Misty, the 10-year-old Golden Retriever who inspired the Senior Dogs Project

The Senior Dogs Project
..........."Looking Out for Older Dogs" ...........

"Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog."
Sydney Jeanne Seward


Dog Health News and Alerts
Top Ten Pet Toxins of 2015

The ASPCA has just published a guide listing ten of the common toxins that pets regularly consume, often with disastrous effects. You can download it and keep it as a reminder to store these items safely out of the reach of your companion animal(s).

ATrifexis -- a newly-approved three-month parasite control product -- August 2014

The common heartworm, parasite, and flea medicine Trifexis is being linked to numerous dog deaths. According to WSB-TV in Atlanta, reports from the vets and families of dogs who have died are far too common. At this point, dog deaths are being reported to the FDA at a rate of about one per day. Read more....

Pet Jerky Treats Recall May 19, 2014

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are teaming up to investigate over 1,000 dog deaths and three people who fell ill after consuming chicken, duck and sweet potato pet jerky imported from China.

Accidental Dog Poisoning on the Rise

From a news release dated September 24, 2012: "Veterinarians at the University of California, Davis, warn pet owners to be careful about using rat poisons and similar compounds. In recent weeks, veterinarians at the UC Davis William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital have seen a spike in accidental rodenticide poisonings. In the last two weeks of August alone, they diagnosed and treated six canine cases. Ingesting rodenticides, which also include squirrel bait, can be fatal for a dog, causing death within a week if not treated. The veterinarians say that rodenticide poisoning has primarily been a canine issue, while cats are more likely to be attracted to plants that may be harmful to them."

Canine Influenze Virus

Canine influenza virus (CIV) is a relatively new virus and is highly contagious, infecting 80% of dogs exposed to it. Learn more....

  • Vaccinations
  • Over Vaccinating
  • A study finds that most veterinary clinics over-vaccinate to maintain income stream. Learn more.... Also, watch the video of an investigative report...
  • Multiple Vaccines Administered at the Same Time Hold Danger, Especially for Small Dogs

    Small dogs more likely to have adverse reactions to multiple vaccinations, but all dogs are candidates -- read more.....

  • Proheart

    Proheart is Re-introduced as Proheart 6.....Is It Safer?

    According to an informed veterinarian, "Proheart caused more deaths in one year than all of the oral heartworm preventives combined did in ten years. When the FDA notified Pfizer that their drug was causing a problem, the manufacturer claimed it was due to the vaccines' being given at the same time. The FDA looked at the data again and told them the dogs involved had been getting their vaccinations all along and the only difference was the Proheart. That's when the FDA informed the company of their intent to pull it and the company then voluntarily took it off the market." Proheart now back on the market, but, according to our source, it is still the same drug, Moxidectin. The website, drugs.com, you'll find this warning:

    Because Of Its Potential For Serious Adverse Drug Reactions And The Absence Of Identifiable Risk Factors Associated With Those Reactions, Proheart 6 Is Only Indicated For Those Dogs In Which Alternative Preventatives Cannot Be Effectively Administered.

    Our resouce tells us, "One problem with Proheart is that it is a six-month injection. Heartworm preventives like Interceptor or Heartgard are out of a dog's system in a few days; their protection goes backward and covers the 30 days before the medication was given, does not protect for the month after administration. They are essentially 'catch up' drugs, catching a dog up for the previous month. If a dog has a problem with the drug, it's short term as the drug is out of them in a few days. Not so with a six-month injection. If a dog has a problem with it, the Proheart is still there for six months."

    Proheart's Back Story -- Disturbing Details; Advice to Hold Off Using It

    While it's true that Proheart 6 has been reintroduced, it's important to understand the history of the drug. As the Nathan Cummings Foundation states, "It's a disturbing tale for anyone who relies on pharmaceutical companies and the FDA to ensure that medicines for animals and humans are safe, one that raises questions about the conduct of a major corporation and its federal regulator."

    Please watch a video in which a veterinarian describes the problems with Proheart6 and what's happening with it now. "They claim it was totally reformulated," says Dr. Pinney of Veterinary Insider. He adds, "I'm not sure I believe that." He recommends holding off on using Proheart6 until there has been more experience with the supposedly "reformulated" drug.

    Side-effects Warnings and the Law

    Veterinarians must warn about drugs' side effects! It's the law!

    Warning clients about potential side effects of medications isn't just good medicine... it's the law.... The American Animal Health Association's TRENDS magazine asked Duane Flemming, DVM, JD, DACVO, to explain. Read more....

    Other Alerts and Warnings


    Ketoconazole is an anti-fungal drug (human drug is called Nizoral) that is used for animals with fungal infections. On October 21, 2006, the Senior Dogs Project received a report from Nice, France, where "Ralph," a dog belonging to an American living in France, died as a result of liver damage. The drug is suspected as being the cause of the liver damage. The report states that the veterinarian provided no warning about the potentially deadly side effects of the drug and neither did the manufacturer's label. The vet had warned only that Ketoconazole might cause vomiting at the beginning of treatment, but that, in time, the vomiting would stop. On the 'notice' sold with the drug, the statement made is: 'This medicine is very well tolerated except for rare cases of vomiting at the beginning of treatment.' Ralph did not vomit at first. He did, however, have diarrhea, orange urine (almost black), trembling, and fatigue, and his skin turned dark and peeled in large flakes. After one week, the side effects had not disappeared. The vet advised cutting the dose in two (from 200 to 100 mg daily), and that was Ralph's death sentence. On the 24th day after beginning treatment, even though the drug had been withdrawn, Ralph began to vomit. He vomited whether he ate or drank; nothing would stay down. A perfectly healthy dog (on August 14) was diagnosed with hepatitis most likely brought on by drug intoxication, which could only have come from the Ketoconazole. He died, suffering greatly.

    Veterinary note: Ketoconazole is approved for veterinary use in France; however, it is not FDA- approved for animal use in the US, although it is widely used (note that you can buy it online). Every vet advising use of this drug should be fully aware that it: (1) Does not work for one in five dogs. (2) Can cause severe liver damage, and (3) Has a fairly high number of allergic reactions. There is a safer anti-fungal -- Fluconazole -- but that safety comes at a price -- around $12-$15 a pill -- although there may now be generic versions available or coming soon. There are many situations where fungal infections can be life-threatening. These are generally internal infections, not just skin allergic reactions, so these drugs do have a place and are a better alternative than simply suppressing the symptoms with steroids.

    Ditrim Rx

    The Senior Dogs Project has just received another report of an adverse event related to Ditrim Rx. Information from the VetInfo site follows:

    "Antibiotics are often harmful to patients. Sulfa/trimethoprim (Bactrim Rx, Tribrissen Rx, Ditrim Rx, Sulfatrim Rx, SMZ-TMP, other generic names) is an antibiotic that can cause joint inflammation in Dobermans and is implicated in immune mediated thrombocytopenia (ITP) in many dog breeds. Thrombocytes are the platelets in the blood, responsible for blood clotting. Thrombocytopenia is a decrease in the number of platelets. Obviously, if they get low enough there is a great risk to the pet. This antibiotic is still widely prescribed, though. It has a broad spectrum of action, it is inexpensive and most of the time it doesn't cause problems. The ITP is almost always reversible if the medication is withdrawn. Remembering that this antibiotic can cause this problem may help to save your pet's life, though. Penicillins can cause severe allergic reactions, even causing sudden death in a few patients. Many antibiotics cause diarrhea. Chloramphenicol has been associated with aplastic anemia in several species. Enrofloxacin (Baytril Rx) and tetracycline antibiotics should not be given to growing pets unless absolutely necessary due to the potential for problems with absorption of the medications into bone and/or teeth, causing defects. Amikacin and gentamicin are aminoglycoside antibiotics. This group of antibiotics can cause deafness and kidney failure. Use of antibiotics should be restricted to conditions which are likely to respond to appropriate antibiotic therapy since these are not harmless medications. When they are necessary it is obvious that some risk of use is justified."


    The very-popular chew, "Greenies," may hurt your dog!! Read about Greenies on CNN news.....