URGENT – Pet Health Alert – FDA Alerts Pet Owners and Veterinarians About Potential for Neurologic Adverse Events Associated with Certain Flea and Tick Products

On September 20, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an alert to pet owners and veterinarians concerning the potential for animals receiving Bravecto, Credelio, Nexgard, or Simparica. Some animals receiving these products have experienced adverse events such as muscle tremors, ataxia ( loss of full control of bodily movements ), and seizures.

The alert states “The FDA carefully reviewed studies and other data on Bravecto, Credelio, Nexgard, and Simparica prior to approval, and these products continue to be safe and effective for the majority of animals.”

If you are currently using any of these products, you may wish to discuss other options with your veterinarian.

You may read and download the FDA alert at https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm620934.htm

The FDA has also published a fact sheet on this topic which you may read and download at https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm620934.htm

UPDATE! – Pet Nutrition – Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs – WDJ Blog Post

On July 22nd we informed you of a report issued by the FDA indicating an increase of dogs presenting with canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and a possible but unconfirmed link to specific ingredients in grain-free foods < click to review >.

On August 2tnd Nancy Kerns, the editor of the Whole Dog Journal (WDJ) published an article entitled “Please Don’t Panic About the “Grain-Free Thing” on the WDJ Blog. The title says it all and could not be a better assessment of how to treat this issue. Sadly, minutes after I read Kerns post, I watched a story NBC aired a story on their national news broadcast that did not present all the facts and is likely to create unnecessary alarm. As Kern’s suggests “…take a breath.” Read her post, and you will be better informed on this issue than the media in general.

< Click here to read the article >

©6AUG18, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
< Click for Copyright and Use Policy >

URGENT! – Health Alert – Canine Cough in the Community

July 27th, 2018 – There appears to be a strain of canine cough in the community. We have received reports of at least two dogs that are exhibiting the symptoms of canine cough. In both cases, the dogs were current on their Bordetella vaccine, which suggests that the vaccination does not offer immunity to this particular strain of canine cough.

While the number of dogs that have shown symptoms and have been diagnosed is small compared to those that are symptom and disease free, we want to be sure that you are aware of the situation.

At Green Acres Kennel Shop we do require that dogs that board or daycare with us, or that are enrolled in a training class, be current on a canine cough vaccine as administered by their veterinarian, or canine cough nosodes as prescribed and provided by the veterinarian. Not all boarding and daycare facilities require canine cough preventatives.

Canine cough or kennel cough are lay terms for Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC), which is highly contagious to other dogs, much like the common cold is with people. Canine cough can be transmitted through the air from one dog to the next or by contact with contaminated objects such as a common water dish at the dog park or in front of a dog-friendly store. Like the common cold is to humans, canine cough is not typically serious, but if you see symptoms in your dog (coughing, gagging, vomiting, or general lethargy) I would recommend that you call your veterinarian.

For More Information on canine cough < click here >

©27JUL18, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
< Click for Copyright and Use Policy >

Pet Nutrition – Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs

Updated on 23JUL18

On July 12th the US Food and Drug Administration published a report online entitled FDA Investigating Potential Connection Between Diet and Cases of Canine Heart Disease. You can read the entire report by < clicking here >.

Since the FDA report was released, the mass media has been jumping all over this story causing concern for many pet parents. We believe this is unfortunate as the FDA report is anything but conclusive, nor is it backed by hard evidence.

So what should you do if you want to do the best for your dog?

  • Read the remainder of this article and get the “rest of the story.”
  • Know that there are many dog foods available that do not contain the ingredients that the FDA is concerned about, certain legumes and potatoes.
  • Do not be in a panic to immediately change what you are feeding, however, if you stop by we would be glad to introduce you to other dog food options that do not contain those ingredients.
  • Rotate your dog’s diet through several different protein sources and even brands of foods. Not sure how to do that, ask us. We have been recommending dietary rotation for many years. FMIhttp://bit.ly/DietRotation
  • Never stop reading the ingredient list on your pet’s food nor presume that all pet food companies are equal and are primarily concerned with your pet’s health.
  • Subscribe to our email newsletter, Don’s Words, Woofs and Meows blog, and “Like” and follow the Green Acres Kennel Shop Facebook page. We will be updating this story as we get more information in all three areas.

At Green Acres Kennel Shop we are committed to offering the best products for your pet’s nutritional needs. We do not add a pet food to our offerings without doing a great deal of research on the specific brand of food including the company behind it. No matter how popular a brand is, if we are not convinced that it offers sound nutrition, we will not sell it. If you have followed which brands we have carried over the years you know, we do not hesitate to drop a brand when necessary. We offer a wide variety of dog and cat foods from many brands in many formats; dry food (kibble), wet food (canned), freeze-dried raw, and frozen raw. Many do not include potatoes or peas. We will be watching this situation closely and providing updates through our email newsletter, Don’s Words, Woofs and Meows blog, and on our Facebook page.

The key concern addressed in the FDA report is that veterinarians have observed an increase of dogs presenting with canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). While certain breeds are genetically predisposed to DCM ( Great Danes, Boxers, Newfoundlands, Irish Wolfhounds, Saint Bernards, Doberman Pinschers, and American and English Cocker Spaniels ), some of the recent cases of DCM have occurred in breeds where DCM is atypical ( Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Whippets, a Shih Tzu, a Bulldog and Miniature Schnauzers, as well as mixed breeds ). The FDA report does not indicate the total number of DCM cases reported.

The FDA report than goes on to strongly suggest that the rise in DCM may be due to the increased use of grain-free foods, specifically those containing high levels of certain legumes or potatoes. The report states “…but it is not yet known how these ingredients are linked to cases of DCM.” Perhaps it is just poor wording, but this statement appears to say that the increase in DCM is directly related to legumes and potatoes, yet there is no evidence that this is the case. While there may be a correlation, there is no evidence of causation, at least yet.

There has been an increase in the percentage of pet parents requesting and feeding grain-free diets in the past several years. There has also been an increase in tick-borne diseases and the use of powerful chemicals to control ticks. I am not suggesting there is a link to DCM and the chemicals we use for ticks; I am just pointing out that there are potentially many other changes in our dog’s lives and environment that may correlate to the increase in DCM. If evidence is discovered, that proves the increase in DCM is caused by the composition of our dog’s food that would also suggest a serious deficiency in the regulations for the testing of pet foods.

The pet food industry is watching this situation closely and does want to understand it and make changes if the ingredients used in grain-free foods are indeed the cause. On July 19th on Petfood Industry.com, Tim Wall shared this quote from Greg Aldrich, PhD, Kansas State University pet food program coordinator, president of consultancy Pet Food and Ingredient Technology Inc.; “We may be jumping to some conclusions and over zealous speculation about what really underlies the challenge with DCM as it relates to what the FDA statement has been. There are probably more questions than there are answers at this stage of the game.”

The FDA was a bit more clear in an interview with Petfood Industry.com where Anne Norris, FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine health communications specialist stated; “The FDA is still investigating individual ingredients under the legume, pulse or potato “umbrella. So, I would suggest not taking intuitive leaps beyond what is explicitly stated in our public notice right now… It is still early in the investigation and right now we’re simply notifying the public, practitioners, and manufacturers that we are observing a signal that warrants further study, The common thread seems to be legumes and/or potatoes as main ingredients in the food. Currently, it’s a correlative link, not a causative one. We’re hoping that after receiving data from pet owners and veterinarians, we will have more data to further inform our investigation.”

 

Key points in the FDA report.

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting pet owners and veterinary professionals about reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs eating certain pet foods containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds, or potatoes as main ingredients. These reports are unusual because DCM is occurring in breeds not typically genetically prone to the disease.”
  • Canine DCM is a disease of a dog’s heart muscle and results in an enlarged heart. The underlying cause of DCM is not truly known, but is thought to have a genetic component. Breeds that are typically more frequently affected by DCM include large and giant breed dogs, such as Great Danes, Boxers, Newfoundlands, Irish Wolfhounds, Saint Bernards and Doberman Pinschers. It is less common in small and medium breed dogs, except American and English Cocker Spaniels. However, the cases that have been reported to the FDA have included Golden and Labrador Retrievers, Whippets, a Shih Tzu, a Bulldog and Miniature Schnauzers, as well as mixed breeds.”
  • Diets in cases reported to the FDA frequently list potatoes or multiple legumes such as peas, lentils, other “pulses” (seeds of legumes), and their protein, starch and fiber derivatives early in the ingredient list, indicating that they are main ingredients. Early reports from the veterinary cardiology community indicate that the dogs consistently ate these foods as their primary source of nutrition for time periods ranging from months to years. High levels of legumes or potatoes appear to be more common in diets labeled as “grain-free,” but it is not yet known how these ingredients are linked to cases of DCM. Changes in diet, especially for dogs with DCM, should be made in consultation with a licensed veterinarian.” [ Emphasis added ]

Responses from Pet Food Manufacturers

Tuffy’s (manufacturer of NutriSource, Pure Vita and Natural Planet )

Tuffy’s Pet Foods is aware of this FDA notification and as a responsible leader in the super-premium pet food industry we are wholly supportive of any study that improves pet health and safety. Tuffy’s has not been notified of any of its products being involved in this FDA notification and is conducting basic research into this matter.

Tuffy’s, maker of NutriSource, Pure Vita and Natural Planet pet foods offers a wide variety of solution based, nutrient focused diets that include our proprietary Good 4 Life system which supports gut health, skin and coat, odor control and brain function for optimum health and well-being. The Good 4 Life system is ideal for rotational feeding and allows for smooth transitions to any of our foods. Pet owners can learn more about the solutions we provide by visiting www.nutrisourcepetfoods.com

The FDA continues to recommend that changes in diet, especially for dogs with DCM, should be made in consultation with a licensed veterinary professional.

Tuffy’s has a toll free number listed at the bottom or an email address, also listed if you would like to discuss this issue with us.

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog ( http://www.words-woofs-meows.com )

< *Recommended to Read First >


*What do you feed your dog?
http://bit.ly/WhatDoYouFeedYourDog

*Pet Nutrition: Some Myths and Facts – My story with Gus – http://bit.ly/Gus-Nutrition

*Pet Nutrition – Should I Feed My Pet A Raw Diet? – http://bit.ly/ShouldIFeedMyPetARawDiet

*Nutrition – Why Rotating Diets Makes Sense – http://bit.ly/DietRotation

*Video – The Science and Dogma of Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Patton – A video of animal nutritionist, Dr. Richard Patton’s presentation, The Science and Dogma of Pet Nutrition, presented for Green Acres Kennel Shop in Bangor, ME on April 28th, 2016.  – http://bit.ly/Video-Dr-Richard-Patton

*Book Review – Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack – The paradox of pet nutrition by Richard Patton – http://bit.ly/RuinedByExcess-BookReview

*Book Review – Natural Nutrition for Cats: The Path to Purrfect Health by Kymythy Schultze – http://bit.ly/NatNutritionCats-BookReview

Reflections on 20 Years as a Pet Care Professional – Changes in Pet Food and Nutrition – part 1http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/11/23/reflections-on-20-years-as-a-pet-care-professional-changes-in-pet-food-and-nutrition-part-1/

Reflections on 20 Years as a Pet Care Professional – Pet Food and Nutrition – part 2http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/12/15/reflections-on-20-years-as-a-pet-care-professional-pet-food-and-nutrition-part-2/


Nutrition – Which Brand of Pet Food is the Best? – Part 1 –
http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2014/06/01/nutrition-which-brand-of-pet-food-is-the-best-part-1/

Nutrition – Which Brand of Pet Food is the Best? – Part 2 – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2014/07/01/nutrition-which-brand-of-pet-food-is-the-best-part-2/

Nutrition – Which Brand of Pet Food is the Best? – Part 3 – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2014/08/01/nutrition-which-brand-of-pet-food-is-the-best-part-3/

Nutrition – Determining True Pet Food Costshttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2008/11/08/nutrition-determining-true-pet-food-costs/

Pet Nutrition – How Much Fat Is In Your Pet’s Food?  – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2014/10/12/pet-nutrition-how-much-fat-is-in-your-pets-food/

Pet Nutrition – New Zealand dog diet study a wake-up call for dog nutritionhttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2017/05/19/pet-nutrition-new-zealand-dog-diet-study-a-wake-up-call-for-dog-nutrition/

Pet Nutrition –Vital Essentials® Pet Foodhttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/08/14/pet-nutrition-vital-essentials-pet-food/

Shared Blog Post – FDA on a Witch Hunt Against Commercial Pet Food? A Little Spritz of This Makes Pet Food Far Saferhttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/11/28/shared-blog-post-fda-on-a-witch-hunt-against-commercial-pet-food-a-little-spritz-of-this-makes-pet-food-far-safer/

Pet Nutrition – From Dr. Karen Becker – A Vegetarian or Vegan Diet Is Not Healthy For Your Dog or Cathttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/09/27/pet-nutrition-from-dr-karen-becker-a-vegetarian-or-vegan-diet-is-not-healthy-for-your-dog-or-cat/

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show ( http://www.woofmeowshow.com )

 < *Recommended You Listen to First >

*What do you feed your pets? – http://bit.ly/WhatDoYouFeedYourPets-Podcast

*Podcast – Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Patton – http://bit.ly/DrPatton-Podcast

*Podcast – Pet Fooled – A Look Inside A Questionable Industry with Kohl Harrington – http://bit.ly/WfMw-Pet-Fooled

 

 

©22-Jul-18, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
< Click for Copyright and Use Policy >

PET HEALTH ALERT-Xylitol Is Toxic & Deadly To Pets

It is not news that Xylitol is toxic to pets, but far too few dog parents know this and are not aware that Xylitol is used in many places that one would never expect.

A few weeks ago friends lost their dog when the dog accidentally ingested a piece of gum that contained Xylitol. Even though they immediately took the dog to the emergency veterinary clinic, the dog did not survive. As I write this article, another friend’s dog is at the vet’s after ingesting several pieces of gum containing Xylitol.

I want to spread the word about Xylitol and the danger it poses to our furry friends. Please help spread the word!

Xylitol is sugar-alcohol derived from plants and used as an artificial sweetener. While safe for human consumption, xylitol is very toxic to dogs. Xylitol can be found in; gum, candy, jam, syrup, baking mixes, protein bars, energy bars, flavored waters, drink powders, chocolate, gelatin and pudding mixes, condiments, ice cream, honey, yogurt, peanut butter, other nut butters, and other food products. While our dogs are not fed most of the items on this list, I know many people who use both peanut butter and yogurt as a treat. It is essential to check the ingredients label on products you purchase because sadly products containing Xylitol do not bear a large red warning label that says “Xylitol is toxic to dogs!”.

While Xylitol is usually listed as “Xylitol” on a products ingredient panel, it may also be listed as “sugar-alcohols.” When examining a label for Xylitol do so very carefully, and just because Xylitol was not an ingredient last time, do not presume it has not been added the next time you purchase the product. Your dog’s life may depend on it.

In addition to being used in food, Xylitol may be found in OTC medicines and vitamins, nasal sprays, prescription medications, cosmetics, and dental products. Because of its anti-microbial properties, Xylitol may also be found in athletic clothing and pacifier and bottle wipes. This link leads to the Preventive Vet website and a comprehensive list of products containing Xylitol.< Click to read >

Even though we do not routinely give our dogs products containing xylitol, it is essential that we recognize that a dog is an opportunistic scavenger and will often chew and consume many things that are not good for them. Just because that tube of xylitol-containing toothpaste is on the bathroom counter does not mean your dog cannot get to it.

Symptoms of Xylitol poisoning

When a dog ingests xylitol, it causes a massive release of insulin which in turn can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and acute hepatic necrosis (severe liver failure). Symptoms of xylitol poisoning include:

  • A racing heart rate
  • Abnormal mentation (disoriented, stuporous, or comatose)
  • Acute collapse
  • Black-tarry stool
  • Bruising
  • Clotting problems
  • Death
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Jaundiced gums
  • Seizures
  • Trembling or tremoring
  • Vomiting
  • Walking drunk
  • Weakness or lethargy

 

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog ( http://www.words-woofs-meows.com )

URGENT! – HEALTH ALERT – Don’t Feed Nut Butters to Dogs Without First Checking for Xylitol!http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/08/19/urgent-health-alert-dont-feed-nut-butters-to-dogs-without-first-checking-for-xylitol/

 

Web Sites

Pet Poison Hotlinehttp://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/xylitol/

 

©9MAR18, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
< Click for Copyright and Use Policy >

URGENT! – Health Alert – Canine Cough in Southern Maine

September 10th, 2017 – We have received information that there have been several cases of Canine Cough in Southern Maine (this is not to be confused with the Canine Flu). We have currently NOT experienced any here at Green Acres at this time, but there is always the potential that this may occur.

We have contacted local veterinarians and asked them to keep us advised if they start to see canine cough in the greater Bangor area.

As you may all know, Canine Cough can come from a variety of different strains, and while we do require the vaccination, it is not full-proof, particularly against strains that may not be covered by the vaccine. That being said, vaccinated dogs typically recover more quickly. While for most dogs, Canine Cough is a relatively mild cold with an hacking cough, there is always a concern for the development of pneumonia, particularly in the young and the old.

If you are seeing any signs of a “cold” in your dog (runny eyes or nose, sneezing, coughing, lethargy, lack of appetite, fever, etc.) please do not bring your pet for daycare, boarding, grooming or training until they have seen their veterinarian and have been cleared. Also, please contact us immediately so that we are aware. As we experienced earlier this year, often dogs are contagious well before they are symptomatic so the sooner we have a heads up the better for all.

At Green Acres Kennel Shop we do require that dogs that board or daycare with us, or that are enrolled in a training class, be current on a canine cough vaccine as administered by their veterinarian, or canine cough nosodes as prescribed and provided by the veterinarian. Not all boarding and daycare facilities require canine cough preventatives.

Canine cough or kennel cough are lay terms for Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC), which is highly contagious to other dogs, much like the common cold is with people. Canine cough can be transmitted through the air from one dog to the next or by contact with contaminated objects such as a common water dish at the dog park or in front of a dog-friendly store. Like the common cold is to humans, canine cough is not typically serious, but if you see symptoms in your dog (coughing, gagging, vomiting, or general lethargy) I would recommend that you call your veterinarian.

For More Information on canine cough <click here>

©2017, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>

How to Report Adverse Reactions to Vaccines, Drugs, Devices, Foods, and Flea and Tick Products

If your pet has an adverse reaction to a vaccine, a drug, a device, food or treat, or a flea or tick control product, you need to report that adverse reaction to your veterinarian and the appropriate government agency. By doing so, you may prevent another pet from a serious illness or death.

The following links will help you to do so. Thank you!

USDA – Vaccines – Adverse Event Reportinghttps://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/veterinary-biologics/adverse-event-reporting/ct_vb_adverse_event

FDA – How to Report Animal Drug Side Effects and Product Problemshttps://www.fda.gov/animalveterinary/safetyhealth/reportaproblem/ucm055305.htm

EPA – Flea and Tick Control Products – Pesticide Poisoning in Petshttp://npic.orst.edu/health/petpoison.html

FDA – Pet Food – How to Report Product Problems and Complaints to the FDAhttps://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm095859.htm

 

©6JUL17, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
< Click for Copyright and Use Policy >

HEALTH ALERT – Important new from the Rabies Challenge Fund!

Important new from the Rabies Challenge Fund. Let’s hope that governments throughout the world do the right thing and accept Rabies titer results instead of requiring additional, yet unnecessary and often detrimental revaccination.

Recently updated testimony/statement of Dr. Ronald Schultz on rabies vaccination and rabies titers. “Canine studies funded by The Rabies Challenge Fund and performed in collaboration with the University of Georgia have confirmed that dogs that have a detectable rabies antibody titer are resistant to disease caused by experimental challenge with virulent rabies virus for as long as 7 years after two doses of rabies vaccine.”

FMIhttps://media.wix.com/ugd/03057b_baf85dd47501428aa6f238d71a177d91.pdf

URGENT! – Health Alert – Canine Cough in the Community

March 29th, 2017 – There is a strain of canine cough in the community. We have talked to veterinarians in the area, and they have reported seeing dogs with canine cough in dogs that have been at several kennels and daycares in the area. They have also seen dogs with canine cough that have not been at any kennel or daycare, at least recently, and as reported, these dogs have not necessarily been around other dogs. In some cases, canine cough has been seen in dogs that were current on their Bordetella vaccine, which suggests that the vaccination does not offer immunity to this particular strain of canine cough.

While the number of dogs that have shown symptoms and/or have been diagnosed is small compared to those that are symptom and disease free, we want to be sure that you are aware of the situation.

At Green Acres Kennel Shop we do require that dogs that board or daycare with us, or that are enrolled in a training class, be current on a canine cough vaccine as administered by their veterinarian, or canine cough nosodes as prescribed and provided by the veterinarian. Not all boarding and daycare facilities require canine cough preventatives.

Canine cough or kennel cough are lay terms for Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC), which is highly contagious to other dogs, much like the common cold is with people. Canine cough can be transmitted through the air from one dog to the next or by contact with contaminated objects such as a common water dish at the dog park or in front of a dog-friendly store. Like the common cold is to humans, canine cough is not typically serious, but if you see symptoms in your dog (coughing, gagging, vomiting, or general lethargy) I would recommend that you call your veterinarian.

For More Information on canine cough <click here>

©2017, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>

Shared Blog Post – Veterinary toxicology alert: Oils used in ‘scent training’ can harm dogs

People that know me have learned that I am a fan of using natural remedies whenever possible; however, I also always tell people that “natural” does not mean something is safe.

One of the natural remedies I have used with myself are essential oils. I have recently started studying their use with animals and in that process have learned that Birch is one of the oils that is not safe for use with pets. That caused me to take notice as I have friends who do canine nosework and it is my understanding that Birch is one of the first scents that they are trained to find. Today I asked some of those friends if they knew why Birch was selected and if they had heard anything about potential issues with Birch, and they had not.

I decided to do some research on Google and found an article on DVM360 from May of 2014 entitled “Veterinary toxicology alert: Oils used in ‘scent training’ can harm dogs.” The lead paragraph of this article states “Michigan State researchers confirm toxicity of birch oil, warn that nontoxic scents may lead pets to food sources with xylitol.”

If you use the essential oil Birch for yourself or other family members and have pets, or if you do canine nosework and use Birch, I would encourage you to read this article. http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/veterinary-toxicology-alert-oils-used-scent-training-can-harm-dogs

The web site http://www.natural-dog-health-remedies.com/ lists the following essential oils as unsafe for use with dogs; Anise, Birch, Camphor, Cassia, Clove leaf and bud, Hissop, Horseradish,  Juniper Wood, Mustard, Pennyroyal, Rue, Tansy, White Thyme, Wintergreen, Yarrow, and Wormwood.

Essential oils have many wonderful health properties, but please make sure you talk to your pet’s veterinarian before using them.