General Information, Alerts and Tips
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In the course of helping our beloved pets to be as healthy as possible and to live as long of a life as possible, Bichon FurKids Rescue comes across information that we want to make available to you. Our goal is one of education – the choice as to what works for you and what you want to do is totally yours. With that in mind, following is the current information regarding the dog food recall situation and some articles on other topics that we hope you will find of interest.
Pet Product Alerts
Check the US Food & Drug Administration web site regularly to keep up to date on pet product recalls.
Tear Stain Removers
Sago Palms May Be Killing Our Pets
Please read these articles to learn more about the dangers of Sago Palms. It’s ranked as the second deadliest plant for pets. Many of us have these beautiful palms in our yards, so it’s especially important to learn about its hazards.
Ice and Ice Water are Fatal to Your FurKid!
Often times, we give our dogs ice cubes and ice water to help them cool off, especially during the hot summer weather. Most of us are not aware, but ice water and ice cubes are extremely dangerous and potentially fatal for our little companions.
On Saturday, Baran’s owner gave him a handful of ice cubes in his water bowl to help him cool off from a busy and exciting day. After checking on him to see if he had cooled down, his owner fed him. Suddenly, one of her friends stated that Baran seemed like he was choking. She went over and checked on him and Baran was dry heaving and drooling. They noticed he had not eaten any of his food, but he was in some sort of distress and was definitely bloated.
His owner tried to get him to burp, but was unable to and rushed him to the vet clinic. They were able to stabilize Baran and surgically checked to make sure there was no damage to any of his vital organs. The vet informed his owner that the ice water she gave Baran caused violent muscle spasms in his stomach which caused the bloating. Luckily for this boy, he is doing great and is recovered.
There is never a reason to give a dog ice water or ice! Normal water at room temperature, or cooling with cold towels on the inner thigh, are the best ways to help cool your Fluffy down. If a person falls into a frozen lake, what happens to the muscles? They cramp. This is the same as a dog’s stomach.
Natural Balance Pet Food Product Alert!
Bichon FurKids has been recommending the Natural Balance® L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets® Potato & Duck Dry Formula for many months and our furkids seem to do well on it. Unfortunately, some of our furkids have recently experienced severe stomach problems (diarrhea and vomiting) that may be linked to this product. The company has put a notice on their web site indicating a change in the Duck and Potato formula and stating that dogs should be “transitioned” to this new formula. THERE IS NO CHANGE TO THE PRODUCT PACKAGING THAT WILL DRAW YOUR ATTENTION TO THIS ISSUE. We have found that packages with expiration dates through September, 2009 seem to be the old formula and those in October are the new formula that may be causing the problems. We found this out the hard way when we had several dogs become sick and could find no cause. A rep at a local pet food store alerted us to the issue when we returned a bag that appeared to have discolored kibbles and that some of our dogs would not eat.
This is part of the note on their web site. “A very small percentage of dogs with sensitive stomachs may experience a temporary digestive upset with the formulation change to the Potato & Duck Formula. For this limited number of dogs, we recommend feeding smaller, more frequent meals, combined with the old formula (if available), over a 5 to 7 day period to adjust to the new formula.”
Holistic Dog Care, Vaccinations, Dog Food, Blogs for Dogs
Exposing Myths, Lies and Outdated Information Affecting Dogs
Pets and Parasites
Learn more about how you can get rid of parasites in your pets as seen on Fox 5 Morning News featuring Bichon FurKids Rescue “Harley”.
Flea Prevention Product Alert!
A member of our BFK community had first-hand experience with Sentry Pro XFC flea drops similar to those listed on this web site. Please consult this site before purchasing your flea protection product. When in doubt, consult your veterinarian for the best product for your furkid. Read the story.
Cocoa Mulch ~ Deadly to Dogs and Cats
One of our dog agility friends experienced a tragedy and wanted me to pass a special message along to all of my dog loving friends and family.
The doting owner of two young lab mixes purchased Cocoa Mulch from Target to use in their garden. They loved the way it smelled and it was advertised to keep cats away from their garden. Their dog Calypso decided that the mulch smelled good enough to eat and devoured a large helping. She vomited a few times which was typical when she eats something new but wasn’t acting lethargic in any way.
The next day, Mom woke up and took Calypso out for her morning walk. Half way through the walk, she had a seizure and died instantly.
Although the mulch had NO warnings printed on the label, upon further investigation on the company’s website, this product is HIGHLY toxic to dogs and cats. Cocoa Mulch is manufactured by Hershey’s, and they claim that ‘It is true that studies have shown that 50% of the dogs that eat Cocoa Mulch can suffer physical harm to a variety of degrees (depending on each individual dog). However, 98% of all dogs won’t eat it.’
Cocoa Mulch, which is sold by Home Depot, Foreman’s Garden Supply and other Garden supply stores, contains a lethal ingredient called ‘Theobromine’. It is lethal to dogs and cats. It smells like chocolate and it really attracts dogs. They will ingest this stuff and die. Several deaths already occurred in the last 2-3 weeks. Just a word of caution, check what you are using in your gardens and be aware of what your gardeners are using in your gardens.
Theobromine is in all chocolate, especially dark or baker’s chocolate which is toxic to dogs. Cocoa bean shells contain potentially toxic quantities of theobromine, a xanthine compound similar in effects to caffeine and theophylline. A dog that ingested a lethal quantity of garden mulch made from cacao bean shells developed severe convulsions and died 17 hours later. Analysis of the stomach contents and the ingested cacao bean shells revealed the presence of lethal amounts of theobromine.
Plastic Bags in Common Food Products Can Be Very Dangerous
A 9 month old Sheltie puppy, Ella, suffered a tragic, sudden, senseless death recently. She suffocated to death on a bag liner that was inside a box of Cheez-its snack crackers. The owners were out for the evening and someone had left abox of Cheez-its within Ella’s reach. She put her head in the bag inside the box to get to the crackers. The bag came out of the box but Ella couldn’t get the bag off of her head. When her owner’s came home they found her dead from suffocation. It doesn’t seem possible, that a dog couldn’t get a bag off their head, but they can’t.
This occurs more often than you would imagine. There was also a family whose 6 year old Labrador got hold of a Doritos bagw hen they weren’t looking. They found him dead with the bag over his head, having died the same way as Ella.
Make surethat ALL PLASTIC BAGS AND BOXES WITH BAG LINERS IN THEM (chips, snack crackers, cookies, cereal, etc.) are WAY out of your pets reach! Please share this story with your friends and save someone else from this type of horrific tragedy.