Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks,

I'm one of the many people whose dog has had severe reactions to the change in Canidae formulation that happened last summer. Unfortunately, our beautiful one and a half year old German Shepherd finally died this weekend after a six month struggle to keep her alive.

First let me say that we don't have specific proof her illness was related to the dog food. However her symptoms began immediately after the formulation change, and starting in October of last year, I have learned that many dog owners have had similar symptoms.

Our experience started with the thrill of getting our supply of a smaller bag for more money. If only I knew that this would be the least of my problems. I don't remember all the details now. When the symptoms started showing up, we had no idea it was the dog food. She had a strong allergic reaction. She was crazed with itching and had a rash all over her body. I don't recall vomitting, and I don't believe she refused to eat at first. I think it was a matter of weeks later that we noticed she was eating much less and then refusing to eat. We switched dog food, but she still only ate minimally.

We took her to the vet, and although we never got a firm diagnosis, he indicated that she had symptoms of an auto-immune type disorder. He prescribed steroids, and that brought her back almost immediately. Unfortunately, that initial success was short lived. After a few weeks, the plan was to back her off and see how she would do. At first, she would continue to eat, but then she would drop off and start wasting away.

It was very frustrating. We couldn't get a firm diagnosis, and the vet implied that what ever it was was permanent. She ended up having to take a small dose of steroids every day and without it, she would immediately start wasting away. We almost lost her two different times. While she was on the steroids she was normal, although she did have to urinate frequently. Unfortunately, she took a nosedive on Friday, and before we really understood how critical she was becoming, she died suddenly Saturday night.

It's a very sad situation, but I wanted to make my experience public. I've learned that there is a class action lawsuit being considered. I'm curious about how many others have been seriously impacted like we have. I'm aware that other people have experienced the allergic reactions, vomitting, and diahrea. I'm interested in any other experiences of refusal to eat, lethargy, frequent urination, and death.

I haven't really looked into this situation with Canidae since October of last year. What have I missed on this story since then?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
572 Posts
I can't tell you anything more than you already know about the problems Canidae has been having with the formulation change, sorry ... I did try the brand about 4-5 yrs ago with most of my dogs either refusing the food or loosing coat/pigment and having problems with their heat cycle.

Having lost a dog (3 y.o. GSD) to formula related change in dry food about 4 months before that big Menu foods/melamine recall, I can tell you with certainty that what happened to your dog is not far fetched or impossible. We actually had numerous problems with dry feed in '06, and I have thousands of $$$ in Vet bills plus umpteen bottles of meds still in my kitchen cabinets as a reminder of that horrible year. The Beagles bounced back when we took the offending food out of the picture, but my Shepherd was affected beyond the point of no return :( Making matters worse, she was a picky eater so I often supplemented her dry feed with Eukanuba/Iams canned feeds, which were pointed out in the melamine recall. Her dry food was never implicated, but I believe there were contaminants in there, as well. Her temperament did a 180 degree change, she started turning on my other dogs - this was a dog who was goofy and fun loving with her pack and used to let them eat out of her bowl. She helped raised my first litter of pups. She went crazy, she had 2-3 lumps crop up around the time her temperament went off, she started having chronic diarrhea/weight loss that nothing helped. All they could find was an elevated BUN. She just went crazy one day and had to be put down, but she was dying anyway. Right after her death, my mutt, who had always been mild mannered, also went crazy. Of course I didn't realize it was the food then. So he was still eating some of her dry/canned. Everything changed with him, even the tone of his bark. When we began to swithc the dogs off the old feed and onto TWO, I believe there was a reaction. Something in both feeds. The Beagles didn't do so well on TWO, but Thunder went crazy & attacked me. Blood test & thyroid panels normal. So yeah, food can do that.

My advice to you would be to pursue this with Canidae. If you have the bags, save them, and if you have a sample fo the feed, send some to Canidae, and send another portion to an independant lab to be tested. They should not be allowed to get away with this. Quality control of a feed needs to be HIGH standard otherwise they should be held accountable. This is horrible. Don't know what's going on here. Just heard a fellow Beagler lost 3/4 of his kennel after buying a new bag of a feed he'd been using. Dogs started showing neurological symptoms & most died that night. Three were saved and are still recovering @ the Vet. Insane.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,135 Posts
First, I am very sorry for your loss.

My dog Mac was the only one of my three (at the time) when the formula changed. Within a week, Mac was scratching like CRAZY and I immediately took him off of the product (well, within a few weeks when I made the connection). I switched to grainless, which has worked for us.

Mac is now allergic to all grains. I'm not sure if the itching was caused by his allergy just coming out, if the formula change had something to do with his allergy coming to fruition, or if it was a combination of the allergy coming out and the formula change causing problems. Never the less, the formula change caused an immediate reaction in Mac. We only went through one bag.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,240 Posts
I would suggest sending the food in the bag. If you send a sample, they will likely dismiss it as anyone could send a baggie of dog food and contaminate it themselves.Not that you would, but the company may play it that way. I'm wondering if it would be possible to have an independent company analyze the food? I am so sorry for your loss....I hope that you can find a resolution.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
179 Posts
I have been feeding the new reformulated Canidae to both of my dogs now for a couple of months and have not experienced anything negative as of yet. I have actually fed it in the past before the change as well with no issues. Coat conditions are very nice, and stools seem to be normal. Here is my take on the the whole situation. And just let me say that this is ONLY MY OPINION.

Anytime a formulation is changed you are undoubtedly going to have some dogs who may have issues with the new ingredients. So to say that all of these dogs that became ill or died supposedly after eating Canidae is at this point hearsay until proven otherwise. There are undoubtedly thousands upon thousands of dogs (mine are just two) that are eating the new feed who are not having issues, so if it was something toxic in the feed it would very likely affect all dogs who eat it. Could it be a bad lot #? possibly...

Initially when the new feed hit the shelves consumers may not have been aware that there had indeed been a change and continued feeding without a gradual switch over and thus digestive issues could certainly come into play. Did Canidae or the retail outlets give ample notification? Don't recall. I certainly sympathize with those who have seen their dogs health go down hill or even die. But I think putting the blame on Canidae when nothing has been proven thus far is jumping to conclusions. I think Canidae should be given the benefit of the doubt that their feed is safe.

FWIW
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,968 Posts
The biggest problem in this country is the fact that the FDA apparently is not properly safeguarding ingredient pipelines. Prime example; the Peanut Butter fiasco. ONE bad factory ended up affecting dozens of different foods, because their peanut paste was shipped to be used in products being made in many different factories and recipes. But it was all from the same bad batch, so it poisoned everything.

The biggest issue with dog food, is that even though different companies sell different foods, many times these different brands share either a processing plant, or else they get their basic ingredients from the same sources. This is how contamination can spread so sneakily where you least expect it, or why a 'good quality' food like Canidae, which has a good overall ingredient list, may still be affected by poor-quality or contaminated individual ingredients. Because there STILL isn't enough quality control in the pet food industry, even after the '07 Recall.

Seriously, it's enough to make one want to just say 'screw it' and start cooking for their dogs instead of relying on companies to actually be more competent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,466 Posts
The FDA these days is more about protecting the large drug companies than protecting consumers, much less consumer pets.

All these problems with various dog foods is why I will be feeding primarily raw. At least that way I'll know what the dog is eating and there won't be formula changes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,902 Posts
I am so sorry about your dog. As someone (Tom?) said, not all dogs are adversly affected with ingredient changes. It has made alot of us much more aware; I keep my ingredient lists from a new bag of food; when I buy a new bag, I compare the ingredients to make sure they're the same as the old bag. I think dog food companies should have to put a huge sticker on the bag, saying "ingredient change" so people know. So far, I haven't had any issues, I fed Canidae years ago and up til the change, it's a food I suggested to people when they were looking for a good quality food at a good price. Not any more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Anytime a formulation is changed you are undoubtedly going to have some dogs who may have issues with the new ingredients. So to say that all of these dogs that became ill or died supposedly after eating Canidae is at this point hearsay until proven otherwise.
What I'm reporting and what I've seen many other people report are first hand eyewitness accounts of the impact this food has had on their animals. That is not hearsay. The number and similarity of eyewitness reports that we have been seeing and continue to see even now are good evidence that there is a problem. That these reports seem to be from a minority of customers is a good thing, but I think it is absolutely absurd to say this is something we should undoubtedly expect and accept from a company that manufactures food for our pets. The fact that Canidae has apparently done nothing to address these complaints and their failure to even acknowledge the issue says a lot about their company.

I am so sorry about your dog. As someone (Tom?) said, not all dogs are adversly affected with ingredient changes. It has made alot of us much more aware; I keep my ingredient lists from a new bag of food; when I buy a new bag, I compare the ingredients to make sure they're the same as the old bag. I think dog food companies should have to put a huge sticker on the bag, saying "ingredient change" so people know. So far, I haven't had any issues, I fed Canidae years ago and up til the change, it's a food I suggested to people when they were looking for a good quality food at a good price. Not any more.
I certainly agree. Had I known the formulation had changed, I would have associated the initial symptoms with the food much more quickly, and I would have taken her off this food much more quickly. Even though she was in an apparent minority of dogs that have a problem, I could have responded much more quickly. That might have made all the difference in her outcome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,968 Posts
I think dog food companies should have to put a huge sticker on the bag, saying "ingredient change" so people know.]
I know, I think it's just wrong for dog food makers to sneakily change things and not bother to tell customers. I mean, sure it's not a law that they have to, but why not do it without having to be forced legally?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
377 Posts
First, I am sorry for your loss. I know firsthand how painful it can be to lose a pet due to a pet food. We lost two of our cats (the only 2 we had at the time) due to the Diamond recall of 2006. They were eating Kirkland Maintenance Dry food.

Did you call anyone about your dog's death and the situation with the food?

When Zagnut was getting so sick, the recalls were just starting and everything said that the food he was eating wasn't included, but he had ALL of the symptoms. And they said dogs were mainly effected.

We called some government agency (the FDA I think)...I don't remember who, my husband may remember...but someone came to the house to interview us and took a bag of food to sample. We also took Zagnut's body, after we had him put down, to the vet school (UofM) for a necropsy. His organs were too damaged to determine the cause of death, but he was a healthy happy kitty one day and went downhill so fast and we truly feel it was from the food. We were more convinced when our other cat had to be put down with the exact same symptoms a few months later.

Plus, we never got a bill for anything. We believe the agency we contact picked up the bill. The necropsy was paid for by someone...it wasn't us.

Have you seen this site: http://www.petfoodclassaction.citymax.com/index.html

You may want to contact them. At least, get your story out so other people feeding Canidae can be aware of the risks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
So sorry for your loss....

Did you consult more than one vet about the potential link between the Canidae food and your dog's symptoms and ultimate death? If not, I would recommend obtaining his veterinary records and trying to find a vet who can confirm the link. It sure sounds like that would be the case. (Actually, get his vet records regardless, you may need them in case of a lawsuit)

I'm not sure if there is such a thing as a "canine nutritionist" but if there is I would consult one of those as well...

Certainly look into any law firms that are pursuing this matter. They likely already are working with a veterinarian who will confirm the link between the Canidae and the illnesses/deaths.

It is painful to consider, but perhaps a necropsy would help in determining cause of death?

Anytime a formulation is changed you are undoubtedly going to have some dogs who may have issues with the new ingredients.
"Issues" should not include severe illness leading to death.

Regardless if there is anything "wrong" with their new formula, the fact remains that consumers should have been made aware of the formula switch, both due to the fact that dogs must be weaned onto new food and because there are many dogs with food allergies. Canidae should be held liable for this, if nothing else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
179 Posts
What I'm reporting and what I've seen many other people report are first hand eyewitness accounts of the impact this food has had on their animals. That is not hearsay. The number and similarity of eyewitness reports that we have been seeing and continue to see even now are good evidence that there is a problem. That these reports seem to be from a minority of customers is a good thing, but I think it is absolutely absurd to say this is something we should undoubtedly expect and accept from a company that manufactures food for our pets. The fact that Canidae has apparently done nothing to address these complaints and their failure to even acknowledge the issue says a lot about their company.
MMABC, I am truly sorry that you had to put your dog down, I truly am.... We are all dog lovers here or we would be on this board. But the fact remains that to date there is no evidence that these illnesses are linked to the new Canidae food. No dogs have died that have been linked to eating Canidae. No matter what the circumstances may seem like, nothing has been proven yet.

I have no stake in Canidae and if it turns out that there was some food that was tainted or gone bad, I'll be the first to admit I am wrong. But the simple fact remains that if this was widespread from a simple reformulation, I would think you would be hearing about thousands of dogs becoming ill or dying. This just isn't happening. And I think that Canidae would not hesitate to pull the food off the shelves if they thought there was a chance that something was wrong. What company would want to commit suicide by allowing suspect food to remain on the shelves? Until proven otherwise, I have to believe they are doing everything possible to insure the food quality is good.

Sorry that's the way I feel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
I have no stake in Canidae and if it turns out that there was some food that was tainted or gone bad, I'll be the first to admit I am wrong.
I was actually just going to ask. Thank you for clarifying.

And I think that Canidae would not hesitate to pull the food off the shelves if they thought there was a chance that something was wrong. What company would want to commit suicide by allowing suspect food to remain on the shelves?
Honestly, I completely disagree. A company is not about to admit that there might be something wrong with their food, because that would be committing suicide. If they think they can continue to deny there is something wrong, they will.

Once a company has to do a recall, even if it's just one time, consumers will be leery to purchase that product, EVER.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
179 Posts
Honestly, I completely disagree. A company is not about to admit that there might be something wrong with their food, because that would be committing suicide. If they think they can continue to deny there is something wrong, they will.

Once a company has to do a recall, even if it's just one time, consumers will be leery to purchase that product, EVER.
I think the ramifications would be much worse if they knowingly kept suspect food on the shelves rather than voluntarily pulling it off. At least from a PR standpoint which one would seem worse to you? With the latter you will undoubtedly have some customers who won't return. Others may look at that as a sign that the company is doing the right thing and may return in time.

But I think you are sadly mistaken if you think Canidae is not taking steps to insure the food is safe and the quality is good. I suspect there has not been a volunteer recall because they have not found anything to warrant a recall. Things may change, who knows... But until then I for one am going to give them the benefit of the doubt because of their track record which has been a very quality product for a reasonable price.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
But I think you are sadly mistaken if you think Canidae is not taking steps to insure the food is safe and the quality is good.
If you are in no way affiliated with Canidae, how is it that you know what steps they are taking?

And why is it that nearly every thread on this forum seems to turn into a debate?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,240 Posts
There will always be debates because people have opinions.

If a food made for humans was suddenly made with peanuts and the company did not inform the public, there would be outrage. I don't think it's simply an issue of whether people gradually change to the new formula and that some dogs just can't tolerate it.

I don't know if, what and how the FDA regulates pet food but any changes in formulas should be tested thoroughly and approved by the FDA or another competent organization. This change should include informing the public before the change occurs and what change was made.

If you do contact Canidae, it would behoove them to do some research to see if their food is responsible. Yes it will hurt their reputation but doing nothing will permanently take the company down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
179 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
MMABC, I'm sorry for you loss, nothing can replace that.

Being a pet food store owner, I can share my experiences with Canidae and the procedures that Canidae asks us to follow.

Whenever a customer claims their dog as taken Ill to their food, they ask us to record the lot number and to send them a sample of the food or the entire bag, if it's available. They will also have a repersentative of the company come by to collect the sample or bag, if they have one in the area.

They take it seriously and test all claims to ensure the saftey of their products.

Fortunately, I only been through this process one time with Canidae and it turned out to be a non-related issue, confirmed by the owner.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top