Thursday, December 31, 2009

HEALTH ALERT | Pacific Rimism

Relevant to all dog owners, especially those who own Asian breeds, particularly the spitz types (shibas, akitas, jindos, chows, etc)

A scary experience of a fellow Shiba owner led to this awareness:


Pacific Rimism in Japanese Dogs
An informal case study in the lethal misdiagnosis of Hyper-kalemia and Addison’s disease in Nihon Ken

Hi all, I wanted to write up some of what I have come to know about this recently. I believe it is essential that all Nihon Ken owners, or anybody with related Asian spitz breeds like Jindo, etc, read, understand and share this information, especially to the Veterinary community.

Following our Christmas dinner (and scraps from the relatives), my spayed 2.5 year old Shiba Inu female Beebe began to have some GI upset/gastroenteritis/colitis symptoms, mainly mucous diarrhea. This is not a new thing for her. To refresh, she was diagnosed last year with an immune deficiency and has been on interferons, allergy injections, and has required treatment for demodex, papilloma virus warts, and histiocytomas. She suffers from environmental and food allergies, and thus we made the transition to a home prepared raw diet for 6 months now to help with her GI issues. It works well, except when she eats grain and table scraps, and for the fact that she is not a healthy dog to begin with.

Her most recent bought of diarrhea went on for 2 days, but it wasn’t severe to cause me to panic. I made her NPO and then fed her a bland diet of rice and chicken which resolved the diarrhea. On top of the GI disturbance, she also seemed to just not be herself, seemed more tired, had some trembling episodes during the night, and appeared to be developing some rear limb weakness in conjunction with hesitance when rising, getting on the couch or jumping into the backseat of the auto. She occasionally regurgitates her food (prior to starting raw). These symptoms are suggestive of Addison’s, and are symptoms sometime seen with conditions like hip dysplasia, LP, hypothyroid, mega-esophagus, cauda equina, colitis, and pancreatitis. I took her in to my Vet to do bloodwork and x-rays.

Of note, the spun serum had blood stranding and a pinkish hue, even though it was allowed the standard time to clot and set prior to being spun. This suggested cellular lysis (hemolysis). When this happens, electrolytes in the cells can be released, giving falsely elevated electrolyte levels, and in certain breeds, it can appear that the electrolytes are at lethal levels as their cells are naturally more prone to this condition, and contain higher levels of K naturally which is not a detriment to the animal.

These were her aberrant labs, which Dr. told me was scary to see.

K: 8.1, reference range 4.0-5.7
Repeat K level the following day was 8.4. We performed an EKG which was normal.
As a human nurse for 5 years and an animal nurse for 15 years, I can tell you that I have never known an animal with K that elevated, and if it was a human they would be dead in an ICU. Hyper-kalemia (elevated K), can result in fatal heart arrhythmias if not treated. K can be elevated in renal failure, adrenal insufficiency, and hemolysis, secondary to leakage of cellular material in platelets and RBCs during the clotting process and is influenced by lag time in blood collection. In Addison’s (hypo-adrenocorticism), K is elevated and sodium (Na) is reduced (hyponatremia). Her Na/K ratio was also low (18, with a reference range of 27-40). Following this, the definitive diagnostic rule-out is an ACTH stimulation test. Her sodium was normal, so I was encouraged to have her undergo an ACTH stim test as the pieces didn’t fit into the larger picture. All other significant labs were normal, including glucose, and renal/liver values (which are often abnormal in Addison’s).

In addition to the abnormal labs, the blood cells themselves exhibited slight hypochromasia (most commonly related to iron deficiency anemia in dogs, vitamin deficiency, or celiac disease) and poikilocytosis (a misshapen and distorted RBC seen as a result of hemolysis, immune mediated injury, or by a congenital process).

Unlike the Vet in the instance below, my Vet had heard of Pseudo-hyperkalemia in Akita, and wondered if it wasn’t the same for my Shibas, given that Addison’s is NOT known in Shibas and the generally unknown instance of Pseudo-hyperkalemia can easily be mistaken for it. I decided to phone some breeders, this is what they had to say:

This paragraph on Pacific Rimism is listed further down in this article.
I have seen a number of Shibas over the years with elevated potassium levels and this is entirely NORMAL for Shibas, as well as a number of other Asian breeds. A vet in Seattle actually treated a 6 month old Shiba puppy for Addison’s with only the elevated potassium levels. The dog came in with a gastrointestinal problem and vomiting. What was probably just a bug, was treated totally improperly and led to this dog's demise. I am absolutely dumbfounded at the number of vets over the years that have no knowledge of Pacific Rimism. I really feel that the information should be given in written form to the new Shiba owners to give to their Vets along with the health record. I am sure that some vets would see this as insulting, but it has cost me entirely too much time and effort over the years to educate the uneducated.

-Leslie, of San Jo Shibas

“What is Pacific Rimism?
Dog breeds originating in the Pacific Rim, such as the Akita and Shiba inu, commonly have elevated potassium levels on blood tests. This can be very confusing when a patient has symptoms that suggest Addison's disease. These patients will have normal ACTH Stimulation test results if they do not have Addison's disease.”
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?A=608

The Vet feels it is likely this syndrome, so the next step for Beebe is an ACTH stim test just to be sure. I am obviously hoping that it is normal. I am so thankful to the knowledgeable people who pointed me in the right direction as had we undergone steroid treatment for Addison’s when it is likely not, the result could be lethal. Here is the Dogster page and journal entries for the Shiba pup who died from misdiagnosis: http://www.dogster.com/dogs/266218

Fujise, Hiroshi; Higa, Kazunari; Nakayama, Takahiro; Wada, Kayoko; Ochiai, Hideharu and Yuichi Tanabe. Incidence of Dogs Possessing Red Blood Cells with High K in Japan and East Asia. The Journal of veterinary medical science. 59( 6): 495-497. (Jun 1997)


ABSTRACT: The phenotype of high K (HK) red blood cells, which is an autosomal recessive, was found in dog groups from 10 of 13 breeds or populations in Japan. The incidence of HK was 26 to 38% in the San-in-Shiba, Shinshu-Shiba and Akita breeds, and the gene frequencies of HK ranged from 0.513 to 0.612. The highest incidence (42%) was found in the Jindo breed from Korea, and the gene frequency was 0.652. Two other groups from Korea also possessed this HK variation. However, although HK cells were not found in dogs from Taiwan, Mongolia and Sakhalin, Russian, the HK phenotype is clearly distributed now throughout Japan and Korea.

COMMENTS: Very interesting article for the researcher and layman. It gives evidence on the flow of dogs from Korea to Japan. The following quotes are what I consider crucial conclusions that every Jindo owner should be aware of::

"There are a couple of clinical problems related with high K (potassium) cells or hyperkalemia. The first is pseudohyperkalemia where cellular K may leak out from red blood cells into the serum during separation procedures confusing diagnosis. The second possibility is life-threatening hyperkalemia resulting from transfusion. In this instance, the availability of fresh blood as well as stored blood is critical
because K may move from plasma when the recipient is acidotic or the hemolysis may result from improper transfusion."

"HK cells also exhibit high sensitivity to onion extracts and aromatic sulfide and have a tendency to hemolyze."

Monday, December 28, 2009

more raw chicken videos

some more videos of the dogs eating their raw meals. Chicken halves and a slab of beef.

If you watch, notice that Tsuki's portion of chicken had the liver, kidney and fish oil capsule frozen into her half of the chicken (you can sort of see it in the second posted video here). I do this because she's so PICKY that she tends to ignore organs and fish oil capsules within her meal. Occasionally I can trick her into eating at least the organs attached to the chicken, but sometimes she maneuvers around them. Pip.





Lots of bone crunching in this one:

leftovers

Tsuki is very 'particular'. Where she sits, how she sleeps, where she potties, how she walks across a room and especially what and when she eats.

It was a particular challenge to get her used to 'timed' raw feedings after being free fed kibble most of her life (my fault, exclusively).

But she does well, most of the time.

I have been trying to transition the dogs to large meals, fed once a day. Tsuki is not fond of this.

We start with something similar to this portion for each dog, where Kitsune (24lbs) gets the larger, compared to Tsuki's (18lbs) portion:


Then each gets as much time as it takes to eat it. Generally for Kitsu, this is about 5-10 minutes. Sometimes Tsuki is the same, and sometimes she just (literally) d-r-a-g-s it out...


Until she completely ignores the fact that it was, in fact, mealtime.

So, we do package up her leftovers:

And she gets them during her next meal.

The transition to once a day larger feedings has been a challenge because of Tsuki's finickiness. She doesn't eat the whole of her portion, then about 10-12 hours later, she does a yellow foamy urka-gurka vomit on an empty stomach, thus necessecitating a 2-meal-a-day system again.

I really don't mind much that she requires two smaller meals... I take the time and do the extra portioning. She just has to be difficult! :)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

holiday meal | cornish hens

the shibas got cornish game hens for their 'holiday feast', and some chuck roast chunks on the side. (click the link for nutritiondata's nutrient breakdown)

raw towel

easy clean up when feeding raw - use a designated 'raw towel'



and train your dog to stay on it ;)

recipe book | the honest kitchen

Check out this sweet Recipe Book compiled and sold by The Honest Kitchen:

Our first ever recipe book is now available! Made out of Love is packed with more than 65 recipes of meals and treats that you can prepare for (and some to actually share with) your animal companions. Some recipes include Honest Kitchen products and many are simply made from ingredients that you’d find in your own kitchen.
There are recipes to cook and some to serve raw, as well as a special section on ‘medicinal meals’ for special needs pets and of course a chapter exclusively for cats. Made out of Love also includes lots of beautiful photographs of finished recipes, raw ingredients and some of our canine taste testers.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Turkey Necks



To dress or not to dress...

the fish? Most people dress it, but I think the dogs prefer it au naturale.


Dressed Smelt

I often search grocery store aisles for decent deals on both canned (in water, no added salt) and fresh fish. Not every fish should be fed (or consumed by you!) but many are safe.
I've heard way too many questionable things about farmed fish, or wild caught salmon that I tend to steer clear of many larger, 'popular' fish. However, my dogs do get a Wild Caught Salmon Oil capsule a few times a week.


There are several kinds of fishy treats for dogs, including the Herring by Snacks 21 and Grizzly NuTreats Salmon.

Fresh
Our dogs get a mixture of Jack Mackerel, Sardines, Smelt (not as often), Anchovies & occasionally Trout (when in season). Most canned products have loads of extra salt, but I have been able to find a few companies that only can in water with no salt (look at the ingredients!). Jack Mackerel is harder to find without salt, so I feed that very seldom.


In the fresh variety, I have been able to find whole anchovies, some whole smelt. Mostly, the smelt and trout are 'dressed', aka 'cleaned & gutted'.
At this point, the dogs are not getting the full nutritional benefit of a whole fish (bones, organs) just the skin and flesh.
It isn't ideal, but at least its a part of a larger variety of raw meat protein sources for them in their raw diet. My goal is to find and feed whole raw fish at least once a week.

Some other items I've been able to find (whole) and feed: prawns, squid, fish heads

Purebites



Yes, that is a cat treat bag. No, I do not have a cat :)

I often buy Purebites Dehydrated Beef Liver treats for the dogs when on sale. I love these treats because
1. The dogs cannot resist them, and Kitsu learned to "touch" for them.
2. They are single ingredient treats.
3. They market them for dogs AND cats. I think too often cats get the shaft on healthy treats, and these help bridge that gap.


I think the in-law's cat will enjoy his Christmas present!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

First Time Raw

I filmed Maisy's very first time eating a whole raw meal (medallions don't count!).

My best and most trusted advice is to give the dog a Raw Meaty Bone that is bigger than its head. It requires them to work at it (and not gulp) and will be a very fulfilling meal experience for them.

This held true for Maisy. She went from gulping kibble and swallowing medallions whole to carefully chewing and crunching her entire half chicken. Good girl!



Monday, December 7, 2009

Ostrich Medley

A super cool fellow raw feeder sent me these. They are perfect! The dogs love um!


Aunt Jeni's Ostrich Medley. I'll let Best Bully Sticks say in their words, because every word is true:

This Ostrich Medley contains dehydrated ostrich liver, ostrich heart, ostrich lung, and ostrich trachea. It comes in a 10 ounce re-sealable container and is made in our own backyard, the USA! These treats are single protein sources, and contain no additives or preservatives. They are also great for raw feeders because most of the treats are organ meat!
Mmmmm.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Pig Ear/Cow Hoof Recall

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is issuing this health alert to warn consumers not to use Pig Ears and Beef Hooves pet treats manufactured by Pet Carousel because the products may be contaminated with Salmonella. The products were distributed nationwide in both bulk and retail packaging for sale in pet food and retail chain stores. Pet Carousel is based in Sanger, Calif.

The affected pig ear products were packaged under the brand names Doggie Delight and Pet Carousel. The affected beef hooves were packaged under the brand names Choo Hooves, Dentley’s, Doggie Delight, and Pet Carousel. All sizes and all lots of these products made by Pet Carousel are included in this alert. During September 2009, the FDA conducted routine testing of pig ears made by Pet Carousel.
The test results detected a positive reading for Salmonella. This prompted an FDA inspection of Pet Carousel’s manufacturing facilities. During the inspection, the agency collected additional pet treat samples. Further analysis found Salmonella present in beef hooves, pig ears and in the manufacturing environment.

Salmonella can affect both humans and animals. People handling dry pet food and/or pet treats can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the treats or any surfaces exposed to these products. Consumers should dispose of these products in a safe manner by securing them in a covered trash receptacle.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella may experience some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Although rare, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments including arterial infections, endocarditis (inflammation of the lining of the heart), arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their health care provider immediately.

Pets with Salmonella infections may become lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some pets may only experience a 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 any of the affected products or is experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.

The FDA will continue to investigate this matter to determine the source of the Salmonella contamination and offer updates as appropriate.

Consumers can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food and pet treat products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in their area. You can locate the nearest consumer complaint coordinator at:
http://www.fda.gov/Safety/ReportaProblem/ConsumerComplaintCoordinators/default.htm

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Nature's Calming Agents

Herbs

Chamomile is a very helpful herb for easing anxiety. You can simply make a tea by steeping a chamomile teabag in hot water for a few minutes and adding the brew to his food.
St John's Wort is another popular herbal remedy for anxiety and stress since it relieves troublesome symptoms without sedation.

Nutrition

B-complex vitamins are very helpful for stress. Vitamin B12 and Folic acid are especially helpful. The amino acid phenylalanine is also used for anxiety; it helps to form a state of natural relaxation and has a positive effect on mood and behavior. In Traditional Chinese medicine, fear may stem from hereditary weakness involving the kidney or heart. Barley and Oats nourish these organs and the nervous system. Adding 1 teaspoon to ½ cup of these thoroughly cooked grains to the diet may help calm an anxious pet.

Flower Essences

Honeysuckle is useful for more straightforward cases of separation anxiety.
Gorse is useful for despair and grief, especially when an owner has passed away
Rock Rose helps to calm terror that manifests as trembling, cowering and panting as though the world might end.
Mimulus helps with fears of everyday life — strange places, the dark, and strangers or crowds for example.
Larch helps to cultivate bravery and courage along with emotional security.
Walnut helps to build up a sense of security and emotional independence.
Chestnut Bud can help as a preventive for a young dog, so that he can learn form his experiences and process new information to assist him in becoming an emotionally stable young dog.
You can add 3 drops of any or all of these flower essences to you pet's water bowl. Some people also apply flower essence to their pet?s paws or ears.

Homeopathy

Arsenicum Album is a very useful homeopathic remedy for fear and anxiety that are caused by a deep-seated insecurity — those pets who are constant worriers.
Aconite especially good for animals who bite when they are frightened, especially when going to the veterinarian. Use 1-3 pellets (depending upon the animals size) 30 minutes before a vet visit to calm the animal.
Gelsemium is good for the animal who becomes weak, shaking with fear in the rear legs. Use 1 dose.


For more information, check out The Honest Kitchen & Bach's Flower Remedies which includes RESCUE REMEDY FOR PETS

The Honest Kitchen ROCKS

We’re sometimes asked why we are so strongly opposed to the farming of puppies, breeding on a mass scale and raising of puppies to be sold in retail outlets. We have refused to allow Honest Kitchen products to be sold in stores that sell puppies and kittens for the past seven years and remain committed to this. Some stores and distributors have taken exception to our decision and we wanted to take a moment to explain our position.
We believe that puppy mills do not constitute responsible breeders, since puppy-mill pets are not sufficiently socialized to normal every day situations, causing them to suffer various social problems and making them difficult house pets – which in turn makes them even more at risk of ending their days in a shelter. There are about 100,000 to 200,000 dogs inside puppy mills at any given time in the United States In addition, puppy mills do not offer lifetime support to puppy owners and do not agree to take back any puppy they have raised, for the duration of its entire life, as a responsible breeder does. Further, when puppies are sold in retail outlets, there is insufficient vetting of new homes to ensure that owners are sufficiently educated on how to care for their new animal, have the means to care for their new family member and properly understand the lifetime responsibility they are undertaking.
The mass scale breeding of puppies on farms, transportation across the country and re-sale in shops is the single biggest cause of massive over-population of companion animals in the United States and has caused puppies to be considered as commodities or possessions rather than members of the family. According to The Humane Society of the United States, exhaustive documentation on the problems surrounding puppy mills include the following: “over-breeding, inbreeding, minimal veterinary care, poor quality of food and shelter, lack of human socialization, overcrowded cages and the killing of unwanted animals. Many puppy-mill dogs are also born with genetic diseases, the symptoms of which, may not surface for several years into the animal’s life.
The greatest victims in the puppy mill problem are the breeding parents, because they will live their life in a cage and it generally ends fairly brutally. A number of national media outlets including American Dog Magazine, Best Friends Magazine and National Geographic’s Cesar Millan, as well as NY based radio personality and author Tracie Hotchner, are highlighting the horrors or mass scale puppy breeding and helping to inform the public, as well as showcasing success stories or businesses that are removing themselves from the trade.
If you’d like get some information on what constitutes a responsible breeder, the The Whole Dog Journal has an outstanding article. To learn more about our policies, or better still learn about where to adopt a shelter pet, please ask. We’d be delighted to help.

Can Raw Help Her?

Update: I truly believed feed Maisy this way helped. It at least eliminated her constant hunger/hungry behavior, and helped her take food from hands without biting them. She did however continue to show troubling behaviors within the home structure with our other dogs and inevitably we made the difficult decision to bring her back to the no kill shelter.

Our newest dog Maisy has some pretty severe resource guarding tendencies.

Would a raw diet help the resource guarding? Or make it worse?

I don't know yet. But I'm going to try it.
She is some sort of terrier though. The last terrier I tried to acclimate to raw nearly took my fingers off and inhaled a drumstick right out of my hand (remember, Jana?!)

I also think, with the added moisture and balanced natural bioavailibility/distribution of nutrients (especially protein) may even calm her down temperamentally over a few weeks time.

My belief is that it has to do with how she is fed. Large meals. Meals enough to fill her stomach. Challenging RMBs. An ideal RMB is the size of the dog's head or larger. I'm going to start with half a chicken.

Small meals (what humans tend to consider "normal meals") directly feed into the resource guarding. A dog who never feels full can feel it needs to do anything to secure its next meal. The dog constantly feels hungry, and that feels like starving. This is something I CAN control.

Mogens Eliasen said it best, "Few dog owners want to starve their dog or to keep it constantly hungry. Nevertheless, this is what most people end up doing when they feed their dog multiple daily meals, assuming that this is just as good for a dog as it is for a human.

"An adult dog needs an amount of food in average per day that is about 2-3% of its body weight. Considering that it takes 6-8% to fill the stomach, there is just no way the average dog will ever get to experience the satisfying fulfillment of having a full stomach…"
Why your dogs needs to fill its stomach on a regular basis

So. We'll see if raw can help save her.

Does anyone have advice to behaviorally make a feisty terrier who INHALES her food accustomed to eating RMB's from my hand?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dry Matter Basis

I hear so many conflicting things about protein levels in kibble. The one that irks me is the argument that high protein kibbles are dangerous to dogs, because if fed raw the protein content is so much lower.

False.

You simply cannot compare kibble protein content to raw protein content without first converting the protein content in raw to a DRY MATTER BASIS.

FDA Dry Matter Basis Conversion

As stated on the above linked site:
"Canned foods typically contain 75-78% moisture, whereas dry foods contain only 10-12% water. To make meaningful comparisons of nutrient levels between a canned and dry product, they should be expressed on the same moisture basis."

"The percentage of dry matter of the product is equal to 100% minus the percentage of moisture guaranteed on the label."

"To convert a nutrient guarantee to a dry matter basis, the percent guarantee should be divided by the percentage of the dry matter, then multiplied by 100. For example, a canned food guarantees 8% crude protein and 75% moisture (or 25% dry matter), while a dry food contains 27% crude protein and 10% moisture (or 90% dry matter). Which has more protein, the dry or canned? Calculating the dry matter protein of both, the canned contains 32% crude protein on a dry matter basis (8/25 X 100 = 32), while the dry has only 30% on a dry matter basis (27/90 X 100 = 30). Thus, although it looks like the dry has a lot more protein, when the water is counted out, the canned actually has a little more."

Foods like EVO are actually the next best thing if for some reason you cannot feed raw, provided you compensate for the lost moisture.

My dogs are doing fantastic on their EVO fish formula trial.

Just as an example for the true comparison:
Take 1 oz (19g) of chicken leg (raw, bone in)
*Moisture: 11.48g (60.42%)
*Protein: 4.89g (25.75%)

According to the FDA, the DMB of this chicken leg would be
25.75% protein, divided by 39.58% dry matter, multiply by 100 = 65% protein in Dry Matter Basis. MUCH more than EVO's dry matter basis protein percentage.

EVO, Herring & Salmon
*Moisture (max): 10%
*Protein (min): 42%



Unless I'm understanding this wrong, I think higher protein diets from quality protein sources and no grains are the best possible kibble solution you can get for a healthy dog (with adequate daily water intake)

As an aside to the "high protein" debacle is the myth that higher quality meat protein diets can contribute to kidney failure. Protein has nothing to do with kidney failure. What is true is that kidneys that are already diseased or not functioning properly have trouble processing nitrogen. Nitrogen is a by-product of the digestion of poor quality proteins, like from plants. That is why, according to the holistic nutritionist I've been working with, canine kidney patients should avoid eating low quality protein and eat only high quality proteins from MEAT sources instead.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

BULLY STICKS SALE!

Paw Save 10% on your entire order!
For three days only we are offering discount code HOLIDAY to save you 10% on your entire order.** This is the biggest discount code we have ever offered, and we can only do it once a year-so please be sure to take advantage of it! All you need to do is enter the word HOLIDAY in the coupon code field at checkout.

**This discount is valid on November 18th, 19th, and 20th only and is not retroactive. It cannot be combined with any other promotions or coupon codes.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Unfit for Human Consumption

How utterly fascinating... the things we do not know. In the years following the massive pet food recalls, a major shift of focus began to happen, major scrutiny of the pet food industry. And yet, there is still so much left in the shadows for the origin of the feeds we use daily for our dogs and cats. Many have begun to only feed "human grade" products, believing that those products go under a greater review than food products not intended for human consumption. Case in point - Nebraska By-Products and their contribution to Happy Hounds dog food. The following are snippets from this article. Be sure the click the link, you'll see a fantastic image of a man handling a box that clearly states "unfit for human consumption".

Nebraska By-Products removes dead stock from farms and ranches and processes it. It’s a vital and important business to the livestock industry, but has importance to other businesses, too... The dead stock received is rendered into two products: tallow and rendered tankage that is processed into meat and bone meal for use in the animal feed industry. One of the most important issues for a rendering facility is the promptness of retrieving the fallen animal. Deterioration leads to lower product value...

In 1997, the company created its own red meat product bearing the Happy Hound label for greyhounds and farms in Kansas and Florida, then began expanding its distribution into Texas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Arizona and Iowa.
“We’re recycling dead animals into useful products,” Fagot said. “We get the beef from farmers, ranchers and feedlots.”
Two years ago, Happy Hound dog food became available in Montana, Wyoming and Alaska for sled dogs. Some of the product is used by sled dogs that race in the Iditarod...
“This is not the kind of dog food a person would feed a family pet,” Fagot said. “It’s higher in fat for cold temperatures. It’s raw red meat, 100 percent beef. It’s more for energy than as a food source.”
Nebraska By-Products processes much the same as a slaughterhouse. “They work with live animals. We work with dead stock.”
...Another byproduct is the hides. They’re removed from the animal and sold to tanneries in China, Vietnam, Mexico and Korea.
“We are the original recyclers,” Fagot said.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Inu Treats | noribone

We had the dogs try a new treat today : INU TREATS!
When I saw the name of the treats, of course I had to pick it up and look at the ingredients.
And, we took a chance... as they do contain grains and have more ingredients than the treats I tend to buy.

Ingredients for noribone (list on packaging) are:
Brown Rice Flour, Whole Oats, Oat Flour, Wild Salmon Meat, Fish Broth, Canola Oil, Seaweed, Salmon Oil, Marjoram, Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary, Sage & Basil


So far, no allergic reaction to the rice or oats, and it is "inu" approved!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Herring by Snacks 21



A super healthy, tasty (& albeit stinky) dog treat! ^Shiba approved^
From Petfooddirect.com:



Snack 21 Herring Strips for Dogs

100% Natural treats made only from dried Pacific Herring with no by-products fillers or rendered materials. Ideal for pets with allergies to meat products and chemical additives.

Friday, October 30, 2009

EVO | Herring & Salmon

We are trying a new kibble in our PM rotation!

EVO Herring & Salmon Formula

Analysis:
Protein 42.98 %
Fat 18.6 %
Moisture 10%
Carbohydrates 18%
Calcium 2.21% (not appropriate for growing dogs)
Phosphorus 1.41%
Calories 3,815 kcal/kg (1 cup=119 g)
456 kcal/cup (1 cup=4.20 oz)

Ingredients:
Herring, Salmon Meal, Herring Meal, Peas, Salmon, Eggs, Herring Oil, Pea Fiber, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, Apples, Carrots, Cottage Cheese, Dried Chicory Root, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Minerals, Vitamins, Direct-Fed Microbials

Thursday, October 29, 2009

'What to Do If Your Pooch Eats Something Poisonous'

Originally published on October 29, 2009

Dogs seem to have a knack for sniffing out and sampling potentially dangerous substances. That's why it's important to get a gauge on which hazards may be lurking around your home and learn how to respond if your pooch takes a taste of any of them.
What to Watch For
Some substances, like insecticides, fertilizers, and household cleaning products, are pretty obvious dangers, but many others are less well-known. Citronella, fabric softeners, batteries, and certain sugar-free candies are a few that could cause problems for your pet. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) keeps an updated list of possible canine toxins at ASPCA.org.

What to Do
If you ever suspect your dog has eaten or swallowed something poisonous, call your veterinarian's office or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435 right away.

You can call this center 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It's staffed by veterinary toxicologists who'll be able to quickly advise you on what to do in your situation. Their phone consultations generally cost $60 and include a follow-up call.

What to Say
When you call, be ready to provide the following:
  • Basic info about your dog.
  • A description of any symptoms she's having.
  • Details on what your dog has ingested, including an approximation of how much was consumed, and when. Have the bottle or package of the substance on hand for reference, if possible.
If your dog is having a strong adverse reaction, seizures, trouble breathing, or is losing consciousness, skip the phone call and get her to the emergency vet clinic as quickly as possible.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cows vs. Cars

Are Cows Worse Than Cars?

These days almost any proposal to reduce global warming gets taken seriously, even by conservatives. Solar panels are proposed for powering everything except submarines. Oilman T. Boone Pickens wants to put windmills on every empty patch of land in Texas, and Republicans have finally found something to like about France: nuclear power.
But when Rajendra Pachauri, who runs the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), made a suggestion that could reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 18 percent, he was excoriated. Why was his proposal so unpalatable? Because he suggested eating less meat would be the easiest way people could reduce their carbon footprint, with one meat-free day per week as a first step. "How convenient for him: He's a vegetarian," sneered a Pittsburgh Tribune Review editorial. "Dr. Pachauri should be more concerned about his own diet. A new study shows that a deficiency of vitamin B-12, found primarily in meat, fish and milk, can lead to brain shrinkage." Boris Johnson, London's outspoken mayor, posted a long screed on his blog, declaring, "The whole proposition is so irritating that I am almost minded to eat more meat in response."
Johnson may not appreciate the environmental value of replacing his steak and kidney pie with a tofu scramble, but the benefits would be quite real. Animal agriculture is responsible for local pollution from animal waste and chemical use and for greenhouse gas emissions from the energy-intensive process of growing feed and raising livestock, plus the, ahem, byproducts of animal digestion. It would be much easier -- and cheaper -- to give up meat than to, say, convert an entire country's electrical grid to using solar, wind, or nuclear energy. A rural Montanan might have no choice but to drive to work, but he can certainly switch out his pork chop for pinto beans. While Pachauri was correct to note that one need not go vegan to help the environment -- simply eating less meat would help -- he could have also emphasized the more politically appealing point that one can be a carnivore and still reduce one's impact by choosing different meats. Even limiting one's meat consumption to chicken yields major environmental benefits -- not to mention health and financial benefits.
What should be a surprise is not that Pachauri made the comments he did but that it took him so long to do so. In fact, the environmental movement has largely ignored meat consumption. The man with whom the IPCC shared its Nobel Prize for raising climate change awareness, Al Gore, has never mentioned the environmental impact of meat consumption. Green groups tell their conscientious constituents to trade in their SUV for a Prius and buy compact-fluorescent light bulbs but haven't dared suggest that they give up steak.
Perhaps even more so than cars, meat is deeply embedded in American culture. Apple pie may be the quintessential American food, but McDonald's hamburgers aren't far behind. We carve turkey on Thanksgiving and host Fourth of July barbeques. Without meat, how do you know it's a meal? To most Americans, veggies and tofu are a laughable substitute. "It was a reaction to the '60s hippie cooking that gave this important idea of vegetarianism a bad name," says Alice Waters, the chef and author who is widely credited with creating the organic-food revolution. Environmentalists, who know they must change the stereotype that they are all either tree-hugging radicals or self-righteous scolds, may be reluctant to embrace vegetarianism because of those easily caricatured cultural connotations.
"Environmental groups don't want to come out too strongly on it," says Danielle Nierenberg, who researches the intersection of animal agriculture and climate change for both the Humane Society, an organization that promotes the compassionate treatment of animals, and the World Watch Institute, an environmental think tank. "People get very upset when they feel they are being told what to eat."

***

Now should be environmental vegetarianism's big moment. Global warming is the single biggest threat to the health of the planet, and meat consumption plays a bigger role in greenhouse gas emissions than even many environmentalists realize. The production and transportation of meat and dairy, particularly if you include the grains that are fed to livestock, is much more energy-intensive than it is for plants. Animals, especially cattle, also release gases like methane and nitrous oxide that, pound for pound, are up to 30 times more damaging than carbon dioxide. Internationally there is an additional cost to animal agriculture: massive deforestation to make land available for grazing, which releases greenhouse gases as the trees are burned and removes valuable foliage that absorbs carbon dioxide. As a result, according to a 2006 United Nations report, internationally the livestock sector accounts for 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions -- more than the transportation sector.
The numbers for the United States are more hotly contested. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated that meat is only half of the U.S. agriculture sector's share of domestic greenhouse gases and that the entire agriculture industry produces 7.56 percent of the U.S.' contribution. This is considerably less than the transportation sector, which the EPA estimates accounts for roughly 29 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. The American Meat Institute, an industry trade association, cites the EPA numbers as credible. But they fail to take into account that 50 percent of grain is being fed to livestock and that its production and transportation costs should also be attributed to what you find in the meat or dairy aisle of the supermarket. Additionally, the EPA numbers do not include large categories such as the transportation of plants and animals.
In fact, some environmentalists allege that the Bush administration's EPA chose the lowest possible estimate, which the meat industry routinely cites, for political reasons. "With the EPA being in the pocket of the meat industry, it's not in their interest to come up with the best numbers," says Bruce Friedrich, who works on environmental issues for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
The real U.S. figure is roughly halfway between the UN's and the EPA's numbers, according to independent experts. "There are many assumptions that one needs to make when quantifying emissions," explains Gidon Eshel, an environmental studies professor at Bard College at Simon's Rock. "It's not that any one assumption is correct. Almost all of them are defensible." Eshel estimates that if you used the UN's standards, animal agriculture would account for 10 percent or 11 percent of U.S. greenhouse gases.
Consumers may not have a say in whether or not another coal power plant will be built, but they do have control over how much meat they personally eat. A University of Chicago study co-authored by Eshel found that, for the average American, "the greenhouse gas emissions of various diets vary by as much as the difference between owning an average sedan versus a Sport Utility Vehicle." One meat eater going vegetarian results in putting the equivalent of 1.5 fewer tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually. Further, according to the study, if all Americans ate a vegan diet it would cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 6 percent, probably more. Those savings would have a more immediate impact than would reducing the same amount of carbon through other means, because the average time scale for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is about 10 times as slow as for methane. Most important, as Eshel notes, one can reduce personal greenhouse gas emissions through dietary change more easily and comfortably than, say, cutting back on electricity use by living in the dark or forgoing air conditioning all summer.
But meat eating has grown dramatically in developed countries in recent decades, with developing countries beginning to catch up. The average American eats 200 pounds of meat, poultry, and fish per capita per year, 50 pounds more than Americans did in the 1950s. Between 1970 and 2002 the average person in a developing country went from consuming 24 pounds to 65 pounds of meat annually. In all, the world's total meat consumption in 2007 was estimated to be 284 million tons, compared to 71 million tons in 1961. It is expected to double by 2050. "You're seeing now India and China, with a growing middle class, are eating more meat," says Laura Shapiro, a culinary historian and author of Something from the Oven, about the cuisine of 1950s America.
Yet the environmental conversation remains solely about cars and power plants, not beef and pork.

***

Unlike the vitriol that Rajendra Pachauri encountered, Caryn Hartglass has been met with a different reaction when she suggests people eat less meat: deafening silence. Hartglass is the only paid staffer for Earth Save, the most prominent (using that term loosely, as it only has 3,000 members) organization dedicated solely to promoting an animal-free diet for environmental reasons. "I go to [environmental organizations'] Web sites and it's supposed to tell you what to do to reduce global warming and it doesn't say eat less meat," says Hartglass. "So I ask them why not. They say they're focusing on reducing carbon-dioxide emissions not methane-gas emissions."
Why are environmental groups and even politicians willing to tell Americans to drive smaller cars or take the bus to work but unwilling to tell them to eat less meat? If you live in a recently built suburb you must drive most places whether you wish to or not. Walking or public transit simply isn't an option. But you could stop buying ground beef and start buying veggie burgers tomorrow, saving yourself some money and sparing yourself some cholesterol in the process. And yet no one, other than a small cadre of lonely fringe activists like Hartglass, devotes much energy to making the connection. Food experts and environmentalists generally worry that Americans might react with hostility similar to Boris Johnson's if asked to put down their hamburgers.
Their timidity is understandable. On the rare occasion that the federal government has tried to even suggest that Americans lower their meat consumption, it has failed. In 1977, the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs recommended eating less meat and dairy to combat heart disease. But the meat and dairy lobbies complained vociferously, and the committee rephrased the report to say that people should instead choose animal products that would "reduce saturated fat consumption." Just to be sure no one else got the foolish idea of suggesting Americans eat less meat, the beef industry spent heavily to successfully defeat Committee Chairman George McGovern in 1980.
But while politicians may have reason to fear the meat lobby, environmental groups are supposed to push the political envelope. They began calling for caps on carbon emissions in the late 1990s, before it was politically palatable, and both major party candidates for president endorsed cap-and-trade in 2008. Many people see their car or truck as a part of their identity, but that hasn't stopped the Sierra Club from ensuring that every American is aware of the environmental threat their vehicle poses. And yet, the major environmental groups have been unwilling to push the meat issue. "I don't know of anyone in the environmental community that has taken a stance of 'we support no meat consumption because of global warming,'" says Tim Greef, deputy legislative director for the League of Conservation Voters. Adds Nierenberg, "It's the elephant in the room for environmentalists. They haven't found a good way to address it."
The Sierra Club's list of 29 programs -- which includes such relatively small-bore issues as trash-transfer stations (they threaten "quality of life and property values") -- does not include any on the impact of meat consumption. Their main list of things you can do to help prevent global warming mentions hanging your clothes out to dry instead of using a dryer but makes no mention of eating less meat. "The Sierra Club isn't opposed to eating meat, so that's sort of the long and short of it. [We are] not opposed to hunting, not opposed to ranching," says Josh Dorner, a spokesman for the Sierra Club, the nation's oldest and largest grass-roots environmental organization.
Of course, asking Americans to eat less meat is not the same thing as actively condemning ranching and hunting, but ranchers and hunters might consider it a threat to their livelihood and lifestyle all the same. And there's the rub. Though the Sierra Club does not have a position on meat consumption, it does ally with small ranchers and hunters on an array of issues, from opposing the development of giant feedlots to preserving land. "We believe that making connections with hunters and anglers is critical to ultimately getting a solution to global warming," says Dave Hamilton, director of the global warming and energy program at the Sierra Club. "They are often in places that are targets for what we're trying to do, and they are a key constituency for policy makers."
Calling for less meat consumption would almost certainly endanger that relationship. But the Sierra Club denies that is the reason for its lack of a stance on meat, saying that it focuses instead on issues where it can have a greater impact. "It does not necessarily pay to appear to be telling people how to live their lives," says Hamilton. "We want to give positive solutions. We've tried to focus on the things that we feel can make the greatest difference with the energy and resources that we have."
Other environmental groups, such as Natural Resources Defense Council, acknowledge that reducing meat consumption would be helpful in ameliorating emissions, but it simply is not a high priority. "We haven't taken a position [on meat]," says Elizabeth Martin Perera, a climate-policy specialist at the NRDC. "There's no reason not to; we just haven't gotten around to it." The League of Conservation Voters, which coordinates environmental political efforts, explains it as a process of fighting one battle at a time. "Once you deal with the largest emitters of carbon, complementary policies need to get passed," says Greef. "After they pass cap-and-trade, you will see work for a better transportation bill, work on deforestation and the logging industry. Meat falls into that bucket." When it comes to sorting out legislative priorities, Greef's position is sensible. The car-dependence of the American landscape and other energy-intensive consumption habits make attacking those larger emitters a higher priority domestically.
But environmental groups do more than just lobby Congress. First and foremost, they explain how our activities affect the environment. It is obvious that a car spews pollution, but to see your beef burrito first as a burping cow, and before that as oil being burned to grow corn to feed that cow, requires education. The movement also can advise the public on lifestyle choices and demonstrate how those choices can be practical. A typical Sierra Club member cannot do much to pass cap-and-trade, but she can skip the bacon in her breakfast sandwich.

***

Remember those TV commercials that declared, "Beef, it's what's for dinner"? Only a few foods are so central to American cuisine and culture that they can assert their primacy simply by reminding you that you've always consumed them. Americans do indeed eat an extraordinary amount of meat, roughly twice their daily recommended dose of protein. But contrary to the commercial, this was not always the case -- consumption has not just been driven by market demand. The other culprit is cheap corn.
Meat has become cheaper -- and therefore more prevalent in American diets -- in the last 30 years because it has been heavily subsidized, albeit indirectly. Ever since Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz declared in 1973 that "what we want out of agriculture is plenty of food," American agricultural policy has encouraged overproduction and lower prices, primarily in the form of massive subsidies for corn. Livestock, in turn, consumes more than half the corn grown in the U.S. because it is cheaper to confine animals to a tight lot and funnel corn in than to allow them to graze freely on grass. With cheaper grain and denser, dirtier feedlots replacing free-range ranches, meat prices and meat quality have dropped, while meat's environmental impact has increased.
"The livestock doesn't get direct subsidies per se, but they have until recently done very well by getting subsidized corn," says Larry Mitchell, director of government affairs at the American Corn Growers Association (ACGA), a rival offshoot of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), which the ACGA contends represents agribusiness conglomerates rather than small farmers. "Most of the huge, confined animal-feeding operations, factory farms, wouldn't be viable if they had to pay the true cost of corn," Mitchell says.
Some environmental scientists contend that, in addition to filling local groundwater with animal waste and destroying the open spaces of the West with feedlots, grain-fed meat creates more emissions per pound than grass-fed meat. "Some work from the EPA suggests that you can reduce methane by half by not confining animals and not feeding them high-energy grains," says Nierenberg. But, she concedes, the evidence is mixed. Other studies, such as those promoted by conservatives, find the opposite: Eating grass gives cows gas. A spokesperson for the NCGA declined to comment for this article but referred me to Alex Avery, a researcher at the conservative Hudson Institute. Avery, who acknowledges that his research is underwritten by industry interests, cites studies suggesting that corn-fed livestock emits less methane.
Fundamentally, though, Avery and food-industry spokespeople don't acknowledge the role that cheap corn plays in the prevalence of meat in the American diet. "The world needs to eat," says Tamara McCann Thies, chief environmental counsel for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, "and demand dictates how much beef is produced in the U.S. and elsewhere." Of course, demand is a product of price, and price is a product of production costs, and production costs are affected by subsidies. The world needs to eat, but it does not need to eat burgers.
Indeed, while a public-relations campaign would have some marginal impact, it has long been established that only government regulation can be certain to change America's consumption patterns. Despite all the publicity surrounding the ills of oil, average auto fuel efficiency has stagnated. And how many people do you know who hang-dry their clothes to keep the polar ice cap afloat?
So what would a political agenda to reduce the emissions from animal agriculture look like? The answer is surprisingly simple.
As with so many environmentally damaging habits, such as driving, our over-consumption of factory-farmed animals is the product of a set of indirect subsidies that make its cost artificially low. Much of the agriculture industry is exempt from compliance with the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, thus reducing its business costs. Grain subsidies lower the cost of feed. And the Government Accountability Office recently found that the EPA has failed to hold factory farms accountable for massive violations, essentially another form of government subsidy by freeing them of the cost of compliance. Undoing any of these boondoggles would raise the cost of meat. Another option is to raise the standards of animal treatment, which would also make the production of meat more expensive. California recently passed a ballot proposal to ban cruelly overcrowded conditions in factory farms. By eliminating dense feedlots, which animal-rights activists and even many farmers regard as inhumane and which create local pollution, it should become more expensive to produce meat because it will require more land per animal. Although it is not clear how much meat consumption would fall as a result, it makes sense, as it does with driving, to at least remove the price advantage of such an environmentally destructive activity.
And, of course, the government could remove corn subsidies. Whatever the merits of grass-fed versus grain-fed meat, an increase in the price of corn would mean more expensive meat. But the institutional barriers to removing subsidies -- the key committee positions of senators from farm states, the power of the Iowa caucuses, the political largesse of agriprocessor Archer Daniels Midland -- make such a dramatic reversal in American agricultural policy an incredibly tall order. In any case, the environmental movement has not shown any desire to make this a top priority.
In the meantime, activists are taking small bites out of the problem. Food experts like Shapiro and Waters say that raising awareness about reducing portion size, which has grown over the years, is one first step. And a Web site called PB&J Campaign, launched in February 2007, encourages a plant-based diet for environmental reasons. Bernard Brown, the site's 31-year-old creator, says he is careful to advocate not outright vegetarianism but intermediate steps that are more realistic.
Yet they still have a long way to go. "I think it's amazing that even the greenest of green liberal environment activists, the vast majority of them tend to consume meat at the same rate as people who think global warming is a hoax," says Mike Tidwell, director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. "Meat consumption seems to be the last thing that progressive people address in their lifestyle. If I had a nickel for every global warming conference that had roast beef on the menu, I'd be rich."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

CPC

Cooperative Pizzle Consumption:



Yes, steer pizzles do smell quite rank and tonight that smell was x3. Try some today!

For dogs... with glaucoma?

CBP: Marijuana Found Inside Dog Food At Bridge Of The Americas

October 15, 2009
Bundles of marijuana were found inside dog food bags Wednesday by officials at the Bridge of the Americas.
A drug-sniffing dog alerted U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers to the trunk of 2009 Peugeot. CBP officers opened the trunk and found large bags of dog food, but when they opened them up, marijuana was found inside.
CBP officers removed 30 marijuana-filled bundles from the dog food. The drugs weighed 31 pounds.
The driver, a 25-year-old Mexican male from Ciudad Juarez, was turned over to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department for prosecution.



Smooth.

Cruelty Free. Does it matter to you?

As a cheese & egg consumer, and a meat purchaser, I often try to consider cruelty free items. These, however, are hard to find at an affordable price in my corner of the US. Perhaps if I made more of an investigative effort I could procure items from a local farm or a free range farming system, this would be ideal though not all together practical when shopping in a hurry, and on a budget.

Do my dogs care that their beef was free range and cruelty free? Should I care for them?
What conditions are considered cruelty free?

Consider the ever 'powerful' HSUS and their allegation against IHOP. View IHOP's Social Responsibility statement here.


IHOP claims that its eggs are "cruelty free" and animals used for its food receive "dignified, humane treatment." The animal welfare group said that's not true and filed complaints with federal regulators saying the Glendale-based company is engaged in "false or deceptive advertising."
The complaints allege that the eggs for IHOP's 1,421 U.S. restaurants come from chickens raised in cramped cages that do not allow them to stretch their wings, walk around or nest.
That doesn't meet a consumer's reasonable expectation of what "cruelty-free" means, the Humane Society said. "Consumers do not consider it `humane,' let alone `cruelty free,' to confine hens for life so tightly in wire cages that they cannot fully spread their wings, as IHOP's standards allow," the group said in its complaint.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Another recall | Wysong

The following batches of Wysong Canine Diets Maintenance™ and Senior™ have shown above acceptable moisture levels and may contain mold.
Wysong Maintenance™: lot #: 090617
Wysong Maintenance™: lot #: 090624
Wysong Maintenance™: lot #: 090706
Wysong Maintenance™: lot #: 090720
Wysong Senior™: lot #: 090623
We ask that if you have received any of these Wysong products to please not feed them, and contact Wysong for product replacement.
Email: Wysong@Wysong.net
Subject: Product Replacement
Alternatively, please return or exchange at the store from which you purchased the product. Credit will be issued via our Distributors to the Retailer.
We apologize for the inconvenience.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More Caution | Ground Beef

"Ground beef is not a completely safe product" says Food safety expert Dr. Jeffrey Bender, mildly. This in response to the story of a 22 year old woman who is paralyzed and brain damaged after an e. coli infection due to eating tainted hamburger.

After the E. coli outbreak that sickened Smith, the USDA did spot checks at 224 plants, only to discover that nearly a quarter of them had "serious safety problems" -- they weren't even following the safety plans the plants themselves devised. The USDA allows this, as well as allowing grinders to decide whether they want to test for harmful bacteria before or after grinding beef; beef suppliers prefer having the meat tested after it's ground and combined with other companies' beef, since it keeps their exposure to recalls low.

Not only is this the old story of enormous slaughterhouses where overworked, underpaid employees are the only defense against cross-contamination of the meat by feces, and the ingredients are so cheap that quality cannot possibly be expected; but there are new little shockers throughout the story. Ammonia masks the presence of E. coli, so is often used to treat cow trimmings from the outside of the animal, those more likely to be contaminated. Bread crumbs and spices are added to patties -- even though the ingredients list only "beef." "Using metal detectors, [Cargill] workers snagged stray nails and metal hooks that could damage the grinders, then warned suppliers to make sure it did not happen again," Michael Moss, the Times reporter, writes. (Oh good! They are protecting their grinders! Consumers will be so happy.)

Costco, The New York Times says, is a bright spot in bacterial testing; the retailer, which grinds its own meat, tests all its suppliers' offerings upon delivery. Because of this practice, feedlot giant Tyson won't supply them with beef parts. The USDA, ever the nagging grandma, never the dictatorial dad, finally released a "draft guideline" in August 2008 in which the word "should" appears far more often than words such as "must." Helpfully, it says, "Optimally, every production lot should be sampled and tested before leaving the supplier and again before use at the receiver."

The USDA has responded by reminding consumers to use "safe handling" procedures when cooking hamburger, and yes, not following these rules could have contributed to Smith's paralysis; but even scientists find it difficult to avoid contamination with such a virulent strain of E. coli as the one from 2007. Cooking hamburgers to 160 degrees and washing counters with bleach wouldn't save, for instance, a few cells that dripped onto the side of the sink or the corner of an apron. And those few cells are enough to make you sick.

At least three different slaughterhouses and a separate beef processor supplied the meat that went into Smith's family's hamburgers, and despite many investigations neither the USDA nor Cargill has ever determined which supplier was responsible for the contamination. In my opinion and that of a vast number of consumers who've read this article, it's obvious that sickness is not the result of bad home cooks who can't handle their meat; it's the necessary and evil result of a factory meat system that is ill-regulated and designed in a way that breeds disease. Source


It's complicated to explain why this is. Looking at a photo of a feedlot, where cows are kept in extremely close quarters for the few months' fattening before slaughter, fed antibiotics and stomping in one another's excrement until they're eventually, messily, killed, skinned and chopped up for delivery to one of hundreds of independent grinders may explain a bit of it. More important is the realization that washing your hands and using a meat thermometer won't fix this: only a wholesale redesign of our meat industry will.

Raw feeders and home-cooked meat eaters alike - take caution. Its not our fault, but we are the ones who pay.

Friday, October 2, 2009

1906 : Proper Dog Food

dog food

Proper Dog Food, dated 1906

Commercial diets are really only in existence for the last 50 or so years, as evidence from the above commentary.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

NUTRO RECALL

Word on the street (aka twitter) is that Nutro puppy products may contain melted plastic. Their reps are calling it a "voluntary product withdrawl", but in everyday language, its called a recall. However, Nutro does not have this information on their website..

Petsmart said:
Thank you for contacting PetSmart. Nutro has done a voluntary product withdrawal. This was done by the company for certain Nutro products and size. The affected items were Nutro Ultra Puppy 4.5 lb bags and Nutro Natural Choice Chicken, Rice and Oatmeal Puppy Small Bites in 5lb bags. While we have not been notified of any injury or illness related to these products, Pet Parents who have purchased these products should immediately stop feeding the food to their pets.
Because the withdrawal of these items only affects certain sized packages, you can return these to your nearest PetSmart to exchange the affected product for an alternate-sized package of the same food or a full refund.
If you have any more questions about this withdrawal, please contact Nutro customer service at 1-800-833-5330 or visit www.nutroproducts.com.
Again, we would like to reiterate that this is a voluntary Nutro product withdrawl.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Science Fiction

Science Diet is a food I frequently hear people discuss on a few varying levels.
Level one is DIE HARD - Like trekkies or ringers, except for Science Diet.
Level two is the misinformed do-gooder.
Level three is the holistic minded skeptic.
Level four is the raw feeder.

Hi, and welcome to a level four discussion.

Science Diet published a page on their lovely website entitled: Bones and Raw Food Flaws. One has to imagine that they are either threatened by consciously dedicated raw feeders, or feel that their food is truly superior than Nature's Science (aka the raw food diet).

Lets tackle their concerns, shall we?

Facts
* There is no scientific data to support beliefs commonly held by supporters.

The explanation is simple : FUNDING. Who funds nutrition based experiments/tests at prominent veterinary universities? Science Diet. Purina. Pedigree. Why on earth would they lend money to researches collecting scientific data on a raw food diet? You would find out that corn starch and hydrolyzed chicken matter do not stand up well next to pure enzymes and amino acids in the fight against skin allergies.
Look, Science Diet, we're only doing what nature instructed us to do for thousands of years, and nature accomplished this without funding, formed data and peer reviews.

*
Published Bones and Raw Food (B.A.R.F.) recipes contain excessive levels of Key Nutritional Factors, for example: protein, calcium and phosphorus for an adult dog or cat.1


For this, Science Diet sites: 1. BillinghurstI. Give Your Dog a Bone. Alexandria, Australia: Bridge Printery, 1993. SchulzteKR. The Ultimate Diet. Descanso, California: AffenbarInk, 1998. VolhardW, Brown K. The natural diet. The Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog. New York: Howell Book House, 1995; 167-190


Perhaps they do appear excessive based on studies founded on dry dog food. Ignoring the importance of moisture vs. protein, and calcium:phosphorus ratio rather than amount.
Since we're on Dr. Ian Billinghurst, let's examine some of his 'recipes'. Hmm, looks pretty good to me considering the recommended daily amounts for adult maintenance.

* Food poisoning is an obvious safety concern
for animals eating raw foods and owners feeding raw foods.2

You are right, Science Diet - food poisoning is indeed a concern which is why I don't rub the raw beef on my face before I feed it, just like your specialists probably don't before they cook it for themselves. Actually, our routine goes like this:
A. Retrieve labeled, packaged portions from freezer and thaw.
B. Place food before dog on a designated 'raw towel' and let dog eat.
C. Take up towel to be stored until tomorrow
D. Wash hands thoroughly

Over a year and I'm still not sick. And neither are my dogs, who have a shortened digestive tract and lysosomes on their side.

* Pets eating B.A.R.F. diets or other raw food diets are at increased risk
for intestinal obstruction, fractured teeth and gastrointestinal perforation.3

True, though pets inhaling dry kibble also have high risk for chocking and intestinal obstruction.. same as when a dog chews up a tennis ball and swallows the pieces. More alarming is the reality of pets eating Science Diet that are at increased risk for suppressed immune system, allergies, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, obesity, smell, etc.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The reason I'm horrible at updating..

I plan to keep updating this blog very soon. I'm concluding a study on gluten intolerance and its effect on the canine system, as well as natural internal parasite eradication (mainly, tapeworm).

This nutritional journey has really opened my eyes to a whole world of natural well being and prevention through what we consume and what our body can break down and utilize from that which is consumed. For the past 21 days, I have been meat-free and I feel absolutely wonderful. It's like seeing daylight for the first time - a whole new chapter in my understanding of nutritional make up and comprehension. In making the change to vegetarianism, the dogs have certainly benefited! All the meat in my freezer went to them, including a whole duck and cubed venison.

To add to nutritional understanding and content, I may begin including recipes that I try that achieve a complete meatless meal criteria, like this Chickpea Soup for the [vegan] Soul that I added spinach to:


So bear with us, we'll be back very soon!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Honest Kitchen's Youtube



And other recipes here.

Worst smelling tripe treat EVER!


Congratulations, Canine Caviar! You have officially created the WORST smelling tripe experience EVER with your Buffalo Green Tripe Hormone and Antibiotic Free Compressed Bone! But, that must mean they are good, because my dogs were only gasping for air as they sucked them down, while I gasped for air out the open window.

Luckily, this only lasted about an hour until they consumed the thing.

From Canine Caviar:
Buffalo have 70% to 90% less fat compared to beef, on average it has 50% less cholesterol.

Buffalo graze on open grassland & natural grass. Because they are not fed manufactured feed, there is no concern about mad cow disease at this time.

Canine Caviar Buffalo Tripe Bones are extra delicious to give your dogs a long-lasting, satisfying chew (helping to reduce tarter and maintain your dogs teeth and gums). Canine Caviar Buffalo Tripe Bones come from premium quality 100% free range grass fed buffalo.


Ingredients
Dehydrated Buffalo tripe
Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein 70.0 % min. Crude Fiber 1.0 % max.
Crude Fat 7.0 % min. Moisture 10.0 % max.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Inform thyself!

Bully Stick Alert: Bully Sticks or Buffalo Sticks from India (from bestbullysticks.com)

Please know you sources! There is now a huge influx of “bully sticks and other natural treats” coming into the US market from India. Several private labeled brands in the US are advertising these products as free-range, grass fed, and all natural. The Indian buffalo market (not even beef) is unregulated and has several health concerns that we will discuss below. Several companies have approached us, from India, offering lower costs of raw material, but we are committed to a high quality natural product; so we have decided to use only free-range beef from Brazil for our chews.
The bully sticks that we sell are only from cattle considered “green cattle” as they are not given hormones or fed corn, which cattle are not accustom to. Our cattle graze freely on open grass fields and grow naturally. Products from India are almost always sun-dried, not baked and are not regulated like the bully sticks we offer on our site. Although, it is much cheaper to sun dry bully sticks and other natural treats, the bad outweighs the good. Our bully sticks are vertically baked to drain any residual liquid from the product. Sun dried product is many times laid horizontally, out in the sun, so residual liquid remains in the product. This product typically has a high level of odor to it (a urine smell), or a chemical added to it to help with the smell. There is also higher potential for diseases, such as foot and mouth disease, and the finished product is routinely affected with bacteria because the products temperature during cooking is not well regulated. Also, because they are exposed to the environment, there is a great chance of bugs. Although our treats are sometimes more expensive, the quality of the product remains high, and you do not have to worry about any of these issues with our products.
Many people ask why not make bully sticks from North American cattle? The reason for this is that not only is it expensive, but most of the cattle in the US is kept in feedlots and encouraged to grow at a much faster rate (growth hormones) than is natural. In addition, the US has very little grazing land, which forces farmers to over populate grazing areas.
Prior to purchasing any bully stick products you should first ask your pet store or online vendors the country of origin for their bully sticks and treats. Don’t worry; they are legally obligated to inform you. We think your dogs’ health is most important, which is why we pay close attention to these types of details and only offer products that we feel comfortable feeding our own dogs.