"The Peeing Post"
Newsletter for dog lovers who respect the dog's nature
Chief Editor: Mogens Eliasen
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Dear Dog Friend,
A quest for help
Our web site has been hacked - and we have lost some information I really would like to re-establish. Our overview page of raw food suppliers at http://k9joy.com/education/foodsuppliers.html has had all its data wiped out! Our webmaster Peoss is devastated...
Anyway, there is only one way to go: ahead again. And that means that we will get the data back. For this, we need your help. We were able to restore some of the info from old e-mails, but it is only a small fraction. Please let us have, once again, as much information about the raw food suppliers you know of and have positive experiences with - if your information is not on the page. The simplest way for Peoss is that you use this form to submit the info. (If you don't know all the information asked on that form, just leave some blanks - and please add your own reasons for recommending this supplier).
I hope we can get it all restored again soon - and I want to thank you in advance for your help!
October Camp Course!
The time will be the first week of October (02-09). The location will be Creston, BC (close to the Idaho border). The location is within a day trip anywhere from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and the southern parts of Alberta and British Columbia. Based on the e-mails I have received, we should have a good chance of running this camp, but it does take that we get the minimum of 5 people signing up by paying their deposit. If not, we will simply return all payments.
Some of the people that alerted me of their interest got a chance to sign up already, but there are still a few spots left, also one for you - if you don't "sit on it" for too long!
Maximum number of participants is 8, as usual. There is only one way of reserving a spot, and that is by paying a deposit. Registration is on a first-come-first-serve-basis, and it is the registered time stamp on the payment receipt that counts. All the details about the camp are available at http://k9joy.com/dogtraining/campcourses.php. Check if you can make it!
Also be aware that, if you are an affiliate of K9joy (free sign up at http://k9joy.com/affiliates), then there are some commissions to earn on recommending those camp courses to other people that might be interested - if they are not yet subscribing to The Peeing Post, they will not hear about it, unless you tell them... So, please spread the word! For those that have already indicated a serious interest, I would hate to cancel.
We have been trying also to get a camp going in Flintstone, Maryland (about 180 km (100 miles) northwest of Washington, DC and a similar distance southeast of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania). This should be reachable for people from Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Southern Ontario, New York state, Massachusetts - and anywhere inside that perimeter. However, too many of the people who were interested have changed their plans. We might still be able to do it in the last week of October, but I do not hold my breath for it. Please let me know if you are interested! If we cannot make it on the eastcoast of the USA this Fall, we might still be able to do it later...
Dangerous Heartworm medication recalled
Fort Dodge Animal Health has been forced to pull their new heartworm prevention medication, ProHeart-6, off the market, after it has caused more than 5,500 reported hospitalisations and over 500 deaths among dogs since the FDA approved it in June 2004!
The full story is here - it is quite interesting, and I would like to add some comments to it.
First of all, you will notice that the FDA approved it....
Next, you will notice that the company's representatives don't get the lesson! They still say in public that they "stand behind their product" - and they have no clue what the reason is for this! Dogs of all breeds and ages have been hit, so it is not something that involved some factors that could not have been revealed by the company's research....
These two pieces of truth tells you a lot more about the industry and the government and their attitude to taking care of our dogs....
There are some interesting numbers in the article also. The number of heartworm cases per year is 250,000. Out of roughly 150 million dogs in the USA. That gives us a yearly risk of heartworm infestation that is a little less than 0.2%. Now, this is a very high risk - particularly when we consider that, for its development of the larvae, heartworm needs at least 30 days in a row with the temperature never falling below 16 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit), including nights! (This hasn't happened anywhere in Canada this summer - but Canadian stats are not included in my numbers here...)
Fort Dodge Animal Health has sold 18 million ProHeart-6 to veterinarians in June and July. There is no number given for how many actually were used on dogs, but, my guess would be at about one third of them have been given to dogs. Veterinarians do not buy that kind of stuff, right before the "season", without stockpiling quite well. And this was well advertised as "revolutionary", as it only had to be given to the dog once every 6 months. This gives us a maximum of 6 million dogs exposed to the drug this summer. Of those, over 5,500 were reported hospitalised and more than 500 died. Some cases were not reported. My estimate will be that at least 6,000 dogs were seriously adversely affected, if not way more than 10,000 - but let's stick with the lower number for now, so we can make the company and the FDA look their very best.
Here is the really interesting stuff: from these numbers, we can calculate the risk of getting problems from using the drug: it is 6,000/6,000,000 = 0.1%!
Let me interpret this for you. Dogs that contract heartworm have about 10% risk of dying, if they contract heartworm and you do not treat the case early. That is about the same likelihood as the likelihood of dying from problems with the drug! Over 500 out of 5,500 affected died - that's about 10% too!
Now, the risk of getting complications from the drug were around 0.1% - and, as you understand from above, those complications are much worse than the consequences of getting heartworm, as you do have the option of treating the dog for a heartworm infestation, but you could do nothing to fight the damages of the drug...
The risk of contracting heartworm was maximum 0.2%. So, by using this kind of medication, you might reduce the likelihood somewhat (down to about half - but only if we stick with my deliberately over-cautious use of the numbers...). However, you dramatically increase the possible consequences!
An example to illustrate this: what would you prefer - a 0.2% risk of being involved in a car accident of any kind (possibly including also the risk of a head-on collisions on the highway), or a 0.1% risk of being involved in a head-on collision with a big truck? This is what is boils down to.
Would you consider this kind of diligent risk management to be important to know of before a government agent responsible for life or death of our dogs would approve of a drug? Would you think it should be something the manufacturer should have researched before selling 18 million packages of this stuff in just 2 months?
I know - you don't need to e-mail me the answer.... I just hope this serves to illustrate what you can expect when dealing with this kind of stuff - and I have not even indicated any questioning of the thousands of veterinarians who just went ahead and injected this poisonous shit into thousands and thousands of dogs - without any objections, and without any warnings to their paying customers.
But here is a little more: In order for the company, during its research, to identify a risk of 0.1% (which means "one case in a thousand"), they would need to run tests on at least 5,000 dogs in order to get any reliable stats about the risk! Obviously, they don't do that - and the FDA doesn't require that for approving drugs. This means that nobody cares about a death risk of 0.1% - because, if the FDA or company did, they would make tests with 5,000 dogs first, and not go directly from their little test pack to 18 million! But running such tests is very expensive, even if you do it as a "test marketing". The expense is not only in terms of the costs of doing it, but much more in terms of the loss of profit coming from having to wait for the test results.... End of comments.
Introducing Finn Jensen Smed, the famous Danish holistic veterinarian
I have a very happy announcement to make: my mentor and good friend since 1972, Finn Jensen Smed, has agreed to extend his services also to my subscribers!
The times in the past I have been able to get him come to North America and do lectures for my students have left some serious trails.... His "old-fashioned" approach to medicine and health, his serious attempts to use common sense and logic, and his open mind for using non-traditional approaches in the health care for dogs, including "old time" (and inexpensive...) natural remedies that work, and his consistant care for dogs before being concerned about money have made him "legal prey" for most veterinarians in his home country Denmark, simply because he is destroying their profitable businesses!
I am not kidding you. The number of clients he has is tenfold more than any other veterinarian - because he rarely sees his clients in the hospital - they are healthy! And that is mainly thanks to his teaching of the owners. Finn is very "big" on education of dog owners in the topics of daily health care. He has given seminars on that for thousands of dog clubs and other other dog related associations. His jovial, down-to-earth style is very entertaining, and because he has no bonds to any trade unions or veterinary associations, he can speak the truth - and he does....
There are also thousands of examples over the years where Finn has been able to put a successful cure together for dogs that were given up on by other vets. He is hated by greedy business people and loved by dog owners and dogs! But his TV shows have got full support from independent scientists, including the Danish Royal Academy of Veterinary Medicine - which is a government owned university and research centre, totally free of commercial interests.
And here the exiting news: Finn is willing to do phone consultations for subscribers of The Peeing Post! Maybe later also for others, but I got him persuaded to give it a try, small-scale first. So, you are invited to take advantage of this!
The way it works is this:
Now, if you need tests done, or if you need to involve your own veterinarian to do some specific treatment, Finn will be happy to communicate directly with the people you need him to communicate with if you feel this would be beneficial or necessary (and they agree to it, of course...). This will be charged extra, though.... But basically, the idea with the consultation is to empower yourself to get done what needs to be done to help your dog...
Here is the link to get started.
New information pages on the web siteI also want to announce three new pages on the web site. You can access them from the home page at http://k9joy.com or www.k9joy.com - whichever way you prefer it. The links to them are on the left-hand side of the navigator around the photo of the smiling dog a little down on the home page.
Those 3 pages contain a lot of general information you might have an interest in, so I will introduce them briefly:
Training your dog - why you should do it and how you get the knowledge you need to do it well.
The URL is http://k9joy.com/education/trainyourdog.php.
Feeding your dog - and how you know that you do it right, without succumbing to the pet food industry's lies and misinformation
The URL is http://k9joy.com/education/feedyourdog.php.
Responsible health care for your dog - and how you know that you make the right choices, regardless the biased information you might get from your vet...
The URL is http://k9joy.com/education/healthcarecareforyourdog.php.
The first page covers the topic of training. Why training is important (seen from the dog's perspective!) and what you need to take into account when you plan your training. "Training" is, unfortunately, all too often meant to cover "standard obedience programs, as used by the Kennel clubs at shows", and the truth is that you could hardly find anything that makes less sense for the dog.... Anyway, this page too has a lot of links to free information you are welcome to use as handouts to others, so if you are a trainer, you are welcome to exploit this.
The second page is similar. It is an expanded and updated version of an older page that was meant to be an introduction to the concepts of feeding - what needs to be taken into account when we discuss what "dog food" should be. The page contains a brief explanation of the things you should consider and the reasons why this is so, and it has a lot of links to free articles you may print out and use as you wish - as long as you do not charge money for them (many people have used them as handouts at meeting or seminars - and I am OK with that when you ask in advance - I just like to know; permission will not be turned down.)
The third page goes along the same lines. The topic of health care is huge, and I am not saying that this page contains everything you need to know. It doesn't, not even when you also count all the links to more information. But it offers an overview and a perspective to how you approach this very complex issue of health care in a rational way, so you have a fair chance of making some good choices in this chaos. The page contains a form at the bottom. That form is meant for us to get your additional questions pertaining to this. If I can, I will find some answers to you, and if I get overwhelmed, we will find a way of dealing with that!
All three pages are meant to be supportive and inspirational to people you know that could use a little help, so I hope they will be used a lot as reference. Any suggestions to improve them will be very welcome.
Seriously, there is a TON of information on those pages.... If you have any comments, I shall be happy to hear them.
Cheers and woof,
If you have any suggestions to contributions or contents of The Peeing Post, I will be happy to know about them. (Please no anonymous contacts, though...)
If you have any comments or questions pertaining to this issue or in general pertaining to dogs, please respond - if I can find an answer for you, I will!
Even if your question is a "My dog..." question of a personal nature, I will be happy to give you as much advice as I can per e-mail, provided you will give me feedback on how you used my advice and what results you got - and allow me to publish the story. (If I don't get feedback, you will get an invoice for my time...)
You can access the back issues at http://k9joy.com/peeingpost/backissues.html
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The Peeing Post in the mail?I have, from time to time, been approached by people who would like to receive The Peeing Post as a "real" newsletter - in print on paper....
Well, that's how it actually started - but there was a lot of work involved in that. Much more than sending it on-line, although this online publishing business certainly isn't free of annoying hurdles either, like spam control and everything that follows from that. At least, publishing it on-line is almost free, as I only pay my server a fixed monthly fee that does not depend on the number of subscribers. The main reason for not "converting" back to paper is the cost and the work involved in doing the physical mailings. Now the cost is not really my problem, as I would have to ask for a subscription fee to cover those, but the work involved in keeping records of subscribers, writing envelopes, printing, and folding, and mailing is certainly not the kind of work I personally enjoy the most....
But here comes an e-mail from Nicole in Kentucky, who asks if we can do it together! She would be happy to do the practical work for a reasonable fee, if I would permit it and take care of the physical aspects. Her ideas sound solid and I think they have good merit, so I am positive to giving it a shot! We will still need to negotiate the details, but I would like to just "test the waters" and hear what our current subscribers think of the idea. I need to add that it will not make any changes for the on-line issue. The way it will work is that if you want a paper version, you will pay a subscription fee in advance, and then Nicole will take care of getting the copies made and mailed out. The paper version will simply be of the same contents as the on-line version, except for some layout and cosmetics that will have to be changed (hyperlinks don't work on printed paper, for instance...)
Anyway - I would really appreciate getting your opinion about this! To make it easy, I made a little poll - it is an online form that will take you less than a minute to fill out with your thoughts, so we can get them in a form that is easy for us to use. The form is located at http://k9joy.com/peeingpost/poll1.html - please go there now and give us your opinion. Thank you in advance for the help!