UPDATED: Possible Link Between Dog Deaths and Recalled Procter & Gamble Foods

Procter & Gamble, makers of pet foods including Iams and Eukanuba, issued a recall for specific lots of dry dog and cat foods last week due to potential salmonella contamination.  The August 14 press release states:

No Salmonella-related illnesses have been reported to date in association with these product lots.

On August 15, the Fox affiliate in Cincinnati reported that six dogs who played at a local daycare and ate one of the P & G recalled foods had become very ill.  Three of those dogs died.  Test results on the dogs are pending:

MedVet, a pet hospital in Madisonville, is waiting on test results to confirm that the illness that caused the deaths and illness of those dogs was HGE. Results were expected Friday but may not be available until sometime next week.

Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE) is a disease of dogs characterized by sudden vomiting and bloody diarrhea. The symptoms are usually severe, and HGE can be fatal if not treated. HGE is most common in young adult dogs of any breed, but especially small dogs. It’s not contagious.

The article does not mention if any of the food left in the bag(s) these dogs were fed from has been submitted for testing.  I hope that has been done and that an independent lab was utilized, as opposed to sending the food to P & G for analysis.  I would think P & G would be all over this but as of this morning, both the Iams and Eukanuba websites have not been updated and still contain the August 14 “no illnesses reported to date” verbiage.

I will update this post if any significant developments occur today.

UPDATE, added August 20, 2013 from FOX19 in Cincinnati:

UPDATE: New information has been revealed on the investigation of three local dogs who died after coming down with a sudden illness.

According to the dogs’ owners, the Norwood pet care facility where they stayed and veterinarians, none of the local dogs ate food recently put on a voluntary recall list by Procter & Gamble.

This represents a reversal, at least on 3 of the 6 dogs who were affected, on FOX19’s claim that all 6 ate a recalled food. I will update if developments warrant.

16 thoughts on “UPDATED: Possible Link Between Dog Deaths and Recalled Procter & Gamble Foods

  1. If they find out that it was the food, you can bet that the owners will get a “hey, so sorry” from P&G and be reimbursed for the FOOD (and probably get some coupons to buy more of their food).

    No thanks, P&G.

  2. Having been through the devastating toxic food experience in 2006 – 2007, I suspect that they will do a late Friday dump and run (if they do anything at all). That seems to be their MO, unfortunately. Mikken is right – if the food caused the deaths and sickness in these dogs, the owners MIGHT get an apology and definitely will get coupons for more of the same stuff. For some reason, the pet food industry just doesn’t get it!

    I say, NO THANKS, P&G, too and try to stay away from everything they make. They are not an animal friendly company.

  3. It’s not that the pet food industry doesn’t get it – it’s that they don’t care. They’re taking a calculated risk that the majority of people whose pets are adversely affected or killed by contaminated foods won’t have the resources to either sue or make an appreciable stink, and those who do will either accept what, for the company, is a pittance in settlement, or won’t make enough of a stink to matter. They’re going on the assumption – which I think is correct – that the majority of their customers will never know, and those who do and care about it aren’t of much concern – there aren’t enough of them to make an appreciable dent in a big company’s profits.

    1. It’s a symptom of a disease. The industry has effectively brainwashed the overwhelming majority of pet owners and vets (some of whom have received the entirety of their nutritional education from the industry itself) that feeding pets the same food you already have in your cupboards for yourself is dangerous, deadly even. Confused pet owners who manage to hear about these low profile recalls feel they have nowhere to turn for safe food, which if they ask, will be confirmed by their vet. These recalls become the type of thing caring people intentionally tune out due to the feeling of helplessness they engender.

      On Mon, Aug 19, 2013 at 11:09 AM, YesBiscuit!

      1. Yes. If you go by both common and food wonk advice, you’d think feeding pets required a degree in animal nutrition and half-a-dozen exotic ingredients. Yet, I frequently look at vintage photos of healthy pets, and think – many of these pets were probably fed scraps, butcher’s trimmings, bones and biscuits all of their lives. These days, I think both vets and pet food wonks would throw up their hands in horror.

    2. You are absolutely right! They don’t care and probably pet owners like us are in the minority. Having lived through the earlier tragedy when so many animals were sickened or died, I stay on top of things. My 17 year old angel cat was one of the first affected by Nutro, and although it didn’t kill her then, we had many years of medical issues due to her poisoning in November, 2006.

  4. The article has been updated to say that none of the dogs ate the recalled food, and that at this time they can’t find a cause?

    1. Wow – that is bizarre. I am honestly puzzled as to how such a mistake, if that’s what it was, could have been made. One of the dogs who died belonged to the weatherman at the TV station that’s reporting the story. It seems impossible the station couldn’t at least get that one dog’s food right. I hate to sound overly suspicious but for the station to go from saying all 6 ate a recalled food to none ate a recalled food strikes me as more than a little odd. I guess I’ll update the post with the new info. Thanks for letting me know.

      1. Honestly the media has proved EXTREMELY alarmist and VERY unable to keep their facts straight lately, regardless of the subject type. I take pretty much anything I read from them with a grain of salt till I can track down actual facts.

      2. At the risk of sounding all conspiracy theorist, I recall how poorly many of the pet food companies behaved during the 2007 recall. I find it suspicious the news station ran with this story and then offered a complete reversal to the claims, particularly when one of the victims was their own employee. These things have to be vetted by multiple people before going to air. One journalist could produce shoddy material but for all the necessary higher-ups to have signed off on the original story, it indicates to me there was some validity to the claims.

      3. No it doesn’t. At the risk of opening a can of worms, just the way the media did, and still does, edit the Zimmerman 911 call and video is proof of how the media doesn’t really care about TRUTH in their media. And for something as “minor” as what foods a dog ate before he got sick? I highly doubt anyone even did more than glance at it….

        Heck, remember how Blue Buffalo got SLAMMED by rumors of a recall back when the FDA announced the Chinese chicken jerky problems? There were actual media outlets picking it up, nobody major, but it actually got airtime till someone got their head out of the clouds and actually LOOKED at what they were reporting….

        I’m not saying that you’re not right to have conspiracy theorys about the petfood companies, I feed raw myself cause I don’t trust them, but when it comes to media reports I’ve learned over the last few years to take EVERYTHING with a HUGE grain of salt…..

  5. I thought salmonella posed more of a risk to people than dogs. I’m always suspicious that it is for other reasons and salmonella makes a good low impact reason for the recall.

    1. It does, unless the dog is already unhealthy for some reason salmonella is a very low risk bacteria. Raw fed dogs are exposed regularly and have no issues with it.

      Its possible maybe its an extremely unusual strain of it that caused the problems? But I’d expect that there’d have been more people sick (and thus that it be bigger news) in that case.

  6. If it’s like the Natura Pet (Innova, EVO, etc.) recall, they will soon expand the recall to cover more products. Then I’m sure it will include the food that those dogs ate.
    My cats were on their third large bag of Innova Prime the second and third bags having been mixed in a food storage container since one was almost finished. I heard of the recall and contacted Innova to verify that their food wasn’t included. Pretty coincidental that at least 4 of the 5 cats had recently been vomiting, & diarrheal about the time the newest bag was introduced, isn’t it?
    I was told their food wasn’t on the recall, but was offered a voucher anyway. Come to find out, not one week later, they expanded the recall to include their food. I will never trust “limited” recalls again. I just feel fortunate I had mixed the tail end of the previous bag or they may have gotten dangerously ill. If there is even a remote possibility that my pets’ food could have come from the same plant as a contaminated batch, I’m tossing it out and switching brands.

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