Archive for the ‘Pet Food Recalls & Safety’ Category

FDA Enforcement Report: Lick Your Chops Cat Food Class III Recall

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

Numerous Itchmo readers have emailed us in regards to the most recent FDA enforcement report dated December 5, 2007.

On the report, there was a Class III recall for various Lick Your Chops cat food flavors due to the potential that the products may contain non-protein nitrogen compounds.

We spoke to Michael, a Healthy Pet Foods spokesperson (Healthy Pet Foods makes Lick Your Chops) about the recall. He clarified that this is a Class III recall and not a Class I recall. In Class III recalls, he stated that there is not any likelihood of any adverse health effects from the product.

He said they were notified in July of the potential issue and tested pet food samples, and all but one of the tests showed no trace of elevated protein levels. One test showed a trace of raised protein levels, but they were unable to identify if it was melamine or cyanuric acid or anything else.

Healthy Pet Foods notified their distributors and took off the various cat food products off the shelves in July as a precautionary step. Only one of the flavors (Chicken and Brown Rice) was distributed in Pennsylvania, while the other three flavors are distributed only in Canada. Michael stated that very little of the product went out to consumers.


PetSmart Says Company Extensively Tests Pet Toys

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007


A PetSmart spokesman Bruce Richardson said the company does extensive testing on toys they sell in the store.

Richardson stated, “We have a technical services group, which is headed by a Ph.D., and includes veterinarians and analysts who manage the quality. They keep close to these issues.”

PetSmart also has an independent company to conduct quality-assurance tests on toys, including tests for arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, and selenium. They said the same standards for human safety are used for the testing of pet toys.

Source: The Oregonian

(Thanks menusux)

Media Continue To Investigate Lead In Pet Toys

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

DogNews teams around the country continue to investigate into the safety of pet toys and test for levels of lead.

Recently, a Chicago news team had a tennis ball for dogs called Paws ‘N Claws tested by Trace Laboratories in Palatine, Illinois. The ball had levels of 27,200 parts per million, and the standard that is assumed potentially dangerous by the Consumer Product Safety Commission is anything over 600 parts per million.

The lead wasn’t found throughout the ball but instead in the ink used for the Paws ‘N Claws logo.

Veterinary toxicologist Dr. Steven Hansen, director of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in Urbana, IL, said, “Yes, that is a very, very high number. While scary, — because the lead is concentrated in the ink –- it’s not quite as scary as it could be.”

For more information, visit Steve Dale’s Pet World.

Lab Finds High Lead Levels In Pet Products

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007

An Albuquerque news team tested various pet supplies and toys by first using a lead surface do-it-yourself test kit and then took those some pet products to Assaigai Analytical Environmental Labs for further testing.

The news team first tested a yellow dog ball, a green ceramic pet bowl, a white ceramic pet bowl, and a bird cage with their do-it-yourself test kit. The yellow dog ball did not show any lead levels, while the green ceramic pet bowl did test positive for lead. The white ceramic pet bowl and the bird cage yielded a higher positive lead result.

The news team took the two ceramic pet bowls and the bird cage to the lab to be tested.

John Biava, vice president and lab operations manager, tested the samples and confirmed the presence of lead in all of them.

The green bowl tested at 62 parts per million, while the white bowl tested at 990 milligrams per kilogram (milligrams per kilogram is the metric equivalent of parts per million).


Salmon Poisoning Disease In Pets

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

DogPet owners may not know that a deadly disease known as Salmon Poisoning Disease (SPD) is lurking outdoors near lakes that can result in death if the symptoms are not diagnosed properly or treated quickly. A recent occurrence of SPD in Orange County, California affected a 10-month-old Yorkie named Gigi and is believed to be the first case diagnosed in the southland. Pet owners need to be aware of the potential risks involved in allowing dogs to be exposed to an environment where raw fish may be present and can infect their pets.

SPD is an acute, infectious disease that affects dogs, wolves, ferrets and foxes, when they ingest uncooked salmon, trout, steelhead, and similar freshwater fish. While the disease is typically more prevalent in the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon and northern California), the disease has surfaced from a dog ingesting raw fish from Lake Irvine (southern Calfornia).

Symptoms of SPD include vomiting, loss of appetite, fever, diarrhea, weakness, swollen lymph nodes, and dehydration.

“Most people in this area are unfamiliar with the symptoms of this disease, which appear within five to seven days after eating infected raw fish. Left undiagnosed, SPD can be fatal within several weeks,” explained Mike Moore, DVM, at VCA All-Care Animal Referral Center. “SPD is treatable if diagnosed quickly. If your dog has been around raw fish or you are unsure of what they have ingested and symptoms appear, consider SPD a possibility and see your veterinarian immediately for evaluation and treatment,” he added.


Walmart Says They Continue To Test Pet Toys

Monday, November 19th, 2007

In a Toledo, Ohio newspaper, a Wal-Mart spokesman said this about the safety of pet toys, “We do not take pet safety lightly. We continue to independently test pet toys and work with government agencies, suppliers and customers to assure that the products in our stores meet the highest quality standards.”

A veterinarian also stated in the same article that pet owners should avoid any toy that contains lead paint. But then he added, “Based on the numbers that I’ve seen and that I’ve read, volume or concentration of the lead in the toys itself. You would have to eat a lot of lead or a lot of paint off those toys for the average 22-lb. dog to have a problem, and most of the toxicities are built up over weeks or months.”

Source: WTOL

(Thanks menusux)

RECALL: PetEdge Toothpaste Recall

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

Pet EdgeItchmo readers alerted us of a PetEdge toothpaste recall due to the potential of diethylene glycol. Emails were sent out to PetEdge customers notifying them of the recall.

Here is the recall information that was sent out to customers:

PetEdge is voluntarily recalling Top Performance brand ProDental Toothpaste with Toothbrush kit because the toothpaste could contain diethylene glycol. Only one product, which comes in two flavors, is affected:

Top Performance® ProDental Toothpaste with Toothbrush kit 1.4 oz.,

Item No. TP128
Beef flavor: UPC 721343128151
Mint flavor: UPC 721343128564

Diethylene glycol can cause headaches and illness, or in high doses, renal failure or death. Diethylene glycol is found in antifreeze and other solvents.The company has received no reports of any illnesses associated with this product and is recalling it out of an abundance of caution.


Study Shows Combo Of Melamine And Cyanuric Acid Leads To Acute Kidney Failure In Cats

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

A University of California, Davis pilot study found that the combination of melamine and cyanuric acid can be deadly when eaten by cats.

The study, led by veterinary toxicologist Birgit Puschner and colleagues at the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, found that cats that were fed pet food spiked with both melamine and cyanuric acid quickly experienced acute kidney failure. Cats that received food that only had melamine or only had cyanuric acid showed no ill symptoms.

Puschner and colleagues found that the cats that received both melamine and cyanuric acid developed fan-shaped crystals in their urinary tracts. Such crystals were not normally observed in healthy cats.

The three cats that were fed pet food with both melamine and cyanuric acid became sick within 12 hours, began to vomit, lose their appetite, and showed signs of kidney failure.

After the exposed cats died, it was found that their tissues had the same kind of kidney damage detected in animal necropsies during the pet food recalls.


Reports Of Dog Illnesses From Chicken Jerky Treats Continue

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

EmmaThe mystery of why dogs have been getting ill from eating chicken jerky treats is still ongoing. There have been no answers from the FDA, and more reports of dogs getting sick from eating chicken jerky treats continue.

In Longmont, Colorado, some veterinarians at a veterinary clinic said they have seen four cases of dogs showing symptoms after eating chicken jerky treats.

One pet owner, Johanna Ohlsson, said her dog, Emma, became sick and is still ill from eating Smokehouse brand treats, including chicken poppers, chicken tenders and duck tenders. Ohlsson said her six-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel started to eat less and drink more, and Emma lost five pounds in ten days after eating the treats.

Emma’s symptoms matched the symptoms of the 70 other dogs that have been reported ill from eating chicken jerky treats.

Ohlsson said she purchased the treats at PetSmart. A PetSmart spokesman said that even though the company puilled the Smokehouse brand treats in September, they later restocked them when there were no conclusions on what the link was between the treats and the illnesses.


Reality Of Pet Food Industry Recalls, FDA Claims No Duty To Investigate Poisoned Pet Food

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

Every industry has protocols on what to do whenever there is a recall.

Richard Sellers, vice president for feed regulation and nutrition of AFIA in Arlington, Virginia, wrote an article about what pet food companies should think about when handling a recall.

Some of Seller’s points included:

  • There is no legal obligation to immediately notify FDA of recalls. It is better to contact the state feed control official and discuss the situation before contacting FDA or other agencies.Sellers added that contacting a federal/state agency will consume lots of time with visits and collecting samples and information. State and federal agencies are entitled to little information and documentation, and companies can decide how much data they want to provide to agencies.
  • Protect the company: Sellers stated that protecting a company and its reputation can be just as important as removing potentially harmful products and alerting state and federal agencies.He added that recalls are inevitable as long as the possibility of human errors exists. The most important part of the recall process is creating procedures for handling recalls before the recall occurs. These procedures include how to handle complaints from customers, how do deal with the press, and how to respond with federal and state agencies if and when they are notified.
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    A Second Guess… Kidney Treatment Tips

    Tuesday, November 13th, 2007


    Since the pet food recall introduced feline kidney failure into our household, friends with cats recently diagnosed with Chronic Renal Disease (CRD, or CRF for Chronic Renal Failure) have asked for suggestions. I’m offering some favorite shortcuts to anyone struggling to help a pet with CRF, and I hope CRF veterans will add even more tips and resources in the comments.

    Internet searches may show one person’s favorite treatment included in someone else’s warning. This seems particularly true with regard to some pre-mixed herbal treatments labeled “kidney” this or that. I am not an expert, so I took warnings about certain herbal ingredients as harsh, quite seriously. We all want a quick fix, and maybe some of these treatments have worked for you; I’m just recommending using the Internet or other resources to generate a second opinion for any ingredients.

    Of course, please discuss any treatments with your veterinarian.

    The CRF sites I visited most often were:
    • Feline CRF Information Center
    • Holisticat including this article (Holisticat founder Sandy Arora also released a book, Whole Health for Happy Cats, in 2006 )
    • Tanya’s Feline CRF Information Centre, a UK site

    Subcutaneous fluids seem to enter all treatment regimens eventually. Your vet can administer them, or you can give these at home. Do not feel like a failure if you cannot do this, depending on the squirminess of your cat or your own squeamishness.

    My vet recommended setting my cat, Kisses, on something like a washing machine since elevation makes the cat more likely to be still and puts her in your reach, and I found a TV tray worked best for this purpose. I kept the IV bag hanging from a hook on the back of a bedroom door. When it was time for her fluids, I could take her into the room, shut the door and move the TV tray into the corner next to the door. When I placed her on the TV tray and stood next to it, she was boxed in on three sides. Kisses preferred to face the open side, lying down during the injection. Some resources recommend gently warming the fluids for the cat’s comfort.


    Lab Reports Acetaminophen In Eagle Pack Senior Dog Food

    Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

    ExpertoxExpertox, a Texas lab, tested an unopened, original package of Eagle Pack Holistic Select Senior Care Formula for Senior Dogs. The lab reported that the sample of dog food tested positive for acetaminophen.

    The sealed bag of Eagle Pack Holistic Select Senior Care Formula for Senior Dogs had the best if fed by date of: 0549 P2 10 JUL 08.

    A pet owner and a small pet store owner sent the bag of Eagle Pack dog food to Expertox after her dogs experienced symptoms when eating Eagle Pack, and she also received complaints from customers using Eagle Pack. Symptoms from both her dogs and customers’ dogs included vomiting, diarrhea, itching, eyes swelling, hives, conjunctivitis, tremors, and some unexplained aggression.

    She then contacted Eagle Pack and said they told her that problems with Eagle Pack were only coming from her store. They said the itching was probably caused by the dogs going into the ocean and not getting the salt/sand out of their coats or that people were not rinsing their dogs completely after a bath.

    Eagle Pack came by her store to obtain samples in mid-August, and she said she has still not received test results from them. She then contacted the FDA, and an agent come by three times to obtain samples and unopened bags of dog food. She said she hasn’t hear anything back from the FDA either.


    Unsanitary Pet Treatments Seized In Drug Company Raid

    Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

    General Therapeutics Corp. makes over-the-counter drugs for human and animals and manufactures dietary supplements.

    Last week, the St. Louis company was raided after allegations saying that they were manufacturing unsanitary pet treatments, medicine, and dietary supplements and that they were trying to conceal drug products from the FDA.

    Authorities seized more than $300,000 worth of products including Pyran-50, a pet de-wormer; Vitrin, a multivitamin; NC Solution, an antifungal product.

    In 1999, General Therapeutics Corp. was warned by the FDA about violations in regards to improper storage of materials, poor sanitation and inadequate cleaning.

    The owner of the company said General Therapeutics Corp. stopped making drug products in 2000, but in 2007, FDA inspectors found that the company was continuing to make pharmaceuticals.


    NEW RECALL: Hartz Vitamin Care For Cats

    Saturday, November 3rd, 2007

    Hartz announced a recall on November 2 for a specific lot of Hartz Vitamin Care for cats because of salmonella concerns. Here is the release from their website:

    The Hartz Mountain Corporation is voluntarily recalling one specific lot of Hartz Vitamin Care for Cats due to concerns that one or more bottles within the lot may have been potentially contaminated with Salmonella. Hartz is fully cooperating with the US Food and Drug Administration in this voluntary recall.

    The product involved is 3600 bottles of Hartz Vitamin Care for Cats, lot code SZ-16371, UPC number 32700-97701, which was manufactured by a third party manufacturer, UFAC (USA), Inc., in Baconton, Georgia. While normal testing conducted by Hartz and UFAC has not revealed the presence of Salmonella in any Hartz products, sampling conducted by the FDA did detect the presence of Salmonella. Hartz is aggressively investigating the source of the problem.


    Pet Treat Manufacturers To Develop Feeding Guidelines

    Saturday, November 3rd, 2007

    There is still no conclusion of why there have been over 70 complaints to the FDA that dogs became ill from eating chicken jerky products. Pet owners continue to look for answers of why their pets became sick or died from simply eating chicken jerky treats.

    In response to pet owners’ complaints, some pet treat manufacturers and retailers are putting something different on their package label — recommendations on how many snacks a day should be given to dogs. Some manufacturers suggested that pets were possibly getting sick because owners were overfeeding them or using treats as their regular pet food.

    Similar to what is on pet food, some companies, like ADI Pet Inc. and Smokehouse Pet Products, will be placing feeding instructions based on an animal’s weight for pet treats.

    “The problem with high-protein treats is that dogs really, really like them because they taste good. I may like hamburgers for the same reason, but I shouldn’t eat 10 of them a day,” said Jerry Peters, president of ADI Pet Inc., makers of Waggin’ Train brand jerky treats.

    PetSmart developed feeding guidelines in conjunction with Smokehouse Pet Products, a product they pulled off the shelves in September, and veterinarians, based on a pet’s weight. The feeding table is in stores now and will be put on Smokehouse labels by early next year.


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