Monday, January 18, 2010

Predisone and boosters

I have gotten a ton of hits on this subject in the past few days. I am not a vet, but my research would suggest you should avoid steroid use for a week after boosters. Boosters are a live or dead virus introduced into the dogs body to develop antibodies. This introduction is going to cause physical stress. Steroids release energy in the time of physical stress, but if the animal is suffering from other symptoms or stressors, you may be tapping an animals natural reserve. I think regular steroid use should be accompanied with great caution. Predisone is primarily used to get chronic body processes under control. While in use, the body recognizes the hormone and does not produce it's own. So adding additional stress could be dangerous. Prednisone also conserves salt in an animals kidney leading to excessive thirst and urination. Vaccinations are important, but most vaccines last for 3 to 5 years. See my article on pet vaccinations. I, personally, would avoid boosters on an animal under regular steroid intake. As always, have these discussions with your vet, but do your research.

Friday, January 15, 2010

FDA issues salmonella warning for Merrick dog treats

FDA NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release: January 14, 2010 Media Inquiries: Ira Allen 301-796-5349, Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA FDA Health Alert for Merrick Beef Filet Squares Dog Treats Packaged and Distributed by Merrick Pet Care Products may be contaminated with Salmonella The U. S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to use Merrick Beef Filet Squares for dogs distributed by Merrick Pet Care with a package date of “Best By 111911” because the product may be contaminated with Salmonella. The product was distributed nationwide through retail stores and Internet sales. Although no illnesses associated with these products have been reported, the FDA is advising consumers in possession of these products not to handle or feed them to their pets. In December 2009, the FDA conducted routine testing of Merrick Beef Filet Squares and detected a positive finding for Salmonella. A follow-up inspection found deficiencies in the packaging and manufacturing processes. The affected Merrick Beef Filet Squares were packaged in a 10-ounce green, red and tan re-sealable plastic bag. The “best by” date is imprinted on the top portion of the bag, which is torn off when the bag is opened. The FDA recommends that consumers who are unable to determine the “best by” date discontinue use of the product. For the entire report, read on.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Humane Society publishes press release on Haiti rescue

From the Humane Society of the United States: Our hearts go out to the people of Haiti, for the trauma and loss they’ve already experienced since Tuesday night’s calamitous 7.0 earthquake hit, with its epicenter not far from the densely populated capital of Port-au-Prince. News agencies report that thousands have perished, many are still trapped in the rubble of buildings, and hundreds of thousands of others are without shelter, medical care, or other life necessities. Governments and relief agencies are deploying to deal with what amounts to one of the worst disasters of modern times, with its impact compounded by the chronic poverty, deficient infrastructure, bare-bones medical care, and other problems that afflict the poorest nation in the western hemisphere. Damage from the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti Logan Abass/United Nations / CC BY 2.0 Damage from the Jan. 12 earthquake. When people suffer in this terrible way, so do animals. The HSUS, Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, and our global affiliate Humane Society International are working on a preliminary assessment of Haiti’s animal-care needs, taking into account the security, transportation, housing, and supply challenges that we would face in deployment. Fortunately, one of our veterinary teams had been conducting a program at a veterinary school in the neighboring Dominican Republic when the quake struck. We are looking to determine if they can get into Haiti to conduct an on-the-ground assessment. We are also communicating with human relief agencies, and looking to cooperate with them. One difficulty is that there are no organized animal welfare groups anywhere in the country, and no animal shelters or veterinary schools. This lack of infrastructure will complicate any response. If you would like to support our disaster response work around the world, you can give here. Please stay tuned to the blog, and to for continuing updates. The World Society for the Protection of Animals posts the following: Joining forces to help animals As I followed news about Haiti for the last two days, I was struck by how many people from around the world have started coming together, offering to help in any way they can. And animal welfare groups have shown that it is equally possible to work together to help the animal victims of this disaster – who are equally distressed by the destruction all around them, and equally in need of emergency aid – with a similar show of solidarity amongst groups. Together, the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) will be working on the ground to help the animals in Haiti. We have come together to form the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH) so that all animal welfare organizations involved in response efforts can work together and make sure we get aid to as many animals, and in as short a time, as possible. Our teams will be working out of a mobile clinic which has been donated to us by the Antigua and Barbuda Humane Society. WSPA and IFAW have pledged funds to fully outfit this mobile clinic, and it will be shipped from Antigua to our member society, Sociedad Dominicana Para la Protección de Animales (SODOPRECA) in the Dominican Republic for them to drive across the border into Haiti. We are inviting other animal welfare groups to join ARCH and direct their support to the coalition. Once again, this proves a simple but powerful truth: when people join together, amazing things can happen. Please, join us now and donate to help animals in disasters.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Help find a home for Susie the Terrier mix

Susie is a Terrier mix a little over a year old. I think she is part Chihuahua as well. Those ears are a dead giveaway. She weighs 15 pounds and is spayed, chipped and fully vaccinated. Susie is good with other dogs, people and children. She comes with food, leash, bowls and all vet records. Susie was owned by a good friend of mine who can no longer keep her. He accepted a contract job that moves him to Afghanistan at the end of this week. There is also the issue that Susie played just too rough with his wife's miniature Schnauzer. Apparently she grabbed the Schnauzer's beard and tried to play tug of war with it. Susie is very friendly and playful with dogs, but I can see that small dog might find her play style a bit too rough. My brood have no problem with her and love playing with Susie. Susie is loving, affectionate and cute as a button! Loves to lie in your lap and have her belly scratched. But like all terriers, she has a lot of energy. She is not a good choice for someone looking for a low maintenance dog. Without good exercise, Susie will pace nervously. Susie is also very submissive, which combined with her energy can make training a challenge. But smart as a whip and wants to please, if she can only hold still long enough to do it. She has learned so much in her weeks stay, but it takes a soft voice, time and patience. I think she would be happiest with an experienced owner and would turn out to be a wonderful companion animal. Susie is living in Greenville, South Carolina. If you or anyone you know would be interested in Susie, please contact Margot at or call (864)248-0525.