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Adopt A Boxer Rescue is proud to be the recipient of a grant by The Boxer Rescue Foundation

Adopt A Boxer Rescue - proud and grateful recipients of a grant from the ASPCA

AABR recently received a grant from the ASPCA Philly RAP for $2,050.  Thanks to the hard work and good relationship of AABR Philadelphia, PA area volunteer Colleen Kane, this grant will help AABR rescue and care for many of the dogs coming for the Philly area. 

Philadelphia, PA is one of the ASPCA's targeted Mission Orange Sites. You can read more about it by clicking on the link below:

ASPCA Target Orange

The Humane Society of the United States Launches First National 'Puppy Mill' Tip Line
Hotline, 1-877-MILL-TIP


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Boxer Health

S A F E T Y  W A R N I N G s !

Health Warning* Health Warning*Health Warning


Seizures By Dr. Richard Joseph (Sep 16 2012)

Comfortably Managing Diabetes Insipidus in Boxers - By Kim Barnett

Vaccinations - Health page 3

Dog Food Recalls - Health page 2 (Update 10/11/2010)

FDA US Food and Drug  Administration -Latest Recalls



Flea and Tick treatments Update  - 04/21/11

Rice Hot Packs

Blue Green Algae and swimming dogs






THE DOCTOR  IS IN …. On the Topic of Bloat in Dogs

This is a term that is synonymous with the more scientific term "Gastric Dilatation/Volvulus."  It is often called GDV.  It means that a dog's stomach distends with gas to the point that the dog goes into shock and may die.

Dilatation means that the stomach is distended with air, but it is located in the abdomen in its correct place.  Volvulus means that the distention is associated with a twisting of the stomach on its longitudinal axis.  Normal outflow from the stomach is obstructed and it distends with air even more severely.


This condition almost always occurs in adult, deep chested dogs of large and giant breeds.  Some of the more commonly affected breeds include Great Danes, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Labs, Boxers and Afghan Hounds.


Even after extensive study, we still do not know the cause of GDV.  In all likelihood, there are multiple causes.  Original theories suggested that it occurred when a dog ate a large meal of dry food and then consumed an excessive amount of water.  The water caused the dry food to swell.  Vigorous exercise, including running and jumping, after eating contributed to the twisting (torsion) as the stomach moved about in the abdominal cavity.  There is still no clear scientific evidence to support this theory. 

Other theories have included consideration of excessive stomach acid production, swallowing air, stress, and fermentation of bacteria in the stomach.

In most dogs experiencing GDV, the stomach is not excessively full of dry food and the dog has not recently engaged in strenuous exercise.  The most current theory is that the stomach's contractions lose their regular rhythm and trap air in the stomach; this can cause the twisting event.  However, the sequence of events for most cases defies a good explanation.

Clinical Signs

An enlarged stomach will cause the abdominal wall to protrude prominently, especially on the dog's left side.  The swelling will be very firm and obvious enough to see across the room.  Occasionally, this distention is not very apparent.  This occurs in dogs that have a large portion of the stomach up under the rib cage.  In most cases, however, the owner is able to detect the distention.  The dog will be very restless, painful, or very depressed.  It may lie in what is commonly called a "praying position" with the front legs drawn fully forward.  Vomiting will eventually progress to nonproductive retching (dry heaves).  This sequence of events occurs relatively quickly, over two or three hours in most cases.


The first step is to establish that the stomach is distended with air.

The presence of a rapidly developing distended abdomen in a large breed dog usually provides adequate evidence to render a tentative diagnosis of GDV.  A radiograph (x-ray) is used to confirm that the diagnosis of dilatation.  It can also identify the presence of volvulus, in most cases.


The first major life-threatening event that occurs is shock.  This occurs because the distended stomach puts pressure on the large veins in the abdomen that carry blood back to the heart.  Without proper return of blood, the output of blood from the heart (cardiac output) is diminished and the tissues are deprived of blood and oxygen. 

Reduced blood output from the heart and high pressure within the cavity of the stomach cause the stomach wall to be deprived of adequate circulation.  If the blood supply is not restored quickly, the wall of the stomach begins to die; the wall may rupture.  If volvulus occurs, the spleen's blood supply will also be impaired.  This organ is attached to the stomach wall and shares some large blood vessels.  When the stomach twists, the spleen is also rotated to an abnormal position and its vessels are compressed.

When the stomach is distended, digestion stops.  This results in the accumulation of toxins that are normally removed from the intestinal tract.  These toxins activate several chemicals that cause inflammation, and the toxins are absorbed into circulation (endotoxemia).  This causes problems with the blood clotting factors so that inappropriate clotting occurs within blood vessels.  This is called disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) and is usually fatal. 

Several important steps must be taken quickly. 

1. Shock must be treated with administration of large quantities of intravenous fluids.  They must be given quickly; some dogs require more than one intravenous catheter.

2. Pressure must be removed from within the stomach (gastric decompression).  This may be done with a tube that is passed from the mouth to the stomach.  Another method is to insert a large bore needle through the skin into the stomach.  A third method is to make an incision through the skin into the stomach and to temporarily suture the opened stomach to the skin.  The last method is usually done when the dog's condition is so grave that anesthesia and abdominal surgery is not possible.

3. The stomach must be returned to its proper position.  This requires abdominal surgery.  During surgery, the stomach wall will be inspected for areas that may have lost its blood supply.  Although this is a very bad prognostic sign, the devitalized area(s) of the stomach should be removed.

4. The stomach will be attached to the abdominal wall (gastropexy) to minimize the possibility of recurrence of GDV. Gastropexy appears to be the most significant factor preventing recurrence. Recurrence rates are as high as 80% without gastropexy and as low as 3% with various gastropexy procedures.

5. Abnormalities in the rhythm of the heart (arrhythmias) must be diagnosed and treated.  Severe arrhythmias can become life threatening at the time of surgery and for several days post-operatively.  An EKG will be recorded every few hours to detect this problem.


Early intervention improves the likelihood of a good outcome.  Other factors related to survival include the severity and duration of the distention, the degree of shock, how quickly treatment is begun, presence of endotoxemia, and the presence of other diseases, especially those involving the heart.  Dogs who survive the surgery and immediate post-operative period have a good prognosis.


The most effective means of prevention is gastropexy, or the surgical attachment of the stomach to the body wall.  This will not prevent dilatation (bloat), but it will prevent volvulus (the torsion) in most cases.

Various dietary and exercise restrictions should be used.

Since the cause(s) of bloat are as yet unknown, we believe the following list of things to do, may help to prevent bloat in some dogs:

Do not exercise your dog for at least an hour after eating.

Do not feed your dog an hour after exercise.

After exercise, do not give your dog excessive amounts of water - try ice cubes or ice chips for him to lick.

In the warm/hot weather, try cooling your dog down with a wet cloth rather then having him drink large amounts of water.

Give your dog cool water, not ice water or water from the refrigerator.

If your dog 'gulps' his food, try slowing him down - You might put some ice cubes in his food.

Feed smaller meals several times a day, and soak dry food with warm water to swell the kibble before it reaches your dog’s stomach.


NotNote:  Adopt A Boxer Rescue would like our readers to use this section as a guide.  All information found under “The Doctor Is In” has been written by and/or approved by a Licensed veterinarian.  However, we strongly encourage everyone to check with their dog’s own veterinarian before administering any information you get from any publication.  And ALWAYS contact your own vet immediately should you feel that your companion animal may be sick or injured.


WARNING -  Flea and Tick treatments can cause major reactions in some animals.

View more news videos at:

Canine flea and tick preventive ProMeris

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Study Links ProMeris to Pemphigus Foliaceus; Pfizer Stopping Its Production


Posted: April 18, 2011, 5:20 p.m., EDT

In an effort to reduce the number of unwanted animals, officials in Daytona Beach, Fla., have introduced an ordinance that would require all of the city’s dogs and cats to be spayed or neutered.By Jessica Tremayne
Contributing Editor

A recent groundbreaking study of clinical, histological and immunological data of 22 cases of  Pemphigus foliaceus, or PF, shows evidence that it can occur as an adverse drug reaction to the canine flea and tick preventive ProMeris.

PF is the most common spontaneously occurring autoimmune skin disease of dogs and typically displays as lesions on the face, nasal planum and ears. The reaction is rare but serious, says the study’s lead author, Thierry Olivry, DrVet, PhD, Dipl. ACVD, of North Carolina State University.

Ultimately, ProMeris Duo (Metaflumizone–amitraz ), which is also used for treating demodicosis, will be discontinued. The product, marketed by Pfizer Animal Health, will be available while supplies last or until mid-September. ProMeris Duo is called ProMeris for Dogs in the US. It is a novel topical ectoparasiticide.

“ProMeris was one of the many products that Pfizer brought into its portfolio when we acquired Wyeth/Fort Dodge Animal Health,” says Jim Brick, director and team leader of U.S. marketing for Pfizer Inc. 

“We have completed a thorough review and evaluation of the strategic fit into the Pfizer Animal Health portfolio, and have made the decision to discontinue the manufacture and sale of Promeris flea and tick control for dogs and cats. 

“We notified our current customers of this decision in early April and will continue to fill their orders until Sept. 20, 2011, or while supplies last. We look forward to continuing to meet the needs of our customers with our evolving parasiticide portfolio.”

The study that gathered and presented the ProMeris findings was conducted by Dr. Olivry;  Ursula Oberkirchner, resident; and pathologist Keith Linder, DVM, PhD, all of North Carolina State University.

Since ProMeris’ introduction to U.S. and European markets in 2007, veterinarians have reported this adverse reaction, but previous case studies failed to use a drug-reaction probability scale and therefore an ADR couldn’t be definitively identified. 

Diagnosing and Treating PTPF

(Editor’s note: The information in this story was taken directly from Oberkirchner U, Linder KE, Olivry T. Promeris-triggered pemphigus foliaceus in two dogs: case reports and recommendations for diagnosis and treatment. Veterinary Medicine, submitted March 2011. Not yet published).

How to diagnose generalized PTPF

• History of  ProMeris application. This may have begun months before the onset of clinical signs.
• Development of skin lesions (e.g. crusting, alopecia, erythema) at the site of PD application.
• Later development of skin lesions at sites distant from the PD application area.
• Systemic signs (lethargy, fever, pain, anorexia, lameness) may be present in most dogs. 
• Perform cytological examination of visible pus and look for acantholytic epidermal cells typical of pemphigus foliaceus (PF).
• Take several biopsies from recent skin lesions, preferably from intact pustules, and submit them for routine histopathology. Microscopic lesions are identical to those of typical autoimmune PF.
How to treat generalized PTPF
• Do not reapply PD.
• Use a mid-potency topical glucocorticoid at the site of skin lesions if feasible.
• Use oral glucocorticoids at immunosuppressive dosages (e.g. prednisone or similar, 2-4 mg/kg/day)
• If signs do not undergo clinical remission within one month, or if they recur after dose tapering, add another immunosuppressive drug such as azathioprine (2 mg/kg/day) or cyclosporine (7-10 mg/kg/day) 
• Treat until clinical remission of lesions and taper drug doses progressively until withdrawal, if at all possible.
• Prognosis is generally good. Most dogs with generalized PTPF are likely to achieve complete disease remission and complete drug withdrawal. Oral immunosuppression may be prolonged in some patients

Olivry says this examination of all parameters studied suggests that this ADR might represent the first instance of contact drug-triggered PF to be published in Veterinary Dermatology. The article was published in the March issue of the joural.


Spontaneously occurring PF, thought to develop through genetic and environmental triggers, has a higher prevalence in chow chows and Akita Inus, whereas ProMeris-triggered PF has a higher occurrence in Labrador retrievers and other large-breed dogs, Olivry says.

The study found that ProMeris Duo-associated PF not only had a reaction to the same drug, but also shared many of the same phenotypes. Lesions in PD-triggered PF were found to be both localized and at distant locations from the point of application.

“We contacted specialists who had diagnosed these cases in the U.S. and Europe,” Olivry says. “Dogs were selected if they had a history of skin lesions that first arose at the PD application site, but dogs with a known history of autoimmune disease were omitted.”

Skin biopsies from said PD-associated lesions had to reveal microscopic characteristics similar to those of PF, which means the presence of superficial keratinocyte acantholysis.

“Referring veterinarians from cases used completed questionnaires providing information on the patient’s lesions and drug application history. Within the 22 dogs included in this study, two groups of affected animals were distinguished: dogs with localized signs or those who also exhibited distant skin lesions.”

Olivry’s goal in revealing his study findings is to provide veterinarians with information on the prognosis and management of this disease. In addition to skin lesions, more severe reactions can occur and can be long-lasting.

“Signs of systemic illness were reported in three dogs in the study, and four required immunosuppressive treatment,” Olivry says. “After ADR PD lesions occur and are then treated, they could recur at a later time without reapplying ProMeris Duo.”

Olivry says the study is referenced in Pubmed as:
Metaflumizone-amitraz (Promeris)-associated pustular acantholytic dermatitis in 22 dogs: evidence suggests contact drug-triggered pemphigus foliaceus.

An NCSU Case study

Olivry recommends that veterinarians use alternatives to ProMeris in animals known to have autoimmune disease, Labradors and other large-breed dogs, as well as in dogs that previously developed lesions.

“Dogs developed lesions in a draping pattern or along the dorsal side after having ProMeris Duo applied,” Olivry says. “Some dogs showed systemic signs that included lethargy, generalized pain and anorexia. In the case of a 7-year-old (spayed) female Labrador, a two-week history of skin lesions and lameness was presented.

“Ten months prior to referral, the dog’s monthly flea and tick prevention was changed from Frontline to PD. The patient received a total of three PD applications, three and five months separating them. One month after the third application of PD, the owner noticed extensive crusting on the application site between the shoulder blades as well as lameness in the left front leg. The dog was examined by the primary care veterinarian, who suspected a tick-borne disease as the cause of this dog’s lameness. Doxycycline was then prescribed.”

One of Olivry’s concerns with lesions occurring after ProMeris application is that primary care practitioners may not be able to identify or connect the product as a cause of the lesions and misdiagnose the patient, as in the case of the 7-year-old female Labrador. 

“Skin biopsies were taken from interscapular crusts and histopathology revealed an acantholytic dermatosis of unknown origin in the female Labrador,” Olivry says.

“The patient’s health worsened dramatically over the following days. The dog appeared in pain, she showed lameness of the left front paw and skin lesions had progressed. The veterinarian prescribed prednisone (1 mg/kg twice daily) and tramadol, while a fentanyl patch was applied and doxycycline was continued. 

“Only minimal improvement of the lameness and skin lesions was seen with this regimen, and the patient was referred to North Carolina State University. Skin cytology was performed on pus obtained from a crusted lesion in the shoulder, and microscopic examination revealed neutrophils and acantholytic keratinocytes suggestive of PF. Serum was collected for detection of circulating antikeratinocyte autoantibody by indirect immunofluorescence (IF) in our laboratory.”

Based on the strong suspicion of the diagnosis of ProMeris-triggered pemphigus foliaceus (PTPF), Olivry says the dosage of prednisolone was increased to 1.5 mg/kg twice daily, and tramadol was to be given as needed to relieve pain.

“On histopathology, the presence of a superficial epidermal neutrophilic pustular dermatitis with keratinocyte acantholysis was confirmed, and bacteria or dermatophytes were not seen in the stratum corneum by special stains,” Olivry says.

“Direct IF performed on paraffin-embedded skin sections revealed the intercellular deposition of IgG and IgM in both lesional and perilesional epidermis. Circulating antikeratinocyte autoantibodies were not detected at 1:20 serum dilution.”

Olivry and his team concluded this case with a diagnosis of PTPF.

“The dog returned for a re-evaluation visit the following week,” Olivry says.  “At that time, skin lesions had improved, as there was only minor crusting left in the interscapular region and pinnae. The dog no longer exhibited signs of lameness, and tramadol was discontinued. The dose of prednisolone was tapered progressively over the following 11 days. The disease has remained in remission without any relapse for more than two years.”


Before ProMeris became available for veterinary purchase and distribution, studies evaluating its safety and efficacy reported the development of skin lesions at the site of drug application in some treated animals, Olivry says. In one clinical trial enrolling dogs with flea or tick infestation, six of 293 subjects (2 percent) exhibited skin hyperpigmentation, hair matting or scales at application sites.

In another experimental study of dogs infested with either fleas or ticks, one dog treated with ProMeris developed dorsal skin lesions that required treatment with an anti-inflammatory drug for seven days.

“Specific information on the frequency of these severe adverse drug reactions isn’t available, but it is important that veterinarians are aware of the product’s potential to cause the patient harm,” Olivry says. “Caution needs to be exercised if a vet decides to use this drug.”

Caused Bloat...
Sadly, we have just been informed that one of our boxers, an adult male who never chewed on things, ingested the contents of one of those popular Rice Hot Packs used to put on muscle aches, and he died of bloat. 

He had spent the first 7 years of his life as an "outside, backyard" dog, and only enjoyed less than a year in the comforts of his new Mom's home.  He was enjoying life, and such a happy dog!  We will miss Mugsy dearly.

These packs are repeatedly heated in the microwave, and emit a rice aroma which must be tempting to animals.  With time, they also get moldy, which again must be interesting to animals. Please be cognizant of the ability of animals to scent things out, and take care to consider your animals when purchasing new items. 

Warning – Rabies Vaccinations and the Law

See related story below

Hi all,
You may already know this but if not, here is another reason to make sure your dog's rabies vaccinations are up to date. 
My dog, Tyson, was playing with my stepson's Mom and poked her in the eye accidentally.  Since it was her eye, she went to the ER to get it checked.  She told them that they were playing, it was an accident, and Tyson is a sweetheart; HOWEVER, it is PA law that a report must be sent to the State for anyone that goes to a medical facility for treatment from an incident with a dog, BITE OR SCRATCH.  The State has sent us a letter stating that we need to make sure Tyson isn't out & about for 10 days and they called to verify that his rabies is up to date. 
This is PA law.  In MD it isn't quite as nice.  The dog is taken for the 10 day period and confined to be sure it doesn't have rabies and then given back to the owners.  Remember this is not just for a bite but scratches or anything!  I couldn't imagine them taking Tyson from me for 10 days for this unfortunate accident!  That would be awful!
So just be sure that your dogs are current, and any adoptive and/or foster homes are current as well. 
Kim M
WarningRabies Vaccinations and the Law

Although there is much controversy over vaccinations in pets and in humans, be aware that the law is the law!  A lot of us believe that because our dog’s are friendly, they would never bite anyone, and therefore not in danger of repercussions from the rabies law.  Think again…

We have just learned of a case where two of our adopted boxers have ended up in quarantine for the next six months, even though their owner thought he was in compliance with the rabies requirements.  A clerical error led him to believe that his dogs were not yet due for their shots.  His dogs got into a fight with a raccoon in his backyard, and while breaking up the fight, he also was injured by the raccoon.  He managed to kill the raccoon and get him and his boxers to medical help.  Wisely, he also brought the raccoon in for testing.

He is now under treatment as the raccoon was found to be rabid, and because his boxers were not up to date on their rabies shots, they are in quarantine for the next six months.  These are not young dogs, and it will be hard on them and it is breaking his heart.

He had the choice of putting the dogs  in a shelter, and not being able to see them, or boarding them in his vet’s office at $1500 per month.  He could not bare the thought of not being able to see them, so he is footing the bill for six months of quarantine at his vet’s office.

This could happen if you are one year late on getting your dog’s rabies vaccination or ONE DAY!  Keep track of this vaccination due date yourself.  Don’t trust even your vet’s office to remind you, because if they are wrong, you are still responsible.  Don’t guess as to when this shot is due.  Even a day off could result in dire consequences.  And if you don’t think this is fair, then work to change it, but stay compliant until the law is changed.

Warning - Summertime Alert for Dogs Who Swim
Freshwater ponds, lakes and streams could be deadly to your water dog if they contain toxins borne by blue-green algae.

If the water where your dog swims looks cloudy, with a green or blue-green cast, you should suspect a dangerous overgrowth of blue-green algae, and prevent your dog from ingesting the water.

Whole Dog Journal confirmed a recent report, Read Story


ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Releases List of Top 10 Hazards Encountered by Pets in 2006

New List Reveals Significant Increase in Calls Pertaining to Common Household Items

ASPCA Media Contact

Urbana, Ill., March 5, 2007—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that it managed more than 116,000 calls to its Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) hotline in 2006, several of which pertained to common household items. “While the reason is not clear, calls in virtually each of these categories seems to be on the rise,” said Dr. Steven Hansen, veterinary toxicologist and senior vice president with the ASPCA, who manages the ASPCA’s Midwest Office, which houses the APCC. As National Poison Prevention Week approaches (March 18-24), the ASPCA advises pet parents to stay alert to the possibility of poisoning from these common household items:

1. Human Medications: For several years now, this category has been number one on the ASPCA’s list of common hazards, and 2006 was no exception.  Last year, more than 78,000 calls involving common human drugs such as painkillers, cold medications, antidepressants and dietary supplements were managed by the Center—a 69 percent increase over 2005. “Pet parents should never give their pet any medication without the direction of a veterinarianjust one extra-strength acetaminophen can be deadly to a cat, and just four regular-strength ibuprofen can lead to serious kidney problems in a 10-pound dog,” says Dr. Hansen. To avoid inadvertent poisoning from medications, store them in a secure cabinet above the counter and out of the reach of pets.

2. Insecticides: The APCC handled more than 27,000 cases pertaining to products used to kill fleas, ticks and other insects in 2006, up more than 28 percent from 2005.  According to Dr. Hansen, “A key factor in the safe use of products that eliminate fleas, ticks and other pesky bugs, is reading and following label instructions exactly. Some species of animals can be particularly sensitive to certain types of insecticides, so it is vital that you never use any product not specifically formulated for your pet.”  It is also a good idea to consult with your pet’s veterinarian before beginning any flea and tick control program.

3. Veterinary Medications: Surprising as it may seem, last year the APCC managed more than 12,000 cases involving animal-related preparations such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, heartworm preventatives, de-wormers, antibiotics, vaccines and nutritional supplements—a 93 percent hike in volume.  “Although these products are formulated for use in pets, it is very important to always read and follow label directions for use exactly,” says Dr. Hansen.  “As with flea and tick preparations, many medications are intended for use in certain species only, and potentially serious problems could result if given to the wrong animal or at too high a dose.”

4. Plants: The number of cases involving plants also shot up by more than 111 percent in 2006 to more than 9,300. Some varieties that can be harmful to pets include lilies, azalea, rhododendron, sago palm, kalanchoe and schefflera. ”Just one or two sago palm nuts can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures and even liver failure,” says Dr. Hansen. “Also, lilies are highly toxic to cats—even in small amounts they can produce life-threatening kidney failure.”  While poisonous plants should certainly be kept away from pets, it is also a good idea to discourage animals from nibbling on any variety of plant, as even non-toxic plants can lead to minor stomach upset.

5. Rodenticides: Last year, approximately 8,800 calls about rat and mouse poisons were received by the APCC, representing an increase of more than 27 percent over 2005.  Depending on the type of rodenticide, ingestions can lead to potentially life-threatening problems for pets including bleeding, seizures or even damage to the kidneys or other vital organs.  “Should pet owners opt to use a rodenticide around their home, they should make sure that the bait is placed only in areas completely inaccessible to their animals,” says Dr. Hansen. 

6. Household Cleaners: In 2006, approximately 7,200 calls pertaining to cleaning agents such as bleaches, detergents and disinfectants were received—up 38 percent from the year before.  Says Dr. Hansen, “Depending on the circumstances of exposure, some household cleaners can lead to gastrointestinal irritation or even severe oral burns for pets.”  Additionally, irritation to the respiratory tract may be possible if a product is inhaled.  “All household cleaners and other chemicals should be stored in a secure location well out of the reach of pets,” recommends Dr. Hansen, “and when cleaning your pet’s food and water bowls, crate or other habitat, a mild soap such as a hand dishwashing detergent along with hot water is a good choice over products containing potentially harsh chemicals.”

7. Chocolate: Always a common food-related call, more than 4,800 chocolate calls were received by the APCC last year, an 85 percent increase from 2005.  Depending on the variety, chocolate can contain large amounts of fat and caffeine-like substances known as methylxanthines, which, if ingested in significant amounts, could potentially cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity. In severe cases, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors and seizures have been noted—and it could even be fatal.  “Typically, the darker the chocolate, the greater the potential for poisoning,” says Dr. Hansen.  “Baking chocolate contains the highest amount of methylxanthines, and just two ounces could cause serious problems for a 10-pound dog.”

8. Chemical Hazards: A newcomer to the top 10 category, this includes such harmful items as volatile petroleum-based products, alcohols, acids, and gases.  In 2006, the APCC received more than 4,100 calls related to chemical hazards—an astronomical jump in call volume of more than 300 percent.  “Substances in this group can cause a wide variety of problems,” Dr. Hansen explains, “ranging from gastrointestinal upset and depression to respiratory difficulties and chemical burns.” Commonly-used chemicals you should keep your pets away from include ethylene glycol antifreeze, paint thinner, drain cleaners and pool/spa chemicals.

9. Physical Hazards: While not necessarily all toxic, items in this group consists of objects that could pose a choking hazard, risk for intestinal obstruction, or other physical injury, and in 2006, the number of physical hazard calls grew a staggering 460 percent to over 3,800.  “We’ve managed cases involving the ingestion of several common objects—from pet collars and adhesive tape to bones, paper products and other similar items,” says Dr. Hansen. “It is important to make sure that items which could be easily knocked over, broken, chewed up or swallowed are kept out of the reach of curious pets.”

10. Home Improvement Products: In 2006, approximately 2,100 cases involving paint, solvents, expanding glues and other products commonly used in construction were managed by the APCC—up 17 percent from 2005. While the majority of water-based paints are low in toxic potential, they can still cause stomach upset, and artist paints sometimes contain heavy metals that could be poisonous if consumed in large quantities. In addition, solvents can be very irritating to the gastrointestinal tract, eyes and skin, and could also produce central nervous system depression if ingested, or pneumonia if inhaled.  “Prevention is really key to avoiding problems from accidental exposures to these substances,” says Dr. Hansen.  “Pet parents should keep pets out of areas where home improvement projects are taking place, and of course label directions should always be followed when using any product.”


The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center

About the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center
Since 1978, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center has been the premier animal poison control center in North America. The center, an allied agency of the University of Illinois, is the only facility of its kind staffed by 25 veterinarians, including 9 board-certified toxicologists and 14 certified veterinary technicians. Located in Urbana, Ill., the specially trained staff provides assistance to pet owners and specific analysis and treatment recommendations to veterinarians pertaining to toxic chemicals and dangerous plants, products and substances 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In 2005, the center handled more than 100,000 cases. In addition, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center provides extensive veterinary toxicology consulting on a wide array of subjects, including legal cases, formulation issues, product liability, regulatory reporting and bio surveillance. To reach the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, call (888) 426-4435. For more information on the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, visit


Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) was the first humane organization established in the Western Hemisphere and today has one million supporters. The ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. The ASPCA provides national leadership in anti-cruelty, animal behavior, humane education, government affairs and public policy, shelter support, and animal poison control. The NYC headquarters houses a full-service animal hospital and adoption facility. The Humane Law Enforcement department enforces New York's animal cruelty laws and is featured on the reality television series “Animal
” on Animal Planet. Visit for more information.

*My dog may have ingested something. What should I do?*

Kansas State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital is offering a FREE 24 hours poison control hotline for pet owners and veterinarians. 1+785-532-5679 is the number and the service has been available since 1969. Dr Oehme, a vet and professor in toxicology and pathology oversees the hotline. Dr Oehme offers these suggestions:

- Be patient. The person answering the phone may have to take a few minutes to consult the vet on duty.

- Call as soon as possible. Immediate attention might save your animal. But waiting to see if there is a reaction could cost your animal their life.

- Have any product labels available for answers. The vet might need to know milligrams and generic names.

- Know your pet. Drooling could only mean he is thrilled to see you!

- Know that the toxicologists are also taking calls from vets about other animals and other problems, including those problems with large animals.


Keep pets from paper shredders 
DENISE FLAIM  January 22, 2007

It's never what you worry about.

Ellen Lutz of Aqueboque learned that firsthand last month, when her 7-month-old golden retriever, Striker, ambled into her home office and licked her paper shredder.

To her horror, the machine latched onto his tongue, and began to grind.

"He was screaming, and he was fighting for his life," says Lutz, adding that in his panic, the 67-pound puppy did even more damage to his mutilated tongue. She immediately disconnected the shredder, and took Striker to a nearby emergency hospital.

"I was covered in blood from head to toe," Lutz remembers.

A story this horrific is hard-pressed to end well: Striker's injury was so severe - basically, most of his tongue was gone - that he was euthanized.

"I've been in emergency medicine for 10 years, and this is the first time I have seen or heard of this," says veterinarian Gal Vatash of the East End Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center in Riverhead, who treated Striker in December. "But I'm surprised it doesn't occur more often. Most of us have paper shredders at home, and dogs are always sticking their noses in all kinds of places."

Indeed, Striker is not alone. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has recorded five dog mutilations involving shredders, and what is not known is how many cases go unreported.

In February of last year, a young boxer puppy named Cross from Socastee, S.C., caught his tongue on a home shredder, mangling an inch of it into what his owner, Sandra Clarke, called "hamburger meat."

In 2005, in South Spokane, Wash., a 7-month-old mix named Alice Lane licked a paper shredder, which in turn ground up all of her tongue. "I will never forget the sound it made when she pulled away," her owner, Adam Forney, told reporters. In her panic, the puppy bit off part of Forney's pinky. Like Striker, the dog had to be euthanized because of the extent of her injury.

Even dogs that are lucky enough to survive lead compromised lives, Lutz says. "They have to be on soft diets, and they have to learn how to swallow again." For an active dog like Striker, his favorite pastime - going on hikes through the woods - would have been an impossibility, she says, because there was too much damage to his tongue to allow him to pant.

Not surprisingly, Lutz no longer has a shredder. "Before this happened, I was the shredding queen," she says. "And while I know they're really important in our lives to help destroy documents and prevent identity theft, it's going to be a long time before I'm going to have one in the house again."

Some simple precautions can ensure that accidents such as Striker's do not happen. Among them:

Unplug shredders when not in use.

Store shredders out of reach of animals (and, of course, children, especially those under 5, who can also be victims of shredder accidents). Make sure that the shredder is located in a place that is "pounce proof": Acrobatic kitties that jump atop shredders can also do terrible damage to themselves.

To avoid attracting animals, never put food wrappers through shredders.

Do not leave shredders on the "automatic" setting.

When buying a shredder, look for one with a protective bar over the opening.

To ensure that Striker's death was not in vain, Lutz has embarked on an awareness campaign to alert owners to the perils of unattended paper shredders. She will e-mail fliers to anyone who requests her. (Contact strikerluv@

Married for 32 years, Lutz says she and her husband have never been without a dog in their household. Soon, she thinks, it might be time to think about getting another.

"Life without a dog," she muses, "is just not a life, you know?"

WRITE TO Denise Flaim, c/o Newsday, 235 Pinelawn Rd., Melville, NY 11747-4250, or e-mail . For previous columns,

Important Links for Animal Care
Financial Assistance

Does your pet need medical treatment that you really can't afford?  Or do you know of someone who is having this problem?

There are organizations that can give you the assistance you need.  No animal should be given up or euthanized because their family can't afford the cost to save them!

Help is available.

Cocoa Mulch Warning

The Sources for this WARNING are:


ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Issues Cocoa Bean Fertilizer Warning
- Organic mulch fertilizer may pose hazard to dogs.

If you suspect that your dog has eaten cocoa bean mulch, immediately contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435).

Claim:   Theobromine, a chemical found in cocoa mulch, can be harmful to pets.

Status:   True.

  [Collected via e-mail, 2003]

Cocoa Mulch, which is sold by Home Depot, Foreman's Garden Supply and other Garden supply stores, contains a lethal ingredient called "Theobromine".

It is lethal to dogs and cats. It smells like chocolate and it really attracts dogs. They will ingest this stuff and die. Several deaths already occurred in the last 2-3 weeks. Just a word of caution — check what you are using in your gardens and be aware of what your gardeners are using in your gardens.

Theobromine is the ingredient that is used to make all chocolate — especially dark or baker's chocolate — which is toxic to dogs.

Cocoa bean shells contain potentially toxic quantities of theobromine, a xanthine compound similar in effects to caffeine and theophylline. A dog that ingested a lethal quantity of garden mulch made from cacao bean shells developed severe convulsions and died 17 hours later. Analysis of the stomach contents and the ingested cacao bean shells revealed the presence of lethal amounts of theobromine.

Origins:   This warning about the potential danger to pets posed by cocoa mulch began appearing in our inbox in May 2003. Unlike the majority of scary alerts spread through the Internet, there is a good deal of truth to this one, although we haven't encountered any substantiated cases of pet deaths caused by ingestion of cocoa mulch.

More on Greenies


I'm not sure who I should address this to but having read many articles about the dangers of Greenies and finding the information on your website as well, I wanted to mention a couple of things.  It appears that similar issues exist with the Feline Greenies.

I was also very disturbed to find out that one of my local pet boutiques is aware of the information and has advised their employees "not to mention it to customers"!  I am a dog walker and cat owner and have purchased many Greenies in the past for "my" pups and my own cat.  I have a supply at home that I had planned on giving out as holiday treats...needless to say, I will try to return them to the store.  But, I am beyone appalled that a neighborhood store that should have a love of animals is more interested in their bottom line (the jumbo variety there sells for $5 a piece). 

I don't want to get the employee who told me in trouble so I won't mention the name of the shop here.  But, please warn people that local stores may not be very "upfront" about the dangers.

Thanks very much for your informative site.

Sincerely, Nancy  
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Greenies: A safe or deadly treat?

Denise Flaim
Animal House


December 19, 2005

It is the nation's top-selling dog treat, with $315 million in domestic retail sales last year.

It is so beloved by dogs that amused owners have a nickname for it - doggie crack.

And it is the reason, contend Michael Eastwood and Jennifer Reiff of Manhattan, that their miniature dachshund, Burt, is no longer alive.

On July 22, as she'd done regularly for the past year and a half, Reiff gave the 4-year-old rescue dog his Greenies treat. The next day, Burt was on an operating table, where vets removed three feet of necrotic intestine and what looked like a soft foamy green mass.

Two days later, Burt was dead.

The couple says S&M NuTec of North Kansas City, Mo., the manufacturer of Greenies, sent an e-mail expressing sadness for their loss, and offered to pay the almost $6,600 in medical bills as well as $2,000, the estimated purchase price for a mini-dachsie like Burt. In return, Eastwood and Reiff would have to sign a confidentiality agreement and agree not to pursue legal action.

"That incensed us even more," says Eastwood, who along with Reiff has filed a

$5 million lawsuit, charging that Greenies are "unsafe, inadequately labeled" and ultimately caused Burt's death.

Invented by a couple plagued by their dog's chronic bad breath, toothbrush-shaped Greenies are marketed as "multifunctional dental treats" that, when used daily, reduce tartar by 62 percent and gingivitis by 33 percent. The company stresses that owners feed the correct size Greenies for their dog's weight and follow the feeding guidelines, which say the treats should not be fed to dogs who "gulp."

(For toy breeds, young puppies and the chew-averse, the company developed Greenies Lil' Bits. It also recently unveiled Feline Greenies for cats.)

Eastwood counters that Burt did not choke on his Greenie and was always supervised when consuming the treat. "The Greenie was a foreign object in his intestines."

S&M NuTec declined to comment on the litigation but disputes there is any problem with the treat's digestibility.

"The digestibility testing that we have with Greenies shows them to be more digestible than the average dry dog food when adequately chewed ... " reads the company's e-mailed statement. "If a dog swallows a large piece of Greenies, or a whole treat, the digestion process will be extended because of the decrease of treat surface area to digestive liquids and stomach action."

Veterinarian Brendan McKiernan of Wheat Ridge, Colo., a board-certified internist, disagrees. "They don't dissolve in the stomach," he says. "When we take them out, they're not digested. And they are causing both esophageal and intestinal problems in dogs to an extent that is concerning."

S&M NuTec says Greenies obstructions are "rare," with most caused by improperly following feeding instructions.

But McKiernan believes incidents are underreported. Earlier this year, at a meeting of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, a group of gastroenterologists discussed obstructions caused by "compressed vegetable chew treats" such as Greenies. By an informal show of hands, he says, "a significant number said, 'Hey, we have problems.'"

Concerned about such cases in his own practice, McKiernan set out to study reports of obstructions from 1999 to 2004 in the Veterinary Medical Database, which records cases from two dozen vet schools.

The results, outlined in a multi-authored article soon to be submitted to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, found that, after bones and fish hooks, compressed vegetable chew treats were the third-most-common culprit in obstructions.

McKiernan notes that the cases mostly involved small dogs.

But big dogs have their issues with compressed vegetable chew treats, too. Elaine Gewirtz of Westlake Village, Calif., says she fed Greenies to her Dalmatians and "never had problems" - until Jimmy went to live with her daughter and started getting more than his usual ration.

The 5-year-old Dal had three bouts of unexplained vomiting. As Gerwirtz walked him outside the vet's office that last time, "he vomited, and there was all this green stuff.

"I really think it's hit or miss," Gerwirtz says, noting that voracious chewers like Jimmy may be prone to problems. Still, she no longer gives her dogs Greenies.

It's a decision that Eastwood wishes he had been given the opportunity to make.

"We always felt if this product had fair warning and fair labeling," he concludes, "we would never have put our dog in harm's way."

WRITE TO Denise Flaim, c/o Newsday, 235 Pinelawn Rd., Melville, NY 11747-4250, or e-mail . For previous columns,

Copyright 2005 Newsday Inc.

Update on Greenies!

-------- Original Message --------

Subject: Greenies
Date: Fri, 09 Sep 2005 19:14:50 -0400 (EDT)

Unfortunately, my dog died 5 weeks ago from complications brought about by an emergency exploratory surgery. He wasn't a Boxer. But, that doesn't matter. He was a great dog - a 4 year old Daschund in the prime of his life.

The surgeon had to remove 3 1/2 feet of my dog's intestines as well as the "foreign body obstruction" which was a partially digested greenie. My dog died 48 hours after the operation.

My wife and I are devastated.

Follow Up!  Greenies and Enzymes    
Can digestive enzymes solve the problems with Greenies?    

     "I stopped giving my dog Greenies after I read your article about dangerous chewies. But after reading about enzymes last month, I wonder if they could help digest the Greenies? I wouldn't mind giving one to Tinker every once in a while if I knew it was safe." Helen M., Hartford, CT         
Thanks Helen, this is a great question. In the August 2004
issue of the Bakery News, we talked about the dangers of some popular chews. In this article, we shared some reports from people who have experienced problems with Greenies causing esophageal and bowel obstructions in their dogs. In some cases, with lethal consequences. We had run our own simple experiment, and discovered that after 24 hours in an acidic solution, there was absolutely no change in the appearance, consistency or texture of a Greenie.

Since we wrote that article, several people have sent in feedback that they too have had similar experiences with Greenies. Including one person who wrote in to tell us a tragic story about her German Shepherd who had continual digestive problems for eight months. Her vet could not solve the riddle, and her dog eventually passed on. The vet performed an autopsy and found a large green mass in the dog's upper GI. This dog had not recieved any Greenies the whole time he was having problems. That's eight months in an active digestive system.    

The primary volume of a Greenie is cellulose, and cellulose is not directly digestible by most mammals. Cellulose can however be digested with the aid of a digestive enzyme called (surprisingly enough) cellulase. Prozyme is one of the leading canine digestive enzyme supplements on the market, and we checked the label... sure enough Prozyme contains cellulase.    
With high hopes, we shredded (particle size very similar to shredded cheese) a Greenie and placed it in a solution of water and Prozyme (the recommended dosage for a complete meal). After four hours of intermittent agitation, nothing. The Greenie particles still retained their shape, size, and plastic-like consistency. But, we weren't about to give up. We acidified the solution, raised the temperature to 100°F, and increased the rate of agitation. Four more hours went by... still nothing. We put the experiment aside, and forgot about it until the next day. Twenty-four hours in an acidic solution loaded with digestive enzymes, and there was absolutely no change in the Greenie particles whatsoever.    

Sorry Helen. Our advice to you is still avoid Greenies generally, and especially so if your dog is a gulper.


I was talking to an owner of a local pet store after she offered my dog a greenie about the warning that we have posted.  She asked if she could inquire about the issue with the company-making no reference to AABR.

The response is attached.

Subject: RE: greenie concerns from a pet store owner

From: Jody H

Wed, 09 Nov 2005 15:29:53 -0500

Thank you so much for taking the time to contact us about what your customer told you about Greenies®. We hope you find this information reassuring.

Millions of Greenies® are sold each month.  On rare occurrences, we are troubled by an incident where a pet owner has said that his/her dog has had a problem with Greenies®.  When we do hear of these reports, we always conduct a thorough investigation.  Typically, the results of our investigations have revealed that the pet has been given the wrong size Greenies® by its owner or the pet has swallowed an abnormally large piece of Greenies® without chewing it.  As such, we strongly recommend purchasing the correct size Greenies® according to the size and weight of your pet.  Additionally, we recommend all pet owners supervise their pet's eating and chewing habits.  And not just with Greenies®, but when given dog bones, treats, rawhides, and even while eating meals.   

The digestibility testing that we have with Greenies® show them to be about 85% digestible when adequately chewed.  If a dog swallows a large piece or a whole treat the digestion process will probably take longer because of the decrease of treat surface area to digestive liquids and stomach action.  This would be similar if a dog swallowed a large piece of meat, vegetable, or fruit.  The length of time it would take to digest would depend on the size of treat compared to the size of dog.  The primary ingredient in Greenies® is wheat gluten, which is very digestible.

We hope this has given you some peace of mind. If you or your customer has any further questions they can be directed to our technical services veterinarian Dr. Bradley Quest via

Thank you for you concern and have a wonderful day.


Jody Hanson

On behalf of the manufacturers of Greenies®

Our advice to you is still avoid Greenies generally, and especially so if your dog is a gulper.

Sent: Tuesday, November 08, 2005 7:18 AM
Subject: greenie concerns from a pet store owner

I own a pet store and sell your products.  This article was given to me by a customer.  It was very upsetting and I am emailing you to see what your company has to say regarding their claims.  Please let me know.  Thank you for your time.


Reptile Rob's 


W A R N I N G!

PLEASE Keep All medications out of the reach of your PETS!

Today we lost Daphnie, a wonderful Boxer Girl.  She and her buddies got into a fully zippered gym bag, and swallowed some quantity of Ibuprofen.  She spent the weekend at the emergency clinic, but the dosage shut her kidneys down.

Her Mom and Dad wanted us to warn everyone not to let down your guard.  Most of these medicines have a sugar coating that animals are attracted to.  They sniff these things out.

How many of us keep a bottle of pain killers in our gym bags or purses?

We will miss her dearly.


* * * W A R N I N G! * * *ACEPROMAZINE * * *

There is one drug commonly used in anesthetic protocols that should not be used in the Boxer. The drug is Acepromazine, a tranquilizer, which is often used as a preanesthetic agent. In the Boxer, it tends to cause a problem called first-degree heart block, a potentially serious arrhythmia of the heart. It also causes a profound hypotension (severe lowering of the blood pressure) in many Boxers that receive the drug.

Recently, on the Veterinary Information Network, a computer network for practicing veterinarians, an announcement was placed in the cardiology section entitled "Acepromazine and Boxers." This described several adverse reactions to the drug in a very short time span at a veterinary teaching hospital. All the adverse reactions were in Boxers. The reactions included collapse, respiratory arrest, and profound bradycardia (slow heart rate, less than 60 beats per minute). The announcement suggested that Acepromazine should not be used in dogs of the Boxer breed because of a breed related sensitivity to the drug.

WARNING: This drug is the most commonly prescribed tranquilizer in veterinary medicine. It is also used orally and is prescribed for owners who want to tranquilize their dogs for air or car travel. I would strongly recommend that Boxer owners avoid the use of this drug, especially when the dog will be unattended and/or unable to receive emergency medical care if it is needed.

Submitted by: Wendy Wallner, DVM July 1997

If your vet needs more than your word that you do NOT want your dog treated with this drug, tell your vet to get out their "Handbook of Veterinary Drugs". Every vet has one. Tell them to go to the section on ACEPROMAZINE. In this section (1993ed) there is this section:

"Prolonged effects of the drug may be seen in older animals. Giant breeds, as well as greyhounds, appear quite sensitive to the clinical effects of the drug, yet terrier breeds appear more resistant. Boxer dogs, on the other hand, are predisposed to hypotensive and bradycardic effects of the drug."

This should be enough of a warning for your vet.

Christa Cook

Heart Worm

I Am A

Troy  (PA)
I Am A

Rikki  (PA)

You gave them their names; now please help us give them a life.

We brought Rikki and Troy from a kill shelter in North CarolinaAdopt A Boxer Rescue stepped up to take these two when a local boxer rescue group asked for help. They have tested positive for Heartworms. 

Rikki and Troy need quiet foster or forever homes that can manage their recoveries.  Those of you that signed up and received the first addition of “Boxer Shorts”, AABR’s quarterly newsletter, already have an insight into this disease.  While being treated, Dogs must be kept quiet.  The article reads:  “…it is absolutely essential that the dog be kept quiet and not be allowed to exercise for 1 month following treatment. “ 

Rescuing one of these guys is in the true nature of what rescue is about.  Can you share a month of your life to give these dogs back their lives?

Please contact us if you can help us with Rikki and/or Troy.

If you would like to help please mail a check to:
 Adopt A Boxer Rescue
PO BOX 423
Harrison, NY 10528

or use

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Boxers Leave Paw Prints on Your Heart...

We need Your Help to pay medical bills.  It takes money to save these dogs, and everyone of them is worth saving.  ALL THE MONEY GOES TO THE DOGS.  WE ARE ALL VOLUNTEERS.

Please donate what ever you can to help us help these dogs. We can't do it alone!

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