The Incomparable Cat: A Mythical History

The Incomparable Cat: A Mythical History
After all, we're talking about a small, mundane animal with four legs and a tail. A little pet who got aboard the Ark by being an itch in a lion's nose…well, that's another story. It just doesn't seem possible that so much mythos could be packed into
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Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Mazee. Talk about a brainteaser! This twist on a puzzle toy engages a dog's senses of sight, hearing and smell as he works to release the treats inside. * Apoquel. There's almost nothing worse than an itchy dog. This anti-itch
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There's almost nothing worse than an itchy dog. This anti-itch medication is so powerful that the misery some dogs have endured for years is gone after the first dose. (Tip: Always read the label with your veterinarian to make sure a particular
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The Truth About Pet Food Research

About one year after I graduated vet school, I took routine screening chest radiographs of my senior Golden, Mulan. I looked them over, frowning at a small, mottled spot near her sternum.

“She has cancer,” I thought. It’s not an unreasonable conclusion to come to with Golden Retrievers. Before I panicked, I asked my colleague to look at the x-ray, and she agreed it looked suspicious. I was devastated.

I took Mulan to the local specialty hospital, where an intern I knew from vet school patted me on the back while the resident internal medicine specialist pursed his lips sympathetically. He grabbed his ultrasound machine to prepare for a guided biopsy. Before starting, he asked the radiologist to stop by to give his thoughts as to what this strange radiographic feature might be.

“What are you looking at? That? That’s normal sternum,” he said, sipping his coffee with the mildest of eye rolls before strolling out of the now-silent room.

I knew just enough to be dangerous but not enough to actually come to the correct conclusion. Along the way I dragged two other very educated colleagues with me through sheer force of conviction. Mulan lived another 4 years, by the way.

Data and Interpretation

Lots of people have asked me about the controversial results from the Truth about Pet Food’s crowdsourced food safety study. I haven’t said anything, because I couldn’t think of anything to say. It’s the same response I have when people send me this picture over email and ask me what this lump is:

dog

The correct answer is, “I need a lot more information before I can tell you that.” Which is about how I feel about the significance of this study.

As veterinary nutritionist Dr. Weeth points out in her excellent response, scientists kind of live to nitpick and poke holes in one another’s work. It’s necessary to allow criticism because there are so many ways one can go wrong with a project- from the way the study was designed, to the implementation, to the data interpretation. It was the persistent nagging of the science community that led to the eventual discrediting of Wakefield’s autism/vaccine research paper, the public health implications of which we are still dealing today, up to and including 19 people who were sickened with measles at The Happiest Place on Earth.

Without being allowed to evaluate the entire research process, we have no way of knowing how valid the results are. A pretty infographic does not science make. Nor does protesting “it’s not junk science” mean that it isn’t.

What We Know

I’m hopeful that the full set of data will be made public, including methodology. Until then, all we can do is go by what we have been told.

Dr. Gary Pusillo of INTI services, who has the misfortune of being out of the country while all of this debate is going down, was in charge of the testing process. Thixton writes that he is a board certified veterinary nutritionist, which in theory is fantastic because it means that he would have the background in both veterinary medicine and nutrition to not only perform the studies, but interpret the results. There’s only one problem: he’s not. (Nor does he in any way present himself as one, by the way.) A board certified veterinary nutritionist is a veterinarian who is also a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition. You may think that’s irrelevant, it’s just semantics, but it’s not.

Credentials are a big deal, as I’m sure Dr. Pusillo himself would tell you were he around. I would really love for Dr. Pusillo and Dr. Purejav to have been available to answer questions while we’re all begging to know what the heck they did, and I’d love to hear more about how they determined “risk.” They may be the most qualified people in the world, but for right now, all I have is an infographic and a consumer advocate’s word that they’re the best.

jerrymaguire

Dr. Pusillo is a PhD who provides forensic science services, which actually sounds really cool and I would love to hear more about it. I have no reason to doubt that he is an excellent scientist. He probably knows tons and tons about how to test a food for specific substances. What he may or may not know is whether or not those substances matter clinically.

Data Collection vs. Interpretation

Let’s assume that the data collection was carried out perfectly. Data collection is only half of the equation- you still have to know what to do with it. You can have all the answers in front of you and still not know the question. The scientists Thixton contracted with are out of town at the moment, so who are we going to ask to help us interpret things?

carmen copy

Given who’s around right now, who could interpret the limited data we have through the filter of what matters?

A microbiologist with a background in food safety would be a good start, as someone who can tell you whether or not particular pathogens are actually of concern.

Or a board certified veterinary nutritionist, who can tell you about nutrient analyses and why dry matter comparisons without calorie content is useless. Both of them have some big reservations about this project.

They know more than I do about such things, which is why I defer to their interpretation. Little things mean a lot- for example, when you say “bacteria are present” what do you mean? Does that mean live bacteria were cultured using sterile handling procedures to eliminate environmental contamination? Or did the test just look for bacterial RNA, which could come from dead bacteria that were killed during processing and therefore prove that production works as advertised? I don’t know, but that would sure make a difference.

When the company you contract with to run your tests asks for their name to be dissociated from any press surrounding you, there’s one of two conclusions: 1. They were not happy about how their data was manipulated in the interpretation stage and didn’t want to be associated with bad science; 2. Big Pet Food Cabal. We may never know. *shrug*

A victory for food safety

I like to look at the bright side of things, and for reasons I can’t fathom, what I’ve found to be the biggest findings of the study are barely mentioned.

What are the three most common concerns I hear about pet food safety?

  1. melamine
  2. pathogens of most dire human significance, specifically Salmonella and Campylobacter
  3. pentobarbital contamination (implying euthanized rendered carcasses in pet food.)

Why were these not mentioned in the risk report?

Because they weren’t found. They did look for all of these products. All twelve tested foods were clear of the three biggest worries in recent memory to pet food safety. That’s something, don’t you think?

I’m an optimist. Let’s look at the bright side of things, what do you say!

quote2

So let’s review here: I like asking questions. I have no problem questioning consumers, colleagues, my own professional leadership. I think concerned consumers are good consumers, and I applaud anyone who is invested enough to care about what goes into their pet, be it food, drug, or plant. I have chosen not to work in the employ of companies in the field specifically so I can feel free to say what I want without worry about my job or advertisers.

That being said, I think we also have to take the Occam’s razor approach to life and assume at some point that companies are telling the truth when they tell us they aren’t actively attempting to kill our pets. There are problems, some big and some small, and those are worthy of being addressed, but if you can’t accept at the end of the day that they are generally trying to do the right thing, then we may not ever be able to come to an understanding. As part of a profession that deals with this type of distrust on a regular basis, there comes a point where you have to say, “If you’re going to insist I’m out to harm you no matter what I say then I probably should just leave now.”

So let’s end on a high note: a toast, to those who care. I think everyone’s here arguing for that reason even if the conclusions are different. Salmonella free appetizers for all.

quotes

 

 

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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Pet Food Recall: Roo Bites (Cubes) Pet Treats

Below is the official FDA statement on the recent pet food recall from Jump Your Bones, Inc.  The Roo Bites (Cubes) pet treats are being recalled due to potential salmonella contamination.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 31, 2014 – Jump Your Bones, Inc. of Boca Raton, Florida is voluntarily recalling Jump Your Bones brand name Roo Bites (Cubes) because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. No pet or consumer illnesses from this product have been reported to date.Jump Your Bones

Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only 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 the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

The affected lots of Jump Your Bones Pet Treats were distributed to retail pet food stores nationwide and through pet food retailers/distributors.

The affected products are sold in Boutique Bags and online stores. The products affected by this recall are only identified with the following UPC codes:

63633010041 for 80g. / 2.82oz. including samples of .32 oz.

This recall is being made with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Consumers who have purchased the above product of Jump Your Bones, Inc. pet treats are urged to stop feeding them and return product to place of purchase for a full refund or dispose of them immediately. For further information about the recall please call (888) 249-6755 from Monday – Friday 9am – 5PM EST.

The official statement was found here.


PetsitUSA Blog

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Swept Away by Laura V. Hilton Book Review

Swept Away by Laura V. Hilton My rating: 3 of 5 stars Wonderful reading for a rainy day or vacation, “Swept Away” is a book that will sweep you away with unconventional characters that captures realist emotions. In what I felt, was a stronger male lead in the “Quilts of Love” series, Andrew is someone…



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Sunflower Faith

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Love Actually

I often joke that after Malcolm died I sold my truck and put my stuff into storage but it wasn’t just a soundbyte.  Nothing I do or say ever is.

But after almost a decade, tucked away on the I-35 corridor in a 10×10 closet, it was time for a reckoning. That’s an interesting word.  Reckoning.

Its origin can be found in old English which gave rise to such concepts of calculation and conclusion.

2014 is the 10 year anniversary since Malcolm was first diagnosed.  How many miles, how many years have I walked since then?  How many people have we touched and inspired?  How many lifelong friendships have we forged?

It’s incalculable.  Just like love.

Another true joke is that in short order, in 2004 my dog got cancer, my girlfriend left me and she took the truck.  The pathetic irony is well, I’m from Texas.  But that year I was all alone I watched a movie Love Actually.

You see, I’m the last person to watch romantic comedies or really anything to do with Hugh Grant but it spoke to me about the messiness of life and love and how little I knew about it all.  But I’ve watched it every year since and today is no different.

Happy XMAS.  Love actually.

——–

YBD’s Notes 1:  There was a reckoning tho – I cleaned out my storage locker most of which ended up in a landfill, the rest I’ve given away to friends and family.  I am unencumbered.  Except by love. 
THE JOURNEY CONTINUES

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SYRIAN AMBULANCE DRIVER CARES FOR CITY’S ABANDONED CATS

whiteIn war torn Syria, there is a ray of hope for some abandoned cats.

According to Reuters, an ambulance driver named Alaa’s has been helping some of the victims no one else has noticed: homeless cats.

Alaa has been spending $ 4 a day from his personal savings to feed 150 stray cats in his nearly abandoned neighborhood of Masaken Hanano in Aleppo.

Many of the cats’ owners have fled due to violence and shelling, leaving the cats to fend for themselves.

Click here to read the complete story.

Halo

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Pet Food Recall: Barkworthies Chicken Vittles

The FDA report for the recall of select Barkworthies Chicken Vittles dog chews is below.  The recall is due to the potential Salmonella risk.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — December 24, 2014 — Richmond, VA — Barkworthies of Richmond, VA is recalling select lots of Barkworthies Chicken Vittles dog chews because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only 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 the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

The recalled product was distributed nationwide beginning on May 6th, 2014. The product can be identified by the Lot Code printed on the backside of the plastic pouch or on the bottom. This product is being recalled as it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

BARKWORTHIES CHICKEN VITTLES
Lot Code: 1254T1
Size: 16 oz. Plastic Pouch
Best Used by Date: May 2016
UPC: 816807011510

The recall was initiated after routine testing by the Colorado Department of Agriculture revealed the presence of Salmonella in a single lot of the product. This batch tested negative by a third party independent laboratory prior to release for distribution to consumers. No additional products are affected by this recall. The company has received no reports of illness in either people or animals associated with these products to date.

The recalled product should not be sold or fed to pets. For a full refund, pet owners should return all unused product to their place of purchase along with a completed Product Recall Claim Form available on the Barkworthies website www.barkworthies.com/recall.

More information on the recall can also be found at www.barkworthies.com/recall, or call toll free (877) 993-4257 Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (EST).


PetsitUSA Blog

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Quick Favor!

It has now been four years since Bubby and Bean began. This is strange to me, because in truth, it simultaneously feels like I just wrote my first post and like it’s been around forever. A little less than a year after I started the blog, I posted a reader survey where I asked you guys some questions in an effort to make things the best they could be around here. Fast forward three (plus) years, and so much has changed both for this blog and for the blog world in general, so I’m thinking now is the perfect time to get some updated feedback from you. I’d be so grateful if you could just take a couple of minutes (tops!) to answer 10 short questions on this reader survey. I’d love to know what you liked or didn’t like, what you’d like to see more of in 2015, what you’d change, etc. Please feel free to leave more specific thoughts/suggestions/etc. in the comments below too. Thank you so much friends! Enjoy your weekend.

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Lasik Eye Surgery Los Angeles Reviews And Information – Pediatric Dietician

Lasik Eye Surgery Los Angeles Reviews And Information – Pediatric Dietician
Los Angeles Eye Surgery

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