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Pet Food Recalls

Danger in the Dish: Pet Food Recalls

As a responsible pet owner, protecting your pet from harm is very important. You take care to provide your pet with love, exercise, a comfortable place to sleep, and, you hope, a healthy diet. That said, pet food can become contaminated during manufacturing, putting your pet, you, and your family at risk of illness. For this reason, veterinarians know how important it is to stay up-to-date on pet food recalls.

An Unavoidable Reality

There have already been 19 separate pet food recalls reported by the FDA this year – more than double the number reported by this time last year. Pet food contamination can have widespread effects: manufacturers often issue recalls for products sold under numerous brand names and distributed nationwide. In 2012, the FDA received reports from 900 veterinarians and pet owners about animals who suffered vomiting and diarrhea and, in some cases, kidney failure and death, after eating products that were produced and packaged in China as chicken jerky strips, treats, and nuggets and sold under three different brands in the US.

Contaminated pet food doesn't just affect pets. Over a six-month period beginning in October 2011, 22 people in the US and Canada developed Salmonella after coming in contact with contaminated dry pet food manufactured at a Diamond Pet Foods' plant in Gaston, SC. According to a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention conducted after the outbreak, people were most likely infected after handling their pet's food. As a preventative measure, the CDC recommends storing and handling dry pet food in an area away from where you and your family prepares or consumes food and washing your hands right after handling pet food and treats and cleaning up after your pet.

When Pet Food is Recalled

If your pet's food or treats are recalled, immediately stop feeding the product to your pet, even if your pet appears perfectly healthy. If you have questions about recalled food or treats or require additional information, like how to obtain a refund, contact the manufacturer. If you choose to throw away uneaten food rather than return to the store, place it in a secure area not accessible to animals.

If your pet has consumed a recalled product, please give us a call, even if your pet does not appear to have any symptoms. Common Salmonella symptoms include lethargy, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some animals will have decreased appetite, fever, and abdominal pain.