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Veterinarian Technician October 2008 (Vol 29, No 10)

Tech News (October 2008)

by Heather Hoch, DVM, Keith Strickland, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)

    Pet food voluntarily recalled

    Mars Petcare US has announced a voluntary recall of products manufactured at its facility in Everson, Pa., because of possible contamination with Salmonella schwarzengrund. At press time, this voluntary recall affected 31 states.

    "Even though no direct link between products produced at the Everson manufacturing plant and human or pet illness has been made, we are taking this precautionary action to protect pets and their owners. We are continuing to work collaboratively with the FDA to determine the nature and source of S. schwarzengrund at the Everson facility and are committed to making sure our customers have the information they need regarding our voluntary recall," said Catherine Woteki, global director of scientific affairs, Mars Inc.

    Pets infected with Salmonella may be lethargic with diarrhea or have bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some pets have only a decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain.

    For a complete listing of affected products, go to the company's website, www.petcare.mars.com, or call 877-568-4463.

    New bone graft product released

    Nutramax Laboratories, Inc. recently released a new bone graft product, Consil Putty Synthetic Bone Graft, to the veterinary market. Consil, a bioactive ceramic used in the regeneration of bone, can be used at tooth extraction sites and in infrabony pockets secondary to periodontal disease. Studies have shown that the material improves the rate of bony growth while being resorbed and replaced with new bone when healing, according to Nutramax.

    Because of its dual sterile barrier packaging, the company says the new product also is ideal for sterile field use in orthopedic procedures, such as comminuted fracture repair, as well as for osteotomy sites and delayed unions or nonunions. Consil reduces the need to harvest autogenous graft material at a second surgical site, lessens patient discomfort and shortens prep and surgical time.

    In addition, no mixing or preparation is required before application. The nonhardening putty can be applied directly to the graft site, and the binder is then absorbed from the site so that only bioactive particulate remains.

    WSAVA celebrates milestones

    The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Gastrointestinal (GI) Standardization Group completed a number of initiatives as the result of a sponsorship from Hill's Pet Nutrition.

    Completed initiatives include a report in the Journal of Comparative Pathology entitled "Histopathological Standards for the Diagnosis of Gastrointestinal Inflammation in Endoscopic Biopsy Samples from the Dog and Cat," the recognition of the early need to standardize endoscopic examination and sampling of the GI tract to ensure the highest procedural diagnostic yield, and the development of an American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Consensus Statement on Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

    "We are excited to sponsor the GI Standardization Group's recent successful accomplishments because they are central to our mission of helping to provide better care for pets around the world," said Hein Meyer, PhD, director of professional and veterinary affairs at Hill's Pet Nutrition in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. "Through this support, we hope that a uniform standard can be developed for canine and feline patients with gastrointestinal tract disorders."

    WSAVA also is working on a renal glomerular diseases standardization project with sponsorship from Hill's Pet Nutrition and support from Bayer Animal Health.

    California laws protect animals

    The recent mortgage crisis has led to the abandonment of many pets after owners were forced to foreclose on their homes.

    The California legislatures recently passed Assembly Bill 2949, which amends California's Civil Code to require property owners, including banks or other corporate entities, to immediately notify animal control officials when animals are abandoned at foreclosed properties. The bill was created after California State Assemblyman Mark DeSaulnier's annual "There Ought to be a Law" contest.

    Contest winner Sheri Kuticka recognized the tragic consequence of the housing market downturn and suggested that something be done to help abandoned animals. She, along with the ASPCA and the California Animal Association, cosponsored the legislation, which was signed into law by the governor.

    "Of course, the most important thing is for [owners] not to abandon their pets in the first place," says Jill Buckley, ASPCA senior director of government relations. "But at least now these unlucky animals will have a chance to get the lifesaving care they need."

    The ASPCA offers information for pet owners who are facing foreclosure about how to plan ahead to find a suitable home for their pet at www.aspca.org.

    In other news, any owner in the Los Angeles area who has a dog or cat that is not spayed or neutered may now face civil and criminal penalties because of a city ordinance signed by the mayor.

    If a dog or cat is older than 4 months of age, does not meet special exemption requirements and does not have proper forms to prove it is spayed or neutered, the owner will face a civil penalty of $100, which can increase to $500. Continued failure to comply with the law could result in a misdemeanor charge.

    "Every year in California millions of cats and dogs are euthanized because they cannot find loving homes," said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "This law shows our commitment in Los Angeles to controlling the pet overpopulation, saving animals' lives and saving taxpayers millions of dollars."

    Go to www.laanimalservices.com/spayneuterlaw.htm for more information about the law.

    NEXT: Tech Spotlight: Kristen Hoffman, BS (Small Animal Science)