This blog is for informational purposes only. Please consult with a veterinarian if your pet is ill.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Beware of Counterfeit Flea Products

Have you ever bought a flea product online and when you received it in The mail the package did not look like anything you usually use or was not quite the same packet?  DO NOT use this product on your pet.  Many companies are selling cheaper products online using photos of Advantage or Frontline a to deceive you. I found this great article online about how to tell a counterfeit product and what to do about it.
The EPA has issued a stop sale and use as well as a removal order to retailers and distributors of counterfeit flea control and tick control pesticides. This is in an effort to stop the distribution and sale of counterfeit Frontline Plus and other flea control and tick control pesticides. These products were unlawfully imported and designed to like legitimate Frontline plus. 

Many sites, selling foreign or counterfeit, products use pictures of the U.S. products to deceive the consumer. It is a good idea to contact the online merchant and verify that the product is labeled for sale in the U.S. before purchasing. You can also ask if the products they are selling are U.S. EPA approved. Asking these questions before purchasing will help ensure that you get genuine products for your pet.

How can I tell if The Frontline Plus is counterfeit?

There are several indications that you may have received counterfeit Frontline Plus. It may be difficult to distinguish the counterfeit products from the EPA approved product. If your package fails any of the following, it is likely to be counterfeit.
* The product may not be in the required child resistant packaging.
* The lot numbers of the individual applicators and the box do not match.
* A legitimate package should also have the following:
* After you open the package, each individual applicator has a label that includes the registrant's name "Merial;" the product name; percentage (%) of active ingredient(s) (fipronil for Frontline Top Spot products; and fipronil and (S)-methoprene for Frontline Plus products)
* The package should contain the instruction leaflets that are required by U. S. law providing emergency numbers, first aid statements, etc.
* The EPA registration number and the net contents in fluid ounces (fl. oz.) is on the applicator package (not in metric measure, i.e., ml)
* "To remove applicator, use scissors or lift and remove plastic tab to expose foil, then pull down." should be on the package. The writing should be in English only.
* U.S Products are E.P.A. approved and the E.P.A. DOES NOT give product expiration date.

Which products are affected?

The following are brand names and EPA registration numbers of legitimate products. The counterfeit products may use these same names and numbers.
1. Frontline Top Spot for Cats (EPA Reg. No. 65331-2)
2. Frontline Top Spot for Dogs (EPA Reg. No. 65331-3)
3. Frontline Plus for Cats (EPA Reg. No. 65331-4)
4. Frontline Plus for Dogs (EPA Reg. No. 65331-5)

How can I tell if the Advantage is counterfeit?

Inspecting the Tube (applicator) is the only way to identify counterfeit Advantage Flea Control. The box and package insert are identical, but by looking at the tube you can make sure the label has the following:
1. The first give away of a counterfeit is the language. It must be in English, If it is a foreign language (most likely French or German), it is counterfeit.
2. "Warning" and “Keep out of reach of children” will be on all legitimate products as well as “Bayer” the manufacturer and the EPA registration number.
3. The label will list the active ingredient and the box will match the ingredient and strength (such as 9.1% imidacloprid on both label and box).
4. U.S Products are E.P.A. approved and the E.P.A. DOES NOT give product expiration dates.

Which products are affected?

The following are brand names and EPA registration numbers of legitimate products. The counterfeit products may use these same names and numbers.
1. Advantage 10 for Dogs (EPA Reg. No. 11556-117)
2. Advantage 20 for Dogs (EPA Reg. No. 11556-119)
3. Advantage 55 for Dogs (EPA Reg. No. 11556-120)
4. Advantage 100 for Dogs (EPA Reg. No. 11556-122)
5. Advantage 9 for Cats (EPA Reg. No. 11556-116)
6. Advantage 18 for Cats (EPA Reg. No. 11556-118)

What should I do if I suspect that my pet has been harmed by one of these counterfeit products?l

Contact your pet’s veterinarian for medical assistance and advice as soon as possible. You may contact the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) at 800-858-7378, an EPA-sanctioned toll-free helpline providing answers to most questions regarding pesticides and pesticide poisonings.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

To Vaccinate Your Pet or Not

When I moved to North Carolina from Florida I had my two oldest cats Chica and Yoko then.  They had been getting their yearly vaccination booster shots even tho they are indoor only cats.  I took them to my first holistic vet in Boone, NC and she talked me out of these boosters saying she had seen too many animals have severe and long term reactions to them.  That was twelve years ago and since then none of my cats have gotten any boosters - just the basic first time shots required.  Chica is 19 now and Yoko 17 and in great health.

Everyone has to make the decision that feels right for them.  Don't let your vet bully you into getting shots you don't want - find another vet that will work with you.  I have copied below the recommendations of a holistic vet near Raleigh that I have worked with for seriously ill pets.  This sums up what a lot of veterinarians now feel about vaccinations.

Homeopathic veterinarians and other holistic practitioners have maintained for years that Vaccinations are doing harm. Aside from the immediate risk of vaccination side-effects, such as allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock, there are more compelling reasons to avoid vaccinations whenever possible.  Vaccinations represent a major assault on the body's immune system.  Attenuated organisms, or chemically killed viruses or bacteria, are injected directly into the blood stream via subcutaneous or intra-muscular injection, an unnatural route of infection.  This profound insult avoids the body's first line of defenses, flooding the system with millions of organisms or viral particles, causing irregularities and abnormalities in the immune system which then manifest as chronic diseases in animals.  This overall effect, while potentially protecting the individual from a specific, acute disease, is to weaken or create imbalance in the immune system so that underlying tendencies to diseases are brought to the surface. In other words, vaccinations represent a major stress.  Following vaccinations, we often see chronic problems begin such as epilepsy, skin allergies, persistent upper respiratory infections, irritable bowel syndromes, auto-immune diseases and cancer, just to name a few. 
    What we now confront in our animal companions are generations of over-vaccinated animals, and these current offspring are suffering the penalty of this medical abuse.  Where vaccinations have helped in eradicating or reducing the incidents of severe and acute disease processes, the result has been to plague us with more insidious, chronic diseases that are difficult to treat and often incurable and that lower that quality of life for many individuals and animals. 
    After more than thirty years of practicing veterinary medicine, I am observing chronic diseases that begin much earlier than before.  Cancer before five years of age in dogs and cats was a rarity, but now it is not unusual to see fatal cancers in two and three year old animals.  And the incidence or number of cases is definitely increasing. While poor breeding practices, poor commercial diets and other environmental factors play their part, I believe it is the practice of vaccinating an animal repeatedly, with multiple vaccinations throughout their lifespan that factors the most. We have genetically weakened our companions with this practice.  A normal dog or cat living to twelve years of age will receive at least twenty and possibly thirty vaccinations during their lifetime.  Fifteen or so of these shots will have four to seven disease fractions present in each vaccination. 
    In all of this, balance in nature has been lost to the pharmaceutical-medical complex philosophy, propelled in great part by monetary factors, leading us to believe that all vaccinations are beneficial. 
    Risk of Exposure should be the main guideline for consideration of whether to vaccinate and what to vaccinate against. If your cats are indoor only, or if your dogs' outside activities are on a leash or within a fenced area under supervision, there is little risk.  The other considerations for a vaccine's use are its proven safety, its effectiveness, and whether the disease so serious or life-threatening that vaccinating is necessary. Remember, VACCINES ARE NOT HARMLESS. Only vaccinate if the threat is real.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Natural Tips to Control Hairballs

When the seasons change I find my cats cough up more fur balls and I have to watch where I step so I don't end up with a slimy mess on my foot! 

If your cats are like mine, they don't care for the oral fur ball  treatment in a tube no matter what the label says about how tasty it is.  My vet suggested offering a dab of butter on your finger for the more finicky cats and mine love it.  Once or twice a week will make a difference. 

Another trick is to feed them oily fish - mackerel or salmon, once a week and that will keep their digestive system running smoothly with less fur balls being coughed up.

Doing these two things will save you money and offer the cats more natural preservative free options for  hairball treatment.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Acupressure for Lameness in Pets

 I use acupressure often for my cats.  It helps to relieve pain and boosts the immune system.  Here are some tips on doing this at home

Acupoints to use in helping to relieve hindquarter lameness, to strengthen the immune system and to reduce generalized pain

Acupressure Point Work Technique

• Begin point work on medium-sized dogs and large animals using the direct-thumb technique. Place the ball of your thumb on the acupoint at a 90-degree angle to the animal’s body. For small animals, place your middle finger on top of your index finger and hold the tip of your index at a 90-degree angle to the cat or dog’s body. Apply about one to two pounds of pressure, depending on the size of the animal. For small or delicate cats and dogs, use less than a pound of pressure. When you feel resistance, let up on the point slightly, then reapply pressure until you feel the resistance dissolving.

• Keep both hands on your animal. One hand does the point work while the other feels the reactions such as muscle spasms, twitches and other releases.The hand not performing the point work also soothes the animal and provides an energy connection.

• Point work is generally performed from front to rear and top to bottom.

• Breathe out while moving into the acupoint; breathe in when letting up on the point.

• Use partial body weight; this ensures a smoothness of motion and protects your thumbs and wrists from stress.

This article is from Animal Wellness Magazine.


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