Thursday, April 29, 2010

Xylitol-Related Dog Poisoning

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol used as a sweetener in many products, including sugar-free gum and mints, nicotine gum, chewable vitamins, oral-care products, and baked goods.

While xylitol consumption is considered safe in people, your dog can develop serious, even life-threatening, signs from xylitol ingestion.

"The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today reminded animal lovers and pet parents that xylitol, a sweetener found in certain sugar-free chewing gums, candies, baked goods, toothpaste, and other products can potentially cause serious and even life-threatening problems for pets. Last year, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) in Urbana, Ill. managed approximately 2,690 cases of accidental xylitol ingestion. This is a nearly 40 percent increase in the number of cases involving xylitol-containing products from just three years ago, and 30 times as many cases from 2004, when the Center managed less than 100 incidents of xylitol ingestion."

Xylitol-Related Dog Poisoning Increasing
Urbana, Illinois

The number of xylitol-related cases of poisoning in dogs is increasing, possibly due to the number of products that contain the substance.

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener used a sugar substitute in a growing number of confectionary products. It is naturally occurring, being derived from the fibers of may fruits and vegetables, including corn husks and pats. In humans, over-consumption of xylitol can result in bloating and diarrhea, but these side-effects are thought to be less extreme than in the other popular sugar-substitute sorbitol. It is these properties that have driven manufacturers of everything from chewing-gum to toothpaste to replace at least some of the sugar in their products with xylitol.

Last year, the ASPCA® Animal Poison Center (APCC) received approximately 2,690 calls related to accidental xylitol ingestion. This represents an almost 40% increase on three years ago, and an astonishing 30-fold increase on 2004's cases. According to Dr. Eric Dunayer, Senior Toxicologist at the APCC, dogs ingesting items sweetened with xylitol could develop a fairly sudden drop in blood sugar, resulting in depression, loss of coordination and seizures. "These signs can develop quite rapidly, at times less than 30 minutes after ingestion of the product. Therefore, it is crucial that pet owners seek veterinary treatment immediately."

Dr. Dunayer also states that there appears to be a strong link between xylitol ingestions and the development of liver failure in dogs. While it was previously thought that only large concentrations of xylitol could result in problems, this no longer appears to be the case. "We seem to be learning new information with each subsequent case we manage. Our concern used to be mainly with products that contain xylitol as one of the first ingredients. However, we have begun to see problems developing from ingestions of products with lesser amounts of this sweetener." Dr. Dunayer also says that with smaller concentrations of xylitol, the onset of clinical signs could be delayed as much as 12 hours after ingestion. "Therefore, it is important to remember that even if your pet does not develop signs right away, it does not mean that problems won't develop later on."

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What is the difference between a Golden and Yellow Labrador Retriever?

From: Marrisa (Canada)

Subject: What is the difference between a Golden and Yellow Labrador Retriever?

Labrador Retriever Name: Bounty

Reader's E-mail - Marrisa Writes:

Hello Miss Fay,

My family and I love both of your blogs. We have ourself a chocolate Labrador Retriever, 3 years who goes by the name of Bounty. He is the best dog in the world and we love him so much.

We want to add another Labrador Retriever to our house. We have decided on a yellow Lab!

My father keeps saying we are getting a Golden Retriever but I tell him wrong, it's a yellow Labrador Retriever. I know I am wright but he also thinks he is wright. Please let me know the correct answer.

Thank you,

All About Labradors Answer:

Hello Marrisa,

The information given here is to help you learn more about your Labrador Retriever and not to replace your veterinarian's advice. Disclaimer:

Thank you for your e-mail and the nice words about both blogs. Congratulations on your choice to get another Labrador Retriever (notice how I state Labrador Retriever).

Yes Marrisa, you are correct. Yellow Labrador Retrievers are often mistakenly called "Golden Labradors" or "Golden Retrievers"."

Labrador Retrievers come in three colors, with those colors being chocolate, black and yellow. Although there are similarities, The Golden Retriever is a separate breed from the Labrador Retriever.

Sorry Dad, Marrisa is right on this one (good girl Marrisa)! Please keep me up to date when you do get your new yellow Labrador Retriever and tell Dad not to take it so hard.

Takes care of yourself,


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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Free Grandma Bowser's Dog Biscuits Sample

Grandma Bowser is offering a free sample of their dog biscuits.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with Grandma Bowser Dog Biscuits here is some information about them:

"Our gourmet dog Biscuits are made from 100% human-grade ingredients and baked in our licensed bakery in Pennsylvania. All of our ingredients come fresh and are chopped and prepared in house. Nothing comes pre- packaged. "It's Like a Granola Bar For Dogs.” But actually, it's far better, because we add a specially formulated Vitamin and Mineral Supplement to our treats. Our Senior Dog Formula is low in fat, high in fiber, packed with special nutrients and anti-oxidants, and includes Glucosamine and Chondroitin to promote healthy joints. All of our Biscuits are absolutely free of artificial flavorings, preservatives and added sugar. You can be
confident that you are giving your "Very Good Dog" a treat of the highest quality!"

If you would like to get a Free Grandma Bowser's Dog Biscuits Sample, click on the link and then scroll down to the bottom of their website to make your request.

Samples are while supplies last and available to the USA only. Remember, samples go very quickly so don't delay if you would like to try them.

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Natural Flea Remedies

On April 20, 2010, we posted a video in regards to a warning for Labrador Retriever and other pet owners who treat their dogs and cats for fleas and ticks. The video went on to talk about how there are thousands of reports of sick pets with these flea and tick products and how the Feds are cracking down on the companies that make the treatments. You can see that video here: Kill the Ticks, Not Your Labrador Retriever.

So what are you, as a Labrador Retriever owner going to do to help fight fleas and ticks on your lovable Labs? Well, natural flea remedies might be of help as they are becoming quite popular with many dog owners these days.

Here's a guest article by Anne Ming titled Natural Flea Remedies are a Great Choice for Your Pets. Anne lists some information that might be helpful in regards to natural flea remedies and ways to help keep them at bay, as well as providing more information on her website, FleasOnDogs.Org.

All dog owners realize the importance of choosing the best flea remedies for their four legged companions. The choices for this are many and varied, but the majority of dog owners typically go with the vet recommended products such as Frontline, Advantage, and Revolution. While these are tried and true treatments for the banishment of fleas, they may not be the right products for your dog. As each situation is individual, the flea treatment chosen for YOUR dog should be tailored to meet its needs.

Natural flea remedies are becoming quite popular with many dog owners these days. There are many reasons for this newfound popularity. Safety is possibly the number one reason. Natural flea remedies are much safer for your dog as well as your family. Chemicals that are routinely used in most ordinary flea treatments can often be harmful to your dog without you even realizing it. Natural remedies do not contain these chemicals. Once you decide on the best flea remedy for your dog, you can include other ways to keep your dog’s fleas under control.

When choosing the best natural flea remedy for your dog, visit your local pet shop. These stores will carry all of the best products available to help rid your dog of fleas. It is here that you will find flea remedies that contain ONLY natural ingredients. They are highly effective in ridding your dog of fleas while, at the same time, being completely safe for both your dog and family to be around. Powders, sprays, and shampoos made from all natural ingredients are what you will want to buy as well as a flea brush. Flea collars can also be helpful in driving away the fleas.

Be sure to bathe your dog at least once a week during flea season. Keeping your dog clean and brushing it daily will go a long way in keeping the fleas at bay. It is not only your dog that you need to keep clean. Your house also needs a good cleaning on a regular basis because fleas can, and will, get in. Vacuum the carpet along with washing your dog’s bedding.

Sprinkle powdered borax or powdered diatomaceous earth on the carpet prior to vacuuming. Let it set for a few minutes before you vacuum. Keep away children and dog when you are doing this because these are not products that should be inhaled. This process will kill any fleas along with their eggs. Maintain your lawn by mowing it regularly as this will go far in reducing your flea problem. If you have any shrubbery, be sure to keep those trimmed. Doing these things makes it harder for the fleas to get to your dog.

Of course, it is totally up to you what sort of flea treatment you choose for your dog. Just keep in mind that an all-natural remedy is a safer and healthier option for your dog as well as your family. What is most important is that you choose the flea remedy that YOU feel is best for you and your dog.

Summary: More dog owners are starting to realize that natural flea remedies may be the safest and healthiest choice in ridding their dogs of those annoying fleas.

Want to know more about dog fleas? On FleasOnDogs.Org you can find articles about fleas on dogs, fleas on dogs treatment and flea natural remedies.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kill the Ticks, Not Your Labrador Retriever

A warning for Labrador Retriever and other pet owners who treat their dogs and cats for fleas and ticks. After thousands of reports of sick pets... the Feds are cracking down on the companies that make the treatments.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

How to teach your Labrador Retriever to Respond and learn their Name

Here's a great video on how to teach your Labrador Retriever to pay attention and to learn their name.

Melanie McLeroy of Taurus Dog Training, shows you step by step with the beautiful yellow Labrador Retriever, Telula.

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Monday, April 12, 2010

New Drug Approved For Canine Ear Infections

New Drug Approved For Canine Ear Infections
Roseland, New Jersey

A new drug for the treatment of ear infections in dogs has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is now available for use from veterinarians.

Posatex Otic Suspension, made by Intervet, Inc. of New Jersey, was approved on April 1st to be used for the treatment of otitis externa in dogs associated with susceptible strains of yeast (Malassezia pachydermatis) and bacteria (coagulase-positive staphylococci, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterococcus faecalis). The drug suspension contains orbifloxacin, mometasone furoate monohydrate, and posaconazole.

Otitis externa is an inflammation of the outer ear and ear canal and is often characterized by the ear emitting a strong odor or discharge. Affected dogs might also scratch or rub their ears more than normal, become easily irritated, or frequently shake their head. It is estimated that up to 20% of dogs may be affected by this disorder at some time in their lives. Otitis externa can also be caused by foreign bodies, hormone imbalances and allergies.

Posatex Otic Suspension is only indicated for use where the cause is yeast or bacteria, which previously required treatment with antibiotics or antifungals. The drug's approval includes the condition that dogs weighing less than 30 lbs. be given 4 drops once daily in the ear canal, and heaver dogs be given 8 drops daily, for 7 consecutive days.

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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Raisins and Grapes harmful to your Dog

Here's an e-mail I want to pass along to you from my friend Jamie.

It's an alert that I hope most of you have know for quite some time now, but always helpful for new dog owners.

This e-mail is an alert about raisins and grapes being harmful to your dog and you can also read more about it at or by doing further investigation through Google.

If you have a dog ... PLEASE read and inform other dog owners. If you don't have a dog, please pass along to friends who do.

Raisin the Alarm! Written by:

Laurinda Morris, DVM
Danville Veterinary Clinic
Danville , OH

This week I had the first case in history of raisin toxicity ever seen at MedVet. My patient was a 56-pound, 5 yr old male neutered lab mix that ate half a canister of raisins sometime between 7:30 AM and 4:30 PM on Tuesday. He started with vomiting, diarrhea and shaking about 1 AM on Wednesday but the owner didn't call my emergency service until 7 AM.

I had heard somewhere about raisins AND grapes causing acute Renal failure but hadn't seen any formal paper on the subject. We had her bring the dog in immediately. In the meantime, I called the ER service at MedVet, and the doctor there was like me - had heard something about it, but... Anyway, we contacted the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center and they said to give IV fluids at 1 & 1/2 times maintenance and watch the kidney values for the next 48-72 hours.

The dog's BUN (blood urea nitrogen level) was already at 32 (normal less than 27) and creatinine over 5 (1.9 is the high end of normal). Both are monitors of kidney function in the bloodstream. We placed an IV catheter and started the fluids. Rechecked the renal values at 5 PM and the BUN was over 40 and creatinine over 7 with no urine production after a liter of fluids.

At that point I felt the dog was in acute renal failure and sent him on to MedVet for a urinary catheter to monitor urine output overnight as well as overnight care. He started vomiting again overnight at MedVet and his renal values continued to increase daily. He produced urine when given lasix as a diuretic. He was on 3 different anti-vomiting medications and they still couldn't control his vomiting.

Today his urine output decreased again, his BUN was over 120, his creatinine was at 10, his phosphorus was very elevated and his blood pressure, which had been staying around 150, skyrocketed to 220 .... He continued to vomit and the owners elected to Euthanize.

This is a very sad case - great dog, great owners who had no idea raisins could be a toxin. Please alert everyone you know who has a dog of this very serious risk.

Poison control said as few as 7 raisins or grapes could be toxic. Many people I know give their dogs grapes or raisins as treats. Any exposure should give rise to immediate concern.

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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Labrador Retriever Catches a Huge Fish

We all know that Labrador Retrievers are suppose to be good hunters, but how about fishermen?

In the following video, you'll get to see a beautiful yellow Labrador Retriever catch a very big fish. I guess our Labradors can do everything.

I big thank you to Karla sending me an e-mail, alerting me of this video.

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Thursday, April 01, 2010

Black Labrador Retriever Aggression

From: Sarah (Canada)

Subject: Black Labrador Retriever with an aggression problem.

Labrador Retriever Name: N/A

Reader's E-mail - Sarah Writes:

I want to preface this by saying I read through Lisa's aggression email and your response to try and find an answer to my problem but I wanted to run my scenario by you just in case. I live in Newfoundland, Canada. We adopted a black Lab (possibly crossed with a Newfoundland) from our local SPCA two years ago, when he was about one. He's now three and about 90-100 pounds, and only a foot or so shorter than I am when he stands on his back legs (I'm 5'4). He's a big boy! Everything was going fine until about a year ago when he started exhibiting random bouts of aggression - always towards my mother whom is with him most often. A few months ago he had wandered into the neighbours yard and wouldn't come out so she started pulling on his lead to get him out and he clamped down on her arm and actually broke the skin, enough that she needed a butterfly stitch to keep the wound closed.

Things were fine after that incident, except for some occassional episodes of snarling or snapping. Last night he was laying in bed with her and the remote control for the television was under the covers he was lying on. She reached under them to pull it out from under him and he clamped on her arm again, but this time got a mouthful of blankets. She punished him by telling him he was bad and sent him from the room. Except for these incidents he's a very loving and affectionate dog, but she admits she's slightly afraid of him now because he's gone after her twice.

His diet is fairly average, we feed him Pedigree food and mix in table scraps like meats, rice, vegetables (he loves cauliflower!). We always make sure to look up any vegetables to see if they're bad for him before we give them to him. He's given Milk Bones as a snack, or apples. I blame his occassional aggression on pent up energy. For a dog of his size (or any size, for that matter) he gets little excercise. It's the usual excuse, the household all work full time jobs so he's often cooped up in the house for long stretches at a time (though I do work shift work so it does get broken up some) and his main source of excercise, if you could call it that, is to run around in the yard when one of us is home. In light of last night's incident I've made a commitment to try and walk him for at least an hour daily in the hopes that this will curb his aggressive tendencies.

He's not neutered, and he has no health issues that we or the vet are aware of, except that he occassionally seems to have a hard time breathing, almost like he's having an asthma attack (this happened three times on our walk today). I would be so thankful for any advice you may have. He's a gorgeous beast and we love him to pieces, and I'd hate to have to give him away because of my mother's fear that he might hurt her some day.

Thanks for taking the time to read this,


All About Labradors Blog response:

Hello Sarah and thank you for your e-mail. I'm sorry to hear about the problem you are having.

First off, as I stated to Lisa, it is hard for me to recommend other specific help without me spending time with your Labrador Retriever.

The primary goal in preventing aggression in your Labrador Retriever is to never allow them to achieve dominant status over anyone in your family. If your Labrador Retriever knows his social ranking, they will usually be good family members.

Your Labrador Retriever should earn everything he receives from his owners. He should sit to receive treats or when you pet him, sit when getting his leash attached, sit before he goes out the door and so on. You (your family) are the boss, not your Labrador Retriever. Constantly reinforce the above with everything your Labrador Retriever does to let him know who the boss is.

Preventing aggression does require that you as the owner wins each and every confrontation with your Labrador Retriever.

I refer all of the readers of All About Labradors to this wonderful article in establishing the Alpha Position. It's a list of rules every Labrador Retriever owner should follow to ensure your Labrador knows his place in your human pack:

Establishing and Keeping Alpha Position

Neutering may be helpful for your Labrador as it may help your Labrador Retriever be less aggressive toward other male dogs and also people. Besides that, neutering has many other positive benefits.

I do recommend that you get professional training to help with your problem. Treating aggressive behavior is best handled by a professional animal behaviorist or an experienced, animal trainer. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation if you don't know of a trainer.

Hope this will be of some help to you Sarah. As I stated earlier, it is hard for me to recommend other specific help without me spending time with your Labrador Retriever.

Please keep me updated with what you decide to do and how it is working out with your Labrador Retriever.


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