Stella and Chewy’s Recall

Stella aStellachewynd Chewy’s is recalling 11 of its products after Listeria monocytogenes was found in one of its dog food products during routine testing.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture ordered the company stop selling Chicken Freeze-Dried Dinner Patties for dogs on Saturday. Tests revealed the product was contaminated with Listeria.

As a precaution, the company recalled the affected product along with 10 others made for both dogs and cats.  These have not tested positive, but could have been exposed.  See Stella and Chewy’s comments on Facebook.

Stella & Chewy’s (“S&C”) is announcing a voluntary recall of some of our dog and cat dinners and treats in the U.S. because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The recall was prompted by a positive test result as reported by the Maryland Department of Agriculture. The health and safety of our customers and their pets is always of the utmost importance to us. We are accountable for everything we make and are highly committed to the quality and integrity of our products. We are working collaboratively with the FDA to further investigate and quickly address the situation. For more details regarding the recall and how to identify affected products, visit our website

Infected pets may exhibit flu-like symptoms such as lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, etc.  Infection can lead to brain swelling, which is often fatal.  If your pet is showing any symptoms and has eaten any Stella and Chewy’s Products, then contact Dr. Hodge or Dr. Drew immediately.

For a link to the products that have been recalled, go to the company’s website at this link.

Microchip – A Return Home Ticket!

Microchips save lives!  There, I’ve boldly said it!  Microchip insertions for pets have been a game changer in the lost and found department of pet care and shelter medicine.  Without them, the number of lost pets never returned to their loving families would be shattering.

What is a Microchip?  – A Microchip is a small transmitter about the size of a grain of rice.  The chip itself is encapsulated in a biocompatible polymer that doesn’t cause a body or immune system reaction.   Microchips have no battery and thus will not fail as time passes.  Microchips have no active, moving or working parts that can break or have the need to be replaced.  Microchipping has been around for over 20 years and has a proven efficacy and safety.

How are Microchips implanted?  – Basically, a shot with a big needle.  Microchips come in sterile, individualized packages.  In this package, there is usually a microchip tag with the name and code in a typed format for home records.  Based on the species of the animal being Microchipped, there are standardized locations of where the Microchips are to be placed.  Dogs (and cats) have their Microchip injected under the skin between the shoulder blades.  A common misconception is that surgery is needed to place a Microchip.  This is false.  A Microchip can be placed in a matter of seconds.

Does the implantation hurt?  – The discomfort associated with placement of a Microchip is about the same as that of getting an injection for vaccinations. The needle is a little larger, but the injections happen so quickly, that many pets don’t seem to notice.  Many Microchips are placed when pets are under anesthesia for their spay procedure, neuter, dental treatments, etc and are thus not even aware.

How does the Microchip work?  – When a Microchip scanner is passed over the region of the body where the implant resides, a signal is emitted indicating the unique identification number of the chip.  This is read on a view screen on the scanner.

What information is on the Microchip?  – The only information on the Microchip is the unique identification number that is encoded.  No personal information about the pet or the owner is on the microchip.  The microchip information is similar to that of a vehicle identification number (VIN number) on a car.

How does the Microchip information become registered?  It is very important that your Microchip information be registered.  Simply having the chip implanted will not bring your pet home.  If a Microchip is unregistered, the manufacturer can tract the Microchip to the facility (animal hospital, shelter, etc) that they sold it to, but unless that facility has records of each of the Microchip numbers, you are at a loss.  Many animal hospitals will register the information for you.  Other animal hospitals or facilities will give you the paperwork that you can fill out and mail in.  Some Microchip manufacturers allow you to complete the registration online.  No matter the means, REGISTER.

Do Microchips cause cancer?  – No, Microchips do not cause cancer.  There have been numerous studies that prove that Microchips do not cause cancer.  Since the material that coats the Microchip is a biocompatible element, the body’s immune system doesn’t even know it is there.

Can a Microchip be used to locate a lost pet?  No, a Microchip is not a location device.  GPS systems are small enough to fit on a dog’s collar, but still too large to be made inside a Microchip.  A lost pet is generally scanned at a veterinary hospital, shelter or rescue organization.  Once scanned, this number can then be checked with the manufacturer’s registration database or in a database run by the American Animal Hospital Association at  It is the database that holds the owner’s contact information.

How often do Microchips need to be registered?  – Once the Microchip is registered, that registration is indefinite.  The problem however, is that people move and their contact information changes, but the registration is never updated.  So, always remember that if you move, change your phone numbers or other registration information, please contact the manufacturer to update their database as well.  If the registrar allows for secondary contact information, provide that of a person who lives in a different location than yours.  If there is a natural disaster and your pet is found and identified, but you cannot be contacted and your secondary contact is your neighbor, who is also affected by the natural disaster, you are again at a loss.  However, if you give contact information for someone outside of your living area, the likelihood that they can be contacted is greater.  We learned a lot of this the hard way from hurricane Katrina.

Be a life saver – Microchip your pet today!

Vaccinations – Injecting Wellness

Vaccines are a means to stimulate the body’s immunity to different bacterial and viral infections.  A vaccine prepares the body’s defenses to attack invading pathogens and to prevent or reduce severity of the diseases they cause.  Vaccines are an important way to prevent certain diseases from invading and harming your dog or cat. Pet vaccinations have been around for a very long time. But modern vaccines are the most effective and safe that has ever been made.  In order to protect your precious pet from contagious diseases it is essential to keep his or her vaccinations up-to-date. Bringing in your pet to a Veterinary clinic will keep your pets on track with their vaccines and wellness care.

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Laser Therapy – See The Light

Major League Baseball uses it.  The NFL uses it.  The US Olympic Team uses it.  Progressive Cutting Edge Veterinarians use it. What is it?  Laser Therapy, that’s what.  So, let me shed some light on the subject.

Therapeutic Laser is a new innovative method of treatment that has shown to improve a pet’s circulation, reduce pain & inflammation, speed healing, kill infection and much more, in many ways.

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Blood Work & Lab Testing – An Internal Physical Exam

Have you ever gone to the veterinarian and be told that they recommend annual blood work for your pet?

There is a reason for this, as most pet owner’s only think about blood work or lab tests when their pet is sick. However just like their human counter parts, pets too should have lab tests done once a year for their overall health evaluation.  Lab work is considered an internal examination for your pet. It is also essential if your pet is sick or having any kind of surgery performed.

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Allergies in Pets – Scratching the Surface

Have you noticed your pet scratching a lot lately?  Shaking their head or chewing at their paws?  If so, most likely it is due to allergies (Atopy).  We need to schedule your pet for a comprehensive exam to have several diagnostic tests done to best determine the cause(s) of their allergy problems.  The most common symptoms that owners will notice from their pet is excessive licking, scratching or chewing, odor from the ears or skin, hair loss, crusted skin lesions, greasy or oily skin, scaly, dry or red skin, stained or inflamed paws.  Recurrence of skin infections and/or ear infections is also common in allergic pets.

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Acupuncture for Pets – What’s the Point?

Almost everyone has heard of acupuncture. Many people have actually had or have ongoing sessions with acupuncture. But how much do you really know about this ancient healing art and its use in pets?

Acupuncture is described as the stimulation of a specific point on the body with a specific method, to elicit a specific response to help put the body into balance. Balance is a process of where all the bodily functions are working in harmony and there is no, or less disease (dis-ease). This balance has been represented for thousands of years by the Yin/Yang symbol.

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