Last month, we posted a story about a breeder who has been in an ongoing battle with Nestle Purina. She claims Purina dog food caused the death of at least one of her dogs.
But now, the insurance company that represents Nestle Purina has denied any liability in the deaths of her dogs.
Julie, a Kentucky breeder, said two of her champion Bichon Frise, Beeble and Kayla, suddenly died last year. They both died within two months of each other. She was feeding her dogs Purina One, Purina ProPlan, and Purina Dog Chow.
She said both of the dogs were healthy and were bred from champion bloodlines.
â€œI think thereâ€™s something wrong with the food,â€ she stated. â€œThereâ€™s no other explanation for these dogs to suddenly die.â€
Beeble, a 12-month-old Bichon Frise, began to drank excessive amounts of water and became lethargic. She died four days later.
Two months later, Julie’s eight-year-old Bichon Frise, Kayla (pictured here), also died.
Julie was determined to figure out why her dogs had died, so she had autopsies performed on Beeble and Kayla. The autopsy report on Beeble showed a possible link between her death and the food she ate.
Pathologists discovered problems with Beebleâ€™s liver that were â€œconsistent with exposure to a hepatotoxin such as aflatoxin.â€
â€œThe aflatoxins could have come from the (dog) food,â€ Beebleâ€™s veterinarian, Douglas Mickey, said. â€œAflatoxins are known to be found in moldy grains, like corn that would be in dog food.â€
Dr. Mickey also stated: â€œIf youâ€™re asking me if thereâ€™s a possible connection between the pet food and Beebleâ€™s death, the answer is: you canâ€™t rule that out.â€
In regards to Kayla’s death, it is still unknown what caused her death. Dr. Mickey stated that she didn’t die from anything in her food.
Despite the autopsy report, Julie is still convinced Purinaâ€™s dog food also led to Kaylaâ€™s death.
Purina’s insurance company disagrees with Julie.
Julie received this letter from Sedgwick Claims Management Services: â€œAfter careful review of the records from the University of Tennessee Veterinary Teaching Hospital, I must respectfully deny liability on behalf of Nestleâ€™ Purina PetCare Company for this claim . . . neither Beedleâ€™s (sic) nor Kaylaâ€™s medical problems would result from their diets.â€
Sedgwick Claims Management Services, which misspelled Beeble’s name, said she died from â€œsevere hemorrhagic bronchopneumonia.â€ They said Kayla died from what â€œappeared to be steroid induced and most likely the result of Cushingâ€™s syndrome.â€
Julie said the company made their decision without reading the entire autopsy report.
â€œI immediately called the insurance company after I received the letter and asked them how they could disregard the pathologistâ€™s finding that the problems with Beebleâ€™s liver were consistent with exposure to aflatoxins,â€ Julie said. â€œAnd the claims adjuster told me she didnâ€™t see that in the reportâ€¦she admitted that she didnâ€™t have a copy of the last page of the autopsy report.â€
Julie sent the report to the insurance company again.
â€œBut a claim examiner called me later and said the company had reached the same conclusionâ€¦it wasnâ€™t Purinaâ€™s fault. I asked them again about the aflatoxins and they just said Beeble died from pneumonia. They also said Kayla died from steroid induced Cushingâ€™s syndrome, but she was never on steroids.â€
Purina has declined to comment on the findings.
But Julie is not done fighting. The ASPCA is now interested in Julie’s case. An ASPCA veterinarian is reviewing the dogs’ medical records and autopsy reports. The organization said it is too premature to comment on any findings because they just received the documents earlier this week.
Julie may also pursue legal action and said she would do whatever it takes to get justice for her dogs and other pets.
â€œIâ€™m not doing this to make a profit,â€ she said. â€œI never wanted to pursue legal action in the first place. All I wanted was for Purina to take my information and check its food. But now they need to acknowledge that this has happened and make sure no one elseâ€™s pets die. I donâ€™t want any other animals to die like mine. You know that old saying that â€˜something is rotten in the state of Denmark?â€™ Well, something is definitely rotten at Purina.â€
Source: Consumer Affairs