‘We had to make the decision to put him down’: Dog owner raises pet food awareness

Local

Sherri Anderson still feels the pain when she thinks about her beloved dog.

“I’m going to get upset. Daytona was 12 years old. He was a Bichon Yorkie-mix,” Anderson said.

The Dauphin County woman says Daytona was full of life until the fall of 2018. That’s when she noticed he was drinking and urinating a lot. Those symptoms prompted a visit to the veterinarian.

“They said his glucose was elevated. They said it was 600. They looked at all of his other blood work from three, six months prior and it was fine, so they recommended we put him on this Hill’s Prescription Diet canned dog food specifically for high glucose,” Anderson said.

At first, she saw some improvement. But soon there were more trips to the veterinarian.

“It just seemed like it was getting worse, losing weight. They couldn’t figure out what was going on,” Anderson said.

Around Christmas time, Daytona stopped eating.

“The vets were looking at all of his bloodwork, and the words out of her mouth were ‘this isn’t good.’ At this point, his kidneys and liver have completely shut down,” Anderson said. “We had to make the decision to put him down because we didn’t want him to suffer.”

The Andersons said goodbye and left the doctor’s office without answers as to exactly what led to the death of their loved family member. Then, Anderson discovered a recall.

“There was a recall that Hill’s had,” Anderson said.

Hill’s listed two voluntary recalls, one in January 2019 and the other in March of the same year.

“The second recall, the dog food, I had a couple of cans. I had it in my basement and forgot about it. The SKU number, name, expiration date all matched. The Vitamin D was 3,000% higher than it should have been,” Anderson said.

On Hill’s Pet website, it states the recall affected only certain Hill’s Prescription Diet and Hill’s Science Diet canned dog foods. The company said it isolated the issue and is not only requiring suppliers to do additional testing before using their ingredients but is now doing its own independent testing as well.

Anderson called the FDA and filed a complaint with Hill’s.

“I did not respond to the $500 dollars they were willing to give me because it said you are excluded from any lawsuits, and I figured if I’m an advocate and I can spread the word, I’m going to do what I can do,” Anderson said.

Anderson is now part of a class-action lawsuit, and she wants to raise awareness of what you should look for in pet food in an effort to keep another family from feeling her pain.

A local veterinarian we spoke to says always make sure you check recall alerts. Her office does regularly.

“I’d say weekly or monthly, we get recalls coming in on all of our boards we are part of. If our clients don’t let us know what food they are feeding their animals or they don’t know what foods they are on, it’s hard to direct them what to feed,” said Dr. Diane Ford, of The Vetting Zoo.

Online:

FDA Recalls: https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/safety-health/recalls-withdrawals

Dog Food Advisor Recall Alerts: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-recall-alerts/

AVMA Recall Alerts: https://www.avma.org/news/recalls-alerts

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