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February 2011

Wellness Canned Cat Food Recall - Thiamine Deficiency

From Wellness Pet Food:

February 28, 2011

Dear Pet Parents,

My name is Tim Callahan and I'm the CEO of WellPet, makers of Wellness® natural pet food. Over the years, we at WellPet have worked hard to earn the reputation of being a company that does everything possible for the pets that depend on us.

WellPet is committed to delivering the very best in pet food nutrition, as nothing is more important than the well-being of our dogs and cats. So when we found through product quality testing that specific product runs of our Wellness canned cat food might contain less than adequate levels of thiamine (also known as Vitamin B1), we decided to voluntarily recall them.

Please know, the vast majority of products tested had the appropriate levels of thiamine; however, with the number of recipes we offer, we did not want to make this more confusing. Therefore to avoid confusion and in an abundance of caution, we have decided to recall all canned cat products with the specific date codes noted below. Cats fed only product with inadequate levels of thiamine for several weeks may be at risk for developing a thiamine deficiency. If treated promptly, thiamine deficiency is typically reversible.

Though the chance of developing this deficiency is remote, withdrawing these products is the right thing to do and we are removing it from retailers' shelves.

The lots involved in this voluntary recall are:

Wellness Canned Cat (all flavors and sizes) with best by dates from 14APR 13 through 30SEP13;

Wellness Canned Cat Chicken & Herring (all sizes) with best by date of 10NOV13 and 17NOV13.

If you have cat food from these lots, you should stop feeding it to your cats. You may call WellPet at 1-877-227-9587 to arrange for return of the product and reimbursement.

No other Wellness products that your pets currently enjoy are impacted, so you can continue to feed your pets Wellness with full confidence. This is an isolated situation, as we have had only one reported issue. We are taking all the necessary steps to ensure it does not happen again.

 Speaking on behalf of our entire Company, I apologize for any concerns this may have caused you. As a parent of a yellow lab named Hope, I understand the sense of responsibility we all share for our dogs and cats. Rest assured, product quality and safety will always be our top priority.

Sincerely,

 

Read the Press Release (also listed below)

Contacts:

Consumer Inquiries: Media Inquiries:

(877) 227-9587 Claire Burke

Hunter PR

(212) 679-6600

WELLPET LLCVOLUNTARILY RECALLS

CERTAIN LOTS OF CANNED CAT FOOD

No Other Lots, Products or Dates Affected

Tewksbury, MA (February 28, 2011) - WellPet LLC announced today it has voluntarily recalled certain lots of

Wellness

canned cat food.

While recent laboratory testing found that most lots of Wellness canned cat food that were tested contain

sufficient amounts of thiamine (also known as Vitamin B1), some of the lots listed below might contain less

than adequate levels of thiamine. However, out of an abundance of caution, WellPet has decided to recall all

of the lots listed below.

Cats fed only the affected lots for several weeks may be at risk for developing a thiamine deficiency. Thiamine

is essential for cats. Symptoms of deficiency displayed by an affected cat can be gastrointestinal or

neurological in nature. Early signs of thiamine deficiency may include decreased appetite, salivation, vomiting,

and weight loss. In advanced cases, neurologic signs can develop, which may include ventriflexion (bending

towards the floor) of the neck, wobbly walking, circling, falling, and seizures. If your cat has consumed the

recalled lots and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian. If treated promptly, thiamine

deficiency is typically reversible.

The lots involved in this voluntary recall are:

Wellness Canned Cat (all flavors and sizes) with best by dates from 14APR 13 through 30SEP13;

Wellness Canned Cat Chicken & Herring (all sizes) with 10NOV13 or 17NOV13 best buy dates.

Consumers who still have cans of cat food from these lots should stop feeding them to their cats and call us at

(877) 227-9587 Monday through Friday, 9:00 am – 7:00 pm Eastern Time. Consumers with further questions

should visit our website at

www.wellnesspetfood.com

or call us at this same number.

WellPet discovered the lower thiamine levels during independent testing conducted together with the U.S.

Food and Drug Administration in response to a single, isolated consumer complaint received by the FDA.

Although WellPet has received no other reports concerning thiamine in its products, WellPet has taken

additional steps with the manufacturer to ensure that this does not happen again.

“As a pet parent myself, I’m concerned for the health and welfare of all pets, and as a company we are

committed to delivering the most nutritious natural pet food,” said Tim Callahan, chief executive officer of

WellPet, the maker of Wellness products. “Even though the chance of a cat developing a thiamine deficiency is

extremely remote, we are voluntarily recalling all of these lots of our canned cat food as an extra precaution.”


Five Essential Nutrients for Dog & Cat Skin and Coat Health

Doc Keeping your companion animal’s skin healthy and coat shiny can prove challenging. Even though you might already feed a quality food, and brush and shampoo regularly, there’s more to this area of pet care than you might think. Veterinarians will tell you that the condition of the skin can be a good indicator of a pet’s overall health and nutrition status. That’s why wise pet parents should monitor their companion animal for any of these tell-tale signs …

• Dry, flaky skin or a dull, brittle coat
• Oily, foul smelling skin or a matted coat
• Thin coat, excessive hair loss or red, blotchy skin
• Excessive scratching (especially, seasonally)

The skin is the largest organ in the body and requires proteins and other nutrients. It’s not surprising that subtle changes in the amount of nutrients supplied to the skin can have a noticeable affect on its overall condition.

Fortunately, many pets eat complete-and-balanced pet foods that meet the nutrient profiles specified by expert panels and regulatory bodies. However, there are other factors that can lead to nutrient deficiencies. Pet foods that are improperly stored in the home, or in warehouses for many months without climate control prior to entering your home, can have reduced nutrient availability. Deficiencies may also arise when an animal is unable to digest, absorb or utilize nutrients as a result of genetic, environmental or stress factors, or some diseases. Even if your companion animal eats a nutritious diet, her skin takes a backseat to the rest of her organs … in essence, only receiving the “leftovers”. Therefore, I believe it’s important to supplement with additional nutrients, to help your furry one achieve skin and coat health.

Here are the top five essential nutrients you should consider for optimal skin and coat health:

1. Omega-3 Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids

The importance of balanced supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids cannot be stressed enough. Omega-3 fatty acids play a structural role in cell membranes, help resolve inflammation and are vital for maintaining normal skin structure and function. Omega-3’s are fragile molecules and prolonged storage or improperly balanced vitamin E can deplete levels of fatty acids in food and supplements. Signs that your pet may be suffering from a deficiency of these nutrients include a dull, dry coat and dander.

2. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant vital to the maintenance of skin cell membrane stability and protection against free-radical damage. Also, vitamin E interacts with many nutrients while in the body, including omega-3 fatty acids, to promote optimal skin health.

3. Zinc

Zinc is critical for regulating different aspects of skin cell metabolism. Its presence is involved in skin cell replication. Zinc is essential to the body’s response to disease and inflammation and is involved in the metabolism of another crucial skin nutrient, vitamin A. Signs of a zinc deficiency include: a dull, dry coat; localized redness; hair loss; and scales that appear on the legs, around the mouth or on the eyelids.

4. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is involved in skin cell growth and repair. It is essential to maintain the integrity of the skin barrier and the proper growth of hair and nails. Vitamin A also supports the production of healthy oils in the skin. Both deficiency and excess vitamin A can lead to skin problems such as hair loss, poor coat quality and increased susceptibility to bacterial infections, which is why the correct balance of vitamin A is so critically important in the diet.

5. Vitamin B

The B-complex vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, d-pantothenic acid, niacin, pyridoxine, B12 and biotin) work in concert with the nutrients mentioned above to coordinate energy metabolism and synthetic processes. B vitamins are water-soluble, and therefore can’t be stored in the body. The balanced daily intake of these vitamins is vital to overall health. Dry, flaky dander and hair loss are the signs most consistently associated with B-vitamin deficiencies.

An important take-away from this discussion is that all these nutrients, while each important in their own right, work in concert with one another, and with other nutrients in the body. That’s why it’s incredibly important that these nutrients be provided in a balanced, holistic way. As you can see, some of the deficiency symptoms overlap (e.g., a dull, dry coat and dandruff could signal a deficiency of any or all of these nutrients). I urge you to choose a balanced skin-and-coat supplement, and to work with your veterinarian to ensure that your companion animal is receiving all the nutrients he or she needs to shine.

Thank you for everything you do to make the world a better place for companion animals,

Dr. Jane Bicks, DVM

Order Life's Abundance Skin and Coat Supplement


Show Your Heart Some Love with Omega-3

HeartScope February is not just for lovers anymore. The American Heart Association (AHA) has officially dubbed February “American Heart Month”. So, what better time to start showing your heart more love than in February? The Center for Disease Control and Prevention claims that heart disease is the leading cause of deaths in the United States. Both the Mayo Clinic and the AHA suggest that consuming 2-3 (3.5 ounce) servings of omega-3 rich foods a week can help support a healthy heart.

How do you know that you are providing your body with enough omega-3’s? Here are a few ways to ensure that you are consuming the recommended amounts of omega-3 fatty acids:

Eat Fish - All fish contain omega-3’s. The fattier the fish, the higher the omega-3 levels. Your best bets are fish with high levels of omega-3’s, such as mackerel, salmon, sardines, herring and tuna. Be sure to use caution when consuming large amounts of fish, as some have elevated levels of mercury, which could lead to health risks, especially in pregnant women. In order to make your fish selection an easy one, the EPA has published safe eating guidelines. For more information, visit www.EPA.gov and type ‘safe eating guideline’ in the search box at the top of the home page.

Go Nuts - Most nuts, seeds and beans also contain omega-3’s. The best sources are soybeans, walnuts, flaxseed and pumpkin seeds.

Cook with Oil - Instead of cooking in vegetable oil, try a more heart-healthy option by using olive oil, sunflower seed oil, soybean oil, flaxseed oil or canola oil.

Get Fortified - When you are shopping at the local market, keep your eyes open for foods fortified with omega-3. Most will prominently display “Enhanced or Fortified with Omega-3” on the label. Juices, eggs, pastas, cereals, breads and even soups are just some of the products that now feature heart healthy omega-3’s.

How can you truly be certain that you are getting plenty of omega-3’s? Taking an omega-3 fish oil supplement daily is a great way; however, be sure to choose an ultra-refined product. To be sure you are getting the highest quality, choose a fish oil supplement that has an IFOS 5-Star Rating. This validation testing ensures that you are getting a safe and effective fish oil supplement that you can feel confident giving to your family.

Do you lead a heart-healthy lifestyle? Finding out is easy! The AHA has developed an interactive online action plan for you to determine if you are leading a healthy life. It is called “Life’s Simple 7”. Take the test and discover the state of your heart. The program will provide you with simple steps to achieve a healthier heart and lifestyle. So, show your heart some love and visit www.MyLifeCheck.org and take the challenge today.

Learn more about Life's Abundance Sealogix Fish Oil


What Is Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS)?

Thanks to advances in health care and nutrition, our beloved family pets are living longer and longer. Senior pets are becoming the norm rather than the exception, and with the happy increase in the number of furry senior citizens, there has been a shift in health concerns for both veterinarians and pet parents alike.

One area of great concern for veterinarian and dog parent alike is the decline in a senior dog’s cognitive abilities or brain function. Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome, or CDS for short, is the term vets use to describe a degenerative brain disorder in senior dogs. Often, when pet parents are talking to their veterinarian, they will share that their senior citizen is uncharacteristically disobedient or soiling in the house. Other tell-tale signs of CDS include generalized anxiety (pacing or panting), confusion, decreased grooming habits, a changed appetite, acting depressed and forgetting regular habits. Signs of CDS are typically irreversible and progressive, but with effective treatment and management, the signs can be slowed and some can even be reversed. It is important to know that many of the signs of CDS can be confused with other diseases, such as hypothyroidism, arthritis or even dental disease, so if your senior dog is acting differently, schedule a full checkup with your local veterinarian.

One of the first questions pet parents usually ask when their veterinarian mentions the possibility of CDS is, “Is it like Alzheimer’s?” The answer is “Sorta.” CDS shares many similarities to symptoms of Alzheimer’s in humans, including similar microscopic changes and oxidative damage to brain cells that correspond to the severity of the disease. In fact, the two diseases are so similar that many of the treatments that are used in Alzheimer’s were first developed in dogs.

So if your dog has been diagnosed with CDS, what can you do? What about if you want to be proactive and take steps now to decrease the likelihood that CDS will mar your best friend’s golden years? In this video, Dr. Sarah goes over recent advances in treatment and prevention of canine cognitive syndrome.

Watch The Video


Tips For Settling Stomachs & Supporting Digestion For Dogs & Cats

While your pet may initiate certain behaviors regarding eating habits and exercise, through the evolution of domestication, many of these normal processes fall under the influence of our hands. Therefore, making just a few tweaks in routine may greatly benefit your pet’s overall health and well-being. 

  • Do not change diet suddenly, but slowly introduce fresh, raw and unprocessed food into your pet's daily diet, while reducing commercial foods and foods with little nutritious value.

  • Keep diet varied and interesting, but watch out for foods that your pet may be allergic to.

  • Regular exercise helps to build up a healthy appetite and gets all organs in the body functioning well. It also helps to relieve stress and contributes to a healthy, happy pet!

  • Animals need time outdoors where they can naturally seek out herbs that will help them maintain the health of their digestive system. All carnivorous animals, including dogs and cats, will naturally induce vomiting from time to time as a cleansing process to get rid of excess bile, mucus and other impurities. They do this by eating plants which will induce purging. This is healthy and animals should not be reprimanded for it!

  • Add green sprouts to your pet's food every day. This is an easy way to improve digestion and supply much-needed vitamins, amino acids, and trace elements.

  • Consult a holistic veterinarian for advice about the health problems associated with routine vaccination and regular antibiotic use.

  • For animals that suffer from constipation, ensure adequate roughage in the diet.

 


 

Related Products:

 

Digestive Support - Herbal digestive tonic supports healthy digestion in pets

RuniPoo Relief - Supports healthy digestion and bowel functioning

Flatulence Preventer - Promote digestive health and reduce common gas and unpleasant smells

Natural Moves for Pets - For regular bowels and digestive system