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Recalls from Blue Buffalo and Wellness Pet Food Brands

The FDA released a statement regarding recalls of Blue Buffalo and Wellness brand pet foods. These voluntary recalls were prompted by the possibility that the food contains thyroid hormones: 

“March 27, 2017  

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is advising pet owners and caretakers, veterinarians, and the pet food industry to be aware that pet food and treats made with livestock gullets (meat from the throat region) have the potential to contain thyroid tissue and thyroid hormones. Pets that eat food or treats containing thyroid hormones may develop hyperthyroidism, a disease that is rare in dogs and usually triggered by thyroid cancer.

…symptoms of hyperthyroidism include excessive thirst and urination, weight loss, increased appetite, restlessness, hyperactivity, elevated heart rate, rapid and/or labored breathing, vomiting, and diarrhea. Continued exposure to excess thyroid hormones can cause damage to the heart and in some cases, death.”

 

Additional information about the Blue Buffalo recall is in their press release:

 “Blue Buffalo Voluntary Recall: One Lot of BLUE Wilderness® Rocky Mountain RecipeTM Red Meat Dinner Wet Food for Adult Dogs Due to Potential Health Risk.”

Blue Buffalo

 

The Wellness company posted a note to consumers on their website:

“At WellPet, our team takes food safety matters very seriously.  …in an abundance of caution, we are voluntarily recalling a limited amount of one canned dog food product. A small amount of one recipe has the potential to contain elevated levels of naturally occurring beef thyroid hormone. Our Consumer Affairs team has received no reports of any health problems as a result of feeding this recipe. No other Wellness products are affected.”

food recalls

 

If you have pet foods from either of the recalls, contact the respective manufacturer right away. If your pet shows signs of possible illness, consult your vet. 

Jerky Treats, why are they not banned?

Three name brands top the FDA list of suspect chicken jerky treats:

  • Waggin’ Train Jerky Treats or Tenders (Nestle Purina)
  • Canyon Creek Ranch Jerky Treats or Tenders (Nestle Purina)
  • Milo’s Kitchen Home-Style Dog Treats (Del Monte Corp)

According to the FDA: “As of May 1, 2014, we have received in total more than 4,800 complaints of illness in pets that ate chicken, duck, or sweet potato jerky treats, nearly all of which are imported from China. more…

toxic treats

If the FDA put out a report like this one on human beef jerky snacks, would you eat them? Would you let your kids eat them? So why would you give your dogs a treat with a good chance of causing them to get sick? We love our pets and want to give them the very best. We want to spoil them and for many that includes daily treats.

In the last several years there has been a growing trend in low carb/no grain pet food. Along with that trend came grain free treats, one being jerky treats made from chicken, duck and other high protein foods. Not too long after these products appeared on the store shelves they became very popular. About this time, and seemingly unrelated, veterinarians starting treating dogs who were sick from an unknown cause. As more cases presented, a common factor emerged: most of the dogs had eaten jerky treats.

Upon further investigation it was discovered that the chicken and duck meat in jerky treats seemed to be the real culprit. Treats either made in China or with meat imported from China were tainted. Salmonella was predicted to be the offending organism. Unfortunately so far, tests conducted by the FDA have found no specific contaminate.

My feeling on this issue is better safe than sorry. Especially when there are so many healthy treats available as well as recipes to make your own at home.

Next article: Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

Are you reading ALL Pet Food ingredients?

Lately we’ve heard a lot about looking at what is in pet food with an emphasis on protein being the first ingredient. While it’s true that protein should make up a large portion of our pets’ diets, there are many more factors involved in providing optimal and species appropriate nutrition. There are different forms of protein and not all of them are easily metabolized. According to Dr. Karen Becker from Mercola.com, “By-products are what are left after all the good stuff is harvested for the human food industry. Beaks, feet, feathers, wattles and combs are chicken by-products. There could be something beneficial thrown in, like the heart or gizzard, but because there’s such potential for undesirable pieces and parts in ‘by-products,’ it’s better to avoid them altogether.”

Grains like corn, rice and wheat are often seen in pet food in large amounts. These carbohydrates come in different forms, gluten meal, whole grain, flour, etc… Rice often comes in the form of brewers rice. Grain in any form is not a species specific ingredient essential for carnivorous diets, additionally corn is highly allergenic. No grain should be the main ingredient in your pet food.  Dogs are somewhat omnivorous so a small amount of fruit and vegetables make up a part of their balanced diet. However cats are obligatory carnivores, high carbohydrate pet food diets lead to diseases such as obesity, diabetes, liver disease and irritable bowl syndrome. Grain free diets are much more appropriate for both cats and dogs, see more here for a comparison between a high quality and a low quality diet. Often a raw is recommended as the best pet food for dogs and cats but it is very important to feed a balanced raw diet. Research and consulting a holistic veterinarian will help you decide what is right for your pets.

Our pets are what we feed them, we have an obligation to educate ourselves and provide them with a high quality diet so they can live a long and happy life!

Next Topic: Dog DNA