by Dr. Jean Hofve & Jackson Galaxy
Library of Congress ISSN #1550-0764
Volume 7, No. 8  –   October 2009

In this issue:

1. News Bites:

* Premium Edge cat foods recalled; Nutro still causing problems
* Flea product melts plastic?
* Financial Assistance for Vet Bills – updated
* Tax Credit for Pet Expenses?
* Feline Disease Risk Assessment Tool

2. Dr. Jean’s New Book!

3. Anti-Declawing Ordinance Fight Heats Up!

4. What You May Not Know About Rabies

NewsBites1. News Bites
Premium Edge cat foods recalled. Diamond Pet Foods has recalled the following date codes of Premium Edge Finicky Adult Cat and Premium Edge Hairball Cat with codes of RAF0501A22X (18-lb. bag), RAF0501A2X (6-lb. bag), RAH0501A22X (18-lb. bag) and RAH0501A2X (6-lb. bag).

The petfood in question is low in thiamine, which can cause neurological symptoms and brain damage. More than a dozen cases have been confirmed.

It is recommended that pet owners whose cats have eaten the food specified below contact their veterinarian. Diamond is also asking consumers to return the potentially tainted food.The calls from pet owners or veterinarians regarding this issue have been centered in the Rochester, NY area. Diamond says that all retail outlets shipped the above lots were contacted, asking them to pull the product from the store shelves; and to contact their customers to have them to check the date code of the food. If you or anyone you know has these date codes of Premium Edge cat food, Diamond is asking you to return them to the retailer (presumably for a refund).

Nutro is still in the consumer hot seat. One cat guardian lost her cat after feeding Nutro Complete Care Adult Ocean Fish Flavor back in early September. She sent a sample to the Pet Food Product Safety Alliance for testing, which reported 2100 ppm (parts per million) of zinc. Only 250 ppm of zinc was listed on the bag, and she reported that two Nutro representatives have told me is the maximum found in any of the recalled food.Read more:

Nutro Products recently recalled some of its puppy foods because a worker’s plastic hard hat was “sucked” into some machinery, and the bags of puppy food may have plastic in them. For specifics, please click here.

Little Big Cat’s advice: if you decide to return the food, hold back at least a cup or two and store in a clearly labeled, sealed container. If evidence is needed to support claims for veterinary bills or other damages, giving the product back to Diamond erases it. Keeping a sample will help protect your legal rights.

Flea Product Melts Plastic? A poodle who had Advantage, a spot-on flea treatment, applied just before he was put in his crate for the night, was found literally glued to the crate in the morning. Veterinarians report similar incidents, including damage to the top of an x-ray table (quickly paid for by Bayer). Story verified on the Veterinary Information Network. Click here to read the poodle’s whole story.

Financial Assistance for Pet Expenses – Given the ongoing economic woes we are all facing, we’ve updated our Library article on financial assistance to help with veterinary bills and other expenses. There are some unique websites out there, so you can get creative!

Proposed Bill would Allow Tax Credit for Pet Expenses – A bill was recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI). It’s called H.R. 3501—Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (“HAPPY”) Act. This bill would allow individuals to claim tax deductions for qualified pet care expenses. The bill would allow any taxpayer who legally owns one or more domesticated animals to take an annual income tax deduction of up to $3,500 for pet care expenses, including veterinary care costs. Please write to your U.S. representative today to urge him or her to support and cosponsor the HAPPY Act, H.R. 3501, or sign the letter from the ASPCA here.

Feline Disease Risk Assessment Tool – Idexx Laboratories, one of the big two labs that veterinarians use, has created an online tool to help assess any particular cat’s risk for Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV), Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), and heartworms, based on county of residence, age, and lifestyle. Check it out at We don’t recommend using this data as the deciding factor in whether or not your cat should be vaccinated (see our article on Vaccination for more info), but it could be useful in the discussions you have with your vet about vaccines.

2. Dr. Jean’s new book is now available!
bookcover Our own Dr. Jean Hofve and nutritionist Dr. Celeste Yarnall are pleased to announce the release of their new book, The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care: An Illustrated Handbook, from Quarry Books.

This lavishly illustrated book explores nutrition as preventative medicine, vitamin and mineral supplements, herbal remedies, flower essences, homeopathic treatments, and groundbreaking anti-aging modalities never before published in a pet care guide. Holistic Cat Care also includes several helpful appendices, and a list of suppliers of holistic remedies and services. Click here for more info or to order your copy now!

3. Anti-Declawing Ordinances – Upcoming Votes!
As we’ve reported previously, several cities may enact ordinances banning the declawing of cats within their city limits. Veterinary associations oppose such regulations as infringement on their practice of medicine; their philosphy being, “If it’s legal, we can do it,” no matter how cruel or immoral “it” may turn out to be.

Little Big Cat is supporting these ordinances and encouraging cities to be humane.

Here’s a little quiz on the pros and cons of a declaw ban:

1. True or false: a ban on declawing will cause massive relinquishment of cats to shelters, thus placing a large financial burden on the city’s animal control resources.

False! This argument relies on numbers taken from unreliable sources. In fact, according to data published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, declawed cats are almost twice as likely to be relinquished as clawed cats. A survey of cat guardians fou

2. True or false: there is no evidence that declawing causes behavior problems.

False! In fact there are at least 5 published studies that prove the opposite: up to 33% of declawed cats will develop behavior problems after surgery, primarily biting and inappropriate elimination (failure to use the litterbox). If people knew that there was a 33% chance that their cat would pee on the sofa, bed, and carpets after being declawed, would they still do it?

3.True or false: It’s safer for people with compromised immune systems to get their cat declawed.

False! Human doctors and associations do not recommend declawing—and why not? Because declawed cats are more likely to bite, and cat bites are far more dangerous than scratches.

4. Cats are independent and cannot be trained not to scratch.

False! Even the American Veterinary Medical Association says that cats can be trained, and its own ethical guidelines require veterinarians to offer behavior modification alternatives before considering declawing. Unfortunately, most veterinarians do not follow those guidelines.

Click here to Help Stop Declawing! If you live in Berkeley, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, or Beverly Hills, it is especially urgent to your local city council to support an ordinance to ban the declawing of cats. There are votes coming up in the next two weeks that will decide the fate of millions of cats–please support this effort!

For more information, see these articles:

* Declawing: A Rational Look
* Declawing and Science
* Cats and Claws: Living Happily Ever After!
* Cats and Immune-Compromised People
* Help Stop Declawing!

4. What You May Not Know About Rabies
Many thanks to Dr. Jennifer Fry for this vital information!

A recent nationwide survey showed that while owners are overwhelmingly compliant with rabies vaccinations for their pets, some may not fully understand the disease.

The survey — conducted by WMS Marketing Services for Merial — found that 94% of dog owners and 75% of cat owners kept up with scheduled rabies vaccinations, but 24% of dog owners and 26% of cat owners believe that rabies is typically not fatal after clinical signs appear. Rabies is always fatal in animals after clinical signs appear.

We know of many cases where 100% indoor cats have been exposed to rabies…read more to find out why, and other information crucial to your cat’s life….

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