Windsor woman believes dog treats made her pet sick
A Windsor woman believes her dog almost lost his life after consuming treats that have been voluntarily withdrawn from store shelves in the United States.
The Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch dog treats are a Purina brand, but they are products of China.
The treats have been withdrawn voluntarily by Nestle Purina in the U.S. because testing by the New York State Department of Agriculture detected small amounts of antibiotics that are not approved in the U.S., but the company hasn't withdrawn them in Canada.
Sherri Breaton believes the treats caused her dog to get very sick. Tego is a one-year-old Terrier mix with a lot of energy, but back in March his owner says he almost lost his life.
“He was acting like a drunken sailor and falling all over the place and sleeping a lot," says Breaton.
Breaton acted fast, bringing him to the Manning Road Animal Hospital, where he got immediate attention. His veterinarian ran numerous tests and determined the young dog's kidneys were failing. After extensive treatment, Tego eventually recovered.
Breaton wanted to know what could have caused her puppy to get so sick, so she started doing research. One day her friend sent her a news story out of Las Vegas.
“She sent me a link saying, ‘you aren't by chance feeding your dog these dog treats are you?’ And sure enough that's what he'd been getting every day for about six weeks," says Breaton.
The Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch dog treats were voluntarily withdrawn in the U.S. on Jan. 9, but company officials maintain, “the trace amounts of antibiotic residue do not pose a health or pet safety risk.”
According to U.S. published reports, there have been about 900 complaints about dogs sickened by chicken jerky treats made in China, but the American FDA issued a report stating “there is no evidence that raises health concerns, and these results are highly unlikely to be related to the reports of illnesses FDA has received related to jerky pet treats.”
But Breaton believes otherwise and says Tego still suffers side effects.
“He still has seizures," she says. “There's nothing else that points to why he'd be having those other than he was so bad at that time."
Tego's veterinarian believes more research needs to be done to determine if there is a link between the treats and the illness, but says there have been many issues with foods produced in China in the past.
"We've actually been dealing with problems with food additives that have caused kidney issues and it's been pretty established over the last couple of years," says Dr. Ralph Lutzman.
Lutzman says owners should be very careful with what they feed their pets.
“Probably the most important part is that it's a name brand food or a name brand treat," says Lutzman.
CTV Windsor spoke with Purina officials in St. Louis, who told us that these treats do meet safety regulations in Canada. The company emphasizes repeatedly, these products do not pose a safety risk to pets.
The Ontario Veterinary Medical Association recommends pet owners be cautious about feeding these treats to their animals due to, they say, the lack of conclusive evidence about what is making the pets sick.