For FDA Recall Information:

Pet Food Recalls

It is difficult to keep up with pet food recalls.  The raw diets are commonly recalled for E.Coli, Salmonella and other similar food poisonings.  If you go to there is some information about the some current recall, yet this site is maintained by law firms that are seeking clients for a class action law suit.  The best site is the agency which regulates pet and human foods; go to convenience we also have this and the FDA website link on our clinic website at; go into the Education and Resources and then into the Nutrition & Drug area.  

If you are looking for ALL of the recalls for food, human drugs, animal drugs, biologicals and medical devices go to one goes into and into the Education and Resources this and other links can be easily found.  If you want to be kept up to date on the recalls we do post them on our Twitter if/when we find these notices.  Once or twice a year we will post major problem recalls on our Facebook.  

There is also a which has the USA recalls for almost all products including animal medicines; pet foods are not at this site because pet foods are not regulated by the FDA.    

For information on pet food recalls you can also go to www.fda/gov  

If you want to report an issue, problem or concern, the FDA has a “Safety Reporting Portal”.  If you search the Internet you will find the site at……….. (a long address).

E.coli, Campylobactor and Salmonella recalls are very common with the non-processed raw meat products sold; too numerous to list.  It should be noted that all manufacturers can have a recall for many reasons and a quality pet food manufacturer usually has in-house quality control that may catch these problems before the items are released.  It is common for one manufacturer to make many different brands (private labeler).  The below are only other recent examples.  The FDA site above has a list going back many years for all species of animals.

  • Aflotoxins in pet food – Diamond Dry dog food, 2005.  Advanoneed, Iams (Proctor & Gamble), Kroger and others, 2011
  • Botulism from a human canned meat processor (canned dog food, 2007)
  • Listeria in Raw cat food (Radcat), Big Dog Food, Raw Dog and Cat food (Blue Ridge Beef) in 2016 also 2017
  • Melamine in wheat and rice gluten imported from china (2007)
  • Metal pieces in Grreat dog food (PetSmart) in 2017
  • Mold in Purely for Pets in 2015
  • Phenobarbital in 2017 involved may food (Against The Grain, Evanger, Party Animal,   
  • Plastic pieces in Cesar (Mars Pet Food) in 2016,
  • Propylene Glycol in Kitty Yums (Blue Buffalo) in 2015
  • Quaternary ammonia (a disinfectant) in rawhide pet chews (United Pet Group) in 2017
  • Salmonella in Iams cat food, 2010.   Bravo dog food, Blue Buffalo in 2015.  Big Dog Food, Raw Cat food (Radcat) in 2016. 
    • Pig ear treats with salmonella in pigs ears from Eurocan in 2017. Organic peanut pet treats due to salmonella.
    • SmallbBatch cat and dog food, Blue Ridge pet food in 2017.
  • Thiamine deficiency in Diamond cat food, 2009.  WellPet in 2011.  Best Furry Friends, 9 lives (JM Smucker),
    • Wervuva  (Massachusetts) in 2017.
  • Thyroid gland excess in Blue Buffalo, Well Pet in 2017.
  • Vitamin D excess in Blue Buffalo, 2010.


  • 10/2007 = jerky-style treats from China causing a Ganconi-like syndrome; a glucosuria and proteinuria for no reason initially


Livestock labeled feeds are usually controlled by the state’s department of agriculture.  The labeling requirements are much less than that for a pet food.  It should also be noted that drugs and human or pet food products are inspected by the FDA and/or human health departments; this is why you see pet food recalls but not any recalls on exotic and livestock feeds unless poisons or deaths are involved.  Supplements and vitamins have no protocols and oversight organizations; for more information go to   

Making your own pet food, especially a raw meat and/or bones diet, will increase the chances of your pet developing a bacterial food born disease such as E. Coli, Campylobacter or Salmonella; this includes buying such raw diets sold commercially.  If you grow your own root vegetables and/or feed these vegetables to your pets we recommend that you use only aged manure (3 years if untested and you are concern).

There have been foods and drugs that have been recalled and/or pubic concern that later evidence showed that in fact these products were safe.  Saccharin (1970’s, human), ethoxyquin (1990, pet food) are such examples.

For ALL of the recalls for animal drugs, human drugs, biologicals and medical devices go to (2011) also has the USA products which were recalled (except animal food which is not FDA regulated).

Canine Lungworms in Colorado

January 2014  

   For many years we have seen lungworms in our livestock species: cattle, goats, sheep, camelids and even horses.  We have diagnosed lungworms in all of these species in 2013.  Almost every animal from pet rats and hedgehogs to elk and zebras can all have lungworms diagnosed as a cause of coughing or pneumonia.  It has been a few years since our clinic has diagnosed lungworms in cats.  It should be noted that there are at least 8 different species of lungworms, and each species of animals can have a different kind of lungworm that will not affect other species.    

     Recently we have seen 4 cases of lungworms in dogs in 2013.  This is unusual.  Historically these lungworms are very rare in our area.  Three of the four dogs were imported into our state for adoption.  We are aware of many diseases which can occur in animals that have visited back east or down south.  This is a reason why we ask about travel history during a veterinary examination.  Finding one of the tick diseases (Lyme, Ehrlichia and Anaplasmosis) or even heartworms and some lungworms should not be alarming if the dogs are from down south, back east or even New Mexico (Ehrlichia).  The unusual thing in one of the dogs was that the lungworms were resistant to the typical treatments utilized.  Overall a parasite resistance to dewormers is fairly rare, and yet it does occur.  As FYI this past summer we had two flocks of sheep with Haemonchus parasites that were resistant to 3 different dewormers.     

     “Tex” was a 6 year old Golden Retriever that was adopted locally in 2011.  Originally he came from Mississippi.  A routine stool fecal early in 2011 was negative for parasites.  In late 2011 a second fecal was performed because he had a cough.  The routine fecal was negative and the cough responded to a treatment for kennel cough and Mycoplasma.   In the summer of 2013 the cough returned and the history was that Tex still had coughed a few times a month, but it did not seem to be a problem until recently when it worsened.  A routine CBC, mini-panel, heartworm exam and lung radiographs were normal.  We then performed a lungworm fecal exam, which is a separate and different test than the routine spin-down fecal test.  After the test was positive the owners preferred to treat the dog with 1.5x the dose of ivermectin.  He was treated 5 times.  A recheck fecal showed that this treatment did not work, so a treatment of fenbendazole was started.  After a week of fenbendazole the treatment was accidently stopped, so a second round of 15 days of therapy at the double dose/high dose was given.  With some mild coughing the 3rd lungworm exam was again positive.  Utilizing a different avermectin product Tex was successfully treated.  A routine fecal exam will not diagnose lungworms.

     Depending upon the species, lungworms require two species of animals to complete their life cycle, such as a snail, slug, crawfish, amphibian, reptile or bird (cat lungworms).  There is also a dog/fox lungworm species which has a direct life cycle and needs no intermediate host.  You should not be concerned about dog lungworms in our area, nor should you even consider using snail and slug poison products as these baits area very toxic to pets.  A lungworm fecal exam is not indicated for the average pet unless they have a coughing problem that does not respond to the first round of treatment for the more common respiratory type of pneumonias that we see.

     A periodic fecal exam will help diagnose most of the internal parasites that we see in all animals.  We have a strategic deworming program for livestock and horses that includes a periodic fecal exam.  We periodically perform post deworming fecal exams as part of the strategic deworming program, in order to find and diagnose resistance to a dewormer before there is a crisis.  All coughing animals should have this inexpensive lungworm fecal test performed if the initial treatment did not cure the problem. 



ADEQUAN back in stock, July 2013

9/16/13 – Adequan is back in stock


July 2013 – Adequan Backordered

Injectable Adequan (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan) used for equine, canine and feline joint disease is currently unavailable from the manufacturer. 

     Luitpold Animal Health, a division of Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc., manufacturers Adequan® IM, Adequan® IA, and Adequan® Canine.  Their New York manufacturing facility is undergoing significant renovations and upgrades to meet enhanced quality standards and address observations made by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  These renovations required cessation of manufacturing and affected Luitpold’s ability to release product.  This has resulted in shortages in the marketplace.  Luitpold had months to optimally allocate inventory and manage the limited supply, which has now been depleted.  The company’s latest expectations for reestablishing Adequan® supply to the market is estimated to be first quarter 2014.  However this hinges upon completion of a successful inspection by the FDA.

     Please contact us about other alternatives available for your pet.  Several of our staff have dogs on Adequan very successfully, so we understand how frustrating this situation will be. 

     Polysulfated glycosaminoglycan (Adequan) is one of the best products available for long-term arthritis therapy.  Unfortunately when there is a long-term back order we have very few same equivalent options.  Adequan has been unavailable worldwide since the first of 2013, and there will be a lot of internet scam artists who will be taking advantage of this temporary situation.  The compounded version is “Adequan Compound”, which is acetyl-d glucosamine.  Chemically it is not the same product nor does it work as well.  There is a glucosamine hydrochloride injection available, yet it is labeled for daily IV use and not practical for long term therapy.  Commercially available hyaluronate products have been around for a few years.  Legend is such an example which must be given IV/intravenous or directly into the joint (IA/intra-articular).  Very few clients should give an injection IV.  Hyaluronic acid is for IA injections.  Polyglycan is also a hyaluronate products and use only for IV or IA injections.  These intravenous or intrarticular injections are good products, yet the additional expense may not be indicated for the average horse for this temporary shortage.  Pentosan polysulfated is a hemicellulose extract and can help stimulate cartilage repair; orally it is not absorbed very well yet the IM or IA injectable forms are available to be given weekly ($55+ cost/horse).  The APVMA approval number that you may see for some medicines is the Australian pesticide and medicine container registry.  The APVMA it is not even related to a FDA or USDA drug approval or facilities inspection program.  Many of the internet pharmacies selling these products are illegally importing and selling to consumers, and many do not even have a pharmacy license in our state.    

     For dogs we are recommending Dasuquin, Cosequin or one of the other proven products that help orally.  Since there are no oral products that has passed the FDA drug trials; we will recommend Adequan again when it comes back onto the market.  

     For horses we are recommending using the glucosamine hydrochloride form (Cosequin) until the Adequan injections are back onto the market in 2014.  Since oral glucosamines do not work in ruminants the pentosan product is recommended for these species. 

     For comparing glucosamine products, such as the glucosamine hydrochloride (HCl) formulation to the glucosamine sulfate forms, one can go to  We have more information on the comparisons of glucosamines if requested.  It is a well known fact that many supplements do not provide enough glucosamine in the product that they are selling; a 1,000# horse requires 10,800 mg a day, and a 100# dog requires 2000 mg of the chloride formulation; each species has a different requirement. 


6/18/13 – California Natural, Mother Nature, Healthwise, Karma and other Natura treats recalled

Nebraska-based Natura Pet Products has announced a new voluntary recall of multiple brands of dry pet food and treats. The decision comes after a positive test for Salmonella on April 3.

The FDA says Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is a risk to humans if they handle the contaminated pet products. Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Other pets will experience decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain.

For the full story CLICK HERE

Skunk Found North of Boulder Confirmed Positive for Rabies

Boulder County, CO – A skunk found on Lefthand Canyon Drive located north of Boulder was confirmed positive for rabies on Thursday, June 6. A resident reported the skunk after contacting her veterinarian because her dog had contact with the skunk.

 This is the first case of rabies documented in a terrestrial (ground dwelling) species since 1963. This is important because the risk of rabies transmission to pets or humans is much higher from terrestrial species than from bats. It’s a warning to all Boulder County residents that skunk rabies is present and is a danger in our community, especially to pets and livestock.

 “This resident did the right thing by reporting the skunk and keeping all of her pets up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations,” said Lane Drager, Boulder County Public Health Consumer Protection Program Coordinator. “Her diligence helped to save her pets from needing to be quarantined or euthanized.” 

 Rabies vaccine is very effective at protecting pets and livestock from rabies infection.

 Unvaccinated pets that come into contact with a rabid animal must either be euthanized or vaccinated and quarantined at a veterinary facility, which can be very expensive. Pets that are behind with rabies vaccinations must be vaccinated and quarantined for either 90 or 180 days, depending on the vaccination status. Pets fully vaccinated by licensed veterinarians need a rabies booster and 45 days of observation at home.”

 So far this season, 69 animals in Colorado have tested positive for rabies: 58 skunks, 5 bats, 2 raccoons, 2 cats, 1 horse, and 1 fox. In addition to this skunk, 2 rabies-positive bats have been found in Boulder, and 37 other animals have been found in counties neighboring Boulder County.

 “Rabies is here to stay in Colorado, so our best defense is taking the necessary steps to protect ourselves and our pets,” said Drager.

 Bats are the most common animal source of rabies in Colorado; however, there has been an influx of terrestrial rabies during the last few years. Terrestrial rabies, such as skunk rabies, is carried by animals that travel predominantly on the ground. 

 “Rabies in ground-dwelling animals increases the risk of rabies exposure to pets and livestock,” said Drager. “If you know of a person or domestic animal that has or may have had contact with wildlife, or if you see a skunk, raccoon, fox, or bat that looks sick or is acting unusual, call your local animal control office.”

 Exposure to rabies is generally the result of a bite by an infected animal and can be practically undetectable, such as a tiny puncture of the skin by a bat. There is no cure for rabies, and it is nearly always fatal if untreated. If bitten by an animal, residents should immediately and thoroughly cleanse the wound with soap and water and seek medical attention. Treatment for rabies exposure involves a series of immunizations given over a 14-day period. 

 For general information about rabies, visit, or call the Colorado Health Information Line at 1-877-462-2911.

5/11/13 Breeder’s Choice Recalls Active Care Biscuits

Breeder’s Choice, a Central Garden & Pet company, has issued a voluntary recall for a single batch of Active Care Biscuits-Healthy Dog Treats due to mold discovered in one of the lots of dog biscuits.

For more information, please click here

August 2013 – Drought and Livestock

     July, 2012


     This year we have a great potential for nitrate-nitrite and possibly cyanide poisoning in our livestock.  Many of the irrigation ditches ran out of water before July, which is very rare.  When a crop is stressed there are many potential problems that can develop.  If you are buying any 3rd cutting hay or any CRP/prairie hay we recommend that you ask your hay seller if they have tested a portion of that cutting for nitrate problems.  Our local Weld County Laboratories in Greeley (, 970-353-8118) can provide a nutritional hay analysis with a nitrate test for less than $30.  We recommend at a minimum this nitrate by the chemical method plus the basic NIR package (moisture, protein, ADF, NDF, calcium phosphorous, potassium and magnesium) for all late forages this year.  For silage that is stressed we recommend the Weld Laboratory’s silage test plus the prussic acid & nitrate. It should be noted that for cattle on feed the relative feed value (RFV) tests are also to be considered for any hay, silage or forage test.  Our local CSU extension office at the Boulder County Fairgrounds (303-678-6238) has hay probes available for rent. Weld Laboratories also has rental hay probes.  If you are feeding oat hay to your cattle this should also be tested if the crop was short on water.  If you have never collected forage sample we recommend visiting If you rent a hay/forage core probe there are also videos and direction for each type of probe on the internet.  The recommendation is to test 20% of the bales or up to 20 samples mixed into one sample bag. 

     If the hay field is near the foothills a selenium test for $25 is available at the Weld Labs if you are concerned and/or want to balance the selenium requirements.  A selenium test over 5 ppm is a concern. 

     When hay prices are short the baling of stover (corn stalks) and straw products understandably increases for use in livestock feeding; we recommend that this year you test these corn stalks before you purchase such bales.  The prussic acid test for cyanide is less than $30 at Weld Laboratories using the more accurate method of testing.  A prussic acid test < 600 ppm is okay, while >1,000 ppm requires one to dilute out this feed.  Properly grown, harvested and cured silage should usually have a low prussic acid test, and this is not a routinely a test that is needed every year. 

     If you look at the hay or field at dawn, and the plants are wilted this early in the morning, you should consider testing the crop.  If you plan to graze stover and you know the field was stressed, we recommend the cyanide and nitrate-nitrite tests and for the $15 more also the basic NIR package.  To collect fresh samples in the field cut 10x corn stalks at 6″ above the ground in 2-4′ lengths, then at home cut up these stalks further into 6″ or less pieces and mix them up and place in a zip lock bag for shipping to the laboratory These samples need to be kept chilled, yet not frozen until shipped with an ice pack, as the prussic acid (hydrocyanic acid/HCN) level will be lowered if not refrigerated. The prussic acid test will also be altered if the sample is frozen.  To collect forage samples in the field for nitrate testing cut the plants about 4-6″ up off the ground (or near ground level if the plant is shorter in size).  Keep these samples refrigerated until delivery for testing. An ice pack is recommended.  Our clinic usually has available some ice packs and Styrofoam shipping boxes free for currently active clients.  To test for both cyanide (prussic acid) and nitrate-nitrite these samples can be sent to Weld County Laboratories.  We recommend that you drop off the samples in Greeley instead of shipping by mail, if possible.  You can also send your forage samples to Servi-Tech at  As FYI if you are looking only for prussic acid/cyanide problems then pick the leaves in the upper half of the stalk still standing in the field and make an “X” walk across the field by walking diagonally across the field to collect the samples.  If also collecting for nitrate toxicity you will also want to include the lower stalks or the whole plant is ok being chopped up for both tests.  The best time to collect such fresh field samples is in the middle of the day. 

     If you have stressed field picking corn you may want to collect 10 ears of corn for aflatoxin testing at one of the mycotoxin testing laboratories:,, We have a list of other testing laboratories available.  Before taking or sending off samples always check the lab for their preferred method of collection and shipping.  

     If in a drought you had to switch your irrigating practices to shut off/switch the water when it had gone 3/4 of the way through the field, then the lower part of this field should be tested for nitrate-nitrate in hay and in corn for cyanide plus nitrate-nitrite.  If these tests are high in nitrate then there are ways to work with the feed and by testing other forages and you can dilute this potential problem forage for use in cattle. We have more information if needed.  A nitrate level less than 5,000 ppm is at a high “okay” level but >10,000 ppm it is dangerously toxic.  For pregnant livestock a level over 1500 ppm nitrogen-nitrate is a concern. This figure multiplied by 4.42 is 6,600 ppm nitrate.  If you find moderate levels of nitrate in your forage then for your pregnant animals other forage and water sources should maybe be tested if you have never done this. Also limit the NPN tubs to reduce a cumulative effect which can cause abortions and death.  A water sample of 30 ppm nitrate should be a concern.  The overall nitrate level for a steer should be 14 mg/# of NO3-N per day or less, but only 5 mg/# of Nitrate-nitrogen for a pregnant animal!  It is confusing that the testing results the lab may use.  If the lab reports the level in nitrate-nitrogen multiple the figure by 4.42 for the nitrate level; if the report is in % nitrate, you can then multiple this percentage by 10,000 for ppm.  If the level is provided in potassium nitrate, then multiply the number by 1.75 to obtain the nitrate-nitrogen figure (or 7.72/4.42).  Luckily most labs report the type of nitrate test and if this test is at a toxic level.

     If you are turning your livestock out onto a pasture of weeds that have been stressed, a potential nitrate problem can occur. Some weeds can be more toxic than drought stressed hay or corn.  It is the broad leaf weeds which are of the most concern. Our poisonous plant handout for livestock lists many of these weeds.  Consider testing the stressed forage in this pasture, or at minimum then feed 70+% of the livestock’s needs per day with quality hay daily (>1% of body weight) and use a strip grazing method.  If grazing stressed stover consider pre knocking down/mowing some of the rows to enable you to move the electric fence for the addition of only a few rows every few days, plus supplemental feeding of the cows for over half of their nutritional needs; one can encircle the whole field with the electric fence and use two rows of a quick-release/gate type connections to disconnect one cross fence line and active the next row.  This fall one can also consider testing the soil for fertilizing for a maximum production next year; at http://anr.ext/>soil there is a video on how to collect a soil sample.  Our local CSU extension office also has soil probes, directions and the samples can be tested at CSU ( or at Weld Laboratories in Greeley.        If the purchased hay is tested and there are potential problems, the hay seller should be notified and the problem documented.  When buying hay in volume anytime, especially this year, first ask the seller if they have a forage test available for the cutting you are purchasing.  Since we have had record prices for hay the last two years, and a major drought, there will be some hay baled this year that should not have been.  If you find a lot of broad leaf weeds in the hay, then the nitrate test is recommended (and for $15 more the forage analysis panel by the NIR testing method).  Anytime over $500 of hay is purchased at a hay auction it may be cost effective to do a routine hay forage analysis with a nitrate test.

     For livestock the use of protein tubs should be cost effective this winter; we have a comparison analysis sheet available.  Horses and non-ruminants should not be fed non-protein nitrogen (NPN) supplements.  If feeding a NPN protein tub we recommend that the hay should especially be tested for nitrates if it was a late cutting and/or CRP hay, imported from another area, auction hay, or etc.  As mentioned, pregnant cows should not be on high nitrate level hay and/or a high nitrate water source plus NPN protein tubs.  

     In 2012 we will be providing the ability to have your forage and soil samples taken to Weld County Laboratories, if you cannot easily take them to Greeley.  We have arraigned a courier service to collect the samples on Monday and Wednesday of each week; you will need to have the samples at the clinic by 5 pm.  You will first need to contact the laboratory at 970-353-8118 and arrange to prepay for the tests to be delivered; you should and also rent a forage or soil sampler from the extension office before you collect and pre-pay for the tests.  The costs for this delivery service is $5 cash for currently active clients, or $8 for non-active clients without a product/service purchased within the last 3 years from the clinic.  Ensure that these samples are properly labeled by contacting the lab first.  Below is our drought handout which may explain other concerns.  






     Drought is a cycle that will occur every decade or so in our area.  We cannot always plan for or predict a drought.  Hopefully we can learn from mistakes we have made during the last drought cycle(s).

     Feed is a major cost for livestock when one has to supply the forage.  Pasture is the least cost method of maintaining and feeding animals if the vegetation is adequate and nutritious.  Our cow feeding handout has some information about by-products and alternative feeds, winter feeding on pasture, etc.  When hay prices are high some horse owners tend to purchase the Sudan hays, such as oat hay.  Sudan poisoning can occur in horses even though this same hay can be fed safely to cattle.  Ask for our horse Sudan poisoning handout if you area feeding oat type hay to horses.  We also do not recommend feeding oat hay to male goats, sheep or male camelids, due to urolithiasis problems.

     Protein may need to be supplemented.  We do not recommend over 1/3 of the diet as NPN to be fed to ruminants; these are usually tubs of molasses containing urea.  NPN should not be fed to horses and camelids.  If you have experienced a grass tetany (low magnesium), a milk fever (low calcium) or a low phosphorous problem in your herd please ask for our comparison information for these protein tubs.  Even though alfalfa hay or pellets may be more expensive, this legume hay usually is a good, safe source of natural protein for livestock and horses.  Never feed moldy hay to animals.  Feeding an ionophore (i.e. 200 mg monensin) in two pounds of a 30% crude protein supplement can be considered for cattle on a prairie hay pasture.  In a drought, hay testing becomes very important to help balance a ration; also reducing the herd to 75% of the carrying capacity of the land should also be considered.  If forage is limited, then 6 hours of access to hay can be a minimum amount to keep up the cows maintenance level and reduce overgrazing on your pasture.  Our winter feeding tips handout discusses the amount of hay lost when you feed on the ground versus in feeders or etc.  We have other low cost feeding mixtures if you have the ability for a TMR ration and over 50+ head of cattle to feed through the winter.  For most farms we instead recommend the NPN winter range tubs, if they calculate to be cost effective over your own grown or purchased hay crop.

     When there are periods of drought we see nutritional problems not normally seen when food is plentiful.  Cyanide poisoning can occur when cattle are allowed to graze corn that is drought stressed.  If you cannot harvest corn properly let it dry in the field, and be aware of the mature cow who knows how to eat the ears (only) off the corn stocks as she goes through the field; grain overload can then occur.  Rotational type fencing helps the cattle to graze only a small, new part of the field each day or so in the late fall or winter.  Ensilaging stressed corn can also cause a cyanide poisoning.  Nitrate poisoning can also occur in corn during the same type of stressful conditions, and grazing access being limited to the stress corn is crucial.  Nitrate poisoning also can be seen with broadleaf weeds undergoing stress, drought and/or weed spraying with 2-4 D.  If the hay has not been sprayed for insects blister beetle poisoning can occur, especially with stressed hay.  Many poisonous weeds, such as the white hoary alyssum, can thrive in a hay field undergoing stress and drought.

     When silage corn is harvested in a drought period it may not ferment properly if the silage was cut with a low moisture content.  Listeriosis, aflatoxin, vomit-toxin and other problems can be a result due to improper fermentation and/or feeding practices with silage from stressed plants.  Aflatoxin is produced by a mold growing on the corn, especially if stressed.  Ensilaging may kill the fungus but it will not kill the toxin.  Vomitoxin and other similar toxins can easily develop in feeds grown and processed in a drought.  If there is not enough grain to properly ferment the propionic, lactic and acetic acids then butyric acid can develop.  Using buffered propionic acid additives should be considered if diluting such marginal silage to feed out with other forages.  If one grazes the stressed corn the nitrate and cyanide poisoning problems can occur as mentioned above; and especially the cyanide problem if there has been a recent frost or first freeze.  Mowed Sudan (corn, oat hay, etc) which has been left alone for a few days will allow some of the cyanide to escape; yet as to be mentioned below this sitting can worsen a nitrate problem.  We recommend testing drought affected Sudan forages possibly before harvesting and/or definitely before feeding to livestock; we have a list of the laboratories which will do forage testingIf the forage has a high nitrate content in the field the silage chopper can be adjusted higher, as the lower part of the stock contains a lot of nitrate.  Ensilaging can remove up to 1/3 of these nitrates.  Nitrogen oxide is released and can cause silage poisoning in humans which can occur if one enters a silo within 3-4 weeks of filling; turning on the silo fan 15+ minutes before entering helps reduce this problem.  Allowing this green chop hay to sit and heat up may cause a higher nitrite level to develop from the nitrates in the hay.  Nitrite is 10x more toxic than nitrate.  Feeding green chop silage fresh can be the most hazardous method if allowed to sit, yet feeding as fresh chop within a few hours this may be adequate if the nitrate levels are not high and the feed is mixed with other forages or feeds.  The nitrogen oxide gasses from high nitrate silage can kill cattle (and humans) within 12-60 hours after harvesting.  (As noted above green chop silage after a frost can create a cyanide problem).  If the corn is left to dry in the field, and cattle are allowed to graze down the corn, to prevent acidosis and grain overload/bloat you should SLOWLY strip graze the corn as mentioned above for cyanide problems, and feed hay before turning out the cattle into the new small strip.  If you think you have a high nitrate forage, we recommend you test the field before harvesting.  When cutting stressed, high nitrate corn for silage, remember that the lower part of the stock can have the highest concentrate of toxic compounds; something to remember if you are thinking of turning cattle immediately out onto the corn stover after harvest.  This nitrate concentration especially occurs during a drought, and also if there is a wet period in the fall before the corn is harvested. 

     Minerals need to be supplemented in a drought.  We strongly recommend the brown mineral salt blocks for all livestock.  In a drought phosphorus is also one of the limiting factors, and simple mixing dicalcium phosphate with the trace mineral salt (50/50 mixture) should resolve this problem.

     Water should be located every 1/2 mile if possible.  When a cow has to walk more than 1 mile to water, a lot of energy is wasted.  Place the salt blocks 1/4 mile away from the water source and/or protein tubs.  Placing them together will cause the cattle to stay in one spot and create problems by destroying the vegetation.  Move these salt and protein supplemental tubs periodically.

     Vitamin A is a concern, especially if the forage or supplemental hay is not green in color.  It is especially important to give a vitamin A injection to newborn livestock born during a drought.


The Staff at the Nelson Road Veterinary Clinic




2013 Rabies Alert


Terrestrial Rabies and Livestock


     For many decades we have had rabies in the bats in Northern Colorado.  The exposure to bat rabies is usually the “dumb form”, where a bat is weak and a cat or dog plays with it and/or eats the bat.  If an unvaccinated dog or cat eats a bat, and we cannot make the animal vomit up the bat for rabies testing, there is a 6 month quarantine outside of the owner’s home (i.e. in a kennel-only facility as a quarantine case, which can be very expensive!)  This is why we are adamant about having this unvaccinated pet be brought in for the vomiting injection; the oral peroxide, etc may not work, and after 1/2 hour the bat may have passed through the stomach of the animal.  A vaccination reminder for rabies is not something to ignore.  A day before the vaccine expires the animal is “ok”, but legally one day after this the animal is not current on the rabies vaccine; many pets that bite are quarantined for this reason.  Throughout history only a handful of people have ever lived through rabies; one should expect to die if exposed and not given the antiserum.  The series of antiserum and/or vaccination injections, etc for a human after a dog bite was $15,000 on average in 2006.  This is the reasons why it is very important to find the animal that bite or exposed the person.  In our area all bats found weak or dead inside the house should be tested, as most of the human rabies cases are from a bate bite the person never felt when sleeping.  The requirement for a rabies vaccination in animals is for the protection of humans, not just the animal. 

     Rabies in the terrestrial animals has been slowly creeping our way.  A decade ago the skunks and raccoons with rabies were in Kansas, Nebraska and states to the east and south.  In 2008 there were two cases of rabies in skunks in eastern Arapahoe County, and 8x cases of terrestrial rabid skunks and raccoons in the eastern and southern part of the state.  Back in 2001 there were 32 animals testing positive for rabies in this state, and in 2007 there were 70x animals that tested positive.  In the last five years a bobcat, a domestic cat, a cow, a coyote, a dog, a fox, raccoons and skunks were the terrestrial species found to be positive, most of the cases are still in bats.  In 2012 there have been positive terrestrial animals (i.e. skunks) found in nearby Weld and Larimer County.

     In the non-aggressive species of animals, such as a bat or livestock, they develop a “dumb form” of rabies.  They act strange and may or may not salivate, which is similar to many other encephalitic diseases and poisonings that we may see.  It is the aggressive, carnivore species which develop the “rabid form” of aggression in the latter stages of the infection.  Since the incubation can be as little as 2 weeks or less in a carnivore, or longer in a herbivore, the animal needs to be quarantined.  A few days after a bite from a rabid animal the treatment is essentially not successful in any species.  At this time it is the skunks you need to be concerned about with your livestock.  Any bloated, down, salivating/choke, colic or “mentally off” livestock are to be considered a possible rabies case until determined otherwise.  We recommend that you separate this animal from the herd or flock and reduce the human handling of this animal; we can provide the gloves, etc.  The only method to ensure the animal does not have rabies is to euthanize it and have the brain tested.  Since the body will be an “infectious-hazardous waste” it cannot be rendered; we recommend that the patient be euthanized and hauled to the CSU State Diagnostic laboratory in Fort Collins if convenient.  Anyone in contact with such an animal or body needs to be notified of the potential problem by the livestock owner.  All people exposed should undergo the anti-rabies treatment, or as directed by your MD.  ALL domestic animals that possibly may have rabies are required to be tested if they die within 6 months of a suspected sickness.  For testing we cannot send parts of the body to the diagnostic laboratory by mail or UPS; direct courier only transport.       

     We will be giving more rabies vaccinations in livestock in our area; since 2004 we have recommended a rabies vaccine to the horses and other livestock we examined.  Before 2012 we felt this vaccine could be given once every 1-2 years until we had a case of terrestrial rabies in our county.  In 2012+ this will be a yearly vaccine.  Rabies vaccines are relatively inexpensive and are labeled for only one year duration in all livestock.  For the $16 livestock rabies vaccine fee, we recommend that this vaccine should be given with other vaccinations at the same time by the veterinarian.  The multiple vaccine discount will apply if the vaccine is given with other procedures; it is more expensive if the rabies vaccine is the only procedure performed.  Even if the patient is a miniature horse, the vaccine dosage is still the double the dose of the amount given to a large dog.  If we dispense the vaccine it we need to know the animal it was given to, such as an expensive bull; the vaccine can be given by the livestock owner but realize the animal will not be recognized as a legally vaccinated animal.  (As noted below owner given vaccines should protect the animal, but the animal still will undergo a 6 month quarantine on the premises.  With the small animal rabies vaccinations the vaccine is also not recognized as being legal if given by the owner).  All mammals on the premises that are not legally vaccinated will undergo a quarantine procedure; this includes dogs, cats, goats, etc.  All animals that are not recognized as being vaccinated may be ordered to be euthanized if they are showing any signs of rabies.  

     If a rabid skunk or raccoon, etc is found on the premises then all unvaccinated livestock will be quarantined for 6 months.  The state health departments will only recognize a rabies vaccine given by a licensed veterinarian.  You should not be alarmed at rabies coming our way; people back east have lived with it for many decades.  Expensive bulls should be considered a candidate for rabies, but for the average cow and small ruminant livestock the rabies will always be an optional vaccine and/or to be given by the owner or by the veterinarian next time on the farm for concerned owners and animals that they care for.  We highly recommend the rabies vaccination to be given by a veterinarian for all horses in a stable situation.  Even if the dead terrestrial rabid animal (skunk, raccoon, fox or coyote) is found a mile away from the barn and the field, and it is part of the premises of that stable, then all non-vaccinated horses will be quarantined there for 6 months; you cannot ride your horse off the premises, take the horse to any shows, trail riding, etc.  When it comes to the law and determining what the requirements for exposure are “there are no grey areas, what will occur is black and white” in the eyes of the enforcement agency.


The Staff at the Nelson Road Veterinary Clinic


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From DVM360 online, 2008 EPA regulations may have unintended but dangerous consequences.

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Raw meat diet may not be enough for cats or tigers

According to a recent article from PHYS.ORG, animal scientists say a raw meat diet is a good source of protein for cats, but pet owners may need to supplement with other nutrients.

In a new paper in the Journal of Animal Science researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium analyzed the value of raw meat diets for cats and exotic felids. The researchers used several tests to evaluate the nutrients in meat from bison, cattle, horses and elk. 

They found that raw meat diets met many nutrient requirements for cats, but there were some gaps. None of the diets contained the recommended levels of linoleic acid, the horsemeat did not provide the levels of arachidonic acid recommended for kittens, gestating females and lactating females.

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