Waiting on Test Results, Another Possible Pentobarbital Poisoning Incident
A concerned consumer reports two sick cats to Virginia Department of Agriculture – Wild Calling Pet Food, State Department of Agriculture stated possible pentobarbital poisoning. But the State Department of Ag continues to drag its heels…
A pet owner contacted me reporting two very sick cats, both cats became sick “with vomiting and diarrhea”. Both cats had been eating Wild Calling Pet Food; Cabin Fever (chicken) best by Jan 26, 2020—lot number 73CCFM5 0531, Cowabunga (beef) best by Aug 18 2019– lot number 73CBMS 1549. Both cats were treated by a veterinarian. When the Wild Calling Pet Food was removed from their diet, both cats improved however one was slower to recover than the other. One of the cats returned to the vet multiple times; blood sugar was very high. “He also has cardiomyopathy that was not there a few weeks ago when I had to take him because of the diarrhea and vomiting.” Both cats have fully recovered, returned to normal behavior/health.
This pet owner reported the pet illness/potential pet food contamination to Virginia Department of Agriculture on May 21, 2017. The agency picked up unopened cans from the same lots on May 22 from the pet owner, telling her some of the symptoms of her cats matched that of pentobarbital poisoning (they were well aware of the recent history at Evanger’s Pet Food). And then she nervously waited.
On June 7th – sixteen days after Virginia Department of Agriculture picked up the pet food for testing, the agency told this concerned pet owner their tests for bacteria and foreign objects were clean…but they would need “a couple more weeks” to “order something needed” to be able to perform the test for pentobarbital.
This is absolutely unacceptable behavior by Virginia Department of Agriculture. Virginia Department of Agriculture could have asked FDA for assistance (should have), could have asked another State Department of Agriculture for assistance (should have), could have sent the pet food out to a private lab (should have)…but they didn’t do any of these things. Instead they have delayed testing the pet food for seventeen days thus far, with “a couple more weeks” to wait while who knows how many other pets are possibly being exposed to pentobarbital.
I have reported Virginia Department of Agriculture’s unacceptable delay in this serious issue to FDA, asking FDA to intervene. FDA was also provided with product names and lot numbers.
Lot numbers again for suspect lots of cat food:
Wild Calling Cabin Fever (chicken) best by Jan 26, 2020—lot number 73CCFM5 0531,
Wild Calling Cowabunga (beef) best by Aug 18 2019– lot number 73CBMS 1549
When/if any more is learned of this situation, it will be shared.
Added after original posting: The original post stated Wild Calling was manufactured at Evanger’s Pet Food – this was incorrect. My error. My apologies for the error.
I received a voice mail message from John Ray – Wild Calling Chief Operating Officer – that I perceived as angry and threatening for this error. A subsequent return call to Mr. Ray was not a pleasant conversation (I don’t take kindly to threatening voicemail messages). He apologized. I stated I would correct my error (it had already been corrected before we spoke). I asked Mr. Ray if Wild Calling stated ‘manufactured at Simmons’ on the pet food label? No it doesn’t. I asked Mr. Ray if Wild Calling stated ‘manufactured at Simmons’ on their website? No it doesn’t. I asked him how in the world would I or any consumer know this information if they are not transparent about it? Then he tried to convince me “we are both on the same side”. No…no we are not. I represent consumers – and in this case it was a consumer whose cats got seriously ill believed to be linked to a pet food and no regulatory authority was helping her – doing their job. Regardless to where the pet food was made, her cats got very sick. And just in case this is another pentobarbital issue or just in case this is a different problem or if it turns out not to be a pet food problem – other consumers deserved to know – to be alert…just in case.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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