Dogs! In the News!

Grain-Free Diets for Dogs May Cause Heart Disease

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about grain-free dog food. There might be a link between the food and canine heart disease, also known as dilated cardiomyopathy.

“We are concerned about reports of canine heart disease, known as dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), in dogs that ate certain pet foods containing peas, lentils, other legumes or potatoes as their main ingredients. These reports are highly unusual as they are occurring in breeds not typically genetically prone to the disease,” said Martine Hartogensis, D.V.M., deputy director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine’s Office of Surveillance and Compliance. “The FDA is investigating the potential link between DCM and these foods. We encourage pet owners and veterinarians to report DCM cases in dogs who are not predisposed to the disease.

Bodhi’s diet is a mix of kibble with grain and Freshpet.


For more, read these stories in Time, the New York Times, from the FDA website.

Dog Flu Continues to Spread

Dog flu came to New York City this summer and has now spread to Connecticut.

The Stamford Advocate reports two case were confirmed there:

“We just got a few confirmed, so we’re just testing more now,” said Nolan Zeide, a vet at Bull’s Head Pet Hospital. “Most dogs haven’t been exposed to it … what they’re saying is that 80 percent of dogs that come in contact with it come down with a cough.”

The strain of dog flu, H3N2, first showed up in the midwest about three years ago.

So far more than 100 cases have been confirmed in New York City. And there appears to be a resurgence in the midwest, cases in Michigan have spiked to 70 recently. Some doctors recommend getting a flu shot for your dog. It may help stave off the disease or help mitigate symptoms.

Bodhi Gets His Dog Flu Vaccine
Bodhi Gets His Dog Flu Vaccine

You can read more from the Advocate here.

A Man Has His Limbs Amputated After He is Licked by a Dog

Greg Manteufel of Wisconsin had his legs and his arms amputated after suffering from an infection likely stemming from a dog lick. He went to a Milwaukee-area hospital with flu-like symptoms, where his condition rapidly deteriorated. Doctors there had to take extreme steps to save his life.

Greg Manteufel (Photo: Dawn Manteufel / AP)

The infection is extremely rare, but the bacteria is not. Most dogs have the capnocytophaga bacteria in their saliva. About half of cats do. And humans have a version of it in their mouths too.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people with suppressed immune systems might be susceptible to the infection:

The CDC recommends people with these conditions be vigilant around dogs and cats. If you have one of these conditions and are bitten by a cat or dog, the CDC recommends calling your doctor immediately to describe your animal contact. Antibiotics are needed to treat a capnocytophaga infection and should be started as soon as possible to prevent further complications.

Read more from the Washington Post here.


The 150th Anniversary of the Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers marked their sesquicentennial (look it up!) by inviting no fewer than 361 of their brethren to the estate of the 19th century aristocrat Lord Tweedmouth to celebrate the breed’s 150th anniversary.

According to CBS News:

His Lordship, the story goes, was in need of a hunting dog who could master both the rugged, rocky terrain and the soggy, boggy marshes of the Scottish Highlands.  To that end he crossed a wavy-coated retriever with a tweed-water spaniel to create the forerunner of the golden retriever – equally at home on both land and water. Today, of course, the golden retriever is beloved on both sides of the Atlantic. In fact, it’s now the third most popular breed in the United States, behind Labrador retrievers and the German shepherd.

Take a look at the party in the video below.

Read more from CBS here.

Don’t Worry! The Dog Will Save You!

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University tested how fast dogs opened a door to reach their owners when they made crying noises or issued a plaintive “help!” or when they hummed the tune Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

The researchers found that:

“Dogs in the distress condition opened at the same frequency, but significantly more quickly, than dogs in the control condition. In the distress condition, the dogs that opened showed lower levels of stress and were able to suppress their own distress response, thus enabling them to open the door more quickly… Results from the task suggest that openers in the distress condition may have a stronger bond with their owner than non-openers, while non-openers in the control condition showed a stronger bond than openers, which may further suggest that the trapped-other paradigm is reflective of empathy.”

That’s just a science-y, gobbledegook-y way of saying the dogs responded more quickly and with a calmer affect to the owners in “distress.”

In other words, if Timmy falls down a well again, Lassie will save him (In fact that’s the name of the study: “Timmy’s in the well: Empathy and prosocial helping in dogs.” The researchers had a sense of humor!)

Here’s more from CNN and a link to the study.

Lassie and Timmy
Lassie and Timmy from the Lassie TV Show

The Tail: A Dog Steals a Go Pro

Watch this news story about a dog stealing a Go Pro and then runs around the yard. The dog’s eyes are priceless!

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