Pet Food Recall: Instinct® Raw Chicken Formula for dogs with a “Best By” date of 04/27/16

The official statement is from Nature’s Variety.

Nature’s Variety has announced a voluntary recall of their Instinct® Raw Chicken Formula for dogs with a “Best By” date of 04/27/16 because these products may be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella 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 pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has the symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.


The affected products are limited to the Instinct Raw Chicken Formula Frozen Diets packaged in the following forms:

  • UPC# 769949611431 – Instinct Raw Chicken Formula Bites for Dogs 4 lb.; Best By 04/27/16
  • UPC# 769949611448 – Instinct Raw Chicken Formula Bites for Dogs 7 lb.; Best By 04/27/16
  • UPC# 769949611486 – Instinct Raw Chicken Formula Patties for Dogs 6 lb.; Best By 04/27/16

The “Best By” date is located on the back of the package below the seal. The affected product was distributed through retail stores in the United States and limited distribution in Canada. No other Nature’s Variety products are affected.


No illnesses have been reported to date. Even though no illnesses have been reported, consumers should follow the Simple Handling Tips published on the Nature’s Variety package when disposing of the affected product.

Nature’s Variety became aware of a potential issue after receiving notification from the FDA that a routine surveillance sample of seven pound Instinct Raw Chicken Bites for dogs tested positive for Salmonella.


Consumers feeding the affected product should discontinue use and monitor their pet’s health, and contact their veterinarian if they have concerns. Consumers who have purchased one of the above products can obtain a full refund or exchange by either returning the product in its original packaging or bringing a proof of purchase back to their retailer.


Consumers with additional questions can call our Consumer Relations team at 888-519-7387 from 8 am to 7 pm Central time, 7 days a week during the recall. Or, consumers can email Nature’s Variety directly viacservice@naturesvariety.com.

 


PetsitUSA Blog

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Save tons at the vet! How to keep your dog from dying of cancer

As a veterinarian, I’ve seen lots of cancers: lymphoma. Melanoma. Osteosarcoma. Hemangiosarcoma. Mast cell tumors. Wait, those are just my own dogs I’m talking about. When I factor in my clients, I think I’ve seen it all.

Dogs get cancer, at very high rates: about 50% of senior dogs die of it, if the statistics are to be believed. Why? Well, if you read overly simplified, graphics-intensive websites by people who really don’t know what they’re talking about, they will tell you that they know why cancer happens: GMOs. Preservatives. Kibble. Microwaves.

I wish it were that simple. It’s not. And the reason that line of thought drives me nuts is that it has sent so many lovely people into spirals of depression when their dog dies and someone on the internet convinced them it was their fault because they, the owner, did something terrible like feed their dog kibble or use a plastic bowl. People end up in therapy because of things like this.

Cancer is not a singular diagnosis; the type and breath of neoplastic disease means there’s often little resemblance from case to case; a transmissible venereal tumor bears very little resemblance to a splenic hemangiosarcoma. If we could pinpoint cancer to one cause, we’d all be rich. And yet, with all this secret knowledge, overall cancer rates aren’t budging.

Because I love a breed known for having one of the highest rates of cancer (is it the fact that Golden Retriever owners feed worse food overall? Or is it genetics?) I watch Brody pretty closely. Knowing that 60% of Goldens get cancer in their lifetime, I spend a lot of time inspecting him for lumps. As we speak, the largest observational study of its kind is currently underway to help us better understand what’s going on. In the meantime, you do the best you can but truthfully, there’s not a whole lot of ability to predict and prevent cancer. Even for the people who home cook organic food (sorry. Do it because you want to, not because it will make your dog live forever.)

You can save money (and life expectancy) by doing some simple things:

Knowing he is an at-risk breed, I do what I can to try and keep Brody healthy. When he gained too much weight on his food, I got the weight off. Obesity is thought to be a risk factor for cancer. Just as importantly, I get his bumps evaluated and when I find one, I don’t mess around.

SEE SOMETHING

The dog eats like a king; I give him the good stuff because I care about quality ingredients, though not enough to condemn people who can’t afford it. But even with his high end diets, at age 6, he’s on his second cancer. The first one, a melanoma, was excised two years ago and has yet to recur- because we caught it early. And now we have this: a little teeny ear lump.

I thought it was no big deal, but I got it evaluated anyway. See? We vets do it too. A lump is a lump is a lump. Until you get it microscopically evaluated, you just don’t know. I just got the call last week: it’s a mast cell tumor.

I’m thrilled we got this diagnosis

Am I thrilled Brody has a mast cell tumor? Of course not. They stink. Despite the fact that the visible mass is only half a centimeter, this type of tumor has tons of microscopic disease and is notorious for requiring huge surgical margins for a complete excision. For that little tiny tic-tac mass on his ear, he is very likely going to need to lose his entire pinna. (I’m getting a surgical consult this week.)

However, losing an ear is minor compared to where these things end up when people wait. You can lose an ear, but you can’t lose an entire head, for example. This is small beans compared to what lots of pets need to go through later in the game when masses grow. If we get a complete excision, this should be a closed case. And guess what? It’s so much cheaper than tons of radiation and chemo and massive surgeries. Win-win for the dog and your wallet. I’m not happy he has it, but I’m happy I know now, early.

Why wait? Aspirate that shizz!!

What one thing can you do to guarantee your pet won’t get cancer? There isn’t one.

What you can do is maximize their chances of survival and recovery: Don’t mess around. Dr. Sue Ettinger, veterinary oncologist and all-around brilliant person, has an initiative called Why Wait Aspirate that is as simple as can be: when a vet tells you that a lump is ok to “just watch”, what does that mean? When do you do more than watch it? Here’s Dr. Sue’s guidelines*:

If it's bigger than a pea

ASPIRATE OR BIOPSY IT!

Easy peasy, no pun intended. Of all the things you can do to help your pet live long and live healthy, none matters more than early detection.

*Photo Credits: Calendar by Michael Hyde, Flickr Creative Commons license; Peas by Isabel Eyre, Flickr Creative Commons License

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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Varsity Calvinball

Varsity Calvinball
One of our favorite tropes from Bill Watterson's brilliant comic strip Calvin and Hobbes was “Calvinball.” The eponymous 6-year-old boy invented the game because he didn't care for organized sports. The central feature of Calvinball is that the rules
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In Savannah: 24 Hours, 192 Horn Blasts
Every day, as up to eight freight trains pass back and forth on the outskirts of historical downtown Savannah, Ga., they blow their horns at every single one of the 24 rail crossings along the three-mile stretch. That is making the Genesee & Wyoming
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Woolly Thinking
Another talked about how to make chickens that laid duck eggs. I buttonholed scientists in hallways to interrogate them about their research—how they were extracting DNA from stuffed passenger pigeons or searching for the frozen flesh of woolly
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Anything: The Prayer That Unlocked My God and My Soul by Jennie Allen {Book Review}

Anything: The Prayer That Unlocked My God and My Soul by Jennie Allen My rating: 5 of 5 stars When “Anything” was first released, I quickly bought it. By the time I was finished with this book, every chapter was dog-earred, highlighted, underlined, notes on the side, spine was well bent and I was pretty…



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Sunflower Faith

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El Paso Chihuahuas unveil fashion statement

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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Saturday Survey: National Mutt Day

Although I didn’t announce it in advance, yesterday was National Mutt Day! Did you honor the day in any way? Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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A Mugabe meme

mugabe lion


Canis lupus hominis

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Pet Doctor Barbie and the Pet Food Dude

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Pet Doctor Barbie post. It’s past due for a new episode, yes? I think it’s time for Pet Doctor Barbie to meet one of her self-appointed arch nemeses, Pet Food Dude.

 

Episode 8

b1_edited-1

Hi Mrs. Sandford, good to see you and Muffin. It’s been a while!

b1

I’m really glad you’re doing housecalls now. I want to get Muffin’s bump looked at again.

OK, I’ll just look at my notes here- 1 cm, top of head…mm hmmm… So where we left it one year ago was that you were going to go talk to your husband and then we were going to aspirate it.

b4

Oh….yes. It’s grown quite a bit since then. We really need –

b3

Yes, I wanted to talk to you about that. I’m a bit upset that you didn’t mention last time how his kibble might have caused this.

b8

We don’t really understand why cancer occurs, Mrs. Sandford. The important thing now is to take care of this mass. I’d hate for you to blame yourself because of your food selection.

b6

I don’t blame myself. I blame you. How much do you make from Big Pet Food anyway?

Actually nothing. But aren’t you feeding a boutique brand anyway? You told me last time you were feeding…let me check…organic grain free non-GMO preservative free all natural Wolf Chunks.

b7

Yes, and you told me to stop and to go back to that one full of corn and despair!

Actually, no, I said Wolf Chunks were fine if that’s what you wanted. But about that mass…

b9

I’ve been using turmeric on the advice of Pet Food Dude. Do you know Pet Food Dude? Can I borrow your computer? This guy knows all your tricks.

b11

Sure, have at it. May I ask what tricks you are referring to?

Vaccines. Pet food. You know. Poison. They are full of free radicals that are overpowering the antioxidants and preventing cellular apoptosis no matter how many carrots I add.

Here’s his site. He knows your medicine is a lie and you’re really just after our money.

petfooddude

I’m going to log on and see what the forums say about your “cancer just happens” line. Oh wait….shoot. My membership is expired. Can you hand me my wallet?

b10

Oh, I think I’ve seen his site. Is he the one who sells supplements and seminars on dog juicing?

Yes! He’s a pioneer. OK, credit card updated, I’m in.

b2

OK, here we go: Have I at any point in the past fed kibble from Big Pet Food or gotten Muffin vaccinated? Yes, 10 years ago. So they say here that this is why he has cancer and it isn’t responding to the turmeric. They also said you would say exactly what you said about it not being their fault, and not to fall for it. What do you have to say to THAT?

Mrs. Sandford, I need to level with you here.

b15

It really doesn’t matter to me what you’re feeding Muffin. I am glad you care about him and want to do what’s best for him. I do too! I promise! I’m having a really hard time talking to you when you’re typing at someone who is convinced I’m out to hurt you both. Right now I am just really worried about the size of this mass on his head. I think we need to get him in for a full evaluation ASAP.

*tap tap*    I’ll think about it. I haven’t tried coconut oil yet.

May I ask why you even had me come out?

b12

I just wanted this all on DropCam- see it over there? It’ll be on Pet Food Dude’s YouTube tonight. He’s doing a “Vets Revealed” bit. Well, since you didn’t do anything I’m sure you aren’t expecting payment. You can see yourself out.

TO BE CONTINUED….

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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Balancing the scales in medicine

I am becoming increasingly convinced the communication gap between veterinarians and clients is the number one problem we’ve failed to solve. We’re just not on the same page a lot of the time, it seems, and it makes me sad. I can’t read a single article online without coming across “veterinarians are money grubbing pigs that suck” (true blog title) and someone else saying “if you can’t afford x/y/z/q you shouldn’t have gotten a pet, jerk.” I feel as though this is perhaps a bit extreme, but it’s what happens when we don’t work together to identify our goals.

Common Fallacies of Bad Client Interactions

rotten

(In just as many cases, the vet on the left is an associate up to his or her ears in student debt and just trying to make it through the day without getting yelled at one more time, and the client on the right is a stressed out single parent who just spent a grand fixing her car.)

Much of this angst comes from the pervasive assumption that in all cases we will do everything we can medically, no matter what, which was fine a while back when “everything” meant “antibiotics” but as veterinary medicine has advanced, has come to mean “MRI, spinal tap, radiation.”

This assumption, of course, carries over from human medicine: if you’ve got the insurance, you’re getting the treatment. Everyone’s happy, right? Right?

Not so much. Satisfaction with a medical course of action relies on multiple factors.

Sometimes getting to “Everyone Happy” (Square B) is impossible. D’s not so bad either, but A and C are no-fly zones.

Human Medicine Satisfaction

medchart1_edited-2

I would argue that satisfaction with outcomes is directly correlated to the balance between the amount of treatment pursued, and its benefit.

medchart1_edited-3

So really, the goal here isn’t to push everyone towards the far extremes of treatment; it’s about getting to that center line of balance. In human medicine this change is slowly creaking along with things like hospice care, which moves people from C to D in low treatment benefit situations, and increased access to insurance coverage, which moves you from A to B in high benefit situations. With Mom, we were squarely in the D category, and while we’re not HAPPY, it’s a hell of a lot better than if we had treated her to death.

Make sense?

So how does this apply to veterinary medicine? It’s similar, except we tend to find ourselves walking a line most strongly related to finances.

The Veterinary Experience

vetchart1_edited-1

There’s a whole lot of people in square C these days, who spent more than they really had on treatments they weren’t sure they wanted, because they felt like they had to, and when things go downhill as they often do with very ill pets, people can end up really, really disillusioned with the profession.

Now, since we have no ability to magically divine which people are up for specialty treatment and which people are not, we always offer all the options to clients- as we should. There are people who spend thousands, lose their pet, and are still ok with the outcome- but they were also very clear on the risks and made an informed decision. Many clients, it seems, feel as if they are not.

vetchart1_edited21

So what do we do to improve outcomes? In my experience, the best way to move the dial from A to B is pet insurance, at least for emergency situations. There are few situations more likely to prompt a Facebook mob than a pet who died a preventable death because the owner couldn’t afford treatment and the ER vet wouldn’t do the treatment for free- nor should they. Owners need to shoulder some of the responsibility here of financial preparation, and if they refuse to take even basic steps to be prepared, maybe they really are a crappy client.

And conversely, moving the dial from C to D involves good veterinary communication, and a willingness to understand that lots of factors go into the decision about whether or not to seek treatment. If a veterinarian talks a senior on a fixed income into a kidney transplant for a 15 year old cat in renal failure, after she expressed concern about paying her rent for the month and her own upcoming surgery- maybe they really are a money grubbing vet.

But I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Clients and vets both have work to do here. And I believe with all of my heart that the better we get about empowering clients to make informed decisions, the more that will carry over into human medicine- which is a wonderful thing.

I realize this is a vastly oversimplified explanation of some really complicated issues, but hey, we have to start somewhere. Whatever it is we’re doing now sure doesn’t seem to be working too well.

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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Before and After – Part 2

This one also just needed some minor adjustments.  Take a little off the top (so he isn’t quite so entered in the image!), remove the flower in front – too distracting, take the blade of grass on the left side of his face out and blur the areas of grass that are in focus on the sides of the image.  I’m not sure if I agree with the crop (I find it feels squishy if the dog’s head doesn’t have breathing room) but I definitely agree with everything else!

Before:

After:

Crazy Coulee and Little Lacey

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