Feed on

The NAVTA and the powers that be are campaigning – neigh they have passed- an initiative to turn our hard-earned credentials into bed pan cleaners. WHAT?

I’m sorry, but I do NOT like the idea of being called a veterinary Nurse, even if I am not actively practicing as a tech.

Here is their logic:

 The National Credential Initiative
  • The goal of the initiative is to standardize the credential for our profession in terms of credentialing requirements, title, and scope of practice throughout the nation.

  • A standardized title should be used in all 50 states; in addition, a standard should be set in all 50 states for maintenance of credentials

  • A standardized credential will unify the profession and grow professional recognition

  • The veterinary consumer needs to understand what credentialed veterinary technicians/nurses do on a daily basis in regards to patient care

  • Pet owners are demanding qualified veterinary nursing personnel, which leads to consumer protection and patient care

    OK, ok, I DO agree with the first one. I don’t however, believe this will change the last one perception wise. I honestly feel this will confuse the issue even further. How you ask?
    I’m glad you did…

First of all, how is this going to UP the understanding of the average Joe Or Joelene into understanding what we do as Vet Techs?

Nurses are generally perceived- unless they have NP (Nurse Practitioner) after their name- as people who get you out of bed at the hospital, tend to your wounds at the doctors office or stand by while your gyno digs for gold…. wait, ok scratch that image even if it’s true.

The point is, Nurse Ratched got her name for a reason.  Here is more on their take:

Credential Woes

Currently, a VT is designated a certified VT, registered VT, licensed VT, or licensed veterinary medical technician (LVMT), depending on the credentialing state. (See Table 1.) The lack of standardization has led to widespread confusion regarding the VT’s role within the veterinary profession and among members of the general public, who do not clearly understand VT credentialing, leading to these members of the profession having little perceived value.

YES of course that makes sense but HOW does changing everyone into a NURSE with a wave of their legislative wand fix that?
Hasn’t the issue been, and will CONTINUE to be that Vet Techs are simply not respected, promoted or advertised enough for the public (PET owning public that is) to understand what we do behind those closed doors?

Does your clinic tell YOU what their Vet Techs do? Do you see them out in the office talking to clients, selling diets, explaining things to a new client or a bereaved one? Does them being  a NURSE make that change somehow?

IN my experience, and from what I read in my Vet Techs United group on Facebook, the perception isn’t going to change no matter what we are called, UNTIL VETERINARIAN’S STEP UP TO THE PLATE AND PROMOTE US TO THE PUBLIC!!!

I believe Dr. Andy Roark had a similar take on this here.

And here’s another article on the subject: http://www.drandyroark.com/open-letter-nurses-colleagues-veterinary-nurses-respond/

Here’s what Veterinary Team Brief has to say:

I’m now seeing this everywhere:

“veterinary technicians/nurses” being used in sentences in articles.

Tell me what your thoughts are. Opposed, and if so, why?

Agree, and if so, why?

Is there anything that can be done instead of/in spite of/because it should have been done decades ago to help the REAL problem?

Lack of support and recognition by the very GROUP we work with/for- Veterinarians.


Irish Wolfhound puppies Cullen and Romulus were confirmed genetically identical after discovering they shared the same placenta during a Cesarean delivery.


Kurt de Cramer, BVSc, MMedVet (Gyn.), of Rant en Dal Animal Hospital in Mogale City, South Africa, noticed distress and prolonged abdominal straining during a Cesarean section on a female Irish wolfhound when she was due to give birth. He also noticed an unusual bulging by her uterus, according to a report from the BBC.

Though there were five live puppies, each with their own placenta arranged single-file within the uterus, de Cramer noticed that there were two others attached to one placenta. “When I realized that the puppies were of the same gender and that they had very similar markings, I also immediately suspected that they might be identical twins having originated from the splitting of an embryo,” says de Cramer in the BBC report.

According to the report, after calling upon other reproductive specialists, de Cramer and the team he had assembled obtained blood samples from the twins once they reached 2 weeks of age in order to genetically confirm what de Cramer suspected. The results showed that the puppies were genetically identical.

“There have been rumors about twin dogs before,” says Carolynne Joone, lecturer on veterinary reproduction at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia. “We just happened to be lucky enough to confirm it genetically.”

Even though this is the first confirmed instance of genetically identical canine twins, it is impossible to tell just how rare the occurrence is. “It has taken so long for us to find a monozygotic pair, so they are probably rare,” Joone says. “But so many of them will have been born naturally and blissfully unaware.”

But for identical twin pups to be delivered naturally is dangerous. “It is even less likely for placenta-sharing puppies to survive,” de Cramer says in the BBC report, “because of several complications relating to nutrient and oxygen supply from a single placenta having to do the job that is normally done by two placentas.”

Though they were slightly smaller at birth, the twin puppies, Cullen and Romulus, are still doing well.

You can read more on the study and research of this case here.

Have you heard about the newest line of defense against fleas and ticks? Check out new Simparica:


There is also Bravecto:


Revolution for cats:




and Nexguard:



Get informed. Ask your vet about the best flea and tick prevention for your pet!

Originally published November 26, 2015 at 3:08 pm

Blue Buffalo is recalling some of its Cub Size Wilderness Wild Chews Bones that were sold in PetSmart stores in Washington and eight other states because they may be contaminated with salmonella.

By Seattle Times staff

The Seattle Times

Blue Buffalo, which makes natural foods and treats for dogs and cats, is recalling some of its Cub Size Wilderness Wild Chews Bones that were sold in PetSmart stores in Washington and eight other states, because they may be contaminated with salmonella, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The chew bones come individually shrink-wrapped in plastic with UPC number 840243110087 printed on a sticker affixed to the product, and an expiration date of November 4, 2017, printed as “exp 110417” on the shrink-wrap, the FDA says. It is the only lot affected.

They were sold starting Nov. 19 in PetSmart stores in Washington as well as California, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Utah. Consumers who have purchased the bones are urged to dispose of them or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Salmonella can affect animals eating the product, and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated items.

Surprise! Xylitol appears in products you’d never suspect. At Pet Poison Helpline (PPH), we’ve discovered that xylitol, a sweetener that causes hypoglycemia and hepatic necrosis in dogs, is showing up in some very unexpected places.

New products on the market such as nasal sprays, OTC sleep aids, multi­vitamins, prescription sedatives, antacids, stool softeners, smoking-cessation gums and other products may contain unexpectedly large amounts of xylitol. Dogs that ingest these products face a double risk—not only may poisoning result from the active ingredient but also from the xylitol. This can result in a variety of serious and unanticipated clinical signs that complicate treatment and prognosis.

Some background


Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol normally found in small amounts in many fruits and vegetables. Because of its sweet taste and plaque-fighting properties, it is frequently used as a sugar substitute in chewing gum, breath mints and dental products like toothpaste and mouthwash. Nontoxic amounts are even found in some pet dental products. Due to its low glycemic index, it is also being sold in bulk to substitute for table sugar in baking and in-home use. As a result, PPH has seen several cases of dogs becoming severely intoxicated after ingesting homemade bread, muffins and cupcakes made with xylitol.

Determining the amount of xylitol in a product

Xylitol is typically considered part of a product’s “proprietary ingredients,” so the quantity will not be listed on the package label. While some companies are willing to release the amount of xylitol in their products, many are hesitant to do so and may even ask for veterinarians to sign a confidentiality statement prior to release. At PPH we’ve worked extremely hard to obtain as much information as possible about products with known xylitol content. Most companies have been willing to share information with us for use in emergency case management but request that it otherwise remain confidential. When you’re in doubt of the xylitol quantity in a product, it’s best to contact an animal poison control center for assistance.

Interpreting the placement of xylitol in an ingredient list

In some cases, it can be helpful to use the location of xylitol within an ingredient list to estimate its quantity in the product. For example, in the United States, all foods must list their ingredients in descending order of predominance by weight. This means that the ingredient that weighs the most is listed first, and the ingredient that weighs the least is listed last. In general, for most chewing gums, the amount of xylitol is often clinically insignificant if it’s listed as the fourth or fifth ingredient. If it’s listed as one of the first three ingredients, extreme caution should be taken.

For drugs and dietary supplements, the regulations regarding the order of ingredients is considerably different. In this case, xylitol is often considered an “inactive ingredient” or “other ingredient”—and such ingredients are not required to be listed in order of predominance. Often they are listed in alphabetical order, which may lead an uninformed pet owner or veterinary professional to incorrectly assume that there is a very low concentration of xylitol in the product.

New atypical sources of xylitol

Here are some products containing xylitol that you might not expect.

Over-the-counter medications:
> Axia3 ProDigestive Antacid (flavored chewable tablets, propriety amount)
> Children’s Allegra Oral Suspension
> Fleet Pedia-Lax Liquid Stool Softener
> Umcka Cold and Flu chewable tablets (homeopathic product).

Dietary supplements, vitamins:
> KAL Colostrum Chewable, Vanilla Cream (chewable tablets)
> KAL Dinosaurs Children’s Vitamins and Minerals (chewable tablets)
> Kidz Digest Chewable Berry from Transformation Enzyme
> L’il Critters Fiber Gummy Bears
> Mega D3 Dots with 5,000 IU of Vitamin D3 per “dot” (dissolvable tablet)
> Stress Relax’s Suntheanine L-Theanine chewable tablets
> Vitamin Code Kids by Garden of Life (chewable multivitamins)
> Super Sleep Soft Melts by Webber Natural (dissolvable tablets).

To read about more atypical sources of xylitol, toxic doses, and treatment recommendations, see below.

Nasal products:
> Xlear Sinus Care Spray
> Xylear Nasal Spray (for adults and children)
> Xyliseptic Nasal Spray.

Prescription drugs:
> Abilify Discmelt Orally Disinteg­rating Tablets (aripiprazole), an atypical antipsychotic
> Clonazepam Orally Disintegrating Tablets, benzodiazepine
> Emtriva oral solution (emtricitabine), HIV-1 reverse transcriptase inhibitor
> Mobic Oral Suspension (meloxicam), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
> Neurontin (gabapentin) Oral Solution
> Riomet (metformin) Oral Solution, antidiabetic agent
> Varibar barium sulfate products, liquids and puddings for swallowing studies
> Zegerid Powder for Oral Suspension (omeprazole), proton pump inhibitor.

Foods with xylitol as the primary sweetener (excluding gums and mints):
> Clemmy’s Rich and Creamy ice cream products
> Dr. John’s products (hard and soft candies, chocolates, drink mixes and so on)
> Jell-O sugar-free pudding snacks
> Nature’s Hollow jams, syrup, ketchup, honey and so on
> SparX Candy
> Zipfizz energy drink-mix powders.

Toxic doses and treatment recommendations

The toxicity of xylitol is dose-dependent. The dose necessary to cause hypoglycemia in dogs is approximately 0.1 grams/kg, while the amount needed to cause hepatic necrosis is approximately 0.5 grams/kg. Most chewing gums and breath mints typically contain 0.22 to 1.0 gram of xylitol per piece of gum or per mint. Therefore only one piece of gum may result in hypoglycemia in a 10-pound (4.5-kg) dog.

Hypoglycemia is typically evident within one to two hours of xylitol ingestion but in rare cases has been delayed as much as 12 hours. Prompt decontamination via the induction of emesis in asymptomatic patients with euglycemia is essential to prevent poisoning. Activated charcoal does not bind well to xylitol and is not typically necessary or recommended. Should hypoglycemia develop, supplementation with intravenous dextrose is needed until the dog can self-regulate its blood glucose concentrations (typically 12 to 48 hours).

For dogs exposed to hepatotoxic doses of xylitol, preemptive administration of dextrose (prior to the onset of hypoglycemia) may be helpful. Additionally, close monitoring of hepatic enzymes is warranted as evidence of necrosis may be seen one to two days following exposure. Should hepatic necrosis develop, IV fluids, dextrose, hepatoprotectants and monitoring of coagulation profiles are needed.

The prognosis following xylitol exposure is excellent when the ingestion is caught early, decontamination is performed, and blood glucose is monitored frequently. The prognosis becomes guarded if the dog has already begun to develop hepatic failure.

Dr. Ahna Brutlag is associate director of veterinary services for Pet Poison Helpline and SafetyCall International, PLLC.


Nicotine cartridges/filters can contain anywhere from 6-36 mg of nicotine–about the same amount as in a cigarette. The bottles of liquid used to recharge the cartridges (e-liquid, e-juice) contain up to 36 mg nicotine/mL and come in 10-30 mL bottles (30 mL was largest I was able to find), so can contain as much as 1080 mg of nicotine. So the bottles of the e-liquid could easily be fatal if the contents were ingested. The LD50 of nicotine in dogs is 9 mg/kg (lower in humans) so even a 10 mL bottle of 6 mg/mL (the lowest nicotine strength) could easily prove fatal if the contents were ingested.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Ivy died within hours of chewing on a bottle of nicotine-laced liquid used to fuel e-cigarette
Dog started frothing at the mouth and vomiting after consuming liquid

By Anna Edwards

A dog has become the first pet in Britain to be killed by an electronic cigarette.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Ivy died within hours of chewing on a bottle of nicotine-laced liquid used to fuel the smoke-free vaporizer.

Her owner Keith Sutton, 56, bought the device in a bid to cut down on his tobacco habit.

The battery-powered aid works by heating up the ‘e-liquid’ into a gas which the user inhales like real cigarette smoke.

Coach driver Mr. Sutton, of Rexroth, Cornwall, had left a bottle of the liquid on his dining room table when 14-week-old Ivy bit into it.

She immediately started frothing at the mouth and vomiting and Keith rushed her to the vets, where she was given huge doses of steroids, but died from nicotine poisoning early the next day.

There are currently warnings on the bottles but grandfather Keith wants to see e-liquid become a controlled substance before it kills another animal.

He said: ‘I peered round the corner from the kitchen and the dog was on the floor with the bottle of e-liquid.

‘She had chewed it and pierced the plastic container. She had only ingested the tiniest amount but by the time I picked her up she was frothing at the mouth.

Keith Sutton says Staffordshire bull terrier Ivy died of nicotine poisoning hours after chewing on the E-cigarette

nicotine is a highly poisonous substance that can kill both humans and animals.

In the Three Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie, Belgian detective Hercule Poirot investigates when one character, Sir Bartholomew Strange, was poisoned with nicotine, a colorless, odorless liquid lethal at just a few drops.

Toxicology experts warned that drinking the equivalent of just two bottles of e-liquid could deliver enough nicotine to kill a human.

There were nine UK deaths from nicotine poisoning in the three decades leading up to the 1970s, when nicotine was available in liquid form in insecticides.

The lowest fatal dose was between 50 and 60 milligrams – equivalent to smoking about 20 to 30 cigarettes or drinking two high strength bottles of e-liquid containing 24 milligrams of nicotine each.

Nicotine poisoning induces vomiting, muscles spasms and seizures. In fatal cases it interferes with the central nervous system and causes respiratory failure.

It is also highly poisonous to cats and dogs. Common signs to watch for include vomiting, abnormal heart rate, incoordination, tremors, weakness and collapse.

Nicotine is a rapid acting toxin and, often, pets will show signs of poisoning within 1 hour of ingestion, the Pet Poison helpline warns.

The toxic dose for nicotine in pets is 1/2-1 mg per pound of pet body weight, while the lethal dose is 4 mg per pound of pet body weight.

So a 40lb dog would get very sick after eating one cigarette – but would need 11 cigarettes to die from nicotine poisoning.

Pets ingesting small amounts of nicotine often vomit spontaneously and may self-decontaminate.

However, even when vomiting occurs, veterinary evaluation after ingestion is typically recommended so that the heart rate, blood pressure and neurological status can be monitored.

Treatments including additional decontamination, IV fluids and medications to slow the heart rate, decrease the blood pressure or stop tremors may be needed.

‘I attempted to cool her down with cold water but I don’t know any dog first aid, I just did whatever came into my mind.

‘Her tongue was blue, her lips were blue. She messed herself, then she vomited.

‘My partner was on the phone to the vet who said get her here as quickly as possible.

‘When we got there the vet went on to the veterinary websites but couldn’t find anything about nicotine poisoning.

‘He eventually went away and got an old book on poisons. He shook his head and told us it wasn’t good.

‘He gave her an injection of steroids, then put her on a drip and promised to phone us every couple of hours through the night.

‘They said the first 12 hours were critical and we received a call after 12 and a half hours saying she had passed away. Her lungs and heart had given up.’

Keith – who uses an eKarma Vaporizer fuelled by k-Liquid – is one of an estimated four million people in Britain who have turned to electronic cigarettes.

The World Health Organization has refused to endorse the device until long-term trials prove they are safe.

The e-liquid itself contains chemicals such as propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol 400 which are mixed with vegetable glycerin and various flavourings, plus varying amounts of nicotine.

While it would take a large dose of nicotine to harm a human, experts say a dog would only have to ingest 10 milligrams per kilogram of animal weight to be in danger.

There have been reports of pets fatally chewing on tobacco but Ivy is believed to be Britain’s first canine victim of e-liquid.

Keith wants to see much clearer health warnings on bottles and wants them sold as controlled substances like medicines or alcohol.

Ivy, who came from an RSPCA rescue centre, was treated at Animal Veterinary Services in Hayle, Cornwall.

Vets there confirmed that Ivy’s symptoms, which included vomiting, diarrhoea, difficulty in breathing and heart problems, are all typical of nicotine poisoning.

A spokesperson said: ‘The dog started to get a reaction after 30 seconds of piercing the bottle.

‘We managed to keep her going for a few hours, but she died in the early hours of Monday morning.

‘The fluid is potentially fatal for dogs and they are perfectly capable of putting a tooth through the packaging.’

Keith’s vaporizer was a Falcon electronic cigarette, produced by a different company, UK-based Prestige Vaping.

Neither company has responded to a request for comment.

Nicotine is also a highly toxic to humans. Professor Alastair Hay, professor of toxicology at Leeds University, said: “Make no mistake nicotine is a potent and highly toxic chemical that kills.

‘When you smoke cigarettes the concentration of nicotine is small and delivered over a period of time so the compound is metabolized and broken down in the body.

‘But when it was used in insecticides there were quite a few cases of humans dying as a result of drinking it, either deliberately or accidentally.

‘Certainly these bottles of e-liquid should come with clear warning labels and they should be kept well away from children.’

Sheila Merrill, public health adviser at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, added:

‘Nicotine is a toxic substance and poisonous to children.

‘This is why it is important to treat electric cigarettes and its components – including the e-liquid – in the same way as you would household chemicals, by storing them out of the sight and reach of children in a locked cupboard.

‘If you believe that your child has ingested nicotine, seek medical advice immediately.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2561930/Pet-dog-animal-Britain-die-acute-nicotine-poisoning-chewing-owners-e-cigarette.html#ixzz35b0xcUd6

There was an article that came out about a month ago that has been picked up by major newspapers and websites across the nation. It deals with a Veterinarian that was keeping a few dogs for “experimentation” according to the article. That wasn’t necessarily true, but he was keeping them alive AFTER being paid to euthanize them for a family. he was keeping one of the dogs as a blood donor apparently, which in no way condones what he was doing, I’m just explaining that he wasn’t experimenting on them.  Now this is where things get tricky.

While 99% of animals that are brought in to be euthanized are sick and or dying, there are plenty of them that are brought in because people are cleaning house. WHAT?!!  That’s right, they are no longer wanted at home ( it’s Thanksgiving, the kids are coming, we’re getting new furniture- yes I have heard all of these and worse), and some owners apparently feel it’s better to have them put down (killed in this situation) then be abandoned at a shelter or re-homed. Don’t ask me why as I would never be able to understand that kind of a mind-set.  But I digress.

Now in situations such as this, I will tell you that SOME, not all, but SOME veterinarians will do one of the following:

1. Keep it as a pet at their own home

2. Re-home it to someone that will never cross paths with that other person.

Now I’m talking about fairly young to middle aged HEALTHY pets. Just disposable to some. (!!!!!)

But never in my 42 years as a Vet Tech have I ever known a vet that will keep one for a blood donor. And in these rare cases where the pet is kept- many of the clients were asked if that was okay and they were fine with it. So this situation is NOT common (the Texas one) and I don’t want people freaking out about it. NEVER have I known a vet that would keep a sick animal for any reason at all.

First of all YOU are in control of what happens to YOUR pet. If your pet is SICK and there is NO hope of a recovery- then sometimes you just need to let go. BUT, and I emphasize this- YOU are always allowed to be WITH your pet during the procedure. IF they try and take the pet into the back to do this- stop them and go somewhere else.

If it’s too hard on you to be with your pet in their final moments- BRING SOMEONE WITH YOU that CAN handle it. I  strongly urge you to do this. DO NOT let others dictate what and where this happens to your pet. Now I might have some vets mad at me but it’s YOUR right and while I KNOW that 99.9% of all vets are ethical and would never NOT put your pet down,  You should, at the very least, request to spend a few moments with your pet after the procedure is over. That way YOU know that your beloved pet is out of pain and is indeed gone. No blood donor, no experimentation going on.

I just wanted to give everyone a shout out on this terrible ordeal. Here is the link to the article.


So rest assured that this is very, very rare and that most of us will never meet a vet like this. And I am very happy about that as well!!

Pro-Pet LLC Recalls a Limited Number of Dry Dog and Cat Foods Due to Possible Salmonella Contamination



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 5, 2014 – Pro-Pet LLC, St. Marys, Ohio, has initiated a voluntary recall of a limited number of Dry Dog and Cat Foods for possible Salmonella contamination. A single field test indicated products manufactured during a two day period, on a single production line may have the potential for Salmonella contamination. Pro-Pet LLC is voluntarily recalling the potentially impacted products made during this timeframe. There have been no reports of illness related to this product to date.

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.


Best By

Lot Code

UPC Number

40 lb Hubbard Life Happy Hound Dog Food 05 06 14 096 13 SM L2 2A 1219033878
40 lb Hubbard Life Happy Hound Dog Food 05 06 14

096 13 SM L2 1A

18 lb Hubbard Life Cat Stars Cat Food 05 06 14

096 13 SM L2 1A

40 lb Hubbard Life Maintenance Dog Food 05 06 14

096 13 SM L2 2A

15 lb Joy Combo Cat Food 05 06 14

096 13 SM L2 1A

40 lb Joy Combo Cat Food 05 06 14 096 13 SM L2 1A 7065407713
40 lb Joy Combo Cat Food 05 06 14 096 13 SM L2 2A 7065407713
20 lb QC Plus Adult Dog Food 05 07 14

097 13 SM L2 2A

40 lb QC Plus Adult Dog Food 05 07 14

097 13 SM L2 2A

40 lb QC Plus Adult Dog Food 05 07 14 097 13 SM L2 1A 2351780104

 These products were distributed through select retailers, distributors and on-line consumer purchases in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia

No other products/lot numbers are affected by this recall.

Customers should immediately discontinue use of any impacted product and contact Pro-Pet at 1-888-765-4190 for disposition.

For more information on the recall, customers can contact the customer service line for Pro-Pet at 1-888-765-4190. Customer service representatives will be available Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm CT.

An Ohio pet food manufacturer announced a recall on Thursday over salmonella contamination.
Pro-Pet LLC, which makes Hubbard Life, Joy Combo and QC Plus pet food, said it is pulling dry food sold nationwide after a lab test found the bacteria. Salmonella can harm both pets and people who handle the food and don’t thoroughly wash their hands afterwards.

Food safety

The Oregonian’s database of food safety news and updated federal recall warnings.

Here are the recalled products: Hubbard Life Happy Hound Dog Food, Hubbard Life Cat Stars Cat Food, Hubbard Life Maintenance Dog Food, Joy Combo Cat Food andQC Plus Adult Dog Food.

The recalled products were sold online and to retailers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Infected people can cause a range of gastrointestinal symptoms. Sick pets can become 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.

— Lynne Terry

VP Client Information Sheets
By VIN Community Contributors


Authored by: Carlye Rose DVM, Dip. ABVP


Ladybug Graham, a Norwich terrier, died at the age of 5 months after ingesting sugarless gum with xylitol. She weighed 9.8 pounds. Only one wrapper was found. Her family created a website at www.ladybugslegacy.org to inform pet owners of the dangers of xylitol.

What is Xylitol?

Xylitol is a white, crystalline sugar alcohol that is used as a sugar substitute sweetener in many products. In the United States, the use of xylitol has grown rapidly over the last few years. It is increasingly found in sugar-free gum, candy, and foods. It is also available in granulated form for baking. It is popular among diabetics and those on low-carbohydrate diets. It also is increasingly being included in toothpastes and other oral hygiene products due to its anti-cavity properties.

How is Xylitol Different in Humans than Dogs?

In humans, xylitol is absorbed slowly and has little to no effect on blood sugar or insulin levels. However, in dogs, xylitol is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. It then acts as a strong promoter of insulin release, which causes profound hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). In dogs, xylitol can also cause liver failure, bleeding, and death.

Xylitol’s effect on insulin and blood glucose in cats is not clear at this time.

How much Xylitol is Toxic to my Pet?

It takes very little xylitol to cause signs of toxicity in dogs. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) has reported that dogs ingesting greater than 0.1 g/kg of xylitol should be considered at risk for hypoglycemia. At doses exceeding 0.5 g/kg, there is risk of liver failure and other more serious effects.

It is often difficult to determine exactly how many grams of xylitol were ingested. Although the xylitol content is more commonly listed on food products, this is not the case with many chewing gums. In general, we estimate that one or two pieces of gum could cause hypoglycemia in a 20 lb dog. For granulated (baking) xylitol, one cup weighs about 190 grams.

What are the Symptoms? What Tests can be done to Diagnose Xylitol Toxicity?

Diagnosis is made on history of ingestion, symptoms, and blood work. Because of the rapid progression of the toxic effect, testing for xylitol in the blood is not realistic.

  • Vomiting is often the first symptom
  • Signs of hypoglycemia (lethargy, weakness) occur rapidly
  • Diarrhea, collapse and seizures may be seen.

Dogs that develop acute liver failure may not show signs of hypoglycemia immediately after ingestion of xylitol.

What other Toxins Should be Ruled Out?

Other causes of low blood sugar should be ruled out (overdose of insulin, young or toy breed – related hypoglycemia, etc). In addition, many other toxins can cause liver disease (sago palms, hepatotoxic mushrooms, Tylenol ®, aflatoxins, other drugs). Infectious liver diseases, shunts, and cancer must be considered as well.
Is Xylitol Poisoning Treatable?

  • All xylitol exposures should be evaluated by a veterinarian immediately. This is because of xylitol’s rapid absorption, which carries a risk of severe hypoglycemia, liver failure, and even death.
  • There is no antidote for xylitol toxicity.
  • Remember that even tiny doses—1 to 2 pieces of xylitol-containing gum– can be toxic to a dog.
  • Do not induce vomiting or give anything orally unless directed by your veterinarian.

What is the Prognosis?

The prognosis is good for uncomplicated hypoglycemia when treatment can be instituted promptly. Liver failure and bleeding disorders generally carry a poor prognosis. Dogs that develop stupor or coma have a grave prognosis.

Is it an Epidemic?

“In the last few years, xylitol has grown from being a rare (or non-existent) problem to being a very common one. The dictionary defines epidemic as ‘affecting or tending to affect a disproportionately large number of individuals within a population, community, or region at the same time’…so… technically you can call xylitol an epidemic.” – Eric Dunayer, MS, VMD, DABT, DABVT; ASPCA APCC; VIN, 8/16/2008

The number of products containing xylitol has been steadily rising over the last few years, with a resultant surge in xylitol cases reported to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

Chart prepared by Carlye Rose, D.V.M., Diplomate A.B.V.P.

Xylitol poisoning is preventable. Xylitol-containing foods or gums should not be consumed in pet-owning households.

Date Published: 10/29/2008 7:05:00 PM



October 23, 2013

Nearly 600 U.S. pet deaths associated with Chinese jerky treats; cause is still elusive

Australian research blames unknown toxin; FDA encourages veterinarians to submit reports, data and urine samples from suspected cases.

In the wake of an Australian Veterinary Journal1 article outlining a study of dogs exposed to dried chicken treats produced in China, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced this week that it has received a total of approximately 3,000 reports of pet illness possibly related to the consumption of jerky treats, including 580 deaths.

The FDA has issued several warnings about jerky products imported from China since it first received reports of pet illness in 2007. However, despite ongoing efforts to identify a cause of illness, testing has been inconclusive.

Here’s what the agency does know: According to data collected since 2007, 60 percent of the reports involve gastrointestinal illness (with or without elevated liver enzymes) and about 30 percent relate to kidney or urinary signs. The remaining 10 percent of cases involve a variety of other signs, including convulsions, tremors, hives and skin irritation. About 135 of the case reports involving kidney and urinary signs were diagnosed as Fanconi syndrome, a kidney disease in which the proximal tubule doesn’t work properly and some nutrients are lost into the urine instead of being reabsorbed.

Despite the elusive search for a cause, the FDA says the rate of complaints associated with jerky treats dropped sharply after several well-known brands were removed from the market in January 2013. At that time, a study conducted by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Marketing detected low levels of antibiotic residues in those products, prompting the recall, but the FDA believes the drop in complaints is linked to decreased availability of jerky treats rather than antibiotic residue. And new reports do continue to come in.

As the FDA has been investigating the issue, other organizations have been conducting their own research. In September, the Australian Veterinary Journal published one of the largest chicken jerky studies to date. The clinical signs focused on in the retrospective study, conducted at the University of Queensland, centered on acquired proximal renal tubulopathy. Researchers collected and analyzed data from 108 dogs diagnosed with glucosuria with blood glucose <10mmol/L and fed KraMar Supa Naturals Chicken Breast Strips. As in the U.S. illness reports, proximal renal tubulopathy in Australian dogs was reported with increased frequency beginning Sept. 18, 2007. The first case was reported two weeks after KraMar Supa Naturals Chicken Breast Strips, made in China, were introduced to the Australian market.

In the investigation, researchers analyzed signalment, presenting signs, history of feeding treats, results of urinalysis and blood tests, treatment and time to resolution of clinical signs. Study authors concluded from the 17-month study period that the treats likely contained a toxin targeting the proximal renal tubules. However, a toxin has not yet been identified. In response to their findings, the study’s authors emphasize the importance of taking a careful dietary history—including treats—and performing urinalysis in sick dogs.

The FDA is also encouraging veterinarians—through a “Dear Veterinarian” letter2—to report cases suspected of jerky treat-related illness and to collect the following data:

> how long the owner has been feeding the treat

> what else the pet has been eating (all treats, human food, and pet food), including how much is given daily of all items

> bloodwork values, especially for liver and kidney

> urinalysis results.

The agency is also requesting that veterinarians obtain a urine sample (10 ml if possible) from dogs or cats that may have illness associated with jerky treats and freeze it for Fanconi syndrome testing by the Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN). The FDA says this testing will allow it to get a better idea of how many of the suspected cases involve Fanconi syndrome.

The FDA has also developed a fact sheet3 for concerned pet owners. Officials continue to caution pet owners that reports of illness from jerky treats are not limited to chicken products but also duck and sweet potato jerky products and jerky-wrapped rawhide treats. Consumers should also be aware that while reports seem to be linked to jerky treats sourced from China, manufacturers are not required to list the country of origin for each ingredient used in their products.

Although the FDA has stopped short of issuing a recall for implicated jerky products without a definitive cause of illness, it cautions pet owners about the potential dangers and continues to remind them that treats are not needed for a balanced diet. In the meantime, the investigation continues.

“As veterinarians, animal scientists and pet owners, we strive to make sure that the products FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine regulates are safe, effective and properly manufactured,” an FDA release states. “We understand the love and devotion pets provide, and we are determined to find the answer to this mystery.”


  1. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23980829
  2. www.fda.gov/animalveterinary/safetyhealth/productsafetyinformation/ucm371453.htm
  3. www.fda.gov/downloads/newsevents/newsroom/factsheets/ucm371715.pdf

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