Euthanasia Drug Found In Dog Food

Euthanasia Drug Found In Dog Food


Mass Market Dog Food Brand Recalled
On February 16, 2018 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning that several mass marketbrands of canned dog food were being removed from grocery store shelves due to the finding of small amounts of pentobarbital, a barbiturate drug that is commonly used in animals for euthanasia. 
 
Links:
http://www.jmsmucker.com/company-news/brand-news-releases-article/2333046
 
https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/ucm597135.htm
 
What To Watch Out For
 
Pets that eat pet food containing pentobarbital can experience drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, nausea, nystagmus (eyes moving back and forth in a jerky manner) and inability to stand. Consuming high levels of pentobarbital can cause coma and death.”
 
According to the FDA ,“The low level of pentobarbital present in the withdrawn products is unlikely to pose a health risk to pets. However, pentobarbital should never be present in pet food and products containing any amount of pentobarbital are considered to be adulterated." 
 
We at Summer's Paw feel that any level of pentobarbital, no matter how small, is simply unacceptable to pet owners.  Not only is it a violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, it also subjects our pets to potential harmful health risks. 
 
How The Food Was Tainted
 
The manufacturer of the pet food brands that are affected has voluntarily recalled the affected products from the market. This recall covers over 107 million cans of dog food that was sold nationwide in individual cans as well as multi-can packs. The manufacturer has also indicated that a single supplier and a single ingredient, tallow, to be the source of the pentobarbital. Tallow is animal fat ingredient usually from cattle, but it can come from any animal except pork. 
 
Who Is To Blame
 
How did this drug enter the supply chain and then into the pet food? Also where were the checks and balances in the manufacturing process?  In the pet food world, a brand may either manufacture in their own facilities that they own or co-pack their products to an outsourced company.  This outside company receives the brand's pet food formulation and then makes, bags, labels and ships the product. Given that the parent company of the affected pet food has a market value of  $14 billion and produces an array of human food products, we would guess that they own and operate their own pet food manufacturing facility. Thus, blame can only be put on the brand itself.
 
Why This Recall Is Alarming
 
Since the affected ingredient in this recall is tallow, we can only shudder to guess where the manufacturer obtains the meat for their pet food. Was it from an animal that was euthanized such as diseased livestock?  Was it cats and dogs that were injected with pentobarbital by a veterinarian? This is anyone's guess.  
 
How To Keep Your Pet Safe
 
Read the ingredient list on your pet's food. The first few are the main ingredients and will tell you whether or not you are feeding your pet with a high quality product.  An ingredient list containing any unidentifiable meat sources is a cause for concern.  These questionable ingredients usually appear as generic terms such as “animal fat” or “meat-by-products”.  Foods with these undesirable ingredients should be avoided to help ensure that your pet is eating healthy.
 
The manufacturer of the recalled products and the FDA's news releases (including the list of affected products) on this recall can be found in the below links:
 
Links:
http://www.jmsmucker.com/company-news/brand-news-releases-article/2333046
 
https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/ucm597135.htm