Important article from the The Truth About Pet Food about Purina food possibly linked to pet illness/deaths

Below is an article from The Truth About Pet Food that came out today regarding reports of Purina food possibly linked to cat and dog illnesses/deaths over the last two months. If any of your cats or dogs have mysteriously gotten sick or worse please read this article and then report it to the FDA. You can go here to file a report.


Report it! – Please!

By Susan Thixton

http://truthaboutpetfood.com/report-it-please/

November 13, 2014

I’ve heard from many readers concerned of the recent Internet reports of sick and dying pets linked to a Purina Pet Food. I turned to FDA asking if the agency has received complaints on the Purina foods.

When an Examiner.com story was published highlighting several recent pet deaths linked to a Purina pet food, I started hearing from many readers. Everyone had similar concerns – is there going to be a recall? The amazing thing is – no one that wrote me provides their pet a Purina product. Everyone’s concern was for other pets – other pet owners. Everyone that contacted me was wanting to help – wanting to prevent pet illness and death.

The Examiner.com story was based on pet food consumer reports of sick or dead pets on the ConsumerAffairs.com website. The posts from consumers were heartbreaking and concerning. I turned to FDA, asking if they could tell me if any Purina pet food was under investigation and asking how many adverse event reports the agency has received over the past two months.
FDA promptly replied:

In the past two months (9/12/2014 to 11/12/2014), the agency has received 14 reports about Purina dry food products (this includes for both dogs and cats). Three were adverse event reports for cat food products, 10 were adverse event reports for dog food products (one of these included a product defect report as well), and 1 was a product defect report for a dog food product. Here is a breakdown of the reports:

Purina Cat Chow: 0
Purina Dog Chow: 1 product report
Purina Puppy Chow: 2 (1 product defect, 1 product defect/adverse event report)
Beneful: 8 reports, 1 included another Purina product as well
Purina ONE: 1 cat product report, 1 dog product report
Purina ProPlan: 1 cat product report

The Food and Drug Administration welcomes reports from consumers alerting the agency to problems with products regulated by the agency. These reports help the FDA ensure that products on the market are safe and properly manufactured, labeled and stored. FDA encourages those with concerns about a particular pet food product to submit a report to the Safety Reporting Portal: https://www.safetyreporting.hhs.gov/fpsr/WorkflowLoginIO.aspx?metinstance=B4B8DBDBB6CD79D2ED83195A812D1E7D9C329501.

Reports of adverse events do not necessarily mean that the product caused the event. Other factors, such as existing disease, exposure to chemicals or contaminants, foods, or other medications may have triggered or contributed to the cause of the event. The FDA takes all of these factors into consideration when reviewing adverse drug event reports.

In general, the agency does not discuss its enforcement activities, and any investigation findings would be shared directly with the company.

From the ConsumerAffairs.com website – in the approximate same time frame there are the following complaints filed by consumers…

Alpo – sick dog
Beyond Lamb and Rice Dog Food – sick dog
Purina One Cat Food – sick cat.
Purina Kit & Kaboodle – 10 cats died.
Pro Plan – worms in pet food.
Kit & Kaboodle – one cat died.
Purina Kitten Chow – one kitten died.
Purina Lamb and Rice – sick dog.
Pro Plan Dog Food – seizure.
Purina One cat food – diminished motor control.
Friskies – 2 sick cats.
Purina One Hairball – two sick cats.
Purina Cat Chow – sick cats and one died.
Purina Dog Chow – sick dog.
Purina Dog Chow – sick dog.
Purina Kitten Chow – 2 kittens died.
Purina Cat Food – bugs in food.
Purina Pro Plan Puppy – bugs in food.
Puppy Chow – puppy died.
Purina One Lamb and Rice – bugs in food.
Friskies – sick cats.
Friskies can – ‘grey’ on top wet food.
Purina Beyond – sick dog.
Purina Cat Chow – sick cat.
Purina One Smart Blend – sick dogs.
Purina Dog Chow – dog died, another dog died too.
Purina One – sick cat.
Purina Cat Chow – cat died.

In the above list – consumers have reported 19 animals have died. These numbers or reports of sick pets (naming a food) do not agree with what FDA shared. What is going on?

The answer is – we don’t know. What we do know is that we need every incident of a sick pet, every pet that has died, and every bugs in a pet food reported to FDA. Every incident needs to be reported.

Needless to say, I am not the FDA’s biggest fan. But – the ONLY way for a suspect pet food to be recalled is through FDA and your State Department of Agriculture. If – we consumers – can be pro-active in helping save the lives of pets, this is one way we can help.

If you or anyone you know has a pet they believe was sickened or killed linked to a pet food or treat –

1. Seek veterinary care for your pet. Share your concern that you believe the pet food or treat might be the cause. Ask your veterinarian to give their opinion if the food could be related to the illness or death – this is significant information for FDA and other investigators. We need our veterinarians to stand with us. If the pet dies – as difficult as this might be – ask your veterinarian to perform a necropsy. This is evidence. In the midst of your grief, if you believe the food or treat was the cause, you need this evidence to hold the manufacturer accountable. You will need this evidence to possibly save the lives of other pets. If you cannot afford the cost of a necropsy, ask you veterinarian to hold the pets body while you report the issue to regulatory authorities.
In some cases authorities will perform the necropsy for you. Make certain to tell regulatory authorities you are holding the pet’s body for this reason.

2. When time allows – document everything. Where and when you purchased the food (keep all food and packaging), when you first noticed symptoms and what those symptoms are/were. Document everything you can recall. DO NOT return the food to the retail outlet for a refund. No investigation can occur without the food/treat and the packaging.

3. File a complaint with the FDA and your State Department of Agriculture (ask to speak to the pet food investigator). Bookmark this page on the FDA website. This is the instructions on how to report the sick pet.

4. Report the incident to the pet food manufacturer. Note: seek veterinary treatment first, document everything, report to FDA before you report to the manufacturer.

5. You can have the food tested yourself at an independent lab or a veterinary school lab. Ask your veterinarian to provide you with what food toxins could cause the symptoms seen in your pet (example: mycotoxins, vitamin toxicity).

6. If you wish to share your story with other websites – share. We all want to warn other consumers when we suspect a problem with a pet food or treat. But please – report the incident to regulatory authorities first, Facebook second.

My heart goes out to all those that have lost a pet due to a pet food or treat – I began my path of pet food consumer advocacy because 20+ years ago a dog food killed my beloved dog. I still grieve her death – I still feel responsible. I didn’t know then what I know now, but I bought her this pet food and placed it in her bowl. Something I’ll never forget.

Report it – please.

Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author Buyer Beware, Co-Author Dinner PAWsible
TruthaboutPetFood.com
Association for Truth in Pet Food

Cats eat 15% more food in Winter

We people know that chilly weather makes us hungry for more food. This time of year we begin to crave roasted vegetables and meats, and we hunt for new recipes for stews and soups. Hot food warms our bones and hearts!

Often we don’t realize that our cats respond to weather changes like we do. During Summer while we are eating salad our carnivore friends might leave food behind in the bowl. But in Winter the bowl is licked clean and they meow for more.

How much more? A study that we found told us that in Winter cats will eat about 15% more food than during the rest of the year.

Be a rock star Feline Chef and don’t grab food for your cat from the fridge and serve it cold. Steam it for a minute or two, or warm it up in a pan with a bit of water so it won’t stick.

Warming up or steaming cat food does some nice things for your cats:

  • If the cat has a cold or a respiratory problem warming the food brings out the aroma. Cats only eat what they can smell.
  • Increases digestibility especially for older cats with slower digestive systems
  • Nice for cats who are missing teeth
  • Kittens and cats of any age will be reminded of warm mother’s milk. The food will be much more appealing and soothing to any cat.

Four years and 38 cats later a study by the University of Liverpool School of Veterinary Science revealed some interesting things about cats.

Veterinarian and study author, Dr Alex German, said: “Cats, like many humans are more inclined to comfort eat when it’s cold outside but, in their case, it’s likely to be due to the extra energy they need to keep warm when out and about.”

Seasonal food intake has been examined in the past on farm animals, such as dairy cows, to establish new ways of increasing milk production, but this is the largest study that has yet taken place with domestic cats.
Dr German said: “People should consider the amount of food their cats need at different times of year as this can be part of helping them to maintain a healthy weight.”

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-05-cats-winter.html#jCp

Do cats get depressed? They do – how you can help.


(Bizarro is one of our favorite comic strips!)

 
 

The recent suicide of comic genius Robin Williams has gotten a lot people talking about depression and keeping a closer eye on friends and relations who suffer from depression. But what about our cats, do they sometimes get depressed?

Well, they do. Generally feline depression can be overcome fairly quickly. So many things can trigger it. A death in the family (and that can be family with two feet and no tail, or four feet and a tail) is a big one. Cats can mourn anywhere from a few hours or days, to weeks into months. Any big changes to the home can be a trigger. If your cat feels neglected depression can set in.

Many years ago when we brought Torti home, our other tortoiseshell cat Tasha, let out a cry that was more like a wail a heartbreaking sound that we’d never heard before or ever heard again. It was as if she thought she was being replaced with another cat that looked like her, but was younger. It took loving work, but Tasha snapped out of it a week later and the two girls became inseparable until they both crossed The Rainbow Bridge.

Here are some of the warning signs that Kitty is depressed:

  • Not eating at all or eating much less than usual is number one.
  • Not grooming is probably the second sign that something is wrong (either depression or illness)
  • Hiding. Not engaging with you or the other cats.
  • Your cat could start to sleep noticeably more.
  • Your cat could become very quiet, not meowing, or purring.
  • On the flip side of that your cat could start to yowl which is comparable to us sobbing.
  • Walking with tail and head down, whiskers seem to droop,
  • They may become aggressive towards you or others in the home. They might hiss or bite, or swat.
  • They might stop using the litter box for either pooping or peeing, perhaps even both.
  • The cat may use the litter box but might not bury their droppings.
  • Loss of interest in toys, and affection from you.

Here is how Cat Faeries can help you to help your depressed cat.

A Ball of Twine, a calming music CD created just for cats to be played while you are not at home. The composer has studied the effects of sound on the brain, heart, and cells of the body so this music is truly medicinal.

Comfort Zone with Feliway – Diffusers can be installed in the room or rooms that this cat spends the most time in. That pheromone was intended to stop cats from peeing outside of the box but when it was created in the late 1990’s it was discovered that it calms cats and snaps them out of funks.

Catnip Mist can be sprayed on your cat’s bedding or favorite resting or hiding places. Most cats find the aroma of catnip hard to resist!

Our flower essence formulas. So many good ones to choose from: Moves and Changes, Calm and Serene, Multi Cat Household, Past Abuse, Forget Me Not (for mourning). One formula can go into the food and/or water bowl while another one is lovingly massaged on the cat’s head and ears.

Cat Saved From California Wildfire – How You Can Help Save Cats Caught in Fires

A few years ago we posted an article about how you can help fire fighters save cats caught in fires by donating specially sized oxygen masks for animals (we’ve posted a link to that at the bottom.

Here’s a photo from our local newspaper featuring a fire in the town of Weed, in Northern California (you can imagine the jokes that town gets!) of a fireman holding a cat he found during the big wildfire several days ago, after one of many homes burnt.

The cat looks a lot like our Madeline who was born in that region and came from a shelter 40 miles away! A cousin? Maybe! A big salute to fire fighters!


(from Fast-moving wildfire ‘the most horrible thing’ to ever hit Weed at SFGate.com)

“That fire was coming in here pretty good,” said Zach Curren, a firefighter from Napa, who worked the blaze near Angel Valley Road. “But we managed to stop it right there,” he said, pointing to a long, white ranch home with a crew of firefighters spraying down a smoldering roof.

In his arms he held a gray cat he had just found hiding under a pile of clothes in a house across the street from the smoking home. The neighborhood was deserted except for fire crews, and as the whoosh of hoses and grinding of engines filled the air, the cat shivered.

“Poor thing’s scared to death,” Curren murmured. “A lot of people were, too.”


About two years ago we posted an article to our blog about how you can help firefighters help cats by donating specially sized oxygen masks for animals.



This photo is from a video that is an extremely moving collage of fire fighters rescuing cats from fires. The music is great! You’ll need much tissue!

You can watch all of the video on our blog post on the oxygen masks.

A customer of ours told us about Mara DiGrazia, a veterinarian on Long Island. “She has donated hundreds of animal-sized oxygen masks to numerous fire departments throughout Long Island so they can dispense oxygen properly to animals who are rescued from fires. Without those masks, sadly many beloved animals die even though firefighters heroically rescue them from the flames of the fire because they couldn’t receive life-saving oxygen properly. This is something that makes perfect sense yet I never thought about until I heard Mara was doing it.”

Here’s our blog post – Your local fire department needs specially sized oxygen masks for animals to save the lives of animals. How you can help!

Last year we donated two of these oxygen masks to our closest fire house. One is cat sized, and one is dog sized.

Here’s a link to where you can buy animal oxygen masks to donate to your local fire department – Wag’N O2 Fur Life® Program – The Pet Oxygen Mask Initiative

Vitalize your cat’s water with a VitaJuwel Gemstone Wand

We are beyond delighted to tell you that you can turn your cat’s water into something with better flavor and something that’s vibrantly healthy – VitaJuwel Gemstone Wands. We have found hand blown glass vials in the shape of a wand filled with gemstones to vitalize water. Each wand is 7 inches long.

In just 7 to 10 minutes in a water bowl or a drinking glass and you’ll have vitalized water imprinted with the healing properties of amethyst, garnet and lots of quartz crystals. The water will hold the imprint of the gemstones for 2 days!

When you place one of the wands in water it will have the same energetic quality and radiance of pure water from a free flowing spring – what a rare treat that is! The flavor is light and absolutely delicious. I’m not sure if I’m imagining this but my drinking water looks clearer.

You’ll get so much millage out of your wand. You can place it in your cat’s water bowl for 7 to 10 minutes, then remove it, rinse it off, and place it in a 6 to 8 ounce glass of water for yourself.

Masuro Emoto, who is famous for his books on water including The Hidden Messages of Water, tested these wands himself. Here you’ll see a photo of regular tap water – not pretty, actually downright ugly and scary! The photo next to it is a photo of water that was vitalized with a VitaJuwel vial/wand which is beautiful and healthy looking, a lovely snowflake!

More giddy excitement from Cat Faeries: We are the first flower essence producer work to with the VitaJuwel Gemstone Wands to enhance the water we use in every bottle of our flower essences thus taking our work and the effectiveness of our flower essences to new heights!

We’ve already begun using this enhanced water in our unique formulas for cats, and our single essences which allow you to create your own formulas. If you haven’t checked out our single flower essences they are listed below the cat formulas. You’ll get double-duty healing with our flower essences with vitalized water from VitaJuwel wands!

Who doesn’t want to see their cats and themselves live long and very healthy lives?

Cat Faeries are innovation leaders in all things healthy and natural, and we love taking you and your cats to a whole new level of health, longevity, and consciousness. Get your VitaJuwel Gemstone Wand today and transform your water!

Why do cats like to sneak into attics or basements and spray? Our advice & products to the rescue!

Dear Cat Faeries,

We have been letting our cats “play” in the attic area (for some reason, they really want to be in there), and have just discovered they have been doing more than playing in there.
:( Nasty!


Those naughty kitties! This isn’t surprising, but don’t be angry with them – get your hands on a few bottles of our Anti Icky Poo urine cleaner (on sale now) which will get rid of the urine and odor.

I feel the reason they do this is that the smells up there are intriguing, and they know you don’t go up there often. It’s similar with basements or garages, or crawl spaces. Also those rooms don’t always have the insulation that other rooms of your house have so smells from outside waft in. Sometimes what your cat smells are from animals who are traveling through your yard or garden (and doing their business there too).

Another reason they suddenly want to go into your attic is that you’ve got mice or rats. You’ve either got them now or you recently had them. The smells of their little bodies and nests, plus their droppings can lure cats to such rooms or spaces in the house. When your cat can access where mice or rats have been they like to pee on top of those odors.

You might set rodent traps. What will dictate the type of trap you buy will depend on your view of trapping mice. Some people like what’s known as a humane trap so they release the mice to a field. Other people want The Terminator Method. Because the Hanta Virus carried by mice scares me, we like The Rat Zapper which your local hardware store probably carries or can order for you. The Rat Zapper can be used indoors and outdoors.

When you set any type of traps make sure that the room/area is completely closed off to your cats, dogs, and children.

Here’s Cat Faeries fail-safe bait recipe for any type of trap:

1 cookie (it can be stale)
1 bit of peanut butter (“the glue” for the next two crucial components)
1 Macadamia nut (mice and rats cannot resist them)
1 small piece of black licorice (they adore this too)

Have you ever noticed your cats staring at heater vents? Or worse, peeing on them? The heat ducts in your home are highways for mice! And yes, you may pour Anti Icky Poo down a heater vent – it’s not flammable. Just turn off the heat for the day or few days you are treating it with Anti Icky Poo.

So now we have yet another reason to have Anti Icky Poo always on hand. If you don’t have any more why not order a few fresh bottles?