Itchmo Reader Reports Acetaminophen In Pet Food

Kitten on Couch

Lab Report via Steve M.UPDATE: Here is the lab report Steve M. sent us.

ORIGINAL POST: As we were breaking news of a Texas lab reporting cyanuric acid in unrecalled food, an Itchmo reader informed us that he had a lab test turn up positive for acetaminophen on May 21. The results came from the same lab as the one cited by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Here’s what Steve M. said in our comment section on May 21 at 11am:

I sent a sample of the Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach formula food, from the bag my cats had been eating from when they became ill, to Accutrace in Arlington, Texas. For $144 they agreed to test for the suspected pet food toxins (Melamine, Cyanuric Acid, Aminopterin, etc.) as well as other common toxins to pets. I received a call from the Lab today with the results of their analysis. To my surprise they did not find any of the suspected pet food toxins. But they did find something that is very toxic to cats in the food, Acetaminophen. If you are not familiar, acetaminophen is a pain reliever, marketed under the most common name as Tylenol. A little research will tell you that it doesn’t take much of this stuff to poison a cat.

This is not a case of my cats got into a tylenol capsule that was dropped on the floor or someone came into my house and spiked my open bag of cat food. This is a case of a known toxin to cats coming packaged in a bag of cat food from the store.

Repeat of full post from Steve M. after the jump.

From Steve M.:

The first week of April both of my cats became ill. We had recently opened a new bag of Hills Science Diet Sensitive Stomach, the same brand the cats had been eating for sometime. After a couple days of watching our cats conditions (vomiting, lethargy, apparent weight loss, etc.) worsen we made the trip to the Vet. After observation and blood and urine tests it was determined that both cats were in Acute Renal Failure. My male cat was in such poor condition at that point that the Vet recommended euthanizing him, which we ultimately did. My female cat was fairing a little better even though her diagnosis also found she was anemic as well. We started on a long regimen of IV’s and medications that continue to this day. She has recently shown signs of improvement but it has been costly both in a monetary and emotional sense.

Already being familiar with the pet food recall in the news I asked my Vet to order a Histopathology on my deceased cats internal organs so as to try and determine if he was poisoned. I also immediately contacted the FDA, which after me leaving numerous messages finally contacted me 10 days after my initial call. I also spoke with Hill’s, and to be honest I felt like they were really not very interested in my story. Hill’s ended up sending an application for me to request reimbursement for my Vet bills, even though my cats food was not and still to this day is not on the recall list. My deceased cats histopathology results came back and they did indicate poisoning. There was a crystalline feature in the kidneys that was indicative of this. At this point I contacted the FDA and Hill’s again to report the results. I asked Hill’s if they would like me to send them some of the cat food to test. To my amazement they declined and reitterated that I could ask for reimbursement for my Vet expenses. At this point I decided if I was going to find out what killed my cat I would have to do it myself. This I could not believe, because by this point in time we were about 6 weeks into this pet food crisis. I guess the experts already had everything figured out!

I sent a sample of the Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach formula food, from the bag my cats had been eating from when they became ill, to Accutrace in Arlington, Texas. For $144 they agreed to test for the suspected pet food toxins (Melamine, Cyanuric Acid, Aminopterin, etc.) as well as other common toxins to pets. I received a call from the Lab today with the results of their analysis. To my surprise they did not find any of the suspected pet food toxins. But they did find something that is very toxic to cats in the food, Acetaminophen. If you are not familiar, acetaminophen is a pain reliever, marketed under the most common name as Tylenol. A little research will tell you that it doesn’t take much of this stuff to poison a cat.

This is not a case of my cats got into a tylenol capsule that was dropped on the floor or someone came into my house and spiked my open bag of cat food. This is a case of a known toxin to cats coming packaged in a bag of cat food from the store.

This is my story to date. I just wanted to share with others because I truly believe there is more to this story than is being told. Don’t trust the FDA or the pet food manufacturer’s, they are just looking for a quick and convenient way to put this story to rest IMO. I will post again after more of my personal story unfolds. Best to all!

195 Responses to “Itchmo Reader Reports Acetaminophen In Pet Food”

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  1. Joan says:

    Steve M. - Great insight to test for other known toxins to pets in the pet food.

    The pets taken for us and the ill from the toxic food are forever remembered in our hearts.

  2. Lorie says:

    leslie K,

    My holistic vet sent back her whole line of Wellness that she carried at the office after her 5 cats became ill one of which died, from the dry IHO, and also found out her dog has cancer and he is not very old all he ever at was Wellness, so again in her opinion Wellness is the culprit.

    I also believe some of their dry is made by CJ Foods which made the recalled Blue Buffalo Kitten Dry. and Wellness wet is done by MENU

    I know many people personally having success with Canidae and Felidae so I would bag the rest and call it a day.

  3. menusux says:

    Local lab finds pet food contaminated
    KTRK-TV, ABC-13, Houston June 5, 2007

    “A Houston doctor says he’s uncovered pet food contaminated with pain medication.

    “The doctor who runs the lab believes the problems with pet food are far from over. His finding has sparked a new federal investigation.

    “Just one little acetaminophen pill is enough to kill a cat. But according to the lab, this drug was found in at least a half dozen pet food samples.

    “Technicians at EperTox in Deer Park test all kinds of samples. For the past few months more than a thousand of those samples have been different types of pet food. The results are troubling.

    “”We don’t really how big and how involved this problem is right now. We are only uncovering the beginning of it,” said Dr. Ernest Lykissa.

    “What Dr. Lykissa says he uncovered in his lab is more contaminated pet food. In more than two dozen samples Dr. Lykissa says either cyanuric acid or acetaminophen were found.

    “”Poisonous yes, if we’re testing for it here, it’s potentially poisonous to you,” he said.

    “The highest level of acetaminophen contamination came from a sample sent in by a manufacturer. It tested at 2 milligrams of the painkiller per gram of dog food.

    “Due to a confidentiality agreement, the lab can not reveal which pet food samples tested positive for the drugs. At least one sample was Pet Pride cat food. All test results were reported to the pet food makers, which should have been reported to the FDA.

    “It may be up to owners to police pet food because, according to the lab manager, no one from the FDA has investigated their positive findings. In fact, to date not a single government inspector has asked to look at one of the tainted pet food samples tested in this laboratory.

    “Late this afternoon, an FDA spokesperson says the agency is trying to get those samples. For now Dr. Lykissa considers the quality of pet food questionable.

    “The makers of Pet Pride food said court order prevents them from commenting on our story. ”

    And now you see that FDA doesn’t even move quickly when toxins are discovered. Manufacturers know this–and this is why they feel they don’t need to issue recalls.

  4. JJ says:

    Lesliek sorry to hear of you lil ones being sick. As far as the Wellness ck and see if it has canola oil in it. If so call or contact the company that makes it and ask if the canola is genetically modified. Couple places for genetically modified information are:

  5. Lorie says:

    This is so insane, pet food is never going to get better it never ends.
    My mother called this evening and I was feeding the cats baked chicken and she said ARE YOU STILL NOT USING PET FOOD. I said no mom they just found acetaminophen in the food, she about dropped the phone.

    When my husband came home form work I told him about all the new findings and he said WHY DOESN”T THE FDA ARREST THEM, I just LOL and said you have no idea what is going on……………………..

  6. Joan says:

    menusux Says:

    June 5th, 2007 at 9:58 pm
    Local lab finds pet food contaminated
    KTRK-TV, ABC-13, Houston June 5, 2007

    The tests were conducted over the past month. An FDA spokesperson says the agency wants to test the samples independently to determine the levels of contaminants.

    Hmmm… levels - Is FDA looking for a way out again?

  7. Trudy Jackson says:

    Steve, I’m so sorry for all you’ve been through. My cats died eating hills Z/D. I called the FDA. This was just before the recalling of food. I lost 3 of them. No one would test the food. Now i’m even angrier than I was.

  8. soverysad says:

    Oh Trudy, oh Steve, all the others that have lost their kids, my heart is so sad for you…. now I wonder about our girl Beany that died in December…. guess what we were feeding her…. Z/D…. I am so sorry for your losses, we all so need to band together, be organized in what actions we all take. How do we do a nation wide boycott of all of these pet food companies & human food companies? Ohhhhhh our kids, our sweet, sweet, kids

  9. karen says:

    Will this never end? Sheesh….
    My heart goes out to Steve and everyone whose pets have been affected by the tainted pet food.

    Trackback link:

  10. Kevin says:

    Lisa Clay,

    Food for thought. No pun intended. I just want to share with you what I have done for my Tonkinese cats all their lives. I have fed them nothing but raw food with the mixture of the proper ingredients. I’m sure you have heard about some of the recipes out there. To help relieve some of the burden and stress of the commercial pet food you may think about making a switch and just make your own. The products I use are from Celestial Pets provided by Dr. Yarnall Ph.D.

    There are tons of holistic web sites that encourage and help people make their own pet food.

    Forgive me if this sounds like I’m trying to promote something here, I’m not. I just want to give you some choices to relieve you from the current pet food crises. There are alternatives out there besides the commercial pet food industry.

    I don’t fear the commercial pet food industry. They just make me sick!

  11. Molly's Mom says:

    I have been following these boards and Itchmo since the recall began. We are so thankful they are here. We got a new puppy the day before the recall was announced. Turned out she had been eating recalled food.

    We switched her several times, and each time the food was recalled a week or so later. She was getting sicker and weaker. We thought we would lose her.

    Thanks to these boards, we tried many quality foods. What we found was Canidae for my puppy Molly, and Felidae for our cat.

    We’ve been feeding them both for three weeks. It is a miracle. My puppy is thriving and glowing. She is healthy, she is growing. She is strong. She is finally gaining weight. She looks beautiful. No more diarrhea. No more lethargy. She is as healthy as can be, thanks to Canidae. Her fur is now soft and silky. I am so happy we found it. I believe she would be dead if I hadn’t found it.

    We are so thankful for Itchmo which allowed us to learn about Canidae and Felidae. We had never heard of these products. We will be using this product exclusively from now on.

    My old cat always had hair problems. Her hair would mat even though we brushed her every day. We mistakenly thought she had “bad hair.” The Felidae has turned it into silk. I am just so amazed. And, so MAD that we gave them bad foods for so long. That will never happen again.

    All those years we trusted the major brands makes me sick. It just makes me sick.

  12. Trudy Jackson says:

    Soverysad, Thank You, and I’m so sorry you lost your little girl. If this goes back even further then I have lost 5. who knows? I have a friend in Canada who says she lost Her cat on Hills Z/D too. This is too sad.
    Boycott the Olimpics!!!
    Boycott the pet food companies and P&G.

  13. Lisa Clay says:

    Kevin - Although I don’t know if I could do raw, I am considering making my own food for my cats, with the correct added vitamins of course. I have purchased Dr. Pitcairn’s book and it includes recipes for cat food. The Halo website (I feed the Halo Spot’s Stew), even offers a copy of their own recipe. I also have a vet tech friend who makes her own pet food and she works with a holistic vet who cooks for her pets as well (raw as well as cooked). The holistic vet actually has videos and books on teaching people how to cook for their pets. You are smart for feeding raw but I just get too nervous.

    I have a cat with very serious intestinal problems (she has had them for years, long before the recall) and I have read that sometimes raw doesn’t help that condition. The books I have even contain recipes for cats with stomach problems.

    Of course the media is frowning on both raw and home cooked. However, there was an article posted on the Wall Street Journal of a vet who recommended cooking until the pet food recall is over (if ever).

  14. Claire says:

    Just want to add my experience with Hills to the growing list. My healthy 2 year old cat went into kidney failure in March. Since September the only food she had eaten was Science Diet. I fed her the indoor cat formula dry and various canned flavors (but not the Feline Savory Cuts that were recalled). She has been to three different vets, none of whom have been able to identify any cause for a cat her age to be in kidney failure (she has been through quite a few tests). The specialty referral vet that treated my cat for 6 weeks told me she suspects the food (even though it has not been recalled) because the symptoms of my cat are identical to the other pets she is treating for recall related illnesses. At this point my kitty is still under treatment and is not doing well. I kept the unopened cans I had left and a ziplock bag full of the dry food but right now I cannot afford to have them tested as I have spent so much money at the vet.

    On another note, what happened to the information I read several weeks ago that the contaminated ingredient was not wheat gluten and rice protein but wheat flour? That information seems to have fizzled out and died. The Hills website, for instance, has no acknowledgement of that information. They state: “Please note that Hill’s tests the imported vegetable protein it receives for melamine. Additionally, Hill’s has eliminated wheat gluten from our product formulas and does not use vegetable protein (including rice protein concentrate) from suppliers in China.” Why is that information still up if wheat gluten and rice protein are not to blame? Where is the information on wheat flour?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Mittens, re: “i guess theyve been spending all their time rigorously keeping canadian made cheap drugs out of the hands of america’s elderly and poor to ‘protect’ them”

    It is actually worse than that. Other countries negotiate prices with pharmaceutical manufacturers in the US. What our government is trying to stop is Americans RE-importing AMERICAN made drugs from Canada. The American drugs are cheaper at Canadian pharmacies because Canada negotiates a lower price in the first place. Disgusting isn’t it? When many seniors are literally choosing between vital medicines and FOOD, our government is busy protecting drug companies’ profits.

  16. menusux says:!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB/.cmd/ad/.ar/sa.retrievecontent/.c/6_2_1UH/.ce/7_2_5JM/.p/5_2_4TQ/_th/J_2_9D/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?PC_7_2_5JM_contentid=2007%2F05%2F0134.xml&PC_7_2_5JM_parentnav=TRANSCRIPTS_SPEECHES&PC_7_2_5JM_navid=TRANSCRIPT

    Washington D.C. - May 8, 2007

    “DR. ACHESON: Thank you. This afternoon I would like to address two issues with you all, which are two new ones, and then obviously old issues if we have to address that in Q and A. But I’m going to focus on two.

    “The first is related to a misrepresentation of the wheat gluten and the concentrated rice protein. I want to preface it by saying as you are all aware we have been following wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate from two sources in China, and have undertaken a number of tests with those related to the detection of melamine and melamine-related compounds. As part of our strategy just to ensure that we are following this in all possible directions, a portion of both the wheat gluten and the rice protein concentrate that was already a concern because of melamine has been further analyzed by our forensic chemistry center. And we have discovered that these products, labeled wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate, are we believe mislabeled, and that they actually contain wheat flour that is contaminated with the melamine and melamine-related compounds. “

  17. Samantha says:

    Would anyone who has fed their cat(s) a long term (3+ years) homemade diet with success be willing to share the recipe they use?

    I am so frustrated trying to figure out what to do. I have switched foods many times since the recall began but each food that initially seemed like a good choice (such as Wellness) is now out of the question. My cats will not touch Felidae which is the only brand I have seen that does not have horrible stories attached to it. I have spent hours researching homemade diets but each information source says something different and I don’t know what to trust! It is so confusing! I am willing to spend the time and money to make homemade food, but am feeling completely lost.

    Thank you to anyone who can help (please don’t just send me a link to another homemade diet website - I’ve read millions of them already).

  18. Jo says:

    STEVE M. — I strongly recommend you call Senator Durbin’s office and advise them of the lab’s acetamenophin findings. Surely he could get some congressional attention on the matter that would force FDA to take appropriate action and report its findings publically.

  19. Kevin says:

    Lisa Clay,

    Good for you. It sounds like you have done the proper research and found some alternatives.

    My best to you and your furr baby.

  20. Leslie k says:

    Thanks everybody for the good wishes & help ! I’m going to call Wellness, Evangers, Canidae & Timberwolf tomorrow. I already spoke to Cal natural. They are testing all new foods & did backtesting. Said although they don’t test for acet. it would show up in the tox screens. The woman I spoke to was going to check the report on Itchmo & send it to their lab.These foods were all dry. I make homemade wet & treats. The 1 I tried right before the chi got sick was Evangers. I had already found out that Timberwolf was made at Chenango & Wellness at CJ & ANI. They don’t do well w/o a little dry added. I don’t feel safe not mixing or switching in case of a problem. Guess I’ll have to test 1 at a time. I am starting to think I need to test everything before they eat it. Including supplements.

  21. Helen says:

    Itchmo, are you going to have the bag of Iams tested for acetaminophen also?

  22. Kevin says:


    My cats have been on homemade diets for over ten years. The supplier I use has 10 generations of Tonkinese cats with her regime that she formulated.

    Hope this helps. Just click on the recipe link.

  23. mittens says:


    yes i sort of knew about our government keeping drugs expensive in america and cheaper elsewhere ie as you state correctly: proventing the reimporting into america of cheaper american made drugs( it is SICK).

    the drug companies always bitch about how much they spend on research blah blah blah but it simply is not true. in the book ive posted about here before-’ bitter pills’ -his stats show american drug companies spend more on advertising then they do on research. i’ll try to find these numbers and post them. it all adds up to lying liars being subsidized by the american taxpayer who they are subsequently poisoning and squeezing every last dime out of while shuffling their cheap production work and sleezy material manufacturing off to countries like china with chaotic regulation inforcement and minimal health standards. oh and the cheap labour sure does make those profits all puffed up.

  24. Maureen says:

    Kevin Says:
    June 5th, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    Re: Homemade diet suggestions from previous posts


    You’ve responded to a couple of cat owners who asked for help with homemade diets with your own personal endorsement of Celestial Pets online recipes. (This is not a criticism but a question…) I’ve read other posts where pet owners have followed their recommended diets and are pleased. However, unless I’m just brain dead tonight, I can’t find information on their website that details what’s in their vitamin/supplements that are called for in the diets.

    Even though my cat is as picky as everyone else’s, the actual diet isn’t my problem but the supplements are, especially as we learn more about those imported from China. So how do you find out what’s in Celestial Pet’s supplement products, where the ingredients are from, and for me, are they sufficient for use with lightly cooked meat to meet cat’s nutritional needs? (Sorry, I live in a small apt. in NY and raw food for 2 dogs and a cat seems like a sanitation nightmare when they spill food all around their bowls.) I see on their site that you can call them, but I want this written out so I can study it. I have a counter full of vitamins and supplements that I’ve studied (I thought) and spent lots of $$$ for, but they now look like ticking time bombs to me. Feedback would be appreciated and I’m sure the others who asked for help would appreciate it too.

    Samantha: I quit Wellness because of Menu Foods, even though their kibble is made elsewhere. I’m still feeding my cat Innova/Evo, as it provides the vitamins, etc., is grain free, the company is testing their food, and he likes it. When I get the supplement problem solved, I’ll try to keep him strictly on homemade.

  25. Deb says:

    Samantha…..I have 2 dogs and 2 not exactly dog dogs. My domestic dogs get feed a combo of raw chicken and kibble. The other two have been on raw for their entire lives. My vet, his speciality is exotics…….always said fed them as if they are wild……he is dead set against supplements. You are right you talk to 10 different people you get 10 different answers….I throw mine chicken quarters and call it a day. Once in a while they get beef, rarely lamb, when they are really lucky deer or elk scraps. My one guy is about 10, NEVER had stomach, skin, comformational, or any type of issues with him and his teeth are in great shape…..this ‘dog’ has never had more than a annual visit to the vet his entire life. I have another friend who feeds her dogs and cats…’her special blend’ the butcher makes for her of ground beef, lamb and chicken. Then I have another friend…..who has an entire massive operation going on in her house for her dogs and cats…, chicken, various fish, buffalo, deer, herbs, vitamins…of the course the herbs and vitamins are based on the animal’s own needs and seasonal conditions. My head spins when she talks about what she is doing……it’s very confusing….she has a base formula then she adds whatever in to it for each animal….I don’t know how she keeps track of everything. All of us feed different all of our animals are healthy, very good condition, and except for annual visits……we don’t show up at the vet with health issues. This is three different styles of feeding raw, all three of us have been successful with our feeding styles. All of us work our dogs, and we show….these are very active healthy animals.

    It is very confusing when you start reading up on homemade or raw feeding. Some of the material is over the edge. I like my vet’s advice…feed like in nature…makes it REALY easy!!!! You have to decide what works for you personally, what time and expense you want to devote. Plus, your animals will tell you what works for them…..I tried some of those recipes……I think I got voted off the island that day. I think what I am trying to say is keep it simple.

  26. hillsRx says:

    Add the Hills i/d Rx to the suspect list. Dog died 32 days after she was put on it.

    Another dog in household was on Hill’s w/d Rx for 34 days. She had to be admitted into the animal hospital for aggressive treatment to save her.

    The third dog was eating the Science Diet small bites for 30 days and became ill with diarrhea and vomiting.

    Is Hills contaminated with something? Three dogs becoming sick and / or dying is a little bit too coincidental for my liking. I can’t afford to have the food tested. The vet bills are totaling over a grand now, and my c.c cards are maxed out with cremation cost and vet care to save the other two.

    I am now using a home prepared mix that I make for them to replace wet foods. I have been giving them Pro Pac dry kibble in small amounts, and so far both dogs are doing OK on that. I hold my breath everyday in fear that the next poisoned food will be the dry kibble I am now using.

  27. Bill says:

    Leslie K,

    I am a supporter of Natura, makers of Innova, California Natural, and others. In my opinion throughout the recall they have tried to do the right thing by having their products tested and providing information about their testing procedures on their website. They have had no recalled products, but yet appear to be doing more testing than some manufacturers with many on the list.

  28. Kevin says:


    Thank you for your response and that is a very important question. I just got of the phone with Imelda and she is going to update the website with that information. If it gets to me in an email sooner I will post it here also.

    That seems to be the big concern for everyone these days. I do know that Celestial Pets scrutinizes everything that goes into their products especially with all the concerns with tainted ingredients from China.

    I do know that Dr. Yarnall is very focused on this crises and is not going to jeopardize her reputation by cutting costs with overseas manufacturers.

    Once again, this is my choice of regime for my pets. I’m not trying to promote anything her just sharing. I believe in the quality of the products that I have been using for ten years and the 10 generations of Tonkinese cats that Dr. Yarnall has raised on her proven regime.

    I have never had any problems and my cats (beasts) are very healty and active. The oldest is 10 years.

  29. hillsRx says:

    Apparently Hills is keeping up with this blog, so I have something to say to them. Running and hiding will not protect your company. I personally will never purchase another Hills product until I know all the products you offer have been tested for everything. Yes I know I am only one person, so losing me as a customer won’t hurt you. However, read the whole blog and perhaps you will understand that I am not the only one. You want positive feedback? Test your pet foods NOW. Don’t wait until you have a stack of reports and complaints of more dead animals. Have a HEART for crying out loud. These pets are family members on 4 legs.

    BTW: Your representative I talked to when I contacted Hills was a joke. She couldn’t even answer simple questions such as where your grains originate from. You need to educate your staff.

  30. High Note says:

    Acetaminophen in pet food does not make any since at all. I would think it would cost quite a bit to do this. Accident? I wonder about this!
    I am sorry for your loss Steve and all that you have had to go through to find out the truth and then to get no one to do anything about it is even worse.
    Since your bag was open there is really no hope in trying to sue. They would only say you doctored it or some wild thing. And of course they know the cost of a lawyer would be more then you would even get out of your case.
    I also do not understand Hills for not doing something about it. IT WILL COME OUT AND MAYBE MORE DEATHS. Why? They would lose a lot more customers. The vets may discontinue having their products on the shelf. More pets would die and of course this would mean less food being sold. So I just do not understand why they would be so hush hush about it.
    All the people that call them are only talking to a receptionist.. I wonder if the news gets to the ones that should hear it? Hills stands to lose quite a bit when this gets out to the public and their sales go down even more! To purposely go ahead and sale tainted pet food would only do their business that much more harm and if it harmed more of our pets then they would have even less business. Just makes no since!
    That would be a pretty bad business practice.
    Again I wonder why this would be in the pet food? This is not something to make the protein level rise as a substitute. There would be no reason to even put it in there.
    And it would not be cheap to do I would not think. It just sounds deliberate to me!
    Then of course I have to wonder if it could be from some of the vitamines that only china makes Maybe they substituted the acetaminophen which may have been less expensive for one of the more expensive vitamins and labeled it wrong like they have done before. Anyone that sent this to a pet food company knew that it would kill them.
    It just does not sound like China is going to stop sending bad ingredients to us. I know it is not all of China but our companies here are going to have to start checking for everything if they want to stay in business at all.
    My cat has ate Science diet all of her life. I usually buy the Hair ball control from my vet. I never changed her food cause she has always had it and nothing else. I have let her sample other foods before but she would not eat them. Now I am scared for her.
    They let out all those chickens and pigs into our food supply and no one has said if this would effect our pets. So.. I worry about homemade food too! I go buy chicken that has melamine in it to give my cat and what happens then? Where does a person go from here? Where do any of us go? Can we trust any of the food suppliers? Can we trust the farmers ? Who would tell us the truth when they are only out to make a profit?
    It is all too much for me any more. I have been upset since it all started and now I worry about my families food as well as my pet food and tooth paste and vitamins and heaven knows what will show up next! It is just too much!

  31. colin says:

    i got bashed by folks (nobody from here) for going the home cooking route for my two dogs when this all began.

    i am so glad i do home cooking. at first it was a huge pain and took lots of time. now i can whip up feed for 7 days in advance. total time 2 hours - includes putting portion in containers. i sleep well. i do not freak out when i get an email alert from itchmo.

    after cooking for 2 months, my dogs are healthier, much more energy and happier. the change was and is astounding to me.

    just wanted to throw that out to you fine folks. if your thinking of going this route, do not be afraid. it is much easier to do than you would think once all the research is done.

    good luck steve, your actions and story is a good service to all here.

  32. Tee 'n' the Wildlife says:

    I’d like to leave a note for Hill’s myself. I have a cat getting over FLUTD. I had told my vet I did not wish to use Royal Canin Rx foods for this because all the meat in their products was by-products. Jesus! So I tried the Iams Rx because at least the first ingredient wasn’t by-products, sigh. Then my vet said she read good things about Hill’s Rx for cats with FLUTD and I reluctantly agreed to try it. By-products again–and an awful smell to the dry and the canned food, sort of like that really cheapo cat food smell but also something else I cannot put my finger on–but disagreeable for sure. Of course everyone liked it and I didn’t want my FeLV positive lymphoma boy to eat it–or anyone else but my FLUTD boy–and I really didn’t want HIM to eat it. I keep remembering the foul smell of the two cans of Hills Rx I opened for my FLUTD boy, reluctantly gave him 1/2 a can each time and put the rest in the fridge, where it still resides. So I decided to make their food myself.

    Yes, I, too, am only one person. But I have five felines to feed and care for. And friends who have animals. There are a lot of us out here and we can’t all be conned by cat food manufacturers who use junk in their cat foods–especially in their cat and dog foods for ill pets! That is so counterproductive I cannot believe it! It’s not the 1950’s or the 1970’s any more. People are beginniing to understand what goes into their pets’ food and they want ONLY quality food for their pets even if it’s a big chunk of their budget. And they’ll spend time making home made food so they know what’s in it. It’s just like making a week’s worth of chili or chicken casserole to portion out and place in the freezer for the humans in the family. It just ain’t that hard to do.

    And on a related note, does anyone know where Wellness gets the stuff they put in their feline vitamins? China? And does anyone know where taurine comes from? China? Augh!

  33. mittens says:

    the pet food industry is no different it seems than the prescription drug industry-they control the FDA and kill with impunity. that these prescription pet foods that are quite expensive were involved in this poisoning and vets are still all ‘la de da business as usua’l about it is disgusting.they should be the frontline in defense of our pet’s health, yes even their very lives, from the mercenary predations of common criminals not handmadieans to chemical plants producing poison labeled ‘ special diet’.

    that a pharmacuetical product has made it’s way into pet food just makes you wonder at the underside to all this- perhaps it’s just the drug companies now that are controlling and intervening in the entire food production system. legal drug making is the ” single most profitable manufacturing industry in the world”.” americans pay over 50 percent more than europeans for identical drugs and 32 percent more than canadians”. how nice of them to lavish us with free pain killers. i suppose next they’ll say we should be grateful for it.

    vets appear no different than other doctors- ill schooled in the effects of drugs in their studies. ” only 14% of american medical schools required courses in the core skills needed to under stand how drugs functioned in the body and properly prescribe them. most schools [teach] only’ a few hours of clinical pharmacology’”. if this is the training for human dortors why should it be any better for vets-using whatever the drug companies throw at them that said companies shoved through the fda that they appear to have by the nuts. they don’t even know how these chemicals that they allow companies to spray all over human foods can do to a mammal larger than a rat.

    the stunning silence of vets- whom ive unfortunately had way to much contact with lately-just adds to the complete feeling of helplessness that is pervasive. we and our pets can be coated in cut rate chemicals and it warrents nary a peep from professionals.i got one ‘ uh-huh’ from one of the around 5 vets i’ve seen since feb. thanks a lot. and that was the only one who responded to any inquiry about food.

    i’m sure that their are good vets who are all over this thing and i don’t want to paint all with the same brush- i just haven’t come across them.

    the quotes in this post are from “bitter pills” by stephen fried.

  34. Kim says:

    HillsRX, Ticocats, Soverysad and Claire - can I have permission to repost your comments on my blog, and/or in a summary list of ‘non recalled foods making pets sick’ that I’ve got going?

    I’m listing reports that have been posted on many sites not just here, broken out by brand and type of food.

    You can just post here, or email me at pft @


  35. Kim says:

    Ticocats - I have an excerpt and a link to one of your previous comments on my blog now, but with permission would like to use more of that post. It was this one…


  36. Chuck says:

    Going back to the top, E. Hamilton June 5 at 4:26.

    I agree with your suggestion, but encompassing all the knowledge we have gained on this website and encompassing all these of blogs, my wife and I have tried telling a lot of people about the pet foods.
    As I said in a few other blogs, in doing so, we were met with know-it-all attitudes, to down right irritation. In fact, one pet food buyer even reported my wife to the manager of a pet food store for telling him about the foods! My wife’s only intention was for the safety of the person’s pet. She spoke to him with great care and told him of our own experience with our group. My wife was so shocked and heartbroken when the irate manager approached her to tell her off about it, especially since the pet food buyer seemed so congenial and willing to listen when she was speaking to him.

    Some other people I told who I have know for years, always claimed that they love their pets, but they didn’t care to know. My wife had even written articles in the newspaper about it that they read to no avail.
    After all of our experiences, I told my wife that people are going to buy what they want to buy because they think they are right, even though they are wrong.

    My wife fears to say anything anymore, and my experiences were worthless. So what do we do now?

  37. Chuck says:

    added: my comments weren’t meant to stop anybody from saying anything. Just asking for suggestions from anybody and asking how anyone else has dealt with similar situations.
    I would really like to know.

  38. kellie says:

    I’ve been thinking and came up with a few possibilities of how it got in there especially in the hills brands.

    Someone posted about an actem.(abbrievation i’ll use the whole post so i dont have to keep typing out the whole word)recall in november. well that’s about the perfect time to have all this contaminated drug diluted and put into anomal feed just as they did with the pet food in AMERICA. Americans did this. Actem. accumulates in the liver and over a short time the liver would be filled and damaged in poultry , a major ingredient is almost all dry foods. What do the farmers care if the chix will be slaughtered soon anyway. So the poultry livers and tissue meat is ground, turned into meal and used in foods. that could explain why it showed up. Hills may have a contract with one of the poultry farms that used the tainted feed.

    A second way is like others said, it’s in the prescription food as a cheaper ingredient than what’s supposed to be in there. this could be done by the chinese or american companies.

    Third reason is they were duped with cheap imposter ingredients just like the glutens.

    My guess is the first one tho because of the recall of the pain pills and the timing, plus what they did with the recalled food.

    seems recalled products get disposed of in animal feed as the go to option.

    -just my thoughts outloud

  39. LorieVA says:

    To HILLS:

    My youngest cat Geisha also was on your C/D food for over a year, for problems I believe now to have been caused by IAMS Dry. I was horrified when I found out I was paying top dollar for a food that contained BHT/BHA, now I am reading the lastest scoop, what the heck is wrong with you people we turn to you with our most precious gifts our pets to keep them safe and fix there med. issues and this is how you repay our trust. Shame on you. I have blamed FF for my 2 cats illness from the start because Topaz does not eat the C/D because it made her vomit the first time she touched it last Spring. Now I wonder if Geisha was the more ill of the 2 cats because of a double dose of poison from you and FF both. However, we will never now because I stopped all large company pet food as of March 23, 2007 and I am never looking back.

  40. Trudy Jackson says:

    Hills killed 3 of My cats. My dog is on hills I/D right now. I might just take him off.

  41. TC says:

    What rocket scientist at Hills thinks these attempts to save their reputation by pretending ignorance to what they think are just a few hysterical bloggers is working? Hills, if you are reading - you think you are going to skate on this because it is not yet making major headlines or showing up on CNN or Fox?

    You are wrong. This is going to spiral out of control for you and frankly, if you are not willing to tackle it head on, you are not going to come out of this intact.

    I am continuing to be amazed by the slow reaction time of major pet food companies, and their seemingly complete unwillingness to grasp the gravity of the situation, with regards to their own future existence. They can pat themselves on the back all they want re keeping the public in the dark about what they and we are finding in their food - but sick and dead pets are continuing, and that kind of thing WILL keep pushing out the real word on this. The woman who cuts my hair, and is clueless re food mentioned that her dog is getting very scruffy coated and so on - the food is a Hills product for overweight dogs. She said she was worried & thinking of returning it and trying something else, so we had a little “state of the pet food industry” chat. She hadn’t heard much re the recalls (new baby, etc)! I think that is typical - busy life, not much on the “instant” tv news re this, yet people are noticing their dogs not doing as well on certain foods at certain times.

    The companies that get hit the most in the end will be ones like Hills, that the vets push. Because those are supposed to be top of the line and bullet proof. Once their reputation sinks further, you won’t be able to hawk it on a street corner.

  42. LorieVA says:

    TC said

    The companies that get hit the most in the end will be ones like Hills, that the vets push. Because those are supposed to be top of the line and bullet proof. Once their reputation sinks further, you won’t be able to hawk it on a street corner.

    That was my point above I thought I was paying top dollar and willing to do so for the best for my cat and her PH issue, my goodness the vet sells it right in her office. has to be the BEST. What a joke that turned out to be. Its a shame something so good could turn out to be so bad. Our poor an animal and all us poor saps spending big bucks to only cause more damage to our all ready ailing pets.

  43. Big Fat Momma Cat says:

    I finally have the Vet paid off. It won’t be much but where do we send money to help with the analysis?

  44. Starr says:

    I wanted to pass this information along as a word of caution…
    This morning, our 6 year old cat threw
    up twice and is acting ill again. He fell very ill back in March/April
    and then recovered when we changed his food.
    We recently purchased 2 new bags of IAMS dry (Smart Puppy - and Original Cat Chicken) which we settled on after getting caught in the recall 2 times.
    All of our pets went through the last IAMS bags without incident.
    (There is a GOOD chance he may have eaten the puppy dry this morning - I’ll have to confirm this with my husband) He has done this many times before without any vomiting or signs of illness.)
    **As a side note, my daughters’ kitty suddenly died over the recent holiday weekend with a swift and serious mystery illness. Within a few gors of becomming lethargic, she had an awful time urinating. My daughter was feeding her “Preferred Pet Dry” when she became sick as an alternative to her regular “Special Kitty Canned” which she stopped back in Feb. when it was recalled.

    This is getting ridiculous.
    Acetaminophen now?????
    Where in the world is this chain of events leading?

  45. TC says:

    Lorie in VA - The reason it came up with the woman who cut my hair is that she had known of my dog almost dying, and all the other symptoms both dogs had, and asked how it was going. Which lead to me saying they were fed Nutro dry kibble.

    At which point, she said, oh, no wonder, then, that is why…I would never feed that to my dog, instead I use high quality food - Science Diet. So I asked how it was going, she mentioned the bad coat issue worried her, and that started our discussion. She too fell for the line that it was top drawer stuff - and she is willing to pay to have her dog eat the best possible food. Despite that, I called her clueless (as I used to be as well) because other than price and vet pushing, she has no idea about the scandal in the pet food industry. Or how untrustworthy they are or what is actually going into ALL pet foods at the present moment. I did get a chuckle, because I had used Science Diet a few years back, and had issues, so I stopped. I had tried quite a few things before the Nutro.

    I too was willing to pay what is necessary to get a top quality food for my dogs, I just couldn’t seem to find any that qualified. As we can see, price is no indicator. Neither is the vet’s recommendations. Homecooking is not an easy or surefire solution (due to the newly discovered issues in our human food chain) but at least the control is in my hands. Dogs are doing well on it, had bloodwork done Monday on one, and looks really good. So I am not doing harm by this.

    I have no trust in things produced by others. That is where I am at for the moment.

  46. Claire says:

    Kim - you are welcome to repost my comments on your blog. Could you give me an address where I can view your blog? Thanks!

  47. Ticocats says:

    High Note Says (June 6th, 2007 at 1:56 am) “Since your bag was open there is really no hope in trying to sue. They would only say you doctored it or some wild thing. And of course they know the cost of a lawyer would be more then you would even get out of your case.”

    I disagree. Most, if not all, of the lawyers bringing suits over pet food are taking the cases on a “contingency” basis which means you pay nothing; their fee, if any, comes out of damages awarded. There is a lot of controversy over the whole idea of class action suits, allegedly brought by “greedy trial lawyers”, but these pet food cases are a good example of why I think they are needed: as High Note says, one person’s individual (legally recognized) damages might be less than the cost of bringing a suit. But if many similar cases are joined together as a class action, it makes economic sense to sue. You might not get a lot of money, but it shouldn’t cost you any money. And it WILL cost the manufacturer at fault.

    Also, the fact that the bag has been opened is not a fatal problem; even if the packaging has been thrown away, it’s quite possible that a case could be brought simply on the owner’s sworn testimony that the animal became ill while eating Product X. It all becomes a credibility issue for the jury to decide, unless the case is settled before it goes to trial.

  48. Ticocats says:

    BTW, my comment above is based on 20+ years of experience as a trial lawyer. No flames, please :-)

  49. Steve M. says:


    Kims blog is here:

    BTW everyone the FDA contacted me this morning and is finally sending someone tomorrow to retrieve some of my food for testing. Note it has now been over two months since my cat died.

  50. High Note says:

    I have told several people about this melamine, etc in our pets food and have sent several e mails to all of them. They all act like it is nothing big. As long as their pet does not show a sign of anything they do not worry about it. I have said something about the melamine in our food supply and they just shrug their shoulders and say we have to eat. Some have said that I was making a big thing out of nothing. Why? Because in my area they do not say a thing about it. The news papers, Television, etc. only had the first Menu recall and that was all. Made me wonder if the government put a ban on any commit in the media about this in my state. I am from Kansas and Kansas was after all in the pork recall. If you don’t have a computer and do not know where to go to find out anything then you are in the dark about all of this.
    It does no good to tell anyone that does not know because they all think you are over reacting about it all and of course we do not run around with proof in our pockets to show them. My husband does not get on a computer and I have told him about all of this and he is like everyone else. If you do not see it in front of your eyes then you just think the person telling you is full of crap or overreacting! I said something to my husband about the melamine in the food supply and his answer was well we have to eat!
    It totally amazes me how people can be so stupid and not realize the damage down the line that something like melamine could do to us or our children and our pets too. And now not just melamine but other harmful drugs. Maybe I am over reacting but I would rather over act then have something bad happen!

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