Hundreds of Dogs Hit in Pet Food Poison Scare
This just in from Australia!
The Australian Veterinary Association is warning Australians that the source of a recent upsurge in kidney damage in small dogs is tied to contaminated pet food meat. Furthermore the meat’s origin source is suspected as China.
The AVA is encouraging all veterinarians to report cases of serious kidney damage to them immediately. Mark Lawrie the AVA national president stated yesterday that, “We have only become aware of this in the last three or four weeks, and we need to make people aware there are some clear indications there is a problem out there.”
According to Lawrie the kidney failure cases have been traced to a well-known Australian pet-food supplier. This manufacturer is using tainted meat that is imported from China. Lawrie is withholding the name of the company, citing legal reasons. Earlier this month the University of Sydney issued a national alert about this kidney-destroying pet food. But the university was ordered under legal threat, from the pet food manufacturer, to desist from any further comments. One university researcher (who refused to be named) stated that there is enough evidence against this company to recall the entire product line.
It appears that Australia’s legal system provides corporations a strangle-hold power, prohibiting the mention of a specific product in connection with anything scandalous — even if this means perpetrating the death of innocent pets. This leaves the Australian pet owner stabbing in the dark when it comes to selecting a safe pet food for their dog.
Despite being hampered by threats from the company the AVA has done its best to alert veterinarians about the problem. While at the same time, the AVA admonishes the vets to not make any comments to the media about the case. Due to all the legal haranguing the AVA has only been made aware of a few dozen cases. Yet, they suspect that the true numbers are more likely into the hundreds.
The AVA holds to the position that all pet owners need to be concerned, particularly if they have a small breed dog. Both vets and dog owners alike are advised of these warning signs:
- INCREASED thirst and urination.
- REDUCED appetite and lethargy.
- VOMITING and weakness.
Please be aware that American pet food companies also use Chinese imports to manufacture pet food. Despite China’s poor track record this practice persists, particularly when it comes to gluten and grain products (this includes rice). In 2007 contaminated ingredients from China resulted in the deaths of hundreds of pets due to kidney failure. Although imported ingredients are still used to manufacture dog and cat food consumers can not determine from the label the ingredient’s country of origin. And there is no method of knowing if imported ingredients include meat. This is a huge concern to the pet owner because pet food labels are not required to list the ingredient’s country of origin. Therefore ANY ingredient on the label can come from foreign sources, including China. After all, it is not illegal to import products from oversees sources.
So what is a pet parent to do? For one thing, avoid pet food that lists gluten as an ingredient. Gluten, besides being bad for your pet’s health, can ultimately be a source of contamination. Avoid feeding your pet manufactured food loaded with grains, since grain can also be source of contamination. Next, find manufacturers that assure the consumer that their products are not only manufactured in the U.S.A. but are produced with American ingredients.
What’s a Pet Parent to Do?
Salmonella has reared its ugly head again, this time in the Hartz Mountain Rawhide Chips. I am not a big advocate of feeding dogs rawhide or pig ears: They are indigestible, some occurrences of intestinal blockage have been reported, and some dogs (when left unsupervised) have choked on them. In addition, some of these products use animal parts from Asia or other third-world countries. These countries do not regulate pesticides, chemicals, or sanitation. Even if the hides are from the United States the chews could be processed in a foreign country. Arsenic is just one of the harmful substances used in rawhide processing, another is bleaching solutions (to make the hide white). Unfortunately, dog owners are blissfully unaware of this and they continue to give Fido these treats. It’s not that dog parents want to give their four-pawed pals something harmful, it’s just that most people believe these products wouldn’t be on the market if they were dangerous. And yet, time and time again the pet product industry breaks this trust.
You might recall that back in August another outbreak of Salmonella turned up in pet food. This time it was the Mars Petcare US company. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered a link between Salmonella Schwarzengrund, pet food, and an outbreak of Salmonella that affected sixty-six people and spanned 18 states. As it turns out, these people were affected by the exact same strain of Salmonella discovered in the Mars Petcare brand of Red Flannel Large Breed Adult Formula and the Krasdale Gravy kibble. The Pennsylvania Health Department also discovered traces of the strain at the Pennsylvania factory where the food was produced.
Mars was quick to act, recalling the food within a week of this discovery. Then once again in September another Mars Petcare US pet food recall was made. Again it was over “potential” salmonella contamination. This time a variety of their brands were affected and products in 31 states were pulled from the shelves.
No doubt about it, Salmonella is on the rise. In fact, the CDC reports that there are about 40,000 cases of Salmonella poisoning in the United States each year. That’s just the ones that are reported — milder cases are rarely reported — so it is difficult to state with certainty exactly how many cases actually occur each year. The problem is that Salmonella is highly transferable. That is, a person handling contaminated dog food can get it on their hands and accidentally ingest it. Another problem is that drug-resistant strains of Schwarzengrund Salmonella are increasing. And if a person contracts a drug-resistant variety they will require prolonged hospitalization. In some cases it results in death. As is usually the case with disease, the elderly and young are more likely to become victims. Furthermore, Schwarzengrund Salmonella can create multiple problems, even after a person recovers. One is Rieter’s Syndrome, an arthritis-like disease that causes painful joints, eye irritation, and painful urination.
On the whole, the frequency of Schwarzengrund Salmonella outbreaks is alarming. It reminds us to be cautious when handling all food products, including pet food. Certainly we need to take care in washing feeding bowls, utensils, and measuring cups. In addition, we want to caution small children about playing with pet food. Finally, as pet parents and consumers we want to educate ourselves about the food we are feeding our dogs and cats. Being enlightened will help us select the best quality of dog food or cat food for the four-pawed members of our family. It’s not just about our pets, Salmonella involves the human members of our family too. Let’s all wise up about pet food, take the time to investigate and research — after all, you wouldn’t put anything harmful into your baby’s mouth would you? By the same token, no loving pet parent would want to place harmful food into their furry baby’s bowl.
From toys to food to treats to medications: this author reveals the truth about the pet food industry!
Susan Thixton, author and pet rights advocate, has done it again! Read her article entitled The FDA ignores Pet Food Safety Deadline in the American Chronicle where she reveals the agency’s stalling tactics on the FDA Amendments Act that required the FDA to develop “Early Warning Surveillance Systems and Notification During Pet Food Recall.”
Better yet, visit her web site where you will find out the truth about pet food, which just happens to be the name of her web site!
This site truly represents the rights of pets to have safe foods, treats, and toys. Just as human consumers need consumer watch guard groups, so do pets. In fact, pets need them more since many people consider them to be expendable commodities or property. Neither one of these view points is true. For those who share their lives with their dear furry, scaly, or feathered friends, pets are family members. They need to be protected from harmful substances, insecticides, pharmaceuticals, and foods, just as we would protect other members of our family from harm
Sign up for her PetSumer Report and stay informed!
On behalf of all the creatures thank you Susan!