The focus of this blog post relates to subjects that affect our furry friends and who to listen to for advice? Most of this blog will be related to Breed Specific Legislation but other topics of animal welfare will also be discussed. If you ever have any questions first and foremost ask your veterinarian. The veterinarian is first stop shop for information. Saying that, they are still humans and thus have their own prejudices and biases. You may think it preposterous for a Veterinarian to be in favor of BSL, to have negative biases against certain breeds, or to even go so far as to be in favor of breeding when we have such an insurmountable problem of pet overpopulation in this country. As a veterinary technician I see all of this and more. Granted most of the ignorance I come across is from the pet owners themselves, but that is to be expected. When you have questions pertaining to animal welfare see what the American Veterinary Medical Association says about it, cant always trust your local "experts"
Lets quickly see the stance of the AVMA on the issue of Salmonella infection. Many people (especially those in the pro-organic/natural dog food group) believe that the dog food recalls because of Salmonella infection only affect humans. This is FALSE. Salmonella infection is not common in our faithful companions but it is possible, just like in humans it is much more likely to cause clinical symptoms when the dog is already immuno compromised, has a concurrent infection, and young/geriatric. Even if they don't fit in that grouping they can still come down with Salmonella "poisoning". Check out what the AVMA says on this topic especially this tidbit taken from
Q:How would I know if my pet had a Salmonella infection?
A:Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have a decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. However, not all pets carrying Salmonella will appear sick. Apparently well but infected animals can be carriers and may infect other animals or humans, particularly through exposure to their feces. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these signs, please contact your veterinarian.
Q:Are certain types of pet foods more likely to be contaminated with Salmonella?
A:No pet food is immune from the possibility of Salmonella contamination. There is evidence, however, that feeding raw foods, such as raw meat and eggs, increases the risk of Salmonella infection and shedding of the bacteria (leading to possible infection of other animals and of people).2-9 Regardless of the type of food you choose to feed your pet, proper precautions should be taken to protect your family's health.
Please for the welfare of your animals ensure that your dog gets the best available, many know my stance on which pet food to feed, not all agree, and I'm not here to sound like a tool for one company or another but if interested I will tell you what I feed my dogs, a food that has had no Salmonella recalls or has faced the problems that foods such as Wellness, Blue Buffalo, Canidae, Taste of the Wild, Diamond, have faced. Check out the list of the latest dog Food recalls and make sure your pet is safe.
Tail Docking and Ear Cropping
Before getting into the whole BSL debate lets quickly talk about cropping ears, or any other mutiliation of our canine companions for aesthetic purposes only. I have made it clear time and time again that I am 100% against Ear cropping and Tail Docking when done for cosmetic purposes which incidently makes up 99% of the times they are done. (Also against Declawing cats when done just for the owner to have less hassel with scratching. There are many options available instead of declawing) In the Pedigree dog circuit Tail Docking and Ear Cropping are done for Breed standards. I don't know about you but my dogs are my family, they are not showpieces, they aren't meant to be pranced around in front of a bunch of rich snobs and win ribbons for looking the most unnatural. This topic is set for a different blog post but suffice it say that I will never crop my dogs ears or dock their tails when it ISNT medically necessary. This is not to say that I wouldn't adopt a dog with these features but that I am very much against having it done. It pains to me to know that where I work allows these procedures, yet I am at least semi glad that our Ear Cropping is over 900$. Too bad my opinion doesnt matter....
Ear cropping is mutiliation, It is not accepting your dog the way they are but instead turning them into something that makes you feel better about yourself. Making your dog look meaner makes you a complete idiot.
The AVMAs stance on Ear Cropping and Tail Docking.