Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dog sickened by recalled Old Yeller food from Kroger

Shadow was sickened by Old Yeller dog food
Rod and Donna Reinmann are struggling like so many families in today’s tough economy. That’s why they switched from Purina dog food to Old Yeller recently, and it’s also why when one of their dogs fell sick last week, they couldn’t afford the tests to determine what was making him sick.
And so, they continued feeding him and their other dogs the Old Yeller food — even going to Kroger yesterday and buying another bag.
After they got home, though, they heard about the recall on the food and it became clear that’s what had been making their 3-year-old Rottweiler and Chow Chow mix Shadow sick.
“He wasn’t eating with the rest of the dogs, he was lethargic, then he threw up and threw up again,” Rod said.
Shadow fell sick late at night and the Reinmanns’ drove him 90 miles through their state of Illinois to get him to an emergency veterinarian, but once there, they found out they couldn’t afford the testing to determine what was wrong with their dog.
“Our kids are all grown; we love our animals just like our kids,” Rod said. “My wife and I are pretty upset. There should have been more quality control.”
Rod said he’s been unemployed and his wife lost her job as a nurse for quite a while, though she just found a new job. Before switching from Purina to Old Yeller, he said he asked his veterinarian about it.
“The vets would tell me that all food companies that make dog food at least have to make certain requirements; that all dog food is pretty much safe,” Rod said.
Now, he’s mad and worried that his dogs — a total of five — may have long-term damage from eating the food.
“They almost ate 50 lbs. of this food before we discovered any harm,” Rod said. “We looked at the numbers and the bag has the dates and UPC codes (of the affected products).”
Long-term damage can be caused by the recalled food, which has the toxic fungus aflatoxin in it. Aflatoxin affects the liver and unfortunately, once the damage is done, it can’t be reversed. Aflatoxin poisoning can be fatal.
Dr. Stephen Steep, veterinarian and owner of the Oxford Veterinary Hospital in Oxford, said that by the time symptoms of liver damage occur, the liver is usually severely affected. Fortunately, most people and animals can function with only a small portion of the liver working.
“If I find out he’s got a damaged liver, I’m going to have a suit against Kroger,” Rod said.
Rod said his other dogs haven’t shown symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning and he thinks Shadow was the only one to become so ill because the amount of food he ate.
“He was always wanting to eat,” Rod said. “He eats the most dog food out of all the dogs we have.”
The couple plans to return the Old Yeller food they purchased yesterday and have stopped feeding the dogs out of the current bag. He worries that the other dogs, even though they haven’t shown symptoms, could have long-term health affects as well.
“If some food I ate made me sick like that, certainly there’d be recourse for me. It doesn’t seem like dogs have an advocate,” Rod said.

Read more about the Kroger pet food recall: 

1 comment:

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