Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Dog vaccinations...now what exactly are they for?

Hello again!  It's been a little bit since our last post.  Spring is in full effect and we have been staying quite busy.  I thought I'd talk about our "core" vaccinations we do for our canine friends each year.  I often get the question "What's this vaccination for?" which is definitely a valid question.  Sometimes we may just spout out a bunch of acronyms without explaining what we're talking about and I apologize for that.  So here it is!

Each year your beloved canine pet should come into see us for a physical examination and core vaccinations.  The physical examination is done annually in order for us to get an idea of overall health of your pet each year.  In addition, it is required by Oregon law for us to do an exam before any medication or vaccination is prescribed.  The core vaccines we recommend are DA2PP+CV and Leptospirosis.  Rabies is also included but this was discussed last month (still if you have any questions about that one, don't hesitate to call).

DA2PP+CV stands for Distemper, Adenovirus-2, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza and Coronavirus.  This is what is considered a combination vaccination and includes protection against 6 pathogens.  It is given subcutaneously and done once a year in adults.  In puppies we usually do a series of 3.  Now I'll break down what each one is.

Distemper:  This is a viral disease that usually affects dogs from 3-6 months of age, though it may occur in a dog of any age.  A key point is that it can be carried by wild animals such as foxes, raccoon and coyotes.  The disease is most of the time spread by air (ie. an infected animal coughs or sneezes on another animal, object, floor etc) although it can be spread other ways.  An infected animal will usually be "infectious" after the 7th day of exposure and can shed the virus up to 90 days.  Clinical signs vary from gastrointestinal signs (diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy) to disorders with the central nervous system (ie. brain-->tremors, seizures).  It can also cause problems with the animal's eyes and skin (classically hard stiff paw pads).  The virus is deadly so prevention is the best.

Adenovirus-2:  Although it seems like one virus, Adenovirus-2 actually protects against Adenovirus-1 as well.  Adenovirus 1 is involved in causing hepatitis (liver disease) in dogs and Adenovirus 2 is often a culprit in the complex disease known as "kennel cough".  Adenovirus can be spread in urine, feces and saliva.  It can also be carried by wildlife like foxes, wolves, coyotes.  Clinical signs usually start as inappetance, fever, excessive thirst and corneal opacities (spots on the eyes).  This is another deadly virus.

Parainfluenza:  Different from influenza (the flu), this is a respiratory virus also sometimes involved in the complex known as "kennel cough".  The virus can be shed via aerosolized droplets from infected dogs for up to 2 weeks after infection.  Most infections occur in areas where many dogs are confined in close quarters (ie. Kennel facilities, doggie day care).

Parvovirus:  A lot of people know parvovirus as a nasty puppyhood disease.  Parvovirus is a virus that infects the intestinal crypts of the intestines.  It causes inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract leading to profuse bloody diarrhea, inappetance, fever and vomiting.  If the animal is not given treatment it can often result in sepsis (infection of the blood) and eventual death.  The virus is incredibly hardy and can last in the environment (ie. sand, grass) for more than 7 months!  This is why we are so adamant on making sure your puppy is fully vaccinated before any trips to the dog park, beach, etc.

Coronavirus:  Coronavirus is similar to parvovirus in that it infects the gastrointestinal tract and is transmitted via the fecal-oral route.  It can cause diarrhea (sometimes bloody), inappetance, vomiting and fever.  Usually not as severe as parvovirus, but can often accompany parvovirus and turn out to be very serious.  Infected animals can shed the virus 6-9 days.

So those are the important points of one of the vaccinations we do each year for your pup.  We now also recommend Leptospirosis.  Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that can cause liver and kidney failure after infection.  It is carried by wildlife (rodents, deer, opossums, raccoon) and shed via urine usually into ponds, streams or puddles of water.  I would say a majority of our dogs LOVE drinking dirty, stinky water while on hikes or walks, which is why we recommend this vaccine to all our canine patients.  In the past, the Leptospirosis vaccine was associated with allergic reactions in some dogs.  The vaccine we use now has been improved and the rate of allergic reaction due to the vaccine has gone down quite a bit.  When it does happen is generally not a big concern.  Most of the time a little diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is all that is needed to relieve the reaction.

To sum it up, we vaccinate against the most serious diseases that can potentially infect our dogs.  These diseases can all be deadly, which is why it's so important to stay up to date on prevention measures.  In general, like any medication side effects are possible but rare.  If you have any questions please feel free to write or call.  Thanks for reading!
-Dr. C

From: https://www.pinterest.com/LLUSPH/humor-in-public-health/

Monday, March 16, 2015

Reading a Pet Food Label

Reading a Pet Food Label

Required Information:
*Several rules concerning the percent of ingredient present exist and these determine how the product name can be stated.    For example, each of these statements has a different meaning and is subject to a different naming rule: "Chicken Dog Food," "Chicken Recipe Dog Food," "Dog Food with Chicken," and "Chicken Flavor Dog Food."   In the label above for Chicken & Rice Formula the 25% rule applies.  At least 25% of the food must be made up of the indicated ingredients (chicken, rice) with the ingredient listed first (chicken) having the greatest amount among the ingredients in the product name listed with a descriptor such as “dinner,” “formula,” “entrĂ©e”, or “recipe” (Fascetti, AJ and Delaney, SJ 2012).

**The minimum percent of crude protein and crude fat, and the maximum percent of crude fiber and moisture are always required in the guaranteed analysis.  Depending on manufacturer label claims other nutrients may be listed.  It is important to note that the guaranteed analysis is generally listed on an as fed basis; however, to make adequate comparisons to other pet foods you must convert to a dry matter basis (see sample calculations below).

***The ingredients must be listed by weight on an as formulated basis.  The ingredients must be Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS), approved food additives, or sanctioned animal feed ingredients such as those as defined by AAFCO.

Terms related to pet food to know and understand:

As-Fed (AF) – refers to how food is generally fed to an animal (it includes moisture). 
Dry Matter (DM) – refers to the part of the food left after water removed.
% Dry matter = 100% - % Water

Use these formulas to convert from a dry matter percent to an as fed percent and from an as fed percent to dry matter percent:
% nutrient (dry) = % nutrient (as fed)/% dry matter x 100
% nutrient (as fed) = % nutrient (dry) x (% dry matter)/100

For example from the label above there is a minimum of 28% crude protein (CP) and I want to know the % CP in dry matter.
First I need to figure out the %DM of the food:
%DM = 100% - % Water (listed as moisture on guaranteed analysis)
%DM = 100% - 12% water
%DM = 88%
Then I can calculate %CP on a dry matter basis.
% nutrient (as fed) = % nutrient (dry) x (% dry matter/100)
28% CP = ____% CP x (88%/100)
28% CP = ____%CP x 0.88
%CP on a dry matter basis = 32%

Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) – establish current guidelines for pet food labeling including nutritional standards for complete and balanced pet foods.  These guidelines are generally adopted by state legislatures as law (Fascetti, AJ and Delaney, SJ 2012).

State Feed Control Official – regulates pet food to ensure laws and established rules are complied with so that unadulterated and correctly labeled products are sold (http://petfood.aafco.org/NutritionalLabeling.aspx).

Meat – muscle tissue from slaughtered mammals but may include overlying fat, skin, sinew, nerve, and blood vessels.  It may include the heart muscle, diaphragm, tongue, and the esophagus.  It does not include bone.  The manufacturer may identify species, but if “meat” is used without identifying species it must be from cattle, pigs, sheep, or goats.  If it comes from any other mammal, the species must be identified.  Also, if the muscle is from non-mammalian species, such as poultry or fish, it cannot be declared as "meat” (http://www.aafco.org/Consumers/What-is-in-Pet-Food).

Meat by-productsthe non-rendered, clean parts, other than muscle tissue, derived from slaughtered mammals.  It may include lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially de-fatted low temperature fatty tissue, and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents.  It does not include hair, horns, teeth and hoofs.  Unless the by-products are derived from cattle, pigs, sheep or goats, the species must be identified (http://www.aafco.org/Consumers/What-is-in-Pet-Food).

Poultry – the clean combination of flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from the parts and/or whole carcasses of poultry.  It does not include feathers, heads, feet and entrails.  If bone has been removed it may be listed as “deboned” (http://www.aafco.org/Consumers/What-is-in-Pet-Food).

Poultry by-products – must consist of non-rendered clean parts of carcasses of slaughtered poultry such as heads, feet, and internal organs, free from fecal content and foreign matter (http://www.aafco.org/Consumers/What-is-in-Pet-Food).

Rendering – process where the materials are subject to heat and pressure (cooking), destroying disease-causing bacteria and removing most of the water and fat and leaving primarily protein and minerals.   In the case of “meal” the products are ground to form uniform sized particles (http://www.aafco.org/Consumers/What-is-in-Pet-Food).

Meat meal – rendered product from mammalian tissues.  It does not include blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach, and rumen contents.  This ingredient may be from mammals other than cattle, pigs, sheep or goats without further description. However, a manufacturer may identify species if appropriate (http://www.aafco.org/Consumers/What-is-in-Pet-Food).

Meat and bone meal – rendered product from mammalian tissues, including bone.  It does not include blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach, and rumen contents (http://www.aafco.org/Consumers/What-is-in-Pet-Food).

Animal by-product meal – rendered product from mammalian tissues.  It does not include hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents.  This ingredient is not intended to be used to label a mixture of animal tissue products.  It may consist of whole carcasses, but often includes by-products in excess of what would normally be found in "meat meal" and "meat and bone meal" (http://www.aafco.org/Consumers/What-is-in-Pet-Food).

Poultry by-product meal – the ground, rendered clean parts of the carcasses of poultry such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines.  It does not include feathers.  It is similar to "poultry by-products," but most of the water and fat has been removed to make a concentrated protein/mineral ingredient (http://www.aafco.org/Consumers/What-is-in-Pet-Food).

Poultry meal – dry rendered product from a combination of clean flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from the parts and/or whole carcasses of poultry.  It does not include feathers, heads, feet, and entrails.  It is similar to "poultry," but most of the water and fat has been removed to make a concentrated protein/mineral ingredient (http://www.aafco.org/Consumers/What-is-in-Pet-Food).

-Jennifer D'Amato-Anderson, MS (Animal Nutrition)