Category: Health

Possible dog food contamination with Salmonella bacteria

This dog food recall was issued on Monday.

The U.S. FDA has announced Smokehouse Pet Products of Sun Valley, CA, is expanding its recall of its “Beefy Munchies” and “Beefy Bites” dog treats due to contamination with Salmonella bacteria.

To learn which products are affected, please visit the following link:

FDA Expands Nationwide Beefy Munchies Dog Treats Recall

Please share the news of this alert with other pet owners.

Mike Sagman, Editor
The Dog Food Advisor

P.S. Not already on our dog food recall notification list yet? Sign up to get critical dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. There’s no cost for this service.

If one follows that link then you come to these details:

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FDA Expands Nationwide Beefy Munchies Dog Treats Recall

February 19, 2018 — The FDA has announced that Smokehouse Pet Products, Inc. of Sun Valley, CA is recalling all sizes and package types of dog treats labeled as “Beefy Munchies” because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

 

About the Recall

“Beefy Munchies” was distributed nationwide through distributors selling to various retailers.

The product comes in individual bags, resealable bags and plastic tubs.

The plastic tub will be labeled “Beefy Bites”.

All sizes and packaging types will include a UPC code, lot number, and a best used by date of stamped on the back.

The current recall is expanded to include all “Beefy Munchies”.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

What Caused the Recall

The potential for contamination was noted after routine sampling and testing by the Colorado Department of Agriculture revealed the presence of Salmonella in two 4-oz packages of “Beefy Munchies”.

About 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.

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.

What to Do?

Any consumers who have purchased “Beefy Munchies” should discontinue use of the product and may return the unused portion to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Consumers with questions may contact Smokehouse Pet Products, Inc. at 877-699-7387, Monday through Friday 7 AM to 3:30 PM PT.

U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.

Get Dog Food Recall Alerts by Email

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Dog Food Advisor’s emergency recall notification system.

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I do hope that no-one out there is affected by this recall!

Please share this with any other dog lovers that you are in contact with.

 

Lateral thinking

In debt to Edward de Bono.

One of the great differences between us humans and our beloved dogs is that frequently we think too much! But it’s worse than that. We think too much and get caught up in some spiral from which we can’t think ourselves back out. Perhaps that can be likened to a dog worrying away at something that the dog thinks is being overlooked by it’s human friend, or over-licking a wound or such.

A very quick web search will bring up the background information on Dr. de Bono who was responsible for overturning the way we think. It was de Bono who attended an IBM Office Products management course that I was attending, far too many moons ago, when I was promoted from being a salesman to the first rung of the management ladder; the position of Marketing Manager. It was during de Bono’s talk that I first learned of lateral thinking and what de Bono called the “PO” moment.

Just watch the first minute of this talk to get an appreciation of what the PO moment is. Seriously, the video starts with Simon Middleton defining a PO moment. It’s relevant to the rest of this post.

As you all know Jean has Parkinson’s Disease (PD). We have come to understand that PD affects different people in different ways, albeit there are some aspects that many PD sufferers share.

Take this symptom as described on the APDA website:

Many individuals report difficulties in multitasking and organizing daily activities.

In recent weeks I noticed I was becoming frustrated because although I was suggesting to Jeannie a number of what I thought were pleasant things to do in and around our property they weren’t being done.

As much as I tried to say to myself to chill out, this is all down to Jean’s PD, I couldn’t push out of sight the growing frustration that my help was being rejected, and I know I have a problem dealing with rejection! I really didn’t want my frustration to build up to anger.

Eventually, one morning last week after I came back to the bedroom from having fed the horses and the deer I blurted out, rather clumsily I admit, this frustration that was close to becoming a real annoyance.

At first Jean was upset by what I said, understandably so, but then we settled down to examining each suggestion of mine and where I was coming from. Then the conversation became very productive and in a moment of creative thinking I suggested what turned out to be a ‘PO’ moment. In other words, we had both agreed that while we acknowledged the fact that Jean was not motivated to do the things I was suggesting nonetheless it was important that we choose another day and time to discuss how I should remind Jean of these ‘overlooked’ suggestions and, more importantly, how it could be done in a loving and constructive manner.

It was a fascinating outcome and I immediately jumped out of bed, went to my office room next to the bedroom, grabbed a new, unused notebook and came back to the bedroom.

“Jean, let’s write this down in the book as a reminder of something we need to return to and resolve in a creative way! Let’s call these reminders Pharaoh moments!”

Jean very happily agreed!

I then explained to Jean that this felt very much like one of de Bono’s PO moments and calling it a Pharaoh moment was a beautiful way of remembering our wonderful dog.

It was beyond doubt an example of Jean and me thinking laterally.

So thank you, dear Edward, your legacy still endures.

I will close today’s post by inviting you to watch either or both of these talks by de Bono.

The first is a little over 4 minutes long.

Or a longer video that is still highly recommended:

Published on 22 Oct 2015

Edward de Bono is the originator of the concept of Lateral Thinking, which is now a firm entry in the Oxford English Dictionary. Dr de Bono was born in Malta. As a well-established academic, de Bono was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and holds an MA in psychology and physiology from Oxford. He is a Professor at many leading institutions around the world. He is an author of many best-selling books, and is known as the world’s leading authority on thinking.
I write this post as a very happy man who has lived the value and benefits of not bottling up one’s feelings!

Here’s a clutch of dog food recalls!

Seemed best to lump them all together.

Because since the beginning of February there have been four (now five as of yesterday!) dog food recalls notified to subscribed owners. Although I have copied and pasted product pictures if any of these products are relevant to you then please do follow the link to the Dog Food Recall page offering more details!

On the 9th February this was released:

Smokehouse Pet Products of Sun Valley, CA, is recalling a specific lot of its “Beefy Munchies” dog treats due to potential contamination with Salmonella bacteria.

If you go to this link you can see pictures of the product package and other details.

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Then on the same day another notification was issued:

Raws for Paws of Minneapolis, MN, is recalling specific lots of its raw frozen dog food due to possible contamination with Salmonella bacteria.

Once again, a link was offered that provided full information.

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A day later, on the 10th February, out came the third alert:

Redbarn Pet Products LLC of Long Beach, CA, is recalling a specific lot of its “Redbarn Naturals Bully Sticks” due to potential contamination with Salmonella bacteria.

Including the link to more details.

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The last alert was received on the 12th February.

Darwin’s Natural Pet Products of Tukwila, WA, is recalling specific lots of its Darwin’s ZooLogics raw frozen dog food due to possible contamination with Salmonella bacteria.

With the link to more details provided as per usual.

Wonder if there will be more alerts before the month is out! (Written on the afternoon of the 14th.)

Yes!!

The following came in yesterday afternoon:

J. M. Smucker has announced it is voluntarily withdrawing multiple dog food brands due to the presence of the drug pentobarbital.

To learn which products are affected, please visit the following link:

Smucker Withdraws Multiple Dog Food Brands

Please share the news of this alert with other pet owners.

That link contains the following brand image:

and this table:

The table is reproduced from an email sent by Walmart to its affected customers.

Please share this information as best you can.  Only by acting together can we prevent every single dog from eating something potentially harmful.

Inward thoughts.

Reflections on being gentle to yourself.

There are three reasons why I wrote this post. A post that runs across today and tomorrow.

Firstly, this post is inspired by love! The supreme love that I receive from my darling Jeannie and the love that I sense practically twenty-four hours a day that flows from the beautiful dogs that we have here. But also from the wonders of the rural world in which I live. From sights like the one below to being visited by wild deer every single morning when I go out to feed the horses.

The view from our bedroom window any cloudless morning. (This photo taken October 18th, 2015.)

The second reason for writing this post is a direct result of the love that flows in from so, so many of you precious readers. You are like one big online family that I live in. And, as one hopes to do within a family, from time to time you want to open up your inner feelings.

The third and final reason for this post is wanting to explore how one might find some peace from the chaos that seems to be spread so far and wide across this planet that we all call home.

It’s a very personal journey and I suggest that if this is not your ‘cup of tea’ that you call back another day!

OK! Now that’s off my chest, here we go!

Life’s beauty is inseparable from it’s fragility.

Pause awhile and just let those words float around your mind.

It is a quotation taken from a TED Talk that Jean and I watched a few days ago.

The speaker is Susan David and is described on that TED Talk page as follows:

Psychologist Susan David shares how the way we deal with our emotions shapes everything that matters: our actions, careers, relationships, health and happiness. In this deeply moving, humorous and potentially life-changing talk, she challenges a culture that prizes positivity over emotional truth and discusses the powerful strategies of emotional agility. A talk to share.
This talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured by our editors on the home page.

If you want to watch the talk it is a little over 16 minutes long and may be viewed on the TED Talk site here.

Let me return to that quotation. For there is no question that life, at whatever scale, from the personal to the global, is fragile. Fragile with a capital “F“!

Whether it’s the madness of our politics and governments, or nature presenting us with extreme hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes and floods, or the frustrations of life itself, especially when one is the wrong side of 65, or numerous other aspects of being human it’s terribly easy to become frustrated, or worse, with oneself.  I speak from a very personal perspective as my short-term recall is now pathetic!

STOP! (You see, I wrote the word “pathetic” without thinking. Demonstrating how  quickly I come down on myself. Without automatically and unconsciously being gentle on myself and being very grateful that this old Brit, born in 1944, is still able to string a few words together!)

One of the great, possibly the greatest, things that we can learn from our dogs is to be gentle on ourselves. So very often our dogs take time out to relax, to be happy and to spread their joy around the home. Look at the following photograph!

Oliver demonstrating the art of being very gentle on himself and on Pedi. (Picture taken November, 2015.)

Being gentle on yourself!

But for us humans that seems a great deal more easier to say than to practice!

Yet the argument for being gentle to yourself is compelling. And the first step in that personal journey towards being kinder to yourself is to be better aware of oneself when it comes to our emotions.

I shall be continuing this inward journey tomorrow but today, holding on to that idea of how we manage our emotions, I want to close with another TED Talk. Just 18 minutes long but invaluable to watch.

The talk is given by Professor Lisa Feldman Barrett, PhD who is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University,and has positions in psychiatry and radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

As I was reading the draft of this post it did cross my mind that you do know I write from a purely personal perspective. I hold no qualifications whatsoever in the fields of psychiatry, psychology or any related disciplines. If you have found yourself to be affected to the point where you think you need proper counselling then, please, do seek help.

Part Two coming along tomorrow!

One paw in front of the other

A just delightful guest post!

Came from an online exchange.

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So today was the day for me. And I done it with the help of my wonderful dog.

I had been dreaming all night of running and depression and failing miserably.
I was woken at 6:30am by the sound of my dad coming back in after he had been for his normal morning walk around the village with our dog Riley. I was also disturbed by my boyfriend coughing and spluttering up god knows what, and I laid and tossed and turned as I thought oh my god today I’m going to go for a run, followed by don’t be so stupid of course your not you can’t even run down the stairs.

As the early morning light started to come in through the sides of my blinds, I pulled out my eye patches and fell back to a disturbed sleep until…. midday. I couldn’t believe it.

You lazy shit I thought, so much for your run, what a joke you are. Jumping out of bed at the thought of what my mother might say, I went downstairs and put the kettle on, I turned to my dog who had followed me down and said: “I’m going to take you out don’t worry.”

I couldn’t have put it off for any longer if I tried! I hoovered, steam cleaned, made tea, ate beans on toast, tidied my bedroom, anything but get ready to go for a run. Truth is I was terrified!

After not physically being able to tidy much more, I got ready, and put on my new Nike running shoes I had bought in the New Years sales. Riley stretched his tail wagging as he sensed that it was time.

The next twenty or so minutes were the most emotional, and longest, twenty minutes of my life I have ever experienced. I put my new running band on with my phone and beats headphones, and a Spotify playlist that played the most god awful dubstep but I didn’t care. I downloaded the couch to 5k app as I have not really ran in years and pressed start and off me and Riley headed around the village.

The walking was fine, then the lady popped up in her American accent start to run, and so I did.  I started to develop a stitch in my stomach, pain in my chest and the most overwhelming urge to cry. I battled constant thoughts in my head that I could do it … blah! blah! blah!, but Riley was with me. We done it together.

Slow down and start to walk” the voice spoke. I was glad someone knew what I was doing as I didn’t have a clue. I suddenly became awfully aware of the cars going past and thoughts of people looking at me and what they might think: she doesn’t look great; she looks like she is struggling; she must be mad. So with my fave down unable to break a smile or lift my frown I carried on with lead in hand and my faithful dog by my side. I spoke to him, praised him at how well he was doing but I can’t bring to praise myself not yet.

The dubstep tracks blasting in my ears the lyrics started on this train with no destination. And I thought this is how depression and anxiety have made me feel, I have been on a slow and steady train down to rock bottom and I can’t seem to get back up, but I feel today was a start. A little positive I suppose that I can add to my negative.

As it started to snow I thought wow I really am mad, I can’t even run these twenty mins , let a lone a 5k, 10k or yet alone this bloody great north run.

Freezing cold and following my dog in front I made it home and put the kettle straight on and slumped down waiting to make my cup of tea.
For the first time in a long time, I think I see a little light, a little tiny speck of light at the end of my long dark tunnel!

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I asked Catherine for permission to republish this because I was very moved when I read it over at her place. It seemed to say to me that this very honest and open account of what Catherine was experiencing might resonate somewhere out there with you dear readers.

Thank you, Catherine!

More importantly, thank you, Riley. Dogs do so much for us. Even saving our souls!

Who would have guessed it!

A little snippet to share with you today.

Last Thursday, together with Jeannie, I returned to the hospital in Eugene, OR, that I was taken to on December 24th after my bike accident on the 22nd November; all of which has been shared with you good people.

Dr. Kokkino of the Oregon Neurosurgery department, he who undertook the operation to evacuate two sub-dural bleedings, wanted to check me out.

He pronounced me fit to return to normal life including bike riding. But when I queried that I was still feeling a little “second-hand” in the head from time to time Dr. K. said this:

Your brain took a major knock back in November.

It would be reasonable to assume that full healing will take at least three months and quite possibly as long as six months!

Of course, that was very comforting to hear but nonetheless very surprising. That’s what I wanted to share.

Yesterday morning, dear friend and neighbour Dordie came riding with me and we did the ‘Tunnel Loop’ circuit; about six miles.

It felt very good.

So from this:

to this (me on the bike when I first purchased it!):

Will close by saying again how amazed I was to hear that prediction from Dr. K. as to how long the brain takes to heal!

I’m sure many of you will be equally amazed!

Have a good weekend everyone!

More on that clean air!

A republication of a post from August 25th, 2012.
(It seemed a natural follow-on to Kelli’s guest post of yesterday.)
Just about the most fundamental requirement in life!

I subscribe to the Mother Nature Network website and recently in their ’round robin’ was this item, A Breath of Fresh Air.  It’s all about the role of plants inside the home for improving the quality of the air we breathe.  Thought, dear reader, that you would enjoy this.

15 houseplants for improving indoor air quality

Photo: ivama/Flickr

A breath of fresh air

In the late ’80s, NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America studied houseplants as a way to purify the air in space facilities. They found several plants that filter out common volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Lucky for us the plants can also help clean indoor air on Earth, which is typically far more polluted than outdoor air. Other studies have since been published in the Journal of American Society of Horticultural Science furtherproving the science.  Want to see the best flowers? Just click through the buttons above to see all 15 plants. (Text: Julie Knapp)<

The image above is just one of 17, each with details of how they contribute to cleaner, less toxic, air. So don’t delay, click here and read all about them yourself.  Here’s an example of the presentation from picture number 16.

Peace lily (Spathiphyllum)

Shade and weekly watering are all the peace lily needs to survive and produce blooms. It topped NASA’s list for removing all three of most common VOCs — formaldehyde, benzeneand trichloroethylene. It can also combat toluene and xylene.

Have a great day!

Back to clean air!

Or more specifically the cleansing power of indoor plants.

Back in 2012, I published a post called Clean, clean air. I am going to republish it tomorrow because Kelli sent me an email setting out that over on her blog site she has a much more comprehensive list of plants that purify the air.

Her blog site is Groom & Style and the long list of air-purifying plants that Kelli wrote about may be  see here: 12 Air Purifying Plants That Will Clean Your Air. Here is how Kelli’s post opens:

12 Air Purifying Plants That Will Clean Your Air

We need fresh air to live a healthy and full life, but it’s fast becoming a luxury. Residents of many major cities around the world are plagued with smog and poisonous gases from motor vehicles, fossil fuel based power plants, and factories.

The good news is there is a simple solution you can use at home to make your air much cleaner. While air purifiers might help, air purifying plants are a great and natural way to clean your home’s air supply. In this article, you’ll learn more about air pollution, its dangers, and how to choose the best air purifying plants for your home.

Anyway, if you wish to read more then go here and, as I mentioned above, my post of August, 2012 will be republished tomorrow.

Food for Thought! A Fascinating Documentary!

Looking again into diet and nutrition.

While this post doesn’t specifically look at what we feed our dogs, there’s no question in my mind that good nutrition is just as important for our dogs as it is for ourselves.

Moving on!

You will know that quite a few of my recent posts have been on the back of me being made aware of how a strict diet plus taking many vitamins and supplements had had the effect of putting Colin Potter’s Parkinson’s Disease (PD) into remission.  All of which was summarised in an post last week called Food Truly Does Matter.

But then a good friend who lives locally, and has a solid medical background, spoke to me and said what you are writing can’t possibly be correct because if diet and supplements really did put PD patients into remission then “everyone would be doing it“. It was difficult to argue that.

So I thought the best people to call would be the American Parkinson Disease Association. I was put through to the director of the North-West Chapter of the APDA, located in Seattle, WA., and she agreed that there was no magic bullet in terms of diet and PD remission.

But the director went on to say that diet and lifestyle were nonetheless incredibly important and that there was no question that the correct decisions in terms of lifestyle were vital for anyone with PD; whatever the stage of the disease .

Dr. Laurie Mischley

The director also went on to say that without a doubt we should make contact with Seattle Integrative Medicine also, as the title suggests, in Seattle.

In particular, make contact with Dr. Laurie Mischley for the director said that Dr. Mischley’s clinical speciality is Parkinson’s Disease.

Plus we were advised to watch a talk that Dr. Mischley gave in British Columbia towards the end of 2016.

The talk is 49 minutes long and should be watched by everyone!

Reason?

Because in the talk there is much evidence, as in factual evidence, that shows the link between our lifestyle choices and what helps or hinders those with PD.

But even more critical to my way of thinking is that the evidence presented in the talk offers solid reasons why all of us as we approach middle-age and beyond should be careful about what we eat.

Food for Thought: Diet & Nutrition in PD – Dr. Laurie Mischley, ND, PhD, MPH from Parkinson Society BC on Vimeo.

This is a recorded presentation from Parkinson Society British Columbia’s Victoria Regional Conference featuring Laurie Mischley. Dr. Mischley studied naturopathic medicine (ND) at Bastyr University and epidemiology (MPH) and nutritional sciences (PhD) at the University of Washington. Her work is focused on identifying the nutritional requirements unique to individuals with neurodegenerative diseases. She has published articles on coenzyme Q10, lithium and glutathione deficiency in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Dr. Mischley maintains a small clinical practice at Seattle Integrative Medicine focused on nutrition and neurological health.

So, my dear reader, here is a little plea from Paul.

Whether or not you have PD, watch the talk and have all the people you love and care for watch it as well.

Oh, and give your dog a cuddle from Jean and me!


Please understand that I do not offer advice and nothing on any website, including the blog site Learning from Dogs, email or any other communication is intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure any disease. It is not a substitute for consulting your doctor. You should consult a doctor for diagnosis of conditions, before beginning any diet, exercise or supplementation or if you suspect you have any healh issue. You should not stop medication without consulting your doctor.

Nutrition for dogs

Good food matters just as much for our dogs!

In yesterday’s post I mentioned that Justina had sent me a couple of links in response to me wondering if there was good nutritional advice for dogs as well as there clearly was for us!

Here are those two articles that Justina sent me links to.

Namely, the first being an article that is on Dr. Patrick Mahaney’s website.

Specifically:  Feeding Your Pet from the Perspective of Chinese Medicine

That article opens thus:

This article originally appeared as Using Warming, Cooling, or Neutral Food Energy to Promote Your Pet’s Health and Nutrition on PetFoodDirect.com

Since the onset of my veterinary career, I’ve had a strong interest in how the foods our pets consume contribute to an overall state of wellness or illness. Learning how to apply this interest to my patients took many years of post-veterinary school practice, continuing education, and an ongoing belief in the inherent nutritional benefits of whole foods.

During veterinary school, students’ brains are heavily saturated with a variety of academic information. As graduation date nears, a general sense of insecurity develops about making the appropriate professional choices to best serve our patients. As a result, common sense notions about the value of looking more discerningly at the ingredients formulating a pet’s diet are often overlooked.

You may read the full article here.

The second one is on the DogVills site.

Again, specifically about the role of Chinese Medicine as part of dog food therapy.

Chinese Medicine Meets Dog Food Therapy: What You Need to Know

You may have heard of Chinese medicine for people, but did you know that it can also be used for dogs? In fact, Chinese medicine has an entire approach to dog food therapy that is quite intriguing. Let’s talk a bit about it so you can decide if it’s right for your dog.

Chinese medicine is often referenced when anyone talks about holistic approaches to healthcare. It seems that it has a treatment for almost everything, and often those treatments work. Something I learned recently is that traditional Chinese medicine extends to dogs, and many people use hot, cold, and neutral foods to help their dogs feel better.

I am going to explore getting permission to republish both articles in full.