Day at Digimarc Corporation.Lori Venneberg

“We had no accidents, nobody got in fight, it all went off very smoothly and was a very big hit,” says Venneberg, who brought her own dog, Buster.

The day went so well last year that the company is offering it again this year.

At Honda’s Northwest Training Center in Northeast Portland, technical training coordinator Monte Wolverton looks forward to bringing his Yorkie, Teddy, again to work this year.

Last year on Take Your Dog to Work Day, Wolverton found that Teddy served as a conversation starter during a training session with students from dealerships around the Northwest.

Wolverton also found that the dog’s presence reminded him to take necessary breaks.

“Sometimes, you get so focused on your job, but the dog has to take a break outside once in awhile,” he points out, “so it’s kind of a good refocus.”

Even at a cat shelter, a dog’s presence can be welcome.

Cat Adoption Team in Sherwood doesn’t participate in Take Your Dog to Work Day, but executive director Karen Green does bring her newly adopted yellow Lab, Sunny, in from time to time, which helps remind her to take breaks and get some fresh air.

“We’re considering creating a pets-in-the-workplace policy,” she says.

She points out that dogs could actually benefit shelter staff by helping to socialize the cats with canines and determining which cats like dogs, providing helpful knowledge for potential adopters.

Before implementing such a policy, Green says, it’s important to ask staff for input and make sure all concerns are addressed. Not all pets are suitable for the workplace, and vice-versa.

Those companies that do allow pets, either on a part-time or permanent basis, say that having animals around benefits not only employees but also their business.

“I think it’s wise from a business aspect,” says Bethany Sutherland, a commercial account manager at Hecht & Hecht Insurance Agency Inc., where company president Evelyn Hecht brings her dog regularly.

“It provides common ground for a lot of our clients, because a lot of our clients are dog owners,” Sutherland points out. “It’s a nice ice-breaker, and it kind of humanizes us, because it shows that we’re people, and we have lives outside of what we do for a living.”

Hecht & Hecht will participate in the “holiday” for the first time this year, and Sutherland is excited about the chance to spend her work day with her 7-month-old golden retriever, Ruby.

Dogs aren’t the only animals that can connect with clients, however.

Every day is ‘take your pet to work day’ for Paul McGill and Baxter at PondCrafters and YardBirds in Southeast Portland. Paul McGill

Paul McGill, owner of PondCrafters & YardBirds in Southeast Portland, says his two shop cats are very popular with customers and help his store to stand out.

McGill initially adopted Baxter, a gray tabby, as an inexpensive alternative to exterminating the mice that were getting into his fish food. When Baxter got lonely, he adopted Stella, and the two felines became fast friends. Now, McGill can’t imagine working without them. Neither, it seems, can his customers.

McGill notes that his return clients typically ask about the cats, tell him what they need and then ask how he’s doing – in that order.

He recommends any retail business with the potential to be pet-friendly to consider cats.

“My customers absolutely love the fact that we have cats in the store,” he says.

Tips to make sure Take Your Dog to Work Day goes smoothly:

  • Keep your dog on a leash unless he’s confined in your office or cubicle.
  • Use a baby gate to make sure your dog doesn’t dash out of your office.
  • Designate “dog-free” zones, such as bathrooms or employee eating areas.
  • Have a back-up plan that allows you to take your dog home if he’s not comfortable with you at work.

 

Dogs that are appropriate to take to work should:

  • Enjoy meeting new people and visiting new places
  • Get along well with other dogs or pets
  • Walk well on a leash
  • Be able to negotiate stairs and elevators, if your office has them
  • Be comfortable “settling down” in a crate or on a mat
  • Greet people without jumping on them

Equine survivor’s story shines light on rare infection

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

q-acvim-animal-survivorQ, a yearling Rocky Mounted Saddle Horse in Washington state, recovered from proliferative enteropathy, a rare infection caused by the bacterium Lawsonia intracellularis. Veterinarian Chantal Rothschild suspected the rare infection after blood tests showed extremely low protein levels, a key indicator of the infection, which often leaves the animal unable to absorb dietary protein. Dr. Rothschild initiated treatment before receiving test results, saying, “If we’d waited, we might not have been able to save him.” Q’s treatment and recovery earned the case recognition from the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. The Horse (6/14)

Trainer Julie Blacklow thought Q’s quiet demeanor and willing attitude had to do with her team’s excellent training skills at Rosebud River Ranch in Snoqualmie, Wash. In reality, the yearling Rocky Mounted Saddle Horse gelding was critically sick with proliferative enteropathy, a diseased caused by the bacterium Lawsonia intracellularis and something Blacklow, a veteran horsewoman, had never heard of.

She’s not alone.

The American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) is trying to change that by making owners more aware of L. intracellularis in horses. At the 2013 ACVIM Forum in Seattle, the organization introduced Q as part of its “Animal Survivor” program, which highlights animals that—thanks to advances in veterinary internal medicine—have lived through severe disease.

Q’s survival story started when he spiked a temperature of 104°F (99-101°F is normal). He also became lethargic and stopped eating, a sign to Blacklow that something was very wrong with the young horse. After an inconclusive initial exam by a general practitioner, Blacklow sought a specialist’s second opinion. She contacted Chantal Rothschild, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, of Northwest Equine Veterinary Associates in Maple Valley, Wash.

Rothschild performed ultrasounds of Q’s chest and abdomen looking for the source of the infection causing his fever. Then the gelding’s blood work came back with extremely low protein levels. This is a telltale clinical sign of proliferative enteropathy, a spreading infection of the intestine most common in foals two to seven months old that renders the animal unable to absorb protein from the diet. Edema (swelling) had also developed around the horse’s jaw and down into his chest.

L. interacellularis is common in pigs, and certain wild animals are thought to carry it, Rothschild said, adding that the disease is believed to be contracted when horses ingest bacteria from infected animal feces. Rothschild had treated equine cases during her time practicing in Texas and at Washington State University on the eastern edge of the state. “But I’d never seen a case in the Seattle area,” she said.

After examining Q, Rothschild recommended treating him for proliferative enteropathy immediately rather than waiting for test results confirming L. interacellularis infection. “It would take too long to get a positive test back, so I asked the owners to trust me,” Rothschild said. “If we’d waited we might not have been able to save him.”

Q responded within three days and started acting less like the calm horse Blacklow knew and more like an energetic youngster. “He was trying to bite us, and we couldn’t catch him,” Blacklow said about Q’s reversal. “I called Dr. Rothschild and told her.”

“I was like, ‘Yay! That’s what we want!’” Rothschild said.

Q’s intensive treatment continued for six weeks, multiple times per day, and required dedication from the farm’s workers and the horse’s patience. Q was an excellent patient, Blacklow reported, and has since made what she considers a full recovery.

“Sometimes you have patients that really want to live, and Q was one of those,” Rothschild said. “He helped us help him.”

In addition to Q, the ACVIM named four dogs with diseases ranging from cancer to neurologic conditions as Animal Survivors. For more information visit www.WeAreAnimalSurvivors.org.

Registry helps pet owners find clinical trials for cancer treatment

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

alaskan malamuteCancer is the foremost killer of older dogs and cats, but pets stricken with the disease are gaining new options from clinical trials for new treatments that hold promise for helping animals and people. A team of physicians and veterinarians has launched the National Veterinary Cancer Registry to help pet owners find trials that might offer their animals more time while helping advance science. Cats and dogs are often afflicted with many of the same types of cancers as people, including lymphoma, leukemia and bone cancer.

U.S. News & World Report/HealthDay News (6/14)

By Barbara Bronson Gray
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) — If you hear that a friend’s beloved family member has joined a clinical trial for cancer treatment, don’t assume the patient is human.

Cancer is the leading cause of death in older dogs and cats, and clinical trials offer hope that effective medications will be developed — for humans and their four-legged friends, cancer experts say.

The new National Veterinary Cancer Registry, launched last month by a national team of animal and human cancer doctors, will point pet owners toward clinical trials that might benefit their beloved companions and speed up the development of life-saving therapies for humans.

“We will be able to decrease the cost and beat the time involved in drug discovery,” said the registry’s founder, Dr. Theresa Fossum, a professor of surgery at Texas A&M University’s college of veterinary medicine.

Because many similar diseases affect people and their animals, veterinarians and physicians say a lot can be learned from studying how treatments work in cats and dogs.

The drug-assessment process could be accelerated by a simple fact: dogs age many times faster than humans, and their cancers progress more rapidly too. Also, many canine and feline cancers — including sarcoma; non-Hodgkin lymphoma; leukemia; mesothelioma; and bone, ovarian, kidney, uterine and oral cancers — are virtually the same cancers humans have.

Experts not involved with the registry said the concept of the database looks promising.

“These clinical trials would be more real-world than a lab experiment,” said Dr. Peter Rabinowitz, associate professor of medicine at Yale School of Medicine and head of the Yale Human Animal Medicine Project, which studies clinical connections between human and animal medicine.

Dogs often are an interesting model for better understanding environmentally induced cancers, Rabinowitz said. “Asbestos causes cancer in humans 35 years [after exposure], but if you’re a dog, you get it in four to five years, so we can see how the cancers develop more naturally,” he said.

Fossum said she has always been bothered by the slow and cumbersome way drugs are tested. “If it’s a cancer drug, they’re going to put a human tumor in a mouse … but it’s not very predictive of how drugs will work in people,” she said.

Then, after tests to see if the drugs might be toxic in humans, the drugs are evaluated in human clinical trials, which take more than a decade to conduct. “So the drugs that are coming out now were starting [to be evaluated] 12 years ago,” she said.

Testing the drugs in pets speeds up the process, allowing researchers to determine if a medication works before taking it to human clinical trials, Fossum said. With a pet owner’s informed consent, “we can try a new drug that seems promising a lot sooner,” she said.

The concept of a cancer database for dogs and cats could expand to include other diseases, such as diabetes. About 800,000 dogs have type 1 diabetes in the United States, Fossum said. Other conditions that a veterinary registry could serve include endocrine, neurological and cardiac issues.

About 6 million dogs and 6 million cats in the United States receive a cancer diagnosis each year, according to the Animal Cancer Foundation, in Norwalk, Conn. If your dog or cat is one of them, you can register your pet with the National Veterinary Cancer Registry.

The registry was created by a consortium of animal and human cancer doctors, including specialists from the Baylor Healthcare System in Texas, the Texas Veterinary Oncology Group and the CARE Foundation, a Florida-based animal rescue and wildlife education organization.

Because the registry is new, it may take some time before effective clinical trial matchmaking can occur between animals and drug developers, Fossum said.

More information

Learn more about the connection between animal and human health from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Study IDs new fungal pathogen that affects cats, people

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

University of Sydney veterinarian Vanessa Barrs began investigating in 2006 after three cats presented with unusual infections that spread from the nasal cavity to create growths in the eye socket. After six years of research, Dr. Barrs and an international team of experts identified the fungus as Aspergillus felis, a newly identified species with the power to cause dangerous respiratory infections in people as well as cats. The pathogen may be confused with the more easily treated Aspergillus fumigatus, Dr. Barrs said. PhysOrg.com (6/18)

Read More

 

 

 Just Ask the Expert: Are intact dogs less likely to get cancer?

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Ladybird

 

Q. I’ve heard about studies linking neutered dogs with an increased cancer risk. Should I take this into consideration before performing routine spays and castrations?

 


Dr. Timothy M. Fan

A. The epidemiologic findings in a recent study provide indirect and foundational evidence for the participation of gonadal status in susceptibility to or protection from various categorical causes of death in companion dogs.1 Based on the retrospective analysis of a very large cohort of female and male dogs, which were either gonadally sterilized (neutered) or intact, the findings of the study indicate that gonadal sterilization not only significantly impacts when companion dogs might die, but also provides novel information pertaining to why individuals die.

 

The study’s specifics

Specifically, gonadal sterilization significantly increased life expectancy in both male and female dogs by 13.8% and 26.8%, respectively, in comparison to sexually intact individuals. Importantly, the study findings identified a substantial effect of gonadal sterilization on the cause of death, with sterilization of dogs being significantly protective for fatality associated with various categorical pathologic processes including infectious, traumatic, vascular, and degenerative disease processes.

In contrast, sterilized dogs were significantly more likely to experience fatality associated with select neoplastic and immune-mediated processes. The identified association between increased fatalities of sterilized dogs from either neoplastic or immune-mediated diseases has the potential to direct future hypothesis-driven experiments that specifically address the participatory roles of chronic gonadal hormone exposure on tumorigenesis and immune surveillance.

In the context of cancer, sterilized dogs had a significantly increased risk of death, independent of age, associated with transitional cell carcinoma, osteosarcoma, lymphoma, and mast cell tumors; however, the increased death risk from cancer was not preserved across all tumor histologies, as sterilization status did not significantly influence the incidence of mortality in dogs with other common cancers such as prostate carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.

More research needed

Based on these initial epidemiologic study observations, prospective investigations addressing the putative and mechanistic roles of chronic gonadal hormone exposure and specific cancer-related death risks are well-justified. However, at this point before additional hypothesis-driven experiments can be conducted, it would be premature and imprudent to recommend the avoidance of elective gonadal sterilization because of concerns of increased death risk from cancer in companion dogs. Future rigorous and definitive cause-and-effect scientific studies are required before changes in sterilization practices should be considered.

Timothy M. Fan, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (internal medicine, oncology)
Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Illinois
Urbana, Ill.

REFERENCE

1. Hoffman JM, Creevy KE, Promislow DE. Reproductive capability is associated with lifespan and cause of death in companion dogs. PLoS One 2013;8(4):e61082.

Natura pet food recall

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

natura-pet-food-recallJune 18, 2013 – Natura Pet Products of Fremont, Nebraska, has today announced it is voluntarily recalling specific lots of dry pet food because they may be contaminated with Salmonella.

 

 

 

The recall includes specific lots of these brands

  • Innova
  • EVO
  • California Natural
  • Healthwise
  • Karma
  • Mother Nature

No canned food is affected by this announcement.

The news of the event has been confirmed in a news release posted by the FDA.

What Products Are Recalled?

Natura Pet Dog Food Recall

Where Were They Distributed?

The affected products are sold in bags through…

  • Veterinary clinics
  • Select pet specialty retailers
  • Online in the USA and Canada

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
  • 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.

These products were packaged in a single production facility. During routine FDA testing, a single lot tested positive for the presence of Salmonella.

There have been no reports of pet or human illness associated with this product. In an abundance of caution, Natura is voluntarily recalling all products with expiration dates prior to June 10, 2014.

What to Do?

Consumers who have purchased the specific dry pet foods listed should discard them.

For further information or a product replacement or refund, call Natura toll free at 800-224-6123, Monday–Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM CT.

You can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to https://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.