Aug. 20th, 2015 11:47 am
Can anyone recommend a boarder for my bird (small parrot, dusky conure) in Eastern Massachusetts or thereabouts?

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
asterroc: (rhino)
H1N1 has further confirmation of being a zoonotic disease. There have been 2 confirmed cases of ferrets contracting the disease (one of which recovered and one of which died), and now 1 confirmed case of a cat contracting the disease (it recovered). Just like you would when interacting with humans, wash your hands frequently and especially before handling pets' food, and wear a mask while sharing the same room for an extended period of time. There have yet to be any confirmed cases of animal to human transmission, so don't go kicking your pets out of the house or sending them to the shelter.
The House of Representatives is currently working on a bill that would outlaw all non-native species of animals in captivity - that is, anything other than cats and dogs - whether as pets, for research, or for education. I urge you to contact your Representatives about this bill because it would not only decimate zoos and scientific research, but it would also severely limit the rest of my life with my bird Kappa.

Write your Legislators:

More detail and links )

Edit: [ profile] amavia, guinea pigs are not among the exempt species (despite the fact that they are domesticated), so you might want to get your networks cracking on this.

Thanks for your time!
In case you missed this news of the past few years, the melamine-poisoned milk from China that surfaced in Sept 2008 was prefaced a year and a half earlier in April 2007 by a massive recall of pet foods made by company Menu Foods due to melamine poisoning. Melamine is a chemical usually found in plastics that causes complete kidney shutdown in humans and cats, and significant kidney damage in dogs. The reason the melamine was added in the first place was a scam - regulations in China require a certain amount of protein in both milk powder (which was part of the final milk product) and wheat gluten (which was part of the final petfood products). The simple tests used in China cannot distinguish between protein (expensive) and melamine (cheap), so the outcome was inevitable.

And now pet foods produced in the US are turning up tainted with salmonella (PetSmart brand dog treats that include peanuts from one factory). There's already been an outbreak in humans handling their pets' treats, but I predict that in a year and a half this will make it into the human food supply. Avoid peanuts Summer 2010.

Edit: turns out it wasn't just petfood peanuts that were contaminated, but lots of others, so it's already hitting the humans. So much for petfood being a litmus test.
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No more cruel than it was for us to fundamentally change wild animals into domestic cats, dogs, cows, and ducks.
Mars brand dry cat and dog food is being recalled due to salmonella contamination. Their products include Pedigree, Pet Pride, Red Flannel, and Wegman's cat and dog foods. If you have any of the contaminated batches, THROW IT OUT. Canned should be safe since the canning process sterilizes it.

I don't know how susceptible cats and dogs are to it, but both humans and birds can get salmonella, so check your cat/dog food if you have those animals.

If you don't have contaminated batches, it doesn't hurt to wash your hands lots, just like if you were handling raw chicken. Freezing does NOT kill salmonella - you still have to cook chicken after freezing it.

Mars Petcare recall page
CDC page
CBS News / WebMD article

X-posted lots
It's a kitty playing a theramin. This one's for you, [ profile] kelsin. Thanks to [ profile] jmgold/[ profile] jmgold42.

If you or anyone you know is in the Boston area and has a dog, a professional pet photographer I know is looking for models. She's on LJ as [ profile] amavia (personal) and [ profile] rubicat (professional), and her professional webpage is She took awesome photos of Gabe when I first got her, and she's got a great rapport with animals.

I am in need of some more dog models for various pet care books. I need both inside and outside shots, and I even need a few shots in my studio (on a white background). I live in Arlington Center. I am hoping to get a good mix of shots taken around town (for dog-walking shots), in parks, and inside homes.

For your trouble, I will give you a CD of all the images I take. I will require a model release for each dog, and if any humans are in the shots, I'll need releases for them as well.

Breeds needed:
Basset Hound
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Cocker Spaniel

Feel free to pass this along to anyone who might have a pup I can photograph. Thanks!

Pet Rentals

Mar. 2nd, 2008 11:55 am
Ever heard of rental pets? I hadn't either until Dolittler pointed it out. Apparently they're targeting my lovely state next.

I am writing to you today regarding the House act “An Act Prohibiting the Renting of Pets” (H.D. 4864). My name is ***, and I am **occupation** in **location**, and I live and vote in **location**.

Pets are an important addition to our quality of life, and many of us view them as family members. Even Presidential candidates talk about their pets as they promote their candidacy for office. However, as humans it is our job to be stewards for them, as they cannot speak for themselves. Hence I am writing to you today about the disturbing new practice of "rental pets" by companies such as the FlexPets ( and their attempt to make inroads into our state.

Services such as pet-sitting while on vacation and dog-walking during the day while we are at work are important. These services allow the animals customary caretaker to provide care to our animals while we are out of town or unable to do so, while still allowing our animals to live in a stable loving home. A rental pet company on the other hand, treats animals as disposable toys, to be put away (or put down!) when the owner does not have the time or energy for the animal.

Besides such a service shifting the public viewpoint of animals from creatures in our care to commodities, the individuals animals in question do not have stable loving homes, and instead are constantly shipped from one home to another. Imagine if we started renting out human children the same way! Ultimately, a culture that believes in the disposability of pets is one destined to suffer strain on its public and private resources through increased pet abandonment.

I urge you to evaluate “An Act Prohibiting the Renting of Pets” (H.D. 4864) proposed by Massachusetts State Representative Paul Frost, and similar legislature in the Senate, with these cautions in mind. Please ask Rep. Angelo Scaccia and the Senate as well to move “An Act Prohibiting the Renting of Pets” (H.D. 4864) without delay into the appropriate committee. Passing such an act would send a message not only to companies who would exploit our pets in novel ways, it would also serve as a model for our entire country as to how responsible stewardship for pets is best achieved—by rejecting practices which would undermine their stable role in society.

Thank you for your time, and please feel free to contact me with any further questions you may have.

Send the email to your state Reps, and also the following people:

And one more link
The same melamine that killed a bunch of cats and dogs has been found in more pet foods from China - this time for smaller pets, both bird and small mammal.

FDA Enforcement Report December 26, 2007

a) Wild Harvest Fruit and Honey Cockatiel, Recall # V-021-2008;
b) Ecotrition Tropical Fruit and Honey Bars, Recall # V-022-2008;
c) Wild Harvest Hamster, Gerbil, Mouse & Rat Honey Cakes, Recall # V-023-2008

a) Lot: 07096 and Lot: 07108;
b) and c) Lot: 07096

AZ, CA, FL, MI, NJ, NY, TX, and WA

More info
asterroc: (Gabriel - Sleepy)
One national breeder of birds has apparently been selling birds with psittacosis to petstore chains. Affected stores are currently PetSmart and Petland, in the states of Minnesota, Washington, Georgia, New Jersey, and Texas. Since breeders often sell to many different places (both states and chains), if you got your bird from a any chain lately, I recommend you bring him to a vet and get him tested for psittacosis. In addition, pPsittacosis is an airborne and dander -transmitted disease, so if you bring your bird for a nail trim to these stores, s/he can catch it. If you bring anything home from them, such as food and toys, it could be transmitted to your birds. And on top of it all, there's a small chance of transmission to humans, especially those with compromised immune systems, or children or elderly.

So keep your eyes peeled, and stop visiting petstore chains for a bit.

More info: (server overloaded?) (login required)
Nearly everyone on my friendslist has a pet. Roughly half have non-cat/dog/farm animals as pets. What many of us don't realize is that not only is it hard to find a vet who even understands the unique problems of our pet's species (or sometimes even our pet's class [mammal/bird/reptile/amphibian/fish...]), but that when our "exotic" pets are prescribed medicine, the vet typically has little or no information about the safety of its use on our pet's species. They are prescribing the medicine "off-label" when they give our pets anesthesia, kidney medicine, or even antibiotics.

One reason for this is that there's a lot more money involved in the more "popular" pets (cats and dogs) as well as in farm animals but there's less to gain from the smaller species, so the pet pharmaceutical companies don't generally put as much money into the research of drugs for them. Another related reason is that all drugs for pets need to be approved by the FDA, and the FDA charges large fees for the approval process. Since pharma companies are willing to put down a lot of money for a product that will sell a lot, they willingly pay these approval fees for drugs for dogs, cats, cows, horses, chicken, and turkey, but not for turtles, guinea pigs, cockatiels, amazon grays, cockatoos, lizards, beta fish, emu, goats, llamas, and so on.

Now here comes the interesting part - the part where we can do something. There was a bill passed in 2004, the Minor Use and Minor Species (MUMS) Animal Health Act of 2004, that allowed lower fees for drugs for these "exotic" pets and less common farm animals (such as goats or llamas), however for it to actually happen it needs funding. It's now 2007 bordering on 2008 and that hasn't happened yet. Should the fees be lowered, then pharma companies wouldn't have to spend as much to get drugs for our "exotic" pets approved, could still turn a profit on them, and therefore we'd have more reliable and safe drugs available for our littlest and strangest family members. So it's time to do something.

Find your Reps

Call a Rep )

Reps that can make the most difference )

Model letter )

X-posted to various. Feel free to forward or repost this at will.
No information about which ones, but China's finding that a lot of their veterinary drugs are fakes.

And meanwhile the former head of the Chinese FDA equivalent is appealing his death sentence for corruption.

Thanks to [ profile] rosefox for the links.

Pet funds

Jun. 20th, 2007 05:04 pm
If you have a pet and are often short on funds, it was recently recommended in [ profile] parrot_lovers that you look into Care Credit for pets, which is essentially a loan for veterinary procedures.
Zheng Xiaoyu, former director of China's State Food and Drug Administration, was sentenced to death for corruption on Tuesday. AP/Reuters/MSNBC

He was guilty of accepting more than $800,000 in bribes, his actions led to the deaths of thousands of US cats and dogs a full two years after he was fired, and dozens of human deaths from tainted antibiotics, and as a result China is giving him the death penalty.

I'm not sure what to think.
FYI, a Texas lab has found lethal (to cats) doses of acetaminophen (Tylenol) in cat food. Apparently Hills Science Diet Sensitive Stomach is affected among others, but I don't know specific others. At the levels of acetaminophen measured, a cat eating a 100g can of contaminated cat food would have a 50/50 chance of dying w/in 4 days. Acetaminophen is apparently *quite* toxic to cats, essentially stopping their blood's hemoglobin from being able to carry oxygen.

Again, I don't have a list of the actual products, and there hasn't been any recall.
I really had to go digging for this one. Poultry and fish that were previously suspected contaminated with melamine have been tested and declared free of taint and safe to eat. Pork has also been declared safe.

In the pet realm, Chenango Valley Pet Foods has recalled 8 pet food products, one of which is for ferrets - pass that on if you know any ferret owners - including "Doctors Foster and Smith" and "Shop Rite" brands.

The guy in charge of the Chinese factory from whence the wheat gluten flour was sold to the US is claiming that he doesn't even know what melamine is. He's being held by Chinese authorities for 30 days, and after that will be either charged or released.

Yes, you read that right, it's wheat flour that was actually contaminated with melamine and cyuranic acid, and it was then mislabeled as wheat gluten or rice protein concentrate. It was this flour that made its way into the feed for hogs, poultry, and fish, and none of the news I've read addressed whether the flour could've made its way directly into the human food supply. Meaning that individuals can only avoid potentially contaminated products by eating home-grown or buying from trusted organic-type farms. I'm screwed.

The mechanism for death is that the melamine and cyuranic acid react in the kidneys, causing crystals, organ failure, and eventual death. Kidneys play an important role in homeostasis, including filtering out impurities in the blood, maintaining the proper acidity, blood pressure, and levels of electrolytes in the blood. Screwing with any one of those individually will kill you, all three...

Although the FDA has received 4,000 complaints of pet (cat and dog) deaths, only 17 have been confirmed.
Not only have 50 thousand pigs destined for human consumption been fed melamine-tainted feed, but I missed the announcement that 20 million poultry had, and now they're saying an unknown number of fish at fish farms and used to stock bodies of water, top it all off. The pork has been tested for melamine contamination but there are no results, the poultry have tested negative (i.e., comparatively safe to eat), and the fish are a new development so they're just looking into it. I have not heard any news against beef or lamb.

Authorities are claiming a "dilution factor" would result in humans consuming less melamine (presumably by weight of the consumer) than the dead cats and dogs did. However it's worth pointing out that being at the top of the food chain has its own drawbacks, as it is easier to end up with a high concentration of chemicals in the body, as in the case of bald eagle eggshells and DDT.

If you're a meateater (like me), keep your eyes peeled about this, and consider different sources of food. Anybody know how long it'll take to get these tainted meat products out of the human food system?
When a custody/inherritance battle turned bitter, a judge assigned an attourney to represent the dog's rights. I think that's just awesome. :)



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