I received a heart breaking email this morning from Helen E. in Atlanta, GA. “My ex fed his dog Pedigree dog food exclusively, and Deuce (the boxer) has gone into acute renal failure. Deuce and my golden, Becca, lived together, went on walks together, drank from the same Drinkwell, slept in the same bed, did everything together except eat (Becca gets exclusively Solid Gold).
Around Christmas we discovered that Deuces food had mold at the bottom of the bag. We immediately took him off of the Pedigree. Just after new years, I had to take him to the vet with vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, and muscle weakness/lethargy. Diagnosis? Acute Renal Failure.
He is being treated, inpatient for five days, and now at home on various meds and sub-q fluids.
Please inform your readers of this risk. Deuce was a healthy 3.5 year old boxer, with no other health issues, who was suddenly at deaths door. Becca has Lyme disease (from before I rescued her), and theoretically should have been the one going into renal failure. The only difference in the way they live is the food.”
Helen has yet to hear a response from Mars Petcare, producer of Pedigree Dog Food. The company asked her to send them all of the remaining moldy food. She kept some of the suspect food for her own testing.
We have no idea if the food became moldy after manufacturing or if the mold issue began prior to or during manufacturing. Currently, Mars Petcare is dealing with concerns of aflatoxin mold, discovered in Optima Dog Food, killing dogs in China. Some reports claim the Optima Dog Food was kept in port during the Olympics in hot, humid conditions (optimal for mold growth). I wrote Mars several weeks ago asking where the suspect Optima Dog Food was manufactured; I have not received a response.
Regardless of what brand of dog food or cat food you purchase, there are no guarantees the food was made from safe, mold free ingredients OR that warehousing of the food was safe. Pet owners have to be extra careful. Inferior warehousing conditions can contaminate a pet food or pet treat quickly. In September 2008 Federal Marshalls were called to seize various animal food products stored under “unsanitary conditions” at a Petco Distribution Center in Illinois. http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com/articles/64/1/If-you-buy-pet-food-at-Petco–read-this-just-released-FDA-warning/Page1.html
Another recent email I received shared the following: “Two years ago I purchased a 1-lb box of Purina Kitten Food at a local IGA grocery store. The box had maggotts in it. I notified the manager of the store immediately. Now that I have been blessed with a family of feral kittens and a very young mother, I thought I would buy a box of the food to tied me over until I can replinish their regular supply. Two years later, at the same grocery store, the same Purina boxed kitten food (within freshness date), and guess what is in it? Worms, larvae, maggotts, whichever they are, this box was full of them. I have not contacted the store as of today about this but it makes me wonder what else in their store has this creature infested? Someone heard me talking, and related their story regarding the same infestation with Purina bagged dry dog food. I had thought my experience was an isolated incident, but I guess this problem is more widespread than anyone has realized.”
The Consumerist.com reported a similar incident with another Purina product; Beneful Dog Food. http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com/articles/8/1/Whose-Responsibility-is-it/Page1.html
Although quite disgusting, maggots and larvae probably won’t cause the illness and/or death of a pet, mold in a dog food or cat food can. Pet owners are again, left basically defenseless against lax manufacturing laws and inferior warehousing conditions.
To help protect your pet, here are some suggestions:
Each time you purchase a new bag or can of pet food, carefully examine the packaging. If there are any stains or tears, do not use the food; return it to the place of purchase. When you open the food, make sure it looks and smells exactly the same as the last bag or can you opened; if you have any doubts, return it. I store my dogs’ food in an air tight container; dumping the entire contents of a newly opened bag into this container and examining all of the food in the process. My cat’s food is stored in the freezer in between feedings. (I go through more dog food than cat food; Echo, my new dog eats like there is no tomorrow.) The point is that the dog food is carefully examined – the entire bag; just in case. The cat food is kept fresh in the freezer; as well it’s in an atmosphere that does not promote any type of contamination. I purchase this food directly from the manufacturer; the only warehousing is company owned and carefully controlled. Many pet food lines ship directly to pet owners from their own controlled warehousing.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
Is your dog or cat eating risk ingredients? Chinese imports? Petsumer Report tells the ‘rest of the story’ on over 2500 cat foods, dog foods, and pet treats. 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee. www.PetsumerReport.com
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