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Blog: Guest Posts
Food Safety Watch
How to report problems to the FDA
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is on a public outreach tear these days. A few days after announcing a Twitter feed, with regular updates on food and drug safety issues (pet food recalls among them), it has released a video primer on how to report concerns about and adverse reactions to food and drugs for people and/or animals. Hopefully, this campaign on the consumer side is matched by...
Wellness: Health Care
A Vet's Perspective: Solving a Dog's Mysterious Illness
Sussing out Rocky’s mysterious malady
It is March in New England, you’re walking across a frozen lake and the two Samoyeds look like white fluffy clouds prancing by your side. Every footfall is greeted with an icy moan of disapproval and you have time to consider the warmth of the morning sun, hinting at a thaw, before the glass below your feet suddenly shatters and one of your beloved dogs slips into the darkness below. Quick,...
Blog: Guest Posts
FDA Now Tweeting
Stay on top of food safety news
Receive alerts about pet food recalls, medication updates and animal safety tips via tweet: The Food and Drug Adminisration's Center for Veterinary Medicine is now on Twitter. If you're wondering if you need the information, consider this: There were two food-safety tweets in the first two weeks.
Blog: Guest Posts
Dogs With No Bark
Why people pursue the controversial surgery
Another interesting read out of New York—this time a story about “debarking,” cutting a dog’s vocal chords, on the front page of today’s New York Times. It’s always seemed cruel to me to put a dog through surgery—never without risks—to address a behavioral issue (like de-clawing cats). Aside from health risks, I wonder how my barker would feel if he emitted only a rasp or a whisper with the UPS...
Blog: Guest Posts
ER X-Ray: Finding a Rubber Ducky Inside a Dog's Stomach
In the ER: Veterinarians are sleuths
Are you sure Dozer did not swallow any dog toys or clothing?” I asked.   “No, we keep the yard cleaned up so there is nothing for the dogs to get into,” Dozer’s owners replied. Thus began the search for the cause of vomiting in an 8-year-old Alaskan Malamute.   There are at least 63 causes of vomiting in dogs, which is probably why we see so many cases at our emergency hospital. If the cause is...
Blog: Guest Posts
More Salmonella Contamination Feared
FDA issues a “health alert” for Merrick Beef Filet Squares Dog Treats
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to consumers not to use Merrick Beef Filet Squares for dogs distributed by Merrick Pet Care with a package date of “Best By 111911” because the product may be contaminated with Salmonella. This is not the same as a recall. The report says: “Although no illnesses associated with these products have been reported, the FDA is advising...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
What’s Next?
FDA takes months to notify vets about drug recall
Pet food recalls have been all too common in recent years, causing controversy with bad communication and lack of precedent. Unfortunately, this danger isn’t limited to the food industry. Last July, the FDA shut down Teva Animal Health’s operations, the largest American producer of generic veterinary medications, after inspections found several manufacturing violations between 2007 and 2009. On...
Blog: Guest Posts
In the ER: What Happens When a Dog Eats Coffee
Tales from a Colorado ER
We used to have sign in our lobby that said “Any unsupervised children will get a cup of espresso and a free puppy.” We took it down after one of the clients asked what kind of puppy. We now have self-serve coffee in the lobby, and it’s not uncommon to see a kid trying to short-circuit the coffee maker. Which brings us to the case of Tonsi, a seven-year-old, hyperactive Australian Shepherd who...
Blog: Guest Posts
Dog Tests Positive for H1N1 Flu
New York case is the first
A dog in New York has tested positive for the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus, IDEXX Laboratories confirmed December 21, which is the first time a dog has been diagnosed with this strain of influenza in the United States. According to IDEXX Laboratories, the 13-year-old mixed breed dog, who has recovered, was taken to an emergency veterinarian in Westchester County, New York, after not responding to...
Blog: Guest Posts
Buying Pet Insurance
Do you or don’t you?
Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal ran a short piece on pet insurance. Mostly, it’s a primer on how to shop for policies. In a Bark story last summer, Nancy Kay, DVM, recommended considering pet health insurance as one of ten strategies for stretching your vet dollars (More Bark for Your Buck, May/Jun 2009). Everyone seems to think it’s the coming wave, even though only about one million...

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