Health Reports vital to the well being of our beloved PONS

November, 2008 edition of PON Digest


MAF offers Web program on canine cancer

MAF offers Web program on canine cancer

DVM - Cleveland,OH, USA
Denver-based MAF, which has funded nearly 1400 humane animal-health studies, is conducting a global campaign aimed at curing canine cancer in the next one ...


American Kennel Club and AKC Canine Health Foundation Debut Podcast Series


- Topics highlight Breeders Symposia and CHF grant recipients -


RALEIGH, NC – The American Kennel Club and the AKC Canine Health Foundation are pleased to debut their new podcast series, featuring lectures from the highly successful AKC-CHF Breeders Symposia. Future podcasts will also provide responsible breeders and pet owners an inside look at the work being done by the AKC and the AKC Canine Health Foundation.

Launched four years ago by the AKC and the AKC CHF, the Breeders Symposia target novice and expert breeders alike. They offer an ideal opportunity to learn about sound breeding practices and advances in genetic health tests. Presentations include basic and applied genetics, anatomy and physiology, breeding techniques and updates on the AKC and the AKC Canine Health Foundation. The podcasts will feature leading scientists and researchers who have spoken at AKC-CHF Breeder Symposia as well as CHF grant recipients. New podcasts will be released every two weeks and can be accessed from either the American Kennel Club website or the AKC Canine Health Foundation website – click on "Podcasts." They will also be available on Apple's iTunes®. 

Currently posted podcasts are:

·         Matthew Ellinwood DVM, PhD discussing how the field of genetics can assist in developing the tools necessary for responsible breeders.

·         Sharon Center DVM talks about the research being done to correct some common genetic liver disorders.  

"The podcast series will be the AKC Canine Health Foundation's audio portal to exciting presenters, researchers, and investigators demonstrating their expertise and experience in the fight against canine

health disorders and disease," states Cindy Vogels, president of the AKC Canine Health Foundation.  "AKCCHF-funded researchers and experts will offer their keen insight and findings on research studies involving those diseases which are of greatest concern to the dog-owning and breeding communities and we're proud to feature them in this way."        

"The American Kennel Club is pleased to support both the Breeders Symposia and the podcast series, which will enable anyone interested in better breeding to access this important information, " states Ron Rella, the American Kennel Club's Director of Project Administration. "Future podcasts will include overviews of AKC initiatives such as Public Education, Companion Animal Recovery, Government Relations, and Veterinary Outreach among others.  We hope to offer an 'inside view' of the AKC and its outstanding programs and services which truly make us the 'dog's champion.'"



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Treating Pain in Your PON: Vital information

UPS truck just delivered my 200 copies of the FDA CVM's brochure "Treating  Pain in Your Dog - Keeping Your Best Friend Active, Safe and Pain Free." 
I plan to keep a supply in my car at all times so as never to miss an opportunity to share with others - and to leave some at vets' offices (if they are receptive).
The brochures can be ordered on-line and are free that way.  Just go to
This is just another way to help educate others about the adverse side effects of NSAIDS - thanks to to the FDA CVM.
(Always for George - Always for the Rimadyl Dogs)



Treating Pain in Your PON



If you suspect a possible side effect to an NSAID, STOP giving the drug to your dog and call your veterinarian immediately.


(http://www.fda. gov/cvm/Document s/NSAIDBrochure. pdf)

Adobe Reader software is required in order to download this page.



ad> New Page 1
Please click on the above link for the complete article.


Lab Tests Find Lead, Other Toxins in Pet Toys Sold at Wal-Mart

Vets say there's no risk to pets but others aren't so sure

By Lisa Wade McCormick

September 16, 2007


Two Chinese-made toys for pets sold at Wal-Mart stores contain elevated levels of lead, chromium, and cadmium, according to a forensic toxicologist whose lab tested the products for

Two veterinarians, however, said the levels of toxic metals found in the toys do not pose a health risk to dogs or cats. Whether the toys are a hazard to children and adults who handle them isn't clear. hired ExperTox Analytical Laboratory in Texas to test four imported toys for pets -- two for dogs and two for cats -- for heavy metals and other toxins.

One of the dog toys -- a latex one that looks like a green monster -- tested positive for what the lab’s toxicologist said are high levels of lead and the cancer-producing agent chromium.

A cloth catnip toy also tested positive for “a tremendous amount” of the toxic metal cadmium, the lab said.

ExperTox also analyzed two other Chinese-made pet toys – a cloth hedgehog for dogs and a plastic dumbbell toy for cats. The lab detected cadmium in those toys, but said the levels were “about the amount you’d find in one cigarette” and not considered significant. purchased the four pet toys earlier this month at a Wal-Mart store in Kansas City, Missouri. All the toys had a tag attached that read “Marketed by Wal-Mart stores and Made in China.”

"Potentially toxic"

Forensic toxicologist Dr. Ernest Lykissa, Ph.D., director of ExperTox’s lab, described the levels of heavy metals in the green monster and catnip toys as potentially toxic and said Wal-Mart should pull the products off the market.

“Or put a warning label on them that says if you put this (toy) in your mouth you will get poisoned,” he said. “There is nothing good about the agents (in these toys) that I’m reporting to you.”

Lykissa said lead goes to the brain and causes learning disorders in children. “It’s also implicated in high instances of heart attacks. It is a very heavy metal.”

Chromium, he said, is a cancer producing agent. “It can cause cancer in the bladder and kidneys, and if it’s inhaled, cause cancer in the lungs. There’s nothing good about chromium. “And cadmium is a horrible thing to get into the body. It creates havoc in the joints, kidneys, and lungs.”

ExperTox’s tests on the green monster toy detected what Lykissa said are elevated levels of lead -- 907.4 micrograms per kilogram.

“That’s almost one part per million. With that kind of concentration, if a dog is chewing on it or licking it, he’s getting a good source of lead.”

The green monster toy also had what Lykissa considered high levels of chromium -- 334.9 micrograms per kilogram.

“With that kind of chromium in there you have what can be an extremely toxic toy if they (animals) put it in their mouths. And dogs put things in their mouths. If a dog puts this in his mouth, he runs a big chance of getting some type of metal toxicity that may shorten his life.”

Which is worse?

Which heavy metal -- chromium or lead -- poses a bigger threat to dogs?

“Toxic burden is toxic burden,” Lykissa said. “You are increasing the burden on the animal by having these in there. A dog is going to get a good dose of chromium and lead from this toy.”

The lab also detected other toxic metals in the green monster toy.






Please forward this information to
family and friends who have pets.

Bravo! Raw Diet foods have been recalled.
This is due to Salmonella and Listeria
monocytogenes. This can cause serious
infections in both cats and dogs as well
as cross-contamination to humans.

For more information about the specific
products recalled visit

Get notifications within hours of new recalls and
save your pet's life. Sign your family and friends
up for the free pet alerts at:

The full list of already recalled food can be found at:



Second hand smoke and pets

We are aware of the negative effects of second hand smoke on our own health. But how many of us have really thought about the effects on our pet animals.

Practicing veterinarians have often observed individual cases in which a dog or cat’s respiratory problems such as asthma or chronic coughing have been dramatically improved after their exposure to second hand smoke has stopped. Although the research is still somewhat sparse, evidence is accumulating about the adverse effects of tobacco smoke on animals.  One study, conducted at Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, looked at the correlation between second hand smoke and the incidence of lung and nasal cancer in dogs. It showed that a dog exposed to smoke is 1.6 times as likely to develop cancer, and suggested that the shape of the dog’s nose had an influence on the site of cancer – dogs with long noses were more likely to get nasal cancer while those with short noses were more prone to lung cancer. Another study, conducted at the University of Massachusetts and Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine linked malignant lymphoma in cats to passive smoke exposure, showed that cats living with smokers were 2.4 times as likely to develop lymphoma than cats living in smoke-free homes. The risk was found to increase with both the amount and number of years of smoke exposure.

There are no published animal studies yet on the effects of smoke on allergies, asthma or heart disease. Since many of these conditions have multiple inciting factors, it can be difficult to unequivocally prove a cause and effect relationship. But given the small amount of research that is available, it would be prudent for pet owners to avoid the risks by eliminating second hand smoke in the pet’s environment.






Understanding Deramaxx®

Smart Drug or Clever Marketing?

Silk, my 9 year old Dobie, injured her left rear leg and was prescribed Deramaxx® which she took for just two days. Needless to say, three days and $1,500.00 dollars later, the specialists are still giving her IV fluids. A scope was performed today by an internal medicine specialist who found that the entire stomach lining had been sloughed off. Her symptoms were violent vomiting which included blood, bloody stool and bleeding from the rectum. IV fluids will be maintained for at least two more days, which will make that a total of 5 days on IV fluids.
Cheryl Hartman
As of March 14th, Cheryl's bill for treating Silk is now $3,470.53.

Deramaxx® is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) marketed by Novartis Animal Health Products. The essence of the Novartis marketing campaign is that because Deramaxx® is a Cox-2 specific NSAID it is both safer and more effective than other veterinary NSAIDs. Claims like this have been disallowed by the Food and Drug Administration for human Cox-2 inhibitors. Cox-2 inihibitors simply trade one set of side effects for another.

As with any NSAID, it is a medicine to be taken wisely since the side effects can include death.

As of February 24, 2003, the Center for Veterinary Medicine of the Food and Drug Administration had received reports of the death of 27 dogs which were possibly linked to Deramaxx®. Reported adverse events typically represent about 10%-15% of actual events.

This website has been created to provide information on using Deramaxx® intelligently and dealing with problems should they arise.

Deramaxx® Information









K9 Advantix Topical Flea Treatment

I am writing in regard to K9 Advantix topical treatment for fleas, mosquitos, and ticks.  We used it on the advice of our vet as West Nile Virus, which is carried by mosquitos, is a big problem in our community.  However, this is a product I would encourage everyone to avoid. 

We used it on our 5 year old pomeranian and he had a near fatal reaction.  He had neurologic side effects, dilation to his heart, and fluid in his lungs all as a result of the medication. 

The company of course has taken no responsibility for this reaction and informed my vet that "those things don't happen in dogs."  Please warn your friends with dogs to avoid K9 Advantix, it just isn't worth the risk.

You have permission to post this message anywhere!!!




May 23, 2007
May 14, 2007
May 7, 2007
FDA/USDA Joint News Release: Scientists Conclude Very Low Risk to Humans from Food Containing Melamine
May 4, 2007

Drs. Foster & Smith Dry Adult Dog Food Lamb & Brown Rice

SmartPak Canine Voluntarily Recalls LiveSmart Adult Lamb and Brown Rice Formula

May 3, 2007
April 30, 2007

Joint Update: FDA/USDA Trace Adulterated Animal Feed to Poultry

Sierra Pet Products, LLC Issues Nationwide Recall of "Harmony Farms" Canned Dog Foods, "Harmony Farms" Canned Cat Foods and "Harmony Farms" Dog Treats Manufactured at American Nutrition, Inc.  

April 28, 2007
Joint Update: FDA/USDA Update on Tainted Animal Feed
April 27, 2007

Natural Balance Pet Foods, Inc. Recalls Products in Response to American Nutrition Inc. Pet Food Recall

Blue Buffalo Recalls Can and Biscuit Products Due To Tampering By American Nutrition Inc.

American Nutrition, Inc. Issues Voluntary Recall

April 26, 2007

Diamond Pet Food Withdraws Products in Response to American Nutrition Inc. Pet Food Recall

Chenango Valley Pet Foods Issues Voluntarily Nationwide Recall of Certain Pet Foods

Joint News Release: FDA and USDA Determine Swine Fed Adulterated Product

April 25, 2007
April 22, 2007
Pet drug whistleblower 'raised the bar' --- Veterinarian wins after nearly losing career in battle over Proheart 6 -- Vet of the Year
Attention Canadians
Laws4Paws: "Please complete the attached "PET-ITION" and click submit.   The results will be forwarded to the appropriate Members of Parliament".  
April 22, 1907
April 21, 2007
Criminal Probe Opened in Pet Food Scare
FDA Says Charges Possible; Tainted Pork Confirmed in Calif.
April 19, 2007

Royal Canin USA Announces the Voluntary Nationwide Recall of its Dry Pet Food Products Containing Rice Protein Concentrate

Blue Buffalo Company Announces Voluntary Recall of One Production Run of Spa Select Kitten Dry Food
April 18, 2007
April 17, 2007
Natural Balance Pet Foods, Inc. Issues A Voluntary Nationwide Recall on Specific Venison Dog and Cat Food Products
April 13, 2007
Washington Post: Byrd Doggedly Expresses His Love for Man's Best Friend "For many in America, pets are more than just companions -- they are members of the family"
April 12, 2007

Testimony by Stephen F. Sundlof, D.V.M., Ph.D., Director, FDA Center For Veterinary Medicine

FDA Press Release - FDA Warns Consumers that Retailers May Still have Recalled Pet Food on Shelves, Menu Foods Expands Recall to More Cat Food

April 11, 2007
FDA Consumer Health Information - Consumer Update: FDA's Response to the Pet Food Recall
April 10, 2007
April 2007
April 6, 2007
April 2007
April 5, 2007
April 2007
Animal Protection Institute  
March 2007
House Committee of Energy and Commerce: Chairman Dingell, Stupak and Pallone and Ranking Members Barton, Whitfield and Deal write FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach in regard to contaminated pet food
March 31, 2007
March 31, 2007
March 30, 2007
Hills Pet Nutrition, Inc. Voluntarily Recalls Single Product, Prescription Diet™ m/d™ Feline Dry Food, Only Product Containing Wheat Gluten
March 30, 2007

MSNBC: Pet food recall expanded to include cat kibble

FDA tests find chemical used to make plastics, not rat poison

March 27, 2007
March 23, 2007
MSNBC: Rat poison found in deadly pet food - -Animal deaths linked to lethal toxin illegal in the U.S.






Understanding the Industry

By Animal Protection Insitute
Although a few  dog food companies do a decent job at providing fairly well-balanced nutrition for the average dog, there are some conflicting issues that make many brands subject to scrutiny before one walks into a pet store and picks up just "any 'ole food." Following is a report that explores the differences between what consumers think they are buying and what they are actually getting..



Adverse effects of veterinary drugs:





Abstract - please read the conclusion,thanks !
February 15, 2006, Vol. 228, No. 4, Pages 537-542
doi: 10.2460/javma.228.4.537


Evaluation of bacterial and protozoal contamination of commercially available raw meat diets for dogs


Rachel A. Strohmeyer DVM, MS Paul S. Morley DVM, PhD, DACVIM Doreene R. Hyatt PhD David A. Dargatz DVM, DACVIM A. Valeria Scorza VMD, MS Michael R. Lappin DVM, PhD, DACVIM
Animal Population Health Institute, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523. (Strohmeyer, Morley, Hyatt); USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services, Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health, 2150 Centre Avenue, Bldg B, Fort Collins, CO 80526. (Dargatz); Department of Clinical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523. (Scorza, Lappin)
Dr. Morley.

Supported by the Animal Population Health Institute through a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service and by the James L. Voss Veterinary Medical Center, Colorado State University.

The authors thank Brandy Burgess, Jennifer Hawley, and Barbara Traut for technical assistance.

Objective—To evaluate bacterial and protozoal contamination of commercially available raw meat diets for dogs.

Design—Prospective longitudinal study.

Sample Population—240 samples from 20 raw meat diets for dogs (containing beef, lamb, chicken, or turkey), 24 samples from 2 dry dog foods, and 24 samples from 2 canned dog foods.

Procedure—Each product was purchased commercially on 4 dates approximately 2 months apart. Three samples from each product at each sampling period were evaluated via bacterial culture for non–type-specific Escherichia coli (NTSEC), Salmonella enterica, and Campylobacter spp. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed on selected isolates. Polymerase chain reaction assays were used to detect DNA from Cryptosporidium spp, Neospora spp, and Toxoplasma spp in samples obtained in the third and fourth sampling periods.

Results—One hundred fifty-three of 288 (53%) samples were contaminated with NTSEC. Both raw and prepared foods contained NTSEC during at least 1 culture period. Salmonella enterica was recovered from 17 (5.9%) samples, all of which were raw meat products. Campylobacter spp was not isolated from any samples. In 91 of 288 (31.6%) samples, there was no gram-negative bacterial growth before enrichment and in 48 of 288 (16.7%) samples, there was no aerobic bacterial growth before enrichment. Susceptibility phenotypes were variable. Cryptosporidium spp DNA was detected in 3 samples.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Bacterial contamination is common in commercially available raw meat diets, suggesting that there is a risk of foodborne illness in dogs fed these diets as well possible risk for humans associated with the dogs or their environments.


Abstract - Please read the conclusions note at the end of this abstract.
January 15, 2006, Vol. 228, No. 2, Pages 225-229
doi: 10.2460/javma.228.2.225




FDA cutbacks result in fewer inspections, food safety tests
Rutland Herald, VT -
Even as imports grow in volume and diversity, the number of FDA inspections is shrinking: agency inspectors physically examined just 1.3 percent of food ...


Effects of diet on clinical signs of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency in dogs


Elias Westermarck DVM, PhD Maria E. Wiberg DVM, PhD
Department of Clinical Veterinary Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki, Hämeentie 57, 00014 Finland. (Westermarck, Wiberg)
Address correspondence to Dr. Westermarck.

Supported by Hill's Pet Nutrition, Incorporated.

The authors thank Arto Ketola and Juha Junttila for statistical analyses.

Objective—To assess the effects of dietary modification on clinical signs of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) in dogs.

Design—Blinded randomized crossover study.

Animals—21 dogs with EPI.

Procedure—Dogs were fed the diet they received at home for 2 weeks. Thereafter, they received 3 special diets (a high-fat diet, a high-fiber diet, and a highly digestible low-residue diet) for 3 weeks each. Owners scored dogs daily for the last 2 weeks of each 3-week period for severity of 6 clinical signs including appetite, defecation frequency, consistency of feces, borborygmus, flatulence, and coprophagia. An EPI index was calculated for each dog by adding the daily scores for each clinical sign.

Results—Significant differences in daily EPI indices among diets were observed in 20 dogs. The original diet appeared to be the most suitable in 8 dogs, whereas the high-fat diet was most suitable in 5 dogs, the high-fiber diet was most suitable in 4 dogs, and the low-residue diet was most suitable in 2 dogs. In 1 dog, the lowest EPI index score was the same during the original diet and the high-fat diet feeding periods. One dog did not complete the feeding period for the high-fiber diet. Differences in mean EPI indices among diets were not significant.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that responses to different diets varied among individual dogs. Because responses to the feeding regimens were unpredictable, it is suggested that feeding regimens be individually formulated for dogs with EPI.

Folks, we have been saying this all along ! PONS are individuals and have individual needs. What works for one PON, may not work for another PON. In addition, individual breeds have varying requirements.