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Dog Chew Recall

United Pet Group, a division of Spectrum Brands, Inc. is voluntarily recalling multiple brands of packages of rawhide dog chew products that were distributed to retail outlets and sold online in the U.S. The recall involves the brands and products described below.

The recall was initiated after  United Pet Group identified that certain of its rawhide chew manufacturing facilities located in Mexico and Colombia, as well as one of its suppliers in Brazil, were using a quaternary ammonium compound mixture as a processing aid in the manufacturing of rawhide chews. The compound is an anti-microbial chemical that is approved for cleaning food processing equipment, but it has not been approved in the U.S. as a processing aid in the production of rawhide chews for dogs.

United Pet Group received very limited reports of pet illness based on the volume of possibly affected rawhide chew products manufactured and distributed. The primary complaint received from consumers was that the affected product had an unpleasant odor. Diarrhea and vomiting were also reported.

Exposure to quaternary ammonium compounds through direct ingestion may cause the following symptoms in dogs: reduced appetite, and gastric irritation including diarrhea and vomiting. These symptoms may require treatment by a veterinarian depending on severity.

The affected product was distributed nationwide from United Pet Group’s Edwardsville, Illinois distribution facility and was delivered to consumers through various retail establishments including online outlets. All of the dog chew products included in the voluntary recall identify an expiration date ranging from 06/01/2019 through 05/31/2020 located on the back of the package.

For more information, go to: https://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm562701.htm

Pet Dander

The following article was written by the American Lung Association.  Please feel free to call us if you have any questions.

Pet Dander

What Is Pet Dander?

Pet dander is composed of tiny, even microscopic, flecks of skin shed by cats, dogs, rodents, birds and other animals with fur or feathers. These bits of skin can cause reactions in people who are specifically allergic to these triggers.

Additional allergy triggers or allergens come from sources other than the animal's skin. Proteins found in saliva, urine and feces from cats, dogs and other pets can cause allergic reactions in some people. The most common allergies are caused by the Fel d I protein from cats and the Can f I and Can f II proteins from dogs. Dried saliva containing allergens may flake off from an animal's fur and become airborne, where it is inhaled by the allergic person. Dust from dried feces can be suspended in the same way. 1

Which Animals Pose the Biggest Problems?

Cats are kept as pets in 27 percent of homes in the United States and dogs are found in 32 percent. However, roughly twice as many people report allergies to cats when compared to dogs. Research also indicates that male cats produce less Fel d I allergen than female cats, although the reason is not clear. 1

Animals with fur may be more likely to carry allergens from other sources, like dust, but the fur itself is generally not a trigger. For that reason, short-haired or hairless animals contribute dander and allergens to indoor air pollution just as effectively as long-haired animals do. There is no such thing as a non-allergenic dog or cat. 1

How Do Pet Allergens Occur?

Pet allergens are very light weight and small. They remain suspended in the air for a long time, much longer than allergens from cockroaches or dust mites. Because of their microscopic size and jagged shape, pet allergens easily stick to furniture, bedding, fabrics and many items carried into and out of the home. Animal dander is easily spread through the home and out to public places like schools and hospitals. 1 They can be found even in homes and buildings without pets. 1

How Do Pet Allergens Affect Health?

Some people are allergic to pets or have asthma that is triggered by pet allergens. For these individuals, breathing animal allergens can make respiratory symptoms worse and lead to a decline in the ability of the lungs to function. The concentrations of an allergen required to cause a reaction vary greatly by individual. 1

People with allergies may experience upper and lower respiratory tract symptoms including congestion, sneezing, runny nose, chest tightness and wheezing. Other symptoms are itching, watery eyes, and eczema or rashes. 1

How Do You Control Pet Allergens?

For homes with sensitive individuals, the best way to protect indoor air quality is to remove the animal from the home. However, pet allergens may stay in the home for months after the pet is gone because the allergens remain in house dust. Allergy and asthma symptoms may take weeks or even months to improve. 1

If the pet stays in the home, keep it out of the bedroom of anyone who has asthma or allergies. Do not allow the pet on furniture, especially upholstery, and keep the pet away from carpets. Clean the home often and do not allow dust to accumulate.

For more information and article sources, go to: http://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/healthy-air/indoor/indoor-air-pollutants/pet-dander.html

Dr. Perdue: Secretary of Agriculture

The AVMA is pleased that a veterinarian, Secretary Sonny Perdue, DVM, was confirmed to the position of United States Secretary of Agriculture. With the country facing challenges and opportunities on issues requiring veterinary expertise, such as animal health, animal welfare and public health, having strong veterinary leadership at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is more important than ever.

Veterinarians possess unique medical expertise that drives scientifically sound policy decisions. Veterinary leadership at all levels of the USDA is crucial to creating and executing effective policies, and Secretary Perdue’s appointment is an encouraging sign that veterinarians will continue to be valued at the agency.

Including input from veterinarians in USDA decisions is increasingly important as advancing technologies and science-based evidence shed light on the interdependency of animal health and human health. Keeping food supplies safe, ensuring responsible drug use and preventing zoonotic disease are all areas within which collaboration among veterinary medicine and other scientific, health and environmental disciplines is valuable. The AVMA supports this collaboration through One Health, and veterinary leadership at the USDA offers further opportunities to implement One Health principles through public policy.

Secretary Perdue earned his DVM from the University of Georgia in 1971.​​

Lyme Disease

The US Center for Disease Control recommends the following for preventing tick and lyme disease on pets.

Dogs are very susceptible to tick bites and tickborne diseases. Vaccines are not available for all the tickborne diseases that dogs can get, and they don’t keep the dogs from bringing ticks into your home. For these reasons, it’s important to use a tick preventive product on your dog.

Tick bites on dogs may be hard to detect. Signs of tickborne disease may not appear for 7-21 days or longer after a tick bite, so watch your dog closely for changes in behavior or appetite if you suspect that your pet has been bitten by a tick.

To reduce the chances that a tick will transmit disease to you or your pets:

  • Check your pets for ticks daily, especially after they spend time outdoors.
  • If you find a tick on your dog, remove it right away.
  • Ask your veterinarian to conduct a tick check at each exam.
  • Talk to your veterinarian about tickborne diseases in your area.
  • Reduce tick habitat in your yard(https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/prev/in_the_yard.html).
  • Talk with your veterinarian about using tick preventives on your pet. 

Note: Cats are extremely sensitive to a variety of chemicals. Do not apply any insect acaricides or repellents to your cats without first consulting your veterinarian!

To learn more, go to: https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/prev/on_pets.html

HEARTWORM AWARENESS MONTH

HEARTWORM AWARENESS MONTH

Heartworm disease is a very serious disease that can be deadly if left untreated. As effective as preventative medicine is, your dog or cat can still become infected. Annual testing is a necessity. The sooner it’s detected, the better your pet’s chance of recovery.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Schedule your appointment to check for heartworms today.

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