Using stainless steel salad tongs and simulated doggie drool, a Texas Tech researcher conducted tests on dog toys and determined some of them, under chewing-like conditions, leach chemicals that could harm dogs.
Phil Smith, an asssociate professor of terrestrial ecotoxicology — say that three times fast — presented his findings this week at the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry conference held in California.
Among the toys tested, the worst offenders appear to be plastic fetching batons, or bumpers, which are used to teach dogs how to retrieve, according to a report on his findings by Discovery.com.
Smith, who raises Labrador retrievers, uses bumpers often, and got to wondering whether — with all the reports of dangerous chemicals in plastic — they were causing harm.
“In the process of training a Lab, you do a lot of work with these plastic bumpers,” Smith said in a press release. “I have a lot of bumpers in my garage, and they spend a lot of time in the mouths of my retrievers … Since we all care about our dogs, and we want them to be as healthy and smart and well-behaved as possible, we decided to look into this.”
Smith and Kimberly Wooten, his colleague at Texas Tech University, suspected that bumpers and other dog toys could leach phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA) into the mouths and bodies of dogs. The chemicals are what give elasticity to plastic and vinyl and they are known endocrine disruptors that mimic estrogen or act as anti-androgens, according to Discovery.com.
To test for the chemicals, the researchers created simulated dog saliva, then simulated chewing by squeezing dog toys with stainless steel salad tongs. Toys were also weathered outside to determine if older toys gave off more chemicals.
“We found that the aging or weathering the toys increased concentrations of BPA and phthalates,” Smith said. “The toys had lower concentrations of phthalates than the bumpers, so that’s good news. But they also had some other chemicals that mimicked estrogen. We need to find out what those are.”
Wooten said that BPA and phthalates can have effects on developing fetuses. Studies on humans have resulted in mixed conclusions, but raised enough concern that the U.S. government banning the use of BPA in baby bottles this year.
“The interaction of pet health and environmental chemicals is understudied,” Wooten said. “What may be a safe dose for one species isn’t always a good measure for another species. But the amount of BPA and phthalates we found from the bumpers would be considered on the high end of what you might find in children’s toys.”
Posted by jwoestendiek December 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, baby bottles, batons, bpa, bumpers, chemicals, chewing, childrens toys, conference, dangerous, dog toys, dogs, environmental, fetching batons, golden, harmful, hazards, hunting, labrador, leach, pets, phil smith, phthalates, plastic, plastic dog toys, retrievers, safety, science, Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, terrestrial ecotoxicology, tests, texas tech, toxic, toxins, toys, training, warning
Affected product may contain small pieces of blue plastic, which the company says entered the food during the production process.
The source of the plastic has been identified and the issue resolved, the company said in a press release.
What that source was isn’t identified in the press release.
Mars Petcare says some consumers have reported finding the plastic pieces, but there have been no reports of injury or illness.
Only cans of Pedigree weight management varieties with the production codes shown below are included in this voluntary recall. Each product will have a lot code printed on the end of the can that begins with 209, 210, 211 or 212 and a Best Before date that falls between 2/24/2014 and 3/23/2014.
The recall is for the following Pedigree canned dog foods:
The affected lots were distributed to retail customers throughout the United States.
Pet owners who have questions about the recall should call 1-877-720-3335 or visit www.pedigree.com/update.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, blue, canned, cans, choking, codes, diet, dietary, dog, dog food, dogs, food, health, mars petcare, pedigree, pets, pieces, plastic, recall, risk, safety, upc, urgent, voluntary, warning, weight management
As if having a broken pelvis, fractured jaw and being shot with a BB gun weren’t enough, a stray dog in Memphis somehow managed to get her head embarassingly and dangerously stuck in a plastic jug.
Spotted earlier this month in a wooded area off Interstate 41, with her head encased in the clear plastic jug, the pit bull mix was photographed by Beth Gresham, who posted the photo on her Facebook page.
“We have to get her,” Gresham told her animal-loving friends. “She’s doesn’t have a whole lot of time with that over her head.” About 20 people joined in searching for the dog.
The next day the dog was caught by Chester Burns, according to news reports.
“I seen him coming down pathway with the jug on his head,” said Burns.
Burns said he cornered the dog against a fence with his Jeep. He used wire cutters to cut the plastic jug and remove it from the dog’s head. The dog has been named Miracle.
Jesse Sidle, an animal hospital technician, said that Miracle ate heartily once the jug was removed — consuming dog food, cat food and a rotisserie chicken. She was 27.7 pounds and she should weight around 45, said Sidle.
X-rays showed the dog had a broken pelvis and fractured jaw, that she may have been hit by a car and she carried pellets from having been hit by BB gun fire.
So far, Miracle, who is being fostered by Sidle, has gained five pounds.
Sidle is bringing the dog to work with her at the clinic every day.
Donations to her care can be made to The Memphis Humane Society at 935 Farm Road Memphis, TN 38134, or online at www.memphishumane.org.
Here’s a CNN report on the dog.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, beth gresham, container, dog, dogs, facebook, found, head, jar, jesse sidle, jug, memphis, memphis humane society, miracle, pets, photo, pit bull mix, plastic, rescue, rescued, search, stray, video, woods
A dog seen wandering around Danville, Virginia last week with a plastic container stuck over his head — in the fashion of a spaceman or deep sea diver — has been captured and relieved of his involuntary helmet.
A police officer captured the dog Friday morning, after a resident spotted him and called for help.
He’s now in the custody of the the Danville Humane Society, which has named him “Jughead.”
The Humane Society had been trying to catch “Jughead” all week because the plastic container — similar to one cheese puffs might come in — was preventing him from eating or drinking. They’d offered a $500 reward to anyone who could capture him.
Danville Police Officer Mike Smith captured the dog Friday after a woman spotted him resting on a porch on Colquhoun Street, the Danville News reported.
“He was eager to drink. He seems to be doing better now. He seems to have come around a little bit. He was very scared and very shy when we first saw him but he seems to be doing better now, Danville Humane Society Director Paulette Dean said.
The Humane Society says it will put Jughead — believed to be a pit bull-chow mix, about four years old — up for adoption if no owner is found.
Dean said Jughead wasn’t the first animal to get entrapped in litter. The society has had cases of stray cats, a fox and a raccoon getting their head stuck in containers.
“There are dangers of littering,” she said. “People need to keep their trash contained.”
And their dogs, too.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 10th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, captured, container, danville, danville humane society, dog, freed, head, humane society, jug, jughead, litter, paulette dean, pets, plastic, reward, stray, stuck, virginia, wandering
Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter is crediting quick thinking by two young men with helping save the lives of eight puppies found sealed in a plastic container.
“Late yesterday afternoon a litter of eight retriever mix pups were found in the Highland area of Baltimore by two young men. The young men heard a noise from the container and opened it to find eight almost lifeless pups. Their quick actions in trying to cool the pups down with cool water and air conditioning helped save the pups,” said Jennifer Mead-Brause, executive director of BARCS.
The dogs had temperatures of over 107 degrees when they first arrived at BARCS. The pups were then sent to Everhart animal Hospital for further observation.
All the pups appeared to be recovering, without permanent damage – even though temperatures reached nearly 100 degrees.
Plans were to turn the puppies over to Ruff Life Rescue for their continued care and eventual adoption.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 11th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 100 degrees, adoption, baltimore, barcs, container, found, heat, labrador, mixed breed, overheated, plastic, puppies, pups, rescued, saved, sealed