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Saturday, May 5, 2012

I AM SO BEYOND AGGRAVATED AND YOU SHOULD BE TOO!



Different Bag, Different Name
BUT THE SAME SHIT!





 Since the beginning of April there have been more recalls on dog foods, dog treats and human foods than Carter has liver pills.

I visited the Diamond website upon the first recall made to see by whom their food was produced. Diamond’s site proudly stated they make their food in their own facilities. At the time it was a relief to my ears that they didn’t out source the making of their product however I did not look to see if Diamond manufactured for other brands!

Once the CDC got involved I knew things would get worse.  To date at least 14 people that we know of have been stricken with the rare strain of Salmonella in 9 different states. What’s worse is this illness started to affect people back in Oct. 2011! These people had contact with dog food a week prior to getting ill and at least 5 people remembered the brand of food they used.
The bacteria, salmonella infantis, is a rare strain and while many people recover, it can also be fatal.

While I appreciated that Diamond had done a voluntary recall of their dog food it bothers me that they knew what other products /brand names that they manufacture for and waited to recall them. You can’t tell me they did not know what other products they produced within that same contamination field or else how would they know what brands and  lot numbers to recall? Of course they knew, but like all else in America the almighty dollar comes first.  

We are now seeing that Natural balance, Candie, and other well known foods are being voluntarily recalled.

At this time no illnesses have been “reported”, which is the key word, but does this mean illness did not occur or just that no one knew why they were ill?   Occasionally humans and dogs get a bit of a stomach bug, they don’t eat for a day or two and have some diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Would one naturally assume that salmonella poisoning was the reason? No!

All of my dogs eat Diamond dog food and all had gone off their food for at least one day here and there over a period of time. While there was no diarrhea or bloody stool that I saw, the symptoms as stated by Diamond could vary from just a loss of appetite to fever, runny bloody stool and vomiting. So did my dogs only have one or two symptoms of Salmonella poisoning? How can I say for sure unless I send the remaining food in for testing?  Obviously what is left in the bags I will not be feeding to the dogs at this point.

So now what to do? When you suddenly change your dog’s food you are asking for stomach upset right down to diarrhea and vomiting. In order to try and keep the food normal for the dogs to avoid this stomach upset I sent my hubby out to Tractor Supply Co to buy their brand of food, 4 health,  which we had recently started to add into the dog’s dishes with our diamond food. We tried this food because of a slick sales pitch by an employee of TSC and because it was without grains which is similar to Diamond only the price was a bit lower. That’s another aggravating circumstance which I surely will address with TSC. 

With all the recalls going on I got to thinking that I should look on the 4 health bag of food to see who manufactures it.  All I saw on the bag was that it was the trademark of Tractor Supply Co of Texas LE. All rights reserved. It also said it was distributed by TSC  Brentwood TN. It said nothing of the company that actually produced it for Tractor Supply. So then I had to do some more digging, especially after I sent hubby on this special trip to pick this food up so we could stop giving the Diamond food immediately.

What gave me pause for thought also about the 4 health food is that this morning hubby had to pick up some diarrhea off the kitchen floor obviously from one of my girls as that is where they sleep. This in conjunction with Abby being ill last week so much so that she could not even get comfortable enough to lie down until pure exhaustion overtook her, had me even more concerned.  

Thus tonight after more digging I find that TSC has their food manufactured by none other than Diamond!

I would really like to know why we do not insist on such information being placed on each bag of dog food made and sold to us. Why should we have to go digging in a gutter for this information on our own? We certainly pay a pretty penny for quality food so why are we not insisting that disclosure of the producing company be put on the bag?  Diamond produces dog food in at least three different states and ships all over the US.  Their problem factory seems to be the South Carolina site but I do not think the problem will end there, and sadly this would not have been such an issue if it had not been for the illness of humans and the CDC’ s involvement.

It is time to stand up and make laws that no matter what you buy or whom you buy it for, if it is being sold as a product that can harbor contamination of any kind be it for human or animal, that because it is coming into your home all disclosures of the product should be mandatorily put on every bag, can, box, jug, and bottle!  Period! You cannot pass go and you cannot not collect 200 dollars lest you be fined up the ying~yang for not making such disclosures!

Am I pissed off? YOU BET!  My Sunday will now consist of looking for new food for my 4 legged kids, one without grains, lest the feet licking and allergies start all over again!


Here is the site for Diamond recalls, I suggest you keep it handy and check it often http://diamondpetrecall.com/#

The CDC site
   


The following brands have issued a voluntary recall. More information will be following as it is released.

The below Diamond Pet Dry Dog Food Brands - To determine if what you have is
affected, you should check the production codes on the back of bags that
have a number "2" or a "3" in the 9th or 10th digit and an "X" in the 11th digit.
The best-before dates for the recalled brands are December 9, 2012 through
April 7, 2013. Please note- not all Diamond brands were produced on the affected plant manufacturing lines. Phillips receives products from numerous Diamond plants. Also, no cat or can skus are affected. 

* Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul - All skus
* Country Value - All Skus
* Diamond - All Skus
* Diamond Naturals - All Skus
* Premium Edge - All Skus
* Professional - All Skus
* Taste of the Wild - All Skus

The below Wellness sku with a Best by Date of January 9, 10, & 11th 2013:

Wellness Large Breed Puppy in 15 pound and 30 pound 

May 4th, 2012- No other Wellness skus were affected.

Please note that no salmonella cases have been reported on Wellpet. They are recalling for the safety of the pet and the pet parent.

The below Natural Balance Skus:

5 LB Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Venison Dog; Best By Date: December 12, 2012; December 13, 2012; March 12, 2013

15 LB Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Venison Dog; Best By Date: December 12, 2012; December 13, 2012; December 14, 2012; March 5, 2013; March 6, 2013

28 LB Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Venison Dog; Best By Date: December 12, 2012; December 13, 2012; December 14, 2012; March 5, 2013; March 6, 2013; March 7, 2013; March 8, 2013; March 12, 2013

5 LB Natural Balance Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Dog; Best By Date: December 10, 2012; December 21, 2012; December 22, 2012

15 LB Natural Balance Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Dog; Best By Date: December 10, 2012; December 21, 2012; December 22, 2012

28 LB Natural Balance Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Dog; Best By Date: December 10, 2012; December 21, 2012; December 22, 2012

5 LB Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Bison Dog; Best By Date: December 17, 2012; December 18, 2012; December 28, 2012; December 29, 2012

15 LB Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Bison Dog; Best By Date: December 9, 2012; December 17, 2012; December 18, 2012; December 28, 2012; December 29, 2012

28 LB Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Bison Dog; Best By Date: December 9, 2012; December 17, 2012; December 18, 2012; December 28, 2012; December 29, 2012

5 LB Natural Balance Vegetarian Dog; Best By Date: December 9, 2012

28 LB Natural Balance Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Dog Large Breed Bites; Best By Date: December 12, 2012; December 20, 2012; December 21, 2012 

5 LB Natural Balance Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Dog Small Breed Bites; Best By Date: December 21, 2012

12.5 LB Natural Balance Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Dog Small Breed Bites; Best By Date: December 21, 2012


May 4, 2012- Please note that only these 5 flavors of Natural Balance were affected. The other flavors are produced on other lines and plants.

Please note that no salmonella cases have been reported on Natural Balance. They are recalling for the safety of the pet and the pet parent.

The below Canidae skus with production codes that have both a number "3" in the 9th or 10th digit and an "X" in the 11th digit with a best before dates of December 9, 2012, through January 31, 2013 which are being recalled.

Canidae Dog, All Life Stages

Canidae Dog, Chicken Meal & Rice

Canidae Dog, Lamb Meal & Rice

Canidae Dog, Platinum


A message from Canidae: 

It is with regret that we are reporting a voluntary recall on a limited production run of CANIDAE dry dog food produced out of the Diamond Pet Foods South Carolina plant. Even though not one of our products have been tested positive for Salmonella, it is out of pure precaution that this product is being removed from the market place. We are working diligently to make this process as seamless as possible for you, our retailers and consumers.

Although there have been no animal or human illnesses related to Canidae Pet Food, and the product has not tested positive for Salmonella, the company has voluntarily initiated this recall out of caution to ensure the health and safety of consumers and their pets.

Following is an example of how to read the production code and best before date:

Production Code Best Before Date
FDE0104R5 3X TS 10 - January - 2013 

The recall affects only products distributed in the following Eastern U.S. states which were manufactured at the Diamond Pet Food Gaston, South Carolina plant. Further distribution to other pet food channels may occur:

Florida, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee

Canidae Pet Foods apologizes for any potential issues this may have caused pet owners and their pets.

The company stated: “We have taken corrective actions at our Gaston, S.C., facility and voluntarily expanded the recall out of concern for our customers and their pets.”

Brands included in the recall include:

* Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul
* Country Value
* Diamond
* Diamond Naturals
* Premium Edge
* Professional
* 4Health
* Taste of the Wild

To determine if their pet food is recalled, consumers should check the production codes on the back of bags that have a number “2” or a “3” in the 9th or 10th digit and an “X” in the 11th digit. The best-before dates for the recalled brands listed above are December 9, 2012 through April 7, 2013.

The following graphic illustrates how to read the production code and best-before date:

The recall affects only products distributed in the following U.S. states and Canada. Further distribution through other pet food channels may have occurred.

* Alabama
* Florida
* Georgia
* Indiana
* Kentucky
* Massachusetts
* Maryland
* Michigan
* Mississippi
* New York
* North Carolina
* Ohio
* Pennsylvania
* South Carolina
* Tennessee
* Virginia
* Canada

The Kirkland Signature products included in the recall include:

* Kirkland Signature Super Premium Adult Dog Lamb, Rice & Vegetable Formula (Best Before December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
* Kirkland Signature Super Premium Adult Dog Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Formula (Best Before December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
* Kirkland Signature Super Premium Mature Dog Chicken, Rice & Egg Formula (Best Before December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
* Kirkland Signature Super Premium Healthy Weight Dog Formulated with Chicken & Vegetables (Best Before December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
* Kirkland Signature Super Premium Maintenance Cat Chicken & Rice Formula (Best Before December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
* Kirkland Signature Super Premium Healthy Weight Cat Formula (December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
* Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Salmon Meal & Sweet Potato Formula for Dogs (December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)

To determine if their pet food is recalled, consumers should check the production codes on the back of bags must have both a number “3” in the 10th digit and an “X” in the 11th digit. The best-before dates for the recalled brands listed are December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013.

The following illustrates how to read the production code and best-before date:


The recall affects only products distributed in the following U.S. states, Puerto Rico and Canada.

* Alabama
* Connecticut
* Delaware
* Florida
* Georgia
* Maryland
* Massachusetts
* New Hampshire
* New Jersey
* New York
* North Carolina
* Pennsylvania
* South Carolina
* Tennessee
* Vermont
* Virginia
* Canada
* Puerto Rico

Teaching and Using Trigger Words to Avert Trouble






A trigger word is what I use when I want to change my dog’s frame of mind. It is what I use because I run a multiple dog household. Having 6 to 7 inside dogs at a time is normal here and changes among them can take place due  a dog’s age, a sudden illness, if dogs are not sexually altered, or if there have been changes in the house such as new child or new pet. There are a multiple reasons why dogs suddenly shift ranks among them and a rift divides one dog from another. I first started training trigger words when I had, 1 Cocker Spaniel, 4 Newfoundlands, and 1 Golden Retriever. The Cocker had a tendency to act out, I believe it was just his personality and I allowed his personality to continue rather than nip it in the bud.   SHAME ON ME!

My Cocker Spaniel Cody would growl at anyone or anything that he perceived as coming into his space. He was a fear aggressive dog and if he felt threatened he lashed out. Of course looking back, it was quite funny to see a 20 lb dog make four 150 lb Newfoundland’s run for dear life, but in reality, if I had not done something to change Cody’s mentality, eventually this pack of dogs would have turned on him and that could have been his demise!

Before my Newfoundland’s came along, Cody was used to being with older dogs that were not rambunctious, the Newfs however, were pure terror, young and very rambunctious, which in itself is a book I am sure!  

One day while Cody lay on the couch, Bentley, the father Newf, came into the room and went to sniff Cody. (We knew Bentley had very  little common sense to begin with but this was really stupid on his part!) Cody gave his normal low growl and Bentley I suspect having had enough of Cody’s attitude, jumped onto the couch and stood over Cody’s little black body. In my mind’s eye I could see this horrible scene playing out before me, so  I reached in between the two dogs and grabbed Cody’s harness and of course this lead to a canine puncture in the top of the hand by Cody.

I admit, it is a stupid move to break up a dog fight and I don’t recommend it, however if I allowed the two dogs to come together I would probably have ended up with a very expensive Vet bill or a dead Cocker Spaniel! So instead, I ended up with an expensive ER hospital bill as through the night hours my hand blew up like a balloon and had gotten infected to the point that I could no longer tell where my knuckles were!  Either way, for me personally, it was a lose, lose situation and a hard lesson learned but one not forgotten!
             After a straight line into the vein from two bags of antibiotics, medication to go home with, a wound flush, and 1,200.00 dollars later, I realized something had to be done!

The purpose of a trigger word

The purpose of a trigger word is to take the dog’s mind off of a negative and put it in a more positive frame. In the instance above with Cody and Bentley, had Cody known a trigger word I could have used it at that instant and trouble could have been avoided as Cody’s mind would have been put on something positive and Bentley would have gone away.  To some, a trigger word seems like I am rewarding the dog for bad behavior, but if used correctly it can really avert trouble between to household dogs. When used correctly it does not cause more aggression by the dog.

You can use a trigger word for a variety of circumstances to get the dogs attention but  this in no way means that you don’t have to continue to teach basic obedience, no skimping!



Teaching a trigger word
(I used my clicker to teach Cody his trigger word as he already knew that sound as his marker. See www.clickerlessons.com to get started with a clicker)   

To teach a trigger word, you want to associate it with  a word the dog really loves. In this case Cody loved food so my trigger word was biscuit. It did not have to be a biscuit that I gave him, I could have given him a cheerio and the response would have been the same because he was a food hog. ( I say was because Cody did pass away of old age a few years back)
A trigger does not always have to be a word, it can be a sound. The sound of a biscuit jar or treat bag being opened also works, but chances of you walking around with a  treat jar in your hand is less likely than say, oh I don’t know, always having your voice!

To start, say the dog’s name and the trigger word, then back that trigger word up immediately with what you are going to give him. If you use 'Ball' as a trigger word because your dog loves balls, you need to have many handy when you train. It is imperative that once you say the trigger word you back it up immediately! Once the trigger word is learned you can take the time to walk to another room and get the ball or treat.

Here's how it should work and  I will use biscuit as an example because I have food hounds. You say, “Fido Biscuit” in the most upbeat positive voice possible. Fido looks at you because the tone of your voice alone tells him something good is going on and you immediately give Fido a biscuit. Do this repeatedly until you are sure he knows that the trigger word means something special is coming his way, when you are sure he’s got it,  then go about your business and ignore the dog for a while.  Call him to you again when he is not paying attention to you by saying his name and the trigger word. If he has gotten this down, he should come running to you and be in a very good mood with his tail a waggin’!

When I think back on the Cody /Bentley episode I look at it like this, would Cody have wanted to get the crap beat out of him by a 150 lb dog or did settling down and grabbing a biscuit sound better? I can tell you that after Cody learned his trigger word, the biscuit always sounded a better choice to him!

Use of the trigger word

 A trigger word must be used before the dog’s mind has been allowed to move too far forward into attack mode.  If however it is at the point where the dog’s mind has moved too far forward, then don’t use the trigger word and just stay out of the fight if it is a fair fight. I don’t want anyone to get that same large hospital bill that I did unnecessarily!

Also this is not something you want to use when you are out and about with other dogs who are off lead or getting in your dog’s face as you have no idea what might trigger a strange dog to attack. This is to be used for your home circumstance when the family dogs are not getting along.  Most people are familiar with their family dogs, and if you watch closely you will know when it is time to use a trigger word.

In the video link below is a most recent encounter between mother and daughter Newfies. The mother has not been feeling her best so her eating habits have changed. She is not up to having her dinner, but she also does not want her daughter to eat.  You will see the mother corner her daughter, put her head over the daughter’s neck and hold her there. If I were to step in at that point and touch or grab the mother’s collar, it could have escalated to a bad scenario.  If I had been in the room when the tension first started, I could have averted it by using the trigger word. But in fact, I walked in at a point that the mother had already cornered her daughter so I had to wait for the mother to back off just a bit before using the trigger. The daughter did exactly what she should have done to avoid a fight which was look away and be still. However knowing the mother as I do, any other movement by the daughter toward the area where the food dish was, even though it was hidden behind the blue mat, the mother would again have started with the daughter. The mat was up because I had just finished sweeping the floor. Until I had the time to move the dish up high, the mother would have continued to try and dominate the daughter.

So there you have it. Teaching a trigger word is easy! Hmm, if only there were trigger words for spouses that would have them instantly do what we ask of them!  Until next time, happy training!