Nature’s Variety Expands Recall of Raw Frozen Chicken Diets

This just in from Nature’s Variety:

Nature’s Variety has expanded its voluntary recall of Chicken Formula Raw Frozen Diets for dogs and cats to include the “Best If Used By” dates of 10/29/10 and 11/9/10 because these products may be contaminated with Salmonella.

The recall includes the following products with a “Best If Used By” date of 10/29/10 or 11/9/10:

• UPC#7 69949 60131 9 – Chicken Formula 0.75 lb trial sized medallions
• UPC#7 69949 60130 2 – Chicken Formula 3 lb medallions
• UPC#7 69949 60120 3 – Chicken Formula 6 lb patties
• UPC#7 69949 60121 0 – Chicken Formula 2 lb single chubs

In an abundance of caution, Nature’s Variety has also chosen to expand this voluntary recall to include all Chicken Formula and Organic Chicken Formula Raw Frozen Diets for dogs and cats with any “Best If Used By” date on or before 2/5/11. Nature’s Variety has elected to clear the market of raw frozen chicken diets as it implements a state-of-the-art new food safety process called High Pressure Pasteurization for use on all Nature’s Variety Raw Frozen Diets.

The products included in the expanded recall are any Chicken Formula or Organic Chicken Formula Raw Frozen Diet with a “Best If Used By” date on or before 2/5/11, including:

• UPC#7 69949 60131 9 – Chicken Formula 0.75 lb trial sized medallions
• UPC#7 69949 60130 2 – Chicken Formula 3 lb medallions
• UPC#7 69949 60120 3 – Chicken Formula 6 lb patties
• UPC#7 69949 60121 0 – Chicken Formula 2 lb single chubs
• UPC#7 69949 50121 3 – Chicken Formula 12 lb case of chubs
• UPC#7 69949 60137 1 – Organic Chicken Formula 3 lb medallions
• UPC#7 69949 60127 2 – Organic Chicken Formula 6 lb patties

The “Best If Used By” date is located on the back of the package above the safe handling instructions. The affected product was distributed through retail stores and internet sales in the United States and Canada.

No other Raw Frozen Diets are involved in this expansion other than chicken, and no other Nature’s Variety products are involved.

Nature’s Variety now uses High Pressure Pasteurization on their Raw Frozen Diets as a unique process to kill pathogenic bacteria through high-pressure, water-based technology. Having incorporated this state-of-the-art technology on a portion of their raw product offerings in late 2009, Nature’s Variety was able to confidently implement the process universally on all Raw Frozen Diets after the 2/11/10 recall in order to enhance food safety. Nature’s Variety also utilizes a test and hold protocol to ensure that all High Pressure Pasteurized Raw Frozen Diets test negative for harmful bacteria before being released for sale.

“Nature’s Variety believes replacing all raw frozen chicken products on the market with new raw frozen chicken products that use High Pressure Pasteurization is an important and responsible step in order to reinforce consumer confidence and trust,” stated Reed Howlett, CEO of Nature’s Variety. “By recalling all raw frozen chicken products with ‘Best If Used By’ dates on or before 2/5/11, we can provide our pet parents with new raw frozen chicken products that have been processed through High Pressure Pasteurization. Adopting High Pressure Pasteurization is an important step to ensure that our products meet the strictest quality and food safety standards.”

Howlett stated, “Our commitment to consumers in the future is the same as it’s been in the past – to offer Raw Frozen Diets made from the highest quality ingredients, made in our own plant in the Midwest, by people who care deeply about pet nutrition, health, and happiness.”

If you are a consumer and have purchased one of these products, please return the unopened product to your retailer for a full refund or replacement. If your package has been opened, please dispose of the raw food in a safe manner by securing it in a covered trash receptacle. Then, bring your receipt (or the empty package in a sealed bag) to your local retailer for a full refund or replacement.

Consumers with additional questions can call the Nature’s Variety dedicated Customer Care line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800-374-3142. For additional resources about High Pressure Pasteurization or other Nature’s Variety food safety protocols, visit www.naturesvariety.com.

(You can read the full text of the Nature’s Variety alert here.)

How To Spot Canine Arthritis

Like your dog’s pet parents, one of the inevitable issues of old age is arthritis and achy joints. Dogs feel the same type of pain associated with old age as we humans do. Our dogs cannot tell us when they hurt so the task of discovery falls on the pet parent.

Conscientious pet owners are aware of every nuance of behavior their dog demonstrates. The trick is to spot the signs of canine arthritis early so your dog continues a great quality of life throughout their golden years. Here is what to look for:

  • Reduced playtime
  • Lack of enthusiasm when the leash comes out
  • Difficulty getting up
  • Climbing stairs one at a time
  • Excessive licking of paws or joints
  • Less energy and lethargic

For medium to large dogs, signs like these begin to show up around ages 8 to 10 years old, earlier for extra large breeds. Toy breeds as well may show signs of canine arthritis at an earlier age due to their delicate joints.

If you begin to notice your dog exhibiting two or more of these signs the first course of action is to consult your veterinarian immediately. They can tell you the severity of the arthritis and begin a regimen to provide relief from the pain.

For early and less severe cases of canine arthritis there are holistic all natural additives that can be mixed into your dogs water or food daily that will provide relief. HomeoPet® Joint Stress Relief is such a product, which is added to either food or water.

As pet parents, we can help relieve joint pain and stress by providing pet stairs or dog ramps to reduce jumping up or more importantly down from their favorite chair or the family bed. Changing their regular dog bed to an orthopedic dog bed is one the best things pet parents can do.

Orthopedic dog beds come in all sizes and styles from memory foam to heated orthopedic dog beds. While these dog beds can be used regardless of the severity of canine arthritis, the additives should not be mixed with other medications your vet has proscribed without their consultation.

With the new medications available to veterinarians and the dog supplies available to pet parents there is no reason your dog cannot enjoy a healthy pain free quality of life well into old age. The key is to recognize the signs of canine arthritis and get out in front of the pain.

Blood Test For Cancer Detection In Dogs

You may now be able to diagnose cancer in a dog with a simple blood test.

BioCurex has announced the availability of the OncoPet RECAF test, which has detected 85 percent of a variety of cancers in dogs at the standard 95 percent specificity level in premarket studies.

The test detects whether RECAF, a universal marker for malignant cell growth in animals and people, is present in the blood. RECAF’s expression is related to rapid cell growth, which is characteristic of cancer and fetal development. The same blood test is used in people.

The tests will be available through OncoPet Diagnostics Inc., a subsidiary of BioCurex. Depending on the location of your practice, you can send the samples to the OncoPet testing facility directly or to a regional collection center.

OncoPet is in discussions with North American and Canadian distributors, and the test will be available in China as well. BioCurex hopes to have similar tests for other companion animals — cats in particular — in the second half of this year.

For more information, visit OncoPet Diagnostics’s Web site.

FDA Pet Food Recall Database

The FDA has launched a pet food recall database, with recalls dating back to January 1, 2006. The page says the database will be updated as new recalls happen.

Keep in mind though, that history has shown the FDA isn’t always as fast as we’d like when it comes to announcing recalls. And, as we’ve also learned, some pet food companies try their darnedest to cover up issues with their pet food even when pets are having problems. So, although the FDA database is a good thing, it’s wise not to rely only on this database to be the one source for recall news and/or pet food problems.

Here’s the FDA Pet Food Recall Products List. The FDA also has a recall and alert list for human foods.

When you go to the pet food recall list, you’ll also see a link to recall notices for products such as pigs ears, hooves, and veterinary products such as the medications that were recalled recently.

Your Dog’s Health

The health of every dog depends on three major factors: food, physical activities and sound sleep. Let’s start with speaking about healthy food for dogs.

Problems with feeding are widely varied. There are diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, urogenital system, cardiovascular diseases, musculoskeletal system and the so-called “illnesses of civilization”, infections connected with weakening of immunity, endocrine abnormalities, emotional discomfort and many other illnesses.

Quality Food is the basis on which the health of your dog depends.

State of health depends on functions of organs and systems, which in their turn depend on correctness of biochemical and biophysical processes in cells. Proteins, fats, carbohydrates, macrocells and trace elements, vitamins, enzymes, and hormones are necessary for normal construction and functioning of cells and tissues of an animal. Only a complete set of necessary components and the optimum percentage can become a guarantee of normal functioning of an organism. During the evolution process, organism of an animal learned to produce some necessary nutrients itself, but some part should be received with food. Creating a diet, especially for hunting dogs, we should take it into account.

We also have issues with water quality to consider. Water it not only a source of life, but also a source of chemical waste. In water the salts of heavy metals, bacteria, and toxic substances are also found.

Pets are not just beings that live with us, pet are a lot more important. And you are really responsible for them. Those of you who have dogs, should know about dog health.

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