While there is no confirmation (lot numbers) that this pet consumed the pulled Iams dog food due to elevated aflatoxin levels, this pet owner story does provide evidence that something seriously went wrong.  Her dog was eating Iams Lamb & Rice – the same size bag listed in the recent Price Chopper product pull notification.  Here’s the story…

Sometimes a pet food is ‘pulled’ from store shelves at the request of the manufacturer.  Sometimes a pulled pet food is removed because of potentially serious outcomes to the pets that would consume the food.  Product pulls are not an official recall (though many should be) and they are not meant for public notice (though all should be regardless of the reason).  The following is the story of one pet – Gavin – who is believed to have consumed the recently pulled Iams pet food.

From Shannon G.

“We rescued a Chug, Chihuahua/Pug mix named Gavin, at the end of August. The foster mom had him had been giving him Iams Lamb & Rice so we continued with it. The first time we bought the small bag and he was doing fine. Then when his food was low we bought the bigger sized bag, the “pulled” bag. At first I noticed subtle changes in him. He stopped initiating play on his own. He’d often go sleep in his crate rather than with us on the couch and occasionally vomited. Nothing to make me alarmed. But then about two weeks ago he stopped playing altogether and slept all the time, was vomiting more frequently, had loose stools and was very irritable. If you moved him or tried to pick him up he growled. And his gas and breath smelled the same, absolutely horrible. It was very alarming. Then he stopped eating.

I immediately took him to the vet. The vet examined him and couldn’t find anything wrong with him. He suggested his food might be the problem and that he may have a delicate system and suggested we switch. He gave us a couple of cans of Prescription I/D gastrointestinal to mix in with his food and suggested we switch to that for his dry food as well. He immediately started feeling better. That’s when I started doing some research on pet food and didn’t like what I was reading. So I gradually started transitioning him to XXX pet food. Within days he perked up, his coat is now soft and shiny and doesn’t feel like straw. He’s not hostile and doesn’t growl when we move him around. He’s like he was when we first got him in August. He’s back to initiating play and playing by himself. He’s energized again. As soon as I read about the Iams recall/product pull on your site, I immediately understood his behavior and sickness. My husband and I went through his food last night and dug the rest of the Iams out of it. There was still some mixed in from the transition. I can only hope that what he did eat didn’t cause him long term damage.

That’s my dog Gavin’s story.

Thank you Shannon for sharing your story.  We all hope Gavin recovers completely!

I have heard from several other very concerned pet owners who had been feeding the confirmed (they have the bags) pulled Iams pet foods.  All have agreed to keep me posted on the pets conditions (and I will update with any news).

Product pulls – without consumer notification – are bad.  I suggest to everyone – call or write your pet food manufacturer and inquire if they ever pull products from store shelves without consumer notice.  Encourage the company to initiate an email notification system that customers can register for to be alerted of any product pulls (Pet Food Recall First Alert).  If they don’t, well…you’ll have to make the decision if you are ok with the possibility of product pulls without your notice.  My guess is that Shannon would never again accept anything less for Gavin and her other pets.

Another note:  Please keep all pet food packaging (including cans) until the food is completely gone and you are certain your pet is not having any adverse reaction to the food.  Without the packaging, should a serious issue arise, the FDA will not investigate.  Report any and all adverse pet food events to the FDA (click here to do so online) and to your State Department of Agriculture.  Many States are very helpful and will test the pet food for you at no charge (and they will provide you with the results).