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kayla1

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  1. Anti-grain-free making headlines

    Following on, this is the latest FDA update here FDA Provides Update on Investigation into Potential Connection Between Certain Diets and Cases of Canine Heart Disease February 19, 2019 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today is providing an update on its investigation into reports of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs eating certain pet foods. The update covers reports of DCM received by FDA through November 30, 2018. This update does not include reports received in December and January due to the lapse in appropriations from December 22, 2018, to January 25, 2019. Because the Anti-Deficiency Act does not except activities that are solely related to protecting “animal health,” FDA was not able to continue its investigation during that time. The FDA first alerted the public about this investigation in July 2018. Since then, the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) has taken a multi-pronged approach to the investigation, collaborating with a variety of components of the animal health sector to collect and evaluate information about the DCM cases and the diets pets ate prior to becoming ill. Based on the information gathered as part of our investigation to date, our advice to pet owners remains consistent. The agency has not identified specific recommendations about diet changes for dogs who are not displaying DCM symptoms, but encourages pet owners to consult directly with their veterinarians for their animal’s dietary advice. FDA-CVM investigative activities include: Analyzing cases statistically to search for correlations between diagnosed DCM cases and what those dogs did or did not eat. Working with the Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN), a collaboration of government and veterinary diagnostic laboratories to test blood, serum and tissues from affected animals. Collaborating with Chesapeake Veterinary Cardiology Associates (CVCA) to collect case summaries and blood/serum/tissue of dogs diagnosed with DCM to see if there are unique factors that separate diet-associated DCM from genetic. The FDA is also reviewing echocardiograms of dogs who are not showing symptoms of DCM to evaluate the significance of early changes in heart function. Consulting with board certified veterinarians in animal nutrition to identify nutritional factors such as nutrient bioavailability and ingredient digestibility that may contribute to the development of heart disease. Examining ingredient sourcing/processing and product formulation with pet food manufacturers. Between January 1, 2014, and November 30, 2018, the FDA received 300 reports of DCM (294 canine reports, 6 feline reports); 276 of these (273 canine, 3 feline) were reported after the July public notification about FDA’s investigation. Some of these reports involved more than one affected animal from the same household. While there are dog breeds (typically large and giant breeds, plus Cocker Spaniels) that are known to have a genetic predisposition to dilated cardiomyopathy, the reports to the FDA continue to span a wide range of breeds, many that do not have a known genetic predisposition. The FDA has received reports of cats with DCM, but due to the low number of reports (10 since January 2014), dogs are the primary focus of the agency’s investigation. For details about the number of reports, visit the DCM Investigation webpage. In cases in which dogs ate a single primary diet (i.e., didn’t eat multiple food products, excluding treats), 90 percent reported feeding a grain-free food. Approximately 10 percent reported feeding a food containing grains and some of these diets were vegan or vegetarian. A large proportion of the reported diets in DCM cases – both grain-free and grain-containing – contained peas and/or lentils in various forms (whole, flour, protein, etc.) as a main ingredient (listed within the first 10 ingredients, before vitamins and minerals). The products included commercially available kibble, canned and raw foods, as well as home-cooked diets. The agency appreciates the support from pet owners and veterinarians who have submitted data through case reports that included extensive diet histories, medical records, diagnostic samples of blood, serum, and/or tissue, and echocardiograms. Due to the high volume of reports, the agency cannot respond to each report individually, but each report is valuable and becomes part of the FDA’s investigation. The FDA continues to encourage pet owners and veterinary professionals to report both symptomatic and asymptomatic cases of dogs suspected to have DCM connected to diet by using the electronic Safety Reporting Portal or calling their state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators. Please see the link below about “How to Report a Pet Food Complaint" for additional instructions. The FDA will continue to provide updates on the progress of this investigation and will alert the public about significant developments.
  2. link Vets can do more to reduce the suffering of flat-faced dog breeds February 13, 2019 6.16am AEDT Veterinarians have a professional and moral obligation to reduce or prevent any negative health impacts of disorders in animals. But what if animals are bred with known disorders? And what if those disorders are a big part of what makes them cute? In a paper, published earlier this year in Animals, we argue that veterinarians must do more to discourage the breeding of animals with conditions known to seriously compromise their welfare. This is the case with extreme brachycephalic or short-skulled dogs, including French bulldogs, pugs, British bulldogs, Boston terriers, and Cavalier King Charles spaniels. Read more: Why decisions to desex male dogs just got more complicated The trend towards shorter skulls seems to have taken hold since the 1870s and the development of breed standards that inadvertently encouraged extreme “conformation” (shape, size and anatomical proportions). In companion animal practice, the veterinary profession is kept busy ministering to these dogs and bringing them into the world, with more than 80% of Boston terriers, British bulldogs and French bulldogs being born by Caesarean section. Struggle to breathe Extreme brachycephaly is associated with a range of disorders, most notably Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS). BOAS occurs in shorter-skulled dogs because the nose, tongue, soft palate and teeth are crammed into a relatively small space, reducing the size of the airway. Clinical signs of BOAS include increased respiratory noise, effort and difficulty in breathing, an intolerance to exercise, gagging, blue gums (in the mouth), overheating and fainting. Brachycephalic dogs probably experience the unpleasantness of air hunger (lack of oxygen and surplus of carbon dioxide) and, compared with healthy non-brachycephalic dogs, show marked increases in respiratory rate as temperatures rise. Can’t stand the heat The hotter the temperature, the harder these dogs have to work to cool down by panting. As a result, the tissues of the upper airway swell, further reducing airflow and eventually causing airway obstruction, which causes them to get hotter . It’s a life-threatening vicious cycle. This reduced capacity to cope with heat explains why Qantas no longer permits the transport of affected breeds on flights longer than five hours, or those with more than two sectors per journey. Affected dogs also change the way they sleep to avoid airway obstruction, sometimes by adopting a sitting position. They also raise their chins or sleep with a toy between their teeth to keep their airways open. Indeed, 10% can sleep only with an open mouth. Extremely short skulls are associated with excess carbon dioxide concentrations (that shift the acid-base balance of the blood), neurological deficits, skin disease, eye disease and certain behavioural disorders. Brachycephalic dogs also have an increased anaesthetic risk – and yet increasingly need surgery to treat these problems. This is not new information. For example, in 2008, the documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed revealed the impact of extreme brachycephaly on dogs. But they’re popular dogs Despite accumulating evidence about the health and welfare impacts of brachycephaly, affected breeds are becoming more popular. In the last decade, registrations of French bulldogs have increased by around 3,000%. This prompted kennel clubs to warn prospective owners about the real possibility of bad breeders trying to cash in on the trend. Brachycephalic breeds are booming in popularity in Australia where, since the mid-1980s, puppy purchasers have increasingly favoured shorter, smaller, brachycephalic breeds. A costly health problem Extreme brachycephalic dogs aren’t the only ones bearing the costs of inherited health and welfare problems. Figures from overseas and Australian pet insurance providers confirm that the financial costs of owning extreme brachycephalic dogs are high. This is due to the many conditions they suffer from including, but not limited to, BOAS. Analysis of more than 1.27 million Australian pet insurance claims over a nine-year period (2007-2015) confirms this. As you can see (above), brachycephalic dogs were more likely to suffer from a number of health conditions when compared with non-brachycephalic dogs. They also suffer from fungal skin disease, skin cancer, brain disorders, back problems and difficulties giving birth. Dysphagia (problems swallowing), vomiting, regurgitation and flatulence are other common clinical signs in brachycephalic breeds. There is also the emotional cost of owning dogs that may require extensive treatment, and live, on average, shorter lives than their longer-nosed canine counterparts. What more can vets do? The brachycephalic dog patient may place veterinarians in ethically challenging situations when they are approached to help in treatment and breeding of affected animals. In discussing breed-associated disorders, veterinarians may appear to be critical of the very features that clients find most endearing about their companion animals and some have preferred to speak up only anonymously. Or veterinarians may have a conflict of interest if they draw an income from treating the typical disorders. But unless veterinarians and breed organisations speak up, the demand for extreme brachycephalic breeds will continue. The enormity of the welfare problem is increasing with the increased demand for affected dogs. The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) and the RSPCA Australia joined forces back in 2016 to promote awareness of these health and welfare problems in their Love is Blindcampaign. Breeder organisations are exploring ways to moderate extreme shapes in the show-ring. For example, a survey published last year of 15 national kennel clubs, identified exaggerated morphological features and inherited disorders as their chief concerns. Companies can also play a role. Last year New Zealand’s online marketplace Trade Me banned the sale of pugs, French bulldogs and British bulldogs on animal welfare grounds. Read more: Is your dog happy? Ten common misconceptions about dog behaviour In recognition of the media’s role in generating this demand, the British Veterinary Association no longer uses adverts depicting brachycephalic breeds. The Australian Veterinary Association also avoids use of images of other breeds with exaggerated features, such as shar-peis and dachshunds. Every veterinarian must provide every individual patient with the best possible care they can. But given what we know, we’re also morally obliged to discourage breeding of dogs with extreme brachycephaly so that we can turn off the tap on this suffering. It’s also something potential dog-owners should be more aware of. They might think they look cute, but those extreme brachycephalic dogs could be costly, both financially and emotionally.
  3. link In an Australian first, the ACT may legally recognise animals’ feelings February 14, 2019 6.18am AEDT Have you ever wondered what’s going through your dog’s mind when you say the word “walk”? And does your pup seem to show guilt when you ask them sternly “what have you done?” Their tail might drop between their legs, their ears droop down, and their eyes turn away. We often attribute human emotions to animals, in a practice called anthropomorphism. It’s frowned upon in scientific circles, because it can lead us to incorrectly assume what animals are expressing. In the example of your naughty pet, you’d be right to think your dog displays some change in emotional state when you scold them. However, the emotion isn’t guilt: they’re expressing confusion and occasionally anxiety. Read more: About time: science and a declaration of animal consciousness The ACT is currently considering legislation that would enshrine animal “sentience” in the law, which means for the first time an Australian jurisdiction will consider animals’ feelings as well as their physical well-being in animal protection laws. The emotional lives of animals Modern science has clearly demonstrated that animals experience feelings, sensations and emotional states (or as scientists like to call them, “affective states”). What owners and livestock attendants have known or suspected for a long time, we can now definitively prove. Unfortunately, the idea that animals can experience emotions has only re-emerged fairly recently. We can blame thinkers during the Renaissance for the spread of the idea that animals weren’t capable of experiencing emotions or feelings. They maintained that animals were like machines, unable to feel or perceive. Any animal which cried out when injured or beaten was thought to be showing an automatic response, similar to a reflex, rather than a conscious response. It wasn’t until the 18th century that philosophers and scientists began recognising that animals were not only conscious, but they were actually sentient and capable of suffering. What is sentience? Sentience can be defined simply as the ability to feel or perceive. Humans are obviously sentient, but many other animal species are also considered sentient. These are animals that respond to a sensory input such as heat, interpret that sensation as an emotion or feeling such as discomfort, then consider an appropriate response to that feeling. This goes beyond a simple reflex, as sentient animals may choose different responses based on their environment or internal state. For example, a sheep experiencing uncomfortable heat might not move and seek shade if a predator is nearby. Most animals are sentient All animals with spines, which includes all mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish, as well as some animals without spines such as octopus, squid, crabs and lobsters are generally considered sentient. This means that essentially all the animals we use for food, entertainment, work and companionship have feelings, emotions and the ability to suffer. Read more: Octopuses are super-smart ... but are they conscious? Other animals like insects and some lower crustaceans haven’t demonstrated sentience. However, as knowledge increases, and experimental methods improve, it is possible that in the future we may reclassify these animals as sentient too. We commonly misinterpret dog behaviour, especially by thinking they look guilty when they’re actually anxious or confused. NatalieMaynor/Flickr, CC BY Moral responsibility With the knowledge that almost all animals are able to experience both positive and negative emotions such as fear, happiness, anxiety and excitement, how we deal with this information is underpinned by our morals and ethics. Some people consider the moral responsibility of knowing our actions may cause pain and suffering towards animals too great and follow a type of virtue ethics called “animals rights”. People who believe in animals rights think that no amount of harm towards animals for human gain is worth the suffering it causes, and hence they seek to do no harm by not eating animals or using them for entertainment. A more dominant ethical position is that of utilitarianism, a type of consequentialist ethical theory often associated with the saying “the end justifies the means”. Utilitarians try to minimise the amount of harm done to the largest number of moral subjects. As animals can suffer, they are considered moral subjects alongside humans. Therefore, it would be wrong to cause animals to suffer for no reason. However, if only a small number of animals suffered in order to feed or bring joy to a large number of people, that might be morally acceptable. There are many other types of ethical theories which consider the idea of animal sentience, and in reality, most people are a mixture of a few different moral positions (it is really hard being a strict utilitarian: see the The Trolley Dilemma). Read more: The trolley dilemma: would you kill one person to save five? What the ACT is proposing The ACT is proposing to become the first Australian state or territory to formally recognise the sentience of animals in animal welfare legislation. With public consultation closed, the ACT government will now consider public feedback on their proposed changes. This feedback will inform the final piece of legislation, to be debated by the Legislative Assembly later in the year. If sentience is included in the amended law, the ACT won’t be the first jurisdiction to have done so. New Zealand, Europe and Canada have already included it in their animal welfare laws. However, it is significant for Australia, as it commits the government to consider how the feelings of animals may impact their welfare. Far from giving animal’s rights, it acknowledges that an animal can be physically healthy but mentally suffering, and this mental suffering can lead to poor welfare. With animal welfare an issue of growing importance to many Australians, recognising the inner lives of animals is an important step forward.
  4. I've used Ray Ferguson in the past, he's at Monash Vet
  5. Hot spots between toes

    If she is living exclusively outside and you think this is an environmental allergy, why not just bring her inside? Might give the poor girl some relief. Then you can do the boot trial which was mentioned earlier in this thread.
  6. Dog dies on Tas ferry

    I saw this on the news yesterday link
  7. Are Dog Parks Worth the Risk?

    Wow, fantastic park. Are these types of parks common in the US?
  8. Insect-based pet food

    Insect protein: dish of the day for your environmentally friendly pet February 1, 2019 1.31am AEDT In the UK, there are approximately nine million dogs and almost eight million cats – with around one in two households owning a companion animal. This large pet population is estimated to consume billions of tonnes of meat each year. So, given that more people are trying to do their bit to help save the plant and keep meat consumption to a minimum, it’s not surprising pet food has become the latest sector to think about its environmental credentials. Pet food trends tend to lag human dietary trends by around 12-18 months. And there are now many opportunities for dogs or cats to eat a vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, low-allergenic or super-food diet. Then there is also a big market in “raw foods”, which have becoming increasingly popular. These are comprised solely of premium human-grade meats, raw fruits and vegetables – and are unrefined and minimally processed. The latest addition to the line-up is a high-protein pet food that meets the requirements for low environmental impact, as it is made from insects. Yora pet foods describes its “Green Insect Pet food” as: What pets need to eat The domestication of canines has allowed their systems to adapt to be better at digesting starch –- found in grains, beans and potatoes –- than their wolf ancestors. This adaptation probably allowed the domestic dog to flourish on human grains and cereals. Their gut microbiome has also adapted to be better at breaking down carbohydrates and to some degree is able to produce amino acids normally sourced from meat. Dogs are true omnivores – they can survive on both plants and animals – unlike their carnivorous ancestors. Read more: Vegan dogs: should canines go meat free? Our domesticated feline friends on the other hand, remain obligate carnivores – much like their larger and wilder ancestors. Cats still require many essential nutrients that can only be obtained from eating meat. Responsible manufacturers of pet foods describe their products as “complete” if they meet all nutrient requirements for a dog or cat, according to established guidelines. Ideally, they register with the Pet Food Manufacturers Association to guarantee their product is in accord with certain standards. Wet pet foods – such as tins, pouches, trays – are fed to approximately 41% of dogs and 77% of cats in the UK. Each is more often than not labelled as being a “meaty flavour” – such as beef, lamb, poultry, duck. The actual amount of meat in the feed varies according to the stated claim on the label – anything from 4% to 60% is common. These foods contrast steeply with the market-leading dry “kibbles” that are ultra-processed and ultra-refined – and account for 85% of all pet food sold. Carbon paw print The environmental impact of pet food in the US alone is estimated to be around 60m tonnes of CO₂-equivalent methane and nitrous oxide production per year – which is a huge amount. So could insect-based pet food be the answer? A first in the UK, Yora now offers a product with sufficient protein to satisfy our favourite companion animals and one that also has eco-credibility. Other manufacturers have also entered the fray with a few insect-based pet foods available online. On its website, Yora claims that the resources needed to produce just 10kg of protein from beef are 2,100 m² of land – which generates 1,500 kg of greenhouse emissions and uses 1,120,000 litres of water. Considering equivalent values to produce 60kg of insects used in its products are 45m² of land and 54,000 litres, then it’s clear that Yora could be on to something. But independent studies into such products are now needed to really conclude if the nutritional impact weighs up. Protein of choice Of course, it isn’t just pet food that comes under question for it’s environmental credentials. With an expanding global population, nutritional scientists have, for many years, been considering how to produce sufficient quality protein from more efficient sources. At the University of Nottingham, for example, academics are working on a range of projects evaluating the use of insects as both human food and animal feed. One of the major challenges though is what to feed the insects – plant and animal waste have been considered. It would defeat the object if they were fed foodstuffs more usually consumed by humans or farm animals – and kept in heated greenhouses. Of course, cynics might say the answer is to reduce pet ownership altogether. But it’s important to not forget the positive impact that pets can have on people’s lives. Dog ownership increases activity levels and social interactions and lowers risk of premature death . Having a family pet also reduces the chances of a child in that house becoming asthmatic – by exposing their immature immune system to novel antigens at an early age. Research shows that owning a cat can also make you happier. Our feline friends can help to reduce stress levels – along with our blood pressure – and help to make us feel less lonely. So despite the environmental impact of what they eat, the fact remains that pets are good for us. Perhaps now with increased choices on pet food, owners can make more informed, ethical decisions. And the industry could also help by labelling foods with an indication of how environmentally friendly a product is. link
  9. Tuppence (Edgeof Valiant Damsel)

    Sorry for your loss, stellnme. The oldies teach us so much and bring so much joy. Beautiful little Tuppence, I'm glad you had the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful 15 months with your new family. Run free now
  10. Chemo Experiences

    I wasn't sure if I would have a positive update this time, but I'm happy to say that Annie is still happy despite the cancer progressing. We finished the round of vinblastine last year and then trialled palladia. Annie was doing well on palladia until week three of treatment, when she developed shaky leg syndrome. The oncologist said she doesn't very often see this side effect, said most of the side effects (if any) with palladia are gastrointestinal, but it was enough to reduce Annie's quality of life so palladia was stopped. At the moment pred is keeping her comfortable and she has just started on chlorambucil in an effort to slow the growth of the tumour near her spinal cord. She's been on the chlorambucil for about a week now and no problems at all. At her most recent check up, the oncologist said the tumour is growing slower than expected due to her previous chemo treatments. So that was some unexpected good news. I'm spoiling her and she has me wrapped around her little paw but that's perfectly ok because we're making the most of the time she has left. Here she is pretending to be stuck under a cabinet. A few weeks ago she got under there and forgot which way to get out, so I showed her the way out and gave her a treat. Now she gets 'stuck' under there 3-4 times a day. Of course I oblige and give her a treat.
  11. Beautiful girl. Trouble, I hope today is filled with treats, fun, cuddles, more treats, and all the things that you love to do.
  12. Pet Medical Crisis Fund

    Great story, and it's good to see that all donations go directly to helping the animals. link Pet Medical Crisis Fund established after whopping $30,000 vet bill ABC Sunshine Coast By Kathy Sundstrom Updated about an hour ago PHOTO: Two-year-old Wolfie, the Husky, was saved by the Pet Medical Crisis Fund after it swallowed two nails and a piece of cloth. (Supplied: Jennifer Hunt) RELATED STORY: 'Emotional blackmail' contributes to high vet suicide rate RELATED STORY: What you need to know before getting pet insurance RELATED STORY: Knowing when it's time to say goodbye to your dog Jennifer Hunt spent $30,000 on vet bills in a year to save the life of her eight-year-old rescue border collie, Jed, and said he was worth every cent. The registered nurse from Melbourne realised most others could not afford to do the same, so she started a charity to help them. Nearly nine years later, the Pet Medical Crisis Fund has distributed around $350,000 to save more than 450 pets. Jed's story Ms Hunt adopted Jed from a rescue group but he ruptured discs in his back while chasing seagulls in 2009. Ms Hunt's vet said surgery for Jed would cost $10,000 and he would likely be a paraplegic, so recommended putting him down. She told the vet she did not want Jed to be put down. "I'm a registered nurse, I fix people, and I can afford to pay," Ms Hunt said to the vet. However that was not the end of the vet bills as Jed ruptured two more discs and required an additional $20,000 of surgery. PHOTO: Jennifer Hunt with her rescue dog, Jed, and the walking sling he used for nine years because he was a paraplegic. (Supplied: Jennifer Hunt) "I was told most people would put their dog to sleep and I asked 'Am I doing the wrong thing by my dog?'," Ms Hunt said. "The vet said 'No', it was just that most people couldn't afford it." Which was the reason why she decided to start the charity — to be able to contribute to vet expenses for people not in a financial position to pay themselves. "The vet said it as a good idea and then I turned it into a charity." The charity not only helps pet owners and their pets, but it also assists vets by not having to absorb the costs associated with treating pets free of charge. "We've discovered we don't just help the pensioner and you don't just help the pet, you actually help the vet," she said. "The vet is left with the scenario of being emotionally blackmailed [to treat pets for free], whether it is overt or covert they feel very much under pressure. PHOTO: Jed, Jennifer Hunt's border collie, inspired the creation of the Pet Medical Crisis Fund after his costly vet bills. (Supplied: Jennifer Hunt) Paying it forward The charity has been building up its profile in Australia through people sharing their stories on Facebook and in local media. "If we assist someone, we say 'can you help with sharing beautiful photos?' and we ask them to do a story in their local newspaper," Ms Hunt said. The exposure in local media often results in donations to the charity. "We usually get [in donations] what we put in for the pet back and more," she said. "This then pays it forward to the next person. "Most people don't feel like taking charity, so if they can pay it forward, to help the next person out [they are happy to]." The fund criteria The Pet Medical Crisis Fund offers a donation of $1,000 for vet bills to those who have exhausted all other options. "Go to the bank, Centrelink, family and friends first," Ms Hunt said. "But a lot of pensioners are isolated from family and friends. They may have burnt bridges and their pet is what keeps them going. Once other loan options have been exhausted, the vet asks to see pet owners' healthcare cards or pension cards to ensure they have a genuine need for financial support, at which point the charity can be approached. Ms Hunt asks the vet to do the surgery at cost so they are not using publicly-donated funds for profit. "We limit our donation to $1,000 so it relies on the vet to reduce costs and the owner to contribute," she said. "On some occasions this is not enough. "We raised $5,000 and the dog is great now." PHOTO: This x-ray shows nails swallowed by Wolfie, the husky. (Supplied: Jennifer Hunt) The Pet Crisis Medical Fund gives 100 per cent of the donated funds directly to the animals. "I'm sick to death of hearing stories about other charities where the money people are putting in is not going straight to where it was intended [but to admin costs instead]," Ms Hunt said. "People need to be confident where the money is going." This year, a philanthropist has donated money specifically for Ms Hunt to focus on stopping work as a nurse, hiring help, and taking the charity nationwide.
  13. Stage 3 Renal Failure

    I can't say whether it's normal or not but it's not something that my boy did, though his kidney failure came on very quickly and it wasn't long before he stopped eating altogether (he may have been in a later stage of kidney failure compared to your girl). Is she on medication to prevent stomach ulcers? It's great that she's still active and eating.
  14. Dog Poo Composting

    I was reading about this the other day. Here are some tips from this article
  15. Stage 3 Renal Failure

    The kidney disease smell is quite distinctive, if that's what it is that you're smelling on her breath.
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