Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Initial survey results

We have received around 160 completed surveys and thought that we would put some of the initial findings together. These can be download in pdf format from :

Obviously, we want to get more and more surveys completed and then do some in-depth analysis of the findings, so 'KEEP THEM COMING FOLKS'. (We have accosted people everywhere we go, including Dublin, Belfast, Manchester and Arnhem in the Netherlands - these is no hiding place from our cards requesting completion of the survey - you have been warned!!!!)

The link for completing the survey is still no longer valid - see new link above

Once again, thanks to all who have completed it. It is much appreciated.

Updates on Pet Food

We received confirmation from the Food Standards Agency that only Category 3 animal by-products may be used in pet food.  Category 3 ABPs are the lowest risk category. 

Category 3 material
Category 3 material comprises the following animal by-products:
parts of slaughtered animals which are fit for human consumption but are not intended for human consumption for commercial reasons;
parts of slaughtered animals which are rejected as unfit for human consumption but are not affected by any sign of a communicable disease;
hides and skins, hooves and horns, pig bristles and feathers originating from animals that are slaughtered in a slaughterhouse and were declared fit for human consumption after undergoing an ante mortem inspection;
blood obtained from animals declared fit for human consumption after undergoing an ante mortem inspection, other than ruminants slaughtered in a slaughterhouse;
animal by-products derived from the production of products intended for human consumption, including degreased bones and greaves;
former foodstuffs of animal origin, other than catering waste, which are no longer intended for human consumption for commercial reasons or due to problems of manufacturing or packaging defects;
raw milk originating from animals that do not show any signs of a communicable disease;
fish or other sea animals, except sea mammals, caught in the open sea for the purpose of fishmeal production, and fresh by-products from fish from plants manufacturing fish products for human consumption;
shells of eggs originating from animals that do not show any signs of a communicable disease;
blood, hides and skins, hooves, feathers, wool, horns, hair and fur originating from healthy animals;
catering waste other than category 1.

Catering waste
Category 1 catering waste is defined as catering waste from means of transport operating internationally.

A DEFRA leaflet PB11268 lists pet food plants (among others) as possible recipients for the disposal of uncooked meat, fish and eggs.

It is reassuring to know that road-kill and euthanased pets from shelters are NOT included in this list, contrary to many people’s understanding.  However, we understand that packs of hunting dogs and zoo animals have a different set of feeding standards, as will horses and rabbits who are not considered “pets” because they are sometimes used for human consumption.

Thursday, 14 June 2012


The following is a heartwarming story from Gillian of German Shepherd Rescue Scotland about the progress of a dog with pretty severe problems.................

Wallace came into German Shepherd Rescue Scotland in August 2010, he was 10 months old and had been diagnosed with Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) at 7 months old. His problems started at the age of 4 months just shortly after his second vaccination, and his family were struggling to cope.

EPI is a potentially life threatening condition where the part of the pancreas that produces digestive enzymes no longer functions properly, when this happens food can no longer be digested. This is why an EPI dog will literally starve to death without proper treatment. Although EPI is common in German Shepherds it is found in many other breeds too. There is no cure for EPI but it can be successfully managed, and dogs with EPI can live long, happy and active lives.

What are the symptoms?
·         'Cow Pat' stools that can look greasy or oily and smell awful
·         Diarrhoea that won't go away
·         Weight loss
·         Ravenous appetite
·         Voluminous & frequent stools
·         Eating stools
·         Gurgling and loud digestive noises, wind and burping
·         Eating non-food items e.g  wood, paper,
·         Change in temperament

How can EPI be managed?
The aim in managing EPI is produce normal looking stools this is done replacing the missing enzymes with powdered enzymes or enzyme granules. There are a few options available here in the UK, and sometimes some trial and error is required to find the best enzyme for each dog.

There are 4 main factors consider when stabilising an EPI dog.
·         Diet – Most EPI dogs do best on a grain-free diet, although some do tolerate rice. Fibre content should be no more than 4%.
·         Enzymes – These are required with EVERY meal. All food must be treated and dogs with EPI shouldn't be given treats.
·         B12 Deficiency - 82% of all EPI dogs have insufficient B12 levels, if this is not addressed then they won't gain weight. B12 injections are required to keep the dog's B12 levels in the upper ranges of normal.
·         Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) - SIBO is caused when bacteria accumulate and ferment undigested food. A tell-tale sign of SIBO is a slimy, mucous coating on the stools. Most dogs will have SIBO when first diagnosed with EPI, treatment is a 30-45 day course of antibiotics. However until a dog stabilises SIBO can be on ongoing problem so sometimes a longer course of antibiotics is required. SIBO's bad bacteria use B12, which can cause B12 deficiencies, so if not treated properly a vicious cycle can form.

Wallace was placed in a foster home so that his foster Mum could get to grips with his EPI and stabilise him ready for his new family. She did well with the 'tweaking' of food, enzymes, B12 and antibiotics, he soon gained weight and lost his 'sad' look, dogs with EPI are often in pain until they are stabilised and you can see the pain in their faces. It wasn't long before he was running around with his doggy brother and sister, happy and healthy. But then she failed miserably at being a foster Mum, Wallace fitted in so well that she couldn't give him up!

German Shepherd Rescue Scotland supports Wallace, his enzymes aren't cheap and because he was given up to the rescue his insurance was no longer valid. The rescue pays for all of his enzymes and vet visits, he's one of our 'Supported Dogs'. He costs around £3000 per year for enzymes and B12 injections, this is a lot of money, but he deserved a chance. Sadly we can't support every dog with a medical condition but we do our best to help when we can.

Wallace will be 3 years old in October 2012, he has the odd setback but for the main he is stable and he loves life. He's a real wee character with a lot of love to give, he loves to be his Mum's shadow and trips her up constantly! He has a few wee quirks but then most EPI dogs do!