Archive

NATIONAL DOG BISCUIT DAY FEBRUARY 23, 2012

Also known as International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day, National Dog Biscuit Day is always celebrated on February 23rd each year. Whether the origin for the “holiday” was created by a dog biscuit manufacturer, a dog lover or perhaps a dog loving organization is unknown. One thing is definite about National Dog Biscuit Day: this is a day for cherishing the dogs at Have A Heart Animal Hospital: bring in your pooch on February 23rd for a special dog biscuit treat! Visit Kids Corner for a “Dog Biscuit Day Craft”!

February 20th – Love Your Pet Day

Love Your Pet Day is the official day to pamper your pet with a little extra love! Your pet brings a smile to your face when you’re having a rough day, curls up next to you on the couch when you’re feeling lonely, and loves you unconditionally. They certainly deserve a whole day of love and attention!

Pets provide excellent social support, stress relief, and many other health benefits to their owners — even more so than human companions! Research shows that when people had to perform a stressful task, they experienced less stress when their pets were with them than when a supportive friend or even their spouse was present. So whether you have a cat, dog, hamster, or goldfish, make sure they get lots of extra love from you today!

Here are some ideas you can try to make Love Your Pet Day a special day:

  • Take your pet to do his favorite activity, whether it be running around the park or taking a drive in the car.
  • Try cooking up a tasty treat made from meat, rice and/or vegetables. (Just stay away from onions, peppers, garlic, and spices which may upset your pet’s stomach).
  • Bring home a new toy or treat.
  • Sign your pet up for a day of grooming or do it yourself. If you really want to go all out, you can book him in a pet spa.
  • Don’t forget the pets that are still looking for homes. Adopt a pet or donate a bag of pet food to your local shelter.
  • Single out your pet owner friends by sending them a card (or e-card) reminding them to celebrate the day.
  • If you don’t know your pet’s birthday (and many of us don’t), make Feb. 20th the day to celebrate his arrival into the world.

COLD WEATHER SAFETY

Even during the mildest winters, keeping your pet safe outdoors in cold weather is critical to his/her overall health. If you are looking for fun things to do with your pet(s) this winter-and keep them safe too-click here. Another fun thing to do this month to take your mind off winter is enter your pet in our National Dress Up Your Pet Contest! Have some fun, celebrate your pet(s) and you just might win a $100 Visa Gift Card doing it! For more info go to http://haveaheartanimal.com/dress-up-your-pet-photo-contest/ and our Facebook page.

HOLIDAY SAFETY TIPS

 

Happy Holidays from the Staff at Have A Heart Animal Hospital! We’ve collected these holiday-healthy pet safety tips for you and your pets to help you keep your pets healthy, happy and safe this holiday season.

The holidays are a time of such joy that we want to help you enjoy all the festivities! By alerting you to some of the health hazards that arise especially during the holidays, and also offering tips to help your pet avoid them, we hope you will be able to have holidays that are less stressful for you and your pet. And we hope these tips will enable you and your pets to relax and enjoy all that the season has to offer! To view our Holiday Safety Tips, click here.

Best Wishes for a wonderful holiday season and Happy New Year!

The Have A Heart Animal Hospital Staff

Shaping Up For Better Health: For You and Your Pets!

We turn our attention to shaping up for summer every May.  Your pet’s doctor wants your pet to stay in shape too!  Pet nutritional and exercise trends may mimic human health trends. Did you know that the Centers for Disease Control estimate that 67% of American Adults are overweight and 44% of American pets are overweight as well? Too many calories and not enough activity can result in excess weight.  Your pet can enjoy a healthy lifestyle with the right approach to weight management. Improve your pet’s skin, fur and body weight by knowing a few simple facts.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and Hills® Diets, have teamed together forming a formidable team to fight pet obesity.  The best weight for any pet is achieved by combining a high quality food + adequate exercise + regular veterinary check ups.  To learn more about the AVMA/Hills PetFit Program, visit http://www.petfit.com/.

Weight Reduction & Preventing Overweight Pets

 How Fit is Your Dog?  How Fit is Your Cat?
 Healthy Weight Management – Canine  Healthy Weight Management – Feline
 PetFit – The Human Parallel  Feeding for Weight Loss – Canine
 PetFit – Treat Translator  Feeding For Weight Loss – Feline
 Stop Canine Obesity  Walking for Weight Loss
 Keeping Your Dog Healthy  Reducing Risks: Feline Obesity
 Weight Check Tool

Pets and Parasites: What You Don’t Know Could Hurt You

Illness and potentially fatal disease get transmitted to pets by parasites every day. EVERY Day. Protecting YOUR pet is critical to his/her overall health and to prevent him/her from becoming a statistic. The most common are fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and intestinal worms. Fleas transmit tapeworms and Bartonellosis; ticks transmit Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and bacteria that cause Lyme Disease; and mosquitoes transmit West Nile Disease and Leishmaniasis and the dreaded Heartworm which results in life threatening Heartworm Disease. Intestinal worms cause serious gastrointestinal problems which can be life threatening. Take the quick quiz below to see how much you know about Pets and Parasites!  For more information on any of these topics see our Parasite Resources or speak to your veterinarian.  We recommend year round Heartgard Plus®  for heartworm and intestinal parasite prevention for dogs; year round Revolution® for heartworm prevention and intestinal parasite prevention for cats; and year round Frontline® Plus for flea and tick prevention for dogs and cats.

                                             PETS AND PARASITES: A QUICK QUIZ

1. In Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire 11-15% of cats tested by veterinarians are infected with Heartworm Disease. T

or

F
2. 25% of Heartworm Disease cats are INDOOR ONLY cats. T

or

F
3.  There is no approved treatment option for Heartworm Disease in cats. T

or

F
4. Intestinal worms (whipworm, hookworm, roundworm) are passed from pets to humans. T

or

F
5. 10,000 HUMAN cases of roundworm are reported in the U.S. each year. T

or

F
6. Zoonosis (disease or parasite that can be transmitted from animals to humans) can cause infections in the skin, eyes, brain, intestinal track, liver and lungs of humans. T

or

F
7. Ticks that carry Lyme Disease are found everywhere, NOT just by the seashore, including the woods and well cared-for backyards. T

or

F
8. Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire have a significant number of dogs with Lyme Disease each year. T

or

F
9. Fleas can live in your house or car for weeks for weeks until they mature and find a pet to live on. T

or

F
10. Mites burrow into the skin, resulting in intensive itching and scratching, often followed by skin infections. T

or

F

Answers

Parasite Resources

External Parasites            Heartworm Disease 
Lyme Disease   West Nile Virus
Fleas in Cats   Ticks in Cats
Fleas in Dogs   Ticks in Dogs
Sleeping with Pets Carries Disease Risk               Growing up with Pets
Pets and Parasites (CAPC)  

Where Tick-Borne Diseases Are Found

The following maps highlight the number of reported positive cases of tick-borne diseases and heartworm infection, from mosquitos, in dogs across Southern New England. Because so many dogs go untested for tick-borne diseases, the actual number of dogs infected by ticks is likely many times higher than what is shown here.  For more information on Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, visit dogsandticks.com.

 Anaplasma

 Ehrlichia

Click map to enlarge
Click map to enlarge

Heartworm

Lyme

Click map to enlarge
Click map to enlarge
These maps indicate reported Ehrlichia, Lyme, Heartworm, Anaplasma positives from more than 10,000 veterinary clinics, telephone surveys and IDEXX Reference Laboratories’ results.  All data was collected from 2001 to December 2009 except for Anaplasma data, which was collected from 2006 to December 2009.  Data on file at IDEXX Laboratories, Inc, Westbrook Maine, USA.

Parasite Prevention Promotion

 

Heartgard Plus**

Buy 12 doses of Heartgard - get 1 dose FREE PLUS a $5.00 rebate

Frontline Plus**

 

Buy 6 doses of Frontline – get 2 doses FREEPlus a fuzzy toy for your pet!while supplies last….

Revolution**

Buy 6 doses of Revolution – get 1 dose FREEBuy 10 Doses of Revolution – get 2 doses FREE

** exclusive for our clients only
**veterinarian relationship required
**must be current on Heartworm testing

 

February is National Pet Dental Health Month

 

Did You Know… 70 to 80% of all cats and dogs over the age of 3 years are affected by periodontal disease! 

 Help us take a bite out of Periodontal Disease.

During the months of February and March, Have A Heart Animal Hospital is urging pet owners who suspect or know that their pet is suffering from oral disease to make an appointment for a FREE dental evaluation and to schedule an appointment for your pet’s dental procedure.

 

Your Pet’s Routine Dental Procedure will involve: (all included in one price)

Medical Treatment

Benefit For Your Pet

Day of Hospitalization

Provides supervision from our medical team prior and after your pet’s procedure

Pre-Anesthetic Bloodwork

To ensure health of internal organs and your pet’s ability to safely be anesthesized

Pre-Surgical Medical Exam

Performed by a veterinarian, the morning of surgery to ensure your pet is physically healthy for surgery

IV Catheter and IV Fluids

Maintains blood pressure and hydration during procedure

Pre-Anesthetics

Minimizes stress

General Anesthesia

Essential to performing the procedure efficiently

Surgical Monitoring

Continuous monitoring by one of our trained nurses to make certain all vital signs are stable.  This includes monitoring of your pet’s oxygen level, blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature.

Full Mouth Digital Dental Radiographs

Evaluates the health of each individual tooth and their roots

Home Care instructions and Dental Kit

To support our clients in caring for their pet’s teeth at home

Tartar Control Diet

Formulated to aid in the prevention of periodontal Disease

Non Routine Treatments if needed: (additional cost)

Medical Treatment

Benefit For Your Pet

Extended Pre-Anesthetic Bloodwork

Extension of our pre-anesthetic bloodwork for our senior patients, ages 7 or older

Tooth Extractions

To remove the unhealthy tooth, reduce the possibility of medical complications and also, to relieve your pet of any pain caused by the unhealthy teeth

Pain Medication

Alleviates pain and expedites your pets recovery from surgery

Antibiotics

Used to treat any underlying infection caused by the dental disease

Have A Heart Animal Hospital is aware of the cost of caring for your pet’s teeth properly.  So to encourage our clients to take this important step, all services related to the Dental Procedure will be discounted by 10%.

Please call us to schedule your pet’s FREE dental evaluation today (978)373-4422  

The Four Stages of Periodontal Disease

Canine 

Feline

Grade 1: Perfectly clean and white, no tartar visible or inflammation of the gums.
Grade 2 (Gingivitis): Margin of attached gingiva (gum) may be inflamed and swollen. Plaque visible on teeth. Treatment can reverse condition.    Recommend Dental Cleaning
Grade 3 (Moderate Periodontitis): Cherry red and bleeding attached gum is being destroyed by infection and calculus (tartar). Sore mouth affects eating and behavior. Bad breath is present. Beginning of periodontal disease. May be irreversible.   Recommend Dental Cleaning
Grade 4 (Advanced Periodontitis): Chronic bacterial infection is destroying the gum, tooth and bone. Bacteria may be spreading throughout the entire body via the bloodstream and may damage the kidneys, liver and heart. Recommend Dental Cleaning

 

PET FOOD RECALL NOTICE:

We wanted to let you know about another important pet food recall. Below is a recall notice from a pet food company named WellPet®.

Have A Heart Animal Hospital does not carry this brand of food, but we thought it was important that clients, who are getting their food elsewhere and might have purchased this brand, be notified immediately.

Please feel free to call us at the office if you have any questions concerning your cat and these products.

WELLPET, LLC VOLUNTARILY RECALLS CERTAIN LOTS OF CANNED CAT FOOD

No Other Lots, Products or Dates Affected

Tewksbury, MA (February 28, 2011) – WellPet, LLC announced today it has voluntarily recalled certain lots of Wellness® canned cat food.

While recent laboratory testing found that most lots of Wellness canned cat food that were tested contain sufficient amounts of thiamine (also known as Vitamin B1), some of the lots listed below might contain less than adequate levels of thiamine. WellPet has decided to recall all of the lots listed below.

The lots involved in this voluntary recall are:

Wellness Canned Cat (all flavors and sizes) with best by dates from 14APR 13 through 30SEP13;

Wellness Canned Cat Chicken & Herring (all sizes) with 10NOV13 or 17NOV13 best buy dates.

Cats fed only the affected lots for several weeks may be at risk for developing a thiamine deficiency.

Symptoms of this Vitamin B1 deficiency can be a decreased appetite, salivation, vomiting, and weight loss. In advanced cases, neurologic signs can develop, which may include ventriflexion (bending towards the floor) of the neck, wobbly walking, circling, falling, and seizures.

If your cat has consumed the recalled lots and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

Consumers who still have cans of cat food from these lots should stop feeding them to their cats and call us at

(877) 227-9587 Monday through Friday, 9:00 am – 7:00 pm Eastern Time.

Consumers with further questions should visit our website at www.wellnesspetfood.com or call us at this same number.

Animal Hospitals Collectively Add Their Voice to Speak Out Against Bullying.

What do you get when you cross a rescue bull terrier with an apparel company and an animal hospital?  You get a partnership that wants to take a bite out of the bullying epidemic.   Several animal hospitals owned by veterinarian David J. McGrath are now selling shirts designed by anti bull-e gear, an apparel line that designs casual clothes — like tee shirts, sweatpants and hoodies — to give children a voice to speak out against bullying.  The company’s logo is an 80-pound Bull Terrier named Homer who is a patient of one of Dr. McGrath’s hospitals outside of Boston.

Homer, the Bull Terrier, is a rescued dog.  He is owned by one of Dr. McGrath’s Practice Managers who along with her sister created anti bull-e gear clothing line to provide a venue to children to express their feelings about bullying. Homer’s likeness is a perfect face for the clothing line’s logo because his breed is fondly and commonly referred to as “bullies.”  Yet, the breed is known for its loyalty and friendly disposition.  Dr. McGrath who owns Wignall Animal Hospital in Dracut, MA, Main Street Animal Hospital in Salem, NH and Have A Heart Animal Hospital in Haverhill, MA offers these shirts for sale because he supports the mission of anti bull-e gear.  That mission is very straightforward:  Bullying is never acceptable.  The company believes that buyers of the clothing add their voice to this position and help to keep the issue in the forefront in an effort to address the epidemic.  The compassionate nature of the animal hospitals is a perfect marriage with the clothing line.  The hospital staff is accustomed to working with dogs whose barks are worse than their bite. Now the partnership hopes to take the bite out of bullying’s bark.

National Dog Biscuit Day February 23, 2011

Also known as International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day,  National Dog BisDog Biscuitcuit Day is always celebrated on February 23 each year. Whether the “holiday” was created by a dog biscuit manufacturer, a dog lover or perhaps a dog loving organization, it is not known because the origin of National Dog Biscuit Day is unknown. One thing is definite about National Dog Biscuit Day: this is day for the dogs at Have A Heart Animal Hospital: bring in your pooch on February 23 for a special dog biscuit treat! Also, check out our dog biscuit craft on our Kids Corner.  Visit us on our new Facebook page!

Cold Weather Safety

The impending cold weather can be a fun and exciting time for people and their pets!  While not everyone enjoys the cold weather and particularly the snow, not all pets share this sentiment. Whether your pet enjoys the winter or hates it, it’s important to be aware of the risks that can come with the colder temperatures, and make sure to keep your pets safe!  Here are some safety tips you should follow to keep your pet safe and comfortable in the chilly weather!

 

Holiday Safety Tips

Happy Holidays from the Staff at Have A Heart Animal Hospital!  We’ve collected these Healthy Holiday Pet Tips for you and your pets to help you keep your pets healthy, happy and safe this holiday season.

The holidays are a time of such joy that we want to help you enjoy all the festivities!  By alerting you to some of the health hazards that arise especially during the holidays, and also offering tips to help your pet avoid them, we hope you will be able to have holidays that are less stressful for you and your pet.  And we hope these tips will enable you and your pets relax and enjoy all that the season has to offer!

Best Wishes for a wonderful holiday season and Happy New Year!

Pets for the Holidays

If you are like most of us, falling in love with a pet is easy.   Dogs, cat and other pets give us unconditional loyalty and acceptance, provide constant companionship and even relieve stress after a hard day’s work.  But getting a pet is a big decision.  Pet ownership can be rewarding, but only if you think through your decision before you bring the pet home. There are many pets in shelters  — animals that were  obtained by people who didn’t think through the responsibilities of pet ownership before they got the animal.  Hundreds of pets are given every holiday, and even though their intentions were good, the outcome often isn’t.

So if you are thinking that a pet would make a great holiday gift for your loved ones, consider this:  many gift buyers are unaware of the difficulties and intense commitment involved in raising new companions.  The following factors should be considered before you adopt or buy a dog or cat for someone else as a gift.  The furry friend you get on Christmas could wind up homeless by the following holiday season if you haven’t completely thought through your decision.

  • Why do you want a pet?  Be prepared for a commitment that will last the animal’s lifetime.  Pets may live 15-20 years.  Think about the need for food, shelter, healthcare and other essentials every day for this extended period of time.
  • Can you afford a pet?  The care and feeding of an animal can be costly because cats and dogs can have unanticipated medical issues.  If you are on a fixed income and are struggling to get by, to feed yourself or pay your bills, you probably should not consider getting a pet at this time.  There’s also additional food costs as pets need their own food and should not be fed the scraps from foods that we eat.
  • Can you have a pet where you live?  Many rental communities don’t allow pets and others have restrictions.  Know the parameters of your living situation.
  • Is this the right time for you to get a pet?  Pet ownership requires children who are mature enough to be responsible.  If you’re a student, in the military or travel frequently for work, you may want to wait until you are more settled.  Pets need time to be trained and nurtured.  Many animals, particularly puppies and kittens do not adjust well to solitude.  Dogs left alone constantly can develop behavioral issues.
  • Are your selecting the right pet?  Animal size is not the only variable to think about.  Some breeds require a great deal of exercise to remain calm; others like to bark at any noise.  You need to do your research to find the pet that is suitable to your lifestyle.
  • Who will take care of your pet while you take vacation?  Having a pet adds another layer to your vacation  planning; this includes another layer of expense if you are leaving your pet behind while you go away.
  • Do you know the medical history of the person for whom you are buying this gift?  Make sure no one in your family has allergies.  If you are not sure, spend some time with friends who have pets.
  • Is the gift receiver a responsible pet owner?  There are millions of pets in shelters or left to fend for themselves on the street due to pet overpopulation.  Be prepared to spay or neuter a pet.  Don’t forget, there are leash and licensing laws in almost every community.  You also want to have some form of identification for your pet, and of course, giving your pet love, exercise, a healthy diet and regular veterinary care are all essential elements of being a good pet owner.

Pets are wonderful and the human animal bond is very rewarding  But they are a lot of responsibility and unfortunately many people discover too late how costly and laborious pet ownership can be.  Make sure the time and environ is right for a new pet and make sure, too, that your family is ready to assume all the work in exchange for all the love.

Leptospirosis Alert: Leptospirosis is on the rise. Are you and your dog protected?

Article Text Courtesy of Veterinary Practice News,  October 2010

Leptospirosis is a severe zoonotic (spread from animal to human) bacterial infection formerly thought to be a low risk for dogs in the cities and suburbs. Experts are reporting an increase in cases of Leptospirosis and dogs living in cities and suburbs are at risk. ‘”There’s good evidence to support an increase of diagnosed cases of leptospirosis in the U.S., ” says George E. Moore, DVM, Ph.D., Dipl ACVIM, an associate professor of clinical epidemiology and director of the clinical trials group at Purdue University. “Wild Animals have remained a reservoir for the disease, which then spreads to dogs and potentially to people.  Lack of predators and increased food supply in suburban areas make wildlife concentrations eight to ten times higher per acre than rural areas.”‘

Another reason for the increase in cases of Leptospirosis is that the public may have the impression that only hunting dogs or dogs living in rural areas are the only ones at risk; and dog owners might not get their dog vaccinated against Leptospirosis because of this impression.  ‘”This isn’t just a disease of large breeds or hunting dogs, ” says Richard E. Goldstein, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, Dipl. ECVIM, an associate professor of small animal medicine at Cornell University.  “Small-breed dogs are testing positive more and more. This is happening because of lack of vaccination and overlap of suburban living and wildlife.”‘ In the 1990′s, the Center for Disease Control (C.D.C.) removed the disease from is reportable human diseases list because there had been such a significant drop in reported cases.  Leptospirosis is transmitted by wild life therefore in the past, dogs infected and transmitting the disease to humans were hunting dogs and those in rural areas where contact with wild life was likely and expected. This is no longer the case and dog owners should be aware.

Symptoms of a Leptospirosis infection can be similar to other illness and diseases, therefore dog owners may not be able to identify whether a dog has the infection or not. These symptoms can be depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, weakness and muscle pain.  The best way to know whether your dog has been infected with Leptospirosis is to seek advice from your veterinarian who will want to examine your dog and perform some tests to identify the source of illness.

The best protection against Leptospirosis is an annual vaccination. To check if your dog is properly vaccinated against Leptospirosis, contact us at 978-373-4422.

NEW Canine Influenza Vaccine

The only thing worse than having the flu is not being able to tell someone….

There’s a new flu around that only affects dogs. If you’ve ever had the flu, you know how bad it can make you feel. And it’s no different for dogs. Over the past several years, dogs in 30 states have been sickened by a new, year-round dog flu that continues to spread. It’s highly contagious, and virtually every dog is vulnerable to infection. Fortunately, there’s a new canine influenza vaccine available to help protect those loved ones who can’t speak for themselves.

In May 2009, the USDA approved the licensure of the first influenza vaccine for dogs developed by Intervet/Schering Plough Animal Health Corporation. The canine influenza vaccine contains inactivated whole virus, so there is no chance that the vaccine itself can cause respiratory infections.  To learn more about the vaccine, contact your veterinarian at 978-373-4422 or see the Canine Influenza FAQs.

ADOPT A SHELTER PET: US POSTAL SERVICE CAMPAIGN

Courtesy of The United States Postal Service Website, http://www.usps.com/

On April 30, 2010, in North Hollywood, California, the Postal ServiceTM  issued a 44-cent, Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet special stamp in ten designs, designed by Derry Noyes of Washington, DC.

With these 10 stamp designs, the U.S. Postal Service hopes to raise awareness of the need to adopt shelter pets.

The pets depicted on the stamps were photographed by Sally Andersen-Bruce near her home in New Milford, Connecticut. All had been homeless at one time; all but one had been adopted when they were photographed.  For more information on the stamps, other “Adopt A Shelter Pet” products and the campaign, visit www.usps.com.

November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month

Thanks to all the advances in human medicine, veterinarians are now able to diagnose and treat animal cancers. According to the American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA),”strong circumstantial evidence of cancer can be attained from x-rays, blood tests, ultrasonography, the pet’s physical examination and medical history. Most cancers, however, will require a biopsy (a removal of a piece of tissue) for confirmation that cancer exists and to grade the level of severity from benign to aggressively malignant.” These services are available for your pet at Have A Heart Animal Hospital.

Our pets now live so much longer due to better diets, treatments and overall health, pet owners are afforded many more cancer options than even a decade ago. Common signs of animal cancer are available below. If your pet exhibits these symptoms or you have any health concerns about your pet, please don’t hesitate to contact your pet’s veterinarian at Have A Heart Animal Hospital. Our staff is here to answer your questions, help you obtain reliable information and make sound decisions for your pet.  For more information on pet cancer and signs to look for, please see the links below.

Just as in people, early detection is critical!  This is why it is so important to have your pet examined regularly.

What is Cancer? Cancer Treatments
Cancer Facts & Signs AVMA Cancer Brochure

Celebrate Your Senior and Geriatric Pets Long and Healthy Life!

At Have A Heart Animal Hospital we aim to do everything we can to help you and your pet manage the aging process as a Senior and Geriatric pet. This includes weight management, blood and urine testing, annual exams and vaccinations. To gain a better understanding of these tests, read our Frequently Asked Questions About “Senior Screenings”.  Growing older is a natural and inevitable process we all must face. This applies to our pets, too.  And just like your health, where “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, preventive medicine helps your Senior/Geriatric Pet to ease into aging and maintain a quality life.

Age itself is not a disease!  Because pets age much faster than humans, medical changes can occur suddenly and without any advance warning.  These changes often surprise owners who wish they had been prepared or able to prevent some of the problems associated with normal pet aging. “But he seemed fine up until this week! How could this be possible?” These are responses we often hear from pet owners who find they aging pet is “suddenly” ill.

At Have A Heart Animal Hospital, we can maximize you’re aging pet’s quality of life with early detection of kidney, heart, liver and metabolic diseases; and identify processes of disease long before the actual disease is presentEarly detection helps protect your pet; and extends the joy a healthy life brings to your pet and you.

To read about the key components to caring for a Senior or Geriatric Pet, see our Health Care Commitments.

Join with us to bring better health to your Senior/Geriatric Pet and we will even save you some money too! **Special Healthy Senior Screen pricing during September and October. Call us for details and to schedule an appointment.

For more information about our Senior and Geriatric Pets please click on the articles listed below.

Feline Testing Canine Testing
Diagnostic Testing Symptoms Chart
Aging Chart Senior Care Checklist

SEPTEMBER 28, 2010 IS WORLD RABIES OBSERVATION DAY.

Living in a modern country with the latest medical advances and services available to our residents, we can easily forget that rabies is still a threat to us today.  Because of aggressive public awareness programs over the past 50 years, aimed at educating the public to vaccinate dogs, cats and ferrets against rabies, the incidence of rabies has steadily declined in the United States over these years; however we can not become complacent with a false sense of security.  Continued awareness about pet vaccination, identification of rabid animals (wild and domesticated), avoidance of animal bites, educating our children about the perils of rabies as well as the safest ways to be around unknown animals—-these are all the successful components of a worldwide campaign to wipe out rabies in our life time.  The educational materials presented here are for adults and those on the Kids’ Corner are geared to children of different ages, some best suited for use with adult guidance.

More information on World Rabies Day can be found at the official web site, http://www.worldrabiesday.org/

Rabies… What Kids Need to Know Dog Bite Safety for Kids
Dog Bite Prevention Learn to Speak Dog
Rabies

2010 Mystery DNA Dog Contest

Results are in and WINNER is found!

CONGRATULATIONS to Kristin Webb, the Have A Heart Animal Hospital 2010 Mystery Dog DNA Contest Winner. Her prize is a free Wisdom Panel® Dog DNA Test!

The guesses submitted ranged from Labrador Retriever/Springer Spaniel to Pomeranian/Chihuahua/Wolf. While there were no guesses that were 100% correct, there were at least 30 that included Chihuahua, which is Gromit’s primary breed, according to the Wisdom Panel Dog DNA Test used to determine Gromit’s DNA.

Because there was no guess submitted that was 100% correct, the winning name was drawn randomly after compiling all the partially correct guesses.

Gromit’s DNA makeup, according to the Wisdom Panel Test, is:

 

  • 50% Chihuahua
  • 25% Labrador Retriever
  • 25% Unknown (amounts of multiple breeds, too small to be specifically detected)

Kristin Webb’s guess, included the breed Chihuahua, and two other breeds, but not Labrador.

Thank you to all those who participated and we look forward to a new Mystery Dog in 2011!

Pets and Parasites: What You Don’t Know Could Hurt You

Illness and potentially fatal disease get transmitted to pets by parasites every day, EVERY Day. Protecting YOUR pet is critical to his/her overall health and to prevent him/her from becoming a statistic. The most common are fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and intestinal worms. Fleas transmit tapeworms and Bartonellosis; ticks transmit Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and bacteria that cause Lyme Disease; and mosquitoes transmit West Nile Disease and Leishmaniasis and the dreaded Heartworm which results in life threatening Heartworm Disease. Intestinal worms cause serious gastrointestinal problems which can be life threatening. Take the quick quiz below to see how much know about Pets and Parasites!

Fleas in Dogs

Fleas in Cats

Heartworm Disease in Dogs

Heartworm Disease in Cats

Ticks in Dogs

Ticks in Cats

Zoonotic Disease in Dogs

Zoonotic Disease in Cats

Lyme Disease

West Nile Virus

We recommend year round Heartgard® Plus for heartworm and intestinal parasite prevention for dogs; year round Revolution® for heartworm prevention and intestinal parasite prevention for cats; and year round Frontline® for flea and tick prevention for dogs and cats.

PETS AND PARASITES: A QUICK QUIZ    (answers)

1-In Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire 11-15% of cats tested by veterinarians are infected with Heartworm Disease.  TRUE  or  FALSE

2-25% of Heartworm Disease cats are INDOOR ONLY cats.  TRUE  or  FALSE

3-There is no approved treatment option for Heartworm Disease in cats.  TRUE  or  FALSE

4-Intestinal worms (whipworm, hookworm, roundworm) are passed from pets to humans.  TRUE  or  FALSE

5-10,000 HUMAN cases of roundworm are reported in the U.S. each year.  TRUE  or  FALSE

6-Zoonosis (disease or parasite that can be transmitted from animals to humans) can cause infections in the skin, eyes, brain, intestinal track, liver and lungs of humans.  TRUE  or  FALSE

7-Ticks that carry Lyme Disease are found everywhere, NOT just by the seashore, including the woods and well cared-for backyards.  TRUE  or  FALSE

8-Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire have a significant number of dogs with Lyme Disease each year.  TRUE  or  FALSE

9-Fleas can live in your house or car for weeks for weeks until they mature and find a pet to live on.  TRUE  or  FALSE

10-Mites burrow into the skin, resulting in intensive itching and scratching, often followed by skin infections.  TRUE  or  FALSE

Feline Health

Did you know that our feline friends are masters of fooling us into thinking that they do not have any health problems?  As their care takers we must learn to be “feline health detectives” who know and understand the subtle signs of feline illness that often go undetected.  If you did not realize that cats can develop heartworm  disease, you are not alone. Most cat owners are unaware of this life threatening illness once thought to be a threat only to dogs.  You can read more about the hazards of heart worm disease for cats in the brochure on Feline Heartworm Disease from the American Heartworm  Society.  In fact  so much has been misunderstood and unknown about feline health that the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine created  a unique center for research  and education devotedly entirely to feline health, called the Cornell Feline Health Center. Feline illnesses and diseases such as feline infectious peritonitis, feline leukemia, gastrointestinal parasites and lower urinary tract disease are just a few of the health issues on which the center has focused.  To learn more about these commonly  misunderstood health issues every cat lover and cat owner should know about, see the list of articles below.  Lastly, if you are like most cat moms and dads, you dread the process of getting your beloved cat into the car to travel to the vet.  There are many simple things you can do to reduce the stress level for you and your cat. We have compiled some great ideas that really work!  You can see some ideas in “Getting Your Cat To The Vet“.  We look forward to seeing you  and your  cat on your next visit and welcome you to call our staff with any feline health questions you may have.

Acute Renal Failure (Kidney Disease)

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease

Cardiomyopathy (Heart Disease)

Heartworm Disease

Chronic Renal Failure (Kidney Disease)

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Diabetes

Intestinal Parasites

Flea Allergy Dermatitis

Hyperthyroidism

Feline Leukemia

Zoonotic Diseases

Feline Infectious Peritonitis

Senior Cat Health Considerations

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

Feline Health Checklist

Warm Weather Safety

By June, we experience warmer weather even if the official first day of Summer has not yet arrived.  We long to be outdoors in the fresh air, green grass, blooming flowers…and so do our pets.  Keeping our pets safe year round is a primary responsibility of pet owners and warm weather reminds us that we need to pay special attention to certain weather-related things at this time of year.  Heat, bugs, travel and outdoor poison hazards are a few of the things we now need to be aware of to keep our pets safe.

Sun & Heat Exposure

Travel

In the House

Skin & Fur Care

Lawn, Garden, and Pest Control

Outdoor Activities

The COMPLETE List of Safety Tips

SHAPE UP FOR BETTER HEALTH: FOR YOU AND YOUR PETS!

Each year in May we turn our client education attention to pet obesity and try to help our clients prevent life with excess weight, find the right treatment approach to weight reduction and maintain healthy, skin, hair and body weight.  If you think we’re talking about overweight pet owners…we’re not!  Excess weight and obesity in pets has been increasing steadily, right along with weight problems for pet owners.  By targeting May as our “Shape Up” month, we hope we can give our clients a wide range of tips and ideas to keep pet (and human!) weight under control for optimal health.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and Hills® Diets, have teamed together forming a formidable team to fight pet obesity.  The best weight for any pet is achieved by combining a high quality food + adequate exercise + veterinary check ups.  To learn more about the AVMA/Hills PetFitTM Program, visit Petfit.com.  For additional ideas on how to play more with your pets, Novartis Animal Health US, Inc., offers “Play More Magazine”, information on the best dog parks and “Steps to Play More” at their website.

Weight Management Tips, Articles, and Videos

Obesity in Dogs Obesity in Cats Obesity in Cats – Behavioral
Weight Reduction in Dogs Walking for Weight Loss Weight Reduction in Cats
Training with Gunnar Peterson Tips and E-Tools Lightstyle Healthy Habits
Reducing Feline Obesity Risks 10 Fat Facts

The PetFitTM WeightTracker

Make Weight Management Easier and Faster

The WeightTracker will help you achieve your pet’s weight management goals. Personalize your calendar to chart your pet’s progress, use WeightTracker feedback to help set goals and measure achievement, and print your personal data for quick reference anywhere you go!

You must be registered with PetFit.com to use the WeightTracker.  Enter now to begin tracking your pet’s weight.

PETS AND PARASITES: WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW COULD HURT YOU

Illness and potentially fatal disease get transmitted to pets by parasites every day. EVERY Day. Protecting YOUR pet is critical to his/her overall health and to prevent him/her from becoming a statistic. The most common are fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and intestinal worms. Fleas transmit tapeworms and Bartonellosis; ticks transmit Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and bacteria that cause Lyme Disease; and mosquitoes transmit West Nile Disease and Leishmaniasis and the dreaded Heartworm which results in life threatening Heartworm Disease. Intestinal worms cause serious gastrointestinal problems which can be life threatening. Take the quick quiz below to see how much you know about Pets and Parasites!  For more information on any of these topics, check out our Pet Health articles or speak to your veterinarian.  We recommend year round Heartgard Plus® for heartworm and intestinal parasite prevention for dogs; year round Revolution® for heartworm prevention and intestinal parasite prevention for cats; and year round Frontline Plus® for flea and tick prevention for dogs and cats.

PETS AND PARASITES: A QUICK QUIZ

1 TRUE     or    FALSE – In Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire 11-15% of cats tested by veterinarians are infected with Heartworm Disease.

2 TRUE     or    FALSE – 25% of Heartworm Disease cats are INDOOR ONLY cats.

3 TRUE   or   FALSE – There is no approved treatment option for Heartworm Disease in cats.

4 TRUE   or   FALSE – Intestinal worms (whipworm, hookworm, roundworm) are passed from pets to humans.

5 TRUE   or   FALSE – 10,000 HUMAN cases of roundworm are reported in the U.S. each year.

6 TRUE   or   FALSE – Zoonosis (disease or parasite that can be transmitted from animals to humans) can cause infections in the skin, eyes, brain, intestinal track, liver and lungs of humans.

7 TRUE   or   FALSE – Ticks that carry Lyme Disease are found everywhere, NOT just by the seashore, including the woods and well cared-for backyards.    TRUE  or   FALSE

8 TRUE   or   FALSE – Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire have a significant number of dogs with Lyme Disease each year.

9 TRUE   or   FALSE – Fleas can live in your house or car for weeks for weeks until they mature and find a pet to live on.

10 TRUE   or   FALSE – Mites burrow into the skin, resulting in intensive itching and scratching, often followed by skin infections.

Information courtesy of Pfizer Animal Health, Inc. and Novartis Animal Health US, Inc  Answers

Parasite Prevention

WHAT EVERY PET OWNER SHOULD KNOW ABOUT DENTAL DISEASE AND PET HEALTH!

Many pet owners are unaware that-just like with humans-good dental health is essential to the overall health of pets!  According to the AVMA (American Veterinary Medicine Association) and AVDS (American Veterinary Dentistry Society), dogs and cats need regular teeth cleanings and a healthy diet in order to maintain good dental health.  Poor dental health in pets-just as in humans-results in other health problems. For pets, this can be bone infections, teeth extractions, systemic infections damaging the heart and kidneys; chronic anorexia and weight loss; and other medical problems resulting from chronic bacterial infection.  These can be costly and painful to treat.  While the idea of dental cleanings at home and by your veterinarian may seem new or unnecessary,  the photos below demonstrate how much damage is done to teeth, gums and bone if your pet’s dental care is neglected.  Investing in your pet’s dental health is a wise investment that can save you a great deal in the long run. For more information, call us at 978-373-4422.

Each time we see your pet, we evaluate his/her teeth using a Dental Grading System. The teeth are graded from I to IV, depending on the condition of the teeth, gums and other oral tissue. The real photos below demonstrate each Dental Grade and the description explains the condition of the pet’s teeth and gums, as well as what is required to treat the pet.

The 4 Stages of Dental Disease

Grade I: NICE JOB! No sign of plaque or tartar

  • Home dental care is needed to maintain these healthy teeth and gums.  Brushing your pet’s teeth regularly is ideal.  There are products available to help make home dental care easy and hassle free, such as tooth sealers, rinses and food.

Grade II: Mild Gingivitis-Early Periodontal Disease

  • Gum is inflamed and swollen.  You may notice a thin red line along the gum line.  Plaque beginning to cover the teeth. A Dental Prophylactic cleaning and polishing is indicated within the next few months.

Grade III: Moderate Gingivitis-Established Periodontal Disease

  • Gums inflamed and swollen.  Mouth is painful and odor is noticed. Gum pockets allow bacteria to flourish.  Moderate amounts of plaque buildup.  Dental cleaning to remove tartar is needed within the next 30 days.  Tartar control diet and home dental care needed afterward for prevention. Extractions may be needed.

Grade IV: Severe Gingivitis-Advanced Periodontal Disease

  • Periodontal disease, red and bleeding gums.  Gum damaged by infection and tartar.  Sore mouth and bad breath odor noted.  Dental cleaning to remove tartar is needed immediately. Gum pockets and extractions are expected. Chronic infection is destroying the gum, teeth and bone.  Bacteria is spreading through the body via the bloodstream threatening the kidneys, liver and heart. Extractions and suturing is necessary.  Tartar control diet and home dental care needed to prevent recurrence.

Dental Health Resources:

Dental Disease in Dogs Dental Disease in Cats
Dental Cleaning Home Dental Care

Local Pet Therapy Dog Makes It Big in “O Magazine”

Wignall Animal Hospital patient, Jake DeLong, is featured in the February issue of “O: The Oprah Magazine”.  Jake (pictured here with his mom, Kathy) is a pet therapy dog who visits local human patients and elderly residents spreading his canine cheer!  “There’s our dog now!” is how Jake is greeted by his senior citizen patients when he visits, as they proudly share in his ownership even if just for those few minutes on regular visits.  A well behaved 5 year old Golden Retriever, Jake is able to respond to word-free commands using just hand signals which enables him to visit environments where giving oral commands might be problematic, including with some very sick patients. For more information about the pet therapy program Jake participates in, visit the New England Pet Partners website at http://www.newenglandpetpartners.org/ and you can see Jake in the CoverGirl® spread beginning on page 35, in the February 2010 issue of O: The Oprah Magazine

Santa Saturday Success

On Saturday, December 5, 2009, Have A Heart Animal Hospital held their 4th Annual Fundraiser event. The money raised was donated to the NEADS Foundation (Dogs For Deaf and Disabled Americans). This money will help NEADS continue to train and provide rescued dogs to assist people who are deaf or physically disabled in leading more independent lives.

Several of our clients brought their pets in for pictures with Santa. The pictures were taken and donated by Robin Townsend of Haverhill, MA. There were also wonderful raffle items that were donated by many businesses and citizens, in the local area. It was a fun day for all and many friendships were formed. Thank you again for all the support that was given to promote this wonderful event.

NEW Canine Influenza Vaccine

Is there a vaccine for Canine Influenza?  In May 2009, the USDA approved the licensure of the first influenza vaccine for dogs developed by Intervet/Schering Plough Animal Health Corporation. The canine influenza vaccine contains inactivated whole virus, so there is no chance that the vaccine itself can cause respiratory infections.  To learn more about the vaccine, contact your veterinarian at 978-373-4422 or see the Canine Influenza FAQs.

Holiday Safety Tips

Happy Holidays from the Staff at Have A Heart Animal Hospital!  We’ve collected these Healthy Holiday Pet Tips for you and your pets to help you keep your pets healthy, happy and safe this holiday season.

The holidays are a time of such joy that we want to help you enjoy all the festivities!  By alerting you to some of the health hazards that arise especially during the holidays, and also offering tips to help your pet avoid them, we hope you will be able to have holidays that are less stressful for you and your pet.  And we hope these tips will enable you and your pets relax and enjoy all that the season has to offer!

Best Wishes for a wonderful holiday season and Happy New Year!

Annual Pumpkin Decorating Contest Winners

This years winners are:

 First

Second

 Third

Senior Healthy Pet Month is Here!

The AVMA (American Veterinary Medicine Association) places great importance on the special health needs of Senior and Geriatric Pets. The health of these pets deserves extra attention because pet owners may not realize that there are many changes in a pet’s health that occur for most pets at age 7(Senior Pets). Those changes even accelerate for most dogs at age 10 and most cats at age 12 (Geriatric Pets).   This means that these pet health changes require that pet owners also make changes about how they approach their Senior/Geriatric Pets’ health care. The AVMA Have A Heart Animal Hospital are committed to provide support for Senior and Geriatric Pets and their owners throughout the pet’s life. Rest assured,we are here to help!

To bring attention to this very important group of pets, we are celebrating our Senior and Geriatric Pets in September and October! It is our goal to do everything we can to help you and your pet manage their aging process. This includes weight management, blood and urine testing, annual exams and vaccinations. Growing older is a natural and inevitable process we all must face. This applies to our pets, too. And just like your health, where “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, preventive medicine helps your Senior/Geriatric Pet ease into aging and maintain a quality life. In fact, the AVMA recommends Geriatric Pets receive 2 physical exams each year, approximately 6 months apart, in order to diagnose and manage Geriatric Pet health changes more effectively.

Age itself is not a disease! Because pets age much faster than humans, medical changes can occur suddenly and without any advance warning. These changes often surprise owners who wish they had been prepared or able to prevent some of the problems associated with normal pet aging. At Have A Heart Animal Hospital, we can maximize you’re aging pet’s quality of life with early detection of kidney, heart, liver and metabolic diseases; and often identify processes of disease long before the actual disease is present. Early detection helps protect your pet; and extends the joy a healthy life brings to your pet and you.

Frequently Asked Questions About Senior/Geriatric Pets

Have A Heart Animal Hospital, as well as The A.V.M.A.(American Veterinary Medical Association), differentiates between Senior Pets and Geriatric Pets.

When is a pet considered Geriatric?

Cats are considered Geriatric at age 12; Dogs at age 10.

What is the difference between Senior and Geriatric?

Other than a pet’s age, the difference is that after the age of 12 (cats)/10 (dogs), a pet’s organs age drastically faster than when the pet was younger. Just as with humans, this requires a more aggressive medical approach to maintain good health.

How will my veterinarian approach my pet’s health, when he/she is a Geriatric Pet?

The AVMA and AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) recommend that Geriatric dogs and cats have physical exams twice each year, and a Senior Screening (laboratory tests) once each year.  Because of the rapid changes that occur after age 10/12, the second exam each year will enable you and your veterinarian to find these changes sooner; and enable you/your vet to make health decisions sooner. This can also save you money in the long run and provide a better quality of life for you and your pets.

Global Rabies Prevention Initiative Starts Locally

HAVERHILL, MA SEPTEMBER 1, 2009 – In Haverhill, MA a global grassroots campaign is taking shape.  This year, Have A Heart Animal Hospital will be teaming up with international rabies experts to celebrate the third annual World Rabies Day on September 28, 2009 and raise awareness about rabies prevention.

Founded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Alliance for Rabies Control, a UK charity, the World Rabies Day initiative aims to bring together relevant partners in an effort to address rabies prevention and control.  “This is a coordinated effort to let the world know that this disease can be readily prevented through education, pet vaccination and increased human awareness as to proper wound management and administration of rabies vaccination after an exposure has occurred”, says Dr. Deborah Briggs, Executive Director for the Alliance for Rabies Control.

In the United States, the greatest achievement in rabies control and prevention occurred half-a-century ago with effective implementation of dog vaccination, licensing and stray dog control.  “We cannot let our guard down with rabies,” warns Dr. Paul Pelletier, Chief of Staff at Have A Heart Animal Hospital.  “Rabies is ever-present in wildlife which can expose our pets and possibly our family members.”

It is estimated that every year 30,000-40,000 US residents are potentially exposed to rabies requiring human rabies post-exposure prophylaxis.

“Rabies prevention starts with the animal owner,” advises Dr. Pelletier.  “We recommend that people vaccinate dogs, cats, ferrets, and any other animal that has regular contact with humans, such as horses.”

Additional information is available online at http://www.worldrabiesday.org/ or by calling Have A Heart Animal Hospital, 978-373-4422.

Heartworm Disease and Prevention

If you have ever wondered if purchasing year round heartworm prevention is worth the money, view this video to see a real veterinary procedure to remove heartworms from a sick dog. 86 heartworms were removed from the dog’s heart. Heartworm infection is completely preventable by using Heartgard, Interceptor or Revolution year round, according to the manufacturers, Merial, Novartis and Pfizer

Click here to watch Davey’s Gift from Dr. Garner

LEAGUE CITY, TX – Davey’s owners didn’t even realize the 5 year old Labrador mix was ill until he collapsed suddenly. They rushed him to Safari Animal Care Centres where he was diagnosed with Caval Syndrome. Dr.  Garner explained to a distraught family that Davey had an acute life threatening form of heartworm infection. Davey must have been bitten many times by mosquitoes last year around the time of hurricane Ike. It takes about six months for the heartworm larvae to migrated through his lungs and arrive as adults in the large blood vessels around the heart. The large numbers of adult heartworms in Davey’s heart caused acute heart failure. The only treatment for this is to remove as many heartworms as possible via his jugular vein.

Slide into the 2009 baseball season by submitting your pet’s baseball-themed photo to us by May 15, 2009.  Photos will be displayed at Have A Heart Animal Hospital during the month of June.  All photos will be judged by our staff and prizes awarded for Best Baseball Themed Photo!

Entry Guidelines:
  • 1. One photo per pet, please!
  • 2. Baseball Theme dress or props should be included in the photo.
  • 3. Digital file or printed photo, minimum size 4″ x 6″
  • 4. Photos may not be returnable.
  • 5. Submit photo by May 15, 2009.
  • 6. Email photos to: redsoxphoto@haveaheartanimal.com
  • 7. Photos may be mailed to or dropped off at the hospital.
  • 8. Winners will be selected and notified by July 6th, 2009.

February is Dental Month

February is National Pet Dental Health Month.  Veterinarians across the country are encouraging their clients to participate in keeping their pets healthy through dental care. Oral disease is the No. 1 health problem diagnosed in dogs and cats.  It starts as bacteria and plaque on teeth and progresses into a disease that can cause tooth decay, bleeding gums, tooth loss and even damage to the heart and other internal organs such as liver and kidneys.

The warning signs of gum disease:

  • Bad breath
  • “Messy Eating” (dropping food out of mouth or eating food whole)
  • Occasional vomiting whole food
  • Yellow crust of tartar at the gum line
  • Pain when your pet is eating or playing with his/her favorite ball or toy.
  • Tooth loss
  • Abnormal Droolin
  • Bleeding gums; pain when gums are touched

During the months of February and March, we are urging pet owners who suspect or know that their pet is suffering from oral disease to make an appointment for a free dental checkup and to set up an appointment for an Oral ATP. (Oral Assessment, Treatment and Prevention)

Your Pet’s Oral ATP will involve:

  • A day at the hospital
  • Blood work prior to administering anesthesia
  • Full Mouth Digital Radiographs
  • Professional cleaning, polishing and Oravet (tooth sealant)
  • Extractions if it is deemed necessary by his/her veterinarian
  • Instructions for homecare together with a tooth brush and tooth paste

We are aware of the cost of caring for your pet’s teeth properly.  So to encourage our clients to take this important step, all services related to the ORAL ATP will be discounted by 10%.

** Pet Treats Linked to Recalled Peanut Butter **

DVM Newsmagazine January 21, 2009

Lynchburg, Va. — PetSmart voluntarily pulled some pet treats off its shelves after a peanut-containing paste was linked to a recent Salmonella typhimurium outbreak.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Jan. 19 that they had traced the recent Salmonella outbreak to a Blakely, Ga., peanut-processing plant owned by the Peanut Corp. of America (PCA). Retail peanut butter is not suspected in the outbreak, and PCA only distributes its products to manufacturers of foods containing peanut butter, according to the FDA.

That means that many companies that use PCA products have merchandise affected by the outbreak.

So far, 485 people became ill and six are believed to have died after eating the tainted peanut butter products. No animal illnesses have been reported, but PetSmart says it is voluntarily pulling some products because of the potential risks. PetSmart officials are in contact with all the company’s vendors to see if any other pet products use the affected peanut paste.

While the risk of animals contracting salmonellosis is minimal, there is risk to humans from handling these products. It is important for people to wash their hands–and make sure children wash their hands–before and, especially, after feeding treats to pets. A complete list of recalled pet products can be found on the FDA website: http://www.fda.gov/