ISVMA Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
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March 17 , 2007


Volume IV, No. 25



An electronic newsletter highlighting veterinary issues for Illinois veterinarians

Mountain Bluebird
Mountain Bluebird

©Peter S. Weber
click on pictures to view larger image

In this Issue

Pet Food Recall

ISVMA Fax Broadcasts

Thank You For Your Support

About The Photo

Contact Us

Contact Us




Pet Food Recall

P&G Pet Care Announces Voluntary Participation in Menu Foods' Nationwide U.S. and Canadian Recall of Specific Canned and Small Foil Pouch 'Wet' Cat and Dog Foods


P&G Pet Care media contact:


Kurt Weingand, D.V.M., Ph.D. (U.S.)


Dayton, OH (March 16, 2007) – In response to the recent Menu Foods, Inc. nationwide recall of wet pet foods, P&G Pet Care has announced a voluntary recall in the United States and Canada on specific 3 oz., 5.5 oz., 6 oz. and 13.2 oz. canned and 3 oz. and 5.3 oz. foil pouch “wet” cat and dog food products manufactured by Menu Foods Inc. Emporia, Kansas plant with the code dates of 6339 through 7073 followed by the plant code 4197. This voluntary recall is part of a larger product recall by Menu Foods Inc., a contract manufacturer that makes a small portion of canned and foil pouch ‘wet’ cat foods for Iams and Eukanuba as well as other non-P&G brands. There have been a small number of reported cases of cats from the US (none in Canada) becoming sick and developing signs of kidney failure. The signs of kidney failure include loss of appetite, vomiting, and lethargy. P&G Pet Care has received no case reports involving dogs.


This voluntary product recall involves discontinuation of all retail sales and product retrieval from consumers. Consumers should stop using the affected products immediately, and consult with a veterinarian if any symptoms are present in their pet. All Iams and Eukanuba products carry a 100 percent guarantee, and consumers can receive a refund for recalled products. For more information, consumers can contact the company at 1-800-882-1591 or visit and for details.


To read can product codes, refer to the bottom of the can. The first four numbers of the second line of numbers are the date code, and the following four numbers indicate the plant code. For example, if the second line begins with four numbers from 6339 to 7073 followed by the plant code 4197, then the can should be recalled. For foil pouches, the code numbers are located at the lower left hand corner on the back of the pouch. The date and plant codes appear in the third group of numbers, beginning an 11-digit sequence. See and for illustrated details.


P&G Pet Care is taking this proactive step out of an abundance of caution, because the health and well-being of pets is paramount in the mission of Iams and Eukanuba. Tests of some affected product have not revealed the cause of sickness, and testing will continue until a better understanding of the facts has been achieved. All other canned and small foil wet pouch products produced at other plants are not affected by this issue. Iams and Eukanuba “dry” products are not manufactured at Menu Foods and not affected by this issue. Iams and Eukanuba biscuits, treats and sauces are not affected by this issue.


P&G Pet Care has informed the Food and Drug Administration and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on this issue. The company regrets any inconvenience to its consumers and retail customers.

Did Your Practice Receive the Fax Notification of the Revised Sales Tax Regulation?

More than 40% of the veterinary practices in Illinois have fax numbers that are on the "do not call" list. What that means is that ISVMA cannot send a broadcast facsimile to your practice. We sent a fax notification of the revised sales tax regulation on Friday, March 16, 2007. Almost 600 practices received this fax - whereas 400 others had to hope that someone in the practice read the email notification and informed the right people in the practice.

Thank You for Your Support

We had 196 veterinarians (and a few veterinary students) contact their legislators as a result of the Legislative Action Alerts sent by ISVMA during the past two weeks. These advocacy advocates sent a total of 554 email messages to 50 of the 59 Illinois State Senators and to 19 members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation (in Washington, D.C.).


The impact of these communications is significant. When ISVMA lobbies individual legislators, it is much easier if they have heard from constituent veterinarians on the issue. They are much more receptive to listening to our position and committing their vote to us.


I really hope that future Action Alerts result in more veterinarian advocates. Please encourage your colleagues to become part of the ISVMA Grassroots Advocacy Network.


Being an ISVMA advocate is simple, fast and effective!

About the Photo in This Issue...

The Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) is one of the most sublime of all North American passerines. Like other North American bluebirds, it is beautiful, bold, and charismatic, with a dedicated human following.

Mountain Bluebirds have a very strong attraction to burned areas in the first few years after a fire, especially those with many standing dead trees. The excavations of woodpeckers provide many potential nest cavities in these areas.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the population of Mountain Bluebirds increased as logging and grazing activities spread west. Then, with the spread of fire-suppression practices and the decline in logging and grazing in some areas, the population declined again. The population of Mountain Bluebirds now appears to be relatively low but stable. Numbers of Mountain Bluebirds appear to be limited by nest-site availability. They nest as solitary pairs, but nests can be found near each other when available holes are close together.

Today, close to the majority of Mountain Bluebirds nest in birdhouses, or nest boxes, provided by humans. An attraction to nest boxes, however, also makes this species vulnerable to human-associated hazards such as pets, vandals, and dense rodent populations. Most of what is known about bluebirds, including this species, is based on studies of nest-box populations, not natural ones.

Suitable breeding habitat occurs in a patchy distribution throughout western North America, from southwestern Alaska to the Southwest. Mountain Bluebirds occupy open woodland and edge habitats with short grasses and few shrubs. They feed by watching for prey from perches and then fly in to drop on insects and other arthropods. More than the other bluebird species, they will also hover above prey and then drop down to catch it. They avoid areas of high grass, presumably to avoid predators, preferring very low grass about an inch high. In addition to recently burned areas, clear cuts provide appropriate habitat and are frequently used. Mountain Bluebirds reside at elevations up to 12,350 feet.

In late summer, family groups coalesce as loosely organized flocks. As the fall season progresses, the flocks grow larger and move south. At times they associate with Western Bluebirds (S. mexicana), sparrows, and juncos. Mountain Bluebirds are highly migratory with flocks wandering east into the Great Plains and a few individuals straying irregularly in fall and winter as far as the East Coast. Mountain Bluebirds also move to lower elevations within their breeding range during the winter months. Mountain Bluebirds, which survive temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit, are found in colder regions than Western Bluebirds during winter. The extent of winter migration appears to be related to the availability of fruit and the severity of the winter.

The Mountain Bluebird is probably the most aberrant of all thrushes. It nests in cavities, a habit shared by few other thrushes, and it lives in habitats far more open than those occupied by most other thrushes, including other bluebirds. It eats more insects than most other thrushes, has an unusually large degree of sexual dimorphism in its foraging behavior, and frequently hovers while foraging. In its behavioral ecology, in fact, it resembles not so much a thrush, or even other bluebirds, as it does a scaled-down version of an American Kestrel (Falco sparverius).

I photographed this male Mountain Bluebird near Mesa Grande, California in February 2007.

Contact Us

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Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
133 South Fourth St., Suite 202
Springfield, IL 62701

Phone: (217) 523-8387

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