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Odds are good that you will encounter a tick in the near future. And your dog has even better odds.

Since humans aren’t as hairy as other mammals, we stand a better chance of noticing when a tick attaches. Dogs, on the other hand are furry, and a tick can take up residence without the dog or you noticing.

Since humans aren’t as hairy as other mammals, we stand a better chance of noticing when a tick attaches. Dogs, on the other hand are furry, and a tick can take up residence without the dog or you noticing.

Unfortunately, people sometimes find that their dog had an attached when symptoms of a tick-borne disease appear. By then, treatment is potentially expensive, if even treatable. So it makes sense to consistently use a flea and tick product like ®FRONTLINE.

How serious can the problem be? Here are a few of the diseases ticks may transmit.


    • Lyme Disease is one of the most commonly diagnosed tick-borne diseases in dogs. It can also affect humans bitten by an infected tick. Symptoms in dogs include fever, shifting leg lameness, polyarthritis, and generally poor health. In a small number of dogs, Lyme Disease is associated with the development of a syndrome that causes progressive kidney failure which is often fatal. Carriers include the black-legged deer tick.1
    • Canine Anaplasmosis. This bacterial disease can be transmitted to humans as well as dogs. Signs in dogs can include fever, anorexia, thrombocytopenia (decrease in blood platelets), swollen joints, depression, and enlarged lymph nodes. Carriers include the black-legged deer tick. 2
    • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Despite its name, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever has been reported in almost all of the contiguous United States, Western Canada, and Mexico. Clinical signs in dogs include loss of appetite, fever, depression, joint pain, and swollen lymph nodes. They may also experience vomiting, seizures, nosebleeds, kidney failure, or sudden death from heart arrhythmia. Carriers include the American dog tick and brown dog tick.
    • Ehrlichiosis. Similar to anaplasmosis, these organisms infect the blood of the dog. There are a number of Ehrlichia species that can infect dogs in the United States. Symptoms in dogs may include anemia, fever, depression, lethargy, appetite loss, shortness of breath, joint pain, stiffness, and bruising. Later in the disease, there may be weight loss, bleeding, eye inflammation, diarrhea, and hind leg swelling. Carriers include the brown dog tick.4
    • Babesiosis. Symptoms in dogs may include anemia (the most common sign), fever, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, skin lesions, and potentially kidney failure. Carriers include the brown dog tick and the black-legged (deer) tick.5
    • Canine Hepatozoonosis. Rather than from a bite, dogs are infected with this protozoal organism by ingesting an infected tick. Two different organisms are associated with canine hepatozoonosis. When infected by H. canis many dogs will show less severe signs; some dogs may remain clinically normal. However, H. americanum infections cause a severe, often fatal disease in dogs. Clinical signs that can be seen in infected dogs include fever, depression, muscle atrophy, discharge around the eyes, and anemia. The carrier for H. canis is the brown dog tick, and the carrier for H. americanum is the Gulf Coast tick. 6,7

Who knew something so small could do so much damage? The good news is you can help protect your dog with flea and tick control products like FRONTLINE® Plus. Keep in mind that not all flea products are effective against ticks and no oral products kill ticks. It’s important that you talk to your veterinarian to see which one’s right for you.

    1. Littman MP, et al. ACVIM small animal consensus statement on Lyme disease in dogs: diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. J Vet Intern Med. 2006; 20:423.
    2. Diniz P and Breitschwerdt E. Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection (Canine Granulocytic Anaplasmosis). In: Greene CE, ed. Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat. 4th ed. Elsevier Saunders; 2012: 244-254.
    3. Greene, CE; Breitschwerdt, EB. Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Q Fever, and typhus. In Greene, CE (ed.):Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat. W.B. Saunders Co. Philadelphia, PA; 1998;155-162.
    4. Harris S, Waner T and Neer TM. Ehrlichia canis infection. In: Greene CE, ed. Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat. 4th ed. Elsevier Saunders; 2012: 227-238.
    5. Birkenheuer A. Babesiosis. In: Greene CE, ed. Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat. 4th ed. Elsevier Saunders; 2012: 771-784.
    6. Baneth G. Hepatozoon canis infection. In: Greene CE, ed. Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat. 4th ed. Elsevier Saunders; 2012: 750-757.
    7. Macintire D, Vincent-Johnson N and Potter M. Hepatozoon americanum infection. In: Greene CE, ed. Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat. 4th ed. Elsevier Saunders; 2012: 757-763.

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Hard Dog Food


May 6, 2014

Filed in court today (5/6/14). Purina Pet Foods is suing Blue Buffalo Pet Foods because (Purina says) they aren’t being honest about their ingredients. Gloves are off.

On the new Purina website – (no kidding – this is a Purina website) – Purina makes a bold announcement they are suing Blue Buffalo “because we believe the Blue Buffalo is not being honest about the ingredients in its pet food.” Purina shares that Blue Buffalo’s advertising and packaging state “NO Chicken/Poultry By-Product Meals”. Purina is challenging this statement through “independent laboratory” testing that found “Blue Buffalo’s top-selling ‘Life Protection’ pet food products actually contain substantial amounts of poultry by-product meal.”

And Purina claims that independent tested showed “Blue Buffalo ‘LifeSource Bits’ contain poultry by-product meal and corn. In addition, several Blue Buffalo products promoted as ‘grain-free’ actually contain rice hulls”.

Some of the highlights of the complaint filed in court today (5/6/14)…


Nature of Action
1. In short, Blue Buffalo is not being honest with consumers about the true ingredients of Blue Buffalo products.

2. Spending roughly $50 million per year on advertising…
Investigation and scientific testing by an independent laboratory completed in April 2014 reveals as follows:
Blue Buffalo Product Claimed to Contain no Poultry by-Products
Life Protection Indoor Health Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
Percentage Poultry by-Product Meal in Kibble (Two Samples)
25%, 24%

Remarkably, for some Blue Buffalo products, chicken/poultry by-product meals comprise upwards of 20% of the product by weight, despite the “NO Chicken Poultry By-Product Meals” wording on the label.

7. Blue Buffalo’s behavior is unlawful and just plain wrong. Through this legal action, Purina seeks to halt Blue Buffalo’s pattern of false advertising and consumer deception.

25. Blue Buffalo even has a staff of salespeople who dress similarly to pet store employees and approach consumers in pet store parking lots…

28. Blue Buffalo has created what it calls “LifeSource Bits” that it represents as being “vitamins, minerals and antioxidants” that are allegedly “cold-formed” pieces of kibble included in its pet food. Blue Buffalo touts its LifeSource Bits as offering a series of special health benefits for pets.

29. In actuality, Blue Buffalo’s “LifeSource Bits” do not contain enough nutrients to effectively deliver the claimed health benefits.

34. Numerous other Blue Buffalo advertising claims relating to the LifeSource Bits in its pet food are false and misleading. For example, Blue Buffalo claims that its LifeSource Bits contain Taurine “for healthy eyes and heart.” The LifeSource Bits, however, contain little or no Taurine. Likewise, Blue Buffalo touts Vitamin D in the LifeSource Bits “for healthy bones and tissue.” But the LifeSource Bits actually have less Vitamin D than the remaining kibble component. Similarly, Blue Buffalo cites L-Carnitine in the LifeSource Bits “for endurance and fat metabolism.” In actuality, there is little or no L-Carnitine in the Blue Buffalo LifeSource Bits. All in all, Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource Bits are falsely advertised as having many qualities and benefits they simply do not have.

(k) Ordering Defendant to pay Purina:
i. Treble actual damages, costs, and reasonable attorneys’ fees pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1117;
ii. Blue Buffalo’s profits and cost savings from sales of its products resulting from its false advertising practices; and
iii. Pre-judgment and post-judgment interest.

(l) Awarding Purina such other and further relief as this Court may deem just and proper.


Purina also asked the court for a trial by jury.

If these charges Purina has filed are true – Blue Buffalo should be held accountable. But there are some significant issues for both of these pet food parties (and all pet foods)…

Pet Food Honesty? Who are they trying to kid? The entire pet food (regulatory) system is set up to mislead all consumers. Pet food manufacturers are allowed to violate federal food safety laws (FDA Compliance Policies), pet food is not required to disclose country of origin of ingredients, or grade of ingredients, or if a preservative (such as ethoxyquin) or denature agent (such as crank case oil) was added by the ingredient suppliers. Chicken in pet food is a completely different definition than what chicken means in human food. Calories are calculated differently. Images on pet food labels have been allowed to mislead consumers for years. Pet food label guarantees disclose ONLY minimums of protein and fat. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Killer. At the top of Purina’s website is the statement: “Purina: Where Honesty is our First Ingredient”. And at the bottom of the homepage of this site it states: “At Purina, what goes in the bag goes on the label.” Knowing that pet food regulations allow all pet foods the ability to lie to consumers – the pot calling the kettle black comes to mind.

Purina…good for you for holding Blue Buffalo accountable (should your claims be verified in court), no pet food should be allowed to mislead consumers. But…since you (Purina) laid down the ‘honesty’ gauntlet…how about providing your Pledge to Quality and Origin? You talk the talk, but can you walk the walk? Be honest – give consumers your Pledge. We’re waiting.

Posted by: In: News and Information 01 Jan 2013 0 comments

The ASPCA had rescued more than 250 animals and treated or provided supplies to nearly 6,000 in New York City and Long Island. It will use the money to lease a building that can be used as a central shelter for Sandy animals and to continue searching for lost pets, provide mobile veterinary services and hand out supplies. Please donate today

Chocolate found harmful to canines

In a recent Veterinary Journal, feeding chocolate to dogs was found to cause toxic shock in 24% of the animals.

Tip of the month: People foods to avoid feeding your pets

Chocolate, Macadamia nuts, avocados…these foods may sound delicious to you, but they’re actually quite dangerous for our animal companions. Our nutrition experts have put together a handy list of the top toxic people foods to avoid feeding your pet. As always, if you suspect your pet has eaten any of the following foods, please note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at  (888) 426-4435.

Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine

These products all contain substances called methylxanthines, which are found in cacao seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee and in the nuts of an extract used in some sodas. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Note that darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. White chocolate has the lowest level of methylxanthines, while baking chocolate contains the highest.


Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.


The leaves, fruit, seeds and bark of avocados contain Persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Birds and rodents are especially sensitive to avocado poisoning, and can develop congestion, difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation around the heart. Some ingestions may even be fatal.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are commonly used in many cookies and candies. However, they can cause problems for your canine companion. These nuts have caused weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Signs usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and last approximately 12 to 48 hours.

Grapes & Raisins

Although the toxic substance within grapes and raisins is unknown, these fruits can cause kidney failure. In pets who already have certain health problems, signs may be more dramatic.

Yeast Dough

Yeast dough can rise and cause gas to accumulate in your pet’s digestive system. This can be painful and can cause the stomach or intestines to rupture. Because the risk diminishes after the dough is cooked and the yeast has fully risen, pets can have small bits of bread as treats. However, these treats should not constitute more than 5 percent to 10 percent of your pet’s daily caloric intake.

Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones

Raw meat and raw eggs can contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli that can be harmful to pets. In addition, raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin that decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin), which can lead to skin and coat problems. Feeding your pet raw bones may seem like a natural and healthy option that might occur if your pet lived in the wild. However, this can be very dangerous for a domestic pet, who might choke on bones, or sustain a grave injury should the bone splinter and become lodged in or puncture your pet’s digestive tract.


Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste. It can cause insulin release in most species, which can lead to liver failure. The increase in insulin leads to hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels). Initial signs of toxicosis include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. Signs can progress to recumbancy and seizures. Elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can be seen within a few days.

Onions, Garlic, Chives

These vegetables and herbs can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. Although cats are more susceptible, dogs are also at risk if a large enough amount is consumed. Toxicity is normally diagnosed through history, clinical signs and microscopic confirmation of Heinz bodies. An occasional low dose, such as what might be found in pet foods or treats, likely will not cause a problem, but we recommend that you do NOT give your pets large quantities of these foods.


Because pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), milk and other milk-based products cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.


Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. Signs that your pet may have eaten too many salty foods include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death. In other words, keep those salty chips to yourself!