May 27, 2010

PetScoop -- FDA and NIH Launch Electronic Safety Reporting Portal for Reporting Pet Food Issues


The Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health this week launched a new web site with the catchy name Safety Reporting Portal, enabling the food industry to report safety problems related to foods, including animal feed and animal drugs. Consumers can also use the site to report problems with pet foods and pet treats.

The new Web portal includes different features for different types of reporting:

* Reportable Food Registry: Industry will have a more user-friendly electronic portal for submitting reportable food reports that are required by law. This electronic portal collects reports from the food industry and public health officials regarding problems with articles of food, including animal feed, that present a reasonable probability of causing serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals.
* Pets: Pet owners and veterinarians will be able to use the portal to report product problems with pet foods and pet treats.
* Animal drugs: Animal drug manufacturers can report adverse drug events associated with animal drugs.
* Clinical Trials: Biomedical researchers involved in human gene transfer clinical trials can report an adverse event, indicating whether it might be an unanticipated consequence of the product being tested. Trial sponsors can use the portal to prepare a report, print it and send it to the agency to satisfy reporting requirements for investigational new drugs.


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May 12, 2010

PetScoop: Dog and Deer Playdate in the Yard

This super cute clip of a dog and a young deer romping in the yard is a must-see for animal lovers. First, some background from L.A. Unleashed:

The deer, named Theen, was cared for by mlcarriker's family after he was discovered alone and malnourished. The family bottle-fed Theen until he began to eat on his own, and although he's now free to wander and mingle with his wild brethren, he "frequently comes back to the house to eat some [cat food] and play with our dog, Buddy," mlcarriker explains. "He doesn't care much for deer corn."

At the end of the video, notice the cats perched on the porch bannister watching the show.

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May 7, 2010

PetScoop: Airlines Loses Dog, Then Offers $200 Flight Coupon


Who would trade their dog for a $200 airline fare coupon? That's the deal one airline made.

Before you fly with your pet, or ship him/her alone on a plane flight, read this sad story over at Consumerist:

Where's Paco? Josiah doesn't know, his girlfriend doesn't know, someone at Delta might know. After all, Delta was supposed to load Josiah's new dog on the same plane that Josiah got on. Paco didn't land with them. Frantic, Josiah called around frantically before being told that Paco was safe and sound, being taken care of by Delta employees, who would put him on the next flight out. Paco wasn't on that one either. More harried calls and Delta told Josiah Paco had "escaped" and the best they could do is refund his $200.00 pet transportation fee, but only as a "credit" for future Delta travel. That doesn't do Josiah any good, as he's vowed to never fly Delta again.

What's also sad is that it takes bad publicity via a high-profile consumer blog to shame this airline into any acceptable response at all. Read on.

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April 27, 2010

PetScoop: Thousands of Pet Owners Injured Tripping Over Their Pets


WebMD reports that according to the CDC, many people get hurt every year when chasing or tripping over their pets -- their cats as well as dogs. This is a problem all too often dismissed by pet owners. Pet falls can literally ruin the lives of the elderly.

The study, published in the Journal of Safety Research, shows that dogs and cats contribute to injuries that send an estimated 87,000 people to emergency rooms every year:

* Dogs are more dangerous to their owners than cats, associated with 7.5 times as many injuries as felines.
* Women are 2.1 times more likely to be injured by pets than men.
* Injury rates are highest among people age 75 and over, but pets are a hazard for people of all ages.
* Fractures and contusions or abrasions are the most common pet-related injuries.
* 66.4% of falls associated with cats and 31.3% associated with dogs are caused by falling or tripping over the animal.
* 21.2% of falls linked to dogs were caused by being pushed or pulled.

Be careful!

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April 22, 2010

PetScoop: FDA Says Bones are Unsafe for Your Dog


What could be more "natural" than giving your dog a bone? For a brief while we gave our Golden Retrievers large bones to gnaw on during that pesky and seemingly eternal chewing stage. A few bouts with middle-of-the-night tummy upsets quickly led us to abandon bones in favor of safer chewy toys.

Apparently the FDA agrees. In No Bones About It: Bones are Unsafe for Your Dog they list 10 reasons why it's a "bad idea to give your dog a bone". You probably will agree it isn't worth it.

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April 19, 2010

PetScoop: The Most Economical Pets


We all know the benefits of having a pet to love and love us back. But adopting a pet is also a big responsibility, and a lot of it is financial. At the minimum pet owners need to provide professional medical care, food and supplies.

In these tight financial times, it pays to educate ourselves before we make such a serious commitment. Mainstreet.com has an informative slideshow on the most economical pets and the typical costs associated with popular house pets.

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March 18, 2010

PetScoop: EPA To Tighten Standards on Flea and Tick Meds for Cats and Dogs

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Some of our dogs and cats have been suffering adverse reactions from pet spot-on pesticide products for flea and tick control -- skin irritation, redness, gastrointestinal problems (vomiting or diarrhea), or effects to the nervous system, such as trembling, appearing depressed, seizures. The majority of the problems apparently involved overdosing small dogs in the 10 to 20 lb range and cats who took meds intended for dogs.

Beginning immediately, the EPA will increase scrutiny of these spot-on pesticide products to ensure their safety. The EPA will begin reviewing labels for clarity and will develop more stringent testing and evaluation requirements for both existing and new products. From the press release:

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February 26, 2010

PetScoop -- Canned Food May Benefit Your Pet


Which is better--canned or dry pet food? Some pets may flourish better on a canned "wet" diet, according to Dr. Katy J. Nelson, an emergency veterinarian in Alexandria, Va. In Dog Daily she says that at least five types of dogs particularly benefit from canned or "wet" food:

1. Puppies -- Canned food is easy for them to digest and offers a concentrated source of protein.

2. Small breeds -- They too can have delicate digestive systems and high metabolism.

3. Dogs with food allergies -- Nelson often advises owners with food-allergic dogs to feed them a blend of wet and dry. This makes the food more palatable to the dog and minimizes problems from possible allergens.

4. Dogs with kidney and urinary tract conditions -- These dogs need good hydration, which they can get from the moisture of wet food.

5. Certain older dogs -- Senior dogs often suffer from health issues that are eased by wet foods. Dogs that have had teeth extracted, for example, might have difficulty chewing their kibble.

Save yourself the hassle. Get pet food shipped to your door.

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February 20, 2010

PetScoop: Daddy, Cesar Millan's Longtime Partner Dies at 16


If you are a Cesar Millan follower, you know Daddy. Daddy, Cesar's "longtime friend and partner in canine rehabilitation", died peacefully on Friday the 19th of February at sixteen years old.

To honor Daddy's memory, the Cesar and Ilusion Millan Foundation has established the Daddy's Emergency Animal Rescue ["DEAR"] Fund. If you would like to honor Daddy and the contributions he made to improve the lives of animals, you can make a donation by visiting MillanFoundation.org/daddyfund or visit Daddy's memorial page.

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January 12, 2010

How to Pay Those Skyrocketing Pet Bills -- Pet Insurance Resources


We don't begrudge anyone the right to make a living, but vet bills sure mount up very quickly these days. Office fees, lab fees, x-rays, dental care, surgery, vaccinations--we are talking hundreds if not thousands per visit.

And, sad to say, the line between medical care and salesmanship is starting to look a little blurry. Do you know how or even if you would cover your pet's veterinary bills if they become seriously ill or need surgery?

Currently, around a million U.S. pets are insured, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association. The Wall Street Journal recently ran an excellent overview of pet insurance, making the following points:

Consumers need to be careful, since many pet policies can be as confusing as coverage you buy for yourself.

Pet insurance often places strict limits on how much it will pay for particular procedures.

And policies can have tricky designs that can leave consumers with big out-of-pocket bills for their animals.

Premiums vary from around $10 a month to $75 a month, depending on factors including the richness of the plan, your location and your animal's breed and age.

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