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

Cats often need baby food, learn which is using GMO’s!

From time to time your vet will recommend that your cat be fed baby food for a period of time. Usually the cat has been sick and is vulnerable to toxins and stresses to the body.

Gerber is using GMO ingredients, and ingredients doused with the herbicide Roundup. If these ingredients harm babies they are likely to harm our cats.

Our sources tell us that Beechnut is not using GMO’s or ingredients which have had Roundup (or similar) applied to them. At this time Beechnut would be the ideal choice for any cat who is sick or being fussy.

One of the many reasons to avoid feeding cats GMO food is that these modified foods have shown to compromise kidneys. I don’t think we need to point out that renal failure is a common occurrence in cats. It’s something we cat lovers try to prevent. GMO’s also harm the liver.

Note: Both brands removed onion powder from their foods a long time ago in response to mothers protesting that if it’s bad for cats, it would be bad for babies.

CALL Gerber and give them an earful. Available 24/7: 800-284-9488

Here is a really good article about GMO’s and why they are so bad:

http://melisann.hubpages.com/hub/What-Genetically-Modified-Foods-Do-to-Our-Bodies

Bixbi Pet Superfoods – 20% off for newsletter readers and Facebook followers only – 72 hours only!

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So easy to use, just add the powder to your cat’s food.

Use this code when you check out: shrooms

Dr. Cheryl Schwartz DVM on helping your Diabetic cat




When Dr. Cheryl Schwartz wanted to learn about veterinary acupuncture she found that a book on the subject did not exist – even in China where acupuncture originated. She turned to the text books for human doctors, and took courses in human acupuncture knowing she could transfer what she learned for people to animals. After years of treating patients with 4 feet and a tail she wrote her book “Four Paws, Five Directions, Traditional Chinese Medicine for Cats and Dogs” which is now a text book in China.




Here is a Cat Faeries exclusive Q and A with Dr. Cheryl Schwartz DVM:

1) I know that for my own diabetes (type 2) the ideal diet is very low carb, moderate protein, and high fat. It’s worked wonders. Would you say that a similar diet for cats who have diabetes or for people who don’t want their cat to get diabetes is a good idea? And what about for cats with kidney failure? It seems to me that both ways of feeding a cat is ideal.

Dr. Schwartz: Great ideas and questions! Low carb, moderate protein and high fat are beneficial for cats with diabetes and kidney failure

2) I’m eating a lot of organ meats (also known as offal). In particular, lamb sweetbreads*. Which by the way, my cats love (recipe to follow). How do you feel about organ meats vs muscle meat for cats with diabetes or kidney failure?

Dr Schwartz: I prefer small amounts of organ meat mixed with muscle meat, because higher amounts seem to create constipation and stagnation in cats.

* Cat Faeries Note: See below for two recipies for lamb sweetbreads – one for cats, one for people.

3) My MD has me on 70 grams of protein a day and I’m surprised that I’m liking eating less protein and more fat. What might you recommend for an average sized cat of about 11 pounds? What ratio of meat to fat to vegetable do you like?

Dr. Schwartz: I don’t usually break it down between fat and protein. I use more TCM therapy. I recommend the fatty meats like lamb, chicken, beef. Some cats with diabetes do well on stewed or boiled pork loin or butt. It is important to make sure the cat does not also have pancreatitis where fat metabolism/absorption can create more inflammation, so each cat seems to be unique. Ratio between meat and vegetables would be 2/3 meat to 1/3 veggies, including some sweet potato.

4) I no longer cook my own meats at a high heat because the high heat creates “advanced glycation” which happens inside the body when charred, grilled, or fried meat is consumed. I understand that this means it turns to sugar when it’s eaten and this is one of the reason diabetes is has become practically an epidemic for people, and also our cats and dogs. I steam, stew, boil, simmer, or poach my meats now and eat them pretty rare. Would you recommend those techniques for a cat’s meat? Do you have anything to say about advanced glycation and how to prevent it?

Dr Schwartz: High heat is present in dry food and it does increase the sugar content. I recommend stewing or poaching, or hot pot as best ways to prepare. If the cat can tolerate and like it, I would recommend raw food.

5) There has been a lot of talk lately about resistant starch and safe starches for people – basically steamed potatoes and white rice, severed with something acidic (like lemon juice), fat and served cold. For people it can be healing to the gut and it gives people some carbs which do not jack their blood sugar. Any value in this theory for cats?

Dr. Schwartz: I like steamed sweet potato or pumpkin for cats.

6) Are there safe carbs for a cat? Any safe grains?

Dr. Schwartz: It depends on the cat. I really like the sweet potato, pumpkin. Another alternative is mashed cooked lentils or garbanzo beans with cooked white rice. Adding a small piece of pickle* is sometimes tolerated by some cats. Either the cat likes it or not.

* Cat Faeries Note: Coming up in another newsletter, how to properly lacto ferment vegetables suitable for you and your cats.

7) Which fats are good for cats? For people ideal fats are saturated and those include: coconut oil, MCT oil, lard, grass fed butter.

Dr Schwartz: Cat Faeries fish oil mainly. Grass fed butter*, olive oil, small amounts coconut oil.

* Cat Faeries Note: www.mcclellandsdairy.com/ or www.pureindianfoods.com are who we buy our grass fed butter or ghee.

8) Which flower essences help cats with either or both conditions?

Dr. Schwartz: Kidney Kitty is good. It would also be helpful for diabetes cats

9) You are big on color therapy. Would you recommend shining a colored light on a cat?

Dr Schwartz: For the kidneys use blue light. Shine the light around the kidney area in lumbar vertebrae. For diabetes use yellow or green light and shine it at the end of the ribs (Thoracic V) and beginning of the lumbar as well as Spleen 6.

10) Any other therapies that a person might employ?

Dr. Schwartz: Other great modalities might be sound therapy with tuning forks.

11) What acupressure points are good for diabetic cats and cats with some form of renal failure?



For diabetes



For renal failure

(Photos from “Four Paws, Five Directions, Traditional Chinese Medicine for Cats and Dogs” used with permission of Dr. Cheryl Schwartz)



Your Cat Faeries’ Lamb Sweetbreads Recipie

Lamb sweetbreads are the pancreas and thymus of young sheep and they are one of the most nutrient dense foods there is. You only want to buy them from organic/pastured sources. To find them in your state: www.eatwild.com

  • Soak a pound or so of sweet breads in cold water for two hours
  • You might rinse them a few times during their soak
  • Strain in a colander in the sink
  • You want to pull off the big chunky fat pieces – the reason is that this fat isn’t delicious, it can be bitter, and the tough texture clashes with the dumpling like texture of the sweet breads
  • Try to remove some of the membrane without tearing or compromising the shape of the sweet breads
  • Cut them into uniform sizes so that they cook evenly. About 1 and a half inch pieces.
  • Par boil in gently boiling water for 5 minutes and drain

IF SERVING TO CATS – STOP HERE! The seasonings which are good and healthful to us are not good for cats (onion especially)

Continue on only for people…

  • Melt a lot of butter in a pan
  • Add some white wine and stir vigorously to make a slight reduction
  • Seasonings can include salt and pepper, a pinch of cumin powder, onion powder (organic and delicious onion powder can be bought at Azure Farms online)
  • Add the sweet breads
  • Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Interestingly, they do not dry out, yet if they are undercooked the texture isn’t very nice.
    At this point you can remove them and do a thicker white wine and butter deduction sauce by adding more of both, and stirring vigorously
  • You could even put some heavy cream in at this point or a bit of soft goat cheese
  • Put the sweetbreads back in the pan so the flavors marry with the sauce
  • Some people fry up the fat bits and have them separately
  • Leftovers are so good that they are even good cold!
  • You might experiment with adding cooked sausage and mushrooms

The list of the top 11 “safe” cat foods for 2014 – just in! Get your copy!

Susan Thixton is Cat Faeries’ good friend and sister in crusading for impeccable quality in all things for cats.

She has just released her “List” of 11 cat foods and 22 dog foods which she considers to be the safest and of the highest quality, and which are trusted enough to feed her own cats and dogs. Most of them have signed The Pledge that their foods will be free of Chinese ingredients and that they will uphold and maintain her high standards of quality and integrity. Believe us when we tell you that most cat and dog food companies won’t sign The Pledge!

To get your copy of the list you need to donate anywhere from $10 to $50. Why pay for it?

Susan Thixton is about the hardest working person we know. Her dedication and commitment to you and your cats is unwavering. Selling this annual list is her only source of income and her expenses are high. She travels to pet biz trade shows where she can corner and speak with the makers of cat and dog foods. She attends the annual AAFCO meetings which cost $1,500 entry fees and travel.

Susan spends hours making phone calls and sending faxes. She works 7 (seven!) days a week, often chained to her computer until 10 or 11pm every night. And she’s got her own animals to feed, and a home to maintain. If she didn’t charge for this list she would not be able to be an advocate for us. Mind you, she loves this work, but she needs income to be able to do it.

This link will take you to the page that explains her list and the criteria she has set for food manufacturers – http://truthaboutpetfood.com/the-2014-list

This link will take you directly to the ordering page. Please donate the highest amount that you can afford – http://www.truthaboutpetfoodcom.mybigcommerce.com/