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Pet People

Friday, March 30, 2007

Mister D*%&$! Dirty Toes!

This is why we got rid of all wall-to-wall carpeting and put in laminate wood floors. How sweet of Scooter to give me an illustration of what I was talking about yesterday in the topic about baths. He's so helpful. Remember I mentioned Scooter needing foot baths on a regular basis? Notice how he made sure to get the mud up between his toes--ALL of them. I just gave him a full bath and then I notice this today after he's been back in the house for a while. Now you know why The Boss calls him a pain in the you-know-what.

Foot bath procedure: Take a small bucket of water and towel on the deck. Get Scooter to stand. Put each paw in the bucket, wash, wipe. On to the next foot. This is why I HATE it when it rains. I'm ready to turn the entire backyard into a courtyard with just a small square of grass for bathroom business! Peanut and Zoe NEVER need foot baths!

Also this morning, the dogs were going nuts in the back yard. I go out and what do I see? A deer at the edge of the woods. Nothing unusual about that. But the dogs must act like they've never seen one before and carry on like a crazy pack of hyennas! The deer don't even run away, because they've learned the dogs can't get them. Why can't the dogs learn the same lesson? They get used to the sound of cars they hear regularly and bark only at strange ones. They've gotten used to cat meows at the window and no longer bark at Tarzan and Catfish, but yet with Squirrels, deer, etc. they act like they have amnesia. At least when cats see "prey" they simply WATCH.

Yes, this morning I'm loving the cats MUCH more than the dogs!

posted by Sandy at 3/30/2007 08:59:00 AM


Blogger Alice said...

Yesterday, Max and Charlie got sheared. Yes, like sheep. The amoount of fur was amazing! They are stripped down now and we can see their cute little faces again. Aimee cowered under the bed because she thought she would have to go under the clippers. I did strip her once and she was SO very unhappy. So, she doesn't get it anymore. Max and Charlie ran around after their cuts like crazy dogs. I think they like it. It's easier for them to keep themselves clean, ahem, after a trip to the backyard and there are no dead leaves to clean up when they come back in. The long fur grabs all sorts of residue and deposits it on the floor in here. I did their feet with scissors this time. It worked out much better. With this cut we also don't have a "klingon" problem. Max positivley freaks out when he knows there is a errant piece of poop on his backside. I think he tries to outrun it with me running behind trying to grab it with a paper towel. I should bathe them too... not sure if I have the energy. Maybe next week.

Friday, March 30, 2007 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

Hey everybody, I just read online that they ahve just discovered it wasn't rat poisen in the pet food but melamine plastic that has killed and made all those animals sick! They also said it could also be in the dry food! This was released a little over a hour and a half ago, it's 1:17p.m. now. This is scaring me silly, I mean what are we suppsed to feed our pets? I may have to cook up a batch of chicken and things. I'm sure this will be all over the news on TV soon. I found this on the MSN home page. They did say taht organic foods seem to be ok in the meantime but I'm still concerned.They also talked about wheat gluten and some other stuff.

Friday, March 30, 2007 1:21:00 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

This is the latest from Menu Foods. I'm looking for the FDA statement he refers to here to see what it says.



MARCH 30, 2007

Ladies and gentlemen:

Thank you for your attendance, and for your continuing dedication to this disturbing and emotional story.

I am Paul Henderson, President and CEO of Menu Foods. With me today is Randall Copeland, Executive Vice-President of Sales and Marketing, and a thirty-year veteran of the pet food industry, having spent a good portion of that time in plant operations.

This afternoon, I have a brief opening statement and then we will take a limited number of questions. For the sake of those listening in by phone, please do not begin asking your question until you have a microphone in hand.

One week ago, some of the dedicated researchers who had been investigating this matter reported the discovery of a single, toxic compound in our pet food. That, seemingly, cleared the way for us to address the problem, deal fairly with the pet-owners who had been injured, put our business back together, and move on.

In the intervening week, other top scientists have been unable to validate the findings. That is, they were unable to find the toxin – called aminopterin – in our pet food, or in any of the component ingredients. It was also brought to our attention that some veterinary experts held the view that aminopterin was inconsistent with what was being observed in dogs and cats.

There is an entirely different story today.
As you heard earlier from the FDA and Cornell University, a compound called melamine has been identified as being present in the food that caused the pet illnesses and deaths.

Melamine has been found in the finished product that was the subject of recall and has not been found in other Menu Foods pet food outside of the recall. Menu Foods only manufactures wet pet food.

Melamine has been found in the wheat gluten from a new supplier in the United States, who sourced this wheat gluten in China. This is the same ingredient that Menu Foods made reference to in its recall press release of March 16. Melamine has not been found in the wheat gluten that we obtain from our other suppliers.

The recalled product is unfit for consumption by pets. It contains melamine.

The pet food that we have manufactured after March 6 is safe and healthy. How do we know this?

First, it contains no melamine. Secondly, it contains none of the suspect wheat gluten.

Thirdly, all of the testing that has been conducted, including the routine taste tests that were underway prior to the discovery of this problem, have demonstrated that those products not associated with the suspect wheat gluten performed very well and in a manner consistent with historic norms.

Menu Foods has been in operation for more than 35 years. Our plants are modern, run by dedicated, experienced and well-trained employees. We operated with good manufacturing practices and are routinely audited by well recognized, independent experts on food safety and sanitation. It’s clear from our customer base that we must meet the most rigorous quality standards in the industry in order to be allowed to produce these products for some of the world’s largest brands. That is how we have confidence in our abilities to produce quality products.

With all of these quality standards, how did this happen? Quite simply, one supplier’s product was adulterated with a material that is not part of any known screening procedure for wheat gluten. The important point today is that the source of the adulteration has been identified and removed from our system.

Needless to say, we have a great deal of interest in finding out why we were supplied with this kind of product. This is a subject of very great interest to us and our lawyers and you can expect that we will be following up. For litigation purposes, we cannot elaborate at this time.

Let me be clear on this - we have removed that problem from our system. Our recall is well underway and products produced today are being made with known, quality and tested raw materials.

As a result, I can say with complete confidence today – to consumers, to our customers, to governments – that Menu Foods continues to uphold the high standards for which we have been known since 1971.

Our products are safe. We continue to engage in the highest levels of monitoring and testing in the pet food industry. These tests will be expanded as a result of this experience.

A final word on melamine. We have had correspondence with the FDA and we know that they are diligently following-up on the supply of the suspect wheat gluten. It is not our place to name the supplier as we do not want to interfere in any way with the important investigation they are conducting.

What we know today is that the products made by Menu Foods are of the highest quality, are safe, and will be returning to store shelves across North America in the coming weeks and months.

Does Menu have something it wants to say to any pet owners who have suffered a loss?

All of us at Menu Foods want to express our sympathy to those people who have suffered with sickness and loss of pets.

We are pet-people and we have almost 1,000 caring employees who are dedicated to making food that is safe, nutritious and palatable.

We are proud of our employees and the hard work, loyalty and diligence they have demonstrated in these trying times.

We are angered that a source outside of the company has apparently adulterated the product causing this regrettable loss.

We are grateful to our customers and retailers who have been so responsible in the quick removal of affected product from the market and ask their continued diligence to assure that affected product is not accidentally restocked in their systems.

What is your reaction to the FDA’s Announcement earlier today?

We believe the announcement today by the FDA supports the products and the procedures used by Menu Foods in the recall. We are pleased that they have acknowledged that the nature of the adulteration could not have been identified by detection methods used by the industry and by their acknowledgement that no violations occurred.

One area that has made this recall particularly confusing is that Menu Foods executed the recall before there was a known scientific cause for the illness experienced by pets and with very few reported incidents from the field. We believe today’s press announcement by the FDA again supports our actions. The actions we took out of an abundance of caution undoubtedly saved many lives.

The FDA has reported that the adulterant found in the wheat gluten has only been found in wheat gluten from one specific supplier of that ingredient. This is the ingredient referenced in our recall announcement of March 16.

Friday, March 30, 2007 2:35:00 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Okay, Pam, calm down. It specifically says that they don't know yet if the tainted wheat gluten was used to make dry food. They will announce that as soon as they make the determination. You can't let yourself get so worked up over something that may not be happening. Just hold on and let's see what develops here. Here's the AP article, which is the most current thing I can find.

"FDA finds chemical in recalled pet food";
"Ingredient used to make plastics, but no rat poison, found in samples"

The Associated Press
Updated: 12:34 p.m. CT March 30, 2007

WASHINGTON - Recalled pet foods contained a chemical used to make plastics, but government tests failed to confirm the presence of rat poison, federal officials said Friday.

The Food and Drug Administration said it found melamine in samples of the Menu Foods pet food, as well as in wheat gluten used as an ingredient in the wet-style products. The FDA was working to rule out the possibility that the contaminated wheat gluten could have made it into any human food, but was not aware of any risk to people.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the melamine was the culprit in the deaths of more than a dozen cats and dogs and the illnesses of hundreds more, said Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine.

In a news conference, FDA officials said that the apparently melamine-contaminated wheat gluten also was shipped to a company that manufactures dry pet food, but they would not name the company.

The FDA is attempting to determine if that company used any of the wheat gluten, imported from China, to make dry pet food, Sundlof said.

Wheat gluten, a source of vegetable protein, is also used in some human foods, but the FDA emphasized it had found no indication that the contaminated ingredient had been used in food for people.

The FDA said it would alert the public quickly if the melamine was found in any foods other than the recalled pet food.

Cornell University scientists also found melamine — used to produce plastic kitchen wares and used in Asia as a fertilizer — in the urine of sick cats, as well as in the kidney of one cat that died after eating the company’s wet food.

Menu Foods recalled 60 million containers of cat and dog food earlier this month after animals died of kidney failure after eating the Canadian company’s products. It is not clear how many pets may have been poisoned by the apparently contaminated food, although anecdotal reports suggest hundreds if not thousands have died. The FDA alone has received more than 8,000 complaints.

Toxicity levels uncertain
The new finding comes a week after scientists at the New York State Food Laboratory identified a rat poison and cancer drug called aminopterin as the likely culprit in the pet food. The FDA said it could not confirm that finding.

New York officials have detected melamine in the recalled food as well. Yet New York remained confident in its aminopterin finding, said Patrick Hooker, commissioner of the New York state Department of Agriculture and Markets. Hooker added that neither aminopterin nor melamine should be in pet food, but that it was unclear why the latter substance would be poisonous to the cats in which it was found.

“While we have no doubt that melamine is present in the recalled pet food, there is not enough known data on the mammalian toxicity levels of melamine to conclude it could cause illness and deaths in cats. With little existing data, many questions still remain as to the connection between the illnesses and what has caused them,” Hooker said.

The recall involved nearly 100 brands of “cuts and gravy” style dog and cat food made by Menu Foods. The recall covered products carrying names of major brand-name and private-label products sold throughout North America.

Menu Foods used wheat gluten to thicken the gravy of its pet foods, FDA officials have said.

Friday, March 30, 2007 2:44:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Stacey, Thanks for trying to make me feel better but untill I know for sure there isn't anything in any of the dry food for sure I'm going to be concerned. What "if" there is? How much will it take to make our animals sick or die? I don't want to take a chance on making my girls sick or worse and I know you don't either. I am the same way with drugs. I know what crtain drugs can do to people and how bad it can be as well so am experienced in that sense. Like the VIoxx, I knew way before they took it off the market just how bad it was for people and knew many people had bad side effects and heart attacks from taking it yet that info wasn't given untill so many ahd died first. Pharmaceutical companies don't want that info out there untill absolutely the last minute so too amny people suffer the outcome. Now don't get me wrong I am not downing all the pharm Corps. but I do know how they work.They don't want harm to anyone but they also don't want to pull a product till a certain ammount of harm has been done, the $$ are lost. I'm making sure as many of my friends as possible know the dangers of Celebrex right now. If they still want to take it well then it's thier decision but at least they know the chance they're taking. Ok Ok I am sorry for getting into all of this and off the original subject. I do tend to get on my little soap box when it's something that I feel strong about. I apoligize for my ranting here but please understand why I felt the need to express how I feel. I just want to feed my girls the best and safest food I can. Hope you understand my reasoning.

Friday, March 30, 2007 5:39:00 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

OF COURSE!! I wasn't calling you to task, I just didn't want you to worry yourself into a tizzy. That's all. Yes, I understand completely. Here is a copy and paste from the latest article referring to the only dry food announced so far:

"Meanwhile, Hill’s Pet Nutrition recalled its Prescription Diet m/d Feline dry cat food. The food included wheat gluten from the same supplier that Menu Foods used. The recall didn’t involve any other Prescription Diet or Science Diet products, said the company, a division of Colgate-Palmolive Co.

FDA was working to rule out the possibility that the contaminated wheat gluten could have made it into any human food. However, melamine is toxic only in high doses, experts said, leaving its role in the pet deaths unclear."

The rest of the article can be read at this link:

Friday, March 30, 2007 6:20:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Stacey, Thanks again for trying to make me feel better, it means a lot. I am still a bit concerned since my girls normal diet is Hill's Prescription diet, but they are on R/D and W/D. When I heard Hill's Prescription ws one of the foods being recalled I did freak a little. I put them back on Iams Multi Cat formula. So guess I'll go back and forth till I know for sure what is the safest. I am a worrier. Bless you for being a friend and helping my worries.

Friday, March 30, 2007 7:22:00 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Hey, us Pet People have to stick together!! I think that is one of the best effects of this blog. We all have found others that understand how we feel about our four legged children. We can all truly relate and have empathy for each other for our individual concerns. None of us thinks anyone is crazy for whatever wacky thing they may think in relation to a pet. To us, it ain't wacky, it's just what parents do.

Friday, March 30, 2007 9:15:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

you said it all! We do all feel the same way on here about our babies and want only the best for them and if one of us goes a little overboard now and then we all understand cause sooner or later it will be our turn to do the same. We are just all trying to be the best parents we can be!

Friday, March 30, 2007 9:40:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Oh my, what dirty toes Scooter has. And it would have to be the white dog that loves the mud right! I am glad I don’t have to deal with that with my indoor only girls!

Speaking of the girls, they had their Spring hair cuts today! With all that hair gone, they look like they have been on a crash diet! They now look so thin and sleek. I had an injury during the process. I clipped their claws before the hair cuts started but Cheetah still got me with her hind legs and claws. We lost our grip on her and she jumped off of my chest and over my shoulder to escape the fun hair cut play we were having. We had to stop the clipping process for me to catch my breath and get over the pain as she got me good! She drew blood on my chest and I think I may have a scar from one of the deeper scratches. Good things the boobs were not in the way of harm! The price I have to pay to give my own hair cuts! Serves me right huh, Dragon and Stacey? LOL.....

It did not traumatize them too much because Cheetah is lying on my lap as I type. Well, that is when she is not on the desk and trying to catch the cursor on the computer!

Sunday, April 01, 2007 8:16:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

I have sad news to report tonight, my sister's dog Brady died early this morning although I just found out a little while ago. He only suffered a little while and died before they could take him to be put down. This made my sister and brother-in-law feel better that he died at home where he was as comfortable as possible. They were relieved that they didn't have to take him to the vet. He was in one of his favorite spots when he died. Brady was the sweetist loving dog and we are already missing him. I miss him as well he was a good dog. My sister and her husband are grieving so please add them to your prayers for comfort.

Sunday, April 01, 2007 9:37:00 PM  
Blogger Alice said...

My deepest sympathies and prayers to yous sister and her family. We have them with us for such a short time and it is a miracle that they can give us so much love. Sunshine and warmth forever more... until we all meet again...

Sunday, April 01, 2007 10:03:00 PM  
Blogger Daisylouu said...

Sorry to hear about Brady pam....hope memories of him will give everyone comfort as they deal with this. It's not easy losing a pet, but if we didn't love them so much, it wouldn't hurt so bad!

Monday, April 02, 2007 5:15:00 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Brady. I'm glad he was at home with his family.I have been away from the blog for a while-was Brady sick? I will be thinking of ya'll.

Monday, April 02, 2007 7:36:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Pam, I too am so sorry to hear the news of Brady. In the midst of sorrow I am happy that he passed on, while in his favorite place at home. Nothing more horrible then having to take a beloved pet to the Vet for that last visit... My heart is heavy today over this loss for your family... Take comfort in knowing that Brady is in doggie heaven running freely with all of our lost babies…

Monday, April 02, 2007 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

Thank you all for your sympathy, it means a lot! I cried on the phone with my sister because I loved Brady too, he was a sweet dog but it was just his time I guess. He was 15 and he had kidney failure so yes Shannon, he had been sick for some time. He's been on medicine and seeing the vet. Poor fellow just couldn't hang on any longer.

Monday, April 02, 2007 4:12:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Thank you all for your sympathy, it means a lot! I cried on the phone with my sister because I loved Brady too, he was a sweet dog but it was just his time I guess. He was 15 and he had kidney failure so yes Shannon, he had been sick for some time. He's been on medicine and seeing the vet. Poor fellow just couldn't hang on any longer.

Monday, April 02, 2007 4:12:00 PM  

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Pet People

Sandy Britt, an animal welfare advocate and volunteer with Clarksville rescue organizations, takes care of three dogs: Zoe, Scooter and Peanut; two cats: Catfish and Tarzan; and one husband, Glen, and according to him she takes care of them in that order.

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