Thursday, September 30, 2010

Speaking For Spot: The Single Most Important Dog Book You Will Ever Read

Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life 
by Dr. Nancy Kay

What if what YOU know could make the difference between the health and sickness (or even life and death) of your dog? 

Well, it truly can.

The sole purpose of my blog is to share the things we have learned the hard way and to stress the importance of educating yourself in matters of your dog's health. Our education was hard and painful.

If I had read this book 7 years ago, when Jasmine came into our lives, she would have been spared much suffering. And it would have saved us a lot of heartbreak and over $50,000 in vet bills for the past two years! I so wish I had read this book back then.

Unfortunately, the book hadn't been born yet. But it is out there now!

Don't fool yourself, your dog's health is in YOUR hands!

You're the one who chooses the veterinarian for your dog. You're the one who will or will not see a symptom, and you're the one who will or will not ask the right questions.

Does all that seem rather overwhelming? It isn't with the right information.

Don't let the cover fool you! Speaking for Spot is likely the single most important dog book you will ever read! 

If you were to read just one dog book, let it be this one.

You need to be a medical advocate for your dog. You need to learn how to ask the right questions and how to make the right choices. You need to know how to find the perfect veterinarian for your dog.

Any decisions you make will be only as good as the information you base them on.

Does all that seem rather redundant? After all, that's what vets are for, right?

But how would you know you have a good vet? Trust me, like in any profession, not all vets have been created equal!

How would you know the decision he'd make is the right decision for you and your dog? What if there were other options that would work much better in your case?

Would you know if he made a mistake? Would you know what information only you have is important for your vet to know? Would you know what questions to ask about your dog's symptoms or diagnosis?

Having a great veterinarian and working as a team is the key to best quality health care for your dog.

Please trust me on this. This book is a must read! I know, because we learned all this the hard way.

As my friend Dino Dogan would say: “Buy it, borrow it, steal it – do whatever you have to do to read it!”

Notes: It is our personal experience that the coolest gadgets and equipment do not in themselves guarantee the best care possible. Any tool is only as good as the one using it.

It is also our experience that size does not always matter. Our vet is an old farm boy running a small clinic and yet he has done more for Jasmine than all the rest combined.

It's your dog's health!


DR. NANCY KAY wanted to become a veterinarian for just about as long as she can remember. Her veterinary degree is from Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine, and she completed her residency training in small animal internal medicine at the University of California—Davis Veterinary School.

Dr. Kay is a board certified specialist in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and published in several professional journals and textbooks. She lectures professionally to regional and national audiences, and one of her favorite lecture topics is communication between veterinarians and their clients.   Since the release of her book,
Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life, Dr. Kay has lectured extensively and written numerous magazine articles on the topic of medical advocacy.  She was a featured guest on the popular National Public Radio show, Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

Dr. Kay is a staff internist at VCA Animal Care Center, a 24-hour emergency/specialty care center in Rohnert Park, California. As a way of providing emotional support for people with sick four-legged family members, Dr. Kay founded and helps facilitate the VCA Animal Care Center Client Support Group.  She also facilitates client communication rounds for VCA Animal Care Center employees.

Dr. Kay was selected by the American Animal Hospital Association to receive the 2009 Hill’s Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award.  This award is given annually to a veterinarian or nonveterinarian who has advanced animal welfare through extraordinary service or by furthering humane principles, education, and understanding.  The Dog Writers Association of America selected Dr. Kay for two awards.  The first was the 2009 Eukanuba Canine Health Award recognizing
Speaking for Spot as the publication that best promotes the health and well being of dogs. The second award was for the Best Blog of 2009 (

Dr. Kay’s personal life revolves around her husband (also a veterinarian), her three children (none of whom aspire to be veterinarians) and their menagerie of four-legged family members. When she’s not writing, she spends her spare moments in the garden or riding along the beach atop her favorite horse. Dr. Kay and her family reside in Sebastopol, California.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lyme Is Lame (Pun Intended)

by Lorie Huston, DVM

Lyme disease is a tick-borne disease that affects both dogs and people. Though you cannot get Lyme disease directly from your dog, you can get Lyme disease from the same ticks that transmit the disease to your dog. This fact makes Lyme disease an important disease for both of you.

Deer tick. Photo Today's Homeowner.
 What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is passed to you or to your dog by the bite of an infected tick. The disease itself is caused by a bacteria known as Borrelia burgdorferi. Lyme disease is more common in some geographical areas than in others. Your veterinarian should be able to tell you how prevalent Lyme disease is in your area.
What are the Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Dogs?
Lyme disease in dogs is entirely different in its presentation compared to Lyme disease in people. The most common symptom of Lyme disease in dogs is lameness and joint pain. This lameness may shift from one leg to another. Fever may also be seen.
A more serious form of Lyme disease involves glomerular damage, a form of kidney disease. This form of Lyme disease can become life-threatening and is much more dangerous for your dog. This form of Lyme disease is believed to be an immunologic reaction to the long-term presence of the Borrelia organism.
In dogs, the heart problems (arrhythmias) and neurologic symptoms that are seen in some people occur very rarely.
How is Lyme Disease Diagnosed in Dogs?
There are readily available blood tests that can detect antibodies to the Borrelia burgdorferi organism. The most commonly used test is the C6 peptide test (also known as the SNAP3DX or the SNAP4DX test, though these specific tests also check for other tick-borne diseases as well.) The C6 peptide is part of a protein on the outer surface of the organism (the protein is known as an Osp).
Borrelia burgdorferi can express various Osps depending on where the organism is attached. For instance, if the organism is attached to the midgut of a tick, the Osp expressed is different than that expressed if the organism is attached to the connective tissue of a mammal. The Osp can also change depending on the stage of infection in mammals. However, the C6 peptide remains present regardless of the Osp being expressed. As a result, it is almost always detectable, unlike antibodies to the individual Osps. In addition, the C6 peptide is not part of the vaccinations available against Lyme disease and vaccination will not result in a positive Lyme disease test.
The confusion about Lyme disease and its diagnosis arises from the fact that many dogs have positive tests without being sick. In the Northeastern United States, it is estimated that as many as 90% of dogs have antibodies to Lyme disease and thus have positive Lyme disease tests. However, very few dogs actually develop symptoms of disease. Further, antibodies can persist in the blood stream for years. This makes it difficult to distinquish an active infection from one that is inactive and not currently causing disease. It also creates a quandary in deciding whether to treat the dog or not.
Treatment for Lyme Disease in Dogs
If your dog is showing signs of Lyme disease, there is no doubt that he should be treated. Lyme disease normally responds very well to treatment with antibiotics. The most commonly used is doxycycline, but other antibiotics such as the penicillins are also effective.
If your dog is suffering from the glomerular (kidney) form of the disease, he will likely need much more aggressive treatment aimed specifically at treating the kidney disease, in addition to antibiotics. This form of Lyme disease carries a much more guarded prognosis than the more commonly seen lameness with or without fever.
The confusion regarding treatment arises when a dog tests positive for Lyme disease without showing any signs of disease. Some veterinarians recommend treating with a course of antibiotics in this situation. However, when treating Lyme disease in dogs, it is not reasonable to expect to clear the organism from the dog's body. The Lyme disease organism has an uncanny knack for hiding, even from the immune system of the dog, because of its ability to change its Osp proteins. In addition, tests can remain positive for years even in inactive infections. As a result, the treatment of healthy dogs with positive Lyme disease tests is controversial. It is unknown at the current time whether treatment actually reduces the chance of the organism causing disease and more research is needed in this area before a definitive answer to this question can be formulated.
If your dog tests positive for Lyme disease but is clinically healthy, it is important to monitor proteins in the urine regardless of whether you and your veterinarian elect to treat your dog for Lyme disease. Protein leaking through the glomeruli and into the urine is one of the early indicators of impending kidney disease and will be detectable before clinical signs appear. (Glomeruli are part of the filtering apparatus of the kidneys.)

Prevention of Lyme Disease

The most effective way to prevent Lyme disease is to prevent your dog from getting ticks. Here are some of the ways that you can do that.
  • Avoid taking your dog into tick infected areas.
  • Check your dog regularly for ticks and remove them promptly when you find them.
  • Consider using a monthly topical medication to prevent ticks.
There are vaccinations available against Lyme disease and your veterinarian may recommend that your dog be vaccinated if he is at risk. However, vaccination against Lyme disease remains controversial and not all veterinarians recommend its use. Vaccination against Lyme disease does not preclude the need to prevent ticks because there are many other tick-borne diseases that are even more dangerous for your dog than Lyme disease and the vaccine does not prevent those diseases.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Performing CPR On Your Dog: Demonstration

This is a great CPR demonstration video by Pets America. See how to perform CPR on your dog.

Pets America saves the lives of pets and the people who love them by providing educational programs about emergency preparedness and resources for disaster response.

Through Pet First Aid & Disaster Response workshops, Pets America teaches people how to care for their animals before, during, and after an emergency. And, by collaborating with communities nationwide, Pets America is providing resources that help ensure that pets can be effectively included in local emergency management plans.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ranch Chronicles

Dog Symptoms: When Is It an Emergency?

Guest article by Jennifer Coates, DVM

Dogs seem to get sick or injured at the worst possible times.  Of course this is not their fault, but nonetheless it does often put owners in the position of having to decide whether an after-hours visit to the veterinarian is truly necessary.

Dog Symptoms: When Is It an Emergency?

This is not simply a matter of convenience.  Seeing a veterinarian on an emergency basis is not ideal.  Costs are generally higher and you will probably be dealing with a veterinarian who does not know you, your pet, or have access to his medical records.  These concerns should never stop you from seeking veterinary attention when it is truly necessary, but under the right circumstances, waiting until you can see your regular veterinarian is better for everyone.

If your dog is victim of any of the conditions listed below, take him to the veterinarian immediately.  

Even if your dog looks to be in relatively good shape, all of these conditions are potentially life-threatening and his condition could rapidly worsen.  Call the veterinary clinic to let them know you are on your way and to get advice about any first aid that you could provide.

Top 10 Emergency Conditions
  1. Any type of serious trauma (e.g., hit by a car, a fall from a moving vehicle, car accidents, gunshots or deep puncture wounds)
  2. Electrocution
  3. Difficulty giving birth
  4. Animal bites, including snake strikes by an unknown species
  5. Burns (chemical or thermal)
  6. Near drowning
  7. Smoke or carbon monoxide inhalation
  8. Obviously broken bones
  9. Exposure to extremely cold or hot temperatures
  10. Ingestion of a possible poison (including human and pet medications)
Confusion often arises, however, when an owner observes their dog’s symptoms but is unsure of the underlying cause.  

The following clinical signs warrant an immediate call to a veterinarian no matter the time of day or night.

Top 10 Symptoms of an Emergency

  1. Difficulty breathing
  2. Severe pain in any part of the body
  3. Profuse vomiting, particularly associated with an inability to keep down water, blood in the vomit, depression or pain
  4. Repeated unsuccessful attempts at vomiting, especially if associated with an enlarged abdomen
  5. Seizures
  6. A severely depressed attitude or unresponsiveness
  7. Extreme weakness or wobbliness
  8. Large amounts of blood in the stool
  9. Collapse
  10. Bleeding that drips or pools (a “smear” here and there is probably not an emergency)
If you are unsure of your pet’s condition, it is always safer to make a phone call than to “wait and see.”  Talking to a veterinarian about your dog’s symptoms will certainly help you determine whether or not you need to bring him in immediately or if he can wait until your regular clinic is open for business.


Jennifer Coates, DVM graduated with honors from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 1999.  In the years since, she has practiced veterinary medicine in Virginia, Wyoming, and Colorado.  She is the author of several books about veterinary medicine and animal care, including the Dictionary of Veterinary Terms: Vet-speak Deciphered for the Non-veterinarian. Jennifer also writes short stories that focus on the strength and importance of the human-animal bond and freelance articles relating to a variety of animal care and veterinary topics.  Dr. Coates lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with her husband, daughter, and pets.

Do you know what your dog is telling you about their health?

Do You Know What Your Dog Is Telling You About Their Health?

Learn how to detect and interpret the signs of a potential problem.

Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog

An award-winning guide to better understanding what your dog is telling you about their health, Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, is available in paperback and Kindle. Each chapter includes notes on when it is an emergency.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Battling IMHA With Integrative Veterinary Medicine (part 2)

Guest post by Dr. Patrick Mahaney, VMD

Now that you have an idea as to Cardiff’s IMHA history and clinical signs from my last article (see Battling IMHA With Integrative Veterinary Medicine (part 1)), let’s discuss the integrative (combination of Western and Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine) treatment I use to manage his illness.

Cardiff’s therapy includes blood transfusion, immune system modifying medications and supplements, Chinese herbs, acupuncture, and a diet tailored for his specific condition.  Based on my experience in treating his third IMHA episode (and similar positive responses I see with other patients), this multimodal approach prevented his disease from abruptly worsening and permitted improvement more rapidly than his previous two IMHA episodes.

The medications (Prednisone and Azothioprine) used to suppress Cardiff’s immune system from destroying its red blood cells (RBCs) don’t allow his body to effectively fight off bacterial, viral, and fungal organisms. I have tapered his drugs to a lower frequency in attempt to avoid potential adverse side effects while maintaining control over his immune system. The balance between appropriate and excessive immunosuppression is tricky, so supporting his immune health via supplements, Chinese herbs, and whole food/non-processed diet is vitally important.

For supplements, Cardiff currently gets Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Nutramax Welactin salmon oil), a chondroprotectant (Nutramax Dasuquin joint supplement), and a combination antioxidant and immune system supporter (i Love Dogs Reishi with Green Tea). Omega 3 fatty acids have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect on the blood, nervous system, and joints. The chondroprotectant optimizes joint health to reduce the reliance on pain medication to which he has previously had an adverse response. Anti-oxidants combat production of free radicals formed by his hyperactive immune system’s destruction of red blood cells (RBCs) and day to day activity. The immune system supporting supplement ensures Cardiff’s immunosuppressed body will be better able to fight off opportunistic infections.

While immunosuppressed, Cardiff developed multiple warts, caused by Canine Papilloma Virus, which his compromised immune system could not fight off without additional support from a supplement. Fortunately, he got both immune system and antioxidant support by taking i Love Dogs Reishi with Green Tea tablets. Two weeks after starting this supplement, Cardiff’s warts began to regress. Several weeks later, the unsightly skin blemishes were completely gone!

I am very grateful that Cardiff has the ability to overcome his IMHA and return to a state of health where he exhibits no outward appearance of illness. I wish he had not gone through three hemolytic episodes, yet he has repeatedly overcome adversity and has an amazing quality of life (see Cardiff’s blog). I hope that the integration of western and traditional Chinese veterinary medicine (TCVM) will keep his immune system at bay. Yet, should Cardiff have another IMHA episode, I know I can manage his condition so that he can get back to crazily squeaking his “Mr. Martian” toy (see Cardiff on ‘roids YouTube video).

Everyone always says that Cardiff is a lucky dog to have me as a dad. Actually, I am lucky to have such an inspiring companion with a challenging condition, as Cardiff teaches me personal and professional life lessons every day.

Copyright of this article is owned by Dr. Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. Republishing any portion of this article must first be authorized by Dr. Patrick Mahaney. Requests for republishing must be approved by Dr. Patrick Mahaney and received in written format.

You can read more about Cardiff on Dr. Patrick's blog as he reports on his treatment of this life threatening health condition, Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA).

Yes, Dr. Patrick uses acupuncture on his own pet. He completed the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) basic course (2006) and he is now a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist (CVA).

He earned this certification after he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (1999) and completed an internship at Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, D.C (2000).

Why does he believe so strongly in acupuncture for your pets, especially as a pain management tool? Because combining both Western and Eastern treatments can produce a better outcome for your pets.

Dr. Patrick also works with local Los Angeles rescue organizations to help those pets that have been given a second chance to live healthier lives, and he is currently sharing his pet care knowledge at his Los Angeles Pet Care Examiner column.

Further reading:
Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA)
Medical Jargon Explained: Hypo- versus Hyperthyroid
Seizure Disorders
Atopic Dermatitis
Your Dog And Leptospirosis


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Battling IMHA With Integrative Veterinary Medicine (part 1)

Guest post by Dr. Patrick Mahaney, VMD
When my dog, Cardiff, first got sick I didn’t anticipate that he was afflicted with one of the most severe, often fatal, illness seen in veterinary practice. 

Yes, my dog has Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA) and survived three hemolytic episodes in his five years of life.  Unfortunately, IMHA is a disease requiring significant time, effort, and financial resources to treat.  Being my dog’s veterinarian, I am fortunate to have access to laboratory resources, treatment facilities, and experienced specialists to guide me through the diagnostic and management process.

Cardiff is a Welsh Terrier with breeding origins in Washington state. I really love the breed, and was anticipating the possibility he may develop other, more common, illness related to his breed (Hypothyroidism, Seizure Disorder, Atopic Dermatitis, other).  Actually, Cardiff was a gift “to us” from an ex significant other who, surprised me with this 3 month old, brown and black ball of fur who has shaped my veterinary practice and outlook on life.

Fortunately, Cardiff was not sick from the start.  

He was remarkably healthy through his puppyhood and his illness had a rapid onset at two and a half years of age.

My normally vigorous buddy suddenly became very lethargic, had pale gums, started breathing at a faster rate, produced dark yellow urine, and exhibited a decreased appetite.

My first thought was that Cardiff had contracted Leptospirosis, as he had spent time the previous summer in Washington and could have been exposed to the nasty spirochete bacteria through water contaminated with feces or urine from a wild animal.

As the internal medicine specialist with whom I work guided me through the extensive diagnostic workup (blood and urine testing, urinalysis, xrays, and ultrasound), the diagnosis of primary IMHA was ultimately reached.

I was concerned that I would not have the companionship of my buddy when he was a senior dog.

But he overcame adversity and gradually returned to his energetic self.

After having knocked Cardiff’s IMHA into remission twice before, experience gave me a sense of confidence in treating his third episode at the end of 2009. At the same time, I was frustrated that Cardiff was feeling unwell and had to endure the long journey back to his normal state of health.  All three episodes required thorough medical workups to look for underlying causes, yet the treatments were very similar.

With the most recent episode, I delved deeper into the problem from a Chinese medicine perspective and established a treatment plan based on an integration of western and eastern practice modalities.

Please read Part 2 of this article (coming soon) to learn more about Cardiff's integrative treatment.

Copyright of this article is owned by Dr. Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. Republishing any portion of this article must first be authorized by Dr. Patrick Mahaney. Requests for republishing must be approved by Dr. Patrick Mahaney and received in written format.

You can read more about Cardiff on Dr. Patrick's blog as he reports on his treatment of this life threatening health condition, Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA).

Yes, Dr. Patrick uses acupuncture on his own pet. He completed the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) basic course (2006) and he is now a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist (CVA).

He earned this certification after he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (1999) and completed an internship at Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, D.C (2000).

Why does he believe so strongly in acupuncture for your pets, especially as a pain management tool? Because combining both Western and Eastern treatments can produce a better outcome for your pets.

Dr. Patrick also works with local Los Angeles rescue organizations to help those pets that have been given a second chance to live healthier lives, and he is currently sharing his pet care knowledge at his Los Angeles Pet Care Examiner column.

Further reading:
Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA)
Medical Jargon Explained: Hypo- versus Hyperthyroid
Seizure Disorders
Atopic Dermatitis
Your Dog And Leptospirosis


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde: Razzle's Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA)

Who doesn't know the story of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde? How does the story relate to autoimmune disease?

Dog Conditions - Real-Life Stories: Razzle's Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA)

Your dog's body was designed to maintain health and it has an amazing guard against disease—the immune system. His immune system protects your dog against disease by identifying and killing invaders foreign (infections) and domestic (tumor cells).

There are few things as amazing as the immune system.

An important part of the immune system's function is to be able to distinguish between native and invading cells. When it fails to tell the difference, it can turn against body's own cells and bad things start happening.

The body's guard and protector becomes its enemy.

Autoimmune disease is a fairly self-explanatory term. The very system that is meant to protect your dog from disease is now causing it instead. Autoimmune disease can affect a single organ or it can be systemic.

Immune mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) is a condition in which the dog's immune system attacks his own red blood cells.

What causes the immune system to turn into Mr. Hyde? This doesn't seem to have been conclusively determined, but it is believed that both genetic and environmental factors are in play. IMHA can be triggered by infections, medications or vaccines, but often no clear cause can be established.

Of course just because we don't know the cause, it doesn't mean there isn't one.

Some breeds are more susceptible to the disease, such as Cocker Spaniel, Springer Spaniel, Miniature Poodle, Finnish Spitz, Irish Setter, Dachshund, Bichon Frise and Old English Sheepdog. (source:

IMHA is a life-threatening disease and it strikes fast and hard.

Red blood cells play several important roles in your dog's body. Without sufficient red blood cells your dog cannot survive!

Symptoms of IMHA include
  • pale or yellow tinged gums
  • rapid breathing
  • weakness
  • lethargy
  • dark urine
  • loss of appetite
  • vomiting
  • rapid breathing
Conventional treatment consists of immune suppression and supportive care, such as blood transfusion.

Razzle's Story

Razzle's story is shared with us by my dear client and friend, Ben Moomaw of Leader Source SGA.

Razzle is a 5-year-old neutered male Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, loved by his family.

Last summer Razzle underwent a battle with Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA). 

On a Friday afternoon, we noticed that Razzle was a bit listless. We didn’t think much of it, as we didn’t want to overreact.  But through the weekend, he got more and more so, and seemed to be getting very weak.

By Monday morning, he was barely able to stand, and he was turning yellowish (eyes, inside of mouth, skin color). 

We realized something serious was going on, so we took him to our vet.

The vet diagnosed IMHA, a blood disorder where the body’s white blood cells start attacking and destroying the red blood cells. It is most common in middle aged dogs, generally more often in females, and spaniel breeds are more susceptible than others.

He was very weak, and the vet immediately put him on steroids in an attempt to stop the immune system reaction.  Razzle got a blood transfusion as well, to replenish his red blood cells.  We went on a regular “watch” of monitoring his red cell count a couple of times a day.

It was nip and tuck for about five days.  

His blood count appeared to be headed in the right direction, but then took a dive a couple of days later and we had to go through the transfusion again.

Apparently, about a third of dogs who get this do not survive the initial situation, a third survive but it recurs later, and a third survive and it never happens again. So we were very disappointed when things didn’t seem to be working after the first transfusion.

At the vet’s guidance, we decided that we would try one more transfusion. We were literally at the point where if the next blood test showed the counts dropping again, we would have no choice other than to put Razzle down.

It was a very difficult situation for our 14-year-old daughter to whom Razzle belongs.

Fortunately, the second transfusion and continued use of steroids for a period solved the problem. Razzle pretty quickly regained his strength and color, and within about a month he was back to normal.
We are not sure what caused this. We’d never heard of IMHA before Razzle’s experience.

It is unclear in general what triggers this in dogs.  Sometimes it can be a reaction to another infection – say a tick-borne illness or some other illness –  experts aren’t really sure. But it is a rapidly life-threatening disease.

We didn’t act quickly enough when we noticed the first symptoms, and three days later, Razzle was almost dead!  

If you see symptoms in a dog, don’t “wait over the weekend” to have it checked… Symptoms are pale gums, yellow tinged gums or whites of the eyes,  dark or dark yellow urine, tiring easily, weakness, lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, tachypnea (rapid breathing).

We realized that we saw all of these in Razzle, once we knew what we were looking at.

The lethargy and loss of appetite was first. We didn’t know to look at the inside of the mouth or ears to check on coloration, but had we seen this, we would have acted faster. Bottom line:  if you see the symptoms, act fast!

Further reading:

Immune system
Autoimmune disease
Dogs and Autoimmune Disease
Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA)

Related articles:
Collie Nose: Discoid Lupus Erythematosus (DLE) In Dogs


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Trainer's Corner: Can You Dig That Dogs Need To Dig?

Today's Trainer's Corner is brought to us by Leslie Fisher of Look What I Can Do! Dog Training. Check it out, she really is great!

Back in the day, dogs could focus on being dogs.

Particularly strong are childhood memories of old Tramps` daily jobs: stealth maneuvers around the block to surprise neighboring cats, and the daily ritualistic stare down with Charlie Brown`s (real name I swear) shepherd mix. Reject (real name also) hung out front and laid in wait for the paper boy; that pint sized DNA alphabet soup delighted in going for the pant legs. If they wanted to go and dig somewhere, it was not such a big deal.

With the advances of people literally living quite upon people, the lives of our dogs have changed drastically. 

Their lives are spent learning how to adhere to our silly human rules; those that do not, end up in shelters and re-homed.

Digging, an excellent natural outlet for dogs, is frowned upon, indeed often not tolerated at all. 

Who wants a moonscape of craters in their carefully and expensively landscaped backyard? What is a dog to do?

Milo Digs

Some breeds, in particular Terriers, are bred to dig in the pursuit of prey, with Scottish and West Highland Terriers excelling. The name comes from a Latin term: earth terra. Daschunds were bred to "go to earth" after a prey animal in a den.

Owners of re-landscaped yards must understand that these instincts just do not go away. Dogs also dig because it feels good to lay in the cool moistness of a fresh dirt scrape. As well, plain old boredom is a huge reason for digging. I imagine for some dogs, as in my English lab Talley, digging is just plain entertaining!

So, why not just let them dig and be happy? 

Certainly it makes sense to Talley! As it turns out, we are currently making a doggy sandbox, a "legal" digging area, to satisfy all the digging needs of three labbies. Currently under construction, the shady area is between the deck and fence; it will be a handy no mow zone.

After you have removed grass roots from the specified area (best located away from prized plants) simply loosen the dirt and dig in enough sand for a consistency that will drain well, and not turn into a mud pit. Framing the area in can work very well. Much like a child's sandbox, if you will.

Hey, kids get those great sandboxes, why not our dogs?

So what keeps them out of those heirloom flowers and in their own area? Good question. To begin with, do not leave unattended in the yard. Not a great idea anyways, in general.

Train a great response to Leave It, with excellent information by Pat this 2001 article for Your Dog.
With your digger on leash, approach the area of canine redesign, and reinforce super generously for turning away. THEN lead the digging machine to the super sandpit and let them discover the amazing prize bullystick that just happens to be sticking up out of the dirt.

Continue on in this fashion, and soon the canine landscaper should be heading to the sandbox, in anticipation of further treasures. Stuffed frozen kongs placed in the dirt are great. Legal shredables, such as a bone wrapped up in paper in a box and buried are wonderful. Anything really. Use your imagination, have fun, and give your frazzled nerves a break!

With gradual and proper training this can really work and let you enjoy a yard minus moonscapes. You may even want to investigate earth dog competition events.
Just remember, dogs need to dig, can you dig it? 

Leslie Fisher is a Pat Miller Certified Trainer (PMCT), CPDT-KA CGC Evaluator ABC Student Mentor and member of APDT, MAAPPPT, TrulyDogFriendly.

She brought her first dog home at the age of 5 and she shared her life with dogs since and is presently owned by three labs, Doobie, Talley and Bridget.

Leslie has founded Look What I Can Do! Dog Training in December of 2006 shich quickly became a big success. I addition she volunteers for Lab Rescue of the LRCP, Inc doing post adoption home checks an dproviding assistance with behavioral issues. Her goal is educating clients that positive, force-free training produces happy, willing dogs and a wonderful dog-human relationship.

Leslie also writes for Dog Star Daily.

You can read her full bio here. You can also connect with Leslie on twitter or Facebook.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Peso Needs A Forever Home And Bilateral Luxating Patella Surgeries

It’s hard to believe that anyone would just throw away a dog. But as a pet lover, I don’t often understand all the circumstances that bring animals into shelters abandoned and unloved.

Peso, a 6 pound Chihuahua Terrier mix, is currently lying in a pile of blankets at my feet, seemingly unaffected by his past abandonment. This is why I love dogs so much. And this is why I find Peso’s situation one that needs to be told.

PUP (People United for Pets), rescued Peso from the Merced, California high kill shelter. He is currently at a foster home. Peso has luxating patellas—an all too common condition in small breeds—and he needs surgery on both knees.

It is quite likely that his condition is why poor Peso got dumped in the first place!

Most often, luxating patella are a result of a congenital defect, meaning the knees have not developed properly. Breeds commonly affected by this condition are Affenpinscher, Brussels griffon, Chihuahua, English toy spaniel, Greyhound, Japanese spaniel, Maltese, Manchester terrier, Miniature pinscher, Papillon, Pekingese, Pomeranian, Poodle, Pug, Shih tzu, Silky terrier, and Yorkshire terrier. (source: Veterinary Partner)

What is a luxating patella?

The condition is much easier to understand when put into plain English. Patella is a fancy word for a kneecap, the bone that normally sits centered over the front of the knee. Luxation means displacement or  dislocation. 

In other words, the kneecap won't stay where it belongs and moves, or dislocates, out of it's proper position.

This causes pain and lameness until the kneecap returns to its normal position. In many cases a dog will hold up its hind leg and “skip” for a few strides.

Normally, the kneecap slides in a groove at the bottom of the thigh bone, secured in place by ligaments. When the groove is too shallow, the kneecap will slip out when the knee is bent. It can slip out either towards the inside of the knee (medial luxation) or to the outside of the knee (lateral luxation).

Medial luxation is most common, particularly in small breed dogs.

Every time the kneecap slips out it wears down the ridges that are supposed to help hold it in place making it that much easier to slip out the next time and contributing to decreased mobility and arthritis.

This condition varies in severity and is graded accordingly.
Grade 1:  The kneecap can be pushed out of position but pops back into normal alignment on its own.
Grade 2:  The kneecap can be pushed out of position and does not move back into normal alignment on its own.
Grade 3:  The kneecap is dislocated at all times but can be pushed back into normal alignment.
Grade 4:  The kneecap is dislocated at all times and cannot be pushed back into normal
Dogs with grade 1 luxating patellas do not need surgical repair. For dogs with grade 2 knees, it is a judgment call. Dogs suffering from grade 3 or 4 luxating patellas absolutely need surgery to ward off crippling and painful degeneration of their knees.

Peso has bi-lateral grade 3 luxating patellas.

Unfortunately since he is a foster dog there are no funds to pay for the surgery that he needs, and no family has been willing to adopt him with that fee looming over his head. PUP has found a doctor in Issaquah who has agreed to do the surgery for $2,500.00, so at this point we are just trying to spread the word.

It’s sad that Peso has this condition, especially since he sprints around the house like a little pony, pouncing on his toys, and pretending to be coy and hiding under the table to surprise me when I walk by. His little nub of a tail wiggles with excitement whenever he hears his name. He sits patiently at the entrance to the kitchen while I make his breakfast, and has these ears that perk up and down – it’s almost like his own, personal form of sign language..

He’s melted my heart, and the hearts of all who’ve met him. His condition doesn't affect his attitude—even though he walks funny—he is full of life and love. My mother calls him an “adorable dog with the funniest looking hair, but the sweetest personality.”

Peso's surgery bill seems to be the major factor preventing this little guy from finding a permanent home.

So PUP came up with the idea of Pesos for Peso and opened Peso's Surgery Fund to receive donations.  I have no doubt that Peso will eventually make someone a great partner in crime!

Here's a little background on PUP and Peso:

So PUP came up with the idea of Pesos for Peso and opened Peso's Surgery Fund. We hope that this surgery will guarantee him a happy home.

Peso is a male Chihuahua/terrier mix. He is approximately 3 years old, underweight at 6 lbs. He is house-trained and crate-trained. He gets along with other dogs. He can be given to a home with dog respectful children 10 years or older. Adoption fee is $225.

Peso is neutered and microchipped. He is current on his rabies, DHPP, and bordetella. He has been dewormed and flea treated. In spite of his luxating patellas he loves and enjoys his daily 2-mile walks!  Potential adopters are welcome to speak with our vet, once their application is approved.

If you think you have room in your home and heart for this dog and you reside within Washington State, please go to PUP’s Adoption Information page. 

There you will find more information and be able to fill out an adoption application.

Let's help Peso get his surgery so he can find his forever home! 
Update on Peso
November 29th 2010

Peso found a forever home! Still needs funds for his surgeries!

Quick links:
Petfinder link:
PUP’s Twitter:
PUP’s Facebook:
Peso’s Photos:

Further reading:
Luxating patella
Congenital Patellar Luxation
Medial Luxating Patella
Luxating Patella in Dogs

Friday, September 10, 2010

Coco's TPLO Post-Op Diary

Coco's TPLO story is shared with us by @trailerparkdogs. Coco and Goose are badass dudes who luv their anipals. Part-time Doggy D&G for diva dogs and band members of da Shibbering Cheetos @ShibberingC. Those guys rock!

To read more about ACL injuries and TPLO surgery option check out Talk To Me About ACL Injuries article.

Coco's Story
It finally happened. Coco, my 6-yr old part boxer/bull terrier, tore his cruciate ligament on his left knee chasing squirrels in the backyard. The ACL injury, I believed, was also prompted by the wear and tear of his knees from his obsessive running and diving into a pond on a daily basis. He would do that for a whole hour non-stop, run along the bank and dive into the water, swim 2-3 lapses, run around and dive in again.

Surgery was inevitable. So why wait? He was seen by the family vet immediately, who helped schedule a consult with a surgeon that same week. The earlier the surgery is done, the sooner the recovery can start! It is going to be a long road to recovery.

Surgery Day was on July 31, 2010 at 11:00 am. 

Coco is young and in great shape, the surgery, though invasive, went very well. He was awake shortly after and I was told that he was standing and being walked in the afternoon. He came home the next day, alert, but dazed by the medications. He was sent home with Rimadyl and Tramadol for pain, and of course, antibiotics.

Editor's note: NSAIDs, such are Rimadyl, are often prescribed for injuries or post-op recovery. While many dogs benefit from these drugs, they can have serious side effects. I advise caution and monitoring your dog closely for any suspicious signs, particularly any changes in drinking and eating habits. When in doubt, discussing alternatives with your surgeon might be a good idea.

DAY 1 to 14

Coco was not too happy with the lampshade that he had to wear. He was offered food in the hospital but refused, so it was important that he ate at home. And eat he did! He just didn't like hospital food.

He flunked the LampShade Test on Day 1. Coco was a licker, as soon as the LS was off, he went for the stitches, so back on it went, and on it stayed for the next 2 weeks until the stitches were removed.

Editor's note: It is important that your dog does not lick the incision. Twenty minutes of licking can undo two days of healing! However, I don't blame the poor dogs for hating the "lampshade"! There are some alternative products out there now, such as the ProCollar, that are worth considering.

The incision was about 2 in. long in the inner side of his left knee. It looked puffy and red, and fluid gathered just below around the ankle. Nevertheless, the boy limped around like a trooper. Oblivion is bliss! I was glad to see that he actually used that leg gently, instead of hopping on 3 legs. You would want your dog to use that leg right away.

I put ice pack on the knee for a few minutes 3, 4 times a day. He didn't like it that much but it helped to get the swelling down. Nothing drastic happened but it didn't hurt either. I also massaged the whole leg gently everyday, and worked on his Passive Range of Motion (PROM) by moving his leg for him as shown to me by the vet tech. Coco was very good and didn't complain about it.

He was kept in the living room with doggy bed and comforters on the floor, separated from my other 2 dogs. They had supervised visits, but rough play was not allowed.  The couch cushions were all lifted up so there would be no risk of jumping on and off. Daily 5-10 min. potty breaks on short leash. That's pretty much the routine for the first 2 weeks.
TIP At this point, I would add in a tip for dog owners. Take a week (or 2) off as vacation, you'll need it. It lessens the stress off your mind worrying about the care of your dog, trust me on that. Face it, when your dog tears a cruciate ligament, you are screwed!
TIP Rawhide chew bones, kong toys etc. are useful to keep the dog entertained while he cannot have any real physical activities. Coco chewed up a brand new doggy bed because he was bored.
TIP If your dog loves car rides, your car can serve as a very good and effective crate to confine his movement. Coco can sleep in the back of my SUV in the garage for hours, and often refuses to come out. (Only in ideal weather, of course.)
Two weeks after surgery, Coco went back to have his stitches removed. He had been using his leg to scratch his chest, itching due to allergy, I was very worried that he might hurt the healing process, but the surgeon took a quick look and ensured me that it was fine.

That same day, Coco met with the Canine Rehabilitation Therapist in the same hospital facility. The consultation was included in the surgical procedure, a wonderful idea. The therapist said Coco was progressing very well on his own, and did not need special exercises other than the routine ones to further promote muscle strength, which was the ultimate goal of rehab. She suggested an easy workout routine: sit and up, sit and up. It is like doing squads.

Coco was also given a trial run on the hydrotherapy treadmill. He was terrified at first because he didn't know how it worked. I decided to enroll him in several sessions to speed up his rehab. I was told all dogs were scared until they figured out how it worked. Anyway, Coco does very well now trotting along, starting for 10 mins, then 15, then 20, each session (pic). He now knows what to do, but he gets frustrated for not being able to go anywhere, he would start biting the foam noodles or taking it out on the pool toys. Silly Coco!
TIP Sign up for some rehab sessions if possible. It really is beneficial to rebuilding the body after surgery.

Well, it's been over a month now since surgery. Coco is walking, trotting, even lunging, as if nothing had happened, except he is always on a leash outdoor and is not allowed to take off. It is beneficial to walk him uphill for exercise at this stage, where he is forced to use both hind legs to push forward. Stairs are also a good rehab tool, providing that he walks up slowly.

Some observations of his leg at this point: When he stands, he tends to ease on the leg, not putting 100% pressure on it. It might tremble at times. And he will limb after a long workout on the treadmill, or a long walk. I believe it gets sore. It is all part of recovery. I make sure I have some Rimadyl at hands in case he needs to ease the pain.

He will have a check up with the surgeon 4 weeks from now, at which point, if everything looks fine, he will be allowed to go off leash in the yard, but somehow has to be restrained from chasing squirrels. I am not sure what to do about that yet!
I am happy that Coco is recovering so well and I will keep you posted on future progress.


Update on Coco
October 8, 2010
Sadly, as it often happens, Coco's other ACL failed too and Coco had the second surgery on Wednesday and is now recovering at home.

Healing thoughts going to Coco.

Related articles:
Talk To Me About ACL Injuries
ACL Injuries in Dogs: Non-Surgical Alternatives?
ACL Injuries in Dogs and Stem Cell Regenerative Therapy
Newest Surgery For Ruptured ACL In Dogs
Preventing ACL Injuries In Dogs
ACL Injuries In Dogs: Xena's Story 
ACL Injury Conservative Management: Sandy's Story
Surviving The Post-Op: After Your Dog's ACL Surgery
Talk to Me About Arthritis
Don't Forget the Physical Therapy 
My Love Is Sleeping At My Feet: ACL Surgery Complications

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ella's MRI Results And Update

Ella's was first diagnosed with syringomyelia in January 2010. She was progressing fast so the decision on whether to do surgery was something that I had to make sooner than later. I still remember her neurologist say he could not tell me that Ella would be around for 3 months. I never thought I would see her live this long. I will never forget what Ella has gone through.  

We've been all waiting to find out what Ella's new MRI results were.

Ella had her MRI last week and the results are not good. Ella's syrinx is 50% larger now than it was at the time of her first MRI prior the surgery. A lot of scar tissue developed at the surgical site.

Without a new surgery, Ella's prognosis is not good.

Ella's Update

Ella's MRI confirmed what I feared and even though the results are bad I now have information that many people do not. Ella's symptoms were worsening and I needed to know what the situation really is. Ella's results were not what I wanted to hear but I am glad because it might have caught the scar tissue before it attached.

The reason i decided to go through with the first surgery was because I felt her SM was progressing fast and her medications hadn't been helping. Even with the surgery, which initially released the pressure and allowed for the CSF fluid to flow, and with several medications, Ella did not improve. In fact she is worse now than she was before. Hadn't she had the surgery, I doubt she'd be with me today.

Not all dogs with syringomyelia respond to the surgery the same way. While there was hope that surgery would reduce the syrinx from its original size, that was not the case with Ella. The neurologist explained that is has been determined that the main factor isn't as much the size as it is the location of the syrinx. Ella's is located at the worst place it could be.

I knew progression was bad, location is bad, medication are not helping, so I asked about alternative therapy. I learned about this from a couple of people but the neurologist said that this is not a solution for Ella. I would like to point out that it is not because he does not believe in it—he actually gives Ella acupuncture—but it will not do in Ella's situation.

He talked about another surgery that would be done to remove the scar tissue that is blocking the CSF flow. He said the risk would be if the the scar tissue has attached which he will not know until surgery. If that is the case he would have to carefully scrape or remove each tissue—this could cause complications resulting in permanent neurological damage. It is not a given and I asked what the odds were and he said that there could be swelling, haemorrhaging, but he could say it was not as much as I feared.

He would put in a bone cement to cover the space that was removed to help prevent scar tissue to develop again.

We briefly discussed shunting which he said he would not consider.

If we decide to do the surgery, Ella's neurologist is going to work with me and  keep the cost as low as possible since he knows my financial situation.

This is what I found out today and I would tell anyone who is going to make such a serious decision to really think about it. I know I can not do nothing and watch her get worse and suffer more pain. Putting her through the risk of surgery is scary and I have to figure out whether this is the best thing for her.

I was told that without the surgery Ella has months at best.

Someone in my family said that no one would blame me if I let her go considering how much it put me through and how hard it was. It was shocking to me because the only thing that concerned me was not what it would put me through, but what it would put Ella through.

Am I going to do this for her or for me?

If she was old and not have the life I see in her that would be one thing. It would be selfish to keep a dog barely alive just because I could not let her go.

But Ella has so much life left in her, and so much love to give. She saved my life when I needed saving and I am not going to give up. I am going to do everything i can (no matter if it is hard) for her. She is the most important thing and i care about her more than anything else.

I would like to thank all the great souls who helped so Ella could get her MRI and all those who remembered Ella in their thoughts and prayers. I couldn't have made it without you!

For detailed updates please visit Annie's blog Fight for Ella. Let's keep Annie and Ella in our good thoughts. I will update you on Annie's decision.


Related articles:
The Dark Cloud Of Syringomyelia: Fight For Ella
Fight For Ella Continues

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dog Nutrition and Carbohydrates: The Essential Non-Essentials

Should our dogs have carbohydrates in their diet or not? If according to the American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) no carbohydrates are essential to dogs, why do they represent such a large portion of dog food products and recipes? Is it a cost issue or is there another reason?

Why the AAFCO deems carbohydrates as non-essential to dogs? 

Poppy & Potato The primary role of carbohydrates is to serve as an energy source. Through digestive process carbohydrates get broken down into glucose that serves as fuel for dog's body. Glucose that is not immediately needed for energy is converted into glycogen and stored away. Think of glucose as an active and glycogen as a passive form of energy.

Your dog's body has controls in place that work to maintain ideal levels of glucose in the blood. When glucose levels drop glycogen is converted back to glucose and returned into the blood stream. If you want to find out more about this process, check out Medical Jargon Explained: Hypo- versus Hyperglycemia.

So far this doesn't explain why carbohydrates are considered non-essential though, does it?

Dogs can produce glucose without carbohydrates as the source. In other words, dogs can use fats and proteins for fulfill their energy needs. This process is called gluconeogenesis.

Is it better for the dog to get their energy from fats and proteins than from carbohydrates?

Proteins serve as structural elements and perform a number of other vital functions in the body, however, they are used as a source of energy first. Only after energy requirements have been fulfilled can the remaining amino acids be utilized for their specific functions. Check out Dog Nutrition and Proteins article to find out more about the role of proteins in dog nutrition.

Producing glucose from carbohydrates is easier on the dog's system.

Metabolizing proteins for energy is less efficient than carbohydrates and fats. The metabolic by-products of converting proteins into energy generate extra stress on the system, particularly kidneys. Fats are a potent source of energy, but diet too high in fat can also lead to problems, such as pancreatitis.

That makes carbohydrates a good source of energy for dogs.

Would carbohydrates be a part of dog's natural diet in the wild? Yes. Wild canines eat the stomach of their prey, including its content. Their prey are herbivores, animals that feed on plant matter.

How many carbohydrates should your dog's diet contain? I'd say that would depend on your dog's individual needs depending on their age, health and lifestyle. High performance dogs have higher energy requirements.

If your dog has a medical condition that would also affect the structure of the diet. For example, many experts believe that dogs with kidney disease benefit from low protein diet, low fat diet is needed for dogs with pancreatitis, while diet low in carbohydrates is recommended for cancer diets.

The nutritional requirements would be different when you want your dog to lose some weight than when you want him to gain some. It seems that a diet containing about 30%  - 50% carbohydrates is generally recommended.

The benefit of carbohydrates in dog nutrition goes beyond energy requirements: fiber for healthy intestine.

Non-digestible carbohydrates play an important role in maintaining your dogs health by maintaining proper balance of intestinal flora. A healthy dog's intestine is home to a large number of useful microorganisms, most of which are bacteria. These bacteria aid digestion and they also protect your dog from harmful organisms such as Candida, E.coli and Salmonella. Non-digestible carbohydrates nourish the friendly bacteria. You can read more about that in Unsung Heroes: Probiotics.

Dietary fiber also helps prevent both diarrhea and constipation and has the same benefits for dogs as it does for humans.

Not convinced?

Check out Dr. Huston's article on The Role of Carbohydrates as Nutrients in the Diet of Dogs & Cats.

It is beneficial to our dogs to have carbohydrates included in their diet.

While balancing carbohydrates in a dog's diet isn't a complicated task, considerations should be made regarding your dog's energy requirements and health status to determine which type and in what amount will be best for your dog.

Further reading:
The Role of Carbohydrates as Nutrients in the Diet of Dogs & Cats

Related articles:
Unsung Heroes: Probiotics
Dog Nutrition and Proteins
Feeding Your Dog: Commercial or Home-cooked?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Understanding Dog Food Labels

The AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) guidelines and definitions for animal feed, including pet foods.
  • Alfalfa Meal - the aerial portion of the alfalfa plant, reasonably free from other crop plants, weeds and mold, which has been sun cured and finely ground.
  • Animal Digest - material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis  of clean and un-decomposed animal tissue. The animal tissues used shall be exclusive of  hair, horns, teeth, hooves and feathers, except in such trace amounts as might occur  unavoidably in good factory practice and shall be suitable for animal feed.
  • Animal Fat - is obtained from the tissues of mammals and/or poultry in the  commercial processes of rendering or extracting. It consists predominantly of glyceride  esters of fatty acids and contains no additions of free fatty acids. If an antioxidant is  used, the common name or names must be indicated, followed by the words "used as a  preservative".
  • Barley - consists of at least 80 percent sound barley and must not contain more  than 3 percent heat-damaged kernels, 6 percent foreign material, 20 percent other grains  or 10 percent wild oats.
  • Barley Flour - soft, finely ground and bolted barley meal obtained from the  milling of barley. It consists essentially of the starch and gluten of the endosperm.
  • Beef (meat) - is the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle, and is limited  to that part of the striate muscle which is skeletal or that which is found in the tongue,  in the diaphragm, in the heart, or in the esophagus; with or without the accompanying and  overlying fat and the portions of the skin, sinew, nerve and blood vessels which normally  accompany the flesh.
  • Beet Pulp ("beet pulp, dried molasses" and "beet pulp, dried, plain") - the dried residue from sugar beets.
  • Brewer's Rice - the dried extracted residue of rice resulting from the  manufacture of wort (liquid portion of malted grain) or beer and may contain pulverized  dried spent hops in an amount not to exceed 3 percent.
  • Brown Rice - unpolished rice after the kernels have been removed. Not a complete  AAFCO definition.
  • Carrots - presumably carrots. No AAFCO definition.
  • Chicken - the clean combination of flesh and skin with or without accompanying  bone, derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken or a combination thereof,  exclusive of feathers, heads, feet and entrails.
  • Chicken By-Product Meal - consists of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the  carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines,  exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidable in good  processing practice.
  • Chicken Liver Meal - chicken livers which have been ground or otherwise reduced  in particle size.
  • Chicken Meal - chicken which has been ground or otherwise reduced in particle  size.
  • Corn - unspecified corn product. Not a complete AAFCO definition.
  • Corn Bran - the outer coating of the corn kernel, with little or none of the  starchy part of the germ.
  • Corn Germ Meal (Dry Milled) - ground corn germ which consists of corn germ with  other parts of the corn kernel from which part of the oil has been removed and is the  product obtained in the dry milling process of manufacture of corn meal, corn grits,  hominy feed and other corn products.
  • Corn Gluten - that part of the commercial shelled corn that remains after the  extraction of the larger portion of the starch, gluten, and term by the processes employed  in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup.
  • Corn Gluten Meal - the dried residue from corn after the removal of the larger  part of the starch and germ, and the separation of the bran by the process employed in the  wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup, or by enzymatic treatment of the  endosperm.
  • Corn Syrup - concentrated juice derived from corn.
  • Cracked Pearl Barley - cracked pearl barley resulting from the manufacture of  pearl barley from clean barley.
  • Dehydrated Eggs - dried whole poultry eggs freed of moisture by thermal means.
  • Digest of Beef - material from beef which results from chemical and/or enzymatic  hydrolysis of clean and un-decomposed tissue. The tissues used shall be exclusive of hair,  horns, teeth and hooves, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good  factory practice.
  • Digest of Beef By-Products - material from beef which results from chemical  and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and un-decomposed tissue from non-rendered clean  parts, other than meat, from cattle which includes, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen,  kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low-temperature fatty tissue, and  stomachs and intestines freed of their contents. It does not include hair, horns, teeth  and hoofs.
  • Digest of Poultry By-Products - material which results from chemical and/or  enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and un-decomposed tissue from non-rendered clean parts of  carcasses of slaughtered poultry such as heads, feet, viscera, free from fecal content and  foreign matter except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory  practice.
  • Dried Animal Digest - dried material resulting from chemical and/or enzymatic  hydrolysis of clean and un-decomposed animal tissue. The animal tissue used shall be  exclusive of hair, horns, teeth, hooves and feathers, except in such trace amounts as  might occur unavoidably in good factory practice and shall be suitable for animal feed. If  it bears a name descriptive of its kind or flavor(s), it must correspond thereto.
  • Dried Kelp - dried seaweed of the families Laminaricae and Fu-caeae. If the  product is prepared by artificial drying, it may be called "dehydrated kelp".
  • Dried Milk Protein - obtained by drying the coagulated protein residue resulting  from the controlled co-precipitation of casein, lactalbumin and minor mild proteins from  defatted milk.
  • Dried Reduced Lactose Whey - no AAFCO definition available.
  • Dried Whey - the product obtained by removing water from the whey. It contains  not less than 11 percent protein nor less than 61 percent lactose.
  • Feeding Oatmeal - obtained in the manufacture of rolled oat groats or rolled oats  and consists of broken oat groats, oat groat chips, and floury portions of the oat groats,  with only such quantity of finely ground oat hulls as is unavoidable in the usual process  of commercial milling. It must not contain more than 4 percent crude fiber.
  • Fish Meal - the clean, dried, ground tissue of un-decomposed whole fish or fish  cuttings, either or both, with or without the extraction of part of the oil.
  • Ground Corn (ground ear corn) - the entire ear of corn ground, without husks,  with no greater portion of cob than occurs in the ear corn in its natural state.
  • Ground De-hulled Oats - presumably ground cleaned oats with hulls removed (ground  oat groats). Not an AAFCO definition.
  • Ground Wheat - presumably a coarser grind of wheat flour. Not an AAFCO definition.
  • Ground Whole Brown Rice (Ground Brown Rice) - the entire product obtained by  grinding the rice kernels after the hulls have been removed.
  • Ground Whole Wheat - ground whole kernel, presumably equivalent to AAFCO's Wheat Mill Run, Wheat Middlings, Wheat Shorts or Wheat Red Dog, whose principal differences are  in the percentage of crude fiber.
  • Ground Yellow Corn - same as ground corn, except that the corn used is yellow in  color.
  • Kibbled Corn - obtained by cooking cracked corn under steam pressure and extruding from an expeller or other mechanical pressure device.
  • Lamb Bone Meal - (steamed) dried & ground product sterilized by cooking un-decomposed bones with steam under pressure. Grease, gelatin and meat fiber may or may  not be removed.
  • Lamb Digest - material resulting from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and un-decomposed lamb. The tissue used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth and  hooves, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice  and shall be suitable for animal feed.
  • Lamb Fat - obtained from the tissues of lamb in the commercial processes of  rendering or extracting. It consists predominantly of glyceride esters of fatty acids and  contains no additions of free fatty acids. If an antioxidant is used, the common name or  names must be indicated, followed by the words "used as a preservative".
  • Lamb Meal - the rendered product from lamb tissues, exclusive of blood, hair,  hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as  may occur unavoidably in good processing practices.
  • Linseed Meal - the product obtained by grinding the cake or chips which remain  after removal of most of the oil from flaxseed by a mechanical extraction process. It must  contain no more than 10 percent fiber. The words "mechanical extracted" are not  required when listing as an ingredient in the manufactured food.
  • Liver - the hepatic gland (of whatever species is listed).
  • Meat and Bone Meal - the rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone,  exclusive of blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents, except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices.
  • Meat By-Products - the non rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from  slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain,  livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low-temperature fatty tissue and stomachs and  intestines freed of their contents. It does not include hair, horns, teeth and hooves.
  • Meat Meal - the rendered product from mammal tissues, exclusive of blood, hair,  hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as  may occur unavoidably in good processing practices.
  • Peas - peas.
  • Potatoes - potatoes.
  • Poultry By-Product Meal - consists of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the  carcass of slaughtered poultry, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, intestines,  exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good  processing practices.
  • Poultry Digest - material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis  of clean and un-decomposed poultry tissue.
  • Poultry Fat (feed grade) - primarily obtained from the tissue of poultry in the  commercial process of rendering or extracting. It shall contain only the fatty matter  natural to the product produced under good manufacturing practices and shall contain no  added free fatty acids or other materials obtained from fat. It must contain not less than  90 percent total fatty acids and not more than 3 percent of un-saponifiables and  impurities. It shall have a minimum titer of 33 degrees Celsius. If an antioxidant is  used, the common name or names must be indicated, followed by the word  "preservative(s)".
  • Powdered Cellulose - purified, mechanically disintegrated cellulose prepared by  processing alpha cellulose obtained as a pulp from fibrous plant materials.
  • Rice Bran - the pericarp or bran layer and germ of the rice, with only such  quantity of hull fragments, chipped, broken, or brewer's rice, and calcium carbonate as is  unavoidable in the regular milling of edible rice.
  • Rice Flour
  • Soy Flour
  • Soybean Hulls - consist primarily of the outer covering of the soybean.
  • Soybean Meal (De-hulled, solvent Extracted) - obtained by grinding the flakes  remaining after removal of most of the oil from de-hulled soybeans by a solvent extraction  process.
  • Soybean Meal (Mechanical Extracted) - obtained by grinding the cake or chips  which remain after removal of most of the oil from the soybeans by a mechanical extraction  process.
  • Soybean Mill Run - composed of soybean hulls and such bean meats that adhere to  the hulls and such bean meats that adhere to the hulls which results from normal milling  operations in the production of de-hulled soybean meal.
  • Tallow - animal fats with titer above 40 degrees Celsius.
  • Turkey - unspecified turkey. Not a complete AAFCO description.
  • Turkey Meal - the ground clean combination of flesh and skin with or without  accompanying bone, derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey or a combination  thereof, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet and entrails.
  • Wheat Bran - the coarse outer covering of the wheat kernel as separated from  cleaned and scoured wheat in the usual process of commercial milling.
  • Wheat Flour - wheat flour together with fine particles of wheat bran, wheat germ  and the offal from the "tail of the mill". This product must be obtained in the  usual process of commercial milling and must not contain more than 1.5 percent crude  fiber.
  • Wheat Germ Meal - consists chiefly of wheat germ together with some bran and  middlings or short. It must contain not less than 25 percent crude protein and 7 percent  crude fat.
  • Wheat Mill Run - coarse wheat bran, fine particles of wheat bran, wheat shorts,  wheat germ, wheat flour and the offal from the "tail of the mill". This product  must be obtained in the usual process of commercial milling and must contain not more than  9.5 percent crude fiber.
  • Whey - the product obtained as a fluid by separating the coagulum from milk,  cream or skimmed milk and from which a portion of the milk fat may have been removed.