Vitamin D Toxicity in Dog Food

The FDA has become aware of vitamin D toxicity in certain dogs that have consumed dry dog food under several different brand names. The only pet products that have been impacted have been for dogs, and pet owners need to discontinue feeding their pets these contaminated products—this is currently a developing situation, as more foods may be added to the list.

What Are the Symptoms of Vitamin D Toxicity?

Symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Excessive drooling
  • Weight loss

Please note that vitamin D at toxic levels may cause kidney failure and even death. If your dog has been eating the recalled food, please contact us immediately at 817-478-9238 or make an appointment online.

Which Foods Have Been Contaminated?

Please see this list for the names of the foods that have been recalled, which were sold nationwide. (As this is a developing situation, this is not a comprehensive list.):


Chicken and Chickpea Dry Dog Food

UPC 8-84244-12495-7 (4 lb. bag)

UPC 8-84244-12795-8 (15 lb. bag)

UPC 8-84244-12895-5 (28 lb. bag)

Best by date range: February 25, 2020 through September 13, 2020

Natural Life Pet Products

Chicken & Potato Dry Dog Food

UPC 0-12344-08175-1 (17.5 lb. bag)

Best by date range: December 4, 2019 through August 10, 2020

Sunshine Mills, Inc.

Evolve Chicken & Rice Puppy Dry Dog Food

UPC 0-73657-00862-0 (14 lb. bag)

UPC 0-73657-00863-7 (28 lb. bag)

Sportsman’s Pride Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food

UPC 0-70155-10566-0 (40 lb. bag)

UPC 0-70155-10564-0 (40 lb. bag)

Triumph Chicken & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

UPC 0-73657-00873-6 (3.5 lb. bag)

UPC 0-73657-00874-3 (16 lb. bag)

UPC 0-73657-00875-0 (30 lb. bag)

ANF, Inc.

ANF Lamb and Rice Dry Dog Food

UPC 9097231622 (3 kg bag)

Best by November 23, 2019

UPC 9097203300 (7.5 kg bag)

Best by November 20, 2019

Lidl (Orlando brand)

Orlando Grain-Free Chicken & Chickpea Superfood Recipe Dog Food

Lidl product number 215662

TI1 3 March 2019

TB2 21 March 2019

TB3 21 March 2019

TA2 19 April 2019

TB1 15 May 2019

TB2 15 May 2019


Abound Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe Dog Food

UPC 11110-83556 (4 lb. bag, all lots)

UPC 11110-83573 (14 lb. bag)

All lot codes

UPC 11110-89076 (24 lb. bag)

All lot codes

ELM Pet Foods, Inc.

ELM Chicken and Chickpea Recipe

UPC 0-70155-22507-8 (3 lb. bag)

D2 26 February 2019

TE1 30 April 2019

TD1 5 September 2019

TD2 5 September 2019

UPC 0-70155-22513-9 (28 lb. bag)

TB3 6 April 2019

TA1 2 July 2019

TI1 2 July 2019

ELM K9 Naturals Chicken Recipe

UPC 0-70155-22522-9 (40 lb. bag)

TB3 14 Sep 2019

TA2 22 Sep 2019

TB2 11 Oct 2019

Ahold Delhaize

Nature’s Promise Chicken & Brown Rice Dog Food

UPC 068826718472 (14 lb. bag)

All lot codes

UPC 068826718471 (28 lb. bag)

All lot codes

UPC 068826718473 (4 lb. bag)

All lot codes

Nature’s Place Real Country Chicken and Brown Rice Dog Food

UPC 72543998959 (5 lb. bag)

All lot codes

UPC 72543998960 (15 lb. bag)

All lot codes

If you have any questions please contact us at 817-478-9238 or make anappointment online.

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Check the Chip Day on August 15th!

Did you know that one out of every three pets will become lost at some point in their lives? While this is an unfortunate reality, the good news is that there is a steadfast, reliable and affordable way to bring lost pets back to their warm, friendly homes—microchipping them.

Microchips are contained in minuscule, biocompatible capsules, each smaller than a grain of rice. During a quick and virtually pain-free procedure, the chip is placed just under the skin, and a special biopolymer keeps the device in place.

The chip transmits radio waves that include a tracking number, and when that data connects to the central database, the pet’s name and the owner’s contact information shows up. Should your pet run away or get lost, authorities only need to scan the chip to figure out how to contact you.

Not only are microchips effective, they’re permanent, too! You’ll never have to worry about your pet’s microchip falling off, like you do with a collar.

National Check the Chip Day is August 15th, and while we advocate for microchipping every day of the year, we want to use this opportunity to stress the importance of this minimal procedure.

To have your pet microchipped or if you have any questions, schedule an appointment at I-20 Animal Medical Center by calling 817-405-2751.

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The Skinny on Fat Pets


Losing weight seems to be on just about every other person’s to-do list for the new year—but humans aren’t the only ones with an excess poundage problem. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 59% of cats and 54% of dogs in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Just like people, overweight pets are more likely to develop diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, joint injuries, and cancer.

The fact is that well-loved pets are often too-well-fed pets. Your I-20 Animal Medical Center veterinarian can help you figure out what diet is best for your dog or cat, as well as how much to feed. Here are some other helpful tips for regulating your pet’s food intake and activity: (more…)

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Adventures in Kenya with Dr. Williams


The past three years, I have been privileged to travel to Kenya with Calvary Road Ministries to work with the beautiful Maasai people and their livestock. We travel in June to escape the hot Texas heat to the cool, fall-like weather of the Kenyan winter. Kenya is located on the equator and ranges in elevation from sea level to 17,000 feet. It has terrain ranging from tropical forests, to rich farmland, to drought-ridden semi-arid regions, to beautiful savanna filled with National Geographic-worthy wildlife. From DFW International Airport, it is a nine-hour flight east to London followed by an eight-hour flight southeast to Nairobi, Kenya. From there, we travel west out of the city down into the Great Rift Valley, a massive rift in the Earth stretching 3,700 miles from the Red Sea in Lebanon to Mozambique in South Eastern Africa.

As you drive down the escarpment into the Rift Valley of Eastern Kenya, the temperature begins to rise and the terrain becomes arid and full of thorns. This is where many of the Maasai tribe of Kenya call home. The Maasai live without electricity or running water in traditional houses made of mud, branches, and grass or newer houses made of plywood with sheet metal roofs. Most do not have cars, but many have cell phones that they must take to town to charge. They dress in bright colors of red and blue and are known for making and wearing beautiful jewelry out of beads. They eat mainly goat and corn and despise pork and fish. They do not really care to eat anything too sweet and their favorite drink is chai tea with fresh cow’s milk heated over an open fire. Their daily lives revolve around one of their biggest passions: their cattle.

Each Maasai family has their own herd of goats and their own herd of cattle, and the boys and men spend their days herding their livestock to wherever the grass is growing and wherever there is water available. One of their aspirations is to accumulate as many cattle as they can, which provides their family with income and is a sign of honor for their family. When a family needs to send their child to school, they will sell cows to pay for the tuition. Whenever a man finds a woman he wants to build a family with, he negotiates a dowry of cows with the woman’s father. The only time a cow is butchered for food is when a big family celebration or community events occurs, such as a wedding or the christening of a new church or school occurs. When droughts occur, forage and water become scarce and the cattle become too weak to stand up to eat or drink. When this happens, Maasai will bring in grass and water and take turns supporting the cow day and night when it is too weak to stand. Their compassion toward their cattle is heartwarming and admirable.

Before we start our work for the day, we gather together, and with the help of an interpreter, we teach the Gospel using Bible stories on a decorative cloth and we pray. In generations past, Massai history and traditions were passed down orally because they were unable to read or write, so telling and listening to stories comes naturally to them. Kenya is becoming an increasingly Christian nation and religion is encouraged to be taught in classrooms. Every Sunday, Maasai families walk for miles to the nearest church where they gather together for hours to sing, dance, and worship together. The people who are hardest to reach have been the young men who spend their days herding cattle, so we are able to come out to the bush where they are to fellowship with them.

Working cattle with the Maasai is a little different than working cattle here. There are no trailers, no horses, no hydraulic squeeze chutes, and no lassoes. Because they work so closely with their cattle every day, they can herd them into holding pens made of thorny limbs cut from mesquite-like bushes and run them through an alleyway made of wood boards and nails. On a busy day, we can vaccinate over 3,000 head of cattle for diseases such as Anthrax, Blackleg, and Lumpy Skin, which cause cattle to suffer and die. If we find a cow that is sick or has abscesses then, all the Maasai begin to yell and point out the animal in question until some brave volunteers can catch the cow by the horns and by the tail and restrain it while we treat it with antibiotics. Over the past three years, we have vaccinated over 27,000 head of cattle.

We come each year to accomplish three things: 1. To vaccinate and treat their cattle for infectious diseases so that they can be healthier. 2. To spend time in fellowship with people who could not be more different than us, but at the same time could not be more similar. And 3. To let them know that we love them because God first loved us. Each year I come home after two weeks of being away from my family, job, and country that I love only to start counting down the days until I can be back with my friends in Massai-land once more.

John Williams, DVM

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Identifying and Treating Allergies in Dogs

Dogs can be allergic to many of the same things that people are allergic to, but for them, inhalant allergies typically manifest in red and itchy skin.

Allergy symptoms often include:

  • Chewing and scratching
  • Licking paws, rear, thighs and groin
  • Thin coat
  • Scabs, skin infections and bald spots

If you are one of the many pet owners who deal with a dog’s ongoing allergies, skin problems and itching, you will be relieved to know that a newly developed drug may be the answer you have been looking for.

No one really knows why dogs (or people, for that matter) develop allergies. But, if you suffer from allergies, you know there isn’t a simple cure, just endless allergy medications to control symptoms.

Veterinarians encounter the same frustrating problems treating allergies in pets. There are no easy cures, and most treatments can only treat symptoms to prevent infection and control itching. Recommended treatments include medicated baths, antibiotics, antihistamines, specialized diets, allergy injections and steroids.

Steroids can dramatically decrease itchiness, but long-term usage of steroids can result in serious side-effects.

This is where Apoquel comes in.
Apoquel is equally—and, in some cases, more effective—than steroids for reducing itchiness, and it doesn’t provide the side-effects we see with steroid use.

Benefits of Apoquel include:

  • Safe to use long-term
  • Safe to use with other drugs, like antibiotics
  • Safe to use with NSAIDs
  • Can be used in conjunction with allergy injections

Apoquel is effective at controlling itching related to flea allergies, food allergies, contact allergies and atopic dermatitis (inhalant allergies).

If your dog suffers from chronic allergies that are difficult to control, ask your I-20 Animal Medical Center veterinarian about Apoquel. Schedule an appointment with us by calling 817.478.9238.

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Declawing Cats with Laser Surgery

Declawing has become more controversial in recent years. Choosing whether or not to declaw a cat is an important decision. For many cat owners, maintaining a peaceful relationship with an indoor cat requires declawing. It helps to curtail destruction of household furnishings and also helps prevent the sometimes significant bodily trauma cats can inflict (intentionally or not!) with their claws. Fortunately, we now have technology at I-20 Animal Medical Center that allows us to declaw cats in the most humane way possible.

Declawing is essentially the removal of the first knuckle of each digit, as this is required to completely remove the nail bed and prevent abnormal nail regrowth. Traditionally, this has been done with sharpened, sterile nail trimmers or in surgery using a scalpel blade, but for the past twelve years, we have only used laser technology at our facility. The laser offers the distinct advantage of cauterizing tissue as it cuts, which not only makes the procedure essentially bloodless, but it also temporarily cauterizes nerve endings. Most cats can walk and use their front paws normally within a few hours of recovery from anesthesia. By the time nerve endings are restored, a large portion of healing has already occurred.

Of course, complications can occur after any surgery, and infection, bleeding and incisions opening can result from a cat being too active, like climbing and jumping during the postoperative healing period. Keeping your cat confined and keeping them from jumping for several days after surgery will help prevent this. Also, use of paper litter (pellet type) can prevent contamination of toe incisions during visits to the litter box (we supply the litter to use for after surgery).

Cats of any age can be declawed, but younger kittens, four to seven months old, appear to heal much quicker. Cats older than five to six and cats that are significantly overweight may have prolonged postoperative healing periods.

There are no sutures placed after the operation is complete, and toe incisions are closed with tissue glue. The paws are lightly wrapped, and the patient is kept in the hospital overnight after the procedure so that every precaution can be taken to prevent bleeding during the most critical 12 to 24 hours after surgery. We only recommend declawing the front paws, but the rear claws can be removed if needed. Rear claw removal would need to be done during a separate visit, after front paws have completely healed, as cats generally do not easily tolerate all four paws being done at the same time, regardless of age or the technique used.

Contrary to popular belief, a cat can still climb if the front paws are declawed, but it will make it even more important for them to be confined indoors, as they will not be able to defend themselves outside as they normally would. Declawed cats will still use the litter box normally, and cats already prone to aggression will not bite more after being declawed.

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10 Human Medications that Poison Our Pets

Dogs and cats are not like humans when it comes to how they metabolize medications. Although some human medications are used in veterinary medicine, the doses are vastly different. Poisonings from human medications can be life-threatening to our pets. Here are the 10 human medications that most commonly poison our pets:

NSAIDS (Ibuprofen, Naproxen)
One of the most common problems we see in pets is toxicity from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), which include ibuprofen (like Advil and some types of Motrin) and naproxen (like Aleve). While these drugs are perfectly safe for us, just one tablet can be toxic for pets. Dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, gerbils and hamsters may develop serious stomach and intestinal ulcers as well as kidney failure if they ingest these.

Acetaminophen (like Tylenol) should never be given to pets, especially cats. Acetaminophen can lead to liver failure, and in large doses, it can create red blood cell damage that causes cells to stop carrying oxygen.

Antidepressants (Effexor, Cymbalta, Prozac, Lexapro)
Although these drugs are occasionally used in pets in low doses, overdoses can lead to serious neurological problems such as sedation, incoordination, tremors and seizures.  Some antidepressants also have a stimulant effect, which leads to a dangerously elevated heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature. Pets, especially cats, seem to like the taste of Effexor and may eat large amounts of pills they find. But just one pill can cause serious poisoning.

ADD and ADHD Medications (Concerta, Adderall, Ritalin)
These and other medications used to treat attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in people contain methylphenidate and amphetamines, which are potent stimulants. These drugs can cause serious side effects in our pets, including seizures, elevated body temperatures, heart problems and life-threatening tremors.

Benzodiazepines and Sleep Aids (Xanax, Klonopin, Ambien, Lunesta)
Although these drugs are intended to reduce anxiety and help people sleep better, they often have the opposite effect in pets. About half of the dogs that ingest sleep aids become agitated instead of sedated. The other half show symptoms of severe lethargy, incoordination and respiratory depression (slowed breathing). Benzodiazepines can also cause liver failure in cats.

Birth Control (Estrogen, Estradiol, Progesterone)
These appear to be a popular item with dogs, as they apparently like how birth control pills are packaged. Fortunately, ingesting small amounts of these medications do not typically cause serious problems for pets. However, the ingestion of large amounts of estrogen and estradiol can cause bone marrow suppression, especially in birds. Dogs and cats that have not been spayed are at an increased risk of side effects from estrogen poisoning.

ACE Inhibitors (Zestril, Altace)
These drugs are used to treat high blood pressure in people and occasionally in pets.  When pets ingest them in low doses, they may only experience mild symptoms. Overdoses, however, usually cause low blood pressure, dizziness and weakness. Depending on the dosage ingested and if your pet has a history of kidney failure or heart disease, your pet may need to be hospitalized for observation and monitoring.

Beta-Blockers (Tenormin, Toprol, Coreg)
Beta-blockers are also used in people to treat high blood pressure, but unlike ACE inhibitors, ingestion of this drug, even in small amounts, may cause serious poisoning in pets. Symptoms of ingestion include life-threatening drops in blood pressure and slowed heart rates.

Thyroid Hormones (Armour Desiccated Thyroid, Synthroid)Dogs, like people, can have low thyroid levels that require supplementation.  Surprisingly, dogs tend to require higher amounts of thyroid medication than people do.  Therefore, accidental ingestion of small amounts of thyroid medication usually will not cause problems. However, ingesting large amounts of thyroid medication can cause muscle tremors, nervousness, panting, aggression and rapid heart rates in dogs and cats.

Cholesterol-Lowering Agents (Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor)
Cholesterol-lowering medications, often called statins, typically cause mild vomiting and diarrhea when our pets ingest them. Serious side effects come from long-term ingestion, not one-time ingestion.

My pet just ate my medication! What do I do?
If your pet eats pills, don’t wait for symptoms to appear. Early initiation of treatment is important for preventing toxicity. Remember to bring the bottle or package with you when you seek emergency care so the veterinarian can identify the type and strength of the medication. This information helps your veterinarian decide what kind of treatment is needed.

If you’d like to learn more about medication toxicity in pets, or if your pets ever accidentally ingest something they shouldn’t eat, contact I-20 Animal Medical Center.

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Dog’s-Eye View: What Can My Dog See?

Dogs’ eye anatomy is very similar to ours. The most important structure for vision in both people and dogs is the retina, a membrane located at the back of the eye. The retina consists of hundreds of thousands of cells that are responsible for generating the images we see. Here are some different characteristics of dogs’ vision and how they can change from breed to breed. (more…)

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Save On Your Pet’s Dental Care Throughout February

Your pet’s world revolves around their mouth, so regular dental care is essential for keeping them healthy and happy. Without regular dental care, your pet can develop dental disease, which not only causes oral pain and smelly breath, but can also spread to the kidneys, heart and liver. Thankfully, it can be prevented with routine dental care!

Our Dr. Bonnie Bloom does not just have a special interest in dentistry. After completing veterinary school, she spent an additional three years specializing in veterinary dental care. She is one of the highest-trained veterinarians in the Metroplex in veterinary dentistry, so we can assure you that your pet will receive expert dental care at our hospital.

February is National Pet Dental Health Month, and all month long, you’ll save on dental care at I-20 Animal Medical Center: you’ll get $50 off your pet’s dental cleaning and 30% off dental X-rays!

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Chocolate Toxicity

Halloween tricks and treats are fun, but chocolate can be disastrous for our four-legged family members. Chocolate is toxic to pets and can cause severe illness and even death. Keep goodies out of reach of pets to avoid accidental poisoning.

Why is chocolate bad for pets?

Chocolate contains theobromine, which is similar to caffeine and in large amounts can be toxic. Pets metabolize theobromine much more slowly than people do, and that along with their smaller size makes them more sensitive to the effects. Also, the high fat content of chocolate can lead to a life-threatening illness called pancreatitis in dogs.

Are all kinds of chocolate dangerous?

The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is. While about 5 ounces of milk chocolate can cause clinical signs of toxicity in a 10 lb dog, ONE ounce of baking chocolate in that same size dog can be fatal. White chocolate contains very little theobromine, but can be dangerous due to its high fat content. Cocoa mulch, which is sometimes used in landscaping, may also contain enough theobromine to be toxic if large amounts are ingested.

What kinds of animals are at risk of chocolate toxicity?

Dogs are usually the pets that get into trouble because their nature is to eat ALOT of whatever tastes good to them. Cats, though they are actually more sensitive to chocolate, generally have better sense so we rarely see cats with this poisoning at our emergency hospital.

What are the symptoms of chocolate toxicity?

Early symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst or urination, panting and hyperactivity. This can progress to rapid heart rate, hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, tremors, seizures, coma and death depending on the exposure. Signs of pancreatitis include vomiting, possibly diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Can pets be treated?

Yes, treatment is generally successful if started early, so it is best not to wait for symptoms to start before seeking care.

What does treatment consist of?

Depending on the severity of the poisoning, the pet may only need outpatient care, or may require days of intensive care with intravenous fluids, cardiac monitoring and control of seizures.

What should you do if your pet has ingested chocolate?

If your bag of miniature dark chocolate bars on the kitchen counter is ripped open, there’s candy missing and a guilty look on your dog’s face, just call us. We keep a toxic chocolate dose chart next to our phones for that client who has just discovered their dog has robbed the candy jar. If the amount ingested could be a problem, the doctor will examine your pet for clinical signs of poisoning, induce vomiting and provide specific treatment as needed.

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