A Hialeah, Florida police officer is on paid administrative leave while an investigation into the death of two police K9 dogs in his care is underway.
Jimmy, a 7-year old Bloodhound that searched for missing children and adults, and Hector, a 4-year old Belgian Malinois that chased and apprehended suspects, both died after being trapped inside their handler’s patrol car for at least 6 hours in the sweltering Florida heat.
After working the night shift along with the dogs, Officer Nelson Enriquez, a 13-year veteran of the Hialeah Police Department, parked his patrol car, a Ford Explorer SUV, in front of his Davie, Florida home mid-morning on Wednesday. He went inside, forgetting that the dogs were still in the SUV.
The dogs were found more than 6 hours later, at around 7pm. Outside temperatures in Davie that day were in the mid to upper-80’s, making the temperature inside the vehicle well into the 100’s. Both dogs were dead, most likely from heat exhaustion, an excrutiatingly horrific way to die.
“Davie Police are the lead investigating agency, and with the Broward State Attorney’s Office will make the final determination whether this was an accident or if this was any sort of abuse or negligence,” Hialeah Police Sgt. Carl Zogby explained to The Sun Sentinel.
Zogby also said that Officer Enriquez is extremely distraught. The officer, his wife, and their two young children considered the dogs part of their family. Both dogs lived inside the home with the Enriquez family.
Police in both Davie, where the deaths occurred, and in Hialeah, where Officer Enriquez was employed are investigating.
“We’re investigating this just like any other animal crime,” Davie Police Sgt. Pablo Castaneda said.
After police determine exactly what happened, they will determine whether any charges should be filed. And, they will put measures in place to prevent something like this ever happening again.
Many grain free pet foods on the market today use tapioca as an ingredient, and for very good reason. Tapioca is used as the starch source to bind together all the other ingredients for the final product consistency and form. All commercially prepared dry pet foods must contain a form of starch or the final product will be a bunch of crumbs. Compare this to adding bread crumbs to meatloaf…the bread crumbs are binding the remaining ingredients together so a loaf shape can be formed.
Is Tapioca Healthy?
Yes, the carbohydrate is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and organic compounds. These include a very low level of saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. It is also a rich source of dietary fiber, “good” cholesterol, and protein. Furthermore, tapioca contains members of the vitamin B-complex, including pantothenic acid, folate, and B6, as well as iron, manganese, calcium, copper, and selenium. Besides, if you’ve ever had tapioca pudding, your taste buds will never forget it…in a good way, of course!
Where does Tapioca Come From?
Tapioca comes from the starch extracted from the cassava root, which is native to Africa and South America.
Is Your Grain Free Pet Food Made in the USA?
With all the buzz and rightful reasons to want to feed a grain free pet food to your dog and cat that is made in the USA, it’s important to check the ingredients on your pet’s food bag. Many pet food companies claim their grain free formulas are made in the USA; however, if you look close enough at the ingredients and you see tapioca listed, the company you are trusting with your pet’s nutrition is not being truthful. What else could they be hiding?
For a company to claim their grain free dog and cat food formulas are made in the USA, ALL ingredients MUST be USA-sourced ingredients. Since tapioca is NOT from the United States, the company cannot say their grain free pet food formulas are Made in the USA.
Call to Action – We Need your Help
To increase pet consumer awareness, we are in the process of compiling a list of all grain free pet food brands using tapioca as a starch source, stating these formulas are Made in the USA. If your grain free pet food is made in the USA and tapioca is one of the ingredients, please list the brand name, formula name and where you purchased this pet food in the comments below.
If you’re not using one of these formulas and know the brands that do, please list this in the comments. It’s important that pet parents know the truth about the food they are feeding their pets.
So What is a Grain Free Pet Food Made in the USA Without Tapioca?
Many companies are using peas and sweet potatoes as the starch source to bind ingredients. Life’s Abundance is such a company, and since all ingredients are US sourced, we can say that Life’s Abundance Grain Free Dog and Cat Food formulas are truly Made in the USA. Our ingredients are of the highest quality, prepared in small batches to ensure freshness, guaranteed health-promoting probiotics, holistic veterinarian formulated and from a company NEVER on a RECALL List!
A veterinarian in Ohio recently confirmed another case of the H3N2 dog flu.
H3N2 made headlines in April after an estimated 1,000 dogs in Chicago contracted the virus, but now the virus is popping up in other states.
“I’m still very hopeful that she’ll make a complete recovery,” veterinarian Jodi Houser told USA TODAY Network about Katie, the 13-week-old West Highland White Terrier that tested positive for the virus May 15 in Newark, Ohio.
There isn’t a specific treatment for the flu because it’s a viral disease, but veterinarians treat it with supportive care such as fluids, rest and antibiotics for accompanying illnesses, according to Houser. While the flu can lead to death, most dogs recover.
It’s estimated that several thousand dogs have been affected by the virus, but not more than 10,000 at this point, Keith Poulsen, a professor of veterinary medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told USA TODAY Network in an email.
USA TODAY Network: How many dogs have died from the flu?
Poulsen: We think that the mortality rate is about 2-3% or less, but we are studying that right now. So the short answer is not very many.
USA TODAY Network: How is it spreading?
Poulsen: The virus spreads from nose to nose (or direct) contact between dogs. As people travel and expose dogs to other dogs with the virus, they will bring the virus back to their hometown. This is how the virus has spread from the Chicago area to Wisconsin, Iowa and Texas. Similar to how respiratory disease spreads at a daycare or airport — people sneezing and coughing on each other.
USA TODAY Network: What symptoms should owners look for if their dog appears sick?
Poulsen: Fever, cough, nasal discharge, lethargy and decreased appetite. When in doubt, call your veterinarian.
USA TODAY Network: Should pet owners be concerned?
Poulsen: The short answer to this is “yes,” but no more than they should be for any infectious disease for their dogs.
Very young and geriatric dogs are at higher risk for infectious disease and caution should be taken when owners take their dogs to dog parks, events, etc.
In current epidemic areas, such as Chicago at this time, dog owners need to have increased vigilance to avoid dogs that appear sick and to not take their dogs to public places if they are sick.
USA TODAY Network: What should dog owners do to protect their pet?
Poulsen: 1. Don’t panic. This has happened before and is going on now in multiple species at the same time.
2. High-risk dogs, such as dogs that absolutely have to be boarded or go to doggy daycare, in epidemic areas (such as Chicago) should be vaccinated, despite a very low chance of cross-protection.
3. Avoid direct contact with sick dogs. Keep your dog on a leash in epidemic areas. Keep your high-risk (pets) at home in epidemic areas.
Pet parents postpone vet visits for all manner of reasons. Some fear what the veterinarian will find during the examination, while others worry about the costs. Regardless of the reasons for not keeping an appointment, the advantages of regular check-ups simply cannot be understated … especially if you’ve been noticing something different about your pet kid.
Has your dog’s weight ballooned over the past year? Or perhaps you’ve noticed that your cat drinks more water than is typical … not only that, she’s actually lost weight. Or, there are no kitty symptoms aside from non-stop meowing at night. What many don’t realize is that unexpected changes in weight and eating or drinking habits are all signs to keep that appointment with your veterinarian. These are some of the common signs of feline and canine hormonal abnormality.
Just like humans, our pets’ health and well-being are governed by their endocrine system, a complex collection of glands and chemical messengers that control everything from hair growth to metabolism. Also just like people, pets can experience hormonal issues that may lead to more significant problems.
So what are the top signs that your pet might be suffering from a hormonal problem?
1. Hair Loss
Your pet’s lustrous hair is getting thin. For dogs, this is especially true for the trunk and tail. For cats, you’ll notice it first on the tips of their ears. Hair loss can be a sign of abnormal thyroid levels, either low or high, or even an early indicator of Cushing’s Syndrome. We’ll talk more about this disease in a moment, which results from abnormally high levels of cortisol, a hormone secreted by the adrenal gland.
2. Weight Gain
Stubborn fat that can’t be shed even with a strict diet. Unfortunately, this too could be a sign of Cushing’s Syndrome or hypothyroidism. Companion animals with Cushing’s also can have a pot belly despite being very active, whereas pet kids with low thyroid function tend to be sluggish and seem exhausted.
3. Sudden Weight Loss
It’s alarming when your pet kid eats with a voracious appetite, but is still losing weight. This could be a sign of abnormally high thyroid levels (usually in cats) or diabetes mellitus in either species.
4. Increased Thirst and Urination
As you might imagine, increased thirst and urination can be a sign of kidney problems. But it can also be a sign of several hormonal disorders, including hyperthyroidism, Cushing’s Syndrome and diabetes mellitus.
5. Other Symptoms:
Changes in appetite
Agitation and nervousness
Changes in energy level
All of these are signs that something might be awry, and your dog or cat needs a full checkup right away. Your veterinarian will ask you some questions, examine your pet and usually recommend lab work. Most hormonal conditions are easily diagnosed with blood work or urine analysis, and fortunately, most conditions can be controlled with supplements or medication. As with most diseases, early detection is essential to successful treatment or control of the problem.
Now that we’ve covered what symptoms you need to be aware of, let’s take a closer look at some of the most common hormonal conditions in dogs and cats.
Hypothyroidism is much more common in dogs than cats. It is caused by an underactive thyroid gland, and symptoms include low energy, weight gain, hair loss, even neurological dysfunction. It is treated with a thyroid supplement and therapy is a life-long commitment.
Equally common in dogs and cats, Cushing’s Syndrome is due to an overactive adrenal gland secreting too much cortisol. Common signs include increased drinking, excess urination, increased appetite, weight gain and hair loss. Cushing’s is diagnosed with blood work and sometimes abdominal ultrasound. Treatment is achieved with a medication that is used to decrease cortisol secretion or surgery to remove a tumor on the adrenal gland.
Hyperthyroidism is seen primarily in cats, and is due to an overactive thyroid. Signs include increased appetite, weight loss, increased thirst and urination, hair loss and agitation. The condition can be treated with a medication to decrease thyroid hormone, surgery to remove a thyroid tumor, or possibly radioactive iodine.
Diabetes is caused by decreased insulin or insulin resistance (Type 2, primarily due to obesity) which leads to increased blood sugar levels. Signs include weight loss, increased appetite, increased thirst and urination. This is a serious condition if it remains untreated … severe cases can lead to coma or even death. Treatment is with insulin injections and supervised weight loss.
In many respects, Addison’s is the opposite of Cushing’s. It’s caused by an underactive adrenal gland. The symptoms are usually severe, include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and possibly even coma. Addison’s is diagnosed with blood work and urine analysis, and the standard treatment is with hormone replacement therapy. These patients are often very dehydrated when they are first seen by veterinarians, which may necessitate hospitalization and intravenous fluids.
How can I prevent hormonal problems in my dog or cat?
New research is actively being done to determine the causes of hormonal conditions in dogs and cats. One promising area of research is in the effects of early spay/neuter surgeries. Veterinarians are studying what changes these alterations have on the endocrine system of our companion animals.
Always feed your dog or cat the robust nutrition offered by premium quality food. Pet parents should consider providing a food supplement to support health and overall well-being as well.
Make sure your companion animal receives an annual veterinary exam. If your pet kid has achieved senior status, annual blood work and urine analysis play key roles in early detection, before medical issues become full-blown problems.
Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place for companion animals.
OC Raw Dog of Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, is voluntarily recalling 2,055 lbs. of Turkey & Produce Raw Frozen Canine Formulation because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.
The recall is limited to Turkey & Produce Raw Frozen Canine Formulations that were packaged into 6.5 lb. Doggie Dozen Patties and 5 lb. Bulk Bags with the lot number 1511 and use-by date of 10/8/15. The products were distributed in Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Colorado and sold to consumers through independent pet specialty retailers.
This recall is a result of a routine sampling program by the Nebraska Department of Food and Agriculture which revealed a presumptive positive result of Salmonella.
OC Raw Dog has ceased the production and distribution of the product while FDA and the company continue to investigate what caused the problem.
Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. It can affect animals eating the products, and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.
Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.
Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some animals will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy animals can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your animals have consumed the recalled product and have these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.
Federal health officials said Monday that certain dog chews are being recalled over potential Salmonella contamination to pets and their owners.
The Food and Drug Administration warned that humans who touched the Nylabone Puppy Starter Kit dog chews are at risk of infection if they did not thoroughly wash their hands and clean any surfaces that may have come in contact with the product.
The recall covers one lot of the 1.69 ounce package of Puppy Starter Kit dog chews, which contain three bone-shaped chews designed for puppies that are teething. The chews, made by New Jersey-based Nylabone Products, were distributed nationwide and in Canada.
The FDA said symptoms of Salmonella in humans include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and can lead to more severe ailments in some rare cases. Pets with Salmonella may be lethargic and have diarrhea, fever and vomiting.
Officials said no health issues have been reported in connection with the recall. The company identified the presence of Salmonella in one lot during routine testing.
The FDA did not say how many products were included in the recall. But it did list the lot number and expiration date associated with the products. The chews are marked with Lot #21935, UPC 0-18214-81291-3 and an expiration date of 3/22/18 on the back of the package.
Consumers should stop using the products and return them to the store for a full refund.
Few things are more important than the health and well-being of your companion animal. For new pet parents, emotional connection does not necessarily translate into knowing the best way to take care of pet kids. Well, that’s all about to change. In the latest episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah reveals the top five DIY (do-it-yourself) items for your list of honey-do’s for pets. This episode is also a great refresher course for long-time pet parents, too! Keep your companion animal healthy and happy.
A relationship with a companion animal can be one of the most rewarding experiences we encounter in our lifetimes. If you are a pet parent for the first time, or if you just want to do more to improve your pet kid’s quality of life, this month’s episode of Pet Talk was made just for you.
In this video, Dr. Sarah reveals the top five do-it-yourself tasks to ensure the health, longevity and happiness of dogs and cats. Our staff veterinarian covers record-keeping, grooming, dental care, nail trimming and even evidence collection (you’ll see). Given that dogs and cats are living longer than ever before, these are definitely things you should add to your regular routine. Plus, you’ll be setting a fantastic example for your pet-friendly friends!
Be sure to check out the two tutorials referenced in this month’s episode …
So many pet parents have asked me over the years whether bananas are healthy for their dogs, and I’ve always answered YES, but don’t give them too much or they’ll be spinning around the house with endless energy! Are they nutritional? Absolutely! Bananas are loaded with amino acids, electrolytes, minerals, vitamins B6 and C, potassium, fiber and manganese. Veterinarians also treat certain gastrointestinal disorders with bananas as they are also rich in the dietary fiber pectin, which can promote smooth bowel movements.
So if you’re looking to add a little good fiber to your dog’s diet and help their energy a little too, here’s a great recipe…for both of you…even for your entire family!!!
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Lightly grease 2 large baking sheets.
3. Combine water, mashed bananas, honey, vanilla, and egg in a large bowl.
4. Stir in whole-wheat flour and baking powder.
5. Beat dough with an electric mixer on medium speed until ingredients are thoroughly combined, 1 to 2 minutes.
6. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until no longer sticky, 5 to 8 minutes.
7. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness and cut into mini shapes with your favorite cookie cutter.
8. Place dough shapes on prepared baking sheets.
9. Bake in preheated oven until cookies are lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
10.Turn off the oven and leave cookies until thoroughly dry and crisp, 30 to 40 more minutes.
11.Remove baking sheets from oven and allow cookies to cool on pans for 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack to fully cool.
This recipe makes approximately 7 dozen dog treats!
REMEMBER to either refrigerate or freeze all natural treats to avoid spoilage and insect infestation.
Nestle Purina Petcare Company was hit with a class action lawsuit alleging that its Beneful dog food includes toxic substances which are capable of killing dogs.
According to the Beneful class action lawsuit filed in a California federal court by plaintiff Frank Lucido on Feb. 5, Purina Beneful is responsible for making thousands of dogs either seriously ill or causing them to die, which happened to one of his own dogs.
Lucido owned three dogs — a German Shepherd, an English Bulldog and a Labrador. He bought a bag of Beneful for the first time in late December 2014 or early January 2015 and each dog began eating Beneful exclusively, the Beneful class action lawsuit explains.
On Jan. 15, the German Shepherd began to lose a large amount of hair and began giving off a unusual odor, which concerned Lucido and his wife, who first started to notice the symptoms. Two days later the German Shepherd became “violently ill.”
After being examined by a veterinarian, it was determined that the German Shepherd was suffering from internal bleeding in the dog’s stomach and the liver was also malfunctioning, which the veterinarian said was “consistent with poisoning.”
On Jan. 23, Lucido’s wife found the English Bulldog dead in their yard. “Post-mortem veterinary examination revealed signs of internal bleeding in the dog’s stomach and lesions on his liver, much like [the German Shepherd],” the class action lawsuit claims.
The Labrador also became ill and is being tested for similar problems.
Lucido claims that he and his wife “have suffered economic losses including the purchase price of Beneful and veterinary and related medical expenses” as result of the damage Beneful has done to their dogs.
According to the Beneful class action lawsuit, there have been more than 3,000 complaints posted by dog owners on the internet “about dogs becoming ill, in many cases very seriously ill, and/or dying after eating Beneful.
“The dogs show consistent symptoms, including stomach and related internal bleeding, liver malfunction or failure, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, weight loss, seizures, bloating, and kidney failure,” the Beneful toxic dog food class action lawsuit alleges.
Lucido gives several examples of these complaints by other dog owners.
According to Lucido, Beneful is advertised as a healthful and nutritional dog food, but his experience and others has been the opposite.
Beneful dog foods allegedly include propylene glycol, which is “an automotive component that is a known animal toxin and is poisonous to cats and dogs.”
In addition, the Beneful class action lawsuit alleges that the dog food includes mycotoxins, which are “a group of toxins produced by fungus that occurs in grains, which are a principle ingredient in Beneful.”
The class action lawsuit cites the Association for Truth In Pet Food, which tested “Beneful Original and found that it contained dangerous levels of mycotoxins.”
Lucido is looking to represent two classes — a nationwide class and a California subclass for dog owners “who purchased Beneful dog food in the past four years and who incurred any out of pocket costs due to illness, injury or death of their dog resulting from the ingestion of Beneful.”
The Beneful toxic dog food class action lawsuit is charging Nestle Purina with breach of implied warranty, breach of express warranty, negligence, negligent misrepresentation, strict products liability, violating California’s consumer legal remedies act, violating California’s Unfair Competition Law, and violating California’s False Advertising Law.
The plaintiff is represented by Jeffrey B. Cereghino of Ram, Olson, Cereghino & Kopcyzynski, by John Yanchunis of Morgan & Morgan Complex Litigation Group, by Karl Molineux of Merrill, Nomura & Molineux, and by Donna F. Solen of Kimbrell Kimbrell & Solen LLC.
The Beneful Toxic Dog Food Class Action Lawsuit is Frank Lucido v. Nesltle Purina Petcare Company, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
Source: By Courtney Coren, Top Class Actions, http://topclassactions.com/
It’s February, which means it’s once again National Pet Dental Health Month. Current estimates show that approximately 75% of cats and dogs over the age of three suffer from poor dental health. Oral disease represents the most commonly diagnosed health problem for companion animals. While considered an inconvenience by many pet parents, proper dental care is a necessary component for overall health, as oral disease can lead to internal organ damage.
Pet parents need to be on the lookout for several dental disease warning signs, including …
* Tartar build up
* Receding, bleeding or swollen gums
* Discolored or fractured teeth
* Foul breath
* Changes in eating habits
* Excessive drooling
* Sores on the lips or gums
If you note any of these symptoms, it’s imperative that you schedule an appointment with your vet to discuss possible courses of action.
The best way to prevent onset of oral disease and infection is through brushing teeth with a pet-approved toothpaste. Don’t, under any circumstances, use human toothpaste, as dogs and cats swallow toothpaste, and they cannot process the chemicals in our over-the-counter brands. While committing to brushing your companion’s teeth regularly will go a long way to prevent dental disease, you should also …
* Encourage play with toys that will help to abrade debris from teeth and gums
* Provide dental chews to reduce the build up of plaque and tartar
* Schedule regular dental exams with your veterinarian
* Feed food that promotes a healthy digestive system
Did you know that certain breeds of dogs and cats are genetically predisposed to dental illnesses? According to recent data, the Maltese ranks highest among purebred dogs with persistent tooth and gum problems. In the cat world, the Siamese and the Abyssinian, charming as they are, both have serious tooth problems and often teeth pulled during their youth.
The quality of your pet’s food can also contribute to the onset of periodontal disease. Low quality foods can cause gastrointestinal problems, which can lead to bad breath. Easily digestible foods like Life’s Abundance not only provide high-quality nourishment, but also work to promote intestinal health.
At Life’s Abundance, we take dental health seriously. As pet parents ourselves, we know how difficult it can be to establish a consistent oral care routine. That’s why we’ve developed several products to address these critical issues, before they become major problems.
Dental Foam for Dogs
Dental Wipes for Dogs
With Life’s Abundance Dental Wipes and Foam Breath Freshener, you can maintain a healthy routine without your companion animals even noticing! These formulas are the ultimate breath enhancer and dental health promoter, perfect for dogs. And you can have peace of mind using them because they’re completely free from harsh ingredients like parabens and polysorbates, as well as artificial colors and flavors.
As veterinarians will tell you, almost as important as brushing is friction from chewing something tough but malleable (actual bones are not generally recommended). The majority of chewable “bones” for dogs on the market today are made from rawhide, which is difficult to digest and can cause severe intestinal problems. But there are healthier options! Porky Puffs and Buffalo Bully Sticks are excellent alternatives to rawhide as they are nutritious and highly digestible.
Gourmet Dental Treats
Every now and again, we like to reward our beloved pups with a special indulgence. But you may have noticed that many of the popular treats on the market are laden with refined sugars, chemical preservatives, and artificial flavors and colors. Once again, Life’s Abundance has got your pet dental needs covered! Our Gourmet Dental Treats are made with a special blend of harvest grains, creamy peanut butter and natural honey. This unique recipe includes hefty helpings of calcium and phosphorus to support healthy teeth and bones. We’ve also added parsley to sweeten the breath. With Gourmet Dental Treats, you’ll be helping to support dental health and treating your dog to scrumptious oven-baked goodness!
Buffalo Bully Sticks
As you can see, just by taking a few simple steps, you can help your companion animal enjoy a lifetime of dental health.
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