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Forwarded by member Karen Damari:

FDA Alert On Flea and Tick Products for Pets(October 25, 2018, AKC)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an alert for the public and professionals (September 2018). The products mentioned in the warning are very popular flea and tick preventatives. Many veterinarians I spoke with regularly prescribe these products for their patients and have not been seeing cats or dogs with symptoms such as the ones described in the alert. The FDA considers these products safe to stay on the market. If, however, you have concerns about the continued use of these products, you should contact your veterinarian to discuss the issue.

Here is more information on the topic:

The Food and Drug Administration has issued an alert advising pet owners of the potential for adverse reactions (muscle tremors, loss of muscle control and seizures) in dogs and cats when treated with drugs in the Isoxazoline class. The FDA continues to consider these products to be safe and effective for dogs and cats but is providing this information so that pet owners and veterinarians can consider it when choosing flea and tick products for their pets.

The drugs under this alert include commonly prescribed flea and tick preventatives such as Bravecto, Credelio, Nexgard, and Simparica. The FDA considers these products safe.

FDA Warns of Possible Link Between Grain-Free Dog Foods and Heart Disease(July 12, 2018, American Veterinarian)

As previously reported by American Veterinarian®, there is a notable discrepancy between the types of pet foods veterinarians and pet owners believe to be healthy for dogs and cats. For instance, when asked whether low- or no-grain diets are healthier for dogs, 46% of pet owners said yes, while 63% of veterinary professionals said no, according to a survey conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. Similarly, 63% of pet owners said corn was not healthy for dogs, but 50% of veterinarians said it was.

Could a gap in knowledge become detrimental to pets?

Today, the FDA released a warning to veterinarians and pet owners about reports of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs eating pet foods that contained peas, lentils, legume seeds, or potatoes as the main ingredients. It is not yet known how these ingredients are linked to cases of DCM.
The reports raised a red flag because DCM is occurring more frequently in breeds that are not considered genetically predisposed to developing the disease, including golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, whippets, a Shih Tzu, a bulldog, miniature schnauzers, and mixed breeds.

In the cases reported to the FDA, the dogs were being fed diets that commonly listed potatoes or multiple legumes as well as their protein, starch, and fiber sources early in the ingredient list, indicating that those were the main ingredients. High levels of legumes or potatoes are found often in products labeled as "grain-free."

The medical records for 4 of the atypical DCM cases-3 golden retrievers and 1 Labrador retriever-revealed that the dogs had low whole blood levels of taurine, which is documented as potentially leading to DCM.

The FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine and the Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network are investigating this potential association. According to the FDA, early reports from the veterinary cardiology community indicate that the dogs ate these foods consistently for time periods ranging from months to years.

In an article that originally appeared on the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University's blog Petfoodology, Lisa M. Freeman, DVM, PhD, DACVN, recalled a recent patient that was diagnosed with DCM at the school's hospital. Upon further evaluation, it was discovered that the 4-year-old beagle-Labrador mix had been fed a grain-free pet food that contained kangaroo meat and chickpeas.

"Recently, some astute cardiologists noticed higher rates of DCM in golden retrievers and some atypical dog breeds," Dr. Freeman wrote. "They also noticed that both the typical and atypical breeds were more likely to be eating boutique or grain-free diets, and diets with exotic ingredients-kangaroo, lentils, duck, pea, fava bean, buffalo, tapioca, salmon, lamb, barley, bison, venison, and chickpeas. Even some vegan diets have been associated. It has even been seen in dogs eating raw or home-prepared diets."

While the investigation is ongoing, the FDA is encouraging pet owners and veterinary professionals to report cases of DCM that may be linked to a dog's diet by using the Safety Reporting Portal.
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  Forwarded to us from our past president Bill Pfeiffer:




Dr. Patricia Norris, director
N.C. Animal Welfare Section

NCDA&CS receiving reports of canine influenza 
Shelters and boarding facilities advised to 
take additional precautions to prevent spread

RALEIGH – North Carolina veterinary officials have received confirmation of three cases of canine influenza in Asheville and Winston-Salem, and are receiving reports of suspected cases in Greensboro.

According to reports, more than 200 dogs may have the virus, but since it is not a reportable disease in North Carolina, the problem could be more widespread. Veterinarians are asked to voluntarily report cases to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Animal Welfare Section at 919-715-7111 so officials can track the spread.

The signs of canine flu are cough, runny nose and fever and are similar to other respiratory problems. Other signs can include lethargy, eye discharge, reduced appetite and low-grade fever. Most dogs recover within two to three weeks. However, secondary bacterial infections can develop, and may cause more severe illness and pneumonia. Anyone with concerns about their pet’s health, or whose pet is showing signs of canine influenza, should contact their veterinarian. Dog owners should consider limiting contact with other dogs and visits to communal areas.

The virus is highly contagious and easily spread from infected dogs to other dogs through direct contact, nasal secretions (through coughing and sneezing), contaminated objects (kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars and leashes), and people moving between infected and uninfected dogs.

There is a canine flu vaccination, but it may not be appropriate for all dogs. Pet owners should contact their veterinarian to determine if vaccination is advisable.

Dr. Patricia Norris, director of the Animal Welfare Section, recommends that boarding and shelter facilities review their current intake, isolation, veterinary care, monitoring and sanitation protocols with their facility veterinarian to be sure they are taking adequate measures to control the spread of this virus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there is no evidence of transmission of canine influenza viruses from dogs to people and there has not been a reported case of human infection with canine influenza. Also, this strain of influenza is different from avian influenza that has caused the deaths of birds in the Midwest.

More information can be found at


NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Brian Long, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3001; FAX: (919) 733-5047"

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