In the 1970’s, a small Canadian producer anticipated the growth of private labels and began buying producers in the States until it was producing 91 different brands from the generics and house brands in Walmart to the expensive and supposedly better stuff from Iams and the like. Menu Foods then converted itself into a Canadian tax dodge called an income trust, where management has one goal – to reduce costs and increase distribution.

Then around March 10 2007, something went wrong: animals started getting sick and began dying all over North America. Menu Foods started feeding its food to its own animals. Nine died. It finally ordered a recall of sixty million cans or pouches.

The recall covered 42 brands of cat food and 53 brands of dog food. It involved products sold by some of the world’s biggest companies, including Nestlé (Purina), Procter & Gamble (Iams), Colgate-Palmolive Co. (Science Diet) and WalMart Stores Inc. (Ol’Roy and Special Kitty).”

Evidently the company had recently changed its suppliers of wheat gluten, a filler substitute for real meat. The gluten came from China, where they control rodents with a rat poison called aminopterin. Suddenly, almost every brand of wet pet food in North America was poisoned.

There were perhaps hundreds of dead pets and thousands of sick ones, with vet bills in the millions.

Several weeks later, Dr. Paul Herscu ND DHANP began hearing from different people across the country, saying their animals were sick and asking for his help.

Dr. Herscu relates the following:

“At first nothing seemed odd about it. The first case, a dog with vomiting, diarrhea, and a foamy vomit at the mouth, seemed very similar to another dog I had recently seen while teaching in Italy, who had the classic symptoms of liver/kidney failure or liver cancer. It turned out to be cancer that had affected the liver. I suggested for this new animal, based on the symptoms, Lycopodium, similar to the animal I had seen in Italy. I mentioned to the pet owner that the animal probably has liver damage of some sort and to check it out. In fact both liver enzymes and kidney readings were very high. Interestingly enough, this animal recovered quickly with the homeopathic treatment. There was nothing too unusual for me in this story yet. I often have vets that study with me call in special circumstances. What made it unusual was that this telephone call was followed by another and another, from different vets. I suspected something was afoot.

Soon after, the news broke about the possibility that rat poison, melamine, or maybe some other toxin, was in the food and it all began to make sense to me. I continue to have the opportunity to treat many of these animals, by assisting vets who have been bombarded with such cases. All the animals are doing well, except for one who is fighting for its life at the time of this writing. Its liver is fine now, though its kidneys are still damaged.

For those who have or treat animals that have eaten tainted food, here is what I have seen and here is what I would recommend:

  1. Most will not show many symptoms, will not experience a poisoning, i.e., will not have problems. This has to do with the fact that the level of toxin, versus the animal’s susceptibility, versus their original constitutional state is such that they just are not sensitive enough to the toxin, whatever it is, to make them sick. As a result of this, I predict that it will be found that even though many, many were exposed to the food/toxin; most in fact will be fine. As a result, after the level of concern drops, the numbers of injured will not be horrific, most likely in the couple of thousands. Mind you, one is too much.
  2. There are the animals that either had more exposure to the toxin, had a susceptibility to the toxin, or had a weakened enough constitution to begin with, that when they ate this food; it was enough to make them sick.(As in the dog that I mentioned above, that is fighting for its life, it had several chronic problems to begin with, even before this exposure.)
  3. I am sure there will be a small but real group of pets that fit in the category of those becoming ill. The problem of identifying this group is significant as the symptoms are so similar to chronic disease, such as liver failure, kidney failure, cancers in the major organs, that I believe that for many of these animals who were quite ill, it will just be assumed they were old and sick and the tainted food might not be considered. No tests will be done, and they will be forgotten. However, that does not mean that they were not sick, or sicker from the food/toxins.
  4. Of the animals that ate these foods and are exhibiting symptoms, what can we do for them?  Well… based on our previous discussions, we know that patients that get sick from the same stresser, share similar susceptibilities. What I have understood and shared with you in our discussions on provings, is that, they share a small similar number of constitutional states. This makes sense if you think about it for a moment.  Not all dogs will be the same. Even litter mates will have different symptoms and different temperaments. It is this difference that creates or allows for different susceptibilities, which then allows different stressers to effect some, but not all, exposed.
  5. What I have found is that of the animals that have gotten sick, those that were in a Lycopodium state or even near a Lycopodium state were the ones most susceptible. As a result, they enter into a true Lycopodium state, and experience symptoms that fit this particular remedy.
  6. If you can, please make sure the constitutional remedy is still working for your pet or for the pets of people you know. If it is, they are that much more protected. If not, but they look like they still need it, i.e., if they have renewed symptoms covered well and previously helped by their constitutional remedy, give a dose of the constitutional remedy. However, if they do not seem to fit their remedy any longer, and have moved toward Lycopodium, then that pet is susceptible to this epidemic if they eat the tainted food.
  7. Giving Lycopodium to these animals early enough, limits the damage and seems to help tremendously. This is true with both liver and/or kidney damage.
  8. If the symptoms progress and the animal declines before you have a chance to give this remedy, you may find that as they collapse, they enter either a Nux vomica, Arsenicum album, Phosphorus, or Veratrum album state.
  9. If after giving the Lycopodium, the liver symptoms decrease, enzymes diminish, but the kidneys still are damaged and become the main source of the problem, think about Apocynum which has helped a number of the animals I have consulted on.
  10. As they improve, they may certainly go back to their chronic state and may need a repetition of their constitutional remedy.

Hopefully, this short note has made sense thus far. To this I would add one more point. This is a one time piece of advice, used here, and should be used ONLY within the first weeks of exposure to the tainted pet food. If I had an animal living with me, and I knew for sure that it had eaten the food that seemed to be making other dogs sick, I would give my dog one dose of Lycopodium 30c, one time. Period. This is an animal who is strictly not sick. I believe it will afford the animal a certain level of protection. It has no side effects, no lasting effect, and will not hurt the animal, but may keep it from developing problems in the future.”

If your dog suddenly becomes ill and you suspect the cause may be tainted dog food, you might consider Dr. Herscu’s above protocol.  It may very well save your dog from acute or chronic liver and kidney disease.