New Study Outlines Hazards of Raw Meat Diet for Dogs and Cats

Thinking about switching your pet to a raw meat based diet (RMBD)?  A new study of commercial RMBDs available in pet stores and supermarkets found a significant number of harmful bacteria and parasites in these pet foods.

The results, published this month in the journal Veterinary Record, found the following rates of bacterial contamination in 35 commercial RMBDs from 8 different brands tested:

  • Escherichia coli serotype O157:H7 : 23%
  • Extended-spectrum beta-lactamases-producing E coli : 80%
  • Listeria monocytogenes : 54%
  • Other Listeria species : 43%
  • Salmonella : 20%

Two parasites, Sarcocystis cruzi and Sarcocystis tenella were found 11% of the products. The parasite Toxoplasma gondii was found in 6% of the samples.

Researchers found that the large number of bacteria and parasites in these commercially prepared RMBDs pose a health threat to both pets that consume the food, and humans via handling and exposure to contaminated food.

They also note that dogs and cats on a RMBD are more likely to become infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria than those that consume cooked food.

If you choose to feed your pet a RMBD, it’s important to be aware of the health risks of a raw diet, and how to handle these foods safely.

To learn more about the possible dangers, you can read the American Veterinary Medical Association’s position paper on feeding pets a raw food diet HERE.



Here are the Top Dog Names for 2017!

If it’s January, it must be time for a little fun pet news from the folks at  Yes, they announced the most popular male and female dog names for 2017!

Here are the names that Rover found to be most popular, after analyzing their client database:

Top Female Dog Names for 2017:

  • Bella
  • Lucy
  • Daisy
  • Luna
  • Lola
  • Sadie
  • Molly
  • Maggie
  • Bailey
  • Sophie

Top Male Dog Names for 2017:

  • Max
  • Charlie
  • Cooper
  • Buddy
  • Jack
  • Rocky
  • Oliver
  • Bear
  • Duke
  • Tucker

A few fun dog name facts:

  • 44% of all dog names are also human names.
  • People are naming their dogs Barb and Eleven after characters from Stranger Things.
  • The latest Star Wars series is inspiring newly popular names like Finn and Rey.

Be sure to check out for the full lists of the 100 most popular female and male dog names!


Search Dogs Play Important Role in California Mudslide Rescue Operations

Search and rescue dogs are on the front lines as first responders race to find survivors of the recent mudslides in Montecito, California.

The Los Angeles Times reports that there are 8 search and rescue dogs working with their handlers in the search for victims, with more arriving now.

The dogs were trained by the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, which rescues shelter dogs and trains them for this lifesaving work.  They are provided to first responders free of charge.  The Foundation is continuing operation even though its own facilities were damaged in the Thomas fire.

You can watch a brief video of one of these brave dogs in action on the KTLA News website HERE.

Image: Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

British Veterinary Association Launches #BreedtoBreathe Awareness Campaign

With the growing popularity of brachycephalic (short-nosed) dog breeds like French Bulldogs and Pugs, veterinarians are increasingly concerned about the health and well-being of these dogs.

Many short-muzzled dogs suffer from a condition called BOAS (brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome).  Symptoms include respiratory noise, narrowed nostrils, gastrointestinal problems, sleep apnea, heat intolerance, cyanosis (low oxygen), and collapse.

The British Veterinary Association has recently announced its new #BreedtoBreathe campaign, which seeks to raise awareness about the health problems of brachycephalic breeds.

You can read the BVA’s official policy statement on brachycephalic dogs HERE.  In it, they outline their concern about breeding practices (and advertising campaigns) that promote brachycephalic dogs, and provide guidance for vets on how to raise awareness about the health problems of short-muzzled dogs with clients.

The #BreedtoBreathe campaign provides a 10-point plan for veterinarians that emphasizes the need for vets to educate pet owners about the health and quality of life problems faced by many brachycephalic dog breeds.

Interested in learning more about the health issues of brachycephalic dogs and the #BreedtoBreathe campaign?  Watch this short video:


Meet Yaston: A Very Special FACE Success Story

For 9 years, sweet Yaston has been the devoted service dog for a brave young girl named Sky.  Sky has an incurable mitochondrial disorder and has endured many hospitalizations and operations…with Yaston at her side.

In 2017, Yaston was diagnosed with primary renal hematuria, a rare but serious kidney disease.  Yaston needed a life-saving surgery that is performed by only a handful of veterinary specialists in the U.S.  Sky’s extensive medical bills also made affording Yaston’s surgery a challenge.

FACE teamed with San Diego’s Veterinary Specialty Hospital to arrange for veterinary surgeon Dr. Allyson Berent of New York’s highly regarded Animal Medical Center to fly to San Diego and perform Yaston’s surgery at no cost to the family.

Yaston is now recovering and back home with Sky and her family, where he can continue to provide her with the love and support she has come to rely upon.

Thank you to our wonderful donors and veterinary partners for saving Yaston!