Can Microchip Identification Cause Cancer?
Recent stories circulating suggest that there is a link between the microchips used in identifying pets and cancer.
Why is this being suspected now?
Previous Presidential candidate Tommy Thompson has been quoted as being in support of the microchips in humans and there are questions about his interest in the microchip company. The opponents of microchipping in humans found a ten-year-old study linking the development of cancer in mice to the microchips at less than 1%. This study was initially looking at X-ray radiation and chemical carcinogen affects on mice. A study in 2001 using rats also found a low incidence of cancer, approximately 1%, due to microchips. Although a two year study in 1990 showed no reaction to microchips in mice. These studies haven’t been repeated and laboratory mice can easily develop cancer.
How many dogs and cats have been diagnosed with tumors related to the chip?
Overall this number is unknown. At Mill Creek Animal Clinic, we have chipped over 1,000 animals and none have developed cancer due to the microchip. A review of veterinary pathology journals cited 1 case in a French Bull dog where the microchip was located near the mass. There is no definitive connection between the microchip and the cancerous mass. On the Veterinary Information Network, a veterinary internet listserv, there has been lively discussion of the story. A few veterinarians report isolated suspicious cases and several oncologists reported none. Millions of animals have been microchipped since the 90’s and veterinary pathologists have reported no outbreaks of cancerous tumors at the site of implantation.
Is it safe?
Every procedure, every choice we make has potential negative consequences. It is important to weigh the risks against the benefits. Is anything 100% safe? NO. There will always be someone or something that reacts differently that the rest of the general population. It is our belief; after revisiting and researching this issue that the chips are extremely safe. The risk of a pet being forever lost or killed in a shelter because the pet cannot be identified is astronomically higher than the risk of cancer developing as a result of the chip. Most of our staff have their dogs and cats microchipped and will chip any additional pets that join their respective families.
The question of the safety of Beneful is burning up Facebook and the internet. The actual facts about the case are still under investigation, so it is incredibly difficult to balance the safety of our patients with the hysteria created by the internet and lawsuits that may prove to be completely unfounded. To date, there is nothing listed on the FDA website warning of dangers in Beneful pet food. While each person should review the facts and come to their own conclusion, it may be easier to avoid Beneful at this time until more information is available. If your dog is exhibiting any symptoms of illness, he should be examined. If your dog is healthy and you feel safer changing diets, transition in the new food over 3-4 days. There are numerous healthy pet foods available, and we are always here to guide you in making the best selection for your pet. You may review their web page, Beneful.com and click on FAQ for lawsuit information and rebuttal.
Human Meds Are Pets’ Biggest Poisoning Danger:
Pill-popping pups prompt many calls to ASPCA’s poison control center
By Maryann Mott
FRIDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) — When John D’Amato arrived home early from work one day, he found an empty bottle of ibuprofen on the living room floor — and one very sick pet.
His Great Dane puppy, Otis, had knocked the pain-reliever container off the coffee table — where D’Amato had left it the night before — and devoured dozens of the pills.
“My heart dropped through the floor,” he said of the discovery.
D’Amato rushed the 85-pound puppy to a veterinary clinic near his home in Manchester, N.H., where the staff immediately induced vomiting and began administering IV fluids. Had D’Amato arrived home much later, Otis might not have survived.
Ingestion of over-the-counter and prescription drugs formulated for humans are by far the most common cause of pet poisonings in this country, veterinarians say.
Since the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) in Urbana, Ill., began keeping statistics in 2002, human medications have consistently topped its annual list of the most toxic substances pets ingest.
Of the 98,000 calls received so far this year, about one-third involve dogs and cats consuming human medications, says Camille DeClementi, a veterinary toxicologist with APCC.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, such as Advil, Aleve and Motrin, are among the top offenders, the APCC finds. Other drugs commonly eaten by dogs and some felines include antidepressants (Prozac), acetaminophen (Tylenol), anti-anxiety drugs (Xanax), sleep aids (Ambien) and beta-blocker blood pressure medications (Tenormin or Toprol.)
“The most toxic things in our homes are the medications we take,” she said. “Animals are inquisitive, and get into things they’re not supposed to.”
Pets knock vials off countertops and nightstands, or owners mistakenly think they’re helping their pets by giving them human medication to alleviate some sort of ailment.
That’s a big no-no.
“Dogs’ and cats’ metabolisms are different from ours, so they can’t always process the same drugs we can,” explains Silene Young, a former emergency room veterinarian who works for Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) in Brea, Calif. Just one extra-strength Tylenol, for example, can kill a cat. And the anti-cancer topical treatment, Fluorouracil, can be fatal in dogs, even in the tiniest doses ingested — say, from chewing on the discarded cotton swabs used to apply the cream, according to veterinary toxicologists.
Medication mix-ups cause unintentional poisonings too. By grabbing the wrong bottle, some owners inadvertently give their pet medication that’s really meant for them or other humans.
Keeping animal and human medications in separate drawers or cabinets is the simplest way to prevent those types of mishaps from occurring.
It’s also a good idea, veterinarians say, for owners to take their medication in the bathroom with the door shut. That way, if a pill drops on the floor, they have time to retrieve it before the dog does.
Luckily, a good portion of pet poisoning cases are treatable at home if caught right away, says the DeClementi. The center runs a 24-7 hotline staffed by veterinary toxicologists who give diagnostic and treatment recommendations for poison-related emergencies in animals.
And if a trip to the veterinary hospital is warranted, you’d better take along your credit card. Treating a pet that has ingested a human medication costs owners, on average, $791 before insurance reimbursement, according to VPI.
As for Otis, the Great Dane, he pulled through just fine after three days of intravenous fluids and close monitoring by veterinarians. The sheer number of pills he gobbled — at least 35 — could have caused gastric ulcers or kidney failure, both of which can cause death.
Quick action taken by his owner, though, saved the young dog’s life and stopped internal damage from developing. “He’s been back for check-ups since [the incident],” says D’Amato, “and he’s a very healthy dog.”
For first aid tips involving pets, see the American Veterinary Medical Association.
SOURCES: Camille DeClementi, V.M.D., veterinary toxicologist, ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, Urbana, Ill.; Silene Young, director of professional services, Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), Brea, Calif.; John D’Amato, Manchester, N.H.
Last Updated: Aug. 13, 2010
Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
If you are using canned product, cut up some bite sized pieces and bake in your microwave for approximately 2 ½ to 3 minutes. This will change the texture but not damage the nutrients, and is an excellent treat for your pet, while still feeding the necessary diet.
If you are feeding the dry form, grind the kibbles into flour using a blender, and mix with enough water to firm dough. Shape into “cookies” and bake them on a cookie sheet in the oven for approximately one half hour at 350 degrees, until crispy. As you know, it is very important for your pets to stay strictly on the prescribed diet, and this will allow them to feel special and spoiled.
ALTERNATIVE MICROWAVE RECIPE:
Slice canned product into ¼ – ½ inch thick pieces. Place “cookies/patties” onto a plate. Bake on high for 3 minutes on one side, turn over and bake for an additional minute.
Along with family, friends and cheer, holidays bring potential hazards to your pets! At Mill Creek Animal Clinic, we would like you to be as prepared as possible. So before you deck the halls with holiday décor, please review the hazards listed below.
Electric cords – can cause electrocution if chewed, watch for frayed cords and try to keep cords safely tucked away
Candles – pets can be burned if they rub against them or start fires if they bump candle stands
Antifreeze* – View our article regarding Antifreeze.
Rat/mouse killers – poisonous to larger animals too, place them in areas out of your pets reach
Liquid potpourris – can be ingested causing external and internal damage
Toilet water – houses bacteria and cleaners can be poisonous if ingested
Ice-melting salts – most are toxic to animals, be sure to get ones that are “safe for pets”
Amaryllis bulbs* – poisonous if ingested
Chocolate* – View our article regarding chocolate toxicity.
Foods – the following foods can upset your pets stomach or lead to other intestinal problems: coffee, onions, onion powder, chocolate, avacados, raw yeast dough and moldy, spoiled, salty, fatty or spicy foods.
Over the counter or prescription medication – many drugs that aid us have a different reaction in our pets. Keep your medication away from them and don’t medicate your pets without the advice of a veterinarian.
We love frolicking in the snow and doing outdoor activities in the brisk air. Our fuzzy friends love joining us in these activities as well! Just as we keep ourselves safe from the cold and ice, we need to remember that our animal companions need to take similar precautions. Here are a few safety measures to keep in mind during the colder months.
- During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. If there are outdoor cats in your area, bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine to give the cat a chance to escape.
- Thoroughly wipe off your dog’s legs and stomach when he comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice. He can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking his paws and his paw pads may also bleed from snow or encrusted ice. We have some wonderful products that can help prevent and remove snow, salt, and ice from your animal companion’s paws. Please call our office and speak to any staff member about these products!
- Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.
- Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.
- If you have any questions on safety for your pets, do not hesitate to call our office. We are here to answer all your questions! We also have some literature in our office, so, please feel free to stop in and speak with any of our staff members!
Christmas decorations are often intriguing to our pets. Ornaments can be chewed or swallowed entirely. Keep your ornaments above your pets’ reach and watch for any dropped ornaments. Glass ornaments should be kept high on the Christmas tree so animals can’t knock them off the tree and play with them.
The stagnant tree water can cause stomach upset if your pet drinks it and the pinesap could be poisonous. Keep the Christmas tree stand covered so your pets can’t access the water.
Cats are notorious for climbing Christmas trees and knocking them over or getting tangled in the decorations. Try to keep your cats away and secure the tree to a wall or the ceiling for safety.
Tinsel and ribbon are often ingested which can bunch up in the intestine and cause a blockage. Pets also eat Styrofoam, wrapping and ornament hooks. Watch your batteries too, since they contain corrosive chemicals, which can cause ulceration.
Holiday plants such as mistletoe can also be poisonous.
As long as you keep an eye on your pets and clean up after decorating and opening presents everyone should have a safe Christmas.
Small toys and decorations can become a potential snack for your pet. Also be wary of your candy bowls and bags so your pets don’t eat any of your “treats”.
Candles are often set low at Halloween for that spooky appearance! Consider placing battery-operated candles on stairways and/or in pumpkins for everyone’s safety.
During the trick or treating hours you may want to lock your pets in their cages or a room away from the activity. Although we enjoy the change in activity, all the people coming and going in costume can make our pets quite uncomfortable and nervous.
New Year’s / Forth of July / Birthdays
Stomach blockages can be caused by the ingestion of confetti, balloons, wrappings, decorations and toys. Pets should be watched around these things.
The fireworks can be scary to our pets, since they are so loud.
During Easter pets may eat the fake grass, small toys and plastic eggs, which can lead to stomach upset and/or blockage.
Many lilies are toxic if ingested. Keep them out of your pets reach.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful season to let family and friends (even the four-legged kind) know that they are appreciated. As pet owners, we tend to let our furry friends know they are loved by offering treats they normally wouldn’t have, such as turkey, bread, and sweet desserts. Just like any other time of year, we need to remember not to overindulge our pets. Below are some tips on how to treat your pet.
Gobbling Up Turkey
Please offer fully cooked pieces of turkey. Uncooked or raw meat can contain bacteria that can cause your pet to become ill.
We all know that chocolate is toxic to dogs, and should not be a tasty treat. Also remember that cake batter could also cause illness due to raw eggs. A lick of cooked pumpkin pie should not be an issue, if you want to give your friend something sweet. Remember, the best food for your pet is the diet you would normally feed him or her.
Don’t Load Up On Bread
Raw or uncooked dough could rise due to the heat in the animal’s stomach once ingested. This could cause vomiting, bloating, or pain. These symptoms could be so severe that the animal may need to go into emergency surgery.
If you like to more information about keeping your pet safe during the holiday season, please review our care tips to the right, or contact our office.
Be sure that you and your guests do not feed the turkey, chicken, and/or duck bones to the pets. These bones are different from the ones and the pet store and splinter easily. This can cause severe internal damage.
This is another time to keep our chocolate away from our pets and to be careful with the bouquets. Bouquets contain many flowers and plants that may be poisonous.
By reading this you have taken the first step to ensure your pets safety. If you believe any of the above has happened to your pet, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. We at Mill Creek Animal Clinic hope you and your pets have safe and happy holidays!
Mill Creek is offering Proheart injections for your dog. Instead of trying to remember to give your dog a monthly tablet or chewable, ProHeart is an injection that lasts 6 months! Please call us with questions.
We recommend heartworm preventative all year round. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes and can be fatal! Our winters have been mild, so mosquitoes can be present all year long. Also, even if your dog is mostly indoors – mosquitoes find a way inside every house. The treatment for heartworms can be expensive. We recommend you give your dog Heartgard once a month, it is a beefy chew they think is a treat! See the promotions listed below.
Heartgard is a beefy chew that you feed your dog once a month to prevent heartworms and intestinal parasites (such as roundworms).
Purchase 12 doses of Heartgard, receive $12 by mail with purchase from the clinic – we will submit the rebate for you!
Vectra is a topical flea and tick preventative. Not only does it kill fleas and ticks, it also repels them!
Purchase 6 doses of Vectra 3D, get 3 doses free!
In dogs, heartworm disease is a parasitic infestation that affects the heart and lungs. Adult heartworms grow up to 10 to 12 inches in length and populate the heart and pulmonary (lung) arteries. This population can cause lung disease and heart failure.
In cats, in addition to affecting the heart and lungs, adult heartworms can grow 5 to 8 inches in length. Cats are not the natural host of heartworms, and are capable of “fighting off” the infestation, but this does cause permanent damage to the cat.
|Dogs are the natural host for heartworms
Heartworms can grow up to 12 inches in the heart and lungs
The life span of heartworms is up to 5 years
25-50 heartworms can be considered a moderate infestation
Dogs Can be successfully treated once diagnosed with heartworm disease.
|Cats are not the natural host
Heartworms can grow up to 8 inches in the heart and lungs
Teh life span of heartworms is up to 2 years
One heartworm can be a lethal infestation
Heartworm disease cannot be treated, but the symptoms can be
|Early heartworm disease may not have signs. Late stages of heartworm disease may include:
In worse case scenarios, sudden death may occur before any symptoms are shown.
|Early heartworm disease may not have signs. Late stages of heartworm disease may include:
In worse case scenarios, sudden death may occur before any symptoms are shown.
For those of you with a green thumb and those who just have a few plants around the house it is important to know which of your plants are poisonous to your cats, kittens and even dogs.
According to the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) the ten most common poisonous plants are: marijuana, sago palm, lilies, tulip/narcissus bulbs, azalea/rhododendron, oleander, castor bean, cyclamen, kalanchoe, and yew.
All of these plants are reported as having gastrointestinal and other effects on animals. These effects can be as mild as upset stomach and extreme as severe vomiting, diarrhea and even death. Some other household plants can also be toxic.
Any questions about the plants in and around your house can be directed to the APCC.
If you believe that your pet has ingested any of these plants, you should call the APCC at 1-888-426-4435 and your veterinarian.
You can also visit the APCC’s website for a complete list of toxic household plants and items.
To keep your nibbling cats happy, you may want to buy them some of their own plants. You can buy seeds at pet stores that contain safe grasses or catnip and they can be grown in a cat accessible area.
Keeping your plants up high or hanging them is the best way to keep them out of reach. If you can’t put your plants in these areas you may need to coat them with a bad tasting substance such as Bitter Apple or Tabasco sauce. You can also discourage nibbling by spraying your cats with water when they start to eat your plants.
It may take some time and effort but it is in your and your pets’ best interest to keep them and your plants separated.
The Halloween holiday can be very exciting for people and pets. Just as we keep our kids safe during this holiday, we also need to remember to keep our pets safe as well. Below are some safety tips found on the ASPCA website.
- Don’t leave your pet out in the yard on Halloween: There are plenty of stories of vicious pranksters who have teased, injured, stolen, even killed pets on this night.
- Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets: Chocolate is poisonous to a lot of animals, and tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can be hazardous if swallowed.
- Be careful of pets around a lit pumpkin: Pets may knock it over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned.
- Don’t dress the dog in costume unless you know he loves it. Otherwise, it puts a lot of stress on the animal.
- If you do dress up your dog, make sure the costume isn’t constricting, annoying or unsafe. Be careful not to obstruct her vision. Even the sweetest dogs can get snappy when they can’t see what’s going on around them.
- All but the most social dogs should be kept in a separate room during trick-or-treat visiting hours; too many strangers in strange garb can be scary for a dog.
- Be careful your cat or dog doesn’t dart out through the open door.
For the complete article visit : www.kidsource.com
An allergy is a condition of unusual sensitivity to a substance or substances usually protein in nature which is perceived by the body as foreign. Signs of allergies in dogs may manifest as itching and in some cases diarrhea. Food allergies account for only about 5 to 10 percent of all allergic reactions in dogs. Diagnosis of a food allergy is a demanding diagnostic process requiring strict dietary management to make sure no allergy-triggering food is ingested by your dog.
Because the signs of food allergy resemble those of other canine allergies – and because effective treatment depends on pinpointing the allergy-causing ingredient – diagnosing food allergies is challenging for both owners and veterinarians. If your dog has an immediate adverse reaction to a diet change, the reaction is probably not an allergy because it takes more than one exposure to a food ingredient to incite an allergic reaction. That’s why dogs that have been eating the same food for months or years with no problem can develop a food allergy.
The most common sign of food allergy is inflamed, itchy skin, usually around a dog’s feet, face, ears, armpits, and groin. The scratching and biting can lead to secondary bacterial skin infections and ear canal infections.
Some food-allergic dogs experience vomiting and diarrhea instead of – or along with – skin problems. Over the last 10 years in our practice, with the advent of endoscopy ( a fiber optic tube placed down into the stomach and intestine of animals), we have diagnosed food allergy as a component of vomiting and diarrhea. It is now felt, that food allergy is the primary component in certain cases of inflammatory bowel disease. By simply changing the diet to a hypoallergenic diet , which we will discuss later, and the intermittent use of corticosteroids, we have successfully treated this disease.
If you bring your dog to the animal hospital with a complaint of itching or digestive distress, your veterinarian will first rule out more common causes of these signs. The rule-out process might include a physical examination and laboratory tests for flea allergy dermatitis, the most common cause of allergic skin disease of dogs, inhalant allergies, seasonal reactions to pollen, mold spores, and dust mites, and food caused digestive intolerance, an acute adverse reaction to food that does not involve the immune system.
If the food allergy remains a suspect, your veterinarian will then help you try to pinpoint what might be causing your dog’s problems. Most food-allergic dogs are hypersensitive to only one or two ingredients, with beef and dairy proteins topping the culprit list. Ingredients that may also cause problems – but not as often – include grains, pork, chicken, eggs, and fish. Allergies to food additives including preservatives may also be a cause but are rare.
To definitely diagnose food allergies, most veterinarians recommend a trial with an elimination diet – a diet that contains a protein and carbohydrate source the dog has never been exposed to.
To start with, feed the elimination diet for a period of up to 16 weeks and monitor your dog’s response. Signs should abate if your dog is indeed food-allergic. Keep in mind that it’s difficult to find elimination diets in spite of the plethora of grocery- and pet-store offerings because most such foods contain similar ingredients. Even the so-called “hypoallergenic” lamb-and-rice diets are unsuitable as elimination diets for many dogs because they’re so popular the main ingredients are no longer truly novel. Consequently, to carry out a valid elimination-diet trial, you may have to either buy a therapeutic diet from your veterinarian (which contains “exotic” ingredients such as rabbit, venison, and potato) or some of the newer “novel protein” diets that contain a totally and nutritionally sound newly formulated protein or prepare a home-cooked diet. Some of the manufacturers are working diligently to develop these new hypoallergenic diets.
Unfortunately in an attempt to capitalize on the use of lamb as a health food, food manufacturers and retailers sold a bill of goods to caring dog owners. It really is no more nutritious than any other form of meat or poultry. This particular product was used purely as an “elimination” diet by veterinary dermatologists to diagnose food allergies. As a result, we as a profession lost a readily available source of food for allergy testing. Now we are using rabbits, and venison (deer) as a source of hypoallergenic foods.
To get conclusive results from the trial, your dog should ingest nothing but the elimination diet and water. That means no treats, rawhide, or chewable medications. Following this strict regimen can be difficult, especially for those living in multidog households.
If signs are resolved after an elimination-diet trial, you can assume something in your pet’s diet is causing the allergy. But to be certain, some veterinarians recommend reintroducing the original diet. A recurrence of signs within 7 to 14 days confirms food allergy.
There is no cure for food allergies. Managing a food allergy means simply avoiding the causative ingredient or ingredients. Medications (such as antihistamines and corticosteroids) that reduce itching caused by other types of allergies usually don’t work on food-induced itching.
Long-term avoidance is simply a matter of keeping your dog on the elimination diet you used to diagnose the allergy. Unfortunately, however, some dogs become allergic to ingredients in the elimination diet over time. If this happens to your dog, you’ll need to find another nutritionally balanced diet that contains “new” proteins and carbohydrates.
Although diagnosing and managing food allergies is challenging, remember – most dogs are not food-allergic. So don’t automatically think food if your pet has skin or digestive problems.
Whether you’re diagnosing a canine food allergy for the first time or managing an ongoing case, you’ll need to find an elimination diet that contains a protein and carbohydrate source your dog has never eaten before. Often, the choice boils down to either a commercial therapeutic diet from your veterinarian or home-prepared food. Each has its pros and cons.
Dry or canned commercial diets are convenient, nutritionally balanced, and palatable. However, studies show that a small percentage of food-allergic dogs react adversely to commercial elimination diets that contain the some basic ingredients as homemade diets that do not cause a reaction. Experts surmise that manufacturing processes may increase the allergenic properties of certain ingredients.
Two-ingredient homemade diets (such as chicken and rice) are acceptable for the duration of a diagnostic food trial, but they are not nutritionally complete. Concocting a nutritionally balanced homemade diet for long-term feeding requires the aid of a veterinary nutritionist, a lot of time and expense, and the addition of nutritional supplements that may themselves contain allergy-provoking proteins. Thus, many veterinarians recommend starting with a commercial elimination diet and resorting to a home-cooked approach only if your dog doesn’t respond favorably to the commercial food.