Contaminated Food Has Killed at Least 76 Dogs Nationwide

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by MacNut, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    Contaminated Food Has Killed at Least 76 Dogs Nationwide

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (Jan. 9) - Caring for her ailing 9-year-old chow has taken over Shanika Stewart's life.
    The company has recalled 19 varieties of dog and cat food.

    Cocoa must be force-fed with a syringe six times a day since suffering permanent liver damage after eating contaminated dog food.

    "I haven't had any time to do anything but take care of her," said Stewart, a 19-year-old nursing student at the University of South Carolina. "She's the No. 1 priority. ... I get maybe four hours of sleep before she wakes me up."

    Through relocations from Army bases in Georgia, Oklahoma, Washington and now South Carolina, Cocoa has been a constant companion for Stewart, whose father is serving in Iraq.

    When her own daughter died last year, Stewart said Cocoa helped her through her grief. "It was like she understood," Stewart said. "She was my best friend."

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that at least 76 dogs nationwide are believed to have died as a result of eating contaminated Diamond Pet Foods.

    According to the company, the pet food was distributed to stores in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia and West Virginia.
    Products Recalled
    • Diamond Premium Adult Dog Food
    • Diamond Hi-Energy Dog Food
    • Diamond Maintenance Dog Food
    • Diamond Professional for Adult Dogs
    • Diamond Performance Dog Food
    • Diamond Puppy Food
    • Diamond Low Fat Dog Food
    • Diamond Maintenance Cat Food
    • Diamond Professional Cat Food
    • Country Value Puppy
    • Country Value Adult Dog Food
    • Country Value High Energy Dog Food
    • Country Value Adult Cat Food
    • Professional Chicken & Rice Adult Dog Food
    • Professional Puppy Food
    • Professional Large-Breed Puppy Food
    • Professional Reduced Fat Cat Food
    • Professional Adult Cat Food
    Source: CBS News

    The company has recalled 19 varieties of dog and cat food because tests showed high levels of aflatoxin, a naturally occurring toxic chemical that comes from a fungus found on corn and other grains that causes severe liver damage in animals.

    The company recalled products manufactured at its Gaston, S.C., plant from around September to November 2005. Based on sample testing, Diamond has narrowed down the exposure to food produced on Oct. 11, Brinkmann said Thursday.

    The FDA and the South Carolina Department of Agriculture have launched investigations.

    Stewart's other dog, a 2-year-old pit bull named Chulo, died last month just hours after being diagnosed with liver failure. It was only then that the family learned of the recall.

    Stewart initially thought Cocoa had refused to eat because she was depressed about losing Chulo. After the recall, the family vet confirmed aflatoxin poisoning in Cocoa, Stewart said.

    Steve Shrum, president of the South Carolina Association of Veterinarians, said vets around the state were confused when puppies began showing signs of liver problems usually seen in older dogs.

    "It takes such a small amount, and there's pretty much nothing you can do with the process that will inactivate that toxin once it gets in the food supply," he said.

    Diamond has promised to reimburse pet owners for vet bills and other costs associated with the aflatoxin poisoning, which officials now believe may include pets in Europe and other areas outside the country where the food is distributed.

    The company set up a call center staffed with veterinarians. The call volume peaked at about 2,000 calls a day last week, Brinkmann said.

    Stewart says she has not spoken with anyone at the company despite several calls. The family has filled out an online form explaining their situation.

    "You don't get anybody to talk to and tell your story," she said. "It's like they're not concerned. To me, it's like they're saying, 'Oh well, we'll get to it when we get to it."'

    Brinkmann was sympathetic.

    "We're going as fast as we can," he said. "I grieve with her, and I'm going to do everything I can to make sure we can do right by her."
  2. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

    Aug 27, 2003
    2000 calls a day for dog food produced for 1 day? Some of those people are lying, or at least it seems that way. Unless I am underestimating the awesome capacity of production we have here.
  3. Trench macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2002
    Thats pretty sad, I sometimes buy the cheapest dog food at the grocery store(3 cans for $1). From now on I think I will stick with the better name brands.
  4. 53buick macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2005
    athens, ga
    it has also been stated that the dogs knew that the food was dangerous. owners reported their dogs not eating, and so would intice the dogs by putting gravy and other condiments on the food so they would eat, and unknowingly lead them to their death.

    as many dog owners as there are and the ridiculous volume of mass produced kibble i don't think it's that farfetched for a company of that size to have 2000 calls a day from concerned pet owners.

    the irony is that corn doesn't need to be in pet food. It is a cheap filler. there is nothing nutritious in it at all. hopefully this unfortunate case will bring knowledge to some, one of MANY problems of cheap mass produced pet food.

    Corn Gluten Meal is added to pet food to slow down the transition of rancid animal fats (think toxic waste). This holds the waste in. Kidneys and liver work overtime. Dogs may chew their lower backs. Feet may swell, so the dogs lick their feet. Corn is thought to be the #3 common cause of food allergies in dogs.
  5. XNine macrumors 68040


    Apr 7, 2005
    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?

    That is fascinating. I had no idea. I mean, I know corn doesn't do a whole lot for nutrition value, but I had no idea about the above.

    We actually feed George (our Golden Retriever) this IAMS food. He really likes it, and since we switched him off of Kibbles n' Bits, we've noticed he hardly has any earwax! WTF?! And he has lost weight too! So we decided that K n' B is like McDonalds food for dogs. Bad, bad stuff.

    We don't feed him many table scraps. Every great once in a while, I'll give him a little steak (well done), or we'll through soem scrambled egss is in his food bowl after we're done eating and there's some left over. He lvoes those damn eggs! lol

    This is unfortunate. I love dogs. It's so sad they have to die because some company makes their product with toxic waste. :(
  6. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    Some cereal products (dry dog food is basically meat flavor cereal) are only produced a few days a year.
  7. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    Disturbing news indeed. We feed our dogs NutroMax dog food, which I've found to be pretty reasonable in content. I guess I've never really thought of the possibility that their food could be "bad". Of course, if Colby ever turned down a meal, I'd know there was a problem...
  8. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    May 28, 2004
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    I just changed my dogs food from NutroMax to Wellness brand, since she went/came out of heat her eating has been questionable, hence the trying different food. Of course I went into a panic after seeing this in the news and called the vet just on the safe side.
    I guess because a dog can't talk (and they don't have opposable thumbs) we as owners tend to worry a bit extra (well I do ;) ) about them and this shows a reason why.
  9. Zeke macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2002
    Greenville, SC
    My wife is a vet student at Cornell where all of this stuff started. It's been pretty crazy the number of dogs here that they can do nothing for. And as far as I know this is generally regarded as a speciality brand (not the crap you can buy at the grocery store) as some really nice breeders have lost their entire population because they feed their animals this stuff. Listen to your Vets, buy good food. Your animals will be much healthier for it. Lots of problems (hip dysplasia for example) have been linked to poor food (in 50% of the cases, 50% are just genetic and are screwed either way).
  10. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

    Aug 27, 2003
    But if you just said they died from a specialty brand of food ... and now buy good food? I guess the best advice would be to buy in the middle. As always, moderation works :D
  11. Zeke macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2002
    Greenville, SC
    This was a fluke is what I was saying. This company is supposed to have really good safety measures. I was also saying that in general Kibbles & Bits (to reference a previous poster) is crap and getting a good food will be much better for the animal. What happened with Diamond is terrible but don't buy crap that's mass marketed because there's less chance of aflatoxin (that was only present in 1 day's production).
  12. Mylstar macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2002
    A majority of the crap food you get at the local supermarket has rendered animals (house pets) in it. Anything with "meat by-products" is most likely a rendered dog or cat that has been bought from a company that picks up the deceased animals from your vet. It all gets ground up.....tags and all.

    I spend about $3/day just to feed my dog (greyhound) excellent food.

    Hell, I don't even eat animals anymore. :)

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