Thursday, November 07, 2013

Hound & Gatos Educates Pet Owners about Cancer Detection and Prevention during National Pet Cancer Awareness Month

Cancer is the number one disease-related killer of pets today. In fact, the Morris Animal Foundation states that 1 in 4 dogs will die of cancer and according to the National Canine Cancer Foundation, cancer accounts for approximately half the deaths of dogs over ten years of age. November is National Pet Cancer Awareness Month, and Hound & Gatos Pet Foods Corporation hopes to increase awareness about the detection and prevention of pet cancer.

“Unfortunately, a high number of pets get sick each year, and a major cause is poor nutrition,” says Will Post, President of Hound & Gatos Pet Foods Corporation. “The majority of pet foods on the shelves are packed with harmful ingredients such as fillers, preservatives and artificial substances. Making sure that what our pet ingests promotes good health, will not only allow their body the ability to fight back against illnesses such as cancer, but perhaps even form a shield of sorts, and lessen the consequences of poor nutrition,” says Post.

In 2005, Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) launched National Pet Cancer Awareness Month due to the staggering increase in pets suffering from cancer. Cancers of the skin, lymph nodes, gastrointestinal tract, blood and bone are the most common.

As always, early detection is critical. Here are a few early warning signs of pet cancer.

  • New Lumps and Bumps. New spots and lumps on your pet do not necessarily mean cancer. Take your pet into your vet to have the spot biopsied to determine if it’s malignant or benign.
  • Change in Appetite. Pets suffering from cancer frequently experience a change in appetite and most commonly, rapidly lose weight. This reaction can be tied to difficulty chewing or swallowing.
  • Depression. A sudden shift in mood is one symptom of cancer. Depression and an unwillingness to be active and exercise are reported as signs of cancer.

“The best possible way to prevent any health problems is to keep your pet healthy from the start, by feeding them a pure meat-based diet, with zero by-products, artificial fillers or plant protein,” says Post. “Making changes to this effect will help your pet live a happier, healthier, and longer life,” he says.

To learn more about Hound & Gatos, including where to buy products, visit their site at: or call your local pet store.

About Hound & Gatos Pet Foods Corporation:

Hound & Gatos Pet Foods Corporation is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Their mission is to provide the public with high quality pet food options for dogs and cats. Their line of pet foods focuses on the highest quality ingredients that provide maximum nutrition and avoid all bi-products and other ingredients that would generally be unnatural in a pet’s diet. For more information on Hound & Gatos visit the site at

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

The Tale of Brave Ritchie

Review by Angelene Heileson

In a world where bullying is more common and where bravery in school is needed, Shan Laks the author of The Tales of Ritchie the Rat addresses many of these issues affecting children today.  She discusses the issues of stranger danger and bullying and obesity in her newest tale The Tale of Brave Ritchie

The Tale of Brave Ritchie is made up of three different stories where Ritchie needs to be brave and show courage and wits while being in different situations.  While exploring the forest and looking for friends Ritchie encounters three dangerous animals with the lesson learned about talking to strangers.  Ritchie then in his next tale encounters the big bully rat, Cheet.  Ritchie learns to be kind even to the meanest of classmates.  Lastly, Ritchie and his friends participate in a football game where they all learn about having fun, playing well and becoming healthy.

Author Shan Laks writes a great tale which all kids will love and understand.  These Tales are written in a simple way that children of all ages can enjoy.  I read these tales to my 5 year old son.  He loved the stories as well as the beautiful drawings.  The illustrations are simple but done with bright colors that make it fun for kids who can't read to enjoy looking at.  I felt that Shan Lake really addressed many issues that our children face but also that we as parents should be discussing with our children.  These tales allow us as parents and providers of our children to allow for great discussions on these issues.  If as a parent you wonder how to discuss issues with your children, I would then encourage you to look into Shan Laks' Tales of Ritchie the Rat.

Shan Laks was born in Fiji and now a citizen of Australia where she resides.  She is a retired primary school teacher.  During her teaching years she was awarded, Teacher  Excellence level 1 and level 11.  As a teacher, she made an outstanding contribution to education.  She as a Curriculum Coordinator and mentor  to new students and teachers.  She was on the board of education with the University of Northern Territory.  She is now a full time children's writer that dedicates her times researching issues that effect our children.  Laks has always been very passionate in teaching children.  She says "My goal is to connect teachers, parents and children in their communities and get them to address ways to keep our children safe and healthy."

Testosterone Therapy May Increase Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke and Other Cardiovascular Events

CHICAGO -- Among a group of men who underwent coronary angiography and had a low serum testosterone level, the use of testosterone therapy was associated with increased risk of death, heart attack, or ischemic stroke, according to a study in the November 6 issue of JAMA.
“Rates of testosterone therapy prescription have increased markedly in the United States over the past decade. Annual prescriptions for testosterone increased by more than 5-fold from 2000 to 2011, reaching 5.3 million prescriptions and a market of $1.6 billion in 2011. Professional society guidelines recommend testosterone therapy for patients with symptomatic testosterone deficiency. In addition to improving sexual function and bone mineral density and increasing free-fat mass and strength, treatment with testosterone has been shown to improve lipid profiles and insulin resistance and increase the time to ST depression [a finding on an electrocardiogram suggesting benefit] during stress testing,” according to background information in the article. However, a recent randomized clinical trial of testosterone therapy in men with a high prevalence of cardiovascular diseases was stopped prematurely due to adverse cardiovascular events raising concerns about testosterone therapy safety.
Rebecca Vigen, M.D., M.S.C.S., of the University of Texas at Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas and colleagues evaluated the association between the use of testosterone therapy and all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction (MI; heart attack), and stroke among male veterans and whether this association was modified by underlying coronary artery disease (CAD). The study included 8,709 men with low testosterone levels (<300 ng/dL) who underwent coronary angiography in the Veterans Affairs (VA) system between 2005 and 2011. There was a high level of co-existing illnesses among this group, including prior history of heart attack, diabetes, or CAD. Of the 8,709 patients, 1,223 (14.0 percent) initiated testosterone therapy after a median (midpoint) of 531 days following angiography. The average follow-up was approximately 2 years, 3.5 months. The primary measured outcome for the study was a composite of all-cause mortality, heart attack, and ischemic stroke.
The researchers found that the proportion of patients experiencing events 3 years after coronary angiography was 19.9 percent in the no testosterone therapy group (average age, 64 years) and 25.7 percent in the testosterone therapy group (average age, 61 years), for an absolute risk difference of 5.8 percent. Even accounting for other factors that could explain the differences, use of testosterone therapy was associated with adverse outcomes and was consistent among patients with and without CAD. The increased risk of adverse outcomes associated with testosterone therapy use was not related to differences in risk factor control or rates of secondary prevention medication use because patients in both groups had similar blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein levels, and use of secondary prevention medications.
“These findings raise concerns about the potential safety of testosterone therapy,” the authors write. “Future studies including randomized controlled trials are needed to properly characterize the potential risks of testosterone therapy in men with comorbidities.”
“Perhaps the most important question is the generalizability of the results of this study to the broader population of men taking testosterone: men of this age group who are taking testosterone for ‘low T syndrome’ or for antiaging purposes and younger men taking it for physical enhancement,” writes Anne R. Cappola, M.D., Sc.M., of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, in an accompanying editorial.
“Are the benefits—real or perceived—for these groups of men worth any increase in risk? These populations represent a sizable group of testosterone users, and there is only anecdotal evidence that testosterone is safe for these men.”
“In light of the high volume of prescriptions and aggressive marketing by testosterone manufacturers, prescribers and patients should be wary. There is mounting evidence of a signal of cardiovascular risk, to which the study by Vigen et al contributes. This signal warrants both cautious testosterone prescribing and additional investigation.”