Thursday, September 20, 2012

FDA: 360 dogs, 1 cat reportedly dead from jerky treats

From the AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) Newstat:

FDA: 360 dogs, 1 cat reportedly dead from jerky treats 

People who have been monitoring the news about Chinese-made jerky treats being blamed for pet illnesses finally have some figures to analyze.

According to a news release from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), at least 360 dogs and one cat have died over the past 18 months, reportedly as a result of illnesses associated with the chicken jerky treats.

Overall, the FDA said it has received about 2,200 jerky-related complaints in all 50 states and six Canadian provinces during the last 18 months. Although the ongoing investigation has featured collaboration by experts worldwide since 2007, there still has been no discovery of the cause of the reported illness.

To date, the FDA and other laboratories have analyzed the jerky treats for a wide variety of potentially harmful ingredients, including contaminants, chemicals, poisonous compounds, and toxic metals. According to the agency, its analysis of possibly dangerous foods has turned up none of those substances.

The FDA also said it conducted a nutritional analysis of the treats in 2011 to confirm the presence of the ingredients listed on labels, which revealed no links between a causative agent and the illness claims.
The next step, according to the agency, involves working with NASA to test for irradiation byproducts. Irradiation is a practice commonly used to sterilize pet foods, but its effects on animal health are not well-documented. The FDA is seeking to leverage the knowledge of NASA experts who study irradiated food’s health effects.

The FDA encourages pet owners and veterinarians to watch out for the following signs and symptoms, which reportedly often appear within hours to days of consuming certain jerky treats:
  • Decreased appetite
  • Decreased activity
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea, sometimes with blood
  • Increased water consumption and/or increased urination
The FDA encourages veterinarians to report suspected food-related illnesses on its Safety Reporting Portal.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

An Item of Interest for Owners of Golden Retrievers

If you own a Golden Retriever this is an event you should consider attending. If you have friends or family with a Golden Retriever, please share this information with them.


Presented By:
Dr. Wendy Townsend
Purdue University
Veterinary Ophthalmologist

 December 8, 2012
9:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.
13606 Laraway Rd
New Lenox, IL 60451

Dr. Wendy Townsend is a veterinary ophthalmologist on the faculty of Purdue University in Indiana.  She has had research grants investigating Pigmentary Uveitis for several years.


Pigmentry Uveitis, also known as Golden Retriever uveitis or pigmentary and cystic glaucoma, is a serious disease of the eye which often progresses to glaucoma and causes pain.  There is no treatment or cure for the disease.  Pigmentary Uveitis is believed to be hereditary but is usually not detected and diagnosed until the dog is 9-12 years old after they have produced offspring. 

The primary focus of current research is to identify the gene responsible for the disease.  Once this is done, a test for the disease can be developed and further spread of the disease can be prevented.  At this time, Dr. Townsend and colleagues are collecting samples from Golden Retrievers for this research.  Samples from unaffected dogs as well as dogs affected by the disease are needed.   Samples from both genders and all ages are also being collected.  It is through this type of research and cooperation of Golden Retriever breeders and owners that a treatment and eventually a cure will be found.

The Health and Genetics Committee is encouraging  all Golden Retriever owners, kennel clubs, and veterinarians to participate in this research effort.  It recommends yearly eye exams and online records of eye exams for a lifetime in Golden Retrievers who have been bred.  It is hoped that these recommendations will allow breeders to identify dogs who have had healthy eyes for a full lifetime. For early detection and more effective treatment, annual eye exams are recommended for all Golden Retrievers beginning in early adulthood and continuing to an advanced age.  

If your Golden Retriever has been diagnosed with Pigmentary Uveitis or if you own a Golden Retriever and want it checked out for the condition take part in this event.
“Pigmentary Uveitis in Golden Retrievers”

Presented By:
Dr. Wendy Townsend
Veterinary Ophthalmologist-Purdue University

Saturday, December 8, 2012
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Stone City Kennel Club
13606 Laraway Rd.
New Lenox, IL 60451

COST: $10.00 (to be donated to Dr. Townsend’s research)

Sponsored By:
Loyola University
Stone City Kennel Club

For more information call:
Mina Wright (708-216-6562)
Lynn McNally (708-220-6653)


COST: $10.00____________
Mina Wright
Comparative Medicine Facility
Loyola University
2160 S. First Avenue
Maywood, IL 60153



Sunday, September 16, 2012

Warning About Online Pet Pharmacies

This is from the FDA. It is definitely worth reading. It will open your eyes. As they say, "If it is too good to be true, it probably is...."

Online Pet Pharmacies

Printer friendly PDF
Cover of Online Pet Pharmacies Brochure

Protect Yourself and Your Pet:

Be Online Pet Pharmacy


“Affordable pet prescriptions!”
“Pet meds at discount prices!”
“No prescription required!”
“Your best source for pet meds!”

If you’ve ever searched online for prescription pet medicines, you’ve no doubt seen eye-catching, attention-grabbing claims. They sound convincing in their promises of convenience and lower prices. But are these claims always true?

Internet sites that sell pet drugs can be reputable pharmacies. However, others are fronts for businesses breaking Federal, State, and sometimes, International laws. Illegal online pharmacies may sell medicines that are counterfeit, outdated, mislabeled, incorrectly formulated, or improperly made or stored. These medicines may not contain the actual drug, may contain contaminants, or the incorrect amount of drug, may not work as well due to age or being stored in conditions that were too hot, cold, or humid, and may not have the proper directions for use. If you are unhappy with ordered products, illegal online pharmacies may fraudulently leave you with no way to get your money back.

If you still want to purchase your pet’s prescription medicines online, remember you can protect yourself by doing your homework and being online pharmacy A.W.A.R.E.

A— Ask Your Veterinarian

Before you purchase online, talk with your veterinarian! Your veterinarian wants what’s best for you and your pet. Ask your veterinarian questions like, “Do you trust the internet pharmacy site?”, “Have you ever worked with the pharmacy?” “Have other clients used that site? If so, what were their experiences?”

W—Watch for Red Flags

When buying from online pharmacies, keep an eye out for red flags. Be careful if the…

site does not require veterinary prescriptions for prescription medicines.
Websites that sell prescription veterinary medicines without valid veterinary prescriptions are breaking the law. Under the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act, a pharmacy can’t sell you a veterinary prescription medicine without a valid prescription or other type of order from a licensed veterinarian. Online questionnaires or consults don’t take the place of valid veterinary prescriptions. Sites that sell drugs without requiring valid veterinary prescriptions rob both you and your pet of the protection provided by a veterinary physical exam.

site has no licensed pharmacist available to answer questions.
Can someone answer your questions about your pet’s medicines?

site does not list physical business address, phone number, or other contact information.
If something goes wrong with your order, can you get in contact with them?

site is not based in the United States.
If an out-of-country site fraudulently takes your money, there’s not much the US government can do to help you get your money back.

site is not licensed by the State Board of Pharmacy where the business is based.
If the business is based in the United States, check to see if it is properly licensed in the State where it is based by contacting that State's Board of Pharmacy. Contact information for each State Board of Pharmacy is available on the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) website: icon

site does not protect your personal information.
Keep yourself safe from identity theft!  Make sure the site you use is secure.

site’s prices are dramatically lower than your veterinarian’s or other websites' prices. 
If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

site ships you medicines that you didn’t order or that look very different from what your pet normally takes.

Don’t give these medicines to your pet!  Contact the site immediately!

A—Always Check for Site Accreditation

In addition to following Federal and State licensing and inspection requirements, in 2009, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) created a voluntary accreditation program called Vet-VIPPS (Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites).  Vet-VIPPS accredited online pharmacies:
• are appropriately licensed in the states from which they ship drugs
• have successfully completed a 19-point review and online survey
• undergo yearly VIPPS review and re-accreditation
• undergo NABP on-site surveys every three years

Vet-VIPPS accredited pharmacies must also meet other strict criteria, including protecting client confidentiality, strict quality assurance, and making sure prescription orders are valid.

R—Report Problems and Suspicious Online Pet Pharmacies

If your pet has a problem with a medicine purchased online (for example, a reaction to the medicine or the medicine not working), first contact the medicine’s maker.  To report problems directly to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) call 1-888-FDA-VETS.  For a copy of the reporting form (FDA Form 1932a) and for more information on how to report problems, visit the following website:

Protect yourself, your pets, and others! Don’t fall victim to illegal online pet pharmacies.  Report suspicious online pet pharmacy sites to the FDA and the NABP at:
NABP: Disclaimer

E—Educate Yourself about Online Pet Pharmacies

The best defense you have against illegal online pet pharmacies is education. Do your homework and be online pet pharmacy A.W.A.R.E. before you purchase your pet’s medicines online.  An informed consumer is an empowered consumer.

For more information about purchasing pet medicines from online pharmacies, visit CVM’s website at:, or call CVM at 1-240-276-9300.

Be Online Pet Pharmacy AWARE:

- Ask your veterinarian

W-Watch for red flags

A-Always check for site accreditation

R-Report problems and suspicious online pet pharmacies

E-Educate yourself about online pet pharmacies

Saturday, September 15, 2012

New Exotic Animal Doctor at Niles Animal Hospital

We are very pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Kristina Kalivoda to the veterinary staff of Niles Animal Hospital and Bird Medical Center.

Dr. Kristina Kalivoda graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007. She completed a Zoological Medicine internship at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2008, where she worked with the collection at the Schubot Aviary in addition to seeing various non-traditional species including wolf hybrids and tigers. She then completed a two year residency in Avian & Exotic Animal Medicine at Cornell University Hospital for Animals and Cornell's Swanson Wildlife Health Center in 2010. She enjoys working with all exotic species kept as pets including birds, small mammals, and reptiles.  Dr. Kalivoda has a special interest in birds, but also enjoys working with dogs and cats. Outside veterinary medicine, she enjoys graphic design, writing, and painting. She is heavily interrogated after work each day by her three cats, and also shares her home with a cockatiel and a leopard gecko.

She is a welcome addition to our veterinary team as with her extensive experience working on exotic pet species she expands the range of animals seen at the hospital. In the past we were limited to birds and certain types of small mammals but now we are able to see all varieties of small mammals as well as reptiles. She will also see dog and cat patients as well.

We are excited as we move forward with this new phase and the ability to provide expert care for all varieties of pets, including all exotic pet species.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Another Pet Food Recall......Yikes!

From the AVMA Pet Health Smart Brief

Breeder’s Choice recalls AvoDerm dog food for possible salmonella risk

Breeder’s Choice Pet Food is recalling a single manufacturing batch of its AvoDerm Natural Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Adult Dog Formula due to possible contamination with salmonella.

The Irwindale California-based company said the product being recalled is the 26 lb.-sized AvoDerm Natural Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Adult Dog Formula with the “best before” dates of Aug. 28, 2013; Aug. 29, 2013 and Aug. 30, 2013.

Breeder’s Choice said it is issuing the recall notification because a sample of the manufacturing batch tested positive for salmonella. No human or pet illnesses have been reported so far, it said.

The product was originally manufactured on Aug. 29 and distributed Aug. 30 and 31 in California, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, Virginia and Washington. 

“Breeder’s Choice Pet Foods has taken immediate action to remove the product from all applicable distribution centers and retail customers, and is fully investigating the cause,” the company said in a statement.
The company said consumers who bought the recalled product should contact Breeder’s Choice customer service representatives at 1-866-500-6286 or visit its website for more information. 

Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is a 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 exposed to 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, the company said.

Pets with salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. Breeder’s Choice said to contact a veterinarian if a pet that has consumed the recalled product has these symptoms.

Help Ferrets Pursue a Healthier Life - A New Alternative Available at Niles Animal Hospital and Bird Medical Center

Help Ferrets Pursue a Healthier Life - A New Alternative Available at Niles Animal Hospital and Bird Medical Center

A disease condition which has been a scourge of ferrets is adrenal gland disease. Clinical signs seen with this condition include hair loss, swelling of the vulva (external structure of the female reproductive tract), skin disorders/itching, unusual sexual behavior/aggression, and lack of energy.

Previously, the only true cure of the condition was complete removal of both adrenal glands, which is a very risky surgical procedure. Now there is an implant now available in the United States, SUPRELORIN F, enabling ferret owners to have a simple, convenient, medical alternative for controlling the clinical signs of this disease in their pets.

The SUPRELORIN F Implant has been shown to be effective in a number of experimental studies. The results from these published studies have shown that the most common signs of adrenal disease are all reduced quickly after the implantation with SUPRELORIN F implant and resolve for up to one year. Hair regrowth of 40-80% occurs six weeks after implantation and 90-100% at eight weeks. The vulvar swelling decreases 10-14 days post implantation and returns to normal at six weeks. The skin disorders/itching and unusual sexual behavior/aggression all return to normalcy two weeks after the implant is placed. The symptom of lack of energy improves 14 days post implantation with increased alertness and activity.

The use of the implant also was shown to decrease key hormones (estradiol, hydroxyprogesterone, and androstenedione) within the treatment period. The result is a healthier ferret. Now there is an option that could save ferrets from suffering the effects of adrenal disease or the frequent visits to the veterinarian to receive injections.

SUPRELORIN F Implant has been shown to be safe for use in ferrets. In the United States, the implant contains 4.7 mg of deslorelin acetate. Published studies have shown the implant to be safe in ferrets with appropriate clinical monitoring. Some treated ferrets may have swelling at the implantation site, which should resolve in 1-2 weeks. Other reported side effects include: weight gain, lethargy, and failure to respond to therapy. Blood tests were shown to be within the normal range after treatment. The safety profile, coupled with the effectiveness of SOPRELORIN F Implant, should offer all ferret owners peace of mind.

The SUPRELORIN F Implant is easy for veterinarians to implant – and requires a single implant. It is just like placing a microchip under the skin of your pet. Appropriate endocrine testing and clinical monitoring should be used to assess the response of ferrets to the therapy. Follow-up visits to monitor therapeutic response will likely be scheduled by your veterinarian.

The exciting news is the SUPRELORIN F Implant is now available at Niles Animal Hospital and Bird Medical Center. Call to set up an appointment to start your ferret back on the road to good health. If you would like more details, feel free to call us at 847-647-9325 or contact us through our website, the  Q & A feature on our website, or hospital email

Note: The above discussion was based on information from the Virbac Ferrets USA Website (

Monday, September 10, 2012

Reminder About Upcoming Yard Sale for Charity

Just a reminder about the charity yard sale to benefit Chicago Pet Rescue coming up Sunday, September 23rd from 9 AM to 3 PM being held in the parking lot of Niles Animal Hospital 7278 N. Milwaukee Ave. There will be adequate parking in surrounding parking lots in the immediate vicinity..

We have collected all sorts of goodies for the sale, with more coming in. There is a large variety of items which have been donated, including a number of bird cages of various sizes. We have all sorts of things you can imagine and some you could not have imagined! One generous person has donated a large number of Precious Moments figurines, which would be of great interest to collectors. Stop on by, check out all the treasures available, and know that when you purchase them you are supporting a good cause as the funds raised will help pay for the care of animals.

If you have items to donate, bring them by the hospital during business hours. If you do not, stop on by and support Chicago Pet Rescue by participating in the sale.

If you have any questions, contact the hospital at 847-647-9325.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What Your Pet Preference Says About You

The truth about cat people and dog people

Research shows that your preference for felines or canines really does say something about your personality.

By Laura MossSat, Sep 01 2012 

Two woman, one holding a cat and the other holding a dog Photo: Anna Bryukhanova/iStockphoto
Are you a dog person or a cat person? It’s likely that you align yourself with one of these labels, and research shows that your preference for one animal or the other reveals a bit about your personality.
Sixty-two percent of U.S. households have a pet, according to the American Pet Products Association. Dogs are the most popular pets with 39 percent of U.S. households owning at least one canine, but cats come in second with 33 percent of U.S. households having at least one cat.
But can our choice of furry friend really say something about who we are? Sometimes.
Studies show that we tend to gravitate toward the animals with which we were raised, and factors like age and living space also play a role in pet ownership. Parents with young children are more inclined to have dogs that kids can take outside, while older people and singles are more likely to have lower-maintenance animals like cats. And people in the suburbs are more likely to adopt large dogs, while apartment dwellers are likely to have cats or small dogs.
Still, research shows that there are differences between cat people and dog people. A University of Texas study found that those who define themselves as dog people are more extroverted, agreeable and conscientious than self-proclaimed cat people. Those with a preference for felines, on the other hand, are more creative, adventurous and prone to neuroticism or anxiety.
Your pet might even indicate how you vote. A 2008 Gallup survey of 2,000 Americans found that 33 percent of dog owners identified themselves as Republicans, while only 28 percent of cat owners leaned to the right. But a poll of 200,000 pet owners found the split to be more even. According to its results, dog people are 50 percent more likely to be conservatives than cat people.
However, there are some things that cat people and dog people have in common. Both types of people talk to animals, consider themselves close to nature, dislike animal-print clothing, and are generally optimists.
The survey also found that both cat people and dog people are equally likely to have a four-year degree, but cat people are 17 percent more likely to have completed a graduate degree.
Check out some of the other findings from’s survey below.
Living area preferences: 
  • Dog people are 30 percent more likely to live in a rural area.
  • Cat people are 29 percent move likely to live in an urban area.
Animal rescue leanings:
  • Dog people are 67 percent more likely to call animal control if they find stray kittens.
  • Cat people are 21 percent more likely to rescue the stray kittens.
  • Dog people are 36 percent more likely to use a popular song as a ringtone.
  • Cat people are 11 percent more likely to have contacts in both their cellphone and a physical address book.
  • Dog people are 24 percent more likely to have kids.
  • Cat people are 33 percent more likely to prefer taking care of a friend’s kids than a friend’s dogs.
Favorite Beatle?
  • Dog people are 18 percent more likely to consider Paul McCartney their favorite Beatle.
  • Cat people are 25 percent more likely to consider George Harrison their favorite Beatle.
What makes you laugh
  • Dog people are 30 percent more likely to enjoy slapstick humor and impressions.
  • Cat people are 21 percent more likely to enjoy ironic humor and puns.
Random facts
  • Dog people are 9 percent more likely to think of zoos as happy place.
  • Cat people are 10 percent more likely to be active on Twitter.
When it comes to media choices, found that dog people prefer jam bands, reggae and psychedelic rock, while cat people listen to more New Wave, classic rock and electronic music.
Dog people listed “American Idol” and “Everybody Loves Raymond” as their favorite TV shows and “Crash” and “No Country For Old Men” as their top movie choices. Cat people preferred “CSI” and “Real Time With Bill Maher” for TV and listed “Slumdog Millionaire” and “The Hurt Locker” as their favorite movies.
But what about those people with both cats and dogs? According to's survey, these people are likely to be female suburbanites who are politically middle of the road.

(What about those of us who have dogs, cats, birds, and fish? Dr. Sakas)