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« Healthy, normal puppy flunks shelter ' behavior evaluation ' | Main | Should you trust your dog walker? »

18 December 2010

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Rick

*samples... and if anyone else is experiencing similar symptoms with this brand, please post here, save the bag of food, DO NOT RETURN, and post here. I love my dogs and this was inexcuseable. Lawsuit time.

Liz Palika

Dr Tony: I agree tests are important. When Archer was sick we willingly ran as many tests as our vets recommended.



We have bloodwork run on Riker yearly now as he's a senior citizen. I want to know what's going on so we can make his senior years as comfortable as possible.

Sandi K

I noticed Kroger has mentioned nothing about the recall on their Twitter page. I guess thats status quo for these companies. Use Twitter to advertise their product, but when they have a recall, mum's the word.

Mary Mary

C.L.H.,

The confusion might be that most people probably have no idea what those tests cost -- or rather, what the labs charge the insurance company.



Also, there is variation in what vet offices charge. My rabbit club did research this year, calling six different vet offices and asking the fees for five different services (initial office exam, spay/neuter, blood work, etc.). There can be a big difference from one vet to the other.



I worked in hospitals for a long time. I knew that what "we" charged people paying out of pocket was different than what we billed the insurance companies.



So it can be confusing to people. I am not implying that vets should give away or discount services, though many pet owners seem to think that "if they care" they would do so.



I don't expect my mechanic to do that. Though I would certainly accept.

C.L.H.

Diagnostic tests are so important for the vet to get a picture of what's going on inside. I don't know why we would expect these tests to be cheaper on pets than on people. A chem screen is a chem screen whether it's run on a dog or a person.

5CatMom

So sorry to read of the wonderful pets who were affected by yet another recall.



Shame on the pet food industry for continuing with "the same old way" of doing business.



They need to completely overhaul their manufacturing practices, and include proper quality assurance processes.

Dr. Tony Johnson

Gina -



Many thanks for helping keep this discussion civil and not red-shifting into an anti-vet flame fest. Your observations as to the difference in how much you pay at the veterinarian's office when compared to a $20 co-pay for an MD are spot-on.



I am sorry that more people don't see the value of running veterinary tests to get to the root of a problem. These tests cost money for the vets who run them and the only way to recoup those costs is to charge clients for them. Perhaps our upcoming e-book on untangling the web of veterinary diagnostics can help some to understand this complicated topic.



My wife just had a patient who may have succumbed to the recalled food - a dog who was only 2 years old.

abby

The blood work came back and my pit rocky does have liver damage due to the contaminated dog food. He is on liver supplements and also anti-nausea medicine for his vomitting and a pill to coat his stomach. They said by the numbers it only looks like mild liver damage and he's trying to hang in there. I will be back to their office in the morning for more injections of fluid if he continues to vomit thru the night. Please pray for my boy he is a family pet of a 3 yr old and my best friend.

Christie Keith

I'm so sorry to hear this, abby, and to hear so many pets who have become ill while eating the recalled foods. This is heartbreaking, especially during the holidays. Hang in there, Rocky!

C.L.H.

Does anyone know anything about milk thistle as a curative for liver ailments? An herbalist was telling me that she used milk thistle to help a llama that had liver damage due to ingesting some sort of poison. She said that the liver was the only organ capable of healing itself and that milk thistle helped that process.

Christie Keith

I've seen excellent results with milk thistle for dogs with liver issues secondary to medication reactions and to tick diseases.

Here is some info from one of the alternative veterinarians I respect the most, Dr. Susan Wynn:

http://wendyblount.com/etvma2/milk-thistle.pdf

Liz Palika

I successfully used milk thistle for a dog with copper toxicosis - a congenetial liver disease. She lived to be 13 and a half - way past the expectations for her.

C.L.H.

Lis, I wasn't suggesting that you comparison shop during an emergency. That would be asinine. But as Mary Mary suggested, you can comparison shop in your market so you know how prices compare from facility to facility. Do it BEFORE there is an emergency. You should do it for pets and people. Know where you'll go if you have to take your family or your pets for an emergency situation. People also need to get educated as to what constitutes an emergency. The ER's are full of people who could have waited for an office call. (Opinion of two ER nurses I know.)I think it's just another strategy, like having a disaster kit in the house. It will save you money in the long run.

Deb

I use .05 mg of milk thistle daily as a prophylactic for one of my dogs who has had high Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT) values in the past. He also gets Sam-E. For a year now his ALT has been well within the normal range, but my Vet feels I should continue the supplements.

Here's a link to an article by Dr. Jean Hofve on Milk Thistle: http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/milk_thistle.htm

And for those who are interested, here is a liver cleansing diet from Dr. Jean Dodd along with Milk Thistle dosages:

http://canineliverdiseasefoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/dr20dodd27s20liver20diet.pdf

This Kroger aflatoxin disaster just makes me cry! I feel so badly for all of you whose pets have died or are suffering because of greed on the part of the Pet Food Industry.

CathyA

2 more abstracts re: milk thistle:

http://www.altmedrev.com/sobi2.html?sobi2Task=dd_download&fid=331



Siliphos – supposed to be more bioavailable – silybin-phosphatidylcholine complex

http://www.altmedrev.com/sobi2.html?sobi2Task=dd_download&fid=122



Siliphos – developed by Thorne research:

http://www.thorne.com/Products/Detoxification/prd~SF733.jsp



but there’s plenty of places on the web to get it. I’d call around HF stores and see if any have it this AM – hopefully they’ll be open still.

If I was going to order it I’d go with Swanson’s – perhaps call order in and see if it could be shipped today:

http://www.swansonvitamins.com/SWU162/ItemDetail



And way up at the top of this thread I posted links to treatment of liver injury in dogs due to aflatoxin:

http://tinyurl.com/27jocgn

Other supplements: N-acetylcysteine, which can be given IV; S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe); and Denamarin (Nutramax Labo ra tories) is also available and contains a combination of SAMe and silybin, not to mention other vitamins helpful in supporting the liver. If you have a dog affected by aflatoxin laden food, please print out this article.

C.L.H.

Mary Mary,

I know that when insurance companies get involved, they negotiate for better prices, and so those with no insurance wind up making up what the insurance companies (or medicare or medicaid) aren't paying. I have lousy insurance so I am most definitely a comparison shopper when it comes to health care. I think even if you have great insurance, you should be a comparison shopper. Medicare, medicaid and insurance companies have taken pure competition out of the medical care market. Prices would be lower if more people asked and went where prices were reasonable and care was good. Office managers go into a tailspin when I ask them what something is going to cost. It's like walking into a really nice restaurant and having them tell you if you have to ask, you can't afford it. Some of them actually take a very "how dare you ask" sort of attitude. MRI's, xrays, ultrasounds cost about half at a stand-alone independent facility versus a hospital. My husband's hernia surgery was almost half at a surgi-center as it would have been at the local hospital. Urgent care facilities can take care of a number of emergencies and cost way less than a hospital emergency room. When it comes to veterinarians, we should be the same way. Definitely comparison shop and do it BEFORE an emergency hits. You have to know ahead of time where you're going to get the best care for the best price. But the point I was trying to make is that a chem screen costs your veterinarian and he/she has to pass that cost along to the client. As diagnostics that were used on people become available for pets, they aren't going to be discounted because you're doing it on "just a dog." The cost of the equipment, chemicals, personnel is the same whether it's a dog or a person.



My thoughts and prayers go to all who are dealing with sick and suffering pets right now. I hope that healing comes quickly and that Kroger does the right thing.

CathyA

This post didn't come up (and I hve to leave) - please axe if a duplicate, but it's time sensitive for some folks:

2 more abstracts re: milk thistle:

http://www.altmedrev.com/sobi2.html?sobi2Task=dd_download&fid=331



Siliphos – supposed to be more bioavailable – silybin-phosphatidylcholine complex

http://www.altmedrev.com/sobi2.html?sobi2Task=dd_download&fid=122



Siliphos – developed by Thorne research:

http://www.thorne.com/Products/Detoxification/prd~SF733.jsp



but there’s plenty of places on the web to get it. I’d call around HF stores and see if any have it this AM – hopefully they’ll be open still.

If I was going to order it I’d go with Swanson’s – perhaps call order in and see if it could be shipped today:

http://www.swansonvitamins.com/SWU162/ItemDetail



And way up at the top of this thread I posted links to treatment of liver injury in dogs due to aflatoxin:

http://tinyurl.com/27jocgn

Other supplements: N-acetylcysteine, which can be given IV; S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe); and Denamarin (Nutramax Labo ra tories) is also available and contains a combination of SAMe and silybin, not to mention other vitamins helpful in supporting the liver. If you have a dog affected by aflatoxin laden food, please print out this article.

abby

Rocky is no longer vomitting and is keep substantial amount of fluids down I am blessed to have caught it early enough and thankful my female pit misty was not affected by the recalled dog food I wouldn't have financially been able to afford 300 for each of my dogs being a single parent full time student working part time at dollar general. This christmas wouldn't have been the same with out my rocky and also id like to comment on the milk thistle that it was one of the main ingredients in his liver supplement it definitely helps with repairing the liver

Leslie K

I've been using milk thistle for my 3 for 3 1/2 years now. Thanks Evangers ! It has helped, Remy's bloodwork is almost normal & Fragile's is coming down, but still high.Trooper's is normal again now but I still give it to him to be sure.www.mountainroseherbs.com has it in a glcerite for hard to pill animals.

Lis

Medicare, medicaid and insurance companies have taken pure competition out of the medical care market. Prices would be lower if more people asked and went where prices were reasonable and care was good.



The problem, of course, is that on the one hand you can't research every possible condition and treatment beforehand, and on the other hand, when you're actually seriously ill is often a lousy time to be trying to do that research. You have to be at least somewhat stabilized before you can do that. And then, of course, there's the whole issue of how you evaluate treatment, services, and prices.



The more education, resources, and experience you have, the more ability you have to do that in non-emergency situations. In emergency situations, suggesting that people should do comparison shopping for care is just completely inane.



Insurance companies create a lot of problems, but they're not the sole, or even the primary, reason why the "market" for medical care does not function like the market for electronic gadgets.

Trisha

I put my dog down today. I believe the cancer was caused by the Old Yeller dog food. This past summer she was running throughout the backyard with much ambitious and life to live. Pet Pride needs to know that they have killed my dog Smokey, whom I have loved very much. It's a very sad Christmas for me and my family.

VJ

Aww Trisha. My deepest, deepest condolences.

Lis

C.L.H.--you can comparsion-shop standard charges and services--at least the prices. Quality of services is rather harder to do, beyond ruling out the places that are really terrible.



And when it comes to human medical services, the comparison-shopping will only benefit you just so much. It does't matter how much "less expensive" the services are, if the provider or the facility does not take your insurance. But if we set aside insurance then, sorry, most people cannot afford any serious medical care without insurance. And when it comes to my doctor referring me for specialist services--sorry, silly me, but I do believe that, with rare exceptions, my doctor is far better qualified to evaluate potential providers than I am.



Insurance causes problems because they'll veto medically better choices because of cost, and because the profit motive almost inevitably causes insurance companies to look for ways to deny coverage for expensive but necessary medical procedures. And too much of the cost is going to execs' salaries and shareholders' dividends.



But the main reason that medical care, for both humans and animals, is so much more expensive than it was when I was a kid is because there's a lot more doctors can really do for you now.



When I was a young child, my favorite uncle died of what is now a highly treatable form of leukemia that pretty much no one dies of--if they have insurance, at least. And that change happened in part because of a clinical trial my uncle was a part of. If not for that trial, he'd only have gotten palliative care and been gone within months. Instead he was a guinea pig for a treatment that turned out to be seriously on the right track, and he lived for another five years.



And now patients can get an even better development of that treatment--but it has to be paid for. Leukemia is no longer a death sentence, but that means that society has to work out how to allocate the costs.



As for those people who show up at the emergency room for non-emergencies--many of them don't have a doctor's office to go to, because they have no insurance, so the ER is their only option. Even if they do have insurance and a regular doctor, if something medically scary happens, they can't do as my parents and grandparents did, and call the doctor at home in his off-hours. Medical care is more expensive (because more effective), cost containment means that doctors, while still well-paid, are no longer receiving either the money or the social status that made being available 24/7 a fair trade-off, and on the weekend your doctor is at home with his or her family and not taking calls.



So people wind up at the emergency room, being chided for not being certain of the differences in symptoms between heartburn and a heart attack. Except that if they assumed it was heartburn and it was really a heart attack, medical personnel would then be scolding about not taking the symptoms seriously and getting care.



Sorry, but no, the medical care market is not like the gadgets market, and can't be made to function like the gadgets market, with individuals largely responsible for their own research and making their own decisions about what they want or need and whether a particular item is worth what's being asked for it.

Gina Spadafori

You also have to be willing to WALK AWAY when you're comparison-shopping. Next time you're not breathing, let me know how that goes.

C.L.H.

Lis, I agree. When my dad opened his medical lab in the early '70's an office call to a doctor's office was four dollars. Since then, we have had technology, malpractice insurance, etc. The cost of medical care has outrun inflation astronomically. And if we want the technology for our pets as well as for ourselves, it's going to cost us.



I listen to my doctors for referrals to specialists up to a point. I grew up in a town that was a snake pit, medically speaking. Through the eighties, doctors had to ally themselves with the local hospital or the very large clinic just to stay in business. There were no independents left. Where you were referred didn't necessarily have to do with how good the care was, but who was working for whom. If it's NOT AN EMERGENCY I will ask around (especially RN's) and find out who's good.

I needed a diagnostic mammo last year. I was scared to death. My MD works in a hospital. They referred me to the hospital radiology dept. They could see me in three weeks. The lady working the referral desk never offered me another option. If I needed additional ultrasound it would take another week. If there was a possibility that you had cancer, would you want to wait that long? Called around, found a well respected facility that could see me in two days. If ultrasound was warranted, they would do it immediately following the x-rays. Cost of the test was almost 50 percent less than the hospital. I saved myself and my insurance company a chunk of money and got excellent, timely care. A lot of people don't know they can do this, they just go where their doctor tells them to. I think to a certain extent you CAN shop for medical care like you shop for a computer in a NON EMERGENCY situation. I also think that if more people did it, it would create downward pressure on prices and insurance premiums.

Honeybee

This is ridiculous. I fed the catfood to my adult cat, and new kitten this past Summer and Fall. I don't have any product or bag left. Why would I? It is completely unacceptable that they would expect me to prove that I fed it to obviously sick animals, ESPECIALLY since they keep track of products I buy from them with the shopper's card/account.



How stupid do they think I am?

Jim

Our 10 year old Pyrenees is fighting for his life, right now. I called the number after being alerted last week and was told someone would get back to me within 48 hours. A week later, I now have called the number listed [800.632.6900] and Evan said they just work for ATT and really have no idea what to do - they're just helping out with all the phone calls. Called the store I bought it from, and they don't know who to call. My vet is working hard to save him, but said the company should be paying for all the tests, meds, etc. I do know things happen, errors are made, but SOMEONE take responsibility - it's the "It's Not My Fault" middle-school syndrome that has become norm!

Betty

just wondering if any one has had a call back from krogers on the recall food I called them about a week ago and still no call back , I think they think this will just go away if they stall on this , all the pet owners who pets have died from this or are sick need an answer I for one need one,my scrappy passed awy dec 2 and I still cry when I think of her she was one of my babies, I have 3 more beagles and so far they are not sick and I hope that stays that way,I have saved the dog food ,just in case,but I think the people who made that damm stuff will just hope we will all go away, not me Iam bull head on certain things ,just to let company know Iam not going anywhere

C.L.H.

I shop at a Kroger affiliate on a regular basis. I'm writing them to tell them that how they handle this will affect my decision to shop with them in the future. Let's face it, if they can't handle this, I sure as *&%) don't want to find out what they'll do if they wind up poisoning people by mistake. Like it's been said before, stuff happens, it's how you handle it that makes all the difference in the world. Maybe if enough of us make that point to them, it might light a fire?

DEANA

my name is Deana, my boxer was 10 yrs. old. his name was Tyson. he died Dec,21. i did not know what was wrong with him he just started not wanting to walk or bark or eat he stopped drinking water, then he started vomiting, i received the call about the recall. around 8 pm. Dec. 20 my baby died Dec, 21 at 9 am. it has broke my heart, i hope some one pays for what they have done i thank they need to be feed the same food. I'm from west Virgina.

Leslie K

Deana I am so sorry you lost Tyson. You are correct, the best quality assurance there could be would be for the executives of these pet food companies to have to eat their food. Maybe that would stop these recalls.

VJ

Oh Deana my deepest sympathy to you on the loss of your beloved Tyson. I know your heart is broken.

Sandi K

Peggy, I think you should ask your attorney what to do before signing any release. I am so sorry for your loss.

Betty

do you have the addresse of that company or email so I send them something

Honeybee

Wow--no more posts since December 31? Did anyone ever receive any calls back? We did not. Now our kitten is sick, and I'm afraid she might not make it after reading the effects of aflatoxins as well as everyone's posts here. I'm so mad & scared. Has anyone tried to contact the manufacturer of the food?

Peggy

We received the automated message on Dec. 20 we stopped using the food immediately. I had 3 Siberian huskies ranging in age from 12 to 8 years old. They had been experiencing the signs associated with aflatoxins like diarrhea, lethargic, excessive thirst and so on. I began them on a diet of rice, chicken and vegetables and the symptoms seemed to go away. Last night my 12 year old female had a problem making it outside to urinate and she was listless this morning so I took her to the vet the vet said she was experiencing hepatoblastoma which is cancer of the liver and she said that a cyst had probably ruptured, which was causing the stomach swelling because her stomach was full of blood, and her gums where white which is a sign of lack of oxygen. The vet said even if they did measures to prolong her life like surgery the successful outcome is only about 1% chance of survival. I could not sit by and watch my baby suffer in pain, so I had her euthanized. I am usually not one of those people who believe in conspiracies, but 20 minutes after we got home from the vet a person from the Sedgewick Group that is handling the claim process for Kroger called and offered us the cost of the euthanasia bill that was $200.00 if we signed a release that she faxed immediately, I am not sure what to do, I find it incomprehensible that any company could allow this to happen.

Betty

I called again yesterday ,but so far no one has called me back Iam going to call everyother day till I get an answer, you all should do the same the number is 18006326900,hope this helps

Carol V

Call the FDA too...you can still just call them if you choose not to use the new reporting system...according to new article that Christie put up just this am the FDA is not hearing from petowners...here is link to phone #s.

http://www.fda.gov/Safety/ReportaProblem/ConsumerComplaintCoordinators/default.htm

Sandi K

And dont return your food, save it in case they need it for testing (especially if you have a sick pet)!

The OTHER Pat

From the Sedgwick site with regards to the "Liability" services they offer:



https://www.sedgwickcms.com/liability.aspx

The OTHER Pat

https://www.sedgwickcms.com/directory.aspx

alicia

I am so glad that I found this blog. I was so devistated when my 4 year old German Shepherd died Monday before Christmas. He was great, healthy, vibrant...then within literally 24 hours he was dead! I received a text message from a friend who asked me if I saw the recalled pet food. When I read the recall I was even more upset. WHY wasn't this made more public. I had a beautiful animal who died because of lack of attention to detail. I contacted my vet the next day and she immediately contacted the number listed for the Pet Pride dog food and they told her that I wanted any recourse I would have to dig up my dog ( that it nearly killed me to bury the first time ) then take his body to the Kord lab in Nashville and pay for an autopsy to test for the Aflatoxin. Then what I ask!?!?! This is a tragedy in all sense of the word. What do pet owners do now if their animal was a statistic?



Alicia

Gina Spadafori

Hey! Pat! Great to see you!

Leslie K

Even if you used the portal, you can call your local FDA rep & give them the info & the reporting id #.

VJ

Why isn't this being reported more on the news channels? It seems that it was broadcasted maybe twice, three times and then it's considered old news. Yet as I keep reading here, more and more pets are again dying from bad food. Gina, isn't there something that Dr. Becker and perhaps Pet Connection and the other vets that post here can do to alert pet owners that this is an ongoing problem? Bring it more out in the open.

alicia

One other thing, This was not something that came on gradually. On Monday morning he was acting a "little funny" and not quite himself, by lunch when my husband came home to check on him he found him lifeless under a bush in the back yard. He immediately loaded him in the car and drove him to the vet. By 4:30 that afternoon he was dead! His liver enzymes were out the roof and his kidneys had failed. This set him into multi organ failure which resulted in his death! I never received a call from Kroger but can honestly say that I don't always use my Kroger card. I never saw anything on the news or anything on the shelves at the pet food aisle in the store. I never keep my bags, just dump it into the bin where I always fed him from. I feel for everyone who has lost their pet over this! WHAT DO WE DO?!?!?!



Alicia

Angela

I go through a 50lb bag of Old Yeller per week with my dogs. How would I know if I already used what is being recalled? My current bag has the bag UPC code but the Sell by date is December not October. I've bought 5 bags since the end of November. Do they use your Kroger card as reference?

Angela

Alicia - oh my God... I am sitting here with tears knowing how hard this must be for you and your family. My heart goes out to everyone! I am praying that my dogs will be okay and that I did not buy something that is recalled.

This is terrible!

alicia

@ Angela thank you so much, it has been extremely hard on all of us.

@ Amanda, I do not have a clue what responsibility (if any) that the Kroger company is going to take on this. As I stated above, when my vet contacted the company, they wanted me to take my deceased animal to the Kord lab in Nashville to have his organs tested for Aflatoxin. The only recommendations I have is to keeo the bag of food that you have been using. I have been reading on this and I believe (please someone correct me if I am wrong)that the food can be tested. PLEASE make sure your vet is aware that your animal has been eating this and hopefully they can reverse any damage that has been done. Maybe if enough pet owners come forward then this can become more in the publics eye and SOMEONE can help tell us what to do. In my case my dog has been buried for 3 weeks now and I don't think his body can be tested at this point. My main concern is to make everyone aware that this is occuring and prevent future animal deaths. Good luck!



Alicia

Amanda

My dog has been sick for over a week. She has not been eating and has had no energy. The vet has put her on various meds, but nothing is working. She has ate Old Yeller for more than 4 years. Baby is part of the family and I can't believe I am losing her over the food she has been eating. She has lost so much weight and I fear the next step is to put her down. Nothing has been working so far. I am taking her back to the vet on Monday, but I don't have this kind of money. Does anyone know if we are being refunded vet bills?

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