Beware of Chicken Jerky Treats from China

The FDA is continuing to caution pet owners about potential problems from chicken jerky treats originating from China.  The first warnings were issues in 2007 and 2008 with a drop in the number of cases in 2010, however, more than 350 cases have been reported to the FDA in 2011.  See report on MSNBC

The dogs affected from the treats are showing symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy. Some dogs have also exhibited signs related to a decrease in their kidney function by drinking more water and an increase in their urination.

There was not a specific brand of treats cited, but all complaints have been on chicken jerky treats obtained from China.

Most of the dogs that have had problems are the smaller dogs that have eaten the treats within a few weeks before becoming sick. A lot of these dogs consumed the treats as a large part of their diet. Some pets had upset stomachs and some suffered renal failure. Most dogs have recovered with treatment, but there are some unconfirmed cases of a few dogs dying from their illness.

Treats, especially jerky treats should only be fed occasionally and not as a major portion of your pet’s diet. If your pet does experience vomiting or diarrhea, please contact your veterinarian for diagnostics and treatment. Especially with the smaller dogs, they can become quite dehydrated within a short period of time and may need intravenous fluids until their tiny stomachs can tolerate food again. Be sure to mention any treats your dog may have consumed or any change of diet to your veterinarian.
If you suspect a problem stemming from a treat or pet food, you and your veterinarian can report it to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

Cat & Kitten Care : About Cat Behavior Problems

Cat behavior problems develop between the ages of six to 12 weeks, and they can include aggression towards humans or other animals and urination, especially in males who mark their territory. Assess feline behavior problems at an early age with advice from a practicing veterinarian in this free video on pet care. Expert: Dr. James Talbott Bio: Dr. James R. Talbott is a staff veterinarian at Belle Forest Animal Hospital and Kennel in Nashville, Tenn. Filmmaker: Dimitri LaBarge

Litter Box Issues for Cats

Litter Box Issues in catsOne of the most appealing aspects of owning a cat is that they are generally clean and require little training. Most kittens have already learned appropriate litter box use from their mothers long before they are adopted. Unfortunately, there are several things that can go wrong that cause cats to urinate in places we find offensive. Inappropriate elimination is the most common behavioral problem recognized in cats.

Urinary Tract Illness
When a cat begins urinating outside the litter box, the first possibility to be considered is illness. Cats with bladder irritation or infection frequently urinate in unusual places including potted plants, sinks, and bathtubs. There is often only a tiny amount of urine in each place, and it may be bloody. Kidney failure, diabetes, and some medications can cause cats to urinate more. They may be unable to wait to go outside or to get to the nearest litter box. They generally produce large amounts of watery urine. A physical examination, urine and blood tests can identify or rule out medical causes for elimination disorders.

Urine Marking Behavior
Spraying urine is a normal marking behavior in un-neutered male cats. Spraying differs from ordinary urination because the cat remains standing and the urine is sprayed onto a vertical surface behind him. Neutering male cats as early as possible reduces this behavior. However, neutered males and female cats can spray too. This is more likely when the cat is distressed or anxious and occurs more often in multi-cat households.

Aversions and Preferences
Some cats develop aversions or preferences with regard to locations or substrates for urination. The most common sources of aversions are dirty litter boxes, strongly perfumed litter, and litter boxes placed in busy areas where the cat may feel insecure. Some cats develop a preference to urinate only in a particular spot in the house, or only on a certain material such as carpeting or plastic.

Treating Inappropriate Urination
After ruling out medical concerns, the veterinarian must address underlying emotional issues. Removal of stressful stimuli such as dogs and other cats may help. Antidepressant and antianxiety medicines are sometimes used. A spray that mimics a natural calming hormone of cats has shown benefit as well. Litter boxes are adjusted to encourage the cat to use them. Boxes can be provided in preferred locations and with preferred substrates. Aversive factors should be eliminated. This can involve a lot of trial and error, such as providing numerous litter boxes or different types and observing which are most preferred. Unfortunately, behavioral elimination disorders in cats can be difficult and frustrating to treat.

Preventing Inappropriate Urination
Since its so difficult to treat, its a good idea to try to prevent abnormal urination behavior. A helpful tip is to provide plenty of clean litter boxes, preferably without perfumed litters. The rule of thumb for the number of boxes to have is that there should be at least as many boxes as there are cats and at least as many boxes as there are stories in the house. Most cats prefer a large, open litter box in a quiet location as opposed to litter boxes with hoods, which may trap odor.

Male cats should be neutered. Always remember that cats are territorial by nature. Cats housed singularly are less likely to have behavioral elimination problems, probably because they experience less territorial stress.

Seizures in Pets

Seizures in petsSeizures are a neurological anomaly that may occur in some pets. They are caused by a wide variety of reasons and may manifest differently from animal to animal. Seizures, although frequently frightening for the owners, can often be managed by medication once properly diagnosed. This handout will provide general information on the description, causes and solutions for seizure disorders in pets.

Seizures, often called convulsions or fits, will manifest themselves differently in each animal. It is important to remember, that while frightening for the owner, your pet does not feel any pain during the episode. And contrary to popular belief, your pet will not swallow its tongue during a seizure episode. In fact, you are more likely to be bitten severely if you try to force anything into the animals mouth. The only precaution that you should take is to make sure that your pet is not in danger of falling or striking a limb or its head on anything during the episode. After the seizure is complete, take time to observe and comfort your pet as they may be disoriented.

As seizures appear differently in each animal, it is best to look for some of the common signs:

  1. Sporadic muscle contractions over the entire body
  2. Falling to the side with a drawn back position of the head and neck
  3. Loss or semi-loss of consciousness
  4. Involuntary vomiting, salivation, urination or defecation
  5. Changes in mental awareness from unresponsive staring to hallucinations
  6. Behavioral changes including panting, pacing, odd running patterns, extreme docility, extreme viciousness and not recognizing known individuals

During the seizure, your pet will experience three different stages. The first stage of a seizure is called the pre-ictal or aura phase. During this phase your pet may exhibit a wide range of behavioral changes. These changes may include hiding, whining, nervousness, shaking and many others. This stage may continue for a few seconds to a few hours. It is important to remember, however, that some pets do not experience or manifest any signs of this phase.

The second phase to a seizure is the ictal phase. This phase may last from a few seconds to five minutes and is the period in which the body convulses and displays the typical signs of a seizure described above. If the seizure lasts longer than five minutes, it is known as prolonged seizure or status. Status is a severe and extreme seizure condition and you should seek immediate medical attention.

The third phase of the seizure is known as the post-ictal phase. This phase may include changes in mental awareness, confusion, restlessness and temporary blindness. This phase varies by pet in length, symptoms and severity.

Seizures may be caused by many different factors and they are often indicators of other physical problems. The most common cause of seizures in pets is epilepsy. A common form of epilepsy is caused by the rapid over-stimulation of the neurons in the brain. This over-stimulation may be caused from a head injury or may be genetic and inherited from birth. However, seizures may also be a side effect and indicator of other physical problems. These problems may include brain tumors, poisoning, low blood sugar, nerve or muscle problems and organ disease.

Depending on the frequency and severity of your pets seizures, it may be started on oral medications to help control the seizures. Once started, however, these medications must be given reliably, for the rest of the pets life. Therefore, your veterinarian will do careful screening and testing before placing your pet on these medications. It is important to remember that your pets seizure disorder is a manageable condition and many pets live long, happy and rewarding lives with epilepsy.

Seizures in Cats

Seizures in Cats

Seizures are a neurological aberrations that can occur in some pets. They are caused by a variety of reasons and can vary from animal to animal. Seizures, but often scary for the owners, can often be controlled by medication once properly diagnosed. This handout will provide general information about the description, causes and solutions to epileptic seizures in dogs and cats.

Seizures will manifest itself differently in each animal. It is important to remember that even frightening to the owner, your pet does not feel any pain during the episode. And contrary to popular belief, your pet will not swallow his tongue during a seizure episode. In fact, you’re more likely to be bitten if you try to put something in the pet’s mouth. The only precaution you need to do is make sure that your pet is not in danger of  falling or hitting a leg or his head on something during the incident. After the seizure has finished, take the time to observe and comfort your pet since they can become disoriented.

As seizures may appear in any animal, it is best to look for some of the common symptoms:

1. Sporadic muscle contractions throughout the body
2 Falling to the side with a drawn back position of the head and neck
3. Loss or semi-loss of consciousness
4. Involuntary vomiting, salivation, urination or bowel movements
5; Changes in mental awareness from non-staring or seeming to hallucinate

6. Behavioral changes such as panting, pacing, ,fly-biting, extreme docility, extreme agitation, aggression  or does not recognize family members

During the attack, your pet will experience three different phases. First stage of a seizure is called the pre-ictal or aura phase. In this phase, your pet may exhibit a wide range of behavioral changes. These changes may include hiding, vocalizing, nervousness, tremors, and many others. This stage may continue for a few seconds to a couple of hours. It is important to remember, but that some animals do not experience or manifest any sign of this phase.

 

The second phase of  a seizure is the  ictal phase. This phase can last from several seconds to five minutes and the period during which the body is tense and gives the typical symptoms of an attack as described above. If the seizure lasts longer than five minutes, it is known as a prolonged seizure or status epileptics. Status epileptics  is a serious and extreme seizure condition and you should see a veterinarian immediately.

The third phase of the seizure is known as post-ictal phase. This phase may include changes in mental awareness, disorientation, restlessness and temporary blindness. This phase varies in length from pets, symptoms and severity.

Seizures may be caused by numerous factors and are often indicators of other physical problems. The most common cause of seizures in pets is epilepsy. A common form of epilepsy caused by the rapid over-stimulation of neurons in the brain. This over-stimulation can be caused by a head injury or may be genetic and inherited from birth. Can attack but also an indicator of side effect and other physical problems. These problems can include brain tumors, poisoning, hypoglycemia, nerve or muscle problems and organ disease.

Depending on the frequency and severity of your pet seizures, it may be treated with oral medications to help control the seizures. Once started, but these drugs must be monitored  and administered for the rest of the pets life. Therefore, your veterinarian will do careful screening and testing before putting your pet on these drugs. It is important to remember that your pet’s seizures is often a manageable condition and many animals live long, happy and fruitful life with epilepsy.