Thursday, May 03, 2007


Dog Down

Here's Maddie, in happier times. She'd been for a swim and was entreating me to throw the ball, just one more round, heady with the pleasures of summer.

Today she's downstairs with a mild case of pancreatitis. Even a mild case of pancreatitis isn't mild. After a foodless weekend, three drips of intravenous fluid, two injections, and multiple pills, she's up to "eating" three small meals of pureed chicken and rice a day. There is now a flicker of interest in the old pleasures: sniffing her world, putting younger dogs in their places, greeting the people who walk down her street. But we are so far from the swimming Maddie, the romping, hiking, ball chasing Maddie. It's going to take time.

We've taken turns sleeping on the futon beside Maddie's bed on the first floor each night, since she isn't up to the stairs and has needed to go out in the middle of the night. One of her anti-puke medications has a side effect of depression, and we don't want her to be alone.

All this happens as I read and post on our library blog site about the FDA's less than stellar performance on the dog food recall continually in progress.

From the current FDA report:

* Total reports of illness or death: 17,000
* Total cats reported dead: 1,950
* Total dogs reported dead: 2,200

Then there are reported cases from the Pet Connection:

* Total reports of illness or death: 14,228
* Total cats reported dead: 2,334 cats
* Total dogs reported dead: 2,249

Itchmo has more bad news: Melamine contamination spreads to millions of chickens in the human food supply and possibly hundreds of food supply plants. Spiking going on for 15 years. (Speaking of chicken, The American Chemical Society reports of arsenic risk.)

We have avoided giving Maddie canned pet food for years, have instead roasted chicken and fed it to her with her Wellness kibble (still not on the recall list). But we wonder: is this pancreatitis, or is she poisoned? The blood counts say pancreatitis, and we may only have ourselves to blame. Maddie has been a successful beggar for years, elevated to the position of Scullery Dog, who cleans plates, mixing bowls, and pans. We have loved and indulged her to illness, probably--no need to blame anyone else so far.

But we see the Itchmo story on chicken feed and wonder. Do these shadowy worlds intersect?

Maddie is looking better, to be sure. There are signs of life in her that weren't there two days ago. I have hopes of seeing her in her summer elements. Still, I wonder whether we can keep her safe. So many of the recalled feeds are so-called premium brands. Is it a matter of time till Wellness hits the list? What about the chicken?

Such are the streams feeding the creation of that coming ocean, the practices of the localvore.

Ah, Lulu Maude, there are so many illnesses today that are caused by environmental poisons it makes my head spin.

If it's pancreatitis, then Maddie can get better. But are dogs and cats recovering from the pet food poisons?

Thanks for the link to Itchmo - I've put one of their buttons on my site.
How radical of the FDA to put the deaths at 1950 for cats and 2200 for dogs. The NY Times yesterday averred that a total of 16 count 'em 16 deaths had been reported so far. This at their usual bottom of the page 17 or so.

I think it's time for maddie and lulu maude to eat locally raised run-free chickens -- more expensive only if you discount vet bills.

I am so sorry to hear about Maddie, and you are being such a good care giver. It makes you wonder, this food supply of ours. I am a long-time, damned near paranoid case when it comes to food. Sure, I eat heartily and often without regard, such is the way sometimes when the pace gets fast. Nevertheless, food borne pathogens, pesticides, chemicals, and now, with the pets, the blatant disregard of the manufacturers and the stifled system that makes it impossible to do the proper checks and balances are overwhelming. Our pets are our children, but I will never forget when Nestle had a baby formula that was finally recalled because it lacked the proper nutrients so they sent it to third world countries and countless "brown children" died because of it. You have done the right thing with Maddie's diet, and I am sure you will continue to take good care of her and love her and protect her as much as you can. Give her a big scratch in her favorite place from me and tell her I am pulling for her full recovery.

I remember the Nestle formula--poor people diluted it with water because they couldn't afford it full strength. Nestle was disinclined to correct the problem, and none of us bought anything Nestle-made for a very long time. The boycott eventually worked, and they withdrew the product.

In yesterday's Sunday NY Times there was an article on poisoned cough medicine from and in China! It made its way through the citizens of China and then over to Latin America, where it killed lots of folks.

For all the control freak nature of a totalitarian government, Chinese industry is surprisingly unregulated. These communists are turning into the worst kind of capitalists.

Welcome to the global market!?!
(Lulu, in her other life)
dewey i am very sorry to hear you dog is sick. Will be hoping that she indeed pulls through. As for the food supply...sigh. There is an herbilist Julia (somebody) she is french or lives in France.(sorry her last name escapes me) Saw a special about her on Free Speech TV. Her first successes were actually with animals and fasting type regimes. I am not reccommending this - but with your library resources you may be able to find her work..She is at least 70 now.
Didn't buy Nestle's for a long time? I still don't, if I can determine that the owner/manufacturer is Nestle's. My daughter says that I hold grudges for way too long. She's probably right.
Zipdrive here...

Maddie called me the other day and said she was feeling lousy because she cannot stand the Bush administration. She said she feels sorry for Barney and Miz Beasley having to live with those idiots in the White House.
She said some bacon would probably cheer her up, or a small cheeseburger and an order of fries from Burger King.
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