Monday, August 30, 2010

Are There Dead Dogs and Cats in Dog Food?



As a species, we are naturally drawn to the gruesome, the frightening, and the macabre.

We pay good money to see slasher movies and ride death-defying roller-coasters.

And so it should come as no surprise to find that folks love to speculate about whether... maybe... dead dogs and cats are being ground up for kibbled dog food.

Here's the short answer....

NO.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration web site addresses the issue directly if folks will actually take the time to read.

Read?

Good God man, where's the fun in that? Next you'll be telling us there's no Sasquatch, no Chupacabra and no alien autopsies -- and Lord knows we've all seen the videos of those things!

Right.

True enough.

But there are no videos of dead dogs and cats being turned into dog food. None.

And while there is a trace amount of pentobarbital residue in kibbled dog food, it does not seem to be a health concern, and it has a perfectly simple source explanation: Beef Cattle.

But don't take my word for it. Here's what the FDA has to say about the pentobarbital found in dog food and where it does NOT come from:

The low levels of exposure to sodium pentobarbital (pentobarbital) that dogs might receive through food is unlikely to cause them any adverse health effects, Food and Drug Administration scientists concluded after conducting a risk assessment.

During the 1990s, FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) received reports from veterinarians that pentobarbital, an anesthetizing agent used for dogs and other animals, seemed to be losing its effectiveness in dogs. Based on these reports, CVM officials decided to investigate a plausible theory that the dogs were exposed to pentobarbital through dog food, and that this exposure was making them less responsive to pentobarbital when it was used as a drug.

The investigation consisted of two parts. First, CVM had to determine if dog food could contain residues of the drug. Second, if residues were found, the Center had to determine what risk, if any, the residues posed to dogs.

In conjunction with this investigation, the Center wanted to determine if pet food contained rendered remains of dogs and cats.

How pentobarbital can get into dog food

Because in addition to producing anesthesia, pentobarbital is routinely used to euthanize animals, the most likely way it could get into dog food would be in rendered animal products.

Rendered products come from a process that converts animal tissues to feed ingredients. Pentobarbital seems to be able to survive the rendering process. If animals are euthanized with pentobarbital and subsequently rendered, pentobarbital could be present in the rendered feed ingredients.

In order to determine if pentobarbital residues were present in animal feeds, CVM developed a sophisticated process to detect and quantify minute levels – down to 2 parts per billion of pentobarbital in dry dog food. To confirm that the methods they developed worked properly, CVM scientists used the methods to analyze dry commercial dog foods purchased from retail outlets near to their Laurel, MD, laboratories. The scientists purchased dog food as part of two surveys, one in 1998 and the second in 2000. They found some samples contained pentobarbital (see the attached tables).

Dogs, cats not found in dog food

Because pentobarbital is used to euthanize dogs and cats at animal shelters, finding pentobarbital in rendered feed ingredients could suggest that the pets were rendered and used in pet food.

CVM scientists, as part of their investigation, developed a test to detect dog and cat DNA in the protein of the dog food. All samples from the most recent dog food survey (2000) that tested positive for pentobarbital, as well as a subset of samples that tested negative, were examined for the presence of remains derived from dogs or cats. The results demonstrated a complete absence of material that would have been derived from euthanized dogs or cats. The sensitivity of this method is 0.005% on a weight/weight basis; that is, the method can detect a minimum of 5 pounds of rendered remains in 50 tons of finished feed. Presently, it is assumed that the pentobarbital residues are entering pet foods from euthanized, rendered cattle or even horses.

Finding levels of pentobarbital residues in dog food

Upon finding pentobarbital residues in dog food, the researchers undertook an assessment of the risk dogs might face. Dogs were given known quantities of pentobarbital for eight weeks to determine if consumption of small amounts of pentobarbital resulted in any physiological changes that could indicate potential effects on health. In short, the scientists wanted to find the level of pentobarbital dogs could be exposed to that would show no biological effects. The most sensitive indicator that pentobarbital had an effect is an increase in the production of certain enzymes collectively called cytochrome P450.

Virtually all animals produce enzymes as a normal response to metabolize naturally occurring and man-made chemicals in their environment. Barbituates, such as pentobarbital, are especially efficient at causing the liver to produce these enzymes. In dogs, the most sensitive biological response to pentobarbital is an increase in the production of cytochrome P450 enzymes, which is why the scientists chose that as the best indicator of biological effect. If a low level of pentobarbital did not cause a dog to produce additional cytochrome P450 enzymes, then scientists could assume that the pentobarbital at that low level had no significant effect on the dog.

In CVM’s study, experimental animals were each dosed orally with either 50, 150, or 500 micrograms pentobarbital/day for eight weeks. The results were compared with control animals, which were not exposed to pentobarbital.

Several significant pentobarbital-associated effects were identified in this study:

1. Dogs that received 150 and 500 micrograms pentobarbital once daily for eight weeks had statistically higher liver weights (relative to their bodyweights) than the animals in the control groups. Increased liver weights are associated with the increased production by the liver of cytochrome P450 enzymes;

2. An analysis showed that the activity of at least three liver enzymes was statistically greater than that of the controls at doses of approximately 200 micrograms pentobarbital per day or greater.

But researchers found no statistical differences in relative liver weight or liver enzyme activity between the group receiving 50 micrograms pentobarbital per day and the controls. Based on the data from this study, CVM scientists were able to determine that the no-observable-effect level – which is the highest dose at which no effects of treatment were found – for pentobarbital was 50 micrograms of pentobarbital per day.

Adverse health effects unlikely

For the purposes of CVM’s assessment the scientists assumed that at most, dogs would be exposed to no more than 4 micrograms/kilogram body weight/day based on the highest level of pentobarbital found in the survey of dog foods. In reality, dogs are not likely to consume that much. The high number was based on the assumption that the smallest dogs would eat dog food containing the greatest amount of pentobarbital detected in the survey of commercial pet foods-- 32 parts per billion.

However, to get to the exposure level of 50 micrograms of pentobarbital per day, which is the highest level at which no biological response was seen, a dog would have to consume between 5 to 10 micrograms of pentobarbital per kilogram of body weight. But the most any dog would consume, based on the survey results, was 4 micrograms pentobarbital per kilogram of body weight per day.

It should be emphasized that induction of cytochrome P450 enzymes is a normal response to many substances that are naturally found in foods. It is not an indication of harm, but was selected as the most sensitive indicator to detect any biological effect due to pentobarbital.

Thus, the results of the assessment led CVM to conclude that it is highly unlikely a dog consuming dry dog food will experience any adverse effects from exposures to the low levels of pentobarbital found in CVM’s dog food surveys.

What do all those words mean?

Simple:


  1. There is NO EVIDENCE of any dead dogs or cats in dog food.
    No evidence. None. Zero. Empty set. The testing showed nothing at a level of 0.004 percent or 5 pounds of rendered remains spread over 100,000 pounds of dog food.

  2. The pentobarbital in dog food is less than is needed to trigger even the smallest and most sensitive of naturally occurring enzyme reactions in a dog. This is important, as toxicity of any substance is always about dosage. In our own world, we are surrounded by poisons, from alcohol in our counter-top fruit, to toxic metals in our cooking ware, to toxins coming from car exhaust and settling on our lawns (to say nothing about what comes out of the hose-end of the garden sprayer). Even water is toxic in the wrong dose. Dosage is everything.

  3. The pentobarbital in dog and cat food has an obvious source -- beef cattle. Cattle and horses are often dosed with pentobarbital for standing veterinary examinations. Though sick animals recently dosed with pentobarbital are not supposed to make in into the food chain, they do at times. And that's not just the dog food chain, by the way -- that's probably the human food chain as well. You see beef from downer cows has been routinely served to our children as fresh hamburger that may or may not be cooked all the way through.

    What? Downer cows have been served to our school children? Yes indeed, and the Humane Society of the U.S. has put the whole story on video tape and filed a False Claims Act lawsuit, which the U.S. Department of Justice has joined as well.

Is there similar video tape of dead dogs and cats being rendered into dog food?

No there is is not.

In fact,
the entire dead-dogs-turned-into-dog-food-story seems to have been sparked by a single 1995 story in the Baltimore City Paper (a free local newspaper more famous for its "personals" column than its reporting) which asserted -- but never proved -- that a local independent rendering plant was running two separate lines (one for slaughterhouse and butcher waste, and the other for roadkill and euthanized pets) and then mixing the fats at the end of the run.

But guess what?

When ABC television's 20/20 news program investigated,
they found the story had no legs. It was not true so far as they could tell, and they had to pull the plug on the story that they had intended to take national.

Other reporters have chased the same story again and again over the years, but they too have come up with nothing despite the fact that everyone with an Ipod Nano now has a miniature camera and recording device capable of making a pile of cash for the right video tape.

It seems dead dogs and cats are simply NOT being made into dog food. They might be made into candles, industrial grease, floor wax, or chicken or hog feed, but not dog food.

Let me say it another way: We have more evidence of Sasquatch, chupacabras, the Loch Ness monster, and space aliens being autopsied at Area 51 than we do of dogs and cats being rendered into dog food.

Of course, a lot of people are not going to be swayed by the facts.

Why let truth get in the way of a good story? Why let science derail the fear-inducing story-board which says ALL of our processed foods are bad, and that the FDA has NO IDEA what is in them.... and never mind if our food are actually safer today than at any time in U.S. or world history.

But hey, I am not trying to sway the minds of the folks who stand in long lines at the fair in order to pay good money to be scared.

Everyone needs a thrill, a hobby, and a cause.

I get it.

Carry on. If you want to worry about what is in kibble, be my guess.

But be advised that your dog is definitely eating its own shit.

And if you run your dog loose in forest, field or fen, it's also eating the occasional fox and raccoon crap, cat turd, cow pattie, pile of deer shit, and mouse dingle-berry as well.

If your dog spends any time outside on its own (even if it is just in your suburban back yard) it almost certainly eating a dead sparrow once in a while, and maybe a live lizard or snake. For sure it is eating the occasional live mouse or dead squirrel.

If you leave your food and water bowls outside on the patio or porch, your dog is certainly drinking a little rat pee, and has probably gobbled down a little possum snot as well.

And I have not even talked about what happens when your dog drinks out of the toilet bowl in your house, or licks its crotch, or sniffs the butt of the dog next door. Woooeeee!

You say you are worried about toxins in kibbled dog food?

OK. Worry away. I can't stop you.

But just for a second, you might think about the toxins you intentionally put in your own dog every month.

Your dog is probably on heartworm medicine, which is nothing more than an insecticide, and you are feeding this poison to your dog every month at a level that is it lethal to a living thing that only might be inside your dog.

And you are probably feeding this poison to your dog every month regardless of outside temperature and despite the fact that a monthly dosing of insecticide is not needed to control heartworm (once every two or three months will do the job).

On top of the insecticide you are putting inside your dog every month, there is the insecticide you are putting outside your dog every month because you cannot be bothered to use a flea comb -- the topical flea and tick medicine called Frontline or whatever other variation on a theme that you are using. This stuff is a powerful neurotoxin.

So you are dosing your dog, inside and out, every month, with powerful poisons designed to kill and which do kill every day.

But what you are worried about is a trace toxin that might be found in your dog's kibble?

I think that's a little amusing.

But, of course, I am not trying to tell you
to change your area of concern.

Be strong and carry on.

That said, I am willing to bet
I know what will kill your dog, and it's not likely to be bagged kibble!

It's YOU.

You see, about 40% of all dogs are obese
and obese dogs have shorter lives and often live for years with collapsing joints and other ailments as well. Dogs are obese because of their owners and nothing else.

Add to obesity the breed of dog you selected.

Do you have a Boston Terrier,
a French Bulldog, a Pug, an English Bulldog or a Pekingese?

These dogs have chronic breathing problems, and are routinely beset with joint and spine problems, to say nothing of chronic skin diseases and eye problems.

You think these dogs are likely to die from kibbled dog food?

Not a chance.

These dogs are far more likely to die
from the intentional deformity and defect that you yourself once found so amusing.

Of course, the flat-faced brachycephalic breeds are only a small slice of the canine parade of dysfunction.

We also have the dogs that are four-legged cancer bombs: the Scottish Terriers, the Bernese Mountain Dogs, the Flat-coated Retrievers, the Greyhounds, the Deerhounds, and the Golden Retrievers.

The cancers here are gene-based, and are exacerbated by inbreeding.

But do the owners of these breeds stand up and demand an open registry to perhaps reduce the incidence of cancer?

They do not.

Do the owners of these breeds tell every prospective puppy owner that there is a better than 50% chance that the little puppy they are about to buy will die from a heart-breaking cancer which, before it dies, will suck thousands of dollars from the poor rube's wallet?

Nope.

And a similar silence is heard from the myriad other breeds wrecked by dyplasia, heart and liver disease.

Instead of a demand for AKC reform, we get a lot of hand-wringing about what might be in dog food, and what it might do to dogs.

Which is fine with me.

I get it.

There will always be folks
standing in line to pay good money to see a slasher movie or ride the roller coaster.

There will always be people standing in line to pay money to see the freak show.

There will always be people willing to pay a lot of money for a Jaguar sports car, and never mind the crappy construction and enormous repair bills, or the fact that the owners will never drive the car more than 75 miles an hour.

Form and image over construction and function. I get it

As a species, we like to scare ourselves, and we like to amuse ourselves, but we hate to take responsibility for our own actions and much prefer to blame the great and mysterious THEM.

And so our dogs cannot be dying early and tragic deaths because we selected deformed, defective and diseased breeds and then overfeed and under-excercised them.

It must be the food. It must be the dog food companies.

Those bastards!
.

21 comments:

Seahorse said...

Daggone. The Sabbath is no kind of time to be buzz-killing my Chupacabra fears.

Seahorse

Jenn said...

I will add this to the dog food discussion: I don't buy food or treats made in China.

It might not say "made in China"
it might say "distributed by ..."
with no mention of China at all.

When the huge dog and cat food scandal hit, I stopped feeding my pets food that I couldn't trace the providence (and yes, I may still be naive), after the baby formula scandal hit, I try to avoid any food item made in China.

If they don't care to provide oversight to protect their children, why would they care about anything?

heather said...

Not finding something, and having something not be there, are 2 different things.

That the government did not find dead dog or cat meat in pet food doesn't mean that it isn't there, only that it was not found.

If dead cats and dead dogs were made into chicken feed, then the dogs were fed chicken parts, then could you say that the dogs were fed dogs although secondhandedly?

See the yahoogroup pet-treaty, message 119, silent green.

Also, I have read about possible dead pets in dog food from another country - might not some people feed imported dog food, or dog food made from imported feed items?

And just because something is illegal doesn't mean it isn't real. Dope is illegal, but it's real.

Where do the tons of dead dogs and cats go? Are they buried? Creamated then the ashes scattered on a hill top? Or are the bodies sold?

heather said...

What does happen to all the tons of dead dogs and cats?

I don't see miles of full pet cemetaries. I did read about using dead cats for bio-diesel.

Are dead pets still being used for chicken feed? Read message 119 "silent green" of the yahoogroup "pet-treaty".

Just because something is illegal doesn't mean that it is not real. Dope is illegal, but it is real.

If dead pets are free, then someone will want to make money off that free resource, wheather it's selling them to restaurants, animal feed, or fur coats.

If I called a dog pound, would they give me free dead dogs, or pay me to haul them away, or are the dead animals sold?

They don't vanish, the dead bodies go somewhere.

heather said...

Oh, here's the link to the above:

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/pet-treaty/message/119

And I love your post - it MUST be the dog food, because we just couldn't have gone out of our way to buy an inbred deformed sickly dog just because we like the image of it!

If you weren't already Terrierman, you could be Ironyman. Really great post, nothing shows reality as it is better than humor!

PBurns said...

Heather, in science, you do not make extraordinary claims and demand that others prove them wrong.

That's what religions do.

Science is the opposite of religion; it says that extraordinary claims require at least some proof.

But here, there is NO PROOF.

None. Zero. Nyet. Empty set.

And people have been looking for a loooong time.

Of course, you are free to believe whatever you want.

People believe in fairies, and they believe in Scientology, and they believe in Moth Man and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

There is nothing to do about that, and I am not even trying.

That said, I would point out that it is very easy to find out what happens to euthanized animals.

The City of Los Angeles, for example, spends $100,000 a year putting them in land fills where they rot. Use the Google and you will see I am right.

Some other places sell them to independent rendering plants where they are turned into industrial grease, car wax, candles and the like, as noted in this piece.

Read up on rending plants (there is a national association for the rendering industry, and they also have a public directory of plants and also a monthly magazine) and you will find that most independent plants (i.e. plants that are not affiliated with a species-specific slaughter house) are running dual lines for food and nonfood purposes.

There are not that many rendering plants any more, and those that do exist are mostly slaughter-house offshoots that specialize in beef, chicken or hogs.

Independent rendering facilities are sufficiently rare that most communities have to put their dead animals in the local land fill or pay for their incineration. Roadkill, however, may be dumped in a little visited location for fox and other carnivores to prey on -- see >> http://terriermandotcom.blogspot.com/2004/12/what-horror-is-this.html for a picture of what that looks like right outside of Washington, D.C.

Of course, rotting animals put into landfills go into the groundwater which (gasp!) people drink.

Oh. My. God !!!!!!!

But humans rot too, and they also go into the ground water, and they have for millions of years.

This is the Circle of Life.

Shit and urine goes into the fields and the rivers and we pick fruit from those fields and drink from those rivers.

Fine stuff fruit and water!

Some of the farms where I hunt are former Civil War battlefields, and no doubt when I pluck a soybean off a plant, and pop it in my mouth, I am also swallowing a tiny little bit of heroic humanity as well.

Of course, I wash it down with urine.

Over the eons, there is no water that has not passed through a fish, a deer, a worm, a mouse, a frog, or a fox.

So, when it gets down to it, we are all eating shit and urine all the time. No big deal.

In fact, everything is recycled.

You and I will be too.

Someday, a hundred years, or a thousand years after we are dead, someone will swallow some little bit of us that has become a berry or a piece of wheat or an apple. And then they will shit us out, and the whole circle will start again.

Hardly scarey stuff, is it? But if can be made scarey.

Did you know those vegetables you are eating were fertilized with SHIT! Oh. My. God!

P.

heather said...

You believe that 1,000 years from now, your atoms will still be being recycled into life forms.

Other people believe that a giant space rock will smash into Earth, and kill off that life which you believe will be eating you.

We all believe whatever we believe.

I believe that at one time, dead pets were processed into chicken feed.

Maybe I was mistaken, maybe not.

I also believe that SOME of what passes as science, is really an attempt to justify some group's beliefs, for example, I don't believe in the big bang theory.

That's one of the dangers of being a somewhat indepenant thinker - when you are wrong, you are wrong alone, instead of wrong along with the majority.

One of my uncles quoted some piece of science about there being 2 types of errors of belief:

1. to believe in something which is not real,

2. to believe that a true fact is fiction.

We all make some errors, especially in areas where the truth can not be known.

You believe that no dead dogs or cats enter our, or the pet feed food chain.

I am not so certain; I admit to not knowing. Nor do I know if it would be better to use already dead animal bodies, or to just bury them; it is a compicated question, isn't it?

But we both seem to agree that people have failed to see the obvious problems with how dogs are bred in our country.

Drink you cat piss, I'll drink my coffee.

But I still enjoy your blog, even though I have my own beliefs, and no, I don't do science experiments, I have to read other people's results.

Your believe in the facts you have read, and the experiences you have had, I have had different experience and read different people's words, so of course, we will never agree perfectly.

PBurns said...

Just to make a small but important point, but "belief" is not fact, and
"fact" is not belief/

Fact ::
1)something that actually exists; reality;
2. something known to exist or to have happened;
3. a truth known by actual experience or observation.


Belief ::
1) something believed; an opinion or conviction;
2 confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof;
3) confidence; faith;
4) a religious tenet or tenets;

And NO, fact often cannot change belief, which is why religion is generally immune to science.

P
P

heather said...

I agree, but the point I was trying to make is that none of us can know for a fact what is in dog food - unless one of us actually is involved in the dog food factory.

So we both only believe what has been in dog food.

Maybe someday all privacy will be gone, and every factory will have each step of their manufacturing on the internet, and we can follow a shipment of dog food back through the slaughter house and back to it's birth.

If that happens dogs could become a rarer species because many people would switch to pet rabbits rather than say "Kill THAT steer for my dog's food".

Seahorse said...

Just to pile on the ooooog-factor a little more, a while back I heard on some NPR show (don't ask which one, my mind is like a sieve) that every time you smell a person's fart you inhale a little bit of them. Do you know what that's done to my head when I take trips to Wal-Mart?

Seahorse ;)

Gina said...

'If that happens dogs could become a rarer species because many people would switch to pet rabbits rather than say "Kill THAT steer for my dog's food."

Considering the very, very small percentage of people who self-identify as vegans and the number of people who would be OK with eating meat if the animals were humanely and sustainably raised ... well, you might find MORE people owning dogs, not fewer.

Really, Heather, taking a poll of people who share the same belief-system you do may make you feel better, but it's hardly indicative of what others believe.

As for your drum-beating for Purina et al, Patrick, well, you know we'll have to agree to disagree. :)

PBurns said...

I get no remuneration from Purina, they have not called, and they do not even give me coupons.

Ungrateful bastards. ; )

But you know something? I would work for Purina. I really would.

But NO, I do not insist everyone believes as I believe. We keep a big tent here at Terrierman.com

P

YesBiscuit! said...

"And you are probably feeding this poison to your dog every month regardless of outside temperature and despite the fact that a monthly dosing of insecticide is not needed to control heartworm (once every three months will do the job)."

Do you have a source for this? I'm very interested in the once every 3 months idea!

heather said...

Gina, Did I touch upon a raw nerve? Sorry.

No I'm NOT a vegan, nor am I a lone carnivor in a vagan herd.

But I like animals, and I believe that even farm animals should be well treated; making animals suffer is wrong, just like making people suffer is wrong.

What a famous pirate said about themselves could also be applied to livestock: "A short life but a merry one".

No reason that farm animals can't have a good life, then a quick and painless death. Better that than a short painful life, and a bad death.

As for the very near future:

Throughout most of history, nearly all people killed animals for food. Not just butchers, but everybody: the farmers, the shop owner with a few acres, soldiers on the move, nearly everybody,

but now, we have professional animal killers, and processed foods, so we have many people who know more about the moon than they do their own coutry's agriculture.

And the generation after this one? Do you guess the tide will turn?

Or isn't it more likely that the babies of today will mature to be even more removed from raising animals, then killing, cleaning, cooking, and eating them?

And do we really even want a population taught to care for animals then kill them?

Yesterday's value's wont match up well with the dense population of cities, and the poverty of unemployment in a sinking economy.

We need more empathy in people, not less.

My guess is that up to the point of our numbers reaching a certain threshold, people will be more grossed out by the details of animal agriculture.

But at some point, it could be possible that watching live feed of slaughter houses could become a popular entertainment.

Haven't people been saying that movies, TV, and videos have been getting more and more gruesome?

FAIK, the day could come where slaughter houses will make animals more frightened and suffering just to get a better rating with the type of person who would like to watch such a thing.

But, at the same time, such broadcast would have a strong backlash, and I would guess, that the majority would put down slaughter for entertainment - at least in the US.

But what is the motivation behind watching a bullfight? Isn't it watching a bull get stabbed to death?

And what of pit bull fight videos, isn't that watching a violent bloody encounter set up by people?

Maybe future generation will go that way?

There was a movie, idiotcratcy? idocracy? idiot- or idio- something, about 2 people in the future - a future when people have dis-evolved into stupidity. It's a comedy.

Maybe future life wont be so much stupid as brutal?

But we don't have to wait and see what the future brings, WE MAKE THE FUTURE.

And I'd rather err on the side of empathy and kindness.

heather said...

Gina, did I touch a raw nerve? Sorry.

I'm NOT a vegan, but you seem very anti-vegetarian, why?

Can't you just say: "Fine, don't eat meat, that means more affordable meat for me"?

PBurns said...

YesBiscuit --

I explain the life stages and lifespan of the heartworm in my original Heartworm post on this blog.

The short story is that there is a "prepatent period" for Dirofilaria immitis which is about three months long in which the dog does NOT have heartworm and is entirely asymptomatic (no symptoms).

A single dose of Ivermectin at any time during this period kills all infestation and is a complete "reset" on the dog, so once every two or three months is a good conservative regime (I update the post to 2-2 months in an abudance of caution).

As they note at >> http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?A=610

"The new arrival heartworm larvae, delivered from mosquito bites in the last 6 to 7 months. These are L3 and L4 larvae living in the skin (having arrived within the last 3 months). These will continue their maturation and repopulate the heart and pulmonary arteries if they are not killed before the adult worms. ...Happily, the microfilariae, L3, and L4 larvae can all be killed by monthly ivermectin-based heartworm preventive products (i.e. Heartgard®, Tri-Heart® etc.)....Ivermectin does kill L3 and L4 larvae (preventing new infections).

As they note at >> http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_heartworm_prevention.html they note:

"Heartworm preventive medications are used to periodically kill larval heartworms that have managed to gain access to the dog’s body. At this point, the products available are intended for monthly use. This means that they kill all the heartworm larvae (stage “L3” and “L4”) that have accumulated in the past month each time they are given."

Ivermectin actually kills very young L5 as well, but let's be cautious!

P.

heather said...

Patrick, back to the philosophical discussion on fact vs belief - that dicotomy is true in many things in the real world, isn't it?

Like dog shows? Like the opinion of what makes a good dog?

Is a "good dog" one that hunts well? One that is good with the kids, and no bother in the house?

Or is "good dog" one with just the right type of nose fold, and the biggest skull for his size?

In a way, haven't some dog show people TRIED to make their shows seem like they are science based?

All the psudo-analisis of gait, as if we ride our dogs...

All the 'reasons' why a breed must have this or that odd trait...

Does anyone anymore just say "We breed dogs with this deformity because the club gives ribbons for it, and I want to win a ribbon"?

In other words, aren't so many dog people failing to say;
"This is what type of dog I want to breed."
and instead, they are saying:
"This is the best type of dog"
and then speaking some mumbo jumbo about a good dog is one with (whatever their dogs are).

They are stating opinion as fact.

heather said...

And in science isn't being wrong a given?

Yeah, I know that that sounds like a contradiction in terms, but bare with me.

I remember the first lecture, based on the first chapter of a science book, years ago.

It said that science is based on a series of paradigms.

Today you might same that the core of any scientific theory is based on a series of verisimiltudes.

I would say it this way:
"If I say that it is August, and I am right, just wait.

"And if you say that it is September, and you are right, just wait.

"Scientific theories try to get 'righter' and righter.

"But just as you understand the new truths, and can't understand why some people can't take up the new view, just wait, some day you will have to drop your older theories for newer ones."

Hopefully, you pick the right new path, not a dead end.

And so with the ideas of dog breeding. Some of the methods are NOt bring the desired results, and the sustainability of the whole of the current method is debateable.

heather said...

People BELIEVED that they could use a shortcut to choosing dogs for breeding stock.

Why have to go out with each hunter to see and experience for yourself if their dogs were any good at hunting,

when you can have dozens of hunters all bring their dogs to one field and IN ONE DAY'S TIME watch all the dogs work at an artificial 'test',

and then why bother to stand around all day, watching dogs 'hunt' a pasture for planted birds, when you can just learn about conformation and pedigrees, and then judge the best formed purebred dogs at a glance,

and why then, bother to learn about conformation, gait, and all the details, when a judge can do that for you, and all you have to do is read a show win record?

But something got lost along the way didn't it?

Or maybe all that remote judging method is fine, and "it must be the dog food" that prevents the neighbor's hunting dog from hunting well, and causes him to have a burr-magnet for a coat.

Think that if the owner changes dog food brands, that a show bulldog will grow longer legs and muzzle, and be able to bulls?

Gina said...

Heather, I apologize for my assumptions regarding you. You obviously have more than a sound-bite knowledge of these issues. No, you didn't "strike a raw nerve" -- I'm just much more used to dealing with people who haven't a clue what they're talking about, but have an opinion anyway.

I suspect from your follow-up comments that were we in the same room we'd have an engaging, intelligent discussion.

heather said...

Gina, no hard feelings.

I am use to BOTH sides taking issues with me.

Long ago, I had a friend nag at me for 'spoiling' my pets, and babying them.

At the same time, some else who knew me well, nagged at me to take better care of my pets (not to put an unhousebroken pet in a crate when I went out).

I talked to both of them, and they both truely had different opinions of how I was with my pets.

I have opinions. They are based on MY experiences and what other's have told me. I like to believe that this makes my opinions good - but other people's opinions can be more correct than mine sometimes.

Go ahead and comment on my comments, and don't worry.

Generally I have a thick skin. But beware, I comment back sometimes too, not to be mean, just to voice my opinion.

And how can anyone learn and make their own opinions more factual if they only read those who already agree with them?

It is through the synthesis of right and left opinions that we learn of the existance of up and down points of view.