Hill’s Pet Nutrition Expands Voluntary Recall of
Select Canned Dog Food for Elevated Vitamin D
Update March 20, 6:00 pm CDT:
(Topeka, Kan) Hill’s Pet Nutrition today announced it is expanding its recall of select canned dog food products due to elevated levels of vitamin D. This recall expansion was caused by the same vitamin premix received from a U.S. supplier that was the source of the January 31, 2019, recall and is being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
While vitamin D is an essential nutrient for dogs, ingestion of elevated levels can lead to potential health issues depending on the level of vitamin D and the length of exposure, and dogs may exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, excessive drooling, and weight loss. When consumed at very high levels, vitamin D can in rare cases lead to potentially life threatening health issues in dogs, including renal dysfunction. Pet parents with dogs who have consumed any of the products listed and are exhibiting any of these signs should contact their veterinarian. In most cases, complete recovery is expected after discontinuation of feeding.
In the United States, the affected canned dog foods were distributed through retail pet stores and veterinary clinics nationwide. No dry foods, cat foods, or treats are affected.
Pet parents in the U.S. who purchased the product with the specific lot/date codes listed should discontinue feeding and dispose of those products immediately or return unopened product to your retailer for a refund. For more information, please contact Hill’s via our website or at 1-800-445-5777.
Impacted products outside of the United States will be subject to separate notices on the country-specific website. If you are outside of the United States, please check your own country’s Hill’s website for more information.
Hill’s Pet Nutrition learned of the potential for elevated vitamin D levels in some of our canned dog foods after receiving a complaint in the United States about a dog exhibiting signs of elevated vitamin D levels. Our investigation confirmed elevated levels of vitamin D due to a supplier error.
Following that recall, we conducted a detailed review of all canned dog foods potentially impacted by the vitamin premix with elevated levels of vitamin D. This review included: analyzing consumer complaints; reviewing veterinarian medical consultations; auditing our supplier; and reviewing our own manufacturing and quality procedures. We then did additional product testing to ensure we had taken all appropriate action. Our review determined that there were additional products affected by that vitamin premix, and it is for that reason that we are expanding the recall. Hill’s has received a limited number of complaints of pet illness related to some of these products.
As a company, and as pet parents ourselves, we deeply regret the concern that this recall and subsequent expansion have caused pet parents and any possible effect the recalled foods may have had on pets. We are committed to doing more to uphold the standards of pet care that pet parents and veterinarians expect of us to earn back their trust.
For further information, please contact Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. at 1-800-445-5777 every day during the hours of 7am-7pm (CST) or send us a message.
FDA Alert for Bravecto, Credelio, Nexgard and Simparica
The FDA is alerting pet owners and veterinarians of the potential for neurologic adverse events in dogs and cats when treated with drugs that are in the isoxazoline class. These products are FDA approved for the treatment and prevention of flea and tick infestations and include: Bravecto, Credelio, Nexgard and Simparica.
Although these products can and have been used safely in the majority of dogs and cats, pet owners should consult with their veterinarian to review their pets' medical histories and determine whether a product in the isoxazoline class is appropriate.
Symptoms to watch for include: muscle tremors, ataxia (difficulty walking), and seizures in some dogs and cats. Although most dogs and cats haven't had neurologic adverse reactions, seizures may occur in animals without prior history.
The FDA considers products in the isoxazoline class to be safe and effective for dogs and cats, but is providing this information so that pet owners and veterinarians can take it into consideration when choosing flea and tick products for their pets.
BOUTIQUE, EXOTIC-INGREDIENT AND GRAIN-FREE DIETS
Recent media stories have raised the concern for potential health problems in dogs fed boutique, exotic-ingredient or grain-free diets (BEG Diets). Many of these diets exchange routine grains for alternative proteins such as legumes favored by health-conscious individuals. These legume proteins are often added in excess amounts and touted as nutritious and better for gluten-sensitive stomachs and closer to ancestral canine diets. Exotic-ingredient diets can substitute extensively studied animal protein sources such as chicken and beef for lesser-studied animal protein sources as kangaroo, alligator, bison and venison.
However, the Food and Drug Administration has recently announced that it is investigating an association between the development of certain types of heart disease, particularly dilated cardiomyopathy, and dogs that are fed exclusively BEG diets. These developments are causing veterinarians to evaluate the safety of long-term use of these types of food.
Dilated cardiomyopathy (also known as “DCM”) is a condition in which the heart weakens and becomes enlarged. Symptoms can include fatigue, coughing, fainting and difficulty breathing, and some dogs can experience acute heart failure. It is most typically seen in large breed dogs that have a genetic predisposition for it, but has been seen among other breeds as well.
It is believed that a contributing factor to the development of DCM in dogs fed exclusively BEG diets is that these BEG diets are heavy in lentils, peas, chickpeas and potatoes which are intended to replace carbohydrates found in grains commonly used in diets. There is still a lot of information that is not yet known as to why BEG diets may be correlated with heart problems, but current research may soon provide an answer to us. Grains are an important source of protein and other nutrients and have not been linked to any health problems in pets except in very rare situations when a pet has an allergy to a specific grain. However, most food allergies in pets are due to a reaction to a protein source, not a carbohydrate source.
The fad of feeding BEG diets emerged as a marketing strategy from pet food companies in 2007 as a response to pet food recalls from food contaminated with Melarmine from China. The advent of BEG diets was not a veterinary recommendation, and companies that have been fueling this fad often produce diets that have not been adequately researched for safety and nutritional quality. Out of concern for our patients and unless specifically recommended by your veterinarian, we recommend feeding a non-BEG diet from a reputable pet food company that includes an AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) statement on the food packaging. Ideally this statement should indicate that the food has undergone feeding trials per AAFCO guidelines. However, it is acceptable if the food simply meets the guidelines set forth by AAFCO. Reputable food companies that have undergone these feeding trials, quality control and have veterinary nutritionists on staff work to assure that your pet’s food is complete and balanced will provide the healthiest and safest diets for your pet.
If you have any questions or concerns about feeding your pet a BEG diet, please contact us and we will be more than happy to discuss this with you to determine the most appropriate diet for your pet.
We have had several inquiries about the recent outbreak of Canine Influenza. The disease seems to occur in "pockets" around the country. At this time, we are not experiencing any instances of disease in this area so we are not recommending vaccination. We will continue to monitor this as it develops. For more information, please refer to the following website link from the American Veterinary Medical Association:
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