Recalls | Recalls Recalls en-us Wed, 25 Feb 2015 04:00:00 -0800 Wed, 25 Feb 2015 04:00:00 -0800 Orion <![CDATA[Purina Goes to Court: Did Its Beneful Dog Food Kill 4,000 Pets?]]> A California man has filed a class-action lawsuit against Purina, alleging that its Beneful brand dog food is responsible for the deaths of up to 4,000 dogs.

The lawsuit, filed by Frank Lucido in a California federal court, contains a grotesque list of symptoms that it claims were caused by Purina's dog food: "The dogs show consistent symptoms, including stomach and related internal bleeding, liver malfunction or failure, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, weight loss, seizures, bloating, and kidney failure," it says.

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Can your dog's favorite food be lethal? Dry food and the Dog by Shutterstock.

These charges are neither new nor unique to Lucido's lawsuit. For years, people have claimed online and in the media that their dogs have gotten severely ill or have died after starting to eat Beneful. Both Purina and the FDA have denied any connection between Beneful and the illnesses. In 2013, Pittsburgh television station WPXI did a story investigating the complaints following the death of Mazey, a 2 1/2 year-old English Mastiff. Based on its own tests, the FDA concluded that Mazey died of an autoimmune disorder called Addison's Disease.

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The lawsuit alleges that thousands of dogs have died from Beneful.

Mazey's owners, Scott and Carissa Dority, accepted the FDA's findings in her case, but they're far from the only people who have suspected problems with Beneful, as Lucido's lawsuit shows. On the website, there are hundreds of 1-star reviews of Beneful alleging that it caused illness or death in pets.

Lucido and others claim that Beneful is dangerous to pets because of the presence of mycotoxins, which result from the growth of mold. According to The Daily Beast, mycotoxins certainly aren't the kind of thing that you want to feed your dog, but they're very difficult to test for. Furthermore, their presence in Beneful hasn't yet been confirmed. That's going to be part of the discovery process in Lucido's lawsuit. "As soon as we are able to, and the federal courts move at a fairly rapid rate, we will get discovery," Jeff Cereghino, one of Lucido's attorneys, told The Daily Beast. A consumer protection organization called the Association for Truth in Pet Foods did recently issue a report in which it tested Beneful and seven other brands of pet food for 37 different mycotoxins. Beneful was classified as "high risk" for multiple mycotoxins.

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Mycotoxins are a byproduct of molds on grains and other food. They're not always obvious, even to trained scientists.

More commonly, pet owners who have made allegations against Beneful have pointed to a food additive called propylene glycol. While propylene glycol is controversial among some experts, it is approved by the FDA and hasn't been linked to toxicity.

To Cereghino, the most compelling element of the case is the old idea that where there's smoke, there's fire -- and he took the case because he saw a lot of smoke. "If it's a hundred or so, it's like, 'Okay, a lot of dogs eat Beneful; things happen,'" he told The Daily Beast. "But when you start getting into the thousands… The long and short of it is the complaint pyramid is such that even with the Internet -- easy access to complain about things -- there's still a very large percentage of folks who simply don't complain, or whose vet tells 'em, 'We don't know what happened,' and they're not drawing conclusions or leaping to assumptions. But when I look at 4,000? Holy hell, there's a lot of people out here."

Whether Beneful really is responsible for those deaths -- or there's merely an unfortunate correlation -- remains to be seen. Either way, the answer will be of great interest to all pet owners.

Via Daily Beast and Top Class Actions

Read more news about dogs on Dogster:

Wed, 25 Feb 2015 04:00:00 -0800 /the-scoop/purina-beneful-dog-food-sickness-death-class-action-lawsuit
<![CDATA[Pet International Recalls Beef Trachea Treats Over Salmonella Threat]]> Pet International of Miami, Florida, is recalling batches of its Beef Trachea Pet Treats, sold under the brand Buster’s Natural Pet Supply, because they have the potential to be contaminated with salmonella. The recall affects 1,500 units of the six-inch treats. 

Fortunately, the products did not receive widespread distribution. Only retail stores in two cities in Colorado -- Conifer and Lakewood -- were sent the treats.  

Products affected by the recall include the following:  

Brand: Buster’s Natural Pet Supply
Lot Code: 8501450
Size: 6” Beef Trachea / 12-Pack Plastic Pouch
UPC Code: 8501450

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The recall was the result of a routine sampling program by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, which obtained the product from Buster’s Natural Pet Supply in Conifer. The sample was analyzed by FDA and tested positive for salmonella. Pet International is still investigating as to what caused the problem. At this time, no illnesses -- human or animal -- have been reported. 

According to its website, Pet International is "a leading manufacturer of natural dog treats in South America," with its headquarters in Miami, Florida.

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Photo of the Pet International factory via its website.

According to the company, "dogs with salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever, and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your dog has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian."

For more information, call the company at 305-591-3338.

Read more dog news on Dogster:

Wed, 18 Feb 2015 08:00:00 -0800 /the-scoop/dog-treat-food-recall-pet-international-beef-trachea-treats-salmonella
<![CDATA[Petco and PetSmart to Stop Selling China-Made Treats Linked to Dog Deaths]]> Through the years, the FDA has been releasing warnings about jerky treats made in China; the last one came Friday. It said much of what the last one said -- dogs and cats are getting sick and dying from treats made in China -- only the numbers were different. 

They're growing, of course. 

As of May 1, the FDA said it has received about 4,800 reports of pet illnesses linked to treats made in China, affecting a total of 5,600 dogs, 24 cats, and 3 people. More than 1,000 dogs have died. The FDA says the treats linked to these illnesses were almost all manufactured in China, in chicken, duck, and sweet potato flavors. The majority of the cases involve gastrointestinal illnesses; a third involve kidney failures.

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Bulldog eyeing a tasty treat by Shutterstock.

But since the FDA hasn't been able to categorically prove the treats caused the illnesses -- despite obtaining a number of case reports from vets and even doing postmortem examinations on 26 dogs -- it hasn't been able to issue a recall. The products remain on store shelves. 

It's been up to the consumer to recognize and avoid the treats, and despite all the press, it's tough to get the word out to all dog and cat owners. The products are on the shelves, after all, mixed in with treats made from other locations. After the warnings have piled up over the years, you might have wondered: Why is this just in the hands of the consumer? Why won't stores voluntarily stop selling them?  

Finally, they are. Petco said on Tuesday it would end the sale of dog and cat treats made in China. We applaud the effort. It's long overdue.  

“We’ve been following the FDA warnings and related customer concerns closely, and we’ve been actively reducing our China-made assortment and expanding our American-made offerings for several years now,” said Jim Myers, Petco's chief executive, according to the Los Angeles Times. “As a leader in the industry and the trusted partner for our pet parents, we’re eager to make this transition and to expand our assortment of safe and healthy treats."

"Very simply, we feel this decision is in the best interest of the pets we all love and, ultimately, for our business.”

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Happy dogs at Petco.

Petco, which is based on San Diego, has 1,300 stores, and the company expects all China-made treats will be off its shelves by year's end.

PetSmart also announced Tuesday that it too will stop selling the treats. "PetSmart will no longer sell dog and cat treats manufactured in China," Erin Gray, a PetSmart spokeswoman, said in an emailed statement, according to the Los Angeles Times. "This is something we’ve been working toward for some time, and feel it’s the right thing to do for pets and our customers."

Kudos to Petco and PetSmart. Now it's time for giant supermarket chains to follow suit. 

Via the Los Angeles Times

Read about dogs in the news on Dogster:

Wed, 21 May 2014 11:00:00 -0700 /the-scoop/petco-petsmart-stop-selling-treats-made-in-china
<![CDATA[FDA Adds New Rule to Protect Dogs]]> Hearing about dogs and cats getting sick and dying from jerky treats this past fall made me angry that more wasn’t being done to protect our pets from harm. Why weren’t all jerky treats recalled from store shelves? Why isn’t the U.S. government doing something to protect our pets?

In October, Dogster reported that 600 dog deaths were linked to jerky treats. And last month, Dogster vet Eric Barchas shared similar sentiments that more should be done to protect pets. He recommended dog parents avoid jerky treats altogether and give carrots as a healthy alternative.

It turns out there is some movement toward protecting animals from food-borne illnesses. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing stricter regulations to strengthen the safety of pet food, under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

According to Shelly Burgess, a spokesperson for the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine, the proposed law is a shift away from a reactive stance of responding to safety issues whenever they arise, and instead takes a more preventive approach toward animal food safety. The rule proposes new procedures for animal food processing that bolster cleanliness and pest control measures, reduce the risk of cross-contamination, and ensure that the food is more nutritionally balanced.

Burgess said the nutritional standards were added because pets are dependent on their human caretakers for their food, and can’t supplement their diets if their main meal doesn’t provide enough nutrition. The new standards ensure that pet food will be nutritionally balanced.

The proposed rule protects humans as well as animals because it reduces the risk of illness from handling pet food, for example, that’s contaminated with Salmonella.

The FDA is collecting comments from the public on this rule through the end of February 2014; it would not take effect until 60 days after the rule is published.

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Stock photo vet examining a sick german shepherd by Shutterstock.

In the meantime, the FDA reports that it’s working with scientists to identify the cause of the contamination in jerky treats, but has not been able to determine the source.

Because of what Dr. Barchas wrote, and because it still hasn’t been determined what exactly is wrong with the jerky treats that have sickened and killed pets, I’ve avoided them altogether. I figure “better safe than sorry” when it comes to my dog’s welfare. I’ve also paid more attention to where the food and treats I buy my dog are manufactured. Just because the label claims the food is made in the USA, doesn’t mean that the ingredients could originate from another country, such as China.

Some pet supply stores, such as Pet Food Express, have stopped carrying products containing ingredients considered harmful, including: animal fat, meat and bone meal, BHA, BHT, propylene glycol and artificial colorings and flavors

If you still have concerns about what to feed your dog, I suggest you ask your veterinarian for advice.

Fri, 20 Dec 2013 10:00:00 -0800 /the-scoop/fda-adds-new-rule-to-protect-dogs
<![CDATA[Joey's Jerky Treats Is Allegedly Tied to 21 Salmonella Cases]]> Twenty-one people in New Hampshire have fallen sick due to Salmonella, and health officials are pointing to Joey's Jerky chicken jerky treats.  

Yes, the treats are made for dogs, but the infection can hit humans who touch the treats.  

“While uncommon, pet food and treats can sometimes be contaminated with Salmonella, which is why it is so important for pet owners to wash their hands after handling pet food and treats,” said Dr. José Montero, director of public health at DHHS.

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The 21 people in Merrimack and Hillsborough counties have been identified with the same strain of the illness. The DHHS Bureau of Infectious Disease Control discovered the link after interviewing people who were sick. Joey’s Jerky is produced in New Hampshire and the manufacturer, Kritter’s Kitchen Kreations, LLC, has voluntarily recalled all of the product.

However, confirmation through laboratory testing of the jerky is still pending at the New Hampshire Public Health Labs.

Joey’s Jerky was sold at the following six stores: America’s Pet in Hudson, Blue Seal in Bow, K9 Kaos in Dover, Osborne’s Agway in Concord, Sandy’s Pet Food Center in Concord, and The Yellow Dogs Barn in Barrington. 

New Hampshire health officials are advising people who may have the treats in their homes to throw them away.  

According to the FDA, "healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers."

For more information, contact Kritter’s Kitchen Kreations at (603) 494-5954, email, or contact the DHHS Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at 603-271-4496 and

Mon, 16 Sep 2013 04:00:00 -0700 /the-scoop/dog-food-recall-salmonella-joes-jerky-treats
<![CDATA[Protect Your Pups: Iams Recalls Dog Treats Over Mold Concerns]]> Procter and Gamble has issued a voluntary retrieval of Iams Shakeables Turkey and Lamb Dog Treats, due to potential for mold growth. The company has not received any reports of human or pet illness, and it says that no other products are affected. 

The Impacted lot numbers include: 

Iams Shakeables Turkey, 6oz:

[2342]419715A, [2325]419715A, [2331]419715A, [2332]419715A, [2341]419715A, [3016]419715A, [3017]419715A, [3018]419715A, [3046]419715A

Iams Shakeables Lamb, 6oz


To find your code, look at the bottom of the can, at the first four numbers of the second line:

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If you have questions about this voluntary withdrawal, please call Proctor and Gamble (Iams) at 1-877-894-4458.

Seattle Dogspot did some sleuthing and discovered that Iams "made no mention of the recall on its website. The Dogspot writer then posted a message on the Iams Facebook page, asking if it was going to post info about the matter on its website (the posting, you should know, first appeared on the PetSmart corporate website).

Dogspot received this response:

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"Robert, thanks for your post. We've requested retailers to remove a few lots of Shakeables treats from their shelves because they have the potential to get moldy. Clearly, these do not meet our quality standards. We consulted with the FDA before we took any action and have followed their guidance on proper notification procedures. If you have more questions, please give us a call at 1-877-894-4458. Janet"

Editor's Note: Iams has now remedied this, and the following message is available on its website

"Last week, we posted on the P&G web site a voluntary retrieval of specific lots of Iams Shakeables (see above). Today, we are notifying retailers that the FDA has revised their previous assessment from voluntary product retrieval to voluntary product recall. No additional lots of Shakeables have been added; this is a classification update only."

Mon, 25 Mar 2013 10:00:00 -0700 /the-scoop/iams-recall-dog-treats-mold-concerns
<![CDATA[Recall Alert: Steve's Real Foods' Raw Turducken Patties May Contain Salmonella]]> Steve's Real Food of Murray, Utah, a maker of raw dog food, is recalling five-pound bags of Turducken Canine Diet (eight-ounce patties), due to potential contamination of Salmonella. 

The patties were distributed to retail stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, California, Minnesota and Tennessee.

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The "potential for contamination" came to light after routine sampling of one bag by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

According to the FDA, "pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and have these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian." 

Interestingly, Steve's Real Food CEO Gary Bursell says the problem could be the result of a problem with the bags and is not a sanitation issue, according to Pet Product News.

“We use a biodegradable film on the bags, and we've had problems sealing the patty bags, not the nuggets,” Bursell said.

“We sanitize our production facility between every product run,” he adds. “Our plant operates just the same as any human food facility, and everything we've got out there is clean stuff.”

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Photo via Steve's Real Foods' Facebook page.

The recall affects about 240 bags, or about 1,200 patties. The recalled product comes in green-and-cream-colored biodegradable film bags with lot number 209-10-27-13, with an expiration date of October 27, 2013. 

Call Steve's Real Food at 801-540-8481 if you have questions or concerns. 

Via Pet Product News

Tue, 12 Mar 2013 04:00:00 -0700 /the-scoop/recall-alert-steves-real-foods-raw-food-patties-salmonella
<![CDATA[Nature's Recipe Dog Biscuits Recalled Over Salmonella Fears]]> Check your pantry: On the heel's of last months recall of Boots & Barkley Bully Sticks, we've got another recall for dog treats based on Salmonella fears. 

On Saturday, Nature's Recipe announced it was voluntarily recalling a limited supply of dog treats that could be contaminated with Salmonella. The products came from the company's Topeka, KS, plant and were sent nationwide, primarily to pet specialty retailers. No pet illness have been reported to date.

The product is called Nature’s Recipe Oven Baked Biscuits with Real Chicken, sold in 19-ounce, stand-up, resealable pouches. The affected bags are marked with Lot Codes 2199TP or 2200TP and a UPC Code of 30521 51549. The pouches also have a “Best If Used By Date” stamp of “10 11 13” and “10 12 13.”

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For more information, or to receive a replacement package, you can use the Contact Us form at or call the Consumer Hotline at (800) 237-3856, 24 hours a day. 

If you've fed your dog the snack, be aware of the signs of illness. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected, but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

Also, as there is a risk to humans handling infected products, look after yourself as well: 

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some, or all, of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their health care providers.

Dogster Poll:  Does your dog eat Nature's Recipe products?

Mon, 15 Oct 2012 12:00:00 -0700 /the-scoop/recall-natures-recipes-dog-biscuits-salmonella
<![CDATA[Boots & Barkley Bully Sticks Recalled from Target ]]> Kasel Associated Industries of Denver is recalling Boots & Barkley American Beef Bully Sticks because of Salmonella risk, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration

The recalled American Beef Bully Sticks, which come in a clear plastic bag and contain six sticks, were distributed nationwide through Target retail stores from April through September 2012.

The recalled bags are marked with the bar code number 647263899189.

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Kasel is recalling all lot numbers of the sticks after tests by Colorado's Department of Agriculture found salmonella in the following four lots: BESTBY20APR2014DEN, BESTBY01JUN2014DEN, BESTBY23JUN2014DEN, and BESTBY23SEP2014DEN.

According to the FDA: 

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever, and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has any of these signs, please contact your veterinarian.

The FDA also warns that people can be affected as well: 

Humans are at risk for salmonella poisoning from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the pet products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Bully sticks are dried bull penises. They are known by a variety of names -- beef pizzles, beef sticks, pizzle sticks, steer sticks -- but they are all dried bull penises.

Wed, 26 Sep 2012 12:00:00 -0700 /the-scoop/recall-dog-snacks-boots-barkley-bully-sticks-target
<![CDATA[Dog Food Recall: Breeder’s Choice AvoDerm and Various Thyroid Medications]]> Because of possible contamination with Salmonella, Breeder’s Choice Pet Food is recalling a single manufacturing batch of its Breeder's Choice AvoDerm Natural Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Adult Dog Formula.

Look for the following information on the bag: 

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Product Code: 1000065074

UPC Code: 0 5290702043 8

Best Before Code: 28 Aug 2013, 29 Aug 2013, or 30 Aug 2013

According to a company press release, a sample from this batch had tested positive for Salmonella.

Here's what to look out for if your pet is sick, according to that press release

"Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian."

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For more information, call 1-866-500-6286 or visit Breeder's Choice

Also on the recall list: Lloyd, Vedco, and Clipper have recalled some thyroxine products because of an “incorrect in-process specification for blend uniformity criteria," according to the American Veterinarian Medical Association. These medications are used to treat thyroid conditions in dogs. Here are the products listed on the recall: 


Lloyd Thyro Tab 0.3mg in 1000 ct NDC# 11789-253-20 KB15711
Lloyd Thyro Tab 0.3mg in 120ct NDC#11789-253-10 KB15711
Lloyd Thyro Tab 1.0mg in 1000ct NDC# 11789-268-20 KB17311
Lloyd Thyro Tab 1.0mg in 120ct NDC# 11789-268-10 KB17311
Lloyd Thyro Tab 0.7mg in 1000ct NDC# 11789-257-20 KB18011
Lloyd Thyro Tab 0.7mg in 120ct NDC# 11789-257-10 KB18011
Lloyd Thyro Tab 0.2mg in 1000ct NDC# 11789-252-20 KA16611
Lloyd Thyro Tab 0.2mg in 120ct NDC# 11789-252-10 KA16611


Vedco Thyrosyn Tab 0.8mg in 1000ct NDC# 50989-204-53 KD11711, KD11711A
Vedco Thyrosyn Tab 0.3mg in 1000ct NDC# 50989-201-53 KB13611, KB13611A
Vedco Thyrosyn Tab 0.3mg in 180ct NDC# 50989-201-86 KB13611, KB13611A
Vedco Thyrosyn Tab 0.7mg in 180ct NDC# 50989-283-86 KB18011, KB18011A


Clipper Thyrozine Tab 0.3mg in 1000ct NDC# 57319-333-16 KB13611, KB13611a, KB15711
Clipper Thyrozine Tab 0.3mg in 180ct NDC# 57319-333-31 KB15711F
Clipper Thyrozine Tab 0.7mg in 1000ct NDC# 57319-337-16 KB18011
Clipper Thyrozine Tab 0.7mg in 180ct NDC# 57319-337-31 KB18011F, KB18011FA

Visit the American Veterinarian Medical Association's page on the recall for more information. 

Fri, 14 Sep 2012 07:30:00 -0700 /the-scoop/dog-food-recall-breeders-choice-avoderm-thyroid-medications