In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from 25FEB17 Don and Dr. Hanks discuss the special needs of senior pets, starting off by answering the question at what age is a pet considered to be a senior. They discuss the importance of quality nutrition for senior pets as well as some of the most common health issues faced by seniors, such as; cognitive issues, arthritis, periodontal disease, and cancer. If you have an older pet, or a younger pet and want to learn how to help you pet as they age, tune into this show.
Green Acres Kennel Shop is concerned about the health of all pets, which is why we post information about pet food recalls on both my blog (www.words-woofs-meows.com) and our various Facebook pages. If a pet food we sell happens to be recalled, we do our best to contact purchasers directly, either via email or phone.
These five recalls have affected both dog and cat food. In some cases, only one product has been recalled, and in some cases, it has been as many as seven. In all cases, the recalls have been voluntary. I thank the companies that own those brands for erring on the side of safety and issuing voluntary recalls.
There seem to be two underlying concerns in all five of these recalls; 1) potential contamination with pentobarbital, a drug used for euthanasia as well as other purposes, and 2) potential contamination with a foreign material, such as metal fragments.
Why have there been so many recalls, by so many companies, in such a short period? Most consumers are not aware of the fact that most pet food companies do not manufacture the canned pet food they sell, even if they do own plants that produce their dry food. Trying to track down the number of companies that actually produce canned pet food is not easy as most pet food companies are hesitant to admit they do not make the food they sell. However, it is my understanding that there are only four to five canning companies that make ALL of the canned pet food sold in the USA.
In some cases, the companies making canned pet food (Evanger’s and Merrick) manufacture it for themselves as well as others. Other companies do not sell canned pet food, but only manufacture it for others. Since we have two fundamental issues here; contamination with pentobarbital and a foreign material, I suspect that although these recalls span five pet food companies, they are probably directly related to two manufacturers.
So what can you do to avoid feeding your pet food that may be recalled? You have two choices; 1) become and remain knowledgeable about the food that you are feeding your pets, or 2) buy your food from a business that you know will keep up to date on the pet food industry and will do their part to keep you informed. The pet food industry, the companies that are part of it, and the individual foods are constantly changing. That is why Green Acres’ is constantly monitoring the manufacturers that make the foods we sell and the distributors that get them to us. We train our staff and provide information to clients and others through this blog, our FaceBook pages, our email newsletter, seminars at the store, and our radio show The Woof Meow Show.
Is there a company making pet food that will never have their products recalled? I doubt it. Just like with human food, companies that make and process food are dealing with a perishable product. Accidents will happen, honest mistakes will be made, and unscrupulous companies may intentionally use less than ideal ingredients because their bottom line is more important than the health of your pet. That is one reason I prefer to feed my pets food that is manufactured by the company that sells the food. I also prefer small family owned pet food companies that are focused solely on pet food. These companies are, in my experience, more likely to be committed to quality and the health of our pets.
According to the Wellness website (http://www.wellnesspetfood.com/update/) Wellness is voluntarily recalling the following 12.5oz cans of Wellness canned cat food in the following recipes with the following Best by Dates;
Beef & Chicken, 8/5/19
Beef & Salmon, 8/5/19
Chicken, 8/3/19 & 8/4/19
Chicken & Herring, 8/4/19
Chicken & Lobster, 8/4/19
Turkey, 8/4/19 & 8/5/19
Turkey & Salmon, 8/4/19 & 8/5/19
No problems have been reported or noticed in the foods listed above. However, the quality department at Wellness has become aware that a foreign material has been discovered in a non-Wellness product that is manufactured in the same plant. As a result, they have taken this proactive steps to ensure the well-being of cats who are fed this food.
We sell Wellness and the above formulas at Green Acres Kennel Shop and have found no product that matches the recipe and best by dates that are being recalled. We appreciate that Wellness is being proactive. We are in the process of contacting clients who have recently purchased this food.
According to the FDA website (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm541692.htm) Against the Grain is voluntarily recalling one lot of Against the Grain Pulled Beef with Gravy Dinner for Dogs that was manufactured and distributed in 2015.
The 12 oz. Against the Grain Pulled Beef with Gravy Dinner for Dogs that is being voluntarily recalled, due to the potential presence of pentobarbital, has an expiration date of December 2019, a lot number of Against the Grain Pulled Beef with Gravy Dinner f2415E01ATB12, and the second half of the UPC code is 80001 (which can be found on the back of the product label).
Oral exposure to pentobarbital can cause side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, nausea nystagmus (eyes moving back and forth in a jerky manner), inability to stand and coma.
Note: To-date, no complaints have been reported to Against the Grain for this single lot number nor any of Against the Grain’s pet foods, since the company was founded.
In 2015, this one lot of product was distributed to independent pet retail stores in Washington and Maryland, though it has been verified that this lot is no longer on any store shelves. This voluntary recall only affects one specific lot of food.
Consumers may return any can with the aforementioned lot number, to their place of purchase and receive a full case of Against the Grain food for the inconvenience. For any questions, customers may contact the company at 708-566-4410 between 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM Central Time, Monday – Friday.
According to the FDA website (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm541182.htm) PetSmart has issued a voluntary recall of one production lot of its Grreat Choice® Adult Dog Food sold on PetSmart.com, Pet360.com, PetFoodDirect.com and in nationwide PetSmart retail stores. This product is being voluntarily recalled as a precautionary measure due to metal contamination that could potentially be a choking hazard to pets.
This recall was initiated after receiving notification from the manufacturer of
consumer complaints. PetSmart has not received any consumer complaints at this time.
The recalled products include the following Grreat Choice dog food sold between Oct. 10, 2016 and Feb. 7, 2017:
Product Name UPC Best By Date or Lot Code
Grreat Choice Adult Dog Food with Chicken & Rice Classic Ground, 13.2 oz. cans
The Best By date is found on the bottom of the can.
No other Grreat Choice products are impacted by this issue, and PetSmart is not aware of any reported cases of illness or injury related to this product to date.
Customers who purchased the recalled food should stop feeding it to their pets and bring any remaining cans to their local PetSmart store for a full refund or exchange. For more information about the voluntary recall or if customers have any questions, contact PetSmart Customer Service at 1-888-839-9638 between 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. CST.
In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from 11FEB17 Kate and Don interview Dr. Judy Herman from the Animal Wellness Center in Augusta about veterinary homeopathy. This show should be of particular interest to those with pets with chronic disease issues which just do not seem to be getting better. We address the questions:
What is homeopathy?
What are homeopathic remedies?
How does homeopathy differ from traditional allopathic medicine?
What is the difference between acute and chronic disease?
What typically happens at a pet’s first appointment with Dr. Herman?
It has been four years since Tikken crossed the Rainbow Bridge. When a furry companion passes, it has been my tradition to write a memorial. I still have not been able to sit down to write and bring closure to Tikken’s story. It is just too hard. What I am doing today is sharing the part of her story that I have already written.
<To be continued>
On, January 15th, 2011, our Golden Retriever Tikken (Mariner Freedom Fighter) celebrated her fourteenth birthday. Over the years many have asked, “Why Tikken?” Some people have thought it is because as a puppy she was like a clock and always “ticking.” There is a deeper story to Tikken’s name and this year through the miracle of Google I was able to learn more about Tikken’s namesake.
Tikken was born on Martin Luther King Day in 1997. Due to her birthdate, Tikken’s breeders, Jon and Kathy Chase of Mariner Kennels, named this litter of pups the “Freedom litter.” They asked that all of us receiving a pup use the word “Freedom” in their AKC registered name. After giving it some thought, I decided on “Mariner Freedom Fighter.” Outside of dogs one of my interests has always been World War Two, especially the resistance movement. Members of the resistance were commonly called “freedom fighters.”
I next had to choose Tikken’s call name and wanted something I could connect to her registered name. An early thought was to call her “Kira,” after Kira Nerys, a character on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, who was a former member of the Bajoran resistance. I then decided that I wanted to name my pup after a real female resistance fighter. Since I am half-Norwegian and have been particularly interested in the resistance movement in Norway during World War Two, I decided to see if I could identify a Norwegian female resistance fighter to be my inspiration. Not sure where to go I went to an email list for Golden Retriever fans on the internet, and a Norwegian member of the list suggested the name “Tikken.”
This year I finally learned more about my Tikken’s namesake via Google and the translation of a review of the book Tikken Manus by Nora Campbell.
Tikken is named after Norwegian freedom fighter and patriot, “Antiquity” Ida Nikoline Lie Lindebrække, who was nicknamed “Tikken.” During the war, she worked as a secretary at the British legation in Stockholm, Sweden where she was a principal intermediary between the Norwegian resistance in the Company Linge and the British military. For her efforts during the war, Tikken was decorated with King Haakon VII’s Freedom Medal. Tikken later married Max Manus, one of the leaders of Company Linge.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), periodontal disease is the most commonly diagnosed health concern in dogs and cats. This disease of the gums can lead to infections of the mouth. Left unchecked, the bacteria causing these infections can spread through the bloodstream and cause life-threatening conditions. Infections from periodontal disease have been linked to:
and other life-threatening disorders
Some common signs of dental disease in pets are;
Reluctance to eat or chew,
Crying out when eating or chewing,
Red and puffy gums,
A buildup of tartar/calculus on the teeth,
and missing or loose teeth.
The AVMA estimates that by age two, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats have some form of periodontal disease, which is one reason a thorough annual exam is so important for every pet.
Your veterinarian will typically examine your pet’s mouth and teeth during a routine physical exam. If necessary, the veterinarian may recommend a dental cleaning. This procedure requires general anesthesia. During the process, the pet’s teeth and gums will be thoroughly examined, scaled and polished. If a problem tooth is found, it may need to be extracted.
The best way to minimize professional cleanings at your veterinarian is to keep your pet’s teeth clean with home dental care. While 80% of people brush their own teeth every day, most do not do the same for their pets. Brushing your pet’s teeth can help keep teeth clean. If you have a new puppy or kitten, one of the best things that you can do is to get them used to regular home dental care while they are still young. If you do brush your pet’s teeth, the general rule seems to be that you must do so every 48 hours to be effective.
You can also keep your pet’s teeth clean with supplements such as TropiClean Fresh Breath which is a brushing gel or my personal favorite ProDen PlaqueOff®. PlaqueOff is available as a powder you can sprinkle on your pet’s food or as a treat. It can be used with both dogs and cats. PlaqueOff® Dental Bites and Powder have been accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC)
Special treats, like GREENIES™ and Whimzees™, can also help keep your
pet’s teeth clean. We carry both of these products in our store but especially like Whimzees because of their simple ingredient list and the fact that they are always free of wheat, corn, soy, gluten, and GMO ingredients. Whimzees are made to human grade food standards and contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives and dogs love them! Compare them to the ingredients in similar products, and we are confident that you will also become a fan of Whimzees.
Dogs do need to chew and it is possible providing them with chew toys such as those made by BeneBone and Nylabone may help keep their teeth clean, to a certain extent. Alone they are not a substitute for brushing, PlaqueOff, or dental procedures by your veterinarian.
Many who feed a raw diet that includes raw bones, or regularly supplement their dog’s diet with raw bones, find the chewing of these bones keeps their dogs teeth white and sparkly clean. The smoked marrow bones from Chasing Our Tails have been very popular with our clients as a way to keep their dog busy and to help keep their teeth clean.
There is an urban myth that feeding only dry food will keep your pet’s teeth clean, and it is just that – a myth unless it is a prescription diet, and while these foods can help keep your dog free of periodontal disease, they may not provide the best nutrition. The same holds true for most dry biscuit products. Cat’s teeth may benefit greatly from having canned (wet) food in their diet.
Make sure that you discuss your pet’s dental care the next time you take them to the veterinarian. Taking care of your pet’s teeth now is very likely to keep your pet healthier and happier, and may also save you a great deal of money down the road.