Thursday, July 31, 2014

Flea & Tick Products are not as safe as you think - and some are downright dangerous for your pet!

I belong to a forum that has many discussions about how certain products are affecting our Labradoodles. One hot topic is flea and tick medications. There are always products that seem to pop up over and over as causing severe reactions in our Labradoodles (as well as other breeds) and that is Comfortis and Trifectis topical 'spot ons'.

For my current and future litters, my concerns are high enough to actually put in my contract that you MUST NOT use either of the above products in order to be under my warranty.  I realize this is a strong reaction but from the information I am reading - both have caused vomiting, allergies, sickness and high vet bills for something that should be safe and helpful.  Many warnings have been posted in The Whole Dog Journal and even newspapers about the severe reactions to our dog population using these products.  Interesting read:
http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/blog/-20898-1.html

I never use flea and tick products on my dogs - ever. Four of them live here and every night I touch them and remove ticks if they have any. I use holistic products from these sites:

  • http://shop.mercola.com/catalog/fleas-and-ticks,99,0.htm or I use 
  • holistic blended oils that you can find in most natural food/pet stores and
  • I prefer and use the collars from this site: http://www.holisticfamilyandpets.com/ and they work just as well WITHOUT using a toxic commercial  topical.
Research safe flea and tick products on the net and you will find many that do the job without impacting the health of your pet.  Your pet needs intervention from you to keep healthy.  Vet offices offer many products but not all of them suit every dog or will even be safe for every dog. Think about that before you put a substance on your family companion.  If you won't use it, why is it safe for them?


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

HO, HO, HO! It is Christmas in July!!! Camden is cycling!!!!

I will be taking Camden in to the vets for her first progesterone on Friday and she will be mated when the timing is perfect.  :+)

My choice will be with EMMETT PICCOLO!!  If all goes well, Camden should have a rainbow colored litter which may include Black, Cream, Apricot, Red, Chocolate, Cafe or Caramel - what fun!  :+)

Camden has been stalling for two months but now we are on the move - thank goodness!

Camden is a medium girl of 18 inches and 34 lbs.

These two will be breeding very soon!

Emmett is  a small medium of 26 lbs. and 17 inches.



Early preparations make for a less stressful experience.

After giving Tate O'Reilly a very gentle trim of her gorgeous coat, I began to prepare her whelping area which is under my desk in the office.  It is a perfect spot because it is dark, warm, protected and where I spend a lot of my time.

The entrance to the office is 'double doored'.  Along with the normal door is a half door which is solid and doesn't allow my house dogs to view what is going on during the whelping phase. This keeps the girl that is whelping and nursing a new litter calm and feeling protected.

The Perla Bed has high sides and is very sturdy for the mom and her pups.  Soon, I will add a bumper bar or pig rail (as it is commonly called) which provides a soft barrier where pups can go under to prevent squishing when moms lie down.

I think Tate approves!


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tate's x-ray shows 5 puppies!

Tate's guardian mom and I met at the vets this afternoon and are very excited that five pups showed up on the x-ray!  A nice size litter for our little girl to welcome for the first time. :+)

I am so anxious to see these puppies! Tate is with me as I hold her paw through the last few days of her pregnancy.

I will most likely have to miss my youngest grand-daughter's first birthday as Tate's babies are due the very same day.  I guess we will all be celebrating but in separate places.  :+(

Tate getting familiar with her first home again.



Saturday, July 26, 2014

Vaccine Protocols are important and so is food! This is a long article on Ethoxyquin in commercial dog food. BEWARE!

Another band wagon of mine is commercial dog food and what is not disclosed.  This is a long read but you need to be aware of the pitfalls in choosing a dog food. I realize that all of you will not feed raw whether it is dehydrated like in The Honest Kitchen form or in its 'natural' state as I feed. However, you DO need to know what to avoid like the plague and that is Ethoxyquin - a preservative.



9:14am Jul 25
A GREAT article to read about the preservative Ethoxyquin in pet food.

The following extract was obtained from Wikipedia

Ethoxyquin is a quinoline based antioxidant used as a food preservative and a pesticide (under commercial names such as "Stop-Scald"). It is commonly used as a preservative in pet foods to prevent the rancidification of fats. There has been some speculation that ethoxyquin in pet foods might be responsible for certain health problems. To date, the US FDA has only found a verifiable connection between ethoxyquin and buildup of protoporphyrin IX liver, as well as elevations in liver-related enzymes in some animals. It has been shown to cause mortality in fish.

It is also commonly used in spices to prevent color loss due to oxidation of the natural carotenoid pigments.



Dr. David A. Dzanis
Veterinary Nutritionist
Div. of Animal Feeds; FDA HFV-222
7500 Standish Place
RockvilIe, MD 20855

Dear Dr. Dzanis;

I am writing to you about the dangers of Ethoxyquin used as a preservative in many pet foods and human foods. Since you are responsible for pet food issues within the FDA and will be meeting with two concerned dog breeders next month concerning the safety of this chemical, I wish to present my own experiences and knowledge of Ethoxyquin's toxic affects, first hand.

First of all, let me introduce myself; l am a veterinarian, a graduate from the University of California Veterinary Medical School, Davis, California, class of 1960.1 had a small animal practice in San Ramon, California (a rapidly growing area east of San Francisco) for 31 years and am now retired.

During those many years I saw a change emerging in the disease and illness of animals presented to me. In the early 1960s, our concerns were primarily those of infectious agents causing Canine Distemper, Feline Distemper, Hepatitis, leptospirosis, staph and strep infections, etc.

However during the 197Os and to the present time we are seeing an epidemic of chronic degenerative diseases. True, the widely accepted program of preventative vaccination programs virtually wiped out the viral caused diseases and antibiotics helped stem the bacterial infections, but something else is operative here. We are now seeing both in the animal and human populations, a sharing of chronic degenerative diseases such as generalized allergies, , dermatitis, congestive heart failure, kidney failure, liver pathologies, , AIDS, tumors and cancer. Also, lifespans of animals have shortened during this period.

I remember, as a kid growing up in Nevada seeing Basque sheep-herders with working dogs living to be 2l-25 years of age. These dogs were still herding sheep at that age, and the bitches were delivering litters of healthy puppies at 20 years of age! Today, we are lucky to find dogs living to be 10 years old, and many of these suffering from various forms of chronic degenerative disease. Of course in the 1 940s our air, water and food was clean and virtually free of chemicals. My shepherd friend's dogs worked in clean air, ate fresh lamb stew and vegetables and home-baked bread along with his master. As a dog show veterinarian I have heard many judges say there is a definite difference to the feel of the muscles and skeleton of dogs in Australia than those of America. The Australian dogs' muscles are firm, bones firm and strong cornpared to the "mushy" feel of the American dogs. Why? Because these animals' diets are vastly different. The Australian dogs were being fed (until recently-now there is an emergence of commercial pet food) trimmings from the freshly killed beef and sheep carcasses, vegetables and fresh grains, ours on commercial kibble and canned dog food with every chemical residue and preservative and coloring in the book! And forget all the highly touted advertising and P.R. by the pet food industry -I say put garbage in get garbage out!

In the good old days, the family pet ate from the same "pot,, so to speak, as the owner/family did, and were healthier for it Not only are chronic degenerative diseases of pets on the increase, but breeders complain of increasing frequency and numbers of reproductive problems: irregular estrus cycles, missed conceptions; stillborns, "fading puppy" syndrome, increased neo-natal deaths and malformed puppies with missing limbs, organs, hydrocephalus, cleft palates, etc.

Historically, I was first alerted to Ethoxyquin's (heretofore being referred to as "E") possible health hazard to dogs, when Midge Harmer, a breeder of German Shepherd show and obedience dogs in Newark, Delaware contacted me on February 12, 1988. She related her heartbreaking experience of losing four of her young champions to liver cancer. Since she had changed nothing in her program of rearing these dogs except switching their diet to feeding ANF (Advanced Nutritional Formula), she looked into the ingredients and found "E" as a preservative. She asked me if I had any experience with this preservative and its affect on animal health. Thus started a four-year quest into finding out all we could on this chemical. I hadn't any known knowledge about or its related toxic affects to animal health until I started looking into it. I next met a breeder at the Golden Gate Dog Show in San Francisco that same year. She told me of suddenly developing 82% mortality in her puppies (Mm. Pinchers, and Boston Terriers). Out of 27 puppies born she was lucky to save 5. Many others were stillborn and malformed with cleft palates, and hydrocephalus. These problems were atypical. She had not changed any variables (including breeding stock) except for changing the diet to ANF because of the highly favorable advertising put out by the manufacturers.

I contacted the Dept. of Agriculture for toxicology information on "E." They sent me a copy from their Farm Chemical Hand-book listing "E" as a pesticide, used in fruit scald control. It is also used as a rubber preservative. I have since learned "E" is FDA approved for use as an antioxidant for carotenes vitamin A and E and the prevention of the development of organic peroxides. It is approved at 150 ppm in paprika and chili powder, and because it is used as a preservative in livestock feed, the following residue allowances in human consumed animal products as follows: 5 ppm in or on the uncooked fat of meat from animals except poultry; 3 ppm in or on the uncooked liver and fat of poultry, 0.5 ppm in or on the uncooked muscle meat of animals, 0.5 ppm in poultry eggs, and zero in milk.

We have learned "E" is used as a preservative in such widely marketed dog foods as ANF, NutriMax, Hills Prescription Diet WID (sold in vet hospitals!), Nutro, Purina, IAMS, Royal Canine USA; and in livestock feeds by Willowbrook Mills in Petaluma to preserve Crumbles for laying chickens, and dehydrated forage crops of alfalfa, barley, clovers, corn, oats, wheat, fescue and various grasses. The above information brings up the question why the FDA allows such a small amount of "E" residue (5 to .5 ppm) in human consumed foods yet allows such high amounts (150 ppm) to be used in petfood and livestock feeds? In the case of the dog, pound for pound, a dog weighs 115 to 1/lath (NOTE: this figure or word did not come through) the weight of a human (except for giant breeds of dogs) yet is consuming 300 times more "E" than allowed for people. Also many dog food manufacturers are not listing "E" as an ingredient on the packaging. Only under much investigation will they admit it. Isn't there an FDA regulation about labeling ingredients? Truth in labeling is another issue - ANF, which incidentally is one of the most expensive dog foods, is touted by the manufacturer as an "all natural formula" with no preservatives, yet lists "E" as an antioxidant which they claim to be quite safe.

Correspondence with various people revealed other dog owners breeders having sad experiences with pets eating "E" preserved dog food:

1. A breeder of Rottweilers lost a dog with liver cancer after switching to feeding ANF for 6 months.

2. A German Shepherd breeder lost a stud dog to cancer of the mouth, feeding dog food containing "E."

3. A woman had skin allergies develop in her German Shepherd fed on NutroMax ("E" preserved) and then switched to Solid Gold (no "E") with the dermatitis allergy disappearing.

4. Dr. Pia Peters, Ph.D. claims that when she was studying in Ireland for her degree in agriculture (1983-4) she became interested in a news story relating that farmers in Italy suddenly had calves born with eyes on the backs of their heads, no ears, two or three legs only, or legs developing turned backwards, etc. Dr. Peters claims the culprit was "E" in the animal feed fed to the breeding stock.

5. A breeder first of Poodles, then Collies, had been free of whelping problems; her bitches came into estrus every 6 months "like clockwork," and all whelped normal healthy litters, then a few years ago she began noticing changes in the dogs' overall appearance. She was now seeing dry, lustreless coats, flaky skin, and nose pigmentation fading. A friend of hers who raises labradors, Newfoundlands, Collies, and Old English Sheep dogs, had similar problems. Then Elaine's Blue Merle stud dog (sire of all her dogs) began drooling and bleeding from the mouth. From a biopsy, her veterinarian diagnosed an immune breakdown triggered by a virus or chemical. Her bitches who had not previously come into estrus were now delivering litters of malformed puppies; two were born without legs, tails or any sex organs. (the problems in these two kennels were traced to a change in diet fed the dogs, from one free of "E" preservative to a dog food with "E" preservative.)

6. Another German Shepherd breeder in Pennsylvania lost a puppy fed Pro Plan ("E" preserved) to a fast growing cancer in both hips.

Some of the damning information on "E" comes from Monsanto's own cautionary warnings in using and handling this product. They warn that it may cause allergic skin reactions, irritation to the eyes and skin. They advise that workers must wear eye and respiratory protection. The container of "E" has a very prominent skull and crossbones with POISON written in capital letters. "E" is listed and identified as a hazardous chemical under the criteria of the Osha Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910, 1220). Monsanto further states the disclaimer regarding the use of "E," that "Although the information and recommendations set forth herein are presented in good faith. . . Monsanto Company makes no representations as to the completeness or accuracy thereof. Information supplied upon the condition that the persons receiving same will make their own determination as to its suitability for their purposes prior to use. Monsanto will not be responsible for damages of any nature whatsoever resulting from the use of or reliance upon information." If the company who makes it won't stand behin4 it, how can the general public accept its safety as a preservative for their pets' food and directly for themselves and indirectly as residues in human consumptive food products from "E's" use in livestock feed?)

I further learned from the Chemical Toxicology of Commercial Products (Ref. Gosselin et al., 1984) that "E" has a toxic rating of 3 (on a scale of 1~, with 6 being super toxic requiring less than 7 drops to produce death), slowly developing depression, con-vulsions, coma and death; skin irritation and liver damage.

I wrote a letter to my Board of Examiners in Veterinary Medicine, expressing my concern about the safety of feeding dogs foods with "E" as a preservative. I urged them to look into the matter and suggested that with such information wouldn't it be prudent to recommend to the FDA to ban "E" as a preservative until more definite safety studies be made? The Board responded that I was "overreacting" without scientific proven evidence that the food is the cause of problems cited and that I "refrain from voicing my opinions until there is proven scientific and official evidence that those opinions are true." The Board was complacent with the FDA approval of "E" based on a five-year safety study done on dogs by Monsanto some 30 plus years ago. That study, I found was grossly incompetent.

Let me tell you about what I learned about this so-called scientific" study by Monsanto. The study is fraught with incompetent, slip-shod methods, and erroneous conclusions that by today's standards of testing would be laughed out of the room. For example, there were never any truly controlled studies on these dogs with the only variable being the feeding or not feeding of "E" and then evaluating the health results. Instead, bitches were kept with males, some dogs were kept indoors, others outdoors, there was no preventative care of vaccination and parasite control so all dogs could start equally - many dogs in the study succumbed to Canine Distemper, Hepatitis and one from Heartworm. Many showed heavy parasite infestations, and fight wounds, etc. E" was fed on a one time a day, 5 days a week basis instead of twice daily 7 days a week which is routinely done in the "real world" by dog owners. Of the 67 puppies who were unfortunate enough to be born during this 5 year study, 32 puppies died. That's a 50% mortality rate!

The "scientists" claimed the deaths were due to "under developed and weak puppies"! Isn't that exactly what we are seeing in litters from breeding stock fed dog food preserved with "E"? To my knowledge nothing was reported in the study of the appearance of coat, pigmentation of the nose, skin health, etc. Changes like these would be an early indicator of liver and immune system pathology. Another discrepancy is the lowered frequency of feedings and relatively short time of the study (5 years vs. 6 or more years of feeding "E" preserved food and seeing cancer developing.) Nothing, to my knowledge, was reported in the study of the nature of the reproductive cycles in the bitches; numbers of missed or irregular estrus, sterility) as we are seeing clinically. Was any blood work done? Liver and thyroid panels?

I believe not. I believe it is highly unethical for self serving employees to be the scientists in charge of evaluating a product's safety manufactured by the company who pays their salaries! I would like the FDA to foster safety studies on products by independent testers other than the manufacturer of the product. Perhaps such a plan could be funded by a safety study "fee" levied on the manufacturer who is applying for FDA approval of their product. These monies could then be paid directly by the FDA to the independent testers, thus minimizing possible bias in the report findings.

While we're on the subject of product safety studies using live animals I must voice a deeply felt objection to the use of live animals in any research study. It has been proven many times that there are viable alternatives to live animal models, i.e., computer model software, tissue culture and embryo studies. Why not use the tissue cultures of the target organs affected by chemicals? These as you know are the brain, nervous system. endocrine glands (pituitary, adrenal, testes and ovaries, thyroid, thymus, pancreas, etc.) as well as those of the immune system (spleen, liver, lymph nodes, bone marrow, etc.), and are the most acutely sensitive to any toxic substance or radiation. This is where pathology starts immediately. It's months or years later before the whole organism shows signs of illness. I firmly believe all animals were created equal with man by our Creator, and that the Animal Kingdom has given its silent permission to man to provide him with sustenance, creature comfort, transportation, as beasts of burden and in the case of our pet animals, their unconditional love. Is this how we repay them? Dr. Dzanis, both you and I have a covenant with the Animal Kingdom from the day we graduated from Vet School and took the Hippocratic Oath. We solemnly swore to safeguard the health and well being of all animals and to never do anything to harm them. I have kept my promise. as I am sure you are keeping yours, but it would do well for all mankind to take and uphold that oath in today's growing moral bankruptcy, people are too willing to turn a blind eye and squeeze every cent out of a transaction at any costs. Perhaps we should rename it the "Hypocritical Oath??

Gloria Dodd DVM

I am on my 'soapbox' once again regarding VACCINES!

In a perfect world, I would recommend that NO VACCINES of any type be given to one of my puppies going home to their owners until they were 16 weeks old. Then, only one vaccine at a time and never the multiple version vaccine cocktail.

For quite some time, I have been giving my puppies the DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvo and Para influenza combo) and they have been fine as far as I know. However, the ramifications of vaccines are not known for many months and sometimes years. Vaccines do contribute to auto-immune disease, allergies, skin issues, etc. and do not always show an immediate reaction. When you wait until 16 weeks, your pup needs one of each core vaccine for a lifetime of immunity to that disease in 95% of the reports done.  Please refrain from giving your pups/dogs annual vaccines - they don't need them unless in a highly epidemic location.

In most cases, your vet will highly disagree with me but I cannot close my eyes to the many reports of the decline of dog health!  Yes, I am most definitely in favor of a holistic approach because it makes sense to me. I LOVE my traditional vets as well because they are the exception to the 'traditional' vet rule and work with me on many alternative remedy levels. My holistic vet is a treasure and is ever patient with my questions and concerns.  :+)

For the heck of it I have been googling this topic:  'benefits of just giving the Parvo and Distemper vaccines on 8 week old pups' and a pile of links popped up. Why don't all of you do the same and read the links - all of them - and then let me know if those of you getting pups from my current litters want to go a different route.

Once you have your pet, this will be your choice to make. The responsibility required to keep your pup socialized and healthy for 16 weeks is not as difficult as you think.

  • hold your pup when at the vets to keep him/her from touching the floor and stay away from dogs that appear ill or nervous for the 16 week shot
  • use a stroller for walks to areas where people can interact with your pup for socialization but refrain from allowing your pup to walk on the ground
  • allow your pup to play in your yard with familiar dogs that you know have already been immunized
  • take your pup to Home Depot and other busy places that have lots of people for him/her to meet but have minimal dogs - put him in the carriage and go about your business and carry lots of treats so he can meet and greet people and get rewarded
  • have a trainer come to your home for obedience training for the first six weeks of your pup being home
  • join an obedience class once the pup has been vaccinated
  • spend those six weeks before vaccination training, loving, having people over to your home and dogs in your yard where you control the environment and types of dogs visiting
Suggestions from the pet owner community to change vaccine protocols have been going on for a long time. The vet segment prefers to not change the rules because it affects their income. Numerous vaccines and flea/tick preparations are big business! Please do not allow their business strategies interfere with the best health care for your pet.  The bottom line is YOU are the advocate for your pet! Make informed choices.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I will know tomorrow..... (update) It is CONFIRMED!

Figgy Puddin is pregnant and it looks like she may have a decent size litter as well.  I am no longer holding my breathe and look forward to her pups.

Figgy has been bred to Tango Wool's Dublin and should produce a litter of blacks and apricots at the end of August if all is well.



Dublin will be smoking a cigar soon instead of holding a ball.  :+)

Figgy is definitely preggo!!!  Yea!!