Sunday, September 18, 2011

We're going to be phasing out this blog and the sister "Save Louie" blog in order to consolidate all of our writing in one place.    The "Louie Saving" phase of my life is pretty much done and now we've moved forward to helping others as we can, which is not really limited to pet health issues, and we can cover those and more better if we do it all in the same virtual space. 

In the past year, Louie's Facebook page has grown and, with it, my own desire to focus on where I can make a difference for companion animals.  We hope that our new website at and our new blog at will be avenues for exploring how best to make that happen. 

Thank you to everyone who has subscribed to this blog and/or promoted it in some way.  Please come and join us at the new site. 


Louie's Mom

Monday, July 11, 2011

What is Dog Show Crud?

This disease is one I'd never heard of until last week, when I read a post written by Chelsey Combs-Gerkin of Klearly Chinese Cresteds.  Apparently, "Dog Show Crud" is a disease that presents with symptoms similar to parvo and is highly contagious, but which will test negative for parvo and must be treated differently.  Untreated, is is often fatal, however if treated correctly and quickly, the outcomes are quite good.

I did some reading and, apparently, this is either camplylobacter or some form of bacterial overgrowth in the intestine (possibly both).  The links I've found have not been very precise in describing it, but have been very precise in suggesting what should be done.  Here's a sample:

Trial & error found the treatment. DOG SHOW CRUD Non-specific diarrhea syndrome Progressive diarrhea.  It's a BACTERIAL imbalance in the digestive tract.  This is NOT a new form of Parvo.   Parvo tests will show a LOW positive & subsequent tests will continue to show low positives, will be inconclusive, or will give erratic results.  This disease is so similar to Parvo, that some dogs have tested in the low positive for Parvo.  But they do not have Parvo, and it has been recommended that three Parvo tests are needed to exclude Parvo. 
Mode of infection: widely varied, but mostly from contact with urine, feces, something brought in on shoes, etc.  Symptoms usually start 12-48hrs after initial contact & spread to susceptible dogs rapidly (young or weaker dogs).  It's everywhere! It's on your shoes, in the places where dogs sniff, urine on posts or ground, or trees, or feces, etc.  Pups have a difficult time surviving, but if caught quickly enough (before anorexia), no one dies.  Death occurs because of dehydration. Some dogs get better without treatment. This disease seems to move from the West to the East through the dog shows.
It is medically known as Campylobacteriosis, name of the organism causing this is Campylobacter Jejuni. This disease can be tested for specifically, so if you have an affected dog that appears to have Parvo, but in your mind know that, that could not be possible, have them tested for  "Camby".   It is important to note that this disease can be transferred between humans, dogs, cats and other livestock.  Dogs are alert, hungry, and energetic, with normal feces.
It starts with fecal mucus sheath & continues to get progressively softer until it is watery & contains blood. It then becomes explosive. Vomiting may accompany & may or may not also contain blood.  Feces have a sweet/flowery aroma along with a "slaughterhouse on a summer day" smell (similar to Parvo diarrhea but with a floral hint).  Feces are *usually* mustard colored. Dogs dehydrate at an astounding rate. Dogs are also at risk of intusseption (sp?).
Do NOT automatically assume Parvo when you see this.  Parvo treatments have killed the majority of Crud dogs.  If you suspect Parvo, try the Cephalexin 1st, if it doesn't work, THEN assume Parvo.  Do NOT use Amoxycillin.   Keflex has worked in the past, but slowly & speed is the important thing here.  Dogs should show improvement within hours of treatment.  What is happening is that there is a bacterial growth in the digestive tract which throws it off balance. The body is trying to counteract this by removing the extra (or offending) bacteria.  It seems to do this by trying to remove ALL body fluids as quickly as possible. Death is caused by massive dehydration.  From the 1st signs of symptoms, death can be as short as 12 hrs, or as long as 7 days.


And here's where you can read what the Merck Veterinary Manual has to say about campylobacteriosis:

If you suspect your dog has parvo, but tests are negative for parvo, please talk to your vet about the possibility that you may be looking at a case of "dog show crud" or campylobacteriosis instead.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Every Pet Owner Should Watch This Video

This video is full of basic information about pet vaccinations. It should be watched by anyone with a concern about the health of their pets. She packs a lot into a short space, so watch it to the end.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

US: Bill would level playing field for veterinary prescriptions

A bill recently introduced as H.R. 1406 in the US House of Representatives would make access to prescription medical services in veterinary medicine more comparable to human medicine.  Among other things, the bill would require veterinarians to write written prescriptions for the medicines they prescribe, and offer information about medication dispensation options outside of the veterinary practice.

Disappointingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is mounting a lobbying effort to kill H.R. 1406.

The bill's sponsor, Utah Representative Jim Matheson, believes that veterinary consumers should have better access to a competitive market for prescription veterinary medications.  "This bill simply gives pet owners the same right to shop around for the best prices on the medications they buy for their pets as they have for products they buy for themselves." Matheson says that the legislation was modeled after the Contact Lens Consumers Act, with the intent of giving pet owners a copy of the written prescription so they can shop around.

"Having the written prescription would give consumers the ability to comparison shop. One study of 18 common pet medication found that on average consumers who purchase from prescribers pay a 248 percent markup over average wholesale prices," Matheson says.

But the AVMA wants to kill the bill, stating that it places an undue regulatory burden on veterinarians.

The Pet Health Action Network disagrees with the AVMA, and has launched its own initiative in the form of a petition drive to give consumers of veterinary services a way to make their voices heard.  Please sign the petition here:

Friday, May 20, 2011

More confirmed cases of Equine Herpes Virus


National Report — An outbreak of equine herpes virus (EHV-1) continues to spread with at least 29 cases now confirmed in eight Western states. 

Various state agriculture departments report that about 400 horses from 29 states attended the National Cutting Horse Association's Western National Championships in Odgen, Utah between April 30-May 8, which is believed to have been the source of the outbreak. 

On May 19, Washington officials increased the state's confirmed case count from one to three. Other cases have been confirmed in multiple western states, but taper off north of Texas and further east. As of May 19, the following states, through their state veterinarian's office or agriculture department, have confirmed or suspected equine herpes virus cases: 

• Arizona — One confirmed case; 
• California — 10 confirmed; 
• Colorado — Six confirmed cases; five that attended the NCHA event and one that was in contact with sick horses but did not attend the event; 
• Idaho — Two dead, no confirmed cases; 
• Montana — 30-35 horses under observation, no confirmed EHV-1 cases reported; 
• Nebraska — Five farms quarantined, no cases confirmed; 
• Nevada — No confirmed cases; 
• New Mexico — One dead, one suspected and no confirmed cases; 
• Oregon — One confirmed case; 
• Texas — 20 under investigation. The one confirmed case was a horse from New Mexico that was taken to West Texas for treatment. 
• Utah — Five confirmed cases; 
• Washington — Three confirmed cases; 
• Wyoming — No confirmed cases. 

Full report here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New Pet Treat Recall

Boss Pet Products, Inc. recalled its Diggers Natural Treat Pig Ear pet treats because the products have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. 

In an advisory today, the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine reports, "Boss Pet (Products) has been notified by one of its suppliers, Keys Manufacturing Company, Inc., that a batch of pig ear treats tested positive for Salmonella. Keys Manufacturing initiated a voluntary product recall in cooperation with the FDA and has identified several shipments of potentially affected products which Boss Pet shipped out under its Diggers brand in November, 2010 through April, 2011. So far, there has been a report of one dog in Missouri having Salmonella," FDA reports. 

The recalled Diggers Natural Chews Pig Ears were sold in the following package sizes:

Bulk Pig Ears in boxes of 100 (UPC #0-72929-00038-6)

Bulk Pig Ears Shrink Wrapped in boxes of 50 (UPC #0-72929-99120-2)

2-Pack Bags shipped in cases of 12 bags (UPC #0-72929-99504-0)

4-Pack Bags shipped in cases of 12 bags (UPC #0-72929-00227-4)

8-Pack Bags shipped in cases of 12 bags (UPC #0-72929-99584-2) 

These products were distributed in Montana, California, Washington, Oklahoma, Tennessee, New York, Ohio, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Oregon, Utah, Iowa, Montana, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana and Minnesota, FDA says. 

Consumers can return the products to their place of purchase for a refund. For more information about the recall contact Boss Pet at (800) 445-6347 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. EST) or go to

Monday, May 16, 2011

WASHINGTON: State veterinarian cautions horse owners about EHV-1 outbreak

The Washington State Department of Agriculture is warning about possible exposure to Equine Herpes Virus 1, a highly contagious virus that was found in a horse that attended the National Cutting Horse Association event in Ogden, Utah from April 30 to May 8.  The affected horse is from Washington State.

“While I have not yet placed any restrictions on the movement of animals, I strongly suggest that horse owners isolate animals that attended the Western National Championships in Ogden, Utah,” said State Veterinarian Leonard Eldridge. “For the protection of other horses, these owners are advised to keep their animals home for a couple of weeks.”

The disease poses no threat to people, but symptoms in horses can include fever, sneezing, slobbering and other mild symptoms. Serious cases of the disease are rare, but can include staggering, hind-end paralysis and even death of the horse.

A horse that attended the Ogden show was treated at the Washington State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Pullman and was confirmed over the weekend to be positive for EHV-1. Blood samples from several other Washington horses that attended the Utah event are currently being tested at WSU’s Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.

The disease is spread from horse to horse through direct contact, on feed, tack and equipment, or on the clothes and hands of horse owners. While there is no human public health threat associated with the disease, horse owners should carefully wash their hands and equipment to prevent the spread of the virus.

The time of exposure to illness of EHV-1 is typically two to 14 days. Horse owners attending the Ogden show should consider limiting the movement of their horses and isolate them from other horses to prevent further spread of the virus.

Horses that show any symptoms of EHV-1 should be seen by a veterinarian. Positive cases of EHV-1 must be reported to the State Veterinarian’s Office at (360) 902-1881.

More information on the virus can be found at