UPDATED: Possible Link Between Dog Deaths and Recalled Procter & Gamble Foods

Procter & Gamble, makers of pet foods including Iams and Eukanuba, issued a recall for specific lots of dry dog and cat foods last week due to potential salmonella contamination.  The August 14 press release states:

No Salmonella-related illnesses have been reported to date in association with these product lots.

On August 15, the Fox affiliate in Cincinnati reported that six dogs who played at a local daycare and ate one of the P & G recalled foods had become very ill.  Three of those dogs died.  Test results on the dogs are pending:

MedVet, a pet hospital in Madisonville, is waiting on test results to confirm that the illness that caused the deaths and illness of those dogs was HGE. Results were expected Friday but may not be available until sometime next week.

Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE) is a disease of dogs characterized by sudden vomiting and bloody diarrhea. The symptoms are usually severe, and HGE can be fatal if not treated. HGE is most common in young adult dogs of any breed, but especially small dogs. It’s not contagious.

The article does not mention if any of the food left in the bag(s) these dogs were fed from has been submitted for testing.  I hope that has been done and that an independent lab was utilized, as opposed to sending the food to P & G for analysis.  I would think P & G would be all over this but as of this morning, both the Iams and Eukanuba websites have not been updated and still contain the August 14 “no illnesses reported to date” verbiage.

I will update this post if any significant developments occur today.

UPDATE, added August 20, 2013 from FOX19 in Cincinnati:

UPDATE: New information has been revealed on the investigation of three local dogs who died after coming down with a sudden illness.

According to the dogs’ owners, the Norwood pet care facility where they stayed and veterinarians, none of the local dogs ate food recently put on a voluntary recall list by Procter & Gamble.

This represents a reversal, at least on 3 of the 6 dogs who were affected, on FOX19′s claim that all 6 ate a recalled food. I will update if developments warrant.

Latest Round of Pet Food and Treat Recalls

The following recalls and withdrawals are posted on the FDA website under the Animal & Veterinary category.  Most are within the last week or so.  Click the links for additional details, including lot numbers.

Treats recalled for salmonella: Petco, Kasel, Menards, BIXBI, Boots and Barkley, Nutri-Pet, Nature’s Deli, Sam’s Club, Best Bully Sticks.

Honest Kitchen foods recalled for salmonella:  Verve, Zeal and Thrive

Chicken jerky treats recalled for salmonella:  Nutri-Vet and Nutri-Pet

Treats and greens recalled for salmonella:  Kaytee (These are treats made for birds.)

Nature’s Variety food recalled due to clear plastic pieces:  Instinct Raw Organic Chicken Formula

Hartz treats withdrawn for antibiotic residue:  Hartz Chicken Chews and Hartz Oinkies Pig Skin Twists Wrapped with Chicken

Milo’s Kitchen treats recalled for residual antibiotics:  Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers home-style dog treats

Info from the CDC:

How do I know if my dog or cat has Salmonella infection?

  • Dogs and cats that become ill from Salmonella infection generally will have diarrhea that may contain blood or mucus. Affected animals may seem more tired than usual, and may have a fever or vomit.
  • Some cats do not have diarrhea, but will have a decreased appetite, fever, and excess salivation.
  • Some dogs or cats may have Salmonella infection but may not appear to be sick.

If your dog or cat has these signs of illness or you are concerned that your pet may have Salmonella infection, please contact your pet’s veterinarian. Let your veterinarian know if your pet recently consumed a recalled product. Do not feed your pet any more of the recalled products. Dispose of the products immediately.

To be on the safe side, I follow the same protocols when touching pet food and treats as I do for raw eggs – I wash my hands immediately with soap and water.

Added, February 25, 2013Hy-Vee grocery store brand dog foods recalled for aflatoxin.

Solid Gold Tries to Get the Stink of Coverup Off its Greedy Salmonella Hands

Diamond makes some of Solid Gold’s foods.  As such, I was surprised their website has continually claimed none of the company’s foods were affected by the salmonella recall.  Today that changed and Solid Gold has finally issued a recall for 2 of its foods.  The news is worded such that customers might think Solid Gold is heroically putting out this information today, instead of waiting overnight in order to coordinate with the FDA, because the company truly cares about the health of customers’ pets.  But bear in mind that, like all the other companies involved, Solid Gold has known all along its food was made at the contaminated Diamond plant in SC which was shut down on April 8.  Today is May 8.  Not so heroic.

The updated list of pet foods recalled due to salmonella follows:

 

Solid Gold - Click here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

KirklandClick here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

WellnessClick here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

Natural BalanceClick here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

Chicken Soup for the Pet Lovers SoulClick here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

Taste of the WildClick here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

CanidaeClick here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

Country ValueClick here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

DiamondClick here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

Diamond NaturalsClick here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

Premium EdgeClick here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

ProfessionalClick here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

4HealthClick here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

ApexClick here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

Kaytee Forti-Diet (mouse, rat and hamster food) – Click here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

List of Pet Foods Recalled Due to Salmonella

When pet food recalls hit, owners are naturally concerned.  And because the news is so successfully buried by the pet food industry, many people are slow to learn about it.  I am going to post a list of brands recalled due to salmonella with links so people interested in learning more about the recalled foods can do so.  As of this posting, only dry pet foods are on the recall list, no treats or canned foods.  The list has changed numerous times so it’s important to keep checking for the latest information on the brand you feed.   (Note:  When it says “click here”, place your cursor over the words “click here” and click your mouse one time.  That will open up a new tab on your browser with the webpage that provides more detailed information.)

KirklandClick here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

WellnessClick here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

Natural BalanceClick here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

Chicken Soup for the Pet Lovers SoulClick here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

Taste of the WildClick here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

CanidaeClick here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

Country ValueClick here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

DiamondClick here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

Diamond NaturalsClick here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

Premium EdgeClick here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

ProfessionalClick here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

4HealthClick here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

ApexClick here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

Kaytee Forti-Diet (mouse, rat and hamster food) – Click here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

Added, May 8:   Solid Gold - Click here for detailed information on which formulas and lot numbers are being recalled.

If the brand you feed is not on this list and you are wanting more information from the company, click here to visit Google.  While there, type in the brand of food you feed.  Click the link to the company’s website.  Look for anything on the home page titled “recall”, “news”, or similar wording.  You may also wish to click the company’s “contact” page to get the phone number.

Regardless of whether the food you feed is on the recall list, it would be a good idea to find out if the food was made in the contaminated Diamond plant in Gaston, SC.  If you contact the pet food company and are told the food was made at the Gaston plant, I would not recommend feeding it.  The plant was shut down on April 8 due to salmonella contamination.  If the company refuses to tell you exactly where the food was made, citing “proprietary information” or other nonsense, I would not feed it.

Always wash your hands with soap after touching pet food, just as you would after handling raw eggs or meat.  Click here for more info from the CDC on how to minimize your risk.  If you suspect you may have become ill due to salmonella poisoning, click here for info from the CDC.  Symptoms in pets are similar to those in people.

If you do contact a pet food company and receive any additional information, please share in the comments.

Let’s Play a Pet Food Game Called “Is It Safe?”

If you are still recovering from the shock that the brand of pet food you buy is affected by the Diamond recall which you had no way of knowing until Friday night, get hold of yourself.  Because you must now navigate the maze of Is It Safe?  It’s a challenging little game you can play by visiting the Diamond website (or the website of the brand you feed), scrolling through the list of brands affected and the list of states in which they were distributed, and then getting a Native American code talker to help you decipher numbers on the bag, provided you saved it.

Screengrab from the DiamondPetRecall website showing one step of instructions for how consumers can determine if their pet’s food may be tainted with salmonella.

If you make it this far in the game, there’s bad news:  the food you have still might be tainted.  That’s because the information keeps changing.  Brands are being added, production codes are being updated and even if your state is not listed, there’s this little gem:

Further distribution through other pet food channels may have occurred.

But perhaps you are diligently saving bags, checking the brand’s website regularly for corrected information and considering you and your pet to be at risk, regardless of geographic location.  There’s more bad news:  the food you have still might be tainted.  I say that for several reasons.  Just because your bag’s state, best-by date and production code doesn’t fall into the current list of recalled foods, it was still manufactured in a plant that was shut down on April 8 due to salmonella contamination.  So how safe can you possibly feel about it?  In 2006, foods manufactured at this same Diamond plant in Gaston, SC killed at least 76 dogs due to aflatoxin poisoning.  Furthermore, the latest batch of recalls was released to the public on a Friday night, the traditional time slot for releasing information bound to negatively impact a company’s bottom line, in order to minimize press coverage.  Does this give you a feeling of trust in your brand of pet food, even if it’s not one of the recalled lots?

Thanks for playing this round of Is It Safe?  The next round begins right now.

Secrecy in the Pet Food Industry Sends People to the Hospital

Do you know if the bag of dog food or cat food you bought was manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods?  Probably not, because pet food companies tend to keep as much information hidden from consumers as possible.  Therefore if you are one of the people who got sick from touching salmonella tainted pet food manufactured by Diamond, or if you fed your pet one of these tainted foods and are now worried – don’t blame yourself.  You didn’t know and the pet food companies weren’t telling.

But you know who did know?  The pet food companies.  Wellness, Natural Balance, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lovers Soul, Taste of the Wild, Canidae, and all the other companies which have now recalled their foods knew their foods were made at the Diamond plant in SC which was shut down on April 8 due to salmonella contamination.  And yet they did nothing, until these recalls were issued Friday night.  Now some people are in the hospital and others are worrying for their own health as well as that of their pets.

This list of recalled pet foods is not intended to be comprehensive but rather to give you an idea of the variety of dog and cat foods being recalled.  Only certain lots of each of these brands have been recalled, the details of which can be found at the links provided above.

Wellness Complete Health® Super5Mix® Large Breed Puppy

Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Venison Dog

Natural Balance Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Dog

Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Bison Dog

Natural Balance Vegetarian Dog

Natural Balance Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Dog Large Breed Bites

Natural Balance Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Dog Small Breed Bites

Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light Formula – dry dog food

CANIDAE Dog Dry Dog Food, All Life Stages

CANIDAE Dog Dry Dog Food, Chicken Meal & Rice

CANIDAE Dog Dry Dog Food, Lamb Meal & Rice

CANIDAE Dog Dry Dog Food, CANIDAE Platinum

Kirkland Signature Super Premium Adult Dog Lamb, Rice & Vegetable Formula

Kirkland Signature Super Premium Adult Dog Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Formula

Kirkland Signature Super Premium Mature Dog Chicken, Rice & Egg Formula

Kirkland Signature Super Premium Healthy Weight Dog Formulated with Chicken & Vegetables

Kirkland Signature Super Premium Maintenance Cat Chicken & Rice Formula

Kirkland Signature Super Premium Healthy Weight Cat Formula

Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Salmon Meal & Sweet Potato Formula for Dogs

Therese at PetsitUSA follows pet food recalls closely so check in with her blog for the latest information as it becomes available.

Recalled/Not

Recalled, no illnesses reported:

Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice. This is being done as a precautionary measure, as the product has the potential to be contaminated with salmonella. No illnesses have been reported and no other Diamond manufactured products are affected.

Not recalled, hundreds of illnesses (and some deaths) reported:

  • Waggin’ Train (made by Nestle Purina)
  • Canyon Creek Ranch jerky treats or tenders (made by Nestle Purina)
  • Milo’s Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats (made by Del Monte)

A log of complaints collected from pet owners and veterinarians contains references to at least three popular brands of jerky treats that may be associated with kidney failure and other serious ailments, according to internal Food and Drug Administration documents obtained by msnbc.com.

[...]

“No specific products have been recalled because a definitive cause has not been determined,” FDA officials said in a statement.

Nestle Purina and Del Monte both maintain their chicken jerky treats are safe.  Those of us who endured the massive 2007 pet food recall are accustomed to hearing such assurances which sooner or later result in recalled products.

It is very easy to make your own dog treats (sample recipe here).  You can also share your own food with your dogs as treats.  It’s a good use for stuff that’s gone stale from the cupboards (crackers, corn chips, cereal) and you can also give fruit/veggie pieces (apples, bananas, carrots).  By making your own treats you have complete knowledge and control over what ingredients are in the treats, which is useful for owners of dogs with food sensitivities as well as those wanting peace of mind.

Updating the List of Pet Foods Recalled Due to Aflatoxin

For those keeping track of the dog foods recalled due to aflatoxin, they are:

Iams – ProActive Health Smart Puppy

Cargill – River Run, Marksman

Advanced Animal Nutrition – Dog Power

O’Neal’s Feeders Supply – Arrow Brand

In addition to the official recall list, remember that Price Chopper warned consumers about some additional Iams products pulled due to aflatoxin.

As with previous pet food recalls, it’s possible more foods may be recalled over time.  In the interest of being proactive, it may be wise to consider changing foods, at least temporarily, to one which does not contain corn.

Aflatoxicosis in pets usually occurs when pets consume a  food product that was made with moldy corn (although the mold can grow on other grains and peanuts as well).  Liver disease and/or death may result.  There is no antidote.  Read more about aflatoxins and dogs here.

Iams Issues a Recall Due to Aflatoxin

So much for feeding all Iams products with “complete confidence” like we were told by the Iams rep at Thanksgiving.  The company has now issued a limited recall of Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy dry food (see link for details) for aflatoxin contamination.  Note that this is NOT one of the foods Price Chopper posted briefly on its website notifying the public of aflatoxins in some Iams products.

Aflatoxicosis in pets usually occurs when pets consume a  food product that was made with moldy corn (although the mold can grow on other grains and peanuts as well).  Liver disease and/or death may result.  There is no antidote.  Read more about aflatoxins and dogs here.

 

Updated X 2: Grocery Store Notifies Consumers about Limited Iams Pet Food Recall

The grocery store chain Price Chopper has posted a recall of certain Iams dog and cat foods due to aflatoxin.  There is nothing on the Iams website about this recall.  I called Iams twice, trying to get a person or at least a recording clarifying anything about the recall but no luck.  I believe Iams is aware of the Price Chopper posting because when I called Price Chopper this morning, I was informed someone from Iams had called yesterday inquiring about the posting.  As far as why Iams would be aware of the recall notice but have nothing on their website or recorded phone info, I don’t know.

Screen capture of the recall notice posted at PriceChopper.com.

Aflatoxicosis in pets usually occurs when pets consume a  food product that was made with moldy corn (although the mold can grow on other grains and peanuts as well).  Liver disease and/or death may result.  There is no antidote.  Read more about aflatoxins and dogs here.

Update:  Price Chopper has pulled the recall notice from its website.  There is no explanation, just a 404.  I haven’t received any response to the online contact form I filled out at the Iams site.  Questions, questions.

Update #2, November 28:  I got tired of waiting for Iams to answer my online inquiry so I called them.  Paulette informed me that they have issued no recalls and will not be posting anything on their website about the lot numbers specified in the Price Chopper recall notice.  I said she was probably aware that many people were interested in getting clarification on this issue.  She said yes but they still weren’t going to address it.  She also said consumers can feed any of their foods with “complete confidence”.  So, everyone is feeling all confident-like, I assume?

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