Newsroom: 2010 Archives
UPDATE: MSU Researchers Link Pet Food, Dog Illnesses Nationwide
The Blue Buffalo Co. just issued a pet food recall. Click here for specific information on the foods affected.
Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) in coordination with Michigan State University's Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health (MSU DCPAH) has been investigating a number of cases of canine hypervitaminosis D, a condition that results from the excess consumption of vitamin D, in the state of Michigan. There have been similar reports on the Veterinary Information Network (VIN) originating in other states. These cases appear to be associated with a particular brand of dog food, although the matter remains under investigation. A statement from the MSU DCPAH was released to the media earlier today. You may receive inquiries from clients and pet owners in response to the MSU DCPAH information. That statement was also shared with MVMA members previous to this notice.
Hypervitaminosis D Toxicosis is reportable to the State Veterinarian. Vitamin D toxicosis induces hypercalcemia and hyperphosphatemia, and if left untreated may result in damage to bones, soft tissue, and the kidneys.
Current cases have been associated with a marked loss of appetite, polyuria, and polydipsia. All confirmed cases recovered after a change in diet.
If you suspect that your client's dog has hypervitaminosis D, confirm this diagnostically through MSU DCPAH and request that the client save the remaining portion of pet food, and receipts of purchase, and contact MDA at 800/292-3939.
For more detailed scientific information, go to http://animalhealth.msu.edu/.
10/12/2010 - Michigan Veterinary Medical Association
Farm & Dairy - Farmer beware, some things to consider when hiring farm workers by Chris Kick.
Risk of human Salmonella infection associated with dry pet foods
Recent media reports have focused on the Salmonella-related recall of a number of pet food products, and a manuscript recently published in the journal Pediatrics (Behravesh CB, Ferraro A, Deasy M, et al. Human Salmonella infections linked to contaminated dry dog and cat food, 2006-2008. Pediatrics 2010; 126: 477-483. Abstract available at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/peds.2009-3273v1) reported on 79 cases of human Salmonella infection from 2006-2008 associated with contaminated dry dog and cat food – this is the first report of human illnesses linked to dry pet foods. Below are some basic talking points to answer the questions we’ve received about this issue. More information is available on the AVMA website at www.avma.org.
The apparent rise in pet food recalls due to Salmonella is likely due to several reasons:
- The large-scale, melamine-related pet food recall of 2007 increased public and media awareness of and sensitivity to pet food safety concerns.
- Increased vigilance of the manufacturers and the federal government regarding Salmonella and other public health concerns, leading to increased surveillance and reporting.
- The recent launch of an early detection reporting system – the Reportable Food Registry – that requires and allows immediate reporting of safety problems with food and animal feed (including pet food), instead of relying on inspection to identify problems. According to a July 2010 FDA press release, the registry has been very successful in identifying at-risk foods.
These recalls are not an indication that pet foods are unsafe. Considering that the majority of these recalls have been precautionary and no illnesses have been reported, these recalls may indicate that they are preventing illness by catching the problems earlier.
Because pet foods and treats contain animal-origin products, they are at risk of contamination with Salmonella, E. coli, and other organisms. In general, these products are cooked to temperatures that will kill these organisms – however, if a contaminated additive (a flavoring, for example) is added to the food after cooking or if the food comes in contact with contaminated materials, the food will be contaminated. There are many safeguards in place to minimize the risk of contamination during the manufacturing process, but using caution when handling these foods is always recommended.
To protect themselves, their families and their pets from Salmonella infection, common sense measures are critical. These measures are particularly important if you feed your pet raw foods of animal origin (eg, raw beef, chicken or eggs), including raw treats such as raw hides and pig ear chews.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after handling any pet food or treats
- Don’t allow your children to handle the food; or, if you choose to let them handle the pet food or treats, make sure they thoroughly wash their hands (under your direct supervision) afterwards.
- Do not allow immunocompromised, very young, or elderly people to handle pet food and treats; or, if they handle the products, they should thoroughly wash their hands immediately after handling the products.
- Keep all pet foods and treats away from your family’s food.
- Do not prepare pet foods in the same area or with the same equipment/utensils you use to prepare human foods.
- Do not allow pets on countertops or other areas where human food is prepared.
- In the Pediatrics manuscript, feeding pets in the kitchen was identified as an important source of infection. If it is possible for you to feed your pet in an area other than your kitchen, you may wish to consider doing so. If it is not an option, or if you choose to feed your pet in the kitchen, feed your pet as far away from human food preparation areas as possible and follow the other guidelines above.
AVMA Press Release, August 9, 2010
6/28/10 - Natural Balance recalls dog food over possible salmonella
FDA recall on compressed oxygen from Sound Oxygen Service, Inc., Auburn, WA
PRODUCT: Compressed Medical Oxygen USP in A, C, D and E steel cylinders, Rx only. Each cylinder is identified with four labels which read in part: 1) "***OXYGEN, COMPRESSED U.S.P. ***UN1072***
For emergency use only when administered by properly trained personnel for oxygen
deficiency and resuscitation. For all other medical applications, RX only. 2) "***Property Of SOS
Sound Oxygen Service*** Please call for pick up if equipment needs service***". 3) The third
label is an individual bar code that is a unique identifier for each cylinder "***SOS C
Tank***C1283***". 4) The fourth label is a small grocery-type sticker with the lot number and
expiration date of that cylinder "***10111012110 LOT #***". Recall # D-604-2010
RECALLING FIRM/MANUFACTURER: Sound Oxygen Service, Inc., Auburn, WA, by visit beginning April 29, 2010. Firm initiated recall is ongoing.
REASON: CGMP Deviations: Lack of documentation that prefill, fill and/or post-fill testing of cylinders and
finished products was performed.
VOLUME OF PRODUCT IN COMMERCE: 310 cylinders (Size A: 3; Size C: 68; Size D: 33; Size E: 206)
Cylinder Expiration Dates: Lots 112100541 through 114100547 Exp. 02/23/2015; Lots 114100561
through 114100563 Exp. 02/25/2015; Lots 101100611 through 101100615 Exp. 03/02/2015; Lots
103100641 through 105100649, 1051006410 and 1051006412 Exp. 03/05/2015; Lots 106100681
through 108100689, 108100691, 108100692, 1081006810 and 1081006811 Exp. 03/09/2015; Lots
114101111 through 114101116 Exp. 04/21/2015. Cylinder item # (Unique Bar Code identifying
each individual cylinder): C0071, C0325, E1774, E1904, A0010, A00D5, A0241, E0430, E2087,
C0126, C0256, C0606, C0683, C1130, C1287, E1055, E0070, E0078, E1721, E1856, D0082,
E1265, E4542, C0179, C0574, C0733, C1056, C1324, E0345, D0049, E0560, E0554, E1418,
E1789, E1933, E2121, E0387, E0639, E1054, E1305, E1791, E1820, E2107, E1073, E1170,
E1509, E0082, E0311, E1243, E1939, E1962, E2064, E0234, E1023, E1511, E2293, E2296,
E1902, C0095, C0343, C0359, C0569, C0737, C0738, C0993, C1063, C1108, C1196, D0035,
A0049, C0829, C1127, C0565, C0758, C1092, C0149, C0307, C1041, C1088, C1157, E0160,
E0286, C0051, C0180, C0769, C1187, EZ126, C0637, C0871, D0737, C0177, C0187, C0735,
E0028, E0284, E0288, E0691, E0710, E0721, E1147, E1199, E1347, E1838, E1862, E1944,
E2069, E2150, E2240, E2268, E2347, E2348, E2350, E2351, E2353, E2357, E2311, E2314,
E2317, E2319, E2322, E2323, E2332, A0147, C0054, C1076, C1270, D0034, E0607, E1227,
E1591, E1322, C0067, C0956, E1709, E2081, E0033, E0457, E1935, E2049, E2153, E1837,
E1922, E2051, E0762, C0174, C1102, C1150, D0821, E0156, E0296, A0288, C0225, C0518,
C0524, C0696, C0703, C0865, C1126, C1171, D0024, D0027, D0046, D0066, D0105, D0165,
D0206, D0280, D0283, D0316, D0419, D0513, D0527, D0538, D0689, D0700, D0743, D0802,
D0812, C0001, C0201, C0301, C0765, C0819, C0959, C0972, C1006, C1199, C1303, E0047,
E0131, E0330, E0334, E0453, E0605, E1157, E1385, E1595, E1931, E2055, E2230, E2282,
D0050, D0166, D0191, D0516, D0704, D0755, D0830, E0025, E0136, E0550, E0635, E0682,
E1067, E1132, E1223, E1334, E1461, E1598, E1771, E2039, E2052, E2054, E2167, E2289,
E2308, E2355, E0042, E0100, E0159, E0454, E0532, E0536, E0549, E0557, E1037, E1117,
E1187, E1259, E1319, E1364, E1706, E1756, E1768, E1869, E1873, E2115, E2127, E2142,
E2295, E2337, E2354, E0018, E0278, E0358, E0531, E0558, E0749, E1008, E1120, E1272,
E1285, E1341, E1400, E1596, E1757, E1795, E1831, E1878, E1950, E1968, E2053, E2091,
E2130, E2140, E2148, E2213, E2241, E2258, E2271, E2288, E0379, E0609, E0615, E0723,
E0739, E0759, E0761, E1072, E1241, E1281, E1513, E1593, E1916, E1923, E1928, E1998,
E2183, E2265, E2326, E0378, D0088, E0083, E1177, E1256, E2079, E2232, E2236, E1751, and
E2229. The firm also uses a manufacturing (filling) lot code: 101100611, 101100612, 101100613,
101100614, 101100615, 103100641, 103100642, 103100643, 104100644, 104100645, 104100646,
104100647, 105100648, 105100649, 106100681, 106100682, 106100683, 106100684, 106100685,
107100686, 107100687, 107100688, 107100689, 108100691, 108100692, 112100541, 112100542,
112100543, 113100544, 114100545, 114100546, 114100547, 114100561, 114100562, 114100563,
114101111, 114101112, 114101113, 114101114, 114101115, 114101116, 1051006410,
1051006412, 1081006810 and 108100681
Trichomoniasis in dairy cattle -- WA
A dairy herd in the state of Washington has experienced some pyometras in cows (cows with a pus-filled uterus and a corpus luteum (CL) on an ovary). Samples were sent by the veterinarian to the WSU diagnostic lab and came back positive for trichomoniasis. Although we know that there have been infected beef bulls in the state, this is the first that we know of infected dairy animals in Washington.
Trichomoniasis is a venereal disease of cattle and is transmitted to cows by infected bulls. Bulls do not show any signs of disease and carry the single-celled organisms in deep crypts in the prepuce. Infected cows will be infertile or abort and can serve as a reservoir for uninfected bulls to become infected. Although infected cows can be identified by laboratory testing, most will clear the Trichomonas infection over a number of months. Thus, prevention and eradication of the disease is primarily focused upon laboratory testing and culling of infected bulls. All bulls entering the herd should be tested.
Samples from bulls should be taken in a very specific way so as to not miss any infected bulls. Veterinarians in Washington must be certified by training from WSDA veterinarians or by participating in our on-line course on trich testing. The course for veterinarians and additional information on trichomoniaisis can be found at our website: http://vetextension.wsu.edu/programs/bovine/trich/index.htm
If you are a dairy or beef cattle producer and have any cows with pyometra or suspect a fertility problems in your cows, call your veterinarian. Veterinarians can send uterine fluid samples and preputial scrapings to WSU-WADDL. For accession forms and diagnostic lab information, go to: http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/depts_waddl/
Natural Balance recalls dog food over possible salmonella
Natural Balance Pet Foods announced Friday a voluntary recall of the 5-pound and 28-pound bags of its Sweet Potato & Chicken dry dog food, with an expiration date of June 17, 2011.
Oil Spill Disaster Volunteer Database
The American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV) has established a database of people who would like to volunteer their services for the Gulf Oil Spill Disaster. The database contains additional information about each registrant that enables agencies involved in the cleanup to recruit people based on their needs. While the database focuses on people with some interest or expertise in wildlife, people who wish to register do not need to be members of the AAZV. They don’t need to be veterinarians, either, so biologists, zoologists, veterinary technicians, etc. are encouraged to register.
The information contained in this database will be made available only to agencies that are involved in the clean up, and only when requested by them. AAZV will not use the database for any other purpose.
This will be a useful tool because the AAZV can provide lists to agencies based on their individual needs. As an example, if an agency is looking for volunteers who can work in August, who have experience in oiled birds, who can mobilize within a week’s notice, and who have a place to stay near the gulf coast in Mississippi, we can select for those parameters and provide the list.
Please follow this link to the registration module to get an idea of the data we’re collecting and to see how easy it is to register.
Intervet Schering-Plough recalls West Nile Virus vaccine
May 4, 2010 - Intervet Schering-Plough has announced an urgent recall of all serial numbers of PreveNile® West Nile Virus vaccine for horses due to an increased number of adverse event reports associated with the use of these vaccines.
The recalled serial numbers include one-dose and five-dose vials of the vaccine. A list of the recalled lot numbers is available on the AVMA Web site.
Veterinarians with any of the affected serial numbers in stock should contact their distributor to arrange for the product’s return.
The USDA has been alerted of this recall, according to a letter distributed by the manufacturer.
Notice of Request for Applications for the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is announcing the release of the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) Request for Applications (RFA).
DATES: The FY 2010 Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) application package has been made available online.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gary Sherman, National Program Leader, Veterinary Science, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, STOP 2220, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-2220, Voice: 202-401-4952, Fax: 202-401-6156, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
**Note: Shortage areas in the state of Washington were not included in the program.
Veterinarians should take precautions when treating phosphine-poisoned animals
April 23, 2010 – The Michigan Department of Community Health has notified the AVMA of two situations in which veterinary personnel were affected during the treatment of dogs that had ingested zinc phosphide rodenticide pellets. State authorities suspect that human exposure resulted from the release of phosphine gas into the examination rooms when the dogs were induced to vomit.
A manuscript published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association earlier this year stated that two individuals had become ill with phosphine poisoning in association with the veterinary treatment of 28 horses.
Veterinarians are reminded to take precautions when treating animals with suspected or confirmed phosphine product poisoning.
Zinc phosphide is a common component of rodenticides for home and commercial use, and aluminum phosphide is commonly used in agriculture as an insecticide for the fumigation of grains and animal feed. Both products liberate phosphine gas, which is highly toxic to animals and people.
For more information and a list of guidelines for veterinarians, please see “Phosphine product precautions” on the AVMA Web site.
Raccoon distemper suspected in King County- Residents are urged to exercise caution and take precautions to protect pets.
King County residents are reminded to avoid feeding wildlife, keep domestic pets away from wild animals, and be sure their pets’ vaccinations are current, in response to a suspected outbreak of canine distemper in area raccoons.
Samples from a raccoon collected in Bellevue have been submitted to Washington State University for disease testing, and final results are expected early next week.
Canine distemper is not transmissible to humans but is highly contagious among dogs, ferrets, and certain wild animals such as raccoons, coyotes, skunks, weasels and harbor seals. Cats are not affected by canine distemper.
“Dogs are normally vaccinated against canine distemper, but the disease has become generally uncommon and some pet owners are not getting their pets vaccinated,” said Dr. Sharon Hopkins, the Veterinarian for Public Health – Seattle & King County. “If you have questions or concerns about your pets’ immunity to canine distemper, contact your veterinarian.”
Distemper causes encephalitis, inflation of the brain, in animals. Infected animals may have runny eyes and stagger, tremble, foam at the mouth or snap, according to veterinarians. Daytime activity by a raccoon does not necessarily indicate the animal is sick.
In recent days, local officials in Bellevue, Redmond and Renton have received a number of reports of sick raccoons. King County Animal Care and Control responded to a call for assistance last week from Issaquah law enforcement and captured a raccoon believed to have distemper. Animal Control Officers have also picked up 3 deceased raccoons on the East Side of King County at the request of citizens.
“Wildlife disease epidemics tend to occur in cycles, appearing when animal populations are high,” said Kristin Mansfield, staff veterinarian with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
“While we have seen an increase in the number of raccoons this year at our wildlife hospital that appear to be infected with canine distemper, we encourage people not to panic,” said PAWS’ Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. John Huckabee. “The best way to avoid potential exposure to pet dogs and ferrets is to avoid feeding or otherwise attracting wildlife, intentionally or unintentionally.”
People should feed pets indoors, and secure garbage and compost. Bird feeders and chicken food also attract raccoons. Residents should also secure pet doors so that raccoons cannot enter indoor living spaces.
WDFW offers advice for dealing with problem wildlife on its website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/living/ and PAWS Wildlife Center can offer tips for solving and preventing conflicts by calling (425) 787-2500 x817.
King County residents who encounter raccoons exhibiting symptoms of canine distemper can call (206) 296-PETS to receive information and suggestions about potential resources. Animal Control Officers will also pick up deceased raccoons.
Raccoons present a risk of transmitting other diseases including leptospirosis, raccoon roundworm and rabies. For information about these risks, see http://www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/ehs/zoonotics/raccoons.aspx
People bitten by raccoons should contact their health care provider and Public Health at 206-296-4774.
WDFW also maintains a list of Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators (NWCOs), who are licensed by the department to respond to problem wildlife. Contact information may be found on the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/enforcement/nwco/f or by calling WDFW’s North Puget Sound regional office at (425) 775-1311.
H1N1 (Swine Flu) Updates
3/5/10 - Poison confirmed in death of fourth Spokane-area dog
Breed wars: Imports, As states crack down on puppy mills, imports spike and so do health concerns
The Washington Dept’s of Agriculture and Health have noted an increase in dogs coming into the state from overseas. Some come back with soldiers and affiliated rescue groups (operation Baghdad Pup, Nowzad Dogs, and others), from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. It was recently discovered that there are several groups shipping dogs with unknown origins from Taiwan and other countries. These dogs are not personal family pets – and they are often sold and lost to follow-up shortly after arrival in Washington despite federal regulations (see the article below) . Dogs are also being imported into WA without health certificates by rescue groups in California, and there is a known stream of dogs being imported illegally from Mexico into California. The article below describes the inability of federal regulators to adequately control importation, and the potential for zoonotic and other types of disease to be introduced. Clinicians in Washington should be alerted to notify local animal control when they see animals that do not have a well documented background or have a history of being rescued or imported recently from foreign countries. WSDA can impose quarantine on the animals following a request for assistance by local authorities. Additionally vigilance for rabies and other infectious and parasitic diseases in newly acquired animals should include the possibility that they may have originated anywhere on the globe.
2/23/10 - Three dogs dead from poisoned meatballs in Spokane
2/22/2010 - A Senate Resolution honoring participants in Spay Day 2010. Does this have significant meaning?
2/12/10 - Nature's Variety Issues Nationwide Voluntary Recall on Raw Frozen Chicken Diets with a 'Best If Used By' Date of 11/10/10.
Notice to all veterinary practitioners! Alert from the USDA
Due to the disastrous earthquake in Haiti, there may be an increased number of pets coming into the U.S. The following USDA-Veterinary Service (VS) policy should take effect immediately and remain in affect for the next 10 days for animals arriving at U.S. ports from either Haiti or the Dominican Republic.
The USDA-VS has waived the requirements for health certificates for dogs. Dogs will, however, require inspection and should be held by CBP and referred to USDA-VS for inspection of possible screwworm infestation. Dogs with open wounds should also be referred for additional exams and veterinary treatment as needed to prevent possible introduction of screwworms into the U.S.
Screwworms have been eradicated in the U. S. since 1982. The only 2 known cases in Texas in the recent past were caught and reported by private veterinary practitioners.
Please see the information sheet from the USDA-VS on the clinical signs of screwworms and reasons to avoid introduction of this dangerous pest.
Tamper-Resistant Rx Requirements
Beginning July 1, 2010, Washington State law will require all prescriptions for delivery to a pharmacy to be written on Board of Pharmacy approved tamper-resistant paper or pads. All approved paper will be affixed with a Board of Pharmacy "seal of approval." Read full story.
Health Certification for pets traveling to Canada – What you should know
Many owners and pets will make the trip to Vancouver, BC, for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games February 12–28. Make sure you provide the correct documents for your clients so their border crossing is relatively hassle-free. Read full story.
1/19/2010 - Calf at educational center tests positive for rabies
A 6 week old calf at a farm that does educational programs for middle and elementary school children has tested positive for rabies. The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) said that the calf is at the Hard Bargain Farm in Prince George's County.
Dr Katherine Feldman, DHMH state public health veterinarian, wants anyone who may have been exposed to the rabid calf to call them. "It is critical to identify all people who may have had contact with this calf. Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. The virus is transmitted in the saliva of infected animals."
When someone is bitten or exposed to the saliva of a rabid animal, there is a series of vaccines to prevent the disease [post exposure prophylaxis - Mod.TG]. Four doses of rabies vaccine are given over 14 days and a dose of rabies immunoglobulin is given at the beginning of the series.
Rabies is usually found among wildlife such as raccoons, bats, skunks, and foxes, but it can be transmitted to domestic animals. Almost 400 animals in Maryland were diagnosed with rabies last year.
To prevent your exposure to rabies:
a. have your dogs, cats, ferrets, horses, sheep, cattle, or other pets vaccinated against rabies; b. keep your pet under control at all times, especially when you're traveling; c. keep your distance from wildlife and don't feed them; d. avoid sick animals or animals acting in an unusual manner; e. don't leave pet food outside or garbage cans uncovered; f. don't relocate wildlife; g. keep bats out of your house. If one gets inside, don't touch it.
You can get more information on rabies, including rabies statistics, and prevention and control of the disease on the DHMH website http://www.dhmh.state.md.us/.
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Washington State Veterinary Medical Association
8024 Bracken Pl SE, Snoqualmie, WA 98065
Phone: (425) 396-3191, FAX: (425) 396-3192, E-Mail: email@example.com