FDA to vets: Watch out for jerky pet treats; some linked to illness, death

By CNN Staff

updated 9:53 PM EDT, Tue October 22, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The FDA says it’s received reports of thousands of pets getting sick
  • Official: “This is one of the most elusive and mysterious outbreaks we’ve encountered”
  • The agency asks veterinarians to report illnesses tied to jerky pet treats
  • The FDA says most of the treats involved were made in China

(CNN) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a message for veterinarians and pet owners: If dogs or cats get sick after eating jerky pet treats, let us know.

The agency says it’s received reports of more than 3,600 dogs and 10 cats that got sick after eating jerky pet treats since 2007. Of those cases, the FDA says, more than 580 pets have died.

“This is one of the most elusive and mysterious outbreaks we’ve encountered,” said Bernadette Dunham, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine.

“Most of the jerky treats implicated have been made in China,” the FDA said. Investigators have tested more than 1,200 samples but haven’t uncovered what could be causing the illnesses.

On Tuesday, the FDA issued a letter to veterinarians asking for helptracking the illnesses. The agency also released a fact sheet for pet owners warning of possible symptoms, including decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea, increased water consumption and increased urination.

“FDA recommends that pet owners whose pet becomes sick after eating jerky pet treats should hold on to any unused portion of the product in its original container for at least 60 days, in case FDA calls to request samples for testing,” the fact sheet says. “Owners should place the container inside a sealable plastic bag, if possible.”

The FDA says there isn’t a particular brand for which consumers should watch.

“The illnesses have been linked to many brands of jerky treats,” the FDA says. “The one common factor the cases share is consumption of a chicken or duck jerky treat or jerky-wrapped treat, mostly imported from China.”

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My Dog and I: Ouch, my feet hurt!

The other day I had an annoying pebble in my shoe I wanted to get rid off.  So, I stepped out of my shoe and put my toes on the pavement –OUCH, the ground was so hot that I actually burnt my toes!

egg-frying-on-sidewalk

Ozzie sat next to me, happily, looking up at me with that loveable, huge grin that is so characteristic for him.  This made me think:  if I burn my toes on the hot pavement, what about his little paws?  I figured I already knew the answer, but I did some research just to be sure.

Here is what I found out:

People think: Dog paws have protective calluses and won’t burn on hot pavement.
Not so: A dog’s paws can and will burn when exposed to extremely hot surfaces such as pavement, sand, concrete, asphalt and so forth.  Test the ground; hold your bare hand or, as in my case foot, on a sidewalk for 5 seconds. If it’s too hot for your skin to handle it is also too hot for your dog’s paws to handle.  In fact, Fido’s pads cannot only burn but blister, too.

People think: Dog paws have protective calluses and won’t burn on hot pavement.
Not so: A dog’s paws can and will burn when exposed to extremely hot surfaces such as pavement, sand, concrete, asphalt and so forth.  Test the ground; hold your bare hand or, as in my case foot, on a sidewalk for 5 seconds. If it’s too hot for your skin to handle it is also too hot for your dog’s paws to handle.  In fact, Fido’s pads cannot only burn but blister, too.

People think: Oh, I have her winter booties; they should protect her from the hot ground when I take her for a walk.
Not so: If you put outright winter boots on your dog’s feet in the summer, chances are that he will sweat even more.  According to Thais Zoe, author of Lucky Duck Living, “dogs have the ability to cool their paws through the in-between of their pads”.  Heat rises from the ground up and gets trapped in the boots.

mainA much better alternative is Pawz boots (because they don’t trap the heat and the dog actually has traction, and, therefore, she can walk properly) or Musher’s Secret, which is a super dense wax that protects paw pads in extreme temperatures –hot or cold.

Musher's-S

I love this stuff, I use it on my arms when they are scratched-up from the rose garden, or from playing with my cats and puppies, I use it on my chapped hands and lips, I use it on Oskar’s nose and pads, and I use it as a general heal-all remedy for minor surface injuries.  Trust me, my husband thinks I’m nuts. But hey, if it works, why not 😉

The point is that it’s easy to misunderstand or overlook our pets’ discomfort.  We need to pay close attention to their body language as well as other signs.  Our French Bulldog, Oskar, always has a huge smile on his face, even when he’s panting like crazy.  So, if you can’t walk your pup in the shade, take preventive steps.

As Dr. Patty Kuhl points out in her PetMD article If You Can’t Stand the Heat … On Burnt Pad Denial in Dogs,  “Your dog would probably follow you to the ends of the earth and never complain.”

Woof, woof & meow!

Images courtesy of: Dietmar Hoepfl, Musher’s Secret.net, Pawz.com

May is National Pet Month!

National-Pet-Month

Since May is national Pet Month, lets all celebrate our Pets! Here are 6 gifts we can give to our pets:

ADD AN ID CHIP.

A microchip is the single best way to ensure that our pets will make their way back to usin case they run off, or get lost.
homeagain-microchips-facts

HEALTHY WEIGHT.

To ensure strong and healthy joints and our pets’ overall longevity, we can make sure we feed them properly, keep table scraps out of their bowl, and create opportunities for exercise.
Penny and Benny blue copy

THE BIG FIX.

Getting our dog or cat spayed or neutered not only reduces the likelihood of unwanted offspring,
but it offers many health benefits, too.
BigFix1

PEST PREVENTION.

It takes year-round vigilance to prevent fleas and worms-our pets’ good health depends on it.
flea-lifecycle

DENTAL CARE.

We can’t let our pets suffer from tooth or gum disease. We can consult with our vet about keeping our pets’
mouth clean and healthy.
pet_dental_health

VACCINATIONS.

We should visit our vet regularly and make sure our cats and dogs are up to date on all of their immunizations.
0810-noncore

Images courtesy of: all-pets-info.com, valleyanimalcoalition.org, catinfo.org, vetcoclinics.com, k9fitclub.com, kewbeachvets.com

My Dog and I: Mommy, Mommy, My Harness is Pinching Me!

My blog post of April 3rd “Improperly Fitted Harness is Dangerous” has generated a whole bunch of requests for more information, so, I followed the call.

image-19

Anyone out there who loves a soft harness?  Somebody who prefers an H-harness to a traditional harness?  How about a Buddy harness, a Rope-on the Go harness?  Oh, yes, and how about a Halti, or an Easy-Walk harness, or a No-pull harness, or any other specialized harness?

Confused?  I’m not surprised, because there are countless styles of dog harnesses available today, and making the right choice for your particular dog can pose an almost impossible challenge.

Bottom line is this, whatever type of restraint you chose for your dog, buying a harness is not just a matter of personal preference, because even dogs from the same breed come in different sizes, shapes, weight, girth and so forth.  So, go and get help; the best way to fit your dog with a harness is to take him to the store with you!  There, trained staff will assist you in finding the right style and fit, so you won’t pick form over function, or beauty over safety, and still end up with a rockin’ piece of safety gear for Fido.  This may take some time and a few fittings, but any decent retailer will do this for you and your dog.  All staff at The Jumping Bulldog are trained to fit a harness properly, and none of us will let a dog walk out of the store with an ill-fitting restraint because it’s dangerous.

A harness that is not fitted appropriately can cause chafing, bruising, chocking, it can affect a dog’s gait and posture, and a dog can simply slip out and run off.

As for Ozzie, he lives in all kinds of funky step-in harnesses.  They are easy to use and adjust; they provide an even distribution of pressure around the dog’s chest and they are choke-free (no tracheal interference). Equally important is that he feels comfortable in them.  How do I know this?  No, he didn’t tell me.  But I know my dog, and if he is a piece of gear that doesn’t fit right, or feels too stiff, or is itchy, or pinches him somewhere, he will not move –not even for a t-bone steak!  But he loves his step-ins, and when it’s time for a walk I lay his harness on the floor, he steps into it on his own, and trots happily along my side -and that makes a mom happy.

Step-in Harness

 

 

 

 

Those are the facts.

Then there is my husband’s philosophy that says that Oskar’s harnesses should be pre-worn for a proper fit.  Similar to those special people in England who hire someone to walk-in their shoes for six months, or wear their suits before personal use (No, I am not kidding!).  So, my advice is to listen to me, instead of my husband 😉

To learn more check out this great articleDog Harnesses – makes, models and colors explained I found on Squidoo, or write to us at info@jumpingbulldog.com.

Woof, woof & meow

 

Images © The Jumping Bulldog

My Dog and I: Daddy, Daddy, I can’t Breathe -Pet CPR!

Walking along for Ozzie’s first walk early this morning, I noticed an elderly man struggling with his dachshund -the poor thing couldn’t breathe and was helplessly flailing its little limbs.  We kicked into emergency mode and administered PET CPR, which helped the dog back on its paws enough to be taken to the vet.  Everyone got a good scare, most of all the poor dog!

I feel that this is a good time to remind everyone that we can all learn basic Pet CPR and Pet First Aid to assist our cats and dogs in an emergency.  Elizabeth Kemp, a contributor to Modern Dog Magazine, even teaches us how to make our own Canine First Aid Kit.

And for a little visual help, take a look at this diagram I found some time ago on care2.com:

Pet CPR

Pet CPR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article courtesy of Modern Dog Magazine

Diagram courtesy of Care2 make a difference

My Dog and I: Mommy, I need a pedi!

Every pet parent knows that trimming is an important part of a regular grooming routine for our dogs, and cat, and other critters (see G-Force, The Jumping Bulldog’s guinea pig – customer, who comes in for nail trims!).

Nails that are too long are not only uncomfortable for the pet but also dangerous, as they can cause injury and subsequent infection.  Nails can break, which is painful, and sometimes long nails can also cause an irregular gait that leads to skeletal damage.

Here is what you can do to help your pup/ cat to be safe and more comfortable, other than having the vet or your local pet store do it for you.

 

nails

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of wholelifepetsblog.com

My Dog and I: Dog Days at the Beach!

ImageYesterday we brought Oskar, our French Bulldog, for his first visit to a real beach -and, of course, he loved it!

Just like their owners, many dogs love the beach, the sun and the ocean.  As summer is rapidly approaching, this is a good time to remember that our pooches need special beach care, too.

Dogs can suffer from the ill effects of a day at the beach because the sun, sand and saltwater can have similar effects on their skin, eyes, ears and fur as it can have on humans.

Even after 5:00 PM the sun as well as the reflective rays from the ocean are strong.  I wondered if Ozzie’s coat is enough to protects his skin against the heat of sun while we were sufficiently covered with a sun block.  And what about his ears and nose?

Well, most importantly, to keep Oskar protected and comfortable in this rough environment we applied Musher’s Secret[1] to the inside of his ear flaps, the top of his nose and his paws, and even his belly.  Then we strapped him into his life preserver, and off he went.

But keeping Fido comfy and safe at the beach, there are more things you can do:

  • Bring along either a dog t-shirt or apply a sun block for dogs.
  • Avoid dirty, oily and tarry sand spots, broken glass, sharp or edgy rocks, and pieces of seashells that may cut or scrape your pup’s paws.
  • Try to keep your puppy from drinking the salty ocean water -fresh water is a must!  Bring along a gallon (or two) of chilled water and a portable dog bowl.  Then fill the bowl intermittently with fresh water.  (Well, do you enjoy slurping sandy water?)
  • Make sure your dog wears a “beach resistant”, or well-worn[2] collar with all tags attached.
  • Take along beach towels for sprawling on the hot, itchy sand and the drive home.
  • Pack sun umbrella, doggie tent or a soft-sided travel kennel to give your pup a brake from the sun.
  • Last but not least –never leave home without it- pack those poop bags!

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It is just as important to keep in mind that a dog needs a bath after a day at the beach.  While saltwater can have healing effects on certain skin conditions, it may actually be harmful, if saltwater and sand are not removed from a dog’s body.  Best way to start is by giving Fido a good brush-out and then a soothing bath.

Taking these simple steps can help you and your dog enjoy a day at the beach and stay safe at the same time.

So, start checking out the dog beaches near you http://www.bringfido.com/attraction/beaches/ and prepare yourself for a long, fun summer with your dog!

For questions on this subject or product information please email info@jumpingbulldog.com.

We look forward to hearing from you!


[1] Amazing paw rub that can be used in the winter and the summer to protect various parts of your dog’s body!

[2] The fabric of a new collar may react to the saltwater and may shrink around your pup’s neck.  This can make your dog feel uncomfortable; it can cause chafing around the neck area, or even pose a chocking hazard.

Doggie PlayCare & Doggie Depot

 

We are touched by your relentless support, as by your consistent request to do this once again.  So, here it is —back by popular demand— Doggie PlayCare has returned to The Jumping Bulldog!

For inquiries just give us a call. All details will be posted here as well as on our website soon!

As always, thank you for your support 🙂