On February 18, 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a caution regarding the toxicity of xylitol in dogs and ferrets. Xylitol’s effect on insulin and blood glucose in cats is not clear at this time.

The FDA is cautioning consumers about the risks associated with the accidental consumption of xylitol by dogs and ferrets. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol approved for use in many common products, including sugar-free baked goods, candy, oral hygiene products, and chewing gum.

Xylitol can be found in many over-the-counter drugs such as chewable vitamins and throat lozenges and sprays. It can also be purchased in bulk bags for use in home baking. These products are intended only for human use.

FDA is aware of complaints involving dogs that experienced illness associated with the accidental consumption of xylitol. Xylitol is safe for humans but it can be harmful to dogs and ferrets.

FDA is advising consumers to always read the label on products and to not presume that a product that is safe for humans is safe for your pet.

The FDA reports included clinical signs such as a sudden drop in blood sugar (hypoglycemia), seizures and liver failure. If you suspect your pet has ingested xylitol, some signs to look for are depression, loss of coordination and vomiting. The signs of illness may occur within minutes to days of ingesting xylitol. Owners should consult their veterinarian or pet poison control center immediately for advice if they know or suspect that their pet has ingested a human product containing xylitol.

Other items that may contain Xylitol:
  • Mouthwash
  • Toothpaste
  • Gummy Bears
  • Chocolate
  • Breath Mints
  • Baked Goods (sugar-free)
  • Chewing Gum
  • Candies
  • Multi-Vitamins
  • Throat Lozenges
  • Throat Sprays
  • Sweeteners
  • Moisturizing Nasal Wash
  • Baking Powder
  • Food-storage Containers
  • Jams & Jellies
  • "Diabetic" candies & foods
  • Many "diet" products
  • Products that are "artificially sweetened"

If you doggies or ferrets get their paws on any of the above products, call your Vet immediately ... not all dogs show signs of illness after consumption, HOWEVER, sever liver damage or death can still ensue, so evaluation by a Vet ASAP is paramount ... their life could depend on it. Depending on the amount ingested, as little as 30 minutes could be the difference between life & death.

date Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Tips from American Humane and "Happy Dog: Caring for Your Dog's Body, Mind and Spirit" to Keep Your Dog's Skin and Coat Healthy This Winter

With winter comes snow, mud and dirty dogs! Take care of your pet's skin and coat with the following winter care tips from the American Humane Association:

  1. All dogs (except for the truly hairless breeds) require frequent brushing regardless of coat type. Brushing is very important to your dog's health and happiness. Brushing stimulates the skin by removing dead skin flakes, encourages natural oil production, removes irritating debris and encourages blood flow to the skin. It also uncovers skin and coat troubles, such as dandruff, parasites or dry or brittle fur, which may indicate an illness. Failing to brush your dog regularly may result in mats, which breed bacteria and infections and can be very painful for your dog.

  2. Dogs should be bathed regularly. Brushing before a bath is recommended, as it breaks down dirt, grime and debris so the shampoo will clean more effectively (and it might also relax the dog). Don't wash dogs outside; the frigid water from a garden hose is extremely uncomfortable and can make them sick.

  3. Treat your dog to a visit with a professional groomer periodically. Dogs with coats that need regular trimming -- such as poodles and Shih Tzus -- can be professionally groomed every four to six weeks. Many mixed-breed dogs and those with multi-length coats -- such as golden retrievers, many spaniels and sheep dogs -- can get a professional grooming every six to 12 weeks. Dogs with uniform-length coats -- such as Labs, and beagles -- can visit a professional every 12 to 16 weeks, but can get by with home brushings. A professional can identify and remove mats safely. In addition, nail clipping, ear-hair removal and anal-sac expression are safer when performed by a trained professional. Professional groomers also have the tools and experience to safely cut and style your dog's coat.

  4. Inspect your dog's ears frequently. Clean inside the ear only when you see dirt, wax or debris. Use an unexpired canine ear-wash solution and cotton balls to clean the ear (do not use cotton swabs). Squirt the solution into the dog's ear canal and massage the base of the ear canal for 20 seconds. Then use cotton balls to remove the wax, but only as far down as you can see. Stop immediately if your dog cries, bites or exhibits any sign of pain.

  5. Perform inspections of your dog's skin and coat. Because your dog is covered in fur that can hide medical and grooming problems, you should inspect every inch of the skin and coat with your eyes and fingers. Regular brushing will make the inspection easier because dirt, mats and tangles won't get in your way. Look for any changes or abnormalities, such as bites, parasites, injuries, lumps or changes in the skin's color or texture.

  6. Remember, it's cold outside! Dogs with short hair and dogs that get cold easily should wear coats or sweaters while on a walk to keep them warm. You can also cover their feet with booties to protect their pads from salt or chemical de-icers. Wipe off any salt that might get on their stomach to keep them from licking it off.

Some of the information in this press release was taken from "Happy Dog: Caring for Your Dog's Body, Mind and Spirit" by Billy Rafferty and Jill Cahr. For every copy sold at www.happydogland.com or www.barkerandmeowsky.com, $1 will be donated to American Humane. For more information about the book, you can also visit http://www.americanhumane.org/protecting-animals/happy-dog.html.

The information contained in this release can be reused and posted with proper credit given to the American Humane Association.

SOURCE: American Humane Association

date Friday, February 18, 2011


Dealing with Ice in Paddocks
By: Julie Wilson, DVM and Erin Malone, DVM. University of Minnesota

Ice is a problem in horse paddocks as falls and slips can lead to serious injury. The best solution is to remove the horse from the paddock, until the ice melts, but few horse owners have that option.

Sand can be helpful to increase traction. However, it is ideal to not feed the horses in the area where the sand is spread to minimize the risk of ingestion.

Straight salt can speed the melting of the ice if temperatures are not too cold. There is no research documenting the effect of salt on horse hooves, but pure salt should be used in moderation as a precaution. If using pure salt to melt ice, make sure the horses have an alternative source of salt to reduce ingestion off the ground.

A mixture of sand and salt should not be used in horse paddocks due to the chance of horses accidentally ingesting the sand via their interest in the salt.

Other options like shavings, hay, and straw tend to slide over ice and do not provide additional traction. Small rocks can provide traction, but can be accidentally ingested or become lodged in hooves.

To reduce water/ice in the future, improve the grade, install gutters on the barn, and reduce the amount of manure in the paddock.


Some good advice in this article. Anyone have any more ideas/suggestions to add? How do you all handle this problem?


date Saturday, February 12, 2011



This is so cute!  The interaction between the puppies & grown doggies went very well, I think. All of these doggies in the 2011 Twin Cities Puppy Bowl are available for adoption. Obi-wan & Claudia are our personal favorites ... as are Moses & Fred! For more info on which rescue the doggie you are interested in is located, click their photo below. Sooooo cute!! ♥♥♥

Score! =o)

clyde obiwan moses eddy
tuffy katrina dino claudia
bee fred appollo audrey
gabby lincoln scappy gerry

For more information on the 2011 Twin Cities Puppy Bowl
(located in Minnesota, by-the-way), click here.
UPDATE (02/14): All of the puppies, and "retirees" (except Gabby, Eddy & Fred)
have all been adopted! =o)
Gabby, Eddy & Fred are still in need of loving homes.


By-the-way ... be sure to join us Superbowl Sunday, February 6th, when we join in on the ...

date Thursday, February 3, 2011


Merrick Pet Care, Inc. is issuing a RECALL of the Jr. Texas Taffy pet treat (ITEM # 27077, UPC # 02280827077, All Lots up to and including 10364) because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - January 28, 2011 – Merrick Pet Care, Inc. of Amarillo, Texas is recalling the Jr. Texas Taffy pet treat (ITEM # 27077, UPC # 02280827077, All Lots up to and including 10364) because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Merrick Pet Care has made the decision to recall all Jr. Texas Taffy pet treats in the abundance of caution. Salmonella can affect animals and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products. People handling the treats can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the chews or any surfaces exposed to these products. Consumers should dispose of these products in a safe manner by securing them in a covered trash receptacle.



Wow, another RECALL from Merrick.  Wonder what's up with them?  We used to eat Merrick products before they stareted recalling stuff. If you "recall", Merrick recalled another of its dog treats last year, after a sample tested positive for salmonella.

Crazy world,

By-the-way ... Jr. Texas Taffy dog treats are sold nationwide in stores, including Petco and Agway

date Wednesday, February 2, 2011

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