In a March 20 email to veterinarians, Hill’s Pet Food expanded its recall of certain canned dog foods found to contain excess vitamin D. The following notice from the company was provided to by a veterinarian friend:

“Following the recall, we conducted a detailed review of our canned dog foods. As we had expected, that review confirmed that the issue is isolated to the same vitamin premix used in canned dog foods and limited to specific production lots. However, our review did determine that there were additional products affected by that vitamin premix, and it is for that reason that we are expanding the recall. No dry foods, cat foods or treats are affected. ...

“We understand that this recall has caused pet parents considerable concern and that the well-being of their pets may have been affected. We are also aware of the disruption and difficulty that this has caused you and your staff. We have addressed the issues that caused this recall, and we are working to make this right.

“We have expanded the operating hours of our Veterinary Consultation Service and opened our consumer call center to 7 days a week. We will pay for the diagnostic screening for hypervitaminosis D for any pet consuming impacted food. We will pay for continued diagnostic testing for pets with elevated vitamin D levels until they are back to normal. We will reimburse pet parents for medical treatment for an affected pet eating impacted food.”

Customers wanting information about reimbursement should visit

Dear Dr. Fox: As the grandson of a cattle rancher, and with a father who taught me how to hunt and trap, it seems like you have it out for us.

The vets we see to care for our two dogs are not like you, or at least they don’t write stuff about animal rights. I admit some of your vet advice they agree with, but I don’t agree with you using your Animal Doctor column as a soapbox for your radical animal liberation and anti-business conservation and environment protection.

Hunters and farmers are conservationists, after all — otherwise there would be no ducks and deer left to hunt and no food on our tables. — G.Z., Baytown, Texas

Dear G.Z.: I could have written your letter myself because I am deeply aware of the divide between “us” and “them.” But you and I are on the same page, surely, for the love we have for our children, for the animals in our lives and for the “great outdoors.” Yet there is a gap between us where we draw the line when it comes to killing other animals and how we should best farm and fish so as not to harm the planet any further.

It is time for us all to bridge the great divide that is widening every day, globally, between the rich and the poor, inviting conflicts over dwindling resources and polluting and destroying the great outdoors.

The essay about our divided cultural attitude toward wolves, “A Nation Divided: Lupophobia, Wolf Protection or Managed Slaughter,” posted on my website (, may help you see both sides. Then dedicate your life as best you can to the common good. For me, in particular through this column, that means helping maximize the quality of life for companion animals and all creatures great and small that are affected by our choices.

I received this relevant statement from a longtime associate, a holistic medical practitioner, acupuncturist and one of only two veterinarians in the country trained and licensed to work on people and animals — and, like you, from a farming and ranching family. It reads as follows:

“How do we get people thinking holistically and ecologically vs. the typical Western way, whether in medicine, nutrition, agriculture or wildlife management? We are all connected from the soil on up, and the health of one affects the other. My grandfather farmer understood this. ... Some just can’t see interconnectedness. It is a mystery to me. I can’t understand how they can’t understand. My response would probably be to let kids taste soils, run in the woods and wild grasses, be quiet and learn. Then come home to a rescued dog or cat or two.”

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