Complete details of the March 2017 Wellness dog food recall as reported by the editors of the Dog Food Advisor
Care2 Causes | Heavy Rains Bring Dog-Killing Bacteria to Northern California
By: Tex Dworkin
February 19, 2017
Northern California has seen more than its fair share of rain this winter. Given the drought, this of course comes as welcomed news for many. But for a few unlucky dogs, the recent rains most likely contributed to their demise.
As KPIX News reported, the rain could be to blame for a deadly bacteria killing Bay Area dogs. In San Francisco, two pets have already died from the disease. The bacteria is called leptospirosis and it’s often found in puddles and other types of stagnant water.
Goussev says that they’ve already seen five leptospirosis cases in the last two months, which is more than they typically see in an entire year. Two dogs died, including 13-year-old Gertie.
She died at the end of January from becoming infected with leptospirosis. The owner suspects that she was infected at John McLaren Park where she would often play.
What does rain have to do with it? Wildlife including rodents can carry and spread the deadly bacteria. Staci Goussev with San Francisco Veterinary Specialists explains how the rain factors in:
“Every time they urinate that urine gets released into the environment. And with all the rain, it’s getting washed into puddles, lakes, streams and ponds. And that’s how dogs are being exposed to it.”
So the more it rains, the more risk there is of this potentially fatal bacteria spreading.
The good news is that the disease is treatable, but you have to act quickly. Infected pets usually show signs about seven days after exposure. Goussev describes the symptoms: “Most typically, the signs commonly we will see first will be decrease in appetite to complete anorexia, vomiting, some dogs will actually show a yellow tinge to their mucus membranes or skin.”
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If you suspect your pet may be infected, call your vet immediately. Leptospirosis is generally treated with antibiotics and supportive care.
AVMA assures, “When treated early and aggressively, the chances for recovery are good but there is still a risk of permanent residual kidney or liver damage.”
What about prevention? Can you vaccinate your dog ahead of time to safeguard against leptospirosis? The short answer: yes.
It’s interesting. I live in San Francisco, and after hearing about the leptospirosis dog deaths, I called my vet. It turns out—my dog Wilbur already received his ‘lepto’ vaccine. I asked if it was among the list of standard vaccinations that they give dogs, and they said no.
So why was Wilbur vaccinated then? Because my vet asked me if we do a lot of outdoor activity near stagnant water. I recall responding with a resounding “Yes!” So I played it safe and he got the shot.
McClaren Park, where Gertie most likely got infected, is one of Wilbur’s regular stomping grounds, and the exact place I pictured when my vet asked me whether we spend time around stagnant water in the outdoors. It has a prominent pond where lots of dogs and their owners flock to for recreational purposes.
I asked the representative at my vet’s office if they are now recommending that all Bay Area pet owners get the lepto vaccination, as opposed to just outdoor gallivanters like me, and she was quick with her yes.
So it seems their lepto vaccination approach has shifted with the heavy rains.
Not to complicate matters, but the lepto vaccination is not without its critics. Just ask Healthy Pets.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) makes the point that the vaccine does not provide 100% protection. “This is because there are many strains (types) of leptospires (the bacteria that causes leptospirosis), and the vaccine does not provide immunity against all strains.”
But here’s the official stance of the American Veterinary Medical Association:
“Currently available vaccines effectively prevent leptospirosis and protect dogs for at least 12 months. Annual vaccination is recommended for at-risk dogs. Reducing your dog’s exposure to possible sources of the Leptospira bacteria can reduce its chances of infection.”
Goussev says pet owners can minimize exposure by avoiding taking dogs to wet marshy areas. But that’s a tall order when you’re used to regular outdoor gallivanting with your dog.
If you want to protect your pet—in addition to getting your pet vaccinated and choosing your destinations carefully, it’s a good idea when you’re in the outdoors to carry fresh water with you so if your dog becomes thirsty, you have a healthy alternative to stagnant water. And keep a watchful eye on pets to prevent unhealthy slurping.
To help prevent leptospirosis infection, the CDC advises that you keep rodent problems (rats, mice or other animal pests) under control, since rodents can carry and spread the bacteria that causes this disease.
Make no mistake—lepto infection is not just a San Francisco concern. Leptospira bacteria love warm humid climates, according to Healthy Pets.
In 2013 Pedro Diniz, DVM, PhD, College of Veterinary Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences said, “Lepto is everywhere, and veterinarians are reporting it more and more across the country.”
In recent years, cases have popped up in Fresno, Oregon and the Denver area.
And it’s not just pets that are at risk. Humans can become infected as well, so in addition to safeguarding pets from infection, pet owners should take steps to prevent themselves and others from becoming infected with the disease due to an infected pet.
The CDC provides a complete list prevention guidelines for pets and humans. And here’s its obvious but nonetheless worth-mentioning advice: “Always contact your veterinarian and your physician if you have concerns about a possible exposure to an infected animal.”
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Complete details of the Petco Pet Food Bowl recall as reported by the editors of the Dog Food Advisor
Source: Petco Food Bowl Recall
Please share this to someone who has a dog. Their pets’ lives may depend on it.
This fourth of July week, DO NOT LET YOUR DOGS GO NEAR ANY TENNIS BALLS OR ANY SMALL OBJECTS THAT IS BIGGER THAN A FIST. Every year there has been a few reports of dog deaths and injuries due to hooligans putting fireworks inside tennis balls and leaving them around dog park areas. These reports aren’t limited to just one state but to almost every state in America. The fact that fireworks are very small, some people could easily conceal it inside a tennis ball and include an ingniter activated by compression such that it will explode upon a dog chewing on it. As of the ‘drop off’ nature, offenders can be far away when the tennis balls explode and no one would be able to identify the offender.
It is horrible that some people are out there causing deliberate…
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In the past 30 or so years, dog ownership has sky rocketed while, unrelatedly, young couples are increasingly choosing to delay parenthood into their late 20s and 30s. Where these trends intersect, a dog may even be something of a surrogate child.
The truth is that dogs, like people, can and do get jealous and insecure. Like us, they are prone to feel unloved or neglected when they’re no longer the center of attention. So imagine how a dog who has commanded an owner’s attention feels when that attention suddenly shifts — almost around the clock — to a new baby.
Sadly, many people fail to consider how to prepare Fido for this turn of events. As a professional dog trainer, I’ve had many clients who dismissed my warnings about potential problems, only to deeply regret it later.
Dog ownership in the United States is at an all-time high. About 55 million households include one or more dogs, according to several national surveys. And 80% of dog owners say they consider their dog to be a part of the family rather than a mere pet. And yet, many of these canine relationships become troubled with changes in the family. This can lead to serious problems.
I’ve seen many situations where doggie was the boss of the house one day, and several weeks later, she was on her way to a shelter. And dogs who feel jilted or afraid can and do get aggressive in these kinds of situations. Between 2010 and 2012, 360,000 children suffered dog bites; 66% were under age 4. They can be disfiguring and require surgery, and many child victims suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder from such attacks.
But in most cases, these scenarios are easily preventable.
Begin by asking yourself key questions: Does your dog like children? Is she afraid of loud, sudden noises? Does she bark incessantly? Does she suffer from separation anxiety?
The answers to these questions can help you design a road map for preparing your dog for baby’s arrival. Once again, you need to make changes in your dog’s life that she might find less than thrilling long before you have your baby. Otherwise, your dog may associate such changes with your baby’s arrival, and that could trigger an unhealthy competitive dynamic between them.
Your road map should include special consideration of three key thresholds in your baby’s life.
You should plan for the arrival of the baby by implementing whatever structural changes you’ll have to make in the rhythm of your dog’s life long before the baby arrives. How long depends on your dog and how deeply embedded into your routine she is. But at a minimum, changes should be implemented no later than a month before your due date. At a maximum, begin the moment you find out you’re pregnant.
The key point is that your dog should not be able to associate these changes with baby’s arrival and begin nursing a grudge.
Look who’s grabbing
The second threshold rolls around when the baby approaches 8 months of age and begins crawling and grabbing. By this point, the owner should have worked hard to condition the dog to the awkward grabbing and pulling at sensitive body parts that a baby will inevitably dish out.
They should also have created a safe zone for their dog so it can retreat beyond the baby’s reach when stressed. Additionally, they should have taught their dog to distinguish child toys from dog toys.
This is relatively easy to do. Begin by getting dog toys that are significantly different in appearance from baby toys. At the same time, dab a little Listerine on all baby toys and teach your dog that the scent of Listerine equals an “off” command. This will go a long way to helping your dog make the right choice.
Most important, ensure that dog and baby are never, ever left unattended together, even for a moment.
Look who’s walking
The third threshold comes at around 14 months, when the baby starts walking. This shouldn’t present a major stumbling block if the owners have crossed the first two thresholds. Rather, it will allow parents to begin focusing on structured, fun interactions between their child and dog, such as appropriate games, rudimentary pseudo-training and more.
The point is that taking the time to prepare your dog for the arrival of your baby can pay off in spades in terms of a safe, wholesome and a mutually rewarding relationship for all involved. On the other hand, failing to spend a little bit of time preparing your dog for this significant addition to your family can have dire consequences. This is why, tragically, so many new parents end up rehoming their beloved, often older dogs within three to six months of a baby’s arrival.
In a perfect world, dog owners have 16 months from the time they find out they are pregnant to the day when their baby begins to crawl. That’s a lot of time to make sure their dog knows what to expect. So do yourself and your dog a favor by choosing the road to a harmonious and loving future for all.
For many pet parents, warm weather is a welcomed treat. We get to spend more time outdoors with our four-legged companions, enjoying the sunshine and participating in fun outside activities. That is, until we hear that all too familiar buzz of the dreaded mosquito.
Not only are these pesky, winged biters annoying, they can lead to a slew of complications ranging from itchy bites and hot spots, to heartworm disease and West Nile Virus, and more. What’s All The Buzz About Mosquitoes & Dogs? Check out this guide to learn more.
Unfortunately, many of the effective pesticides and mosquito repellents we use to protect ourselves are highly toxic, even deadly, to our furriest family members. Luckily, it’s easy to safely and naturally repel mosquitoes from your yard with a little creative landscaping using these 6 dog-safe plants that naturally repel mosquitoes – and other pests, too!
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
This hardy, easy-to-grow plant is more than just a tasty addition to your favorite recipes – it naturally deters mosquitoes, too! Unlike most other insect-repelling herbs, basil doesn’t have to be crushed or ground in order to release the scent and oils that keep mosquitoes at bay. There are a wide variety of basil plants, all of which provide some relief from the flying pests, but lemon basil and cinnamon basil are the most effective. Bonus: basil plants naturally repel house flies, too!
Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
We all know cats (and some dogs!) love catnip. But, mosquitoes absolutely hate it! Some studies have actually shown catnip plants to be several times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET, a potentially dangerous chemical used in many bug repellents. Catnip is easy to grow and can be planted in pots strategically placed around the yard and seating areas to keep bugs at bay. Just remember, while you’re repelling mosquitoes, you might be attracting the neighborhood cats…
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
In addition to being a beautiful, colorful, and fragrant addition to your garden, mosquitoes despise the calming, fresh scent of lavender. Lavender can be planted in your garden, right in the ground, or grown in pots on your deck, porch, or windowsill, both indoors and out for a splash of color, a fresh, calming fragrance, and to keep those tiny vampires away from you and your pets.
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
Lemon Balm, also known as horsemint, is another hardy, easy-to-grow plant that naturally repels mosquitoes. Thriving well in both sunny spots or in the shade, this plant gives off a strong scent similar to citronella that mosquitoes despise. Grow it in a pot and place in the center of your patio table, beside entryways, or around the yard to keep the area clear of mosquitoes. And, best of all, while mosquitoes can’t stand Lemon balm, bees and butterflies don’t mind it at all!
Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
Because of its strong, minty aroma, many insects, including mosquitoes, steer clear of peppermint plants. However, because these plants tend to grow aggressively, you may prefer planting them in pots and strategically placing them around sitting areas, on windowsills, and near entryways, rather than planting in the ground. Plus, while they’re non-toxic to dogs, many enjoy the taste and smell and will nibble or roll around in them, killing the plant. Bonus: Use the leaves to add flavor to teas and other delicious minty recipes!
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Another pet-safe option for naturally repelling fleas, that’s also useful in the kitchen, is rosemary. Unpleasant to both mosquitoes and other flying insects, rosemary is quite versatile. Plant in pots, protect your herb garden from insects, or use around the perimeter of your yard to keep insects away while at the same time attracting butterflies.
Plants to avoid:
The plants listed above aren’t the only ones that naturally repel mosquitoes – but they ARE both effective against insects AND safe for dogs. Always remember when designing your garden to be mindful of plants which may be toxic for your fur-family. Citronella, while highly effective against mosquitoes, is deadly to dogs, as are Geraniums, certain varieties of Marigolds, and Garlic plants.
For more information about landscaping especially with dogs in mind, check out this PAW-some guide on Dogscaping: Creating the Ultimate Dog-Friendly Landscape!
All-over-it dog lovers know the basics of keeping dogs safe in summer: Bring lots of water with you on walks, watch for the signs of your dog overheating and never, ever, ever leave a dog in the car — even on days that don’t seem that warm.
But it might come as a surprise to even the most type-A pup owners that the very pavement beneath your dog’s paws could be sizzling hot. And hot pavement can have gruesome and painful consequences.
“Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet’s paws, so walk your dog on the grass if possible,” the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) urged. But sometimes it can be hard to tell.
Luckily, there’s a quick and easy test, courtesy of Moon Valley Canine Training, to see if the street temperature is safe enough for a walk with your dog. Put the back of your hand on the pavement, and if you can’t keep it there for five seconds, it’s too hot for your pup’s feet.
If the pavement fails the test, walk your dog when the temperature drops a bit (if he can wait) or stay on the grass. If walking your dog on hot pavement is unavoidable, there are things you can do to be prepared, like using special dog booties or dog paw wax designed to protect your dog’s sensitive paw pads from the heat.
Bo, a Cane Corso, is immediately rushed to the hospital on Tuesday after he’s rescued by the BARCS Animal Shelter.
This article was written by Adam Cecil of PolicyGenius.
You’ve just brought your new pal home for the first time. You remembered the essentials: food and water bowls, a comfy bed, plenty of toys and a toolkit of grooming tools. But over 99 percent of pet owners are forgetting one of the most important products you need for your pet: insurance.
Pet insurance? What’s that?
Pet insurance is easy to understand. Humans have health insurance to cover the costs to treat their aches, pains and illnesses, and pet insurance does the same for their animal companions.
There are two major types of pet insurance: accident plans and comprehensive plans. Accident plans can help cover the silly things your pet does — a swallowed sock or corn cob — or human mistakes, like a car accident. But it doesn’t cover illnesses like cancer, a disease that accounts for over 50…
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