A story from the New York Times brings up a different twist to a quandary that many might have to face. If a senior dog needs surgery how much is too much to extend a pet’s life? The twist is that the dog didn’t belong to writer Roz Warren. It was Max, her son and his wife’s 13-year-old dog, who needed the gall bladder surgery costing $6,000—and it was Roz who offered to pay a third of it.
We didn’t want to let Max go. We wanted to try to save his life.
Was this crazy? “Would you pay $6,000 for a 70 percent chance of buying two extra years of life for an elderly dog?” I asked my dog-owning friends.
“In a heartbeat,” one said.
“No way,” another said. “When it’s time to go, it’s time to go. You grieve. Then you get another dog. Preferably from a shelter.”
Another friend admitted that when the vet told her a couple of years ago that her ailing Shih Tzu needed an expensive procedure to save his life, she had blurted: “Do whatever you have to do! I love this dog even more than I love my husband!”
“And I really do love my husband,” she told me sheepishly.
Luckily all went well with Max, even though the surgery found that his gall bladder had already ruptured, he recovered.
Even if he hadn’t made it through, knowing that we had done all we could for him would have been worth that price. More important, the whole experience has made me very hopeful about how Tom and Amy are likely to treat me when I’m old and frail.
That was a great gesture for a dog-grandmother to make. What do you think you would have done?
Dog's Life: Lifestyle
Study looks at whether dogs understand our point of view
My Sheltie, Nemo, is a master food thief. He seems to wait for the perfect moment to make his move. Given how successful Nemo is, I think he's learned to read me very well over the years. But can dogs really understand what's going through our head? Most pet lovers, including myself, would say yes.
Dr. Juliane Kaminski of the University of Portsmouth decided to explore this question. Her latest study begins to look at whether dogs have a flexible understanding of the human mind. And it turns out that canines are more capable of understanding our point of view than previously thought.
In Dr. Kaminski's study, people and their dogs were put in a room with food that they were not allowed to eat. Then the researchers varied the amount of light in the room and recorded whether or not the dogs stole the food. The scientists found that the dogs were four times more likely to steal food when the lights were turned off. This suggests that our pets consider what we can or cannot see, meaning that they might have an understanding of the human perspective.
It's always been assumed that only primates have a truly flexible understanding of the mind and others' minds. Dr. Kaminski's findings are an important step to learning a dog's ability to understand how we think and behave. I can't wait to see more research in this area.
This notice appeared on PetSmart's page.
Dear Valued PetSmart® Customer,
Proctor and Gamble has issued a voluntary market withdrawal of Iams Shakeables Turkey and Lamb Dog Treats with certain “Impacted Lot Numbers” listed below. These treats are being voluntarily withdrawn due to potential for mold growth. No other products are affected. Proctor and Gamble has not received any reports of human or pet illnesses.
Impacted Lot Number
Iams Shakeables Turkey, 6oz
Iams Shakeables Lamb, 6oz
To find the lot code on your can, look at the first 4 numbers of the second line on the bottom of the can as they identify the affected lots.(see photo above)
Please stop feeding these products and bring any remaining Iams Shakeables Turkey and Lamb Dog Treats affected by the voluntary withdrawal to your closest PetSmart store for a full refund. If you have questions about this voluntary withdrawal, please call Proctor and Gamble (Iams) at 1-877-894-4458.
PetSmart sells a variety of treats from many brands, and our associates can help you find the right item for you and your pet.
At PetSmart, we’re concerned pet parents, too. We’ll continue to do everything we can to help you and your pet.
Dog's Life: Lifestyle
An Italian reporter has a special day at the Vatican
I love that Jorge Mario Bergoglio chose a name inspired by Saint Francis of Assisi, a monk famously known for his kindness to animals. Since being elected one week ago, Pope Francis has already had an opportunity to show a little canine admiration.
When Italian radio journalist, Alessandro Forlani, showed up with his guide dog, Asià, to cover one of the Pope's first addresses to the media, security guards told him that dogs were not allowed inside the Vatican. But officials eventually let him in and seated the pair near the front row.
After the speech, officials approached Alessandro and Asià explaining that the Pope spotted the Yellow Labrador and wanted to meet both of them.
Walking up to the stage, Alessandro shook the Pope's hand and asked him to bless his wife and daughter. Pope Francis then patted Asià on the head and added, "a special blessing for [your] dog too."
Alessandro was humbled by the welcome and noted that Pope Francis broke the ceremonial rules since their presence on the stage wasn't previously arranged.
Since being elected Pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio's every move has been scrutinized. I hope that this modest gesture reflects his compassion and love of animals!
Dozer setting the pace
Dozer is dog who’s just gotta run. A young Goldendoodle full of energy and mischief, Dozer decided to join a Maryland half-marathon, mid-race. He simply couldn’t resist tagging along as two thousand runners passed right in front of his yard.
The joy in Dozer’s face as he paces himself with the runners is obvious and contagious. As he nears the finish line, you can see his paws are muddy – he must have found his own water station, probably a stream. Not only did Dozer have fun, so did the runners who ran beside him, and his story inspired people to donate to a worthy cause.
A runner like Dozer completely changed my own life with dogs.
I had recently graduated from law school and was living in a small, rural town in eastern Washington. It was autumn 1984 and I was dog-less for the first time in my life. One morning, running with a friend on country roads a couple miles outside town, a Siberian husky suddenly appeared beside us, joining us. Fearing he would get lost, I said rather sternly, “Go home!” The dog ignored me. He trotted alongside us with an easy, relaxed stride for a few miles, smiling as only a happy dog can. He didn’t seek attention from us. He just wanted to run, and we were running. It was that simple. I was impressed with his beauty and athleticism. Then, as suddenly as he had appeared, he changed direction and disappeared.
I felt sad he was gone – it was a joy to have him join us – but didn’t think much more about it.
Until a week later, when he suddenly reappeared and accompanied us on another morning run. I happily welcomed him. “Hey Buddy, how are you?” He remained aloof, easily trotting beside us but not coming close for a pet. I longed to see if he had a tag, but didn’t want to spook him. This time, he followed us all the way home, right onto my porch, where he let me stroke his soft, thick fur. By now, I’d fallen in love with him. Until that moment, I’d not thought of a dog as a runner. I’d grown up with small dogs. Now, I wanted a canine running companion in my life. If this husky didn’t have a family, I wanted him. But by the time I had showered and returned to the porch to check on him, he was gone.
I never saw him again. Yet he left an indelible impression on my heart. I’ve had a least one road and trail running dog in my life since 1985. I believe there’s a special bond developed when human and canine trot alongside each other, doing what their bodies were designed to do, endorphins coursing.
Here’s to Dozer and all our dogs who remind to go outside and play.
News: Guest Posts
Am I feeling frustrated and disappointed? You bet I am after reading an article titled, “Vets Slowly Move to 3-Year Vaccine Protocols” in the most recent edition of Veterinary Practice News. According to the article, approximately 60 percent of veterinarians continue to over-vaccinate their adult canine and feline patients by administering “core” vaccinations annually. This in spite of the fact that, for a decade now, it has been public knowledge that these vaccines provide a minimum of three year’s worth of protection.
Current canine and feline guidelines recommend that adult dogs be vaccinated against distemper, parvovirus and adenovirus, and adult cats against panleukopenia virus, herpesvirus and calicivirus no more than once every three years. Bear in mind, these are not rules or regulations (although I wish they were) they are simply guidelines. With the exception of rabies (mandated by state governments) veterinarians can vaccinate as often as they please.
The risks of over-vaccinating
Why some vets continue to over-vaccinate
The second explanation provided for over-vaccinating is that veterinarians don’t want to interrupt the revenue stream derived from annual inoculations. Despicable, in my book!
A possible third explanation is that some veterinarians remain unaware of current vaccination guidelines. If so, they must be living under a rock and begs the question, why would you want such an “outdated” individual caring for your pet’s health?
What you can do
- Stand your ground! If your vet insists on administrating core vaccinations to your adult pets every year, share a copy of current canine and feline guidelines. You may need to agree to disagree and/or find yourself a more progressive veterinarian. Remember, you are your pet’s medical advocate and you have the final say so!
- Bring your pets in for a yearly checkup, whether or not vaccinations are due. I cannot overstate the importance of an annual physical examination for pets of all ages. It’s a no brainer that the earlier diseases are detected, the better the outcome. The annual visit also provides a time to talk with your vet about nutrition, behavioral issues, parasite control, and anything else that warrants veterinary advice. Enough people bringing their pets in for annual wellness exams may convince more veterinarians to revise their vaccine protocols in accordance with current guidelines.
- Spread the word by sharing the information in this blog post with your pet loving friends and family members.
To learn more about vaccinations, I encourage you to read “The Vaccination Conundrum” in Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life.
How frequently are your adult pets receiving their core vaccinations?
(Revised 3/21/13) The FDA just issued the following recall notification for a wide assortment of Natura Pet Products brand pet foods. The FDA notice follows the one that the company posted on their website a couple of days ago. We are still trying to find out what the production problem was that resulted in such a large-scale recall, but have been unable to speak with a spokesperson for Procter & Gamble, the owner of Natura. The company’s original post, with the list of recalled products, follows the one from the FDA.
Natura Pet Issues Voluntary Recall of Specialized Dry Pet Foods Due to Possible Health Risk
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -March 18, 2013 - Natura Pet Products is voluntarily recalling specific lots of dry pet food because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. No Salmonella-related illnesses have been reported.
Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.
Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.
Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.
These products were made in a single production facility during a two week window in December 2012. Routine testing by the Michigan Department of Agriculture collected from a single retail location tested positive for the presence of Salmonella. As a precautionary measure, Natura is voluntarily recalling all products from this production window.
The affected products are sold in bags through veterinary clinics, select pet specialty retailers, and online in the United States, Canada, Korea, Malaysia, Japan, Hong Kong, and Costa Rica. Product expiration dates range from 12/17/2013 – 1/2/2014. Product was distributed by Natura Pet Products between December 18, 2012 through March 15, 2013. No other dry food, canned food, biscuits, bars or treats are affected by this announcement.
A complete list of products in the scope of this recall are listed at the end of this release. Additional information on these products can be found at www.naturapet.com.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
10903 New Hampshire Avenue
This notice appeared on the Natura site.
Dear Valued Customer,
Natura Pet is voluntarily recalling specific California Natural, Innova, EVO, and Healthwise dry dog, cat, and ferret SKUs as a precautionary measure due to potential Salmonella contamination. No Karma, Mother Nature, wet or treat products are included in this recall. No illnesses have been reported from the recalled product and no other P&G Pet Care brands are impacted by this recall.
We were alerted to a single case of Salmonella in a 2.2lb package of EVO Turkey & Chicken Cat Food. We are taking the precautionary measure to voluntarily recall the entire production window that was produced from December 17-January 2. We believe this action is consistent with our ongoing commitment to product quality and animal and human safety.
Salmonella and other contaminants pose a great challenge to the food industry. No company is immune. We have fully investigated and identified the cause of this incident, and will continue to review and improve upon our manufacturing standards. The Fremont plant is in full production to quickly resupply any potential gaps.
The voluntary recall is limited to the SKUs listed on the attached document with specific lot codes and expiration dates. No other Natura Products are impacted and should be sold and fed with confidence. Please see the attached for specific SKUs, location of lot code data and expiration dates of impacted products.
What to do if you have this product in your store or warehouse:
Managers or designee should immediately secure all affected SKUs to an isolated location. Product should be secured/segregated from saleable product. Your Natura Sales Representative or distributor will be in contact with further instructions. If you need additional information please call 800.224.6123. We apologize for any inconvenience this situation may cause, and want to assure you that Natura Pet is taking all the necessary steps to ensure our product quality meets your expectations.
Global Pet Care CBD Leader
Impacted Lot Number
7 51485 39941 6
CN DG 15LB KANGAROO GF
7 51485 15987 4
CN DG 25x4OZ KANGAROO GF SAMPLES
7 51485 39940 9
CN DG 30LB KANGAROO GF
7 51485 12564 0
CN DG 30LB KANGAROO GF BLNGL
7 51485 39942 3
CN DG 5x5LB KANGAROO GF
Impacted Lot Number
7 51485 42101 8
EVO 5x6.6LB TK&CK FERRET
7 51485 41402 7
EVO CT & KT 12x2.2LB TK&CK
7 51485 41400 3
EVO CT & KT 15.4LB TK&CK
7 51485 41401 0
EVO CT & KT 5x6.6LB TK&CK
7 51485 41412 6
EVO CT 12x2.2LB HRRG&SLMN
7 51485 41410 2
EVO CT 15.4LB HRRG&SLMN
7 51485 15251 6
EVO CT 25x4OZ HRRG&SLMN SAMPLES
7 51485 15250 9
EVO CT 25x4OZ TK&CK SAMPLES
7 51485 41411 9
EVO CT 5x6.6LB HRRG&SLMN
7 51485 12676 0
EVO DG 13.2LB RED MEAT LARGE BITE
7 51485 12686 9
EVO DG 13.2LB TK&CK SR
7 51485 12617 3
EVO DG 13.2LB TK&CK WEIGHT MGMT
7 51485 15255 4
EVO DG 25x4OZ TK&CK SAMPLES
7 51485 15205 9
EVO DG 25x4OZ TK&CK WEIGHT MGMT SAMPLES
7 51485 12675 3
EVO DG 28.6LB RED MEAT LARGE BITE
7 51485 12685 2
EVO DG 28.6LB TK&CK SR
7 51485 12616 6
EVO DG 28.6LB TK&CK WEIGHT MGMT
7 51485 12677 7
EVO DG 5x6.6LB RED MEAT LARGE BITE
7 51485 12687 6
EVO DG 5x6.6LB TK&CK SR
7 51485 12618 0
EVO DG 5x6.6LB TK&CK WEIGHT MGMT
Impacted Lot Number
7 51485 70721 1
HW DG 17.5LB CK&OT WT CONTROL
7 51485 70741 9
HW DG 17.5LB LMB&OT
7 51485 15442 8
HW DG 25x4OZ CK&OT WT CONTROL SAMPLES
7 51485 15444 2
HW DG 25x4OZ LMB&OT SAMPLES
7 51485 70720 4
HW DG 35LB CK&OT WT CONTROL
7 51485 70740 2
HW DG 35LB LMB&OT
7 51485 70722 8
HW DG 5x5LB CK&OT WT CONTROL
7 51485 70742 6
HW DG 5x5LB LMB&OT
7 51485 70731 0
HW PPY 17.5LB CKN&BR RICE
7 51485 15443 5
HW PPY 25x4OZ CKN&BR RICE SAMPLES
7 51485 70730 3
HW PPY 35LB CKN&BR RICE
7 51485 70732 7
HW PPY 5x5LB CKN&BR RICE
Impacted Lot Number
7 51485 41387 7
IN CT 12x2.2LB TK&CK
7 51485 41603 8
IN CT 12x2.2LB TK&CK SR 8 PLUS
7 51485 41391 4
IN CT 12x2.2LB TK&CK WEIGHT MGMT
7 51485 41392 1
IN CT 15LB TK&CK
7 51485 41607 6
IN CT 15LB TK&CK SR 8 PLUS
7 51485 41389 1
IN CT 15LB TK&CK WEIGHT MGMT
7 51485 15995 9
IN CT 25x4OZ TK&CK SAMPLES
7 51485 15998 0
IN CT 25x4OZ TK&CK SR 8 PLUS SAMPLES
7 51485 15988 1
IN CT 25x4OZ TK&CK WEIGHT MGMT SAMPLES
7 51485 41393 8
IN CT 5x6LB TK&CK
7 51485 41608 3
IN CT 5x6LB TK&CK SR 8 PLUS
7 51485 41390 7
IN CT 5x6LB TK&CK WEIGHT MGMT
7 51485 12731 6
IN DG 12LB BF&LMB GF PRIME
7 51485 12728 6
IN DG 12LB HRRG&SLMN GF PRIME
7 51485 12363 9
IN DG 12LB SLMN & HRRG
7 51485 12376 9
IN DG 12x2.2LB TK&CK LARGE BITE ADULT
7 51485 12321 9
IN DG 15LB TK&CK LARGE BITE ADULT
7 51485 12705 7
IN DG 15LB TK&CK LRG BREED
7 51485 12327 1
IN DG 15LB TK&CK SR PLUS 11 PLUS
7 51485 12730 9
IN DG 25LB BF&LMB GF PRIME
7 51485 12727 9
IN DG 25LB HRRG&SLMN GF PRIME
7 51485 12362 2
IN DG 25LB SLMN & HRRG
7 51485 15300 1
IN DG 25x4OZ TK&CK LARGE BREED SAMPLES
7 51485 15990 4
IN DG 25X4OZ TK&CK LRG BITE SAMPLES
7 51485 15310 0
IN DG 25x4OZ TK&CK SR PLUS 11 PLUS SAMPLES
7 51485 12552 7
IN DG 30LB TK&CK LARGE BITE (BL)
7 51485 12320 2
IN DG 30LB TK&CK LARGE BITE ADULT
7 51485 12554 1
IN DG 30LB TK&CK LGR BREED (BL)
7 51485 12704 0
IN DG 30LB TK&CK LRG BREED
7 51485 12326 4
IN DG 30LB TK&CK SR PLUS 11 PLUS
7 51485 12732 3
IN DG 5x5LB BF&LMB GF PRIME
7 51485 12729 3
IN DG 5x5LB HRRG&SLMN GF PRIME
7 51485 12364 6
IN DG 5x5LB SLMN & HRRG
7 51485 12322 6
IN DG 5x6LB TK&CK LARGE BITE ADULT
7 51485 12328 8
IN DG 5x6LB TK&CK SR PLUS 11 PLUS
7 51485 15313 1
IN DG GF 25x4oz HRRG&SLMN GF PRIME SAMPLES
7 51485 12365 3
IN DG GF 25x4oz SLMN & HRRG SAMPLES
7 51485 12333 2
IN PPY 15LB TK&CK
7 51485 12741 5
IN PPY 15LB TK&CK LGR BREED
7 51485 15302 5
IN PPY 25x4OZ TK&CK LARGE BREED SAMPLES
7 51485 15994 2
IN PPY 25x4OZ TK&CK SAMPLES
7 51485 12332 5
IN PPY 30LB TK&CK
7 51485 12740 8
IN PPY 30LB TK&CK LGR BREED
7 51485 12334 9
IN PPY 5x6LB TK&CK
7 51485 12742 2
IN PPY 5x6LB TK&CK LGR BREED
Dog's Life: Lifestyle
Alcohol to the rescue in the case of antifreeze overdose
Earlier this year, a dog in Melbourne, Australia gave new meaning to the term alcohol overdose. When Cloe, an American Staffordshire Terrier, acted disoriented her family became worried. The next day she stopped eating and began crying out in pain. At that point Cloe’s family rushed the 9-week old puppy to the emergency hospital and the veterinarian, Dr. Matt Pascall, immediately suspected antifreeze poisoning.
It was too late to induce vomiting so Dr. Pascall thought up of a rather unconventional treatment. He knew that pure alcohol would neutralize the effects of ethylene glycol, the toxic ingredient in antifreeze, but the hospital didn’t have anything on hand that would fit the bill. Then Dr. Pascall remembered that there was a bottle of vodka in his car. He reasoned that the alcoholic drink would mop up the toxins destroying Cloe’s kidneys.
Dr. Pascall put Cloe on a vodka drip via an IV tube that led from Cloe’s nose into her stomach. Over the course of two days, Cloe consumed more than one third of the bottle of vodka, the equivalent of a person downing seven or eight shots every four hours. Amazingly the treatment was successful and Cloe is now healthy and back at home with her family thanks to Dr. Pascall’s resourcefulness.
Cloe was a lucky pup, but her story underscores the importance of recognizing the signs of antifreeze poisoning. Symptoms include drunken behavior, vomiting, excessive urination, diarrhea, rapid heart rate, depression, seizures, and fainting. The toxin works quickly, so if you notice any of these behavior changes, it’s important to get your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Wellness: Health Care
Treatments to try at home
Paraphimosis is the inability to retract an extruded penis back into the preputial sheath, which is the skin that covers it. This can quickly turn into an emergency situation, as constriction of blood flow will lead to greater engorgement, necrosis (dying off of the tissue), and potential damage to the urethra.
More common causes of this condition can include chronic licking, sexual excitement, or foreign bodies getting up under the skin. However, there are more serious causes including neurological disease (such as a herniation of a disc in the spinal cord), penis fractures, or muscular issues. Paraphimosis also needs to be differentiated from priapism, which is a state of continuous erection, usually due to a neurological problem.
A diagnosis of paraphimosis is generally based on simple observation of the penis extruded from the prepuce without any physiological reason. Paraphimosis accounts for approximately 7% of penile problems in the dog, and while not common, it can cause distress to pets (and their owners) and can have more serious consequences if left untreated or if it becomes a recurring issue.
Treatment is generally conservative in nature, and many of these interventions can first be tried at home. Here is what you can do if this condition if noted in your pet:
Coming together at Best Friends
In 2008 Best Friends Animal Society took in 22 dogs rescued from Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels. On March 11, six of the dogs and their families came together again at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary to mark five years of freedom. Vicktory dogs. Watch Cherry, Handsome Dan, Halle, Little Red, Mel, Oscar and their families in their joyous reunion.
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