Archive for May, 2012

Multi-Modal Approach Often Needed for Pet’s Arthritis

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

McClatchy Newspapers

Big Jake, a large mixed-breed dog, just turned 8.

 Sean, his owner, has noticed Jake slowing down a bit over the past few months. Jake used to eagerly jump into his spot in the front seat of Sean’s pickup, but now he is much more tentative. There have been times Sean has had to lift Jake’s back end up into the truck, and Sean swears Jake is embarrassed when this occurs. Sean is thinking Jake has developed arthritis and wants to know if there are dietary supplements that might help Jake. Sean has heard about glucosamine potentially helping with arthritis in people and dogs and wanted to know if it might be appropriate for Jake.

Glucosamine is a nutritional supplement thought to have cartilage-protecting properties and is most commonly found paired with chondroitin sulfate. It is used to help alleviate arthritic pain in humans, as well as dogs. The question is, and this is a question commonly raised concerning the use of many supplements touted to treat myriad conditions, does glucosamine really work?

There have been several studies involving humans trying to ascertain whether glucosamine with or without chondroitin sulfate can help people with arthritis. The results have been somewhat equivocal. Some studies report improvement with reduced arthritic pain when taking the supplement, while others have shown no change. That said, glucosamine/ chondroitin sulfate remains a commonly used supplement for arthritis in people, and many patients report improvement with its use. In veterinary medicine, glucosamine/chondroitin has been studied for efficacy in arthritic dogs; the results are similar to studies in humans. Some report it works and others report it worked no better than patients given a placebo. Of course, one must keep in mind that when working with dogs, we cannot simply ask them, “Is your arthritis pain improving?” We instead rely on observation, which can be subjective. Personally, I have used glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate in many of my arthritic patients and have had positive results in some and little or no improvement in others. Long story short: For Jake, I would say it is worth a try. I do, however, recommend some investigation of Jake’s decreased truck leaping ability.

I never prefer to assume when trying to diagnose and then treat patients, and right now with Jake, we are assuming he has arthritis. Indeed, it is a logical assumption, but ultimately, it remains an assumption. I would recommend he see his veterinarian for a skeletal evaluation physically and radiographically.

Arthritis is an inflammatory process involving joints within the body, any or all of them depending on the type of arthritis. The arthritic inflammation does not show up on a radiograph, but what does show are the secondary changes to the bones involved with the arthritic joint. These occur as a result of the inflammation from the arthritis and are a large component of the pain associated with the process.

If Jake does have arthritis, I would recommend he be prescribed a nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID) along with supplementing with glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate. An NSAID will directly address the inflammatory process within the joint, effectively reducing the reaction that leads to the pain and thus reducing the pain. My dog was on NSAID medication along with glucosamine/ chondroitin sulfate for almost three years. Without them, he would not have had a good quality of life.

Another suggestion I would make concerning supplements to help with arthritis in canines is to use omega 3 fatty acids, specifically those with DHA.

DHA has been shown to reduce inflammation, and I truly believe it is very helpful to these patients. We have available to us chewable treats for dogs that contain these supplements, which make it not only fun for the dog but potentially rewarding for its quality of life. I do wonder, though, if the dog can make the association.

(Jeff Kahler is a veterinarian in Modesto, Calif. Questions can be submitted to Your Pet in care of LifeStyles, The Modesto Bee, P.O. Box 5256, Modesto CA 95352.)

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2012 Orangutan Caring Veterinary Scholarship Recipients

Monday, May 21st, 2012

As a result of the partnership between the Animal Health Foundation of California (AHF) and the Orang Utan Republik Foundation(OURF),the AHF provided funding to support needy veterinary students in Aceh, Sumatra through OURF’s Orangutan Caring Scholarship program. The competitive awards, given to different students each year will cover the cost of tuition during the students’ four years of college and the final year of internship leading to a practicing veterinarian.

To learn more about OURF, it’s sholarship program and other projects go to: www.

The 4 recipients of the veterinary scholarships are:

Cut Shavrina Devinta Fauzi

Oryona Romadhon

Vicky Diawan H

Yandi Syan Puitra

Pets and Pain

Monday, May 21st, 2012

By Dr. Cheri Nielsen
Pet Emergency and Specialty Center of Marin (Marin IJ)

Ad special members of our families, it’s difficult to see our cats and dogs suffering. Just like with children, we wish we could take the hurt away. But sometimes that’s just not possible and it’s important to know how to help our furry family members manage pain in uncomfortable situations.

As a surgical specialist at Pet Emergency and Specialty Center of Marin, I have a special passion for helping pets manage painful situations and I urge pet parents to understand a few important points about pets and pain.

1. Understand the different types of pain. Just as in humans, there are two main types of pain your pet can experience — acute pain and chronic pain. Acute pain comes on suddenly and strongly, generally due to injury or trauma. Acute pain typically goes away when the cause of the pain is treated. On the other hand, chronic pain generally lasts longer and develops more slowly. Chronic pain can be difficult to identify and treat because it is often brought on by age or other illnesses.

2. Know how to identify when your pet is in pain. If your pet has just had an operation, it’s safe to say they will be in some pain as they recover. But if the pain source is not so obvious, pet parents should be very aware of changes in behavior. Pets don’t have the ability to complain like we do, so watching for the following behavioral warning signs may help you identify a painful situation:

• Unusually quiet, listless, restless, or unresponsive

* Whining, trembling, whimpering, howling, or constantly meowing

• Biting when they normally wouldn’t

• Constantly licking or chewing at a particular part of the body

• Acting out of character, either aggressively or submissively

• Flattening ears against the head

• Trouble sleeping or eating

• Seeking more affection than usual

• Unable to get comfortable

3. Understand how you can help your pet. PESCM’s veterinary specialists take an individualized approach to pain control. We assess each patient for the source of pain, level of pain, expected duration of pain, along with their personality and any other medical conditions or medications. Understanding that your pet’s needs are unique to it is an important part of managing its pain appropriately.

It’s also important to get involved with your veterinarian in helping to manage the pain because you are often the best judge of your pet’s comfort. I tend to send medications home with a range of doses so clients can vary the amount given at each dose. This empowers them to make the best decisions for their pet as they recover.

4. Know your treatment options and best pain management solutions. Pain control is most effective when used before the pain actually starts. If a pet comes in for a procedure at PESCM, all anesthetic protocols are designed with this in mind. One of the major advantages of having round-the-clock veteerinerian and nursing staff is that patients can be monitored for comfort and kept on the optimal schedule of pain medications after surgery.

It’s also important to point out that many patients will benefit from several different types of pain management therapy. These include multiple classes of pain management drugs, dietary supplements, ice packing or warm compressing, comfortable bedding and even acupuncture.

5. Know what not to do. It’s not OK to give pets human pain medications or even veterinary pain medications for another household pet. Our ER sees too many cases of toxicity and overdose where clients were trying to help their pets be more comfortable by giving them a medication not prescribed to them. There are many options for pain medications in pets with tolerable side effects, but just like in humans, they must be prescribed specifically for your pet to avoid a hazardous situation.

No pet loving family wants to see its pets suffer, so it’s important for all pet parents to be cognizant of their pet’s behaviors. Any time you are in doubt about your pet’s pain level or comfort, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian.

Meet AHF Orangutan Caring Scholarship Recipient Oryona Romadhon

Monday, May 21st, 2012

My name is Oryona Romadhon, I was Born on Batam in Indonesia March 13, 1993. I was raised by my parents in Bengkalis Riau. My father’s name is Yon Syafrizal and my mother is Misbah. I grew up in the family, my father is the wiraswasta (entrepreneur) and my mother is a homemaker. I was the first of five children and I have three brothers and a sister. My brother, Alfin Oktarian is 17 years old is in his second year of high school, my brother, Juang Anugrah aged 15 years is now in his third year of junior high school, and my other brother, Ryo Adhitya aged 5 years old is in kindergarten. My younger sister is named Ardela Putri Yonanda and is 7 years old and in the third grade at Elementary School.

My educational history begins in kindergarten at the age of 5 years in TK Hang Tuah Batam, then in 1999 I started elementary school at SDN 80 Batam, and then moved to SDN 54 Bengkalis to be with my parents. I finished primary school in 2005 and entered junior high school in SMPN 3 Bengkalis and graduated from junior high school in 2008. I graduated high school in 2011 at the School of Ranch located in Payakumbuh, West Sumatera. Now, I am beguinning a period of two semesters S1 level education in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Syiah Kuala, Banda Aceh.

My activities at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, at the University of Syiah Kuala are doing lab work for my courses which include Embryology, animal anatomy, animal physiology, and much more. For extracurricular activities I am active in student organizations such as the BEM (Student Executive Board), Student Activity Unit called MIPRO, active attending seminars held at the university, and I also follow campus activities such as the conservation of elephants and other animals.

While in high school I attended courses in Insemination Training provided by the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture for free in BBPKH Cinegara Bogor and BIB Lembang Bandung. My training was completed in approximately 2 months and now I have certifications to do artificial insemination.

I want to be a veterinarian because it is my dream since childhood. I hope to preserve and protect animals through my profession as a veterinarian someday. Besides, I want make my parents and family proud and happy that I become a professional veterinarian so as to raise the dignity of my parents and family.

The OIC scholarship is my ladder to attain my long time goal to become a veterinarian. With this scholarship I am able to ease the financial burden on my parents. By winning the scholarship my parents will be able to finance my siblings education, without thinking about my tuition. If I did not get this scholarship parents would have a heavy burden to finance my education as well as my brothers and sisters education.

The courses I am currently taking include the first course of Veterinary Anatomy, Islamic Religious Education, Veterinary Physiology 1, Biostatistics, Veterinary Biochemistry 1, English, General Animal Sciences, and Embryology. This amounts to 21 credits.

I hope this report as well as future updates will encourage others to help provide scholarships for future veterinary students who would otherwise not be able to afford tuition and I hope by keeping you informed about how my career is progressing I can be useful for the survival of future generations of OIC scholarship. Thank you.

Diamond Pet Foods Expands Voluntary Recall

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Dog Lamb & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

Production Code 0801 Due to Small Potential for Salmonella Contamination

Consumer Contact: 866-918-8756 Media Contact: 816-255-1974



May 18, 2012

Diamond Pet Foods is expanding a voluntary recall to include its Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Dog Lamb & Rice Formula dry dog food manufactured on Aug. 26, 2011 due to potential exposure to


Salmonella. No illnesses have been reported. The product was distributed in the following states: Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin. Further distribution through other pet food channels may have occurred.

Pet owners may call toll-free at 1-866-918-8756, Monday through Sunday, 8 am – 6 pm EST. Diamond Pet Foods apologizes for any issues this may have caused pet owners and their pets.

The product is Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Dog Lamb & Rice Formula. Only samples, 6 pound and 18 pound bag sizes are affected.

Production Code & Best Before Date

DSL0801, 26-Aug-2012

DSL0801, 26-Aug-2012

DSL0801, 27-Sept- 2012 (Product manufactured on Aug. 26, and packaged on Sept. 27)

DSL0801, 18-Oct- 2012 (Product manufactured on Aug. 26, and packaged on Oct. 18)

DSL08001, (Samples)

Pets with


Salmonella infections may have decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. If left untreated, pets may be lethargic and have 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.

Individuals handling 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. People who believe they may have been exposed to Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, people who are more likely to be affected by Salmonella include infants, children younger than 5 years old, organ transplant patients, people with HIV/AIDS and people receiving treatment for cancer.

Keeping Your Pet’s Microchip Information Up-To-Date is Essential

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

If you want to be proactive about saving your pet’s life, regular veterinary visits, pet insurance and keeping a cat indoors only are certainly high on the list. But the most powerful tool of all could be about the size of a grain of rice: a microchip.

Sometime over the past month or so, HomeAgain, a lost pet recovery service and microchip provider, reunited their one-millionth pet with the owner. (It was a challenge to tell exactly which pet was the one-millionth recovered because so many pets are found through HomeAgain — about 10,000 each month!)

Sadly, one in three family pets will get lost during its lifetime, and without identification, around 90 percent will not return home.

The Baumgardner family, of Lompoc, CA, lost their Pekeapoo, Chewie, two years ago. Ultimately, a microchip made reunification possible, but it took a while.

While the family was living in Arizona, Anita and her husband went out to dinner one evening, leaving Chewie and Jack, a Cocker Spaniel/Labrador mix, at home with the couple’s then 18-year-old son, AJ, and daughter Gaby, 13.

Jack likes to open doors, and as AJ snoozed on the sofa, the pooch slipped out the front door. While Jack strolled only a few feet away to catch some sun, Chewie zipped past him and kept on going.

“When we returned home, we searched the neighborhood, but it was already dark,” says Baumgardner. “We assumed in the morning Chewie would find his way home.” That never happened. The family notified HomeAgain, called local shelters, a local pet store and Chewie’s groomer, all to no avail. Time went by, and eventually the Baumgardners moved to Lompoc, CA.

“We all knew Chewie might have been hit by a car, or who knows what,” says Anita. “The hope was that maybe he was picked up by another family who just didn’t check to see if he had a microchip.”

Having a microchip alone is of little value. It’s like having a cell phone without a phone number. Pet owners need to register their contact information with the microchip provider and keep it up to date. Anita did provide new information when the family moved. In April 2012, she received a call from HomeAgain stating, “We have your dog.”

“I told them, ‘you must be mistaken. My dog is right here,'” Baumgardner recalls, referring to Jack.

“No, it’s Chewie,” said the caller.

“Well, this was two years later. I nearly fell out of my chair,” Anita recalls. It turns out Chewie had been spotted walking along a road and was picked up by a good Samaritan. The pet lover did the right thing, having Chewie scanned for a microchip at a local shelter. Because his registration information was up to date, HomeAgain was easily able to contact Anita.

Family members promptly headed to Arizona to pick up Chewie. Shelter staff said that even before Anita and Chewie were reunited, the dog heard Anita and clearly recognized her voice – even after two years. The reunion was joyous on all sides.

“Chewie looked pretty good. He’d even gained some weight, though he had a few missing teeth,” says Anita.

No one knows exactly where Chewie was for two years; perhaps he’ll write a “tell all” book.

Gaby was especially elated about the reunion. She posted photos every day for weeks on her Facebook page.

“Our dogs are a part of our family, and very important to us,” says Anita. “I think most people feel that way, which is why I’m such an enthusiastic supporter of microchipping.”

Of course, without this service, many of the one million animals recovered through HomeAgain would have been euthanized.

“Our family is sure grateful,” Baumgardner says.

For more information on microchipping, consult your veterinarian.

Nestle Recalls Canned Cat Food

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Nestle SA is voluntarily recalling one lot of canned cat food after a product sample by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration indicated a low level of thiamine, or vitamin B1.

The recall is in response to one consumer complaint received by the FDA, though the company said it has not received any other complaints of thiamine-related or other health issues related to the product.

The recall applies to Nestle Purina PetCare’s Purina Veterinary Diets OM Overweight Management canned cat food with a “best by” date of June 2013 and the production code 11721159. The lot was distributed to veterinary clinics between June 2011 and May 2012 throughout the U.S. and Canada and was not sold in retail stores.

Nestle Purina said cats fed this lot exclusively for several weeks may be at risk for developing a deficiency of thiamine, which is an essential vitamin for cats.

Animals Can Get Sunburn Too

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

 “Animals can get sunburn, just as people do, from too much sun exposure,” said Dr. Paul Calle, chief veterinarian at the Wildlife Conservation Society in the Bronx.

“Wild animals are marvelously adapted to their environment, so those in areas with lots of sunlight usually have scales, feathers or fur to protect them,” he said. “They also retreat to burrows, shady areas or water; wallow in water or mud; or spray dust or water on themselves when the sun is at its peak.”

Wild animals that are sick, injured or in distress, like stranded whales or dolphins, can develop serious sunburn because they cannot protect themselves from excessive exposure to the sun, Dr. Calle said.

Domestic animals, including dogs and cats, that have short hair, thin coats of hair or pale skin are at greater risk of sunburn, he said. Just like people, they can also develop complications like skin cancer, especially melanoma.

“For people and animals, avoiding excess exposure to high-intensity sunlight is the best prevention” for sun-related ills, Dr. Calle said.

Southern California Veterinary Hospital Helps Client

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Thank you Southern California Veterinary Hospital for reaching out to the AHF Angel Fund to help the Antonetti family with the bills for their ill cat, Romeo.

New Team Barbara Berkhausen and Bosco

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012