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Toxic Dog Treats Linked to Over 900 Sick Pets

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Toxic Dog Treats Linked to Over 900 Sick Pets

Watch out, Nestle Purina! A very angry mob of pet owners is headed to your door — and don’t be surprised if they come with torches and pitchforks. The word on the street is that you are selling tainted dog treats that nearly a thousand pet owners claim have either made their dog seriously ill or killed them outright. I am one of those pet owners.

Just before I went to Europe on a business trip, I bought a bag of Waggin’ Train doggie treats for my family to give to our dog while I was away. Little did I suspect that this thoughtful gesture would nearly kill my sweet dog.

A week into my trip, I get a text from my husband: “Kona is very sick. She has copious amounts of blood coming out both ends! Do you have the number for our vet?” My first thought was that she ate something sharp that punctured her intestines or stomach. Otherwise, why would there be so much blood? The vet, however, said no, this looks more likely to be a parasite or an intestinal infection, maybe acquired from her not-so-charming habit of eating cat poop. She spent two sad days at the vet with an IV drip being rehydrated and given a wallop of antibiotics. When she finally came home, she was better, but not herself for nearly another week. Furthermore, I have been noticing that a month later, she is often panting moderately when she is just inside the house lounging.

As it turns out, Kona was going into kidney failure. This kidney failure, I am now sure, was due to her consumption of the Waggin’ Train chicken jerky. If it hadn’t been for internet news coverage I stumbled upon last night, I would have entirely missed the connection, and the cause of her illness would have remained a mystery. But owner after owner described their dogs’ illness just as my husband did: copious amounts of blood coming out both ends after eating Waggin’ Train chicken jerky.

A Facebook page has even popped up called  Animal Parents Against Pet Treats and Food Made in China where hundreds of pet owners are sharing their stories and calling for a recall of Waggin’ Train. Other brands that have received similar complaints are Canyon Creek Ranch (also produced by Nestle Purina) and Milo’s Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats, made by Del Monte Corp.

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Cherise Udell

Cherise Udell is a mom, clean air advocate, anthropologist and feline aficionado with the nomadic habit of taking spontaneous sojourns to unusual destinations. Before her adventures in motherhood, she was an intrepid Amazon jungle guide equipped with a pair of sturdy wellingtons and a 24-inch machete, as well as a volunteer at a rainforest animal rescue center.

102 comments

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8:52PM PST on Nov 20, 2012

what reputation? it completely fits .. Nestle systematically violates the International Code for the Marketing of Breastfeeding Substitutes (resulting in millions of avoidable infant deaths) and as a result, Nescafe has been the target of a boycott for decades - and their response to all accusations is exactly in the line of their letter regarding the safety of the dogs' treats! I avoid all Nestle products like the plague ..

12:05PM PDT on Jul 29, 2012

You can get awesome treats, all yhuman grade, many single ingredient, others limited ingredients from www.HipGreenPet.com !!!! All USA sourced! I eat all treats I sell, after all they are human food made for pets and Thus healthier than most Human treats and snacks and def. healthier and safer than any other pet treat out there! We're also a social business! Please visit our website and read about us! All and only USA made Green Pet Products! In business for a cause, not just because! Thanks!!

8:46PM PDT on Jun 21, 2012

Don't these people know how important our pets are to us? I can answer that... NO ALL THEY THINK OF IS DOLLAR SIGNS!!!!!!

11:02PM PDT on Jun 14, 2012

aww, what kind of sick person would want to hurt a dog

5:10PM PDT on Jun 12, 2012

Make your own dogtreats.

5:02PM PDT on Jun 12, 2012

Hi again Meg. It seems odd that they'd irradiate against foot and mouth for all treats as some are made of chicken and other fowl and some of the others which have alleged cow or sheep flavour are made, again, of chicken. They seem to be overreacting if this is what they order to be done.

Sorry, can't do much posting, still travelling.

3:34PM PDT on Jun 12, 2012

Hi John,
If you look further down the post you will see where I got the level from. Yes, the RSPCA say the majority of food is not irradiated but apparently all Asian dog treats that comes into Australia is.
It seems my government does not feel heat treating of solid dog meat style treats is sufficient.
This is is quite understandable of them considering foot and mouth is hard to kill and can be carried in dead meat.
Cheers Meg

12:57AM PDT on Jun 10, 2012

Hi again Meg

Very briefly. I asked on my original post where I cited the RSPCA how do you know that the dose of irradiation is 500 times the safe human dose. Furthermore, it still states that the majority of dog food is not irradiated!

Nonetheless, I can empathise with your anxiety. If one of my cats were to fall ill (or worse, die) I'd be inconsolable for weeks. It took me months to get over the disappearance of my beautiful cat Pussy last year. My cats get expensive imported Whiskas, Carrefour own-brand and Royal Canin (there is no domestic production of cat food in Morocco). Their food costs more than mine does in a month - my friends think I'm mad, but I love them and they love me. They get treats too, but these I bring back from the UK with me as they are not available in Morocco.

6:58PM PDT on Jun 9, 2012

Continued 2 - Hi John D,
I would suggest that Purina consult a psychologist on some better wording with a bit more compassion and understanding. I know that if I was sure it was the treat and I received said letter I would be as angry as Cherise.

By the way the Ibuprofen case and the melamine case have nothing in common. The man from the uk was mentally ill and only looking to feed his ibuprofen addiction and the melamine case was for profit making. Neither of this two things are related. I wasn't aware at the time of posting that comment that melamine had also contaminated pet food in the US, I was only aware of the baby formula. I apologise as I didn't make my point clear, what I was and am trying to indicate is that people have lost trust and their thinking is why can't it happen again.

Well I think that is me done on this subject :-) and I think we will be able to agree on some facts but not on others.

For most people this issue is an emotive one as their pets health and well being are at stack and they will hold onto their beliefs, as I will on irradiation. Until it is proven to me in black and white irradiating dog food and treats is at a safe level and does not cause long term illness or it is labelled so I have a choice I will avoid and voice my concerns regarding Asian produced dog food.

Cheers Meg


6:53PM PDT on Jun 9, 2012

Continued - Hi John D

The reason I don't consider them safe is how am I going to know if my pet can tolerate the irradiation? Considering there could be possible life threatening or on going health problems over the long term why would I risk it? My dogs are very much a part of my family and I wouldn't give a human family member something I believed could be potentially life threatening.

Without knowing what Dr Haynes letter said to Purina or if Dr Haynes is a vet or concerned pet owner the above letter from Purina sounds rather heartless. It is sure to get the back up of a highly distressed pet owner who believes it is the treat that caused the problem. I have been in this position and it is horrifying to watch your pet spewing up blood and seeing it come out of their anus and there is nothing you can do but hope and pray you get to a vet on time. Then the anxious waiting and praying that your pet pulls through. The worst of it was I never really found out what was the exact cause, there were two possible reasons. But let's say if a new treat had been involved and it was the 1st time I had used it, then the said treat would be included on my list of possible causes and it would never be ruled out until I had absolute evidence it was something else. What Purina needs to remember a dog can be a beloved family member or the only family a person has. I would suggest that Purina consult a psychologist on some better wording with a bit more compassion and understan

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