Author: Dr. Clarissa G. Noureddine, DVM, MS, MS
Animal health topics are always popping up in the news. Here are some of the latest articles we thought our readers would find interesting and informative.
- Are you feeding your dog ‘boutique’ or grain-free diets and exotic ingredients? You might need to reconsider. Pet owners are always hearing us recommend that pet owners make pet food selections based on sound science, strict quality control measures, and selecting a company that is researching their foods. In this blog by a veterinary nutritionist at Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine, the author Dr. Lisa Freeman discusses how boutique and grain-free diets, and diets with exotic ingredients may be tied to an increase in Dilated Cardiomyopathy in Golden Retrievers and other atypical breeds. The research is still ongoing and the full explanation is not yet clear. For some dogs, diet does not seem to be contributing. In another portion of the dogs, a taurine deficiency in the diet is contributing to the problem. For a third portion of dogs, taurine levels appear normal. What has been consistent in the dogs who seem to have a dietary component is that they seem to be eating boutique or grain-free and exotic ingredient (kangaroo, lentils, duck, pea, fava bean, buffalo, tapioca, salmon, lamb, barley, bison, venison, and chickpeas) diets. Some vegan, raw, and home-prepared diets have even been associated.
- Pet Food Recalls: Dave’s Pet Food is recalling a single lot (UPC Code 85038-11167, Date Code 08/2020) of Dave’s Dog Food 95% Premium Beef 13-ounce cans due to elevated beef thyroid hormone levels. Dogs who consume elevated levels of beef thyroid hormone may show restlessness, weight loss, increased heart rate, and increased thirst and urination. If consumed over a period of time, symptoms can worsen and include breathing issues and gastrointestinal issues. Learn more here.
Visit the AVMA’s updated list on pet food and recalls and alerts here.
- Salmonellosis is linked to backyard chickens. If you have backyard flocks, you need to be aware of this risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), since 2000, 70 Salmonella outbreaks have been linked to live poultry – causing 4794 illnesses, 894 hospitalizations, and 7 deaths. As of June 1, 2018, the CDC has reported that contact with live poultry in backyard flocks has caused 124 reported cases of salmonella in 36 states in 2018 alone. How do you minimize your risk? The CDC recommends the following:
* Wash hands with soap after handling poultry or equipment.
* Do not allow children under 5 to touch live poultry without adult supervision.
* Designate a pair of shoes to be worn only when caring for poultry (and leave those shoes outside).
* Never allow poultry in the house or around people’s food.
* Don’t eat or drink where the birds live or roam.
* Don’t kiss your bird or snuggle them and then touch your face or mouth.
- Thirteen bald eagles were found dead in a field, this is what killed them. (Washington Post) – This article highlights how a pesticide that has been banned in the United States (carbofuran) can still resurface and cause tragic consequences. It also highlights the importance of understanding that anything we put in the environment can bring harm to a variety of animals on the food chain.
- Dogs can read your face – and behave differently when you’re upset, scientists say (Miami Herald) – Yes! What dog owners already knew to be true has been backed up by some new scientific research – dogs can read our facial cues.
- Delta updates comfort-animal policy to one per passenger – and no pit bulls (USA Today) – There have been several ongoing updates and changes in airline animal policies – here is one regarding comfort animals.
- Obese dogs could have similar ‘personality’ traits to overweight humans – new study (The Conversation) – This is an interesting read on how obese dogs might have similar behavior choices to overweight humans when it comes to high-energy foods. More research is needed, but this may be a new area to explore in further understanding obesity.
- Dogs continue to be at an elevated risk of Heartworm disease and Lyme disease in 2018 (Petsandparasites.org) – The 2018 forecast is out, and heartworm disease and Lyme disease continue to be a risk for your pets. Make sure they are protected year-round with regular heartworm/ flea/tick/ and intestinal parasite protection!