Archive for January, 2013

At-home pet euthanasia becomes more common

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Veterinarian Linda Randall notes that at-home euthanasia of pets has steadily increased in recent years, and about 25% of the euthanasia procedures she performs are carried out at the owner’s home. Dr. Randall creates a quiet, soothing environment and gives the pet a sedative before the euthanasia injection. “It’s very painless and very peaceful,” Dr. Randall said. “We wish more people would do it at home.” However, it’s not for everyone, Dr. Randall says, because the cost is roughly twice that of in-office euthanasia and some people do not want their home associated with the pet’s death. The Medina County Gazette (Ohio) (1/16)

When Hotshot, a 12-year-old Labrador, became seriously ill in 2007, his owners realized they had a dilemma to face: Was it time?

“When he stopped eating, we decided he had had enough,” Robin Walker said.

But instead of putting Hotshot down at a clinic, Walker and her husband, Douglas, chose another way.

When the day came, Hotshot excitedly greeted their guest, Dr. Linda Randall, like it was any other day.

Randall, a veterinarian from Cloverleaf Animal Hospital in Westfield Township, came inside their home and set up a comfortable environment — blankets and soothing music. She gave Hotshot a sedative. Once it set in, she injected him with an anesthesia.

Within 90 seconds, Hotshot had fallen asleep for the last time.

Walker said the decision was tough to make, but she couldn’t see it happening any other way.

“I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again,” Walker said. “It was good for us, and it was good for the dog.”

Randall said Walker isn’t the only one who approves.

Although euthanizing pets is commonplace, Randall said opting to have it done at home is a growing trend.

“In the past couple years, we’ve seen in-home pet euthanasia upswing 50 percent,” Randall said.

Randall said her clinic, at 7777 Greenwich Road, euthanizes 100 to 150 pets per year, and a quarter of them are done at home.

While she always has offered home euthanasia, she believed it was becoming more common because pets are seen more and more as members of the family.

And just like end-of-life discussions about human family members, pets are subject to similar talks and practices, she said.

Home euthanasia can be calming for the animal because it avoids the anxiety of a trip to a foreign environment, Randall said.

“It’s very painless and very peaceful,” she said. “We wish more people would do it at home.”

Randal practices what she preaches: Her own pets were euthanized at home.

She said there are a couple downsides to the procedure.

Some families might not want to have a pet euthanized where they live, she said, much like some people don’t want to live in the home where a loved one died.

The cost also may deter some families.

Euthanizing a pet at the clinic usually costs between $50 and $150, she said, depending on the animal’s size.

“It’s about twice as expensive to euthanize at home,” she said. “We shut down shop while I’m out on call, and it takes longer than an in-house appointment.”

On average, the clinic euthanizes two animals per week.

She said it’s a tough job because she often gets to know the pets and the owners.

“It takes its toll,” Randall said. “It’s hard, but I have to separate myself a little bit. If I thought of every animal like my own, I’d be depressed all the time.”

To contact Randall at Cloverleaf Animal Hospital, call (330) 948-2002.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or

Orangutan recovering after emergency hysterectomy

Monday, January 21st, 2013

The Topeka Zoo’s 30-year-old orangutan named Lena underwent an emergency hysterectomy because her fetus died in utero and veterinarians were concerned about a ruptured uterus. It was the third trimester of her pregnancy. Topeka Zoo veterinarian Shirley Llizo, along with veterinarian Leon Conner and perinatologist John Evans, performed Lena’s surgery. Managing pain and preventing infection are now the primary goals for Lena’s recovery, said Dr. Llizo. The Topeka Capital-Journal (Kan.) (1/16)


By The Capital-Journal

Topeka Zoo’s orangutan recovers from surgery
The Capital-Journal
January 17, 2013 5:19 PM EST

Four days after an emergency hysterectomy, Lena, a 30-year-old orangutan, is recovering nicely from her surgery, Shirley Llizo, staff veterinarian of the Topeka Zoo, said Wednesday.

The hysterectomy was performed after doctors determined the third trimester fetus Lena was carrying no longer had a heartbeat.

“We wanted to avoid surgery,” Llizo said. “Complications with a ruptured uterus left us no option. The first 24 hours were critical. Once we got past that point, the focus shifted to pain management and preventing infection. In a great ape that isn’t feeling well, that presents its own set of challenges.” Staff attached four feet of rubber tubing to a broomstick, creating an extended straw through which Lena could drink Gatorade and medication.

“We want Lena to be as comfortable as possible,” Beckee Niemackl, Lena’s primary zookeeper said. “In years of dealing with things like this, you learn to do whatever it takes. The long straw just made sense.”

One of the things that has impressed zoo staff about Lena through this ordeal is her gentleness towards doctors and zoo staff, Niemackl said.

“The day after she went through a major surgery, Dr. Llizo showed her a syringe,” she said. “Lena saw it, and presented her shoulder to be hand injected with pain relievers. In situations like these, you realize how much the training we have done with these orangutans for years pays off.”

Lena is alert, but taking it easy, according to a news release from the city of Topeka. She is resting on a fluffy bed made of straw.

“Her appetite is slowly coming back,” it said. “Infection is still a concern but lessens a little each day. While she still faces a lengthy recovery time, she has a caring staff and loving community to help her along the way.”

Perinatologist John Evans, of Stormont-Vail HealthCare, and veterinarian Leon Conner, of Highland Park Animal Hospital, teamed with Llizo and zoo staff to complete Lena’s procedure.

Veterinarians work to save rhinos wounded in poaching attempts

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Amid rampant poaching of rhinoceroses, veterinarians in South Africa are working to expand their knowledge of the animals’ anatomy so they can better treat those that survive attacks. “We know very little about rhinos. We treat them as a large horse,” said veterinarian Katja Koeppel of the Johannesburg Zoo. Up to 60 rhinos survive attacks each year, estimates veterinarian Johan Marais, a University of Pretoria equine and wildlife surgeon, and South African officials say the number killed annually is rising. (Hackensack, N.J.) (free registration)/The Associated Press (1/19)


JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A high-value target survives two attempts on her life. After recovering from multiple gunshot wounds, she is secretly moved to an undisclosed location in hopes that the killers won’t track her down again.

This isn’t a Hollywood thriller about a hunted witness in a police protection program. It is the tale of Phila, one of a growing number of rhinoceroses that survive horrific injuries during attempts by poachers to hack off their horns. With her horns still intact, Phila is a rare survivor of a surge in rhino killings in South Africa, home to most of the world’s rhinos.

In a new push, veterinarians are racing to learn more about rhino anatomy so they can swiftly treat survivors of attacks by poachers whose arsenal includes assault rifles and drug-tipped darts. The obstacles are funding, a dearth of past research and the logistics of helping fearsome-looking behemoths that are easily traumatized if moved from their habitat.

There are “suddenly a lot of live rhinos needing medical attention,” said Dr. Katja Koeppel, senior veterinarian at the Johannesburg Zoo, where Phila spent two years before her surreptitious return to a game reserve in November. She cautioned that treatments for rhinos are inexact: “We know very little about rhinos. We treat them as a large horse.”

The South African government says a record 668 rhinos were killed in the country in 2012, an increase of nearly 50 percent over the previous year. Demand is growing in Vietnam and elsewhere in Asia where rhino horn is believed to have medical benefits despite evidence to the contrary. The horn is made of keratin, a protein also found in human fingernails.

Veterinarians say there are no reliable statistics for the number of rhinos injured by poachers, partly because some game reserve owners prefer to keep quiet for fear other criminals will flock to any location known to harbor rhino. Those involved in the protection of rhinos are skittish, and suspicion that people are colluding with poachers is plentiful.

One of Phila’s guardians refused to talk to The Associated Press on the telephone, saying: “I don’t know who you are.”

Dr. Georgina Cole, a veterinarian at the Johannesburg Zoo, said she knew of 10 rhinos that survived poaching attacks in South Africa in the past year, and she believes the unreported number is much higher.

Dr. Johan Marais, an equine and wildlife surgeon at the University of Pretoria, said a “conservative” estimate of rhino survivors is 40 to 60 a year. Marais predicted: “As the amount of poaching goes up, we’ll probably get more and more of these survivors.”

Marais said he recently visited a rhino that still had bullet pieces in its flesh from a shooting a year ago. The rhino suffered lingering wound infections. While a few lucky rhinos elude their shooters, others survive a grislier fate: being shot with a tranquilizer dart and having their horns hurriedly carved out of their faces while they are unconscious.

“Guys are calling us up and saying, ‘Listen, I have a rhino that was poached and its horn has been hacked off. It’s alive. Can you please come and fix it,'” said Marais, who seeks funding for CAT scan software to map the head of the white rhino. Three-dimensional images of facial muscles, nerves, blood vessels and the sinuses around the horns would make surgical treatment easier.

In February 2011, Dr. William Fowlds, a wildlife veterinarian, was summoned to a game reserve in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province where Geza, a rhino, had lost its horns to machete-wielding poachers. The rhino was clinging to life.

“In a small clearing enclosed by bush, stood an animal, hardly recognizable as a rhino. His profile completely changed by the absence of those iconic horns attributed to no other species,” Fowlds wrote in an emotional account. “More nauseating than that, the skull and soft tissue trauma extended down into the remnants of his face, through the outer layer of bones, to expose the underlying nasal passages.”

After consultations, he euthanized Geza with a dart containing an overdose of anesthetics.

Phila, the rhino that recently left the Johannesburg Zoo, was shot a total of nine times on two separate occasions and suffered injuries to her sinus cavity, nose and shoulder area, and she lost hearing in her right ear, according to veterinarians. Despite the heavy injuries, Phila escaped from poachers in both attacks.

Although some bullet fragments could not be removed, she recovered after six months of treatment with antibiotics, as well as a medicinal spray and fly repellent for her wounds. It took another year and a half before her handlers settled on a location in the wild where they thought she would be safe from poachers.

Still, Phila’s departure from the zoo was conducted without publicity because of fears that poachers might infiltrate the zoo or hijack the vehicle transporting her to a game reserve. There are reports of poachers offering more than $1,000 just for a tip about where to find a rhino.

In November 2011, the University of Pretoria hosted a workshop for more than 80 veterinarians who discussed the care of injured rhinos, post-mortem methods and the collection of blood samples whose analysis can guide treatment. One research goal is to be able to make hard choices about whether to try to save an injured rhino, or resort to euthanasia.

Facial gouging is not always fatal, but what seem like minor injuries can be. A rhino sedated by poacher darts might lie too long on its side, causing myopathy — or muscle damage — because the tremendous weight of the rhino’s body reduces blood flow. Myopathy can kill rhinos, Cole said.

Frederick Selous a British hunter and conservationist who died in 1917 wrote how rhinos die quickly if shot through both lungs or the upper part of the heart, but said they “will go on to all eternity” if shot from in front, and the bullet only perforates one lung. He also wrote about the elemental role of the horn in the mother-offspring relationship.

“A small calf always runs in front of its mother, and she appears to guide it by holding the point of her horn upon the little animal’s rump; and it is perfectly wonderful to note how in all sudden changes of paces, from a trot to a gallop or vice versa, the same position is always exactly maintained.”

This month, the Endangered Wildlife Trust, a South Africa-based conservation group, said it was recently called to help rescue a 2-month-old rhino that lost its mother to poachers and suffered 18 deep lacerations on her face. The group believes the gang slashed at the baby, whose horns have not yet grown out, because it tried to return to its dead mother while they were removing its horn.

The calf, the trust says, is doing well.

Understanding and preventing hip dysplasia

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Hip dysplasia is a developmental disorder without a cure, but there are strategies to limit risk, writes veterinarian Ann Hohenhaus. Research has shown that having good body condition and exercising on soft, level ground as puppies may help prevent hip dysplasia. Obtaining a puppy from parents whose hips have been certified by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or PennHip may lower the animal’s risk of developing hip dysplasia, although no one can predict the condition of a dog’s hips with absolute certainty. WebMD/Tales from the Pet Clinic blog (1/18)

Today, I received a call from a pet owner whose dog I had taken care of several years ago.  I remember how heartbroken she was when I euthanized Stormy, her rescued Labrador.  Stormy was not sick, his liver and kidneys were fine and he didn’t have cancer.  But Stormy could no longer walk due to the lifelong effects of hip dysplasia.  Nursing a large dog with limited mobility in a New York City apartment without an elevator is nearly impossible.  After a Herculean effort to keep Stormy going, this loving pet owner realized his time had come.

She called today because she was thinking about getting a new dog.  She hoped not to repeat the scenario she had experienced with Stormy and asked for advice on how she might help prevent hip dysplasia in her new dog.

What is hip dysplasia?

The end result of hip dysplasia is hip arthritis, but the problem starts much earlier.  Hip dysplasia is an incurable developmental disorder.  While the exact mechanism is unknown, one theory suggests loose hips in young dogs change the maturation of the hip joint, resulting in abnormally formed hip joints, which later lead to hip arthritis.  A competing hypothesis proposes dogs with hip dysplasia have abnormal cartilage and bone formation in their hips as the cause of arthritis.  Regardless of the cause, as the arthritis worsens, dogs become stiff, less active and lose strength in their hind legs.  In the worst cases, they lose the ability to walk without assistance.

How do dogs get hip dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia starts with the genetic make-up of a dog.  Certain genes have been identified that occur in dogs with hip dysplasia.

Someday, veterinarians hope to be able to screen dogs’ DNA through a simple blood test and determine their risk for hip dysplasia.

Dogs without hip dysplasia

No one can promise with total certainty that your new dog will not have bad hips.  Purchasing a dog born to parents with certified hips may decrease the risk.  Two well-known organizations are Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and PennHip.

We know small breed dogs are less likely to have hip dysplasia than large breed dogs, but some small breed dogs still suffer from this disease.

Preventing hip dysplasia

Obesity is a hip dysplasia risk factor you can control.  Scientific research has shown that thin dogs are less likely to develop hip dysplasia, and if your dog has bad hips and is overweight or obese, losing weight will improve his ability to walk.

A recently published study of Norwegian dogs including Newfoundlands, Leonbergers, Labradors and Irish Wolfhounds, found an association between daily use of stairs in puppies less than three months of age and development of hip dysplasia.  For puppies less than three months of age, exercising in an area with soft ground and park-like terrain protected puppies against developing hip dysplasia.

Brush pets’ teeth for fresher breath, better health

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

It’s best to brush the teeth of dogs and cats to keep their breath smelling fresh and prevent other health problems. “Brushing is the gold standard for good oral hygiene at home,” said veterinarian Colin Harvey, a professor of surgery and dentistry at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine. If dogs and cats won’t tolerate brushing, products such as prescription food and certain chew toys may help, Dr. Harvey adds. The Washington Post/The Associated Press (1/15)


LOS ANGELES — Dogs and cats can’t brush, spit, gargle or floss on their own. So owners who want to avoid bad pet breath will need to lend a hand.

“Brushing is the gold standard for good oral hygiene at home. It is very effective, but some dogs and more cats don’t appreciate having something in their mouth,” said Dr. Colin Harvey, a professor of surgery and dentistry in the Department of Clinical Studies for the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

The bulk of bad breath odor — the trademark rotten egg smell — comes from hydrogen sulfide, which is waste from anaerobic bacteria that thrive without oxygen in places like gaps between teeth and gums. Plaque buildup also invites the bacteria and as the accumulation grows, so does the smell.

Animal shelters and rescues know bad breath and filthy teeth can be a deal breaker. Some shelters, such as the Humane Society of Vero Beach & Indian River County in Florida, shuffle their charges through a dental health program before the animals are adopted out.

“We usually do dental cleanings and extractions when animals are spayed or neutered so the animal doesn’t have to be put under anesthesia again after adoption and the adopter has one less thing to worry about,” said Janet Winikoff, the shelter’s director of education.

If a pet is already spayed or neutered, it will still get dental care before adoption, she said. Harvey added that bad breath could also be a symptom of an underlying medical problem.

Stacy Silva, Santa Barbara County Animal Services’ community outreach coordinator, noted that wear on teeth could give the wrong impression of an animal’s age. “(The animals) may look a lot older than their teeth, and it may just be a matter of cleaning the tartar off that gets them back looking their age and that helps them to be adopted,” said Silva.

The animals that need a cleaning get chew toys or ropes, hard treats or cookies and a prescription diet if the vet orders it, she said.

Harvey, who has been director of the Veterinary Oral Health Council since it was founded in 1970, said such products are good substitutes for a teeth-brushing. Pet owners can try a combination or use other products such as water additives, chew toys, plaque and tartar cleaners, and dental diets, Harvey said.

Puppies and kittens are born toothless. They get their baby teeth before they’re a month old, lose them three to five months later and get their permanent teeth by age 1. Dogs have 42 teeth and cats have 30.

Toy dogs tend to have more dental problems because breeding for their smaller size hasn’t caught up with evolution, Harvey said. “Primitive dogs had a standard size and shape because they were evolved from wolves” but for toy breeds, their jaw size was reduced and tooth size was not, “so their teeth are too large for their mouths,” he added.

Christie Keith, a communications consultant to animal welfare and veterinarian groups, said she spends about two minutes each night brushing the teeth of her three dogs after dinner. The Davisburg, Mich., resident believes most dog owners needlessly fear brushing their dogs’ teeth.

Groups work to ensure owners’ estate plans include pets

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Legal Zoom and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have joined forces to make it easier for pet owners to provide instructions for the care and support of their pets if the owner should become incapacitated or die. Four out of five people have not established a plan for pet care, and half a million animal owners die or are rendered unable to physically care for their pet each year without having made plans for their animal friends, according to the ASPCA. WVLA-TV (Baton Rouge, La.)/NBC News (1/15)


NBC NATIONAL NEWS  — Some of you will be fine-tuning your estate plans and your will this month.

It’s important to make sure you’re not forgetting or leaving out someone special.

About one in five pet owners already have in writing what happens if their animals outlive them, because the consequences for not doing so can be so severe.

“If you haven’t made any arrangements there’s a good possibility that your pet could end up in a shelter, and there’s an even greater possibility that your pet could be euthanized for lack of finding a loving home,” warns Kim Bressant-Kibwe, a trust and estate counsel with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The ASPCA Recently teamed up with Legal Zoom to provide the pet protection agreement.

“It costs about $39 and what it allows you to do is to set out some very basic information about the care of your pet. You can name a guardian, a successive guardian,” Bressant-Kibwe explains.

She says you can’t leave your pet part of your estate, but you can establish a trust fund to pay for future care.

The ASPCA estimates a half million owners die or become incapacitated each year without leaving instructions on how to care for their pets

Reptiles, fish and pocket pets abound

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Species other than cats and dogs are taking center stage in many homes across the U.S., and their owners are paying for food, medical care and other commodities and services to keep their pets happy and healthy. Some 15.6 million U.S. adults own fish, 10.4 million have birds and 2.5 million live with rabbits, according to a report from the research firm Packaged Facts. Altogether, there are a staggering 116 million such pets in U.S. homes. MediaPost Communications/Marketing Daily (1/15)


It’s not just dogs and cats who rule the roost. American pet owners live in  the company of 116 million fish, birds, small animals and reptiles, according to  a report from market research firm Packaged Facts.

While research into the human-animal bond tends to focus on the special  relationship between people and dogs that has evolved over thousands of years,  today’s pet owners do not limit their connection with animals to dogs or cats  alone. A wide range of other animals have found their way into the  households and affections of pet lovers, according to “Pet Population and Pet  Owner Trends in the U.S.”

Fish tanks can be found in 7.2 million households and bird cages in 4.6  million households. Reptiles are pets in 1.8 million households. Tens of  millions of adults, as well as their children, enjoy the companionship of  non-canines and non-felines. The report finds that 15.6 million adults  reside in households with fish and 10.4 million own birds and 2.5 million have  rabbits.

These pet owners represent big business for the pet industry. They groom  and board their birds, buy toys for their iguanas, purchase medications for  their turtles, take their gerbils to the vet and light and decorate their fish  tanks. Food is bought for all of the tens of millions of pets that are owned in  addition to cats and dogs.

A recurring theme of the report is the critical role that parents and  children play in this segment of the pet market. Compared to pet owners who  have cats and dogs exclusively, owners of fish, reptiles and small animals are  much more likely to have children under the age of 18 in their households (57%  vs. 34%).  Nearly 90% of households with hamsters have children, and 87% of  these have children under the age of 12. Around 60% of households with  fish, rabbits and reptiles have children under the age of 18.

The spending power of owners of pets other than cats and dogs has a  significant impact on the bottom line of marketers and retailers of pet products  and services, said David Sprinkle, the research director for Packaged  Facts.

After a noticeable recessionary slump, ownership of fish, birds and small  animals is on the rebound. Marketers can take advantage of an improving market  by leveraging the connection that consumers have with their pets, Sprinkle  says.

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Dr. Josie Zabala is selected by the AHF for the Cortese-Lippincott Award

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

On January 19, Dr. Zabala will receive the Cortese-Lippincott Award from the Animal Health Foundation at SCVMA’s Installation of Officers. It will honor her for going “above and beyond in making the world a better place for both humans and animals.”

Read on for her story.



SCVMA Legacy:  Dr. Josie Zabala Gave Second Chance to Unwanted Animals

This is one in a series of stories exploring what life and the practice of veterinary medicine was like for Southern California Veterinary Medical Association members in the past. 

By Jim Bell

 When Josie Zabala – born and raised in Manila – was a young veterinary student at the University of the Philippines in the mid-1960s, she could hardly have envisioned the path her life would take – to a 30-year career as director of Los Angeles County’s Department of Animal Care and Control.

“Working at the county shelter, extending the lives of unwanted animals, giving them a chance to have a second home and working the best way we could on a limited budget” was the best part of her rewarding career, she said. “We were a lot like country doctors. We learned to be very creative. ”

How did the young Filipina veterinary graduate of 1968 wind up leading the largest animal shelter in the United States?

She and other members of her graduating class were offered jobs by the federal Department of Agriculture. She worked for the government for six years, mostly in the San Joaquin Valley, while preparing for the federal and California veterinary board exams.

She passed the boards in 1974 and, with two young daughters at home, went to work part-time in clinics founded in Los Angeles by a partnership that included her husband Fred, who is now deceased. When her daughters were older, she started her own clinic in Anaheim and went to work for Los Angeles County in 1982.  “For a few years, I worked at the county in the morning and at my clinic in the afternoon,” said Zabala, who still lives in Cerritos. After 18 years, she turned her clinic over to an associate.

On January 19, she will receive the Cortese-Lippincott Award from the Animal Health Foundation at SCVMA’s Installation of Officers. It will honor her for going “above and beyond in making the world a better place for both humans and animals.”

Zabala retired from the county job last summer. It was “very challenging,” she said.  “When I started, there were no specific shelter veterinary positions. We were aided by the county Veterinarians Office. But when Prop. 13 passed in 1978, they phased out the county office and we started Animal Care and Control. And they hired me as the senior veterinarian in charge of all the six shelters.”

Zabala said that a shelter veterinarian’s life is different today than it was when she was named director. “There was a perception by other veterinarians that we were no good because we worked at the shelter,” she said.  “They thought that we were there because we couldn’t do the job in private practice. And everything we did in those early days was questioned and ridiculed by the private sector. We found [that attitude] all over. At [professional] meetings, veterinarians would stand up and say it straight to your face.

“That has changed. Shelter medicine has evolved into a prestigious part of veterinary medicine. But we hid in the shadows because of all the condescending words we got – because they didn’t understand shelter medicine. . . . At a shelter, you are not only involved in animal health but you also take part in public safety, public health.  You take care of animals that can transfer diseases to people. In fact, the [county] shelters were established because of a rabies epidemic in 1937.  So every time an animal comes into a shelter, the veterinarian looks for zoonotic disease symptoms.”

Bioterrorism now is part of the life of a shelter veterinarian, who must recognize the symptoms of agents such as anthrax that might be used by terrorists, she said, and report to public health officials. Finally, she said, animal mistreatment is an important responsibility. “We see animals that have been subject to human maltreatment and we investigate it and help prosecute it. The shelter veterinarian is on the front line in abuse cases.”

Dr. Zabala gives much of the credit for her success as director of the county shelters to the veterinarians who work there.  (There are 10 county veterinarians and 21 registered veterinary techs.) “Without them, everything that we tried to do would not have been possible,” she said.

Today, Zabala said, veterinary medicine is “more cutting edge” than it once was. “We have a lot of specialists in the field and we have continuing education that keeps us up to date. There was a time when we did diagnosing according to symptoms and now we have so many more tools. And the specialists are ready to help you if you have a question or a problem.

“Veterinarians today [in a sluggish economy] can be creative in helping their clients. We can make recommendations of what we can do and, if the client can’t afford it, we can go to the next choice or the next plan. The bad economy helps you grow as a veterinarian because you have to be more resourceful.”

Publix Issues Voluntary Recall on Private Label Chicken Tenders Dog Chew Treats

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

LAKELAND, Fla. —         Publix Super Markets is issuing a voluntary recall for Publix Chicken Tenders Dog Chew Treats because it may contain trace amounts of antibiotic residue. The UPC, located on the back right-hand corner of the product, is 41415-18527 and the product comes in a 3.5oz bag. This product was sold in Publix grocery stores in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee.

“As part of our commitment to food safety, including that of our four-legged family members, potentially impacted product has been removed from all store shelves,” said Maria Brous, Publix media and community relations director. “To date, there have been no reported cases of pet illness. Consumers who have purchased the product in question may return the product to their local store for a full refund. Publix customers with additional questions may call our Consumer Relations department, Monday-Friday, 8a.m. – 7p.m., at 1-800-242-1227 or by visiting our website at”

Publix is privately owned and operated by its 157,000 employees, with 2011 sales of $27.0 billion. Currently Publix has 1,067 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee. The company has been named one of FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For in America” for 15 consecutive years. In addition, Publix’s dedication to superior quality and customer service is recognized as tops in the grocery business, most recently by an American Customer Satisfaction Index survey. For more information, visit the company’s website,

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IMS Trading Corp to voluntarily withdraw CADET Brand Chicken Jerky Treat Products

Friday, January 11th, 2013

No other Cadet Brand products are affected by this withdrawal

IMS Trading Corp today announced it is voluntarily withdrawing its Cadet Brand Chicken Jerky Treat products sold in the United States until further notice.

The Company is taking this action after learning this week that the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets (NYSDAM) found trace amounts of antibiotic residue in samples of Cadet brand Chicken Jerky Treat products. These antibiotics are approved for use in poultry in China and other major countries, including European Union member states, but are not among those approved in the U.S.  Cadet Brand Chicken Jerky Treat products are safe to feed as directed and have not been linked to ANY illnesses in dogs or humans. However, due to regulatory inconsistencies among countries, the presence of antibiotic residue is technically considered an adulteration in the United States.

At first, New York State authorities requested that IMS Trading Corp remove Cadet Brand Chicken Jerky treats from retail locations only in the state of New York.  We have decided to expand this and conduct a voluntary withdrawal of these chicken treat products nationwide.

A double testing program is being established to check for these antibiotics in China (point of origin) and the United States before we consider to sell these products in the future.  Testing will be based on a scientifically sound statistical sampling program.

There is no indication that the trace amounts of antibiotic residue are linked to the FDA’s ongoing investigation of chicken jerky products. The trace amounts of antibiotic residue (in the parts-per-billion range) do not pose a health or pet safety risk.