The Rip Van Wrinkler, XIX, Issue 1, February 2015

Page 15 < previous page > <next page>


A good reason to avoid food contact use of Mexican pottery (including for your pets). Save it for decoration!

Leaded paints are a persisting health problem.
The Comex Group, North and Central Americas fourth largest architectural paint manufacturer, and Sherwin Williams S.A. de C.V., operate in Mexicos large paint and coatings production industry. A 2008 study revealed that all tested samples of enamel paint contained lead concentrations greater than 90 ppm (the regulatory limit in China and the United States); plastic paints on average contained 6 ppm.

A secondary source of general lead exposure in the population is ceramic glazes used in traditional earthenware.
Leaded glazes were first introduced by the Spanish in the 16th century and are still used widely. Unfortunately, the vast majority of Mexican ceramic kilns are wood-fired, as opposed to gas found elsewhere in the world, and do not reach the fusing/sintering temperatures necessary to vitrify lead glazes to where they are unleachable (temperature > 1200_ C). According to the only census to date, at least 10,000 pottery workshops use leaded glazes in wood-fired kilns. The problem is compounded because many workshops are connected to living and cooking areas, making area contamination prevalent. These workers and their families are most acutely at risk for lead poisoning and related illnesses. A much broader exposure occurs with the use of leadglazed ceramics in the home, for meal preparation and food storage. Lead can easily leach from the glaze into food, where it is ingested. This situation is aggravated by the Mexican diet, as lead is made more leachable by the presence of heat or slight acidity such as that of lime juice. Although lead-glazed pottery is abundant in Mexico, poorly constructed, low-fired glazes are especially a problem in rural areas where resources are scarce.

Xylitol Toxicosis

In the November 2012 Wrinkler.

Exogenous thyrotoxicosis in dogs attributable to consumption
of all-meat commercial dog food or treats containing excessive thyroid hormone

submitted by Patty Ewing

S K-M photo, Patty & MACH 3 Danablu

Hi Susan-
An article was just published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association by a few of my colleagues that I thought might make for an interesting feature in the Wrinkler.  I pasted the article summary, abstract and my somewhat simplified interpretation of the article below. If you want the full length article, let me know and I'll email it to you.  Patty
Summary of "Exogenous thyrotoxicosis in dogs attributable to consumption of all-meat commercial dog food or treats containing excessive thyroid hormone: 14 cases (2008-2013)."


To describe findings in dogs with exogenous thyrotoxicosis attributable to consumption of commercially available dog foods or treats containing high concentrations of thyroid hormone.


Retrospective and prospective case series.


14 dogs. Procedures-Medical records were retrospectively searched to identify dogs with exogenous thyrotoxicosis attributable to dietary intake. One case was found, and subsequent cases were identified prospectively. Serum thyroid hormone concentrations were evaluated before and after feeding meat-based products suspected to contain excessive thyroid hormone was discontinued. Scintigraphy was performed to evaluate thyroid tissue in 13 of 14 dogs before and 1 of 13 dogs after discontinuation of suspect foods or treats. Seven samples of 5 commercially available products fed to 6 affected dogs were analyzed for thyroxine concentration; results were subjectively compared with findings for 10 other commercial foods and 6 beef muscle or liver samples.


Total serum thyroxine concentrations were high (median, 8.8 μg/dL; range, 4.65 to 17.4 μg/dL) in all dogs at initial evaluation; scintigraphy revealed subjectively decreased thyroid gland radionuclide in 13 of 13 dogs examined. At ≥ 4 weeks after feeding of suspect food or treats was discontinued, total thyroxine concentrations were within the reference range for all dogs and signs associated with thyrotoxicosis, if present, had resolved. Analysis of tested food or treat samples revealed a median thyroxine concentration for suspect products of 1.52 μg of thyroxine/g, whereas that of unrelated commercial foods was 0.38 μg of thyroxine/g.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance:

Results indicated that thyrotoxicosis can occur secondary to consumption of meat-based products presumably contaminated by thyroid tissue, and can be reversed by identification and elimination of suspect products from the diet.
Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
January 1, 2015, Vol. 246, No. 1, Pages 105-111
doi: 10.2460/javma.246.1.105
Exogenous thyrotoxicosis in dogs attributable to consumption of all-meat commercial dog food or treats containing excessive thyroid hormone: 14 cases (2008–2013)

Michael R. Broome, DVM, MS; Mark E. Peterson, DVM; Robert J. Kemppainen, DVM, PhD; Valerie J. Parker, DVM; Keith P. Richter, DVM
Advanced Veterinary Medical Imaging, 3047 Edinger Ave, Tustin, CA 92780. (Broome); Animal Endocrine Clinic, 21 W 100th St, New York, NY 10025. (Peterson); Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849. (Kemppainen); Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210. (Parker); Veterinary Specialty Hospital, 10435 Sorrento Valley Rd, San Diego, CA 92121. (Richter)
Presented in abstract form at the 34th Annual Veterinary Medical Forum of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Nashville, Tenn, June 2014.
The authors thank Dr. Tad B. Coles for assistance with writing and editing this manuscript.
Address correspondence to Dr. Broome (

Patty's interpretation:

The "gullet" refers to the animal's esophagus, and "thyrotoxicosis" is hyperthyroidism, or excess thyroid hormone:

The article describes cases of thyrotoxicosis in dogs that consumed some types of all-meat commercial dog food or treats.  The products were presumably contaminated with beef thyroid gland.  This happens when gullet trimmings are included in dog food or treats.  The gullet trimmings are often contaminated with thyroid gland so the dog that consumes them can get excessive blood/tissue levels of functional thyroid hormone. 

The article mentions in the discussion that in August 1985, following an outbreak of thyrotoxicosis in people, the USDA ordered that the procedure for gullet trimming for the collection of edible meat products be discontinued at all meat packing plants, which resolved the problem in people. 

But currently, USDA lists beef gullets and tracheas as acceptable for use in pet foods. This highlights the importance of knowing the meat source if you feed meat to your dogs. 

We should be advocating for stricter regulation of pet food production.