Jerky Treats Killing Dogs, Cats – 2013 Recall for Dog Food Treats

Jerky treats are killing dogs (and some cats) and after an earlier recall, the FDA is seeking more information on dog food treats that have been sold over the last few years that may have sickened pets.

Most of the jerky treats implicated have been made in China.

Pet owners are concerned now that new numbers have been released and it has been revealed that almost 600 pets have died from illnesses linked to the dog treats.

Some of the cases have have involved “kidney failure, gastrointestinal bleeding, and a rare kidney disorder. About 60 percent of cases involved gastrointestinal illness, and about 30 percent involved kidney and urinary systems.”

What should pet owners do?

The best thing to do is to only buy treats made in the USA.

If you ignore the warnings and still feed your dogs the treats and your pet becomes sick, the government agency warns to”stop the treats immediately, consider seeing your veterinarian, and save any remaining treats and the packaging for possible testing.

Indoor Cats Get Fleas Too!

You may think your cat will never become dinner for fleas but a surprising number of indoor-only cats have problems.

Since cats are fastidious groomers, the fleas may go unnoticed until you see your cat doing lots of scratching or you notice some hair loss due to bite allergies. If you have a dog who goes outside, even if he’s on flea prevention he stands of chance of being a flea carrier. You can also bring fleas in on your pants or socks. Another way they gain access is through the window screen, especially if your cat enjoys sitting by a first-floor window.

To do a flea check, place your cat on a white towel and brush. If you see black specks (flea debris) then it’s time to get some flea control.

Why Is My Dog Scratching?

All dogs scratch at sometime, and here are a few reasons why your dog may have an itch.

First of all you need to examine your dog’s fur to see if there is any sign of fleas. They will be visible if your animal is infested, alternatively, one random flea could have bitten him and caused an allergic reaction.

After a good search you find no fleas in his coat, you should try flea control for approximately four weeks to see if it had been an allergy to a fleabite.

If there is an odor coming from your pet, or his skin is damp and reddened, it could well be a skin problem. Try him first with a therapeutic dog shampoo to see if it remedies the problem, if it doesn’t you will need a medication from the vet.

Mange is a skin problem that is very uncomfortably and causes your pet to lose fur when they scratch.

As soon as you think there is a possibility of Mange, take your pet to the vet as he will need to take some skin scrapings. Tests at a lab will reveal whether there are mites present and appropriate medication prescribed.

If you have ruled out all of these possible causes yet your pet is still scratching, it may well be an allergy. Plants, mod, pollen and dust are all allergens that are found around the house.

If there is a pattern to his scratching and it worsens during the warm weather it many be an allergy to pollen or grass.

It can take a long time to pin down the cause of your pets itching, but is well worth it as you will have a healthy and much happier dog who is free of that irritating itch.

Skin Irritation In Dogs

We are inclined to think of dogs as being tough; animals that can take care of themselves; animals that are far more in contact with nature than we humans are and we kind of admire them for it, after a fashion. However, the truth is that dogs come under a lot of of the stresses that we do including pollution and junk food, even though they do not have to do the nine-to-five or sit in traffic jams, which are of our own causing anyway.

Most of the stresses that dogs suffer are not of their own causing, they are our fault as well. These stresses often out themselves in much the same way as they do with us in neuroses, anti-social behaviour and skin problems amongst other ways. In this piece, I want to talk about some of the most common sorts of canine skin irritation, not all of which can be attributed to human activity.

The foremost cause of bad skin in dogs is fleas in the town and fleas and ticks in the countryside. The cause of the inflammation is these parasites’ spittle. A dog’s immune system can handle a few fleas, but the problem comes when he is infested. Brief infestation can happen fairly quickly, but usually it is a symptom of neglect. If a dog was groomed every week, the problem would not get out of hand.

Often a neglected dog will look mangy because he has pulled his hair out and injured his skin with continuous scratching, try to rid himself of his tormentors. If the dog had remained in a pack like it was born to tens of thousands of years ago, it would be groomed every day by its companions. A domestic dog relies on its owner to do this for him. You could liken it to a child crawling with lice waiting for its parents to do something about it.

You can treat it and prevent it happening by bathing your dog in insecticidal shampoo as indicated on the label and dusting him and his box with flea powder on a regular basis, say, in conjunction with his weekly grooming.

A similar looking condition is mange. Mange is caused by minute parasitic mites burrowing under your dog’s skin. Again, your dog can handle a few mites, but an infestation is bad. It can also be caught by humans, but our bodies usually clear the problem up. However, your dog will be driven to distraction by an infestation of mites.

If you cannot find scores of fleas on your dog, it is probably mange, also known as scabies. You should be able to catch this early if you notice red, possibly bleeding patches of skin. Your vet or pet shop can sell you something to cure it fairly quickly.

Mosquitoes can be as much, if not more of a bother to dogs than they are to us. Mosquitoes harass dogs on the snout and genitals, but you cannot put DEET or other creams for humans for the reason that they will lick the chemical off causing stomach problems. You can apply lemon juice or oil scented with grated lemon rind and lemon juice, because mosquitoes hate lemon smells.

If your dog’s skin problem does not fit into any of these categories, then he is probably suffering from an allergy or pollution of some sort and you will have to take him to a vet.

How To Keep Your Pet Healthy

The family pet is an important part of American homes, often just like part of the family itself. Of course, we don’t go to the extent of inviting our pets over to the dining table, but our love for them is very clear. Keeping our pets healthy is a top priority, given how much we care for them. Here are a few steps to help you make sure that your pets enjoy long and fruitful lives.

Make sure to annually vaccinate your pets. Despite this, a lot of pet owners are declining vaccines due to the safety issues involved. That still shouldn’t stop you from having your pets vaccinated, as it may help them avoid contracting certain deadly diseases like the canine parvovirus. You can protect your pets from these diseases with a standard vaccination, and save money in the long run – they can be very expensive to treat otherwise. The standard costs for treatment can often go over $1,000, including the costs of hospitalization and medicine. Vaccines cost much less than that.

The next thing to consider is dental care. Make sure you have your pets’ dental check-ups scheduled on a regular basis. Dogs that regularly get fed human food are especially in need of regular dental care. Do not take this lightly as liver, heart and kidney diseases can easily set in if your pets’ teeth aren’t well maintained. In fact, there are studies that show that 80% of all pets over three years old have some form of dental disease. It may not really sound like fun, but brushing our pets’ teeth can greatly reduce the risk of dental disease and other health issues in our pets. For our pets’ teeth, preventive measures are just as important.

Finally, we need to carefully monitor our pets’ weight and diet. Usually, monitoring our pets’ diet and making sure it is balanced is the best preventive measure. Choosing a good brand of pet food can help set us in the right path as pet owners to prevent obesity in our pets. Overweight pets may seem cute on the surface, but be aware that an overweight or obese pet can develop serious health problems. Among the health problems an overweight pet can acquire are joint pain and arthritis, as well as cardiovascular issues. A dog treadmill can be an excellent way to exercise your pet if the weather is bad or you live in an unsafe area.