Pets across the country are getting sick with what first appears to be a stomach flu. But it turns out you could be poisoning your pet with the food you are serving.
Dave Gibson of Liberty Township, Ohio, loves his border collie, Marley. But Gibson didn't know what to think when Marley started getting sick a few months back.
"He was exhibiting, you know, gastric distress, diarrhea and some vomiting," Gibson said.
So he gave Marley water and more food. Marley got sicker. That's when Gibson decided to change the food.
"He immediately began to improve once I switched what brand I was feeding him," Gibson said.
Turned Out to be Bad Food
A few days later, Gibson heard a news report about a recall at Costco, where he bought Marley's food.
"A recall had been out there a week before I even knew about it. So I know there are people out there that may not even be aware this recall has been made," Gibson said.
Marley had been feasting on one of a dozen brands made by Diamond Foods now on a recall list for salmonella. The recall was issued back in April and May of 2012.
Then Why Are Pets Still Eating It?
The head of the Cincinnati Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. William Bean, has some theories about why many pets may still be eating this food, even though it was officially pulled from the shelves several months ago.
Dr. Bean says the problem is that so many brands are affected, and that many people use up their food slowly.
"There's more than one brand that's under the Diamond Foods label, and so it's important to look at your label carefully to see if it falls under the recall," Bean said.
Bean said what's tricky is that symptoms of poisoning come on slowly. "They can have symptoms that don't show up until 3 to 5 days after they are exposed," he said, "and people themselves can get ill from handling the food."
The Centers for Disease Control said more than 20 people have become sick from touching the salmonella infected food.
Brands on Recall List
So you should check for the following brands of dry dog food.
- Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul
- Country Value
- Premium Edge
- 4 Health
- Taste of the Wild
- Kirkland Signature Food sold in Eastern and Southern states (States west of Georgia and Pennsylvania are not affected by the Kirkland recall)
If you have any, check www.diamondpetrecall.com for exact date codes.
Diamond Pet Foods tells us that none of the recalled food is still on store shelves, and that all its food currently for sale is completely safe.
May Still Have Food in Cupboard
But Dave Gibson worries many people are still using these. "Somebody might have a 50-pound bag and be using just a small amount, so they might be using this bag of bad dog food in their cupboard."
If you have any of the above foods, stop using it immediately. The website DiamondPetRecall.com has much more information on all brands and date codes.
The bottom line: be alert when buying pet food of any notices in the store about a recall. Your dog will thank you.
As always, don't waste your money
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