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.

Circovirus scare: Keep facts in perspective – AVMA

Reports about possible cases of canine circovirus abound, but it’s important to keep the facts in perspective, according to American Veterinary Medical Association experts and others. “Circovirus has been found in the feces of healthy dogs,” notes veterinarian Thomas Mullaney of Michigan State University. “Also, the initial research shows that nearly 70% of dogs showing clinical signs of illness and found positive for circovirus were also infected with other viruses or bacteria known to cause disease.” According to the AVMA, circovirus is no longer under consideration as the primary cause of sickness in dogs in Ohio, and just one of those dogs tested positive for circovirus. The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne, Ind.)

Do Our Pets Smile?

Pavlov might have called that happy look on your dog’s face a collection of conditioned reflexes, but now science is catching up with what animal lovers have always known.

According to Professor Nicholas Dodman, head of animal behavior at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts School of Medicine and a regular on Animal Planet’s Dogs 101 and Cats 101, until recently, scientists have generally underestimated the emotional range of animals. He says that today it is widely understood by scientists that mammals do experience primary emotions such as fear, sadness, anger, and happiness and even some secondary emotions like jealously and embarrassment-and they communicate them. Dodman says that dogs even have a sense of humor and laugh with a kind of huffing sound. He describes a study that examines how playing recordings of this laughing sound actually calms shelter dogs.

It’s an expression that disarms possible aggression, much like the human smile.” Cats have naturally bowed mouths, so Dodman says its tricky to pinpoint an actual smile, but they are emotionally sensitive, trainable, and affectionate. Among many other pets, Dodman has enjoyed sharing his home with rats, which he says are “very affectionate and intelligent.” Dodman, points out that your pet might not understand the exact details of your hard day, but you probably sense it is empathetic enough to curl up and listen.

Marc Bekoff, Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado and author of The Animal Manifesto: Six Reasons for Increasing our Compassion Footprint, agrees. “People are often keener observers of animal behavior than they give themselves credit for,” says the leading expert on animal emotions. Bekoff says that scientific research, for the most part, eventually confirms what animal lovers intuit and observe. Part of the lag is due to “studying animals in a box” as Dodman calls it. Dodman, who is giving a series of lectures on dog and cat behavior in November, explains that our advances in understanding the richness and depth of animal’s lives is enhanced by researchers such as Jane Goodall who live with animals in their natural environments.

Bekoff points out that it makes biological and evolutionary sense for animals to experience a range of emotions and be able to show them, just as it does for humans. In a paper published by researchers from the University of Washington on rats, laughter, and joy, the authors describe how young rats vocalize when being tickled. The scientists explain that this laughter is bonding and “may have evolutionary relations to the joyfulness of human childhood laughter commonly accompanying social play.” Bekoff says our emotions might not be exactly analogous to those of animals, but neither are all humans’ emotions the same. “The way two siblings experience the death of a parent might not be exactly the same, but they are both experiencing grief.”

We believe our pets do smile and laugh. Does your pet? Let us know what you think.

 

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Can Your Waste Basket Kill Your Cat?

If you don’t think of the waste basket in your bathroom as anything to worry about as far as a cat is concerned, think again!

Dental floss is a form of string, and we know that cats cannot resist playing with it. Once they put it in their mouths, their natural instinct is to swallow, and what goes down cannot come back up.

There may also be razor blades, or safety razors, but once in the paws of a curious cat they no longer represent “safety;” they pose serious danger.

Keep your waste basket secure and check for any other items that may be dangerous to your cat.

A Book To Assist You Choose Your Pet

Are you thinking about getting a pet but are unsure of which type to get? Finally, there are helpful tips for help you decide. Eric Nolah’s “Choosing a Dog Breed Guide” is a gem among pet books. It’s an convenient to carry and read paperback get ready to enjoy in various settings to assist you decide the right dog for you.

Many people make the mistake of choosing a pet without considering its breed or proclivities. They later discover the breed of dog was a bad match for their living situation. With Nolah’s text you can look at the different characteristics of many kinds of pets and decide which one seems most suitable for you.

The guide gives descriptions of many characteristics, most of which you might not know even though they pertain to very popular breeds. When you are making your selection on which pet to bring home, think about these traits and imagine how they would fit with your life.

Your living situation is incredibly important to consider when selecting a dog. If you have a backyard you plan to keep your pet in, you may want to stay away from breeds with a propensity to dig. If you have other pets like cats, it’s probably best to avoid breeds with aggressive streaks. Supposing you live in an apartment, you don’t necessarily want a form of dog that functions best with much space outdoors.

For detailed characterizations of many different breeds, this guide is an excellent resource. You can learn about breeds like the Alaskan malamute, Tibetan terrier, Welsh corgi, Japanese spitz and Afghan hound. More popular breeds covered include border collies, German shepherds, golden retrievers, poodles and beagles.

Factoring in pet breed characteristics when you make your choice can help you and the dog to achieve the best living situation possible. “Choosing a Pet Breed Guide” is among the best books of its kind and should prove very beneficial for conscientious pet owners.