Update on grain-free diets and DCM cases in dogs

From Whole Dog Journal

On June 27, 2019, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released an update to two previous advisories regarding dog food and dogs who had developed dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).  The release made a splash in the mainstream news – but this is all that most people seemed to get out of the news coverage: “THERE ARE 16 BRANDS OF DOG FOOD THAT ARE KILLING DOGS!”

Unfortunately, this is a wildly oversimplified take-away message. It set off a panic in the countless dog owners who feed their dogs some variety made by one of those companies, and may have inflicted serious financial damage to the companies named (as well as all the retailers who sell them) – this, despite the fact that the FDA stated at the outset of the release that the cause of the DCM cases is still unknown. “Based on the data collected and analyzed thus far, the agency believes that the potential association between diet and DCM in dogs is a complex scientific issue that may involve multiple factors.”

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June Rainbow Bridge

Submitted by the ones who miss them

Great sadness accompanies this letter, yet I need to tell you about a Great collie adopted nearly ten years ago.

Pixly

July 19, 2009 we adopted Pixly, who came all the way from Iowa to our home in northern Illinois. The amazing foster mom from MWCR drove over two hours to a 1/2-way point to make the introduction to us and our other collie, Rosebud. She knew very well that we were likely to complete the adoption right there, having been approved by local representatives of Collie Rescue. He bonded immediately with Rosebud and with us, and the journey home began. Pixly was unwilling to remain in the ‘way back’ part of the wagon, oh no: over the seat, next to the kids, head on the armrest and giving directions. That was our first day. What a smart boy. What a sweet boy.

Every day was full of the love and joy that is unique to collies: loud, enthusiastic announcements when anyone would return home, boisterous play followed by intense sleep, respectful walking with the older Rosebud. Pixly made me into his very own human, and made sure everyone knew it. When Rosebud passed, at nearly 14 years of age, we truly thought that we would be a one-dog family. That changed when we met Mavis, a smooth tri-color, through Collie Rescue of Greater Illinois. Pixly recognized, as we did, that Mavis was a work in progress, a real rescue. He helped bring her out of her shell, learn to love, taught her how to play, even. What a smart, sweet boy.

Just as in the song “The Circle Game”, the seasons turned so quickly, with kids going to college and graduate school, and Pixly and Mavis being there as an anchor for them to return to. Pixly maintained a terrific sense of humor, always giving us reasons to laugh, even as his mobility became challenged. Suddenly, we’re looking at a 13+ year-old collie with left leg pain and lost function. Last night he was diagnosed with an inoperable tumor, and to relieve his suffering we had no good choice other than to ask the vet to give him a graceful exit. His final breath was in my arms as I wished him Godspeed and great success in Heaven.

Ironically, the last 24 hours have been hell for us: the suddenness of his decline, the self-doubt, the bargaining and finally the acceptance that his work on this earth was complete. Such a sweet boy.

We are forever grateful to MWCR for making the introduction of Pixly to us. He was our first adoption, and we will definitely adopt another in due time. I will always love him, and miss terribly the sight and sound of our love puppy. Thank you for the tireless work that you do, to bring these deserving dogs into the right forever home!

Sparky

We lost our beloved Sparky last night. He was the best dog. Sweet, loving, smart, gentle. Everything and more that a collie should be. Our hearts are broken but I want to share Sparky’s story – at least the last seven years since we adopted him.

It was pure chance that in early summer 2012 I came across his photo on an adoption website. Without Scott’s knowledge, I reached out about adopting him. A wonderful hound rescuer, Roberta R. Beach (Bobbie Beach), had welcomed him in to her hound pack, Silverwalk Fosters. He was four years old, intact and being from the Missouri bootheel area, heart worm positive.

Bobbi was working behind the scenes to get him into the amazing Minnesota Wisconsin Collie Rescue. Through their support, Sparky was neutered and underwent treatment for heart worms.

I finally had to tell Scott that we needed to go check out this purebred collie that needed a home. We drove to Cape Giraudeau with Heart to meet Sparky. Never a fan of car rides, Heart was probably just glad to be out of the car by that point. Obviously, the introduction went well. And we arranged to have Bobbi come do a home inspection. On August 12, Bobbi brought him to us and he officially became a much loved member of our family. What a sweet, smart boy!

The years have flown by much too quickly – filled with all the love and joy that is unique to collies: loud, enthusiastic barking, boisterous play with Heart and later Tiller, followed by deep sighs and intense sleep, gentle walks with Scott in the neighborhood with everyone stopping to tell him what a handsome, sweet boy he was.

Our grandkids have been blessed to have had Sparky here to greet them and love them. Tiller has had the benefit of his mischievousness (stealing Tiller’s favorite furrballz and prancing around victoriously), as well as letting Tiller know when he was out of line and needed to mind his manners. Heart has had a vocal teammate who helped her make sure that their flock was always safe and our yard secure.

It is a bit surreal – this happened so suddenly. In a little over a day, he was gone. He just turned 11 and we still had to get his birthday cake and treats. It just started with a cough, but one that wouldn’t stop. It reached the point where he couldn’t get comfortable, couldn’t get enough air.

Last night he was diagnosed with spontaneous pneumothorax, and up until the very end, he remained the sweet, loyal gentleman, the perfect collie! To relieve his suffering we had to say good bye. Scott and I were there to wish him Godspeed and great success in Heaven. Because we know that “All dogs go to Heaven.”

In Sparky’s memory, always, always, always give your dogs heart worm preventive.

Special thanks to MWCR for the tireless work that they do for this incredible breed, caring for collies in need till they find their forever families.

Much love to our friend Bobbi, who found a gentle, smart collie in need and helped him all those years ago.

And finally to Sparky, thank you sweet boy for your love and devotion. You are missed!

Sadie

Lovely Sadie, adopted in April 2007, passed away Saturday June 22, 2019. Sadie was born August 20, 2004 and we are thankful to you for giving us the opportunity to be part of her life. She was greatly loved and we are fortunate to of had her in our lives.

June adoptions

By Sarah Rebernick, VP and Adoption Coordinator

Bandit

Handsome Bandit has been adopted and will be living in Wisconsin. Bandit came to MWCR from a local shelter. The owners had originally taken him in from a very neglectful situation but because he wasn’t getting along with one of the family’s other dogs they surrendered him. Bandit still has a few behavioral quirks but his new mom and dad are determined to do everything they can to help him live his best life and I’m sure the resident kitties will lend a paw as well. Congratulations!

Cosette

Lovely Cosette, a 6-year-old sable headed white, has been adopted and will be living in Wisconsin. This sweet girl was originally adopted from MWCR five years ago but unfortunately changes in their life meant that she was not getting the attention she needed and her loving family knew they needed her to find a new home. Cosette’s new mom is thrilled to add this beauty to her life and is looking forward to long walks, comfy cuddles on the couch and doing some volunteer therapy work.

Charlie

Handsome Charlie, a 4-year-old sable/white male has been adopted and will be living in Wisconsin. Charlie was sadly surrendered by his loving family because they were unable to give him the attention he needs while they are dealing with the illness of a family member. Charlie’s new mom and dad are so excited to welcome him into their lives and since they are home most of the time, he is sure to get lots and lots of attention.

Chance

Adorable Chance, a 1-year-old sable male, has been adopted and will be living in Minnesota. He was surrendered because his previous owners were unable to stop their toddler from being mean to him. They had gotten him as a puppy and he loved his family (including the toddler), but they realized it wasn’t fair that Chance couldn’t feel safe in his home. Now he’s happily ensconced with his new mom and dad and is especially excited that he has a young canine companion to play with. Chance may be compact in stature but he has a supersized personality and all of it is filled with happiness that he is always willing to share with everyone around him

 

May Rainbow Bridge

Rex

Handsome senior Rex, adopted in early 2018, was found as a stray and surrendered to MWCR. This is from his mom and dad who gave him a wonderful, loving home:
May 9th, our beautiful beloved friend, Rex, went over the Rainbow Bridge. Because each step he took was painful, because he did not see well anymore, and mostly looked sad, because he could not get better, but only worse, we gently let him go. We are so grateful to have been able to have him with us as long as we did. His spirit was generous and gentle. His presence was comforting. Thank you, Rex, for coming to be part of our family as you always will be. Thank you MWCR for letting us bringing Rex to our lives.

Laddie

Laddie, originally known as Murdock, was indeed a collie in need of rescue when he came to us in 2015. He had a bad wound on his back end, several broken teeth and his coat was tangled into a solidly matted coat of armor with what appeared to be metal shavings stuck in it. He tested positive for tick borne diseases, which was not surprising since he was covered in fleas and ticks under that solid mass of hair. He also had a large abdominal mass that was drained of over 8 oz. of infected fluid. He was so badly matted that they couldn’t even tell if he was neutered until he was shaved. Despite it all, he was an absolute angel to everyone who was helping him and we share his family’s grief at his loss.

This is from his loving family: It’s with great sadness we helped Laddie (aka Murdock) over the Rainbow Bridge after he began having serious problems with his hips resulting in difficulty standing and pain. He came to us 3 1/2 years ago as a stray with multiple medical issues. These were resolved with the aid of MWCR and foster mom Mary Kozak. Laddie enriched our lives and the lives of his humans and was the friend to all dogs and cats. He was known as Mr Mellow in the neighborhood. We’ve had six collies (Lady, Chelsea, Maggie, Sam and Sadie), with three from MWCR. Laddie was at the top of the list. We will miss him terribly but will always have his memories to cherish. Thank you MWCR for giving us the opportunity to have Laddie for as long as we did.

Cooper, one of our special needs collies, went over the Rainbow Bridge this weekend. When he originally came to MWCR in 2017 from a shelter in Wisconsin he was only two years old. While there he was diagnosed with dermatomyocitis (DM), an autoimmune disorder of skin and muscle found primarily in collies and shelties. It had been active and untreated for several months but they started him on proper treatment for the DM and for a long time his symptoms were fairly mild, concentrated to his nose and his paws, which had no toenails and were sensitive to touch. His new dad did lots of research on DM before deciding to adopt him and dedicated himself to giving him all the care he needed.

Despite his condition, Cooper was a sweet, loving, happy boy who went everywhere with his dad and won over the hearts of everyone who met him. Earlier this month he was diagnosed with oral cancer. Because of the medications for his auto-immune issue, the cancer’s symptoms were suppressed at first so it progressed quite quickly over the last few weeks. On Sunday the cancer started to interfere with his ability to breath and his dad knew it was time. Our hearts go out to him and we are so appreciative of his willingness to open his heart to this special boy.

 

May adoptions

By Sarah Rebernick, VP & Adoption Coordinator

 

Brianna

Congratulations to sweet Brianna (now known as Lady) and her new family!

 

 

Prince

Bridget

 

 

 

 

 

Prince 2 and puppy Bridget have been adopted this weekend. Prince will be regally residing in Wisconsin and Bridget will be in Minnesota. Prince was surrendered to MWCR after a fire destroyed his owners’ property and they sadly needed to find a new home for him.
Bridget’s new family says: she has a wonderful personality and is fitting into our family so well. We feel blessed to have her!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Handsome 10-year-old sable headed white, Spencer, has been adopted and will be living in Minnesota. Spencer was surrendered because his family did not have the time to give him the attention he deserves. Spencer’s new mom and dad are retired so he’ll get lots of love and he has new senior collie brother to hang with. So happy for this sweet boy!

 

 

Shamrock

Handsome 4-month-old Shamrock has been adopted and will be living in Illinois. Always love to see puppies and kids playing.

 

Brooklyn

 

 

Beautiful white puppy Brooklyn came to us from a breeder who contacted us when he realized that she was deaf. Being born deaf or blind is usually an all too common side effect when two merles are bred together and that is often done in the hopes of producing more white, merle or unusually colored puppies. We are thrilled that Brooklyn has been adopted into a family that includes another collie who is both deaf and partially blind, so mom and dad are fully prepared to help this little sweetie lead a fun, full life. She’s already learning sign language and her big sister collie is helping her to master the art of stair climbing. We’re so grateful to her new family and excited to see her grow up!

Zara

Beautiful Zara (nka Meadowsweet), a 2.5-year-old sable female, has been adopted and will be living in Wisconsin. Zara was sadly surrendered by her family with another collie (Prince2) when they needed to rebuild their lives after a devastating fire. Unfortunately, the necessary upheaval of her life was very upsetting to Zara and she has had (and continues to have) some issues to work through. Fortunately, her foster mom has dedicated herself to helping Zara recover and over the last few months, while working to gain her trust, they have formed a loving, lifetime bond that will be the basis of Zara’s ability to blossom like the meadowsweet she’s been renamed for. Her foster mom knows that there’s still lots of work to do and that it would not be in Zara’s best interests to start over with a new family so Meadow has officially found her forever home. Her new mom says she can’t imagine her life without her. Congratulations to both of these lovely ladies!

Teddy

And last, but not least, ridiculously handsome Teddy, an 8-month-old tri headed white male, has been adopted and will be living in Minnesota. Teddy is a big, sweet, playful boy who was extremely nervous when he first came into foster but quickly relaxed in the company of the resident collies and let his true happy, puppy personality show. Teddy’s new home has a big brother collie to show him the ropes and an extended family of collie-lovers to adore and guide him. Congratulations to this big heart breaker and his new family!

 

Colleen

 

Beautiful Colleen, a five month sable girl, was the last of the four Irish named pups to go to their forever home. Congratulations sweet girl!

April adoptions

By Sarah Rebernick, VP & Adoption Coordinator

Prince

Prince 3, yes ‘3’ – we’ve had a lot of royalty lately, it’s kind of like Game of Bones around here ;-), a 7-year-old sable/white male has been adopted and will be living in Wisconsin. This lovely boy needed to find a new home after his owner passed and is now enjoying his own fenced yard and a mom and dad who are retired, so they have plenty of time to give this prince the devotion he deserves.

Patches

 

Patches, an almost 1-year-old tricolor male, has been adopted and will be living in Wisconsin. This sweet, playful boy was surrendered because he was a bit too high energy for the daycare his family had. Fortunately his new home comes equipped with another young dog to play with and lots of loving family to spoil him. Congratulations to all!

 

Rosie

Lovely sable headed white, Rosie, has been adopted and will be living in Wisconsin. Rosie is still pretty much a puppy at 1.5 years and was a bit more than her previous owner could handle since she kept wandering off to check out the neighborhood. She first came to our attention when she was picked up as a stray but after she was returned to her home, they decided it was best to surrender her to MWCR. Now Rosie has a nice, secure fenced yard, parents who are home most of the time, grandkids to play with and a puppy buddy to help her learn the ropes – sounds like she found a pretty sweet deal.

 

 

April Rainbow Bridge

Parker

Parker’s family had to say goodbye today (April 2): I can’t even begin to comprehend life without him. He was always the one who took care of me. When I was feeling down he was there, every morning started with a big collie snuggle and the day ended the same. I’m heart broken but Parker is happy again, running with his MWCR sister Maybellene. Thank you for giving us this gentle, loving soul. He was loved by all who knew him.

Annabelle

Beautiful Annabelle went to the rainbow bridge today. She was 11 years old. She began having seizures last week and did not respond well to her medication. She was an owner surrender that we fostered then adopted about five years ago. She was beautiful and loving. We will miss her.

Lassie

On April 27 we helped our dear Lassie (“Lassie Lou”) cross the Rainbow Bridge. She was just over 13 years old and had been battling arthritis and cancer. Below we share our story of our life with Lassie, but for those that don’t have the patience to read the entire story, know that Lassie was the most gentle, loving soul you could meet. She chose us to be her forever family, and we are forever grateful for the joy, happiness and love she brought us the last 6 years. Read her full tribute here.