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September 2010

How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears

Repeated head shaking. Foul-smelling, waxy build-up. Red, painfully inflamed ears. What do all these things have in common? All are symptoms of otitis externa, or what is commonly referred to as ear infections. If you have ever groaned inwardly and felt dismay the moment your dog starts shaking his head or rubbing his ears along the nearest available surface, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, too many pet parents are more than familiar with this recurring medical problem. Often, it is accompanied by an offensive odor and one can only imagine how overwhelming the smell is to the suffering pup!

Canine ear infections result from an overgrowth of yeast or bacteria in the ear canal, causing redness, irritation and a heavy accumulation of wax. Likely triggers of these maladies are skin reactions to inhaled allergens – like pollen, mold or dust mites – or food allergies and sensitivities. Be aware that both large ears and swimming predispose dogs to ear infections.

Humans tend to develop ear infections as a result of viral infections, typically in infancy or early youth. As youngsters, our Eustachian tubes are very small. Respiratory congestion can lead to blockage of these canals, resulting in otitis media (a middle ear infection). Because the infection is internal, they frequently require oral antibiotics. In contrast, pets usually develop ear infections as adults, and the infection is almost always localized in the external portion of the ear. In most cases, the application of prescription drops or ointments directly into the ear canal usually resolves the illness. If you suspect your companion animal may be suffering from an ear infection, please seek veterinarian assistance for diagnosis and treatment. If necessary, your vet may prescribe a topical medicine and advise routine cleaning.

In this episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah reveals the steps to safe and effective ear cleaning to promote overall ear health.

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Benefits Of Sesame Lignans And Heart & Circulatory Health

Lifes abundance sealogix fish oil Plasma Lipids

Bhaskaran S, Santanam N, Penumetcha M, Parthasarathy S. Inhibition of atherosclerosis in low-density lipoprotein receptor-negative mice by sesame oil. J Med Food. 2006 Winter;9(4):487-90.

Study Abstract

Department of Pathology, Louisiana State University, Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA, USA.

Diet has profound effects on the development of atherosclerosis. Fatty acid composition, antioxidants, and other components such as lignans have major effects on the atherosclerotic process. Sesame oil has both mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acid constituents in equal proportions. In addition, it also has high levels of numerous antioxidants and inducers of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor. The objective of this study was to determine the anti-atherosclerotic effects of sesame oil. In this study, male low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor (LDLR) -/- mice were fed atherogenic diet or atherogenic diet reformulated with the same level of sesame oil (sesame oil diet). Plasma lipids and atherosclerotic lesions were quantified after 3 months of feeding. Sesame oil-containing diet significantly reduced the atherosclerotic lesion formation and plasma cholesterol, triglyceride, and LDL cholesterol levels in LDLR -/- mice. These findings suggest that sesame oil could inhibit atherosclerosis lesion formation effectively, perhaps because of the synergistic actions of fatty acid and nonsaponifiable components.

Chen PR, Chien KL, Su TC. Dietary sesame reduces serum cholesterol and enhances antioxidant capacity in hypercholesterolemia. Nutr Res. 2005;25(6): 559-67.

Study Abstract

The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of sesame on lowering serum lipids and enhancing antioxidant capacity in 21 hyperlipidemic patients. Subjects were instructed to consume their regular diet for 2 weeks before starting the experimental diet. The experimental diet with 40 g roasted sesame was consumed for 4 weeks and the regular diet followed for another 4 weeks. Body weights and fasting blood were determined at weeks 0, 4, and 8. The results showed that the diet with sesame significantly decreased the levels of serum total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. The time for erythrocyte hemolysis and the lag phase of LDL oxidation were significantly increased by sesame ingestion. A diet containing sesame slightly reduced the levels of thiobarbituric acid–reactive substances in LDL. The beneficial effects of sesame disappeared when patients returned to their regular diets. Sesame in this study appeared to exert beneficial effects on serum lipids and to improve antioxidant capacity in hypercholesterolemic patients.

Hirose N, Inoue T, Nishihara K, et al. Inhibition of cholesterol absorption and synthesis in rats by sesamin. J Lipid Res. 1991 May;32(4):629-38.

Study Abstract

Laboratory of Nutrition Chemistry, Kyushu University School of Agriculture, Fukuoka, Japan.
The effects of sesamin, a lignan from sesame oil, on various aspects of cholesterol metabolism were examined in rats maintained on various dietary regimens. When given at a dietary level of 0.5% for 4 weeks, sesamin reduced the concentration of serum and liver cholesterol significantly irrespective of the presence or absence of cholesterol in the diet, except for one experiment in which the purified diet free of cholesterol was given. On feeding sesamin, there was a decrease in lymphatic absorption of cholesterol accompanying an increase in fecal excretion of neutral, but not acidic, steroids, particularly when the cholesterol-enriched diet was given. Sesamin inhibited micellar solubility of cholesterol, but not bile acids, whereas it neither bound taurocholate nor affected the absorption of fatty acids. Only a marginal proportion (ca. 0.15%) of sesamin administered intragastrically was recovered in the lymph. There was a significant reduction in the activity of liver microsomal 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase after feeding sesamin, although the activity of hepatic cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase, drug metabolizing enzymes, and alcohol dehydrogenase remained uninfluenced. Although the weight and phospholipid concentration of the liver increased unequivocally on feeding sesamin, the histological examination by microscopy showed no abnormality, and the activity of serum GOT and GPT remained unchanged. Since sesamin lowered both serum and liver cholesterol levels by inhibiting absorption and synthesis of cholesterol simultaneously, it deserves further study as a possible hypocholesterolemic agent of natural origin.

Ikeda S, Kagaya M, Kobayashi K, et al. Dietary sesame lignans decrease lipid peroxidation in rats fed docosahexaenoic acid. J Nut Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2003 Sep;49(4):270-6.

Study Abstract

Department of Food and Nutrition, Sugiyama Jogakuen University, Nagoya 464-8662, Japan.

We have previously reported that dietary sesamin and sesaminol, major lignans of sesame seed, elevate the alpha-tocopherol concentration and decrease the thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) concentration in the plasma and liver of rats. In this study, the effects of dietary sesamin and sesaminol on the lipid peroxidation in the plasma and tissues of rats fed docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6 n-3) were examined. Male Wistar rats (4-wk-old) were divided into the following six experimental groups: control group, fed a basal diet: sesamin group, fed a diet with sesamin (2 g/kg); sesaminol group, fed a diet with sesaminol (2 g/kg); DHA group, fed a diet containing DHA (5 g/kg); DHA + sesamin group, fed a diet containing DHA with sesamin; and DHA + sesaminol group, fed a diet containing DHA with sesaminol. Each diet contained either 0.01 or 0.05 g D-alpha-tocopherol/kg, and the rats were fed the respective experimental diet for 5 wk. The dietary DHA elevated the TBARS concentration and also increased the red blood-cell hemolysis induced by the dialuric acid. The dietary sesamin and sesaminol lowered the TBARS concentrations and decreased the red blood hemolysis. The dietary sesamin and sesaminol elevated the alpha-tocopherol concentrations in the plasma, liver, and brain of the rats fed a diet with or without DHA. These results suggest that dietary sesame lignans decrease lipid peroxidation as a result of elevating the alpha-tocopherol concentration in rats fed DHA.

Kang MH, Kawai Y, Naito M, Osawa T. Dietary defatted sesame flour decreases susceptibility to oxidative stress in hypercholesterolemic rabbits. J Nutr. 1999 Nov;129(10):1885-90.

Study Abstract

Laboratory of Food and Biodynamics, Nagoya University Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan.

Plant glucosides possess antioxidative properties due to their ability to scavenge free radicals. Sesame seeds contain a class of these compounds, the sesaminol glucosides. To evaluate their antioxidative activity in vivo, we fed rabbits diets containing 1% cholesterol (Chol) with or without 10% defatted sesame flour (DSF) (containing 1% sesaminol glucosides) for 90 d. We determined the susceptibility of their tissues to oxidation ex vivo as well as serum total cholesterol (TC), phospholipid (PL), triglyceride (TG) and HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) concentrations. Serum TC, HDL-C, PL and TG levels were unaffected by the addition of DSF. The HDL-C in the Chol + DSF group was greater than in the Chol group at 45 d. Both were greater than in the groups that did not consume cholesterol. Liver TC and TG were significantly lower in rabbits fed the diet containing DSF plus 1% cholesterol than in those fed 1% cholesterol alone. Lipid peroxidation activity, measured as 2-thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), was lower in the liver (P < 0.05) and serum (P = 0.06) of rabbits fed DSF plus cholesterol than in rabbits fed the cholesterol diet. Although we did not detect sesaminol glucosides in peripheral tissues, we observed abundant quantities of sesaminol in rabbits fed DSF, the principal metabolite. Our findings suggest that feeding DSF to rabbits does not protect cholesterol-induced hypercholesterolemia, but may decrease susceptibility to oxidative stress in rabbits fed cholesterol, perhaps due to the antioxidative activity of sesaminol.

Nakabayashi A, Kitagawa Y, Suwa Y, et al. Alpha-tocopherol enhances the hypocholesterolemic action of sesamin in rats. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1995;65(3):162-8.

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The Hartz Mountain Corporation Recalls Hartz Naturals Real Beef Treats

SECAUCUS, N.J., Sept. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hartz Mountain Corporation is voluntarily recalling one specific lot of Hartz Naturals Real Beef Treats for Dogs due to concerns that one or more bags within the lot may have been potentially contaminated with Salmonella. Hartz is fully cooperating with the US Food and Drug Administration in this voluntary recall.

Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems, all of whom are at particular risk from exposure and should avoid handling these products.

Salmonella symptoms may include fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and nausea in both dogs and humans.  Anyone experiencing the symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek immediate medical attention.  Owners of dogs exhibiting these symptoms should also seek veterinary assistance.

Hartz Mountain Corporation is recalling 74,700 8-oz bags of Hartz Naturals Real Beef Treats for Dogs, lot code BZ0969101E, UPC number 32700-11519, which were imported by Hartz from a Brazilian supplier, Bertin S.A., and which were distributed to a number of customers in the United States.  While regular testing conducted by Bertin (prior to shipment to the US) did not detect the presence of Salmonella in any packages of this product, random sample testing conducted by FDA did indicate the presence of Salmonella.   Hartz is aggressively investigating the source of the problem.

Although Hartz has not received any reports of animals or humans becoming ill as a result of coming into contact with this product, Hartz is taking immediate steps to remove the product from all retail stores and distribution centers.  Dog owners having purchased this product should check the lot code on their bag, and, if the code is not visible, or if the bag has lot code BZ0969101E imprinted thereon, they should immediately discontinue use of the product and discard it in a proper manner.

Consumers can contact Hartz at 1-800-275-1414 at any time with any questions they may have and for information on how to obtain reimbursement for purchased product.

P&G Voluntarily Recalls Iams Indoor Weight Control With Hairball Care Dry Cat Food (Expanded)


P&G Voluntarily Recalls a Small Amount of Dry Cat Food

Company Estimates Fewer Than 60 Bags Purchased

Company Contact: 
Jason Taylor, P&G 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – August 31, 2010 – CINCINNATI,  The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) is voluntarily recalling a small number of bags from a specific lot of one of its dry cat food products due to potential salmonella exposure.  

No illnesses have been reported, and no other Iams pet food products are involved.

Only one code date is affected by this announcement:

Product Name


Code Date

UPC Code

Iams Indoor Weight Control with Hairball Care dry cat food

6.8 lb bag

02304173 (B1-B6)


The company successfully traced and retrieved nearly all of the affected product and estimates that fewer than 60 bags from this production run may have been purchased by consumers.

This production run was sold through a single retailer in the following states:  Illinois, New Mexico, Texas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas, Wisconsin, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. 
Consumers who have purchased one of these few bags with the specific code date listed above should discard it.  For a product replacement or refund, please call P&G toll-free at 800-862-3332 (Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM EST).

People handling dry pet food can become infected with salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with surfaces exposed to this product.  Healthy people infected with salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, salmonella can result in more serious ailments including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with salmonella infections may have decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain.  If left untreated, pets may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting.  Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian