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I am not sure if you guys heard about the wet dog food and treats getting recalled because of poison found in them, but here's one of the stories, it's pretty sad.
Originally Posted by The Kennett Paper 2007
Bad food kills local dog
By: Fran Maye
Because her dog was getting up in years, Carol Swan wanted to give her dog a treat. Opie had been on dry dog food all of his life, and this time he would be treated to his first wet food.
But just four weeks later, Swan's beloved pet was dead.
Opie consumed Eukanuba brand cuts and gravy just two weeks before the nationwide recall.
Swan, who lives on Dean Drive in the Cedarcroft development in East Marlborough Township, said she feels terrible that she unknowingly killed her dog.
"He was getting old and I wanted to give him a treat," she said. He loved it."
She said she fed Opie six cans of the cuts and gravy wet food over a two-week period. She soon noticed Opie getting ill. He was coughing and had a hard time breathing.
"He was a healthy dog all of his life, so I was concerned," Swan said. "He was only 13, and the life span for a Jack Russell Terrior is 18 years."
Swan immediately took Opie to her vet at Keystone Veterinary Clinic in Oxford. She said her vet, Tonya Nowell, was shocked when he saw her pet.
"She knew it was really serious right then," Swan said. "His heart was enlarged and she diagnosed Opie with lung disease.
Opie was given an EKG, kidney dialysis and X-rays. He was put on four medications and was given morphine to ease the pain. But it was too late. Opie was dying a slow, painful death and there was nothing anyone could do. The poison was in his system.
"He really suffered," Swan said. "His whole body just shut down. In the end, he could barely walk. We all cried when they put him under."
Swan said Opie was an indoor dog who would often sit with her son, Colin, while he played games.
"We were praying he would get better," Swan said. "It was terrible."
Swan said she is aggressively pursuing a class-action lawsuit against the manufacturer of Eukanuba pet food. Although in Pennsylvania she can't legally be compensated for pain and suffering of an animal, she would like to collect the more than $2,000 in vet bills incurred by Opie's poisoning.
"There's no doubt, even the vet's, that he was poisoned (by the food)," Swan said.
Some of the 60 million cans and pouches of food have been blamed for kidney failure in scores of animals and killed at least 16 pets, including the Swan's dog.
Veterinarian Dr. Tonya Nowell at Keystone Health Clinic in Oxford, the veterinarian who treated the Swans' dog, confirmed this week that the cause of Opie's death was directly related to consuming tainted dog food. "In the very beginning he was showing signs of kidney suppression -- there was kidney failure and lower red blood cells," she said. Nowell said she treated two other dogs who also apparently consumed tainted food, but they were younger breeding pups. "We transfused them and got it early," she said. "Apparently they're doing fine now."
"Opie was euthanised," Nowell said. "We tried to keep it painless."
Veterinarians are directing most questions to the Food and Drug Administration's recall Web site located at www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/petfood.html
Menu Foods advised retailers to remove all brands from their shelves to verify the dates they were packaged, a company spokesman said, though the recall still applies only to the dog and cat foods identified on its Web site since March 16. Those cover cans and pouches of food packaged from Dec. 3 through March 6.
Menu Foods, based in Ontario, Canada and a top pet food manufacturer in North America, said it would take responsibility for pet medical expenses incurred as a result of the tainted food. The company manufacturers more than 100 brands of dog and cat food.
The president of pet food maker Menu Foods, Paul Henderson, said that the company would reimburse pet owners who can trace their pets' illnesses to the company's products.
The pet food responsible for pet deaths around the country was contaminated with the poison melamine, contained in wheat gluten.
Menu Foods is recalling canned and pouched "cuts and gravy" meals sold under 48 dog food brands and 40 cat food brands. For a list of recalled brands visit www.menufoods.com/recall.
-What To Do
If your pet has become lethargic, drinks excessive water or loses appetite,
contact your local vet to schedule blood work and urinalysis, which can determine the animal's health. For recall information, call 1-866-895-2708.
Lawyers Set to Argue New Legal Theory in Pet-Poisoning Cases
The National Law Journal
Class action litigators and animal law attorneys are joining forces across the country to sue Menu Foods Inc. and pet food distributors over the poisoning of dogs and cats, with some lawyers aiming to set a new precedent in recoveries for pet-owner clients.
They may get bigger damages awards than from similar past cases partly because the incident is unique in the high number of pets -- hundreds or perhaps thousands -- that have been injured or killed by the poisoning, the lawyers said.
In the past, U.S. courts have viewed pets as property and therefore mainly allowed damages for the cost of an animal, which is typically low for most cats and dogs, and veterinarian bills.
Efforts to recover for emotional distress over the loss of a companion animal have met with little success.
Some of the lawyers who have filed the lawsuits say they'll argue that pets are "special property" that have an intrinsic value beyond market worth.
"In terms of real world value, that pet really is priceless," said Jay Edelson, an attorney at Blim & Edelson in Chicago. "We think we have some arguments where we can recover those same types of damages, even if we have to do it under a different legal theory."
Edelson filed a March 20 lawsuit on behalf of Dawn Majerczyk, whose 9-year-old cat Phoenix had to be euthanized on March 17 after the alleged poison in his Special Kitty Select Cuts caused the cat's kidneys to shut down.
Phoenix's death was devastating to Majerczyk and her two children, the lawsuit said. They spent $300 trying to save the cat, according to the filing. Majerczyk v. Menu Foods, No. 07CV1543 (N.D. Ill.).
The lawsuit alleges that Menu Foods, which is based in Streetsville, Canada, and has U.S. operations, knew the pet food could kill animals weeks before its March 16 recall, and that the company's requirement that pet owners return tainted food in order to receive a refund is unethical.
Calls to Menu and pet food maker Iams Co. for comment weren't immediately returned.
"They're going to be the only witness as to whether the food was actually contaminated," Edelson said. "You can't do that. You can't destroy evidence."
2,000 INQUIRIES -- SO FAR
Edelson, who is a class action litigator, plans to add about 150 plaintiffs to the lawsuit after receiving 2,000 inquiries, he said. His firm is considering hiring an animal law specialist to serve as an expert consultant for the case, he said.
Adam Karp of Animal Law Offices in Bellingham, Wash., filed a lawsuit against Menu as well as Iams and other pet food distributors on behalf of Michele Suggett and Don James, whose 11-year-old dog Shasta, a female Pomeranian, died from acute renal failure on March 20 after eating Iams' Eukanuba Adult Bites in Gravy. Suggett v. Menu Foods, No. 07-0457 (W.D. Wash.).
"Liability will likely be a foregone conclusion, with the true battle reserved for the issue of damages," Karp said.
Bruce Wagman of Chicago's Schiff Hardin, an animal law lawyer who recently settled a separate class action over tainted pet food, plans to serve as counsel or an expert witness in the Menu litigation.
Wagman, who is based in San Francisco, said he expects most of the attorneys to use the "special property" argument because the notion of an intrinsic value for an item beyond its market value, like the value of a shabby old family photo, has been established already in law, if not necessarily for pets.
Emotional distress awards related to pets have been won only in Florida and Hawaii, he said.
"I try to move the law forward by pointing to judgments and law that exist and explaining how my case fits into the existing law," Wagman said. "Some people come in and say the law is all wrong, let's change it. That's a lot harder sell."
The lawsuits have also been filed in Arkansas, California, New Jersey and Tennessee and are expected to be consolidated, Edelson said.
Tainted food affects coast pets
By Jason Evans Of the News-Times
At least one Lincoln County couple recently lost two beloved cats, believed victims of tainted pet food. Other vets, including Jay B. Fineman, DVM, of Grove Veterinary Clinic in Newport, reported suspected cases. The debacle, which has affected much of the country, involves many pet foods with the ingredient wheat gluten. Affected foods became tainted at Menu Foods, a company which produces a wheat gluten product made with ingredients produced in China, and added to many pet food products.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reportedly investigating the possibility a compound, melamine, was intentionally added to the suspect wheat gluten, to boost apparent protein content, and is responsible for the pet poisonings. No conclusions have been reached.
Area veterinarians said pet food companies have been responsive, aided by stores selling pet foods, and many companies voluntarily recalled and removed from shelves suspect pet food products.
Veterinarians also noted there are good balanced diets for cats and dogs that don't have wheat gluten in them.
While some dry foods contain wheat gluten, the ingredient is more often found in canned pet food, and particularly those with chunks or strips of meat in gravy.
The recall includes an extensive list of brand names and lot numbers. In order to determine whether cat and dog food is subject to recall, consumers should refer to the comprehensive list of products at www.menufoods.com/recall. Or consult labels on pet food products, and call 800-numbers marked on labels for further information about safety regarding individual containers. Consumers who have at home a pet food product being recalled should stop using it and return it to Menu Foods in accordance with the procedure found at www.menufoods.com/recall. Owners of cats or dogs showing any signs of kidney failure should consult their veterinarian.
Cats more susceptible
Cats are apparently more susceptible to the poisoning than are dogs. Poisoned pets have suffered symptoms of acute kidney failure, and affected pets may appear listless, drink and urinate significantly more or less than usual, and/or suffer other digestive problems such as vomiting or diarrhea. Finally, the animals become weak.
Veterinarians noted all kinds of diseases and conditions, to which cats are susceptible, can lead to kidney disease; and in older cats kidney disease is common. Hence, a positive correlation between the suffering of a particular cat and tainted pet food remains difficult to prove.
Dr. Steven R. Brown, DVM of Animal Medical Care at 162 NE 10th Street in Newport, said he has performed blood tests on more than 50 local cats to determine whether they suffered from acute kidney failure, possibly brought on by tainted food. Only one cat's symptoms were positively correlated with the tainted pet food, said Brown, of a cat young and otherwise healthy. "That cat is home and doing reasonably well," said Brown, "Though it probably suffers permanent kidney damage."
Fred Conkel, DVM, of Bayside Animal Clinic at 135 Strawberry Street in Waldport said he has examined and taken blood samples of a number of local animals who consumed suspect foods, and has thus far not discovered any correlations.
The van der Vlugt's of Toledo, who lost their two cats, "Annabelle Chat" and "Martin Katze," request donations in the cats' memories, and those of other poisoned pets, to the Central Coast Humane Society.
Menu Food products are distributed to supermarkets, pet specialty stores and mass merchandisers across the United States, Canada and Mexico. Consumers with questions may contact Menu Foods directly at 800-551-7392.
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Yeah man, this has been going on for quite a few weeks now. They suspect cases to be in the multiple thousands.
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