A major manufacturer of dog and cat food has recalled 60 million containers of wet pet food after reports that several dogs and cats got sick…and some have died.

RecallMSNBC News Services

WASHINGTON – As many as one in six animals died in tests of suspect dog and cat food by the manufacturer after complaints the products were poisoning pets around the country, the government said Monday.

A federal investigation is focusing on wheat gluten as the likely source of contamination that sparked a recall last Friday of 60 million cans and pouches of the suspect food, said Stephen F. Sundlof, the Food and Drug Administration’s top veterinarian.

The ingredient, a protein source, is commonly used as filler.

Agency investigators are looking at other ingredients as well. The wet-style pet food was made by Menu Foods, an Ontario, Canada-based company.

Menu Foods told the FDA it received the first complaints of kidney failure and deaths among cats and dogs from pet owners on Feb. 20. It began new tests on Feb. 27.

During those tests, the company fed its product to 40 to 50 dogs and cats and seven animals — the mix of species was not immediately known — died, Sundlof said. The contamination appeared more deadly to cats than to dogs, he said.

The recall now covers dog food sold throughout North America under 51 brands and cat food sold under 40 brands, including Iams, Nutro and Eukanuba. The food was sold under both store and major brand labels at Petsmart, Wal-Mart, Kroger, Safeway and other large retailers.

The FDA has yet to tally how many reports it has received of cats and dogs suffering kidney failure or death. The company has reported 10 deaths, of nine cats and a single dog, but Sundlof told reporters on Monday that he expects the number of pet deaths to increase as the agency probes the cause of tainted pet food.

“We are still trying to find out what the true picture is out there of animals. We’re talking about 1 percent of the pet food (supply) and it’s really just impossible to extrapolate at this point,” Sundlof said.

Testing comes up short
Menu Foods spokeswoman Sarah Tuite told Associated Press Radio the company was “still trying to figure out the cause.”

“We’re testing and testing, but we can’t identify the problem in the product,” Tuite said.

Other companies — Nestle, Purina, PetCare Co., Procter & Gamble and Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc. — said that as a precaution they were voluntarily recalling some products made by Menu Foods.

A complete list of the recalled products along with product codes, descriptions and production dates was available from the Menu Foods Web site, http://www.menufoods.com/recall. The company also designated two phone numbers that pet owners could call for information — (866) 463-6738 and (866) 895-2708. The lines have been swamped by callers.

Tuite said the company has added more people and lines to cope with the calls. Callers who get a recording saying the line is out of order should try again, she added.

The company became aware of a potential problem after it received an undisclosed number of owner complaints that dogs and cats were vomiting and suffering kidney failure after eating its products.

Menu Foods has said the timing of the complaints coincided with the use of an ingredient from a new supplier. Use of that ingredient, which was not named, has been discontinued, it said.

The FDA said it believes it knows who that supplier was, but has not yet confirmed its name.

“We’re trying to find out whether or not that company may have supplied other companies,” Sundlof said.

Wheat gluten itself wouldn’t cause kidney failure, leading FDA investigators to suspect contamination by other substances, including heavy metals like cadmium and lead or fungal toxins. Aflatoxin, a corn fungus, sparked a 2005 dog food recall.

The new recall covers the company’s “cuts and gravy” style food, which consists of chunks of meat in gravy, sold in cans and small foil pouches from Dec. 3 to March 6.

The company said it makes pet food for 17 of the top 20 North American retailers. It is also a contract manufacturer for the top branded pet food companies.

The recalled dog food brands are:

  • Americas Choice, Preferred Pets
  • Authority
  • Award
  • Best Choice
  • Big Bet
  • Big Red
  • Bloom
  • Bruiser
  • Cadillac
  • Companion
  • Demoulas Market Basket
  • Eukanuba
  • Food Lion
  • Giant Companion
  • Great Choice
  • Hannaford
  • Hill Country Fare
  • Hy-Vee
  • Iams
  • Key Food
  • Laura Lynn
  • Loving Meals
  • Meijers Main Choice
  • Mighty Dog (The recall affects only 5.3 pouch products that were produced from Dec. 3, 2006 through March 14, 2007.)
  • Mixables
  • Nutriplan
  • Nutro Max
  • Nutro Natural Choice
  • Nutro
  • Ol’Roy Canada
  • Ol’Roy U.S.
  • Paws
  • Pet Essentials
  • Pet Pride – Good ’n Meaty
  • Presidents Choice
  • Price Chopper
  • Priority
  • Publix
  • Roche Bros
  • Save-A-Lot
  • Schnucks
  • Shep Dog
  • Springfield Prize
  • Sprout
  • Stater Bros
  • Total Pet, My True Friend
  • Western Family
  • White Rose
  • Winn Dixie
  • Your Pet

Veterinarians say if your cat or dog ate any of the recalled products, you need to look for symptoms of kidney failure.

Vets say it will be hard to treat animals that become ill from the recalled food until they can determine what is in the food to cause pets to have kidney failure.

“We don’t have enough data to know what the prognosis is,” said Dr. Sharon Finster, a veterinarian at N.C. State. “Without knowing the agent that’s causing it, we can’t tell if the animal will recover or not.”

And the doctor says symptoms of kidney failure can be somewhat vague and mistaken for other things. Pet owners should look for decreased appetite, vomiting, either increased drinking and urination or no urination at all.

If your pet exhibits these symptoms, you should get them to a vet quickly.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

March 21, 2006
BOSTON —
A 4-year-old Seabrook, N.H., boy was undergoing painful rabies treatments Tuesday morning.  He and his friend were attacked by a fox, and witnesses said the incident could have turned out a lot worse if it were not for an unlikely hero: the family dog.

Joshua and his 4-year-old companion, Addilyn, were playing in a back yard on Saturday when a rabid fox bit Joshua. It also bit Addilyn, but didn’t break her skin.

“Mom said, ‘Come inside! Come inside!’ and then the fox got my pant leg,” Addilyn said.

“I got bit by a fox,” Joshua said.

Their mothers were watching the children play when the fox came out of the woods.

“Well, I saw Joshua on the ground, right there, and the fox ran up the hill,” Joshua’s mother Karen Basti said.

By the time she reached him, the fox had bitten him on the leg. The mother’s scooped up the kids and ran for the house.

Addilyn was lucky. The family dog, Cinnamon, a Sheltie, distracted the fox so that everyone could get to safety.

The fox tested positive for rabies, but authorities said Joshua should be fine after a series of shots. Cinnamon, the dog, also received a rabies booster shot as a precaution.

The fox was found and put down.
Copyright 2006 by TheBostonChannel.com

Its funny that they call Cinnamon, “an unlikely hero.” But what else would you expect of the famliy dog, much less a Sheltie?   Way to go Cinnamon!

Directionsphoto

  • Make sure your Sheltie is wearing a collar and ID tag, be sure it includes your current telephone number or the number of your vet.
  • Have your Sheltie microchipped. Microchips provide a permanent, non-changeable or removable means of identification that will not be lost over time, as can occur with tags and tattoos. Owner information is immediately accessible, ensuring the rapid return of a lost dog.  But be sure it is always kept current!
  •  Don’t leave your Sheltie unattended in public places. You may be away only moments but that’s all it takes for your dog to go missing. Dogs tied outside shops, left inside vehicles and at public events are easy targets.
  • Ensure your garden is secure and be vigilant – sadly, it’s not rare for a dog to be stolen from it’s own back yard.
  • When visitors stay, ensure they know to shut windows and doors.
  • Keep an eye on your Sheltie if you let off leash-don’t let him/her run too far ahead and out of your sight, this is especially important if they do not always come back when you call.
  • Keep several up to date color photographs of your Sheltie and note down any distinguishing marks, & microchip information so if you do lose them, you are ready to go with the details.

Next: Dog toxic xylitol in gums, mints, desserts … and now drugs

Back to: Sheltie FAQ

April 20, 2001 Rockford, Michigan, USA

Winston didn’t quite make it around the world, but he did make it across five Michigan counties and a few frozen lakes.

Last month, the 11-year-old Sheltie was dropped off at the pet-sitter’s house in Rockford.  His owners then left for a planned 10-day trip to the Southeast.

Barely an hour or two later, Winston apparently decided that he wanted to go with them; he pushed open a back door, launched himself over the deck railing, and made his escape. 

Pet-sitter Kathy Burch recalls getting there just in time to see the 35-pound dog’s hind-end vanish into the distance.

Ms. Burch of Lakeside Pet Sitters had never lost a pet before.  After combing the area for four hours by herself, she organized a search.

The next few days resembled a sort of massive dragnet operation.  More than a hundred people in half a dozen counties—mostly total strangers—joined forces in passing out flyers, investigating “Winston sightings”, driving through the countryside and even taking the search airborne, as one couple did in their private plane.

Meanwhile, Winston’s family cut their trip short and returned to Rockford to join in the effort.

“What an amazing thing that people would take all of this time to come out and do this,” said owner Chris Beaudoin.

“It says a great deal about the quality of this community and the people, that they would do so much to help someone they don’t know.”
  Wintrek
For three weeks, the dog meandered across the state of Michigan, through cornfields, along country roads and over frozen lakes, according to the eyewitness reports that were called in from various checkpoints along Winston’s trek.

Finally, last Sunday, a thunderstorm blew in, and Winston (now in Freeland, MI) decided to come in out of the rain.  It just so happened that the door he scratched on belonged to a family who had seen the fliers.

They notified the search crews, and after one long drive up Interstate-46, Mr. Beaudoin arrived on the scene and collected the little runaway.  The pooch had lost about 10 pounds and was sporting some pretty impressive dreadlocks, but otherwise he was just fine.

Since then, Winston’s family has been “feeding him hamburger and rice in bed.”

Article courtsey of Dogs in the News

Puppy mills are nothing new, but they continue to be a problem because unsuspecting consumers keep buying those adorable puppies in the pet store window, on some slick Internet site, or even through an ad in the trusted local newspaper.

But behind the friendly facade of these pet shops, web sites, and newspaper ads, there often lies a puppy mill. These canine breeding facilities frequently house dogs in shockingly poor conditions, particularly for “breeding stock” animals who are caged and continually bred for years, without human companionship and with little hope of ever becoming part of a family. The bitches are bred at every cycle. Many are never vaccinated. The pups never get the all- important early socialization from dam and litter mates — they are taken away too young so they can be shipped cross-country and placed in pet shop windows or commercial kennels at their most appealing age. Many of these have problems (physical, temperamental or both) that will show up only later in life. Most will bear only a passing resemblance to the best representatives of the breed.

After their fertility wanes, breeding animals are commonly killed, abandoned or sold to another mill. The annual result of all this breeding is hundreds of thousands of puppies, many with behavior and/or health problems.

The puppies will be shipped cross country by truck to be sold in pet shops, but many are also sold via newspaper classifieds or Internet sites — and are often accompanied by false claims such as, “We’d never sell puppies from a puppy mill.”

Even if you luck out and get a puppy mill pup that is healthy and adjusts well, you will have contributed to the cycle of abuse that condemns their parents to a life of suffering.  Please do your homework before bringing a new puppy into your life.

Learn more at: STOP PUPPY MILLS  and Where can I get a Sheltie?

Back to: Sheltie Puppies

Tributetrans

If you haven’t discovered this website yet, then grab a handful of hankies & get reading. 

Its a wonderful place full of love for the breed that gives so much. [sniff, sniff]

Sheltie Angels Among Us