The recall includes all dry pet food products with expiration dates prior to and including March 24, 2013. The brands include California Natural, EVO, Healthwise, Innova, and Karma.
Based in Fremont, Neb., Natura Pet is a maker of “natural” and “holistic” pet foods, according to a company statement.
The recall is an expansion of one that had been announced by the company last month, according to a Food and Drug Administration press release.
The affected products were sold through veterinary clinics and select pet specialty retailers throughout the United States and in Canada, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and Costa Rica. The products were also sold online.
No canned wet foods or biscuits are included in the recall.
Pets infected with salmonella can appear tired, and have diarrhea and vomiting. Some pets may not show obvious symptoms, but experience decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Pets can spread the bacteria to other animals, including humans.
Natura Pet said people who have purchased the products should discard them. If their pets have consumed the recalled product and are showing symptoms, they should contact their veterinarian.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 25th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: advisory, and Karma, animals, bacteria, brands, California Natural, cat, cat food, cats, dog, dog food, dogs, dry, EVO, fda, food and drug administration, health, Healthwise, Innova, natura, natura pet products, pets, recall, safety, salmonella, voluntary, warning
A Baltimore dog food company is coming to the defense of bully sticks — at least those it produces.
The treats, made from bull and steer penises, were maligned in a recent study that reported not everybody who buys them for their dog realizes what they are, that they are high in calories, and that — at least among the 26 bully sticks researchers purchased – about one of every three were contaminated with bacteria.
Boesl Packing, a Baltimore company that makes raw diet dog food and a variety of dog treats — all USDA approved — is recirculating this video, which it produced in 2009, about the making of its K-9 Kraving bully sticks.
Just as the video clearly discloses what bully sticks are, we need to offer some full disclosure of our own here. My former girlfriend (and Ace’s godmother) works at K-9 Kraving, which is how — though I wasn’t aware of it — Ace ended up in the video (around the 30-second mark), gnawing on a bull penis.
Despite all that, I have the ability to remain objective. But what fun would that be?
My opinion is that the study, limited as it was, goes too far in stating the potential safety concerns. The sample size was far too small to issue what — at least once the media got hold of it — amounted to something close to a blanket indictment.
As for the number of calories bully sticks contain — about 88 per six-inch stick — that doesn’t seem too out of line.
As for bacterial concerns, it’s hard to grasp how serious or widespread they may be, given only 26 sticks were tested, and the makers and vendors are not identified in the study. There was a recall in September of bully sticks made by Kasel Associated Industries, based in Denver, due to salmonella concerns.
But what one manufacturer produces sloppily, another may produce with quality. Look at chicken jerky treats, for example.
K-9 Kraving says its bully sticks are “dried at 165 degrees for 3-4 days (depending on girth) …In other words, cooked.” They come only from U.S. farms and are cleaned, odor-free and have the seminal tube removed.
Too much information? There’s no such thing when it comes to what we feed our dogs.
K-9 Kraving points out where bully sticks originated — that is, the country of origin of the bulls and steers to which they were once attached — can be a factor, as can cleanliness, production practices and quality controls.
The company says it was the first dog food company to achieve USDA Certification, meaning its production practices are held to a human grade standard — even in the case of bully sticks, which it began marketing in 2009.
The USDA certification means the treats are suitable for human consumption, and some humans do consume them — though usually not to their knowledge. Outside of the dog treat industry, Chinese restaurants are the biggest purchasers of bull pizzles, for use in preparing soups.
The study was performed by researchers at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and the University of Guelph. Their findings were published in last monthy’s Canadian Veterinary Journal.
Tests on 26 bully sticks purchased from various unidentified vendors found that nine were contaminated with bacteria. One was contaminated with Clostridium difficile; one with Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics; and seven were contaminated with Escherichia coli.
The researchers advised pet owners to wash their hands after touching such treats, as they would with any raw meat diets.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 12th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, bacteria, boesl packing, bull, bully sticks, calories, dog, dog food, dogs, health, k-9 kraving, k9 kraving, penis, pets, safety, steer, study, treats
And more than half of all consumers who buy them for their dogs aren’t aware that they are made from the penises of bulls.
Perhaps even more astounding, about four of every ten veterinarians didn’t know that, either.
The study, which pointed to some health concerns when it comes to bully sticks, also known as pizzles, was published this month in the Canadian Veterinary Journal.
Researchers at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and the University of Guelph examined 26 bully sticks purchased in the United States and Canada. A random sampling of those determined they contained between nine and 22 calories per inch.
That’s about 88 calories per six-inch stick, less than 10 percent of the recommended caloric intake per day for a 50-pound dog.
Slightly more alarming was the study’s finding — based on tests on all 26 bully sticks — that nine were contaminated with bacteria. One was contaminated with Clostridium difficile; one with Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics; and seven were contaminated with Escherichia coli.
The researchers advised pet owners to wash their hands after touching such treats, as they would with any raw meat diets.
Based on an online survey conducted as part of the research, only 44 percent of pet-owners, and only 62 percent of veterinarians, were aware bully sticks were bull penises.
Twenty-three percent of the respondents fed their dogs bully sticks.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 29th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, awareness, bacteria, bull, bully sticks, calories, canadian veterinary journal, consumers, cummings school of veterinary medicine, dogs, food, health, penis, pets, pizzles, research, safety, science, steer, study, treats, tufts university, unaware, university of guelph
The American Veterinary Medical Association next month could give final approval to a policy that discourages feeding pets “raw or undercooked animal-source protein diets” — on the grounds that they are unsafe for dogs, cats and humans.
Some people see the measure as a proactive and well-reasoned stance, aimed at making our dogs and ourselves safer.
Some see it as meddling.
And some see it as a conspiracy.
I, not being a dog food expert, fall into the middle ground — those vast numbers of folks who are highly confused by our dog-feeding options, puzzled over what truly is best for our dogs, befuddled by how so-called experts can be telling us exact opposite things, scared by anything from China, fretting over what we can afford, and, all the while, wondering how something like dog food has managed to become the volatile topic it has.
Emotions about dog food, given all the scares and recalls of the past decade, sometimes seem to run nearly as high as those in the abortion debate, and proponents of one kind of food or another are just about as firmly entrenched in their beliefs.
My dog Ace thrived on a raw diet the two years he was on it. His coat was shinier, his health was good, his stools were less massive, leading a layman like myself to belief that, as its proponents claim, it was a more natural choice for his species, and one he seemed to absorb something from, unlike kibble, which just seemed to go in one end and out the other.
(We switched back to kibble and canned when we entered a refrigerator-less phase of life, and haven’t gone back on raw for budget reasons.)
Even without Ace as a customer, the raw diet has continued to grow in popularity — probably at least in part because of all the issues surrounding other forms of dog food, which, we’d point out, the AVMA hasn’t felt a need to take a stand on.
Next month, at its meeting in San Diego, the AVMA House of Delegates will be voting on a policy discouraging feeding pets a raw diet, based on scientific studies that have shown raw meat, unless it has been subjected to a process that eliminates pathogens, can be contaminated with Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus.
These infections can sicken pets and pet owners alike, and even be life-threatening, the AVMA says.
All that is true enough. Then again, it’s also true of the hamburger meat you bring home from the grocery store. Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek July 23rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american veterinary medical association, animals, avma, bacteria, barf, brenda bax, conspiracy, delta society, director, dog, dog food, dogs, feeding, house of delegates, industry, marketing, meat, meeting, pet food, pets, policy, proposal, purina, raw, raw diet, raw meat, salmonella, san diego, susan thixton, the truth about pet food, theory
This may be a hard pill to swallow for all those worrywarts warning us about zoonotic diseases, but having a dog living inside the home apparently makes for a healthier infant.
A new study reported in the medical journal Pediatrics says infants living in households with dogs were healthier and had fewer ear infections than those without a dog.
The study, based on 397 children who lived in rural and suburban parts of Finland, found that contact with dogs and, to a lesser extent, cats, helped ward off respiratory tract infections during a baby’s first year.
Seems all that dirt and bacteria dogs bring inside might actually help build up the immune systems of babies.
“The children having dogs at home were healthier, they had less ear infections and they needed less antibiotics,” said Eija Bergroth, the study’s lead author and a pediatrician affiliated with Kuopio University Hospital in Kuopio, Finland.
Under one measure, children with dogs were reported as being healthy for about 73% of the time, compared with about 65% of children with no dog contact at home, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Bergroth said that children who lived in households where dogs spent 18 or more hours a day outside showed the most healthy days, fewer fevers and the least use of antibiotics compared with babies with no dog at home.
One theory, she said, is that indoor-outdoor dogs bring more dirt and bacteria inside the home, allowing infants to build up immunities.
Bergroth’s study involved children who were born at Kuopio University Hospital in Finland between September 2002 and May 2005. The children’s parents were given weekly questionnaires from the time their babies were nine weeks old until they were 1 year old.
It’s not the first study to document the physical health benefits of shacking up with dogs. A study funded by the National Institutes of Health showed children exposed to two or more dogs or cats in their first year had lower chances of developing allergies of all kinds than children exposed to one or no pets.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: allergies, antibiotics, bacteria, benefits, dogs, ear infections, Eija Bergroth, exposure, fevers, finland, health, health benefits, households, immune system, infants, infections, Kuopio University Hospital, pediatrics, pets, respiratory, study, zoonoses, zoonotic
The council, while nixing plans for a dog beach in the California town, instructed staff to start working on a plan to allow leashed dogs in more parks and build more fenced open space for dogs to run. The city now has one dog park.
The council’s main concerns seemed to be that dog waste could compound existing problems with bacteria levels on the city’s beaches, and that its limited and eroding beach space should be reserved for use by people.
“I do think we need to increase the amenities for dogs and pets,” council member Tim Brown said at a Tuesday council meeting. “[But] we don’t have an abundant beach line — we have a strand that has been disappearing over the years.”
Tom Bonigut, assistant city engineer, said any increase in bacterial levels in San Clemente’s coastal waters could result in steep fines from regional water quality agencies.
Even Councilman Bob Baker, a dog owner, was against letting dogs run on the beach, according to Patch.com.
“Your dog should be on a leash at all times when you’re in public,” Baker said. “If you’re letting your dog run around on the beach without a leash, you’re making a big mistake.”
The strand of beach in the proposal runs from Dije Court to Mariposa Point and would have been open to dogs from 4 a.m. to 10 a.m.
“I don’t want to swim in dog poop water,” Mimi Lane (pictured above) told the council, according to the Orange County Register.
About a dozen residents spoke against the beach plan, while about two dozen spoke in favor of it.
The city estimates it is home to about 16,000 dogs, only about 5,000 of which are licensed.
(Photo: Fred Swegles / Orange County Register)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: against, animals, bacteria, beach, beaches, california, city council, concerns, dog, dog beaches, dog parks, dogs, eroding, erosion, feces, leash free, limited, meeting, parks, pets, poop, proposal, rejected, san clemente, unleashed, waste
Somehow, in three years of dog-blogging, I’ve managed to avoid addressing the issue of anal glands.
The time has come to express myself.
Dog anal glands are two small glands located on either side of your dog’s anus, each of which holds a tiny amount of a foul smelling brown liquid. For a long time, traditional wisdom among groomers was that, every now and then, those glands should be squeezed, or expressed, to clear them.
Fortunately, especially for groomers and do-it-yourself expressers, the wisdom has changed — so much so that some experts, including veterinarian Karen Becker, featured in the video above, now advise that anal glands, as a rule, be left the heck alone.
That’s because your dog knows how to express himself, so to speak.
Whenever a dog urinates or defecates, the act applies pressure to the anal glands, and a tiny bit of the fluid is released. Dogs also have the ability to express at will, by raising their tails, which they often do when meeting a new dog — as in “Allow me to introduce you, new acquaintance, to eau de Ace.” They just emit a tiny amount, not detectable by humans, but enough to lead those meeting for the first time to a long bout of mutual butt sniffing.
Only once has my dog Ace been the victim of a manual anal gland expressing, by a groomer in Alabama who was pretty much insisting it be done, and insisting I watch and learn. She squeezed and squeezed but nothing came out. Finally she gave up, saying maybe they didn’t need expressing after all.
Many dogs never develop any problem with their anal glands, especially those who are eating quality food — not big on fillers — that lead to a firm stool. A firm stool will create the pressure needed to naturally express the glands.
When the anal glands are not sufficiently expressed, bacteria can build up, which can lead to infections, which can lead to an abscess, which can lead to further problems.
If your dog is scooting or dragging his rear across the floor, emitting foul odors from his rear, or licking and chewing the area, those are signs that his anal glands may not be properly expressing. A visit to a groomer, or better yet a vet, can, shall we say, rectify the situation.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 23rd, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: anal, anal glands, animals, anus, bacteria, do-it-yourself, dog, dogs, express, expressed, expressing, expression, glands, groomers, health, infection, karen becker, manual, pets, rectum, veterinarian, veterinary, vets, video
For all those who fret obsessively about dogs leaving environmentally damaging messes behind — not that it’s not a valid concern — here’s a story of a dog who’s helping clean up the messes we leave behind.
Sable, a discarded German shepherd mix adopted from an animal shelter, has been trained to sniff out illegal sewer connections, which dump billions of gallons of bacteria-filled water into rivers, lakes and streams each year, leading to closed beaches, contaminating fisheries and costing millions to clean up.
Scott Reynolds adopted Sable with the idea of training him to sniff out illegal sewer connections. Now, after a year of work in Michigan’s Kawkawlin River, Sable has earned enough praise to be top dog at Environmental Canine Services, the Detroit Free Press reports.
“In the mornings, he runs to the back room and looks to the hook where his harness is, as if to say, ‘Do we get to do this today?’ ” Reynolds said. “He loves to work.”
Sable is scheduled to do his thing next in Santa Barbara, California, then head to Maine next spring to help track pollution that has closed shellfish beds along the coast.
Sable sniffs water in drains and pipes — often buried in deep woods or under fallen trees — to detect illegal sewer connections. He barks when he smells raw sewage.
Sable also has his own website, sablethesniffer.com.
Sable has an 87% accuracy rate measured against lab results, Reynolds says.
Normally, municipalities send human employees to detect illegal sewer connections — a bit of a guessing game, and a process that requires lab tests that can take weeks.
The dog was turned over by owners who mistreated him, said Autumn Russell of Mackenzie’s Animal Sanctuary, near Grand Rapids. “No one had any idea of his potential,” she said.
Reynolds, who has trained other rescued dogs for search and rescue and narcotics detection, spent more than a year training Sable to sniff out waste, ammonia and detergents that signal illegal connections.
(Photo: By Robert Domm, courtesy of Environmental Canine Services)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 24th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bacteria, connections, contamination, detection, dog, environment, environmental, environmental canine services, hookups, illegal, michigan, sable, scott reynolds, sewage, sewer, sniff, sniffer, sniffing
The City of Austin Parks Department plans to close a popular dog park for six to eight months because of high E. coli bacteria levels in the creek.
Officials blame the bacteria — found during regular water sampling since 2007 — on dog waste at the Bull Creek District Park, one of 12 off-leash parks in Austin.
In March 2008, the city put up signs at the park about the environmental dangers of dog waste, but problems persisted, parks Director Sara Hensley said. The department plans to require leashes at the park beginning Sept. 8. In October, plans call for the dog area to be closed entirely to plant more vegetation to helps keep pollutants from draining into the creek. City officials haven’t determined yet whether leashes would be required when the park reopens in the spring.
Heavy use of the park has worn down existing vegetation there, city officials say, and the drought has led to low, slow-moving waters in the creek where bacteria can thrive, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
Austin’s leash ordinance requires dogs to be on a leash no longer than six feet on public land. The maximum fine for violating that rule is $500.
The parks department is trying to find other spaces that could be turned into off-leash parks, Hensley said.
Debra Bailey, a task force member who formed a volunteer group last year to regularly clean up dog waste at the park, said sewage spills and other trash left in the creek could also be to blame for high bacteria levels. The city should look at other options before closing the dog park or requiring leashes, such as better enforcement and signs related to picking up dog waste, she said.
“They are blaming the dogs and not addressing other issues,” she said.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 10th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: austin, bacteria, bull creek district park, closing, dog park, dogs, E. coli, feces, leash, levels, off-leash, parks, pollutants, poop, scoop, tests, texas, vegetation, waste, water
Veterinarians and dog owners in New York are on alert for leptospirosis after reports this week that two Brooklyn dogs died of the disease and dozens more have been hospitalized.
The infectious illness rarely strikes the city in high numbers, but vets say it seems to be hitting a little earlier and harder this year, the New York Daily News reported.
“Lepto likes warm, wet weather and we’ve got that to a T,” said Dr. Cathy Langston, a renal specialist with the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan, which is treating three dogs for the disease.
The swift-moving illness is spread by a bacteria in the urine of rats, skunks, raccoons and other infected animals, which dogs can come in contact with through contaminated water or moist soil. The disease can damage the kidney and liver and prove fatal if untreated.
The first signs in dogs are weight loss, vomiting, lethargy, depression, muscle pain and sometimes diarrhea or bloody urine.
The Daily News article says Amy Tiscornia, a waitress, returned home from work to her 4-year-old pit bull Bird unable to move. The white dog’s skin and belly were glowing yellow from jaundice and his eyes, she said, “were the color of Mountain Dew.”
The dog fully recovered after three days of treatment in a Long Island animal hospital.
And after a week of round-the-clock IV and treatment at a Long Island animal hospital — amounting to a $7,000 bill — Traci Schiffer’s Boston terrier Fenway also recovered.
Both women live in the East Village and frequently take their dogs to East River Park, where the canines play in the soggy fields and puddles of still water left by the intense rains, the story noted.
A Health Department spokeswoman said it is not considered an outbreak. In 2007, 17 cases were reported in the five boroughs.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 6th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bacteria, brooklyn, contaminated, deaths, disease, dog, dogs, illness, kidenys, lepto, leptospirosis, liver, new york, puddles, raccoons, rats, sick, skunks, soil, standing water, symptoms, veterinarian, veterinary, vets