This month, we have been receiving dozens of emails from pet owners dealing with the loss or illness of their pets. There have been a few foods implicated but we’ll start with Waggin Train in this post. We also have plenty of affected dogs from other Purina products.
If you think your dog has been affected by tainted food, regardless of the brand, please contact us and we will post your story here.
He began eating the treats in mid November 2011, was very lethargic, dehydrated, throwing up, crying in pain, couldnt walk or stand anymore by mid February, drinking INSANE amounts of water and then going outside to urinate for about 2 minutes straight, umm, he was very shaky, his tongue had turned bright read and there was a horrible odor coming out of his mouth. The normal vet tested his blood and said he was dying of kidney failure and there was nothing they could do. Regardless i was referred to another hospital, i drove my dog 300 and some miles and $3500 later they said he was dying and there was nothing they could do. She asked me what he got into because its not normal. I had him euthanized the next day 2/24/2012.
I lost 2 beloved Shelties to PLN (kidney failure) – both were addicted to “Pet n Shape” treats – the chicken, sweet potato and lamb + more! Once I discovered that the treats are all made in China I called the company & spoke with the owner, Ahdee Abramson – who tried to reassure me that his factory has the highest standards, blah, blah, blah. Stay away from ALL their products! My Sheltie babies’ deaths nearly killed me! 🙁
My baby girl died from Canyon Creek Ranch Treats. I gave her that first deadly treat November 3rd 2011 she passed away November 18th 2011. These treats also sickened my 4 yrs old but she has recovered. RIP my baby girl…
Belle Brown..Sept. 1, 2003 to April 26, 2012..Died after a 4 week battle form Waggin Train Chicken Jerky poisoning. She fought to survive, but seizures did to much damage. Her liver had been enlarged, her pancreas infected, and her immune system was shutting down. After intensive care, she was eating again, and drinking, all bodily functions were returning to normal, then she had first seizure, and went down hill from there in Neurological functions. We put her to sleep day before yesterday. My husband and I, both fell in love with our “Sugar Plum fairy”
November 15, 2009 – August 21, 2011… Chopin was born in our house and was the fourth of five babies. He only weighed 2.4 ounces when he was born and we were so happy that he survived. When he was 10 weeks old he had an intussusception, which is a clogging of the intestines. Happens to puppies and kitties when they ingest rubber bands or other stringy objects. We went to the emergency hospital for pets and he made it through… three days within the hospital and $5,000 later… but we were already so attached to him that we just put it on our credit cards. We were in love with this smart little boy. My husband is a concert pianist and composer and Chopin quickly decided that he’d like to be a musician as well. He played the piano all day… and even when we asked him to. He grew up to be the most amazing little boy! We have four other cats: Wazoo (Chopin’s mommy) Bubu, Xena and Six-Toes. In early July of 2011 I bought the Catswell (Dogswell) Chicken Jerky treats and Chopin just loved and devoured them all. Wazoo ate a few as well but not as many. The other cats didn’t like it. Wazoo and Chopin got sick immediately but we didn’t put 2 + 2 together at that time. Neither Wazoo nor Chopin wanted to eat. The only thing Chopin did not reject where those chicken treats – and I gave it to him… not knowing that this was the reason for his illness. I just was happy that he was eating something…. We went to the vet many, many times and both cats were in bad shape. Wazoo recovered, however, Chopin passed away a month later due to kidney and liver failure. We were completely heartbroken. He was our baby and his death was so senseless. I put together a video for him: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOE1d31n_6Y
Chicken jerky treats were not on my list of usual dog treats that I would buy. However, I did buy them once last fall for my beagle pup to try. She was about 10.5 months old at the time. I gave her 1 or sometimes 2 per day. She became very very sick for a few days. Vomiting and severe diarrhea were her main symptoms. The poor little thing would shake so bad at times. She was so sick, it broke my heart. I took her to the vet unaware that the jerky treats could be the problem. The vet wasn’t sure what was wrong with her. She did recover only because the jerky treats ran out and I hadn’t any more to give her. Like I said earlier, they were not something I regularly bought, thank goodness. At the time I did not make the connection between her sickness and these treats. I am now 100% certain they are the cause. She hasn’t had any more of these treats since and she hasn’t been sick since. I now make my own treats for her.
This is my baby girl Daisy…She was eating the chicken jerky treats because she is on a grain free diet and I thought that they would be better for her. She was at the vet’s three times with severe diarrhea and vomiting…the vet could not figure out what was wrong with her. He just keep giving her medicine for parasites..even though he couldn’t find any!!! I switched her food even though both were high end grain free foods and nothing helped!!! Finally I was sent a link telling me about these treats…I was horrified and stopped giving them to her immediately and in a few weeks there was a complete difference!!! I told my vet and told him to warn everyone. I went back to pet smart and demanded a refund…the manager gave me one but told me that I had the wrong information…the treats only harmed dogs if you were using them as there primary food!!!! Needless to say I had a few things to say about that!!! I now give her the 100% beef liver pro treats that are made in the USA…Thank-you soooo much for letting me know about this and I will continue to tell everyone I can!!!
My 12 yr old beagle is one of the FDA documented cases…and survivors. I cannot guarantee it will help everyone’s dog, but thought I would share what we did & why we think he got better. Should note that it took a long time (over a week of testing for cancers) to diagnos the problem and in that time he was losing litres of blood & urine because of kidney failure. He was no longer walking. We would lift him up and clean up the blood/urine off his coat & move him to a new bed. Several thousand in vet bills but today, he is alive & very healthy. When he first got sick I immediately quit feeding him anything other than brown rice & chicken. I had to blend it & put it in a horse syringe & force feed it. I did the same thing with a gatorade/water mix to keep him from becoming dehydrated. The docs had him on the strongest antibiotics and pain pills he could take for his size. In this photo, it looks like he is hugging that stuffed baby. I actually pulled the stuffing out and put bags of ice in it to cool his temperature. Like I said, I cannot guarantee any of this is what helped him, but thought it was worth sharing.
We lost two of our five beloved Pugs. Both had kidney failure. Our vet just chalked one up to being “old” and the other one up to “a birth defect”….but she never did any extensive testing, just one simple blood test…continuously. Makes me wonder about the integrity of some vets and their relationships with the companies. We have since switched vets and have not had any problems. The Waggin Train chicken treats used to be one of my Pugs’ favorites, along with the Canine Carryouts chicken flavored ones. I have a feeling this was what was wrong…little Spud was only 2. I do not have a picture of my little Spud, but this is Samantha and we dearly miss her.
Our sweet 4-year-old Frenchie, Mia, died suddenly last November after suffering an overnight bought of severe diarrhea. Now I know it was brought on by eating this crap that they’ve known about for years but still sell to unsuspecting consumers! Our sweet baby showed us nothing but love and I couldn’t do anything to save her life. I feel so guilty.
Cupcake and Ginger
Our beloved babies, Cupcake and Ginger, are now angels. Cupcake was only 5 years old and Ginger was 12. Both of them were as happy and healthy as they were as puppies. They both suffered for months and finally died after being fed Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky treats.
We got Ginger when I was in kindergarten. She was a birthday present for me, but immediately became the entire families. I grew up with her. I don’t remember anything before she became part of our family. A few years later, my little sister, Abbey, came home from elementary school with a stocking she made in class. She had written the word “Cupcake” on the top and hung it on the fireplace next to ours. My mother asked her why she had a stocking with Cupcake on it and Abbey said “I’m asking Santa for a corgi named Cupcake for Christmas.” That was all she wanted. My sister did not wake up to a puppy that Christmas, but “Santa” left a stuffed corgi for her. The next year, Abbey hung the stocking next to ours. Again, she didn’t get a puppy that year. Instead she got a robot dog named Cupcake. Finally, the fourth time Abbey asked for Cupcake for Christmas, my mother couldn’t stand to see Abbey’s face on Christmas morning without a puppy. She found only one female corgi in the paper and my parents brought her home. I will never forget that beautiful puppy with a big red bow around her neck. We were in total glee when we met our precious Cupcake for the first time. She also immediately became the “toddler of the family”.
Ginger and Cupcake were spoiled with love. They were the Queens of the house! They loved Dingos treats and had one, only one, every night. One day we ran out of dingos and sent my dad to the store to buy a bag. Unfortunately, dingos were out of stock. He couldn’t come home empty handed, the dogs would be very upset if they didn’t have their nightly treat. So he brought home a bag of Waggin’ Train’s Chicken Jerky treats. Claiming to be tasty and healthy, they seemed like a good choice for our beloved pets.
Both of them started to show the warning signs around September/October. They didn’t even get to eat any turkey on Thanksgiving! The vet fought hard for cupcake, but after extensive treatment, there was nothing else they could do. Cupcake came home on December 5th to spend the night so we could say goodbye. On December 6th, my 18th Birthday, I carried her into the vet and that was the last time any of us saw her. Our Christmas angel was not there that Christmas. Ginger kept looking for Cupcake for weeks. You could see the sadness in her eyes. Sadly, Ginger was taken to the vet after she started having seizures. Without proper vet care, she passed away in January. Waggin’ Train took the lives of angels, and it’s just not right.
I was giving my 9 year old female schnauzer these treats for a few month prior to her illness. Her creatine levels started to rise when we took her in for a blood test. She developed full kidney shutdown and she died shortly after. I later went on the Internet to search how just months ago she was in perfect health and then she came down with this deathly illness so quickly Then I came across this alert about wagon train that made me sick to my stomach and still am My dog was poisoned by this product I purchased this product at Costco never thinking to question their quality control They should be ashamed of themselves for retailing such a hideous and dispicable product like this I vowed never to shop at Costco Had this product not been available at the onslaught of this controversy that they were fully aware, my precious Dina would still be alive
On 3/4/12 my two yr old Lhasa- ShihTzu-Papillon mix male dog died when his heart stopped. Blood tests showed us he was in renal failure, liver and pancreas also failing. He had not been sick a day in his short life.
On Wednesday my husband gave our four dogs their normal treat. I piece of Waggin Train chicken jerky tenders per dog. There were only 2 decent pieces left in the bag, Tweek and Robby were the first there, first served. Tashi and BJ had to wait for a new bag to be opened. By Thursday BJ & Tashi were’t eating. BJ climbed up next to me a few times and he was trembling. BJ and his mom were drinking more water than normal.Sometime between 11PM Thursday and 4AM Friday, Tashi and BJ began vomiting. They were both lethargic, Tashi stopped vomiting mid morning but BJ kept it up all day. The vet said bring him in the next day if it kept up. Saturday AM he was a very sick doggie. Blood was taken, x-rays were taken. He could walk, but very slowly for short distances. mostly he just layed on the ottoman drooling excessively. He had stopped vomiting because of meds the vet gave him and he was keeping 2oz of water down every 15 minutes I’d feed him.
The next morning the vet called with the news, he was very critical, bring him in so they could keep him for care. They would start in IV and give him some meds. I was told not to expect a good outcome. They were taking his blood pressure, hadn’t started the IV when he crashed. CPR was given to no avail. His little heart just stopped. On Wednesday I had an active, healthy dog who romped and played with his brother, mom and dad. He was our class clown. Bigger than his brother, but sweet and gentle. He loved to snuggle. he was my husbands velcro dog, son autistic son’s comfort dog. he was timid, afraid of fireworks & thunder. He lived for carrots & lettuce snacks…and his daily Waggin train. I have no doubt that the Waggin Train killed him. his momma recovered thank heavens! But the other two never even got sick?? I think some bags are tainted, some not. Some pieces worse than others in a bag. I also think the FDA knows the problem. I submitted a report…it went missing. I submitted another report, this time kept a copy, it went missing. I submitted a thirrd and it seems to have stayed BUT no one ever contacted me. I keep the murder weapon in a cool dark place. Hate having that bag in my home. Someone has to stop this insanity!!
One of our four dogs, our four year old standard poodle, is just recovering from extreme liver toxicity. The vet said it was a form of botulism. She was vomiting and having diarrhea. She was on an IV for 3 days at the vet.
She threw up the chicken jerky first. I didn’t realize that it is made in China and had no idea of the problems people are experiencing.
She is much better now but still not perfect. It has taken over a week to get her back on track!
Please beware of these!!
My name is Joanne Gombrich. I have four dogs and foster also. Last summer my dogs started having diarrhea. I took them all to the vet at a cost of over $500. The vet ran tests but everything came up negative so she thought it was just colitis and gave everyone antibiotics and had me give them only boiled chicken and rice for breakfast and dinner. It never occurred to me that the Waggin Train chicken jerky treats could be a problem. After almost a month of antibiotics and chicken and rice and no real change I took in a foster dog. When I first got him he was fine. No diarrhea at all. After a couple of days I noticed he started getting diarrhea. Sine he was getting chicken and rice along with the other dogs it finally dawned on me the only other thing it could be was the chicken jerky treats they were eating. I stopped feeding them the treats and sure enough, within a couple of days the problem was getting better and within a week everyone was fine. I told the vet about this and she advised me I should let the company know as well as the FDA. I did call Waggin Train and the woman on the phone said they did not know of any problem with the treats but they would refund the purchase price of the bag I had when I stopped using them. I did receive a check in the mail about a week later for the full purchase price. I’m thankful that my dogs are ok now but still angry that this happened.
I can’t even express how happy I am to have found you all and to now know I’m not alone in my pain and the devastating situation I have been going through. My most adored 3 year old Yorkie, Bella, became extremely ill during the second week of February after consuming Wagging Train chicken jerky. I took her to the hospital and my sweet girl was diagnosed with acute kidney failure and was on her deathbed. I was beyond inconsolable, shocked, heartbroken, baffled…..the list could go on and on. My little Bella was in the hospital for over a week fighting for her life. The hospital staff was kind enough to allow me to spend every single day in the hospital room next to her crying and praying. Somehow, and sadly in the company I am in, I am actually one of the more fortunate ones so far and Bella continues to fight through this horrific ordeal. I am beyond traumatized and didn’t think I had any tears left until I found this group. Your stories and words have touched my heart and soul and I cannot really express in words the sorrow I feel. I will do everything I can to fight for our loved ones. I am working on getting the word out spoke with a major local news station here in San Fran today. I send much love to all of you and your babies!
I had to put my dog down on Thursday. Vet said she developed a tumor on her Spleen/Liver. I just read a few minutes ago that the Waggin Train Jerkey treats from Costco may be tainted ? I’ve given those to Chewie daily for a few years now. She got at least 2 a day. Is it possible that this is what caused her Tumor ? I’m so sick about the possibility right now !!
Chewie was 12 and was very active up until the last six months she slowed down quite a bit. Just the past month or less she started throwing up daily and she wouldn’t eat much. She stopped eating last weekend. Vet on Tuesday said her red cell count was low and did the ultrasound. By Thursday she was no longer drinking and was shaking so I knew she was suffering.
In the last 2 wks we have had 2 of our dogs to the vets office. One had a bacterial infection in her intestine and the other has been at a vet hospital since last Thursday. She is in renal failure and they are trying to bring her out of it. We believe that it is due to some chicken jerky treats that we bought for the them. They said that she had anywhere from a couple of 2-10 months to live depending on how bad the kidney damage is that she has.
I lost my dog RJ on Sunday 3/11/12. He got sick about a month ago and I took him to the emergency vet. After spending about $900 on vet bills he was put on a antibiotic and steroid treatment. He was almost 99% back to his old self when he suddenly died (was fine an hour before). He was wagging his tail and happy go lucky then walked into the bedroom laid down and died. We were in shock, wondering what we did wrong or what we didn’t see.
We had received a free sample of Waggin Train jerky treats in our Purina Beneful dog food about a week before RJ first got sick and again a few days before he died. We had last given him a treat that night before. He was tired all the time, drinking excessively and very dehydrated when we took him to the vet where they told us he had some kind of infection, possible fungal, his kidney’s were not functioning properly and his white cell counts were elevated. Never in our minds did we think a dog treat inside what we thought was a trusted Brand of dog food would end up killing our precious Rj. Today we mourn our beloved sweet puppy and pray that our other dog (RJ’s sister) who has never been separated from her brother in the 5 years of life does not die from a broken heart. I have left a message for the FDA to call me back as I got nothing but voice mail today when I called and hope they take action soon so no one else has to go thru the pain of losing a beloved pet. RIP Sweet RJ sadly missed by mommy, daddy, Hammy, Mapu and Murphee! : (
Riley passed away on 9-19-11 at the age of 9. I gave him Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Jerky treats every day for a few months. Then he became sick very fast. The vet tried numerous rounds of antibiotics as well as prednisone but he only got worse. The vet said to me are you sure he didnt get into anything toxic? Like ALOT of something? Riley was never out of my site, no. Then I found the articles on the jerky. I have so much guilt. How did I not know about this? I fed him premium food, no table food, researched everything. I thought they were natural and would be good for him. I was so wrong. This is so painful bringing it all up again, but I hope this group can save dogs lives by making dog owners aware of this and make a difference.
Sammie’s death I just can’t get over!!! Sacha my boxer passed away Nov 13th at 13 years 8 months (Boxers normally live 9-11 years) Rudy my Doberman passed away Dec 27th 2007 4 months short of his 14th b/day (Dobermans normally live 8-10 years) Well Sammie was 1/2 Boxer, 1/2 Doberman…. I thought she would be w/us for 17 years!!! Sacha and Rudy never ate Chicken Jerky and ate Dog Chow (a 2** food)!!! I bought chicken jerky for the 1st time for Sammie because they were 100% Chicken!!! And she only ate Orijen dog food (all organic human grade, made in Alberta Canada 6****** food)…. And she’s dead at 3 1/2!!!! She was spoiled… She ate rapini and carrots… she never picked anything up off the floor!!!!! My heart is totally broken!!!!
My little girl Sassy passed away 1/27/12. She loved the chicken jerky treats. I took her to the vet because she was sick, next thing we know the vet is telling my husband and I that she was dying of kidney failure. After she passed, he did an autopsy and sent her kidneys to Texas A & M where the testing showed her kidneys failed from toxins. Our baby is gone.
I purchased a bag of Waggin Train Jerky Tenders from Sam’s club lot number w1ca5291a- My dog is fighting for her life- She began vomiting and foaming at the mouth 30 minutes after eating the treat. 24 hours later her temperature was 105 F and she has been fighting for her life for the past 5 days. He white blood cell count dropped to 1000. She has been on IV’s ever since. She is not eating or drinking and can barely walk.
I have the bag in case my dog dies – I am going to sue the company.
Venus at the time age 2 joined our family on 10-09-04. My daughter Kayla wanted to get a dog she could show in 4-H and AKC. (She had the most breath taken gait/prance when she went into the ring). We rescue her from a life of living in a kennel outside day and night to a happy life inside. She was our spoiled Pretty Princess!
It all started on Tuesday November 22, 2011
I’ve been watching this reality show Extreme couponing and thought hey I’ll give it a try. My local grocery store had these double coupon offers so with my coupons in hand I went out to find these great specials/deals. They had a store special going on buy 2 Milo’s kitchen Jerky dog treats and get one free. Next to the Jerky bags was an instant coupon for $2 off. Wow what a great find! I also hada coupon for $1 off plus my double coupon. I could get 3 bags of treats for my babies for less than a $1. Normally I don’t buy doggie treats (they only getcheese or green beans) but with this great sale I thought I would give them areal special treat. After all, it said Home-style dog treats 100% Real, No artificial flavors or color and created by people who love dogs. Well only 3 bags left on the shelf 2 beef and 1 chicken (it looked like everyone else found this wonderful sale too!) I grabbed them and off I went (so proud of my find)
Over the next few days my daughter (Kayla) got a new puppy and was working/training with him. We have 3 other dogs and they have been in dog 4-H and they all know what they get when they hear a command/call (treats) especially Venus she is eager to please and shows off what she knows! So when Kayla was working with her puppy Buck, Venus was right there too. Wanting treats! Now the amount she was giving them was quiet small, the size of a dime.(Total consumed over the 3 day period not even a whole chicken Jerky strip!
By Saturday night November 26, Venus started vomiting. At first I thought oh she must have ate her food too fast. But as the night went on she continued vomiting and she couldn’t seem to get enough water. As quick as she was drinking she was vomiting. I stayed up all night with her! The look in her face just about killed me! It was like she was saying “Mommy I’m sorry for the mess I’m making, please help me”. I felt helpless!
Throughout the night Venus must have vomited at least 20 times, drank excessive amounts of water and wanted to stay outside in the pouring down rain. I had to force her back inside. If you knew Venus; you would have known she hates rain and the dark more than anything and WOULD NEVER go outside for any length of time!
Sunday November 27th 8:00 am, I called Kayla and told her something was wrong with Venus. She recalled seeing a FDA warning ather work about Chicken Jerky treats from China she told me to check out the package. Sure enough the package said made in CHINA I look up the FDA warning and Venus had all the same signs. I called a Veterinarian right away and told her what has happening. Sunday November 27, 11:00 am, I brought Venus in to the Vet. They were going to run some tests, then put her on IV fluids and said they would be keeping her overnight to try to stabilize her.
By 2:00 pm, Venus started vomiting bloody fluids after drinking large amounts of water!
Monday November 28, I got a call from the Doctor that Venus passed away sometime in the middle of the night. She said there was a lot of blood in and around the cage, she bleed from her nose and mouth!
The test results showed similar to toxin poison with sudden kidney failure. My Vet said it’s like she had gotten into rat poison or antifreeze. My respond, that’s not possible!
Venus was a very healthy 9 year old Australian Shepherd (inside dog). She did not like to go outside when it was raining, she was a scared of the dark and there is no such poison at our house that she could have gotten into such as rat poison or antifreeze. We have a fenced in backyard mini farm with goats and sheep; so we use the good old fashion mouse traps and the safe environment /animalfriendly antifreeze (except my husband hadn’t done our cars yet).
The only Poison Venus got was from the Milo’s Chicken Jerky Treats Made in China . I asked her to please report this to the FDA, she did and so did I.
Everyone, it’s not just one brand of Chicken Jerky Treat, it’s all brands Made inChina. Please read the front and back of the treat packages look for Made in China. DO NOT BUY THESE. It is not worth it!
With the lost of Venus I have guilt and at times I feel like it’s my fault. Why didn’t I hear about the FDA warnings? If only someone would of told me! They say it’s not my fault, but the thoughts still keep coming. Crazy thing is, just days before my purchase of these treats our 4-H club was making homemade doggie cookies and treats as a fundraiser.
Our other dogs seem to be alright at this point, but we have been told to take them in to get them tested for any Kidney problems.
My Daughter Kayla and I are very much into 4-H and we are trying to spread the word about Chicken Jerky Treat made in China. Sometimes people listen, sometimes not, Stores might take them off their shelves, but by the next week they are back up there. Everyone I see with a dog or who is looking at pet treats; I talk to and give them a flyer. Sometimes I get this look, like I’m crazy and that’s ok. I will keep talking and handing out flyers until something is done!
If your furbaby is sick, take them in right away! Find a knowledgeable doctor; make sure they communicate with you throughout your furbabies visit. Most important is, if your baby has to stay overnight ask them, will someone be there throughout the night! I thought Venus was in good care, but the fact is I only received information after Venus died. Venus died sometime between November 27, 2011(after 8pm) and before 8 am November 28, 2011 with NO ONE BY HER SIDE.
I’m so sorry Venus, we love and miss you! “You were our Pretty Princess”.
Started with decreased activity over a period of days but eating and drinking. I came home to get her for Vet appointment and her left eye was very bloodshot….never saw anything like it. Vet diagnosed her with roundworms, gave her a dewormer and sulfa and we went home. Vomiting with some blood the next day. Exteme amount of blood in both eyes…back to the Vets. Ran a cbc…nothing to abnormal but dehydrated…saw a retinal hemorrhage, assumed a Dcon ingestion in spite of my not owning any and having a fenced yard. IV fluids, med for nausea antibiotics and sent home.
Vitamin K injection and oral Vitamin K. She grew worse Saturday, vet told me to be patient! By Monday I knew she was dying…back to vets….BUN/CREATININE off the charts…in complete renal failure…still no diagnosis. IV’s, pain meds, antibiotics. I took her home on IV’s and she died in our arms. Necropsy showed significant renal lesions, severe mineralization of all organs, complete organ failure. FDA testing food and I have sent her kidney to Michigan State for further testing.
No chicken jerky…..was so careful what I fed her…or so I thought Purina One Food…the only dog that had it out of my three. I suspect they have over-formulated the Vitamin D as her necropsy was very conclusive and there are no other answers. Purina One Smartblend Chicken and Rice dry…my big dogs ate it and no issues. Lamb and Rice canned….only she ate it!
Purina One Canned Lamb and Rice. She also ate the kibble Smartblend Chicken and Rice but so did my other dogs but they weigh 80 pounds.
My dog has been eating Milos Kitchen Chicken Jerky Treats. I thought these were made in the US as their other treats are (I checked the labels) as I’ve already lost a dog two years ago with the ingredient in the dog food Nutro. It killed her. Now I have to take Taylor in to the Vet Thursday to have her urine and blood checked. She’s been vomiting. I am devastated. I am very ill and cannot handle this happening again. I just feel like crying. I could not bear losing another family member. Taylor is all I have and she means everything to me. Thank you for allowing me to join this group. I’ll read more later, very ill right now.
My father died last year after he died I took in his dog on the way over to bring me the dog my brother bought a bag of Waggin Train Chicken Jerky treats for her, my 10 year old pug Chansey never ate them before, after a few weeks I sent the other dog back to my Mother and got more of those treat because Chansey liked them, in November she became ill so I took her to the vet, blood test were taken and two days later we got the call she was in kidney failure, after a kidney flush that day she got worse so we decided to put her down we just thought it was because of her age, one week later our friends gave us a mix breed puppy Penny who went to the vet 3 days before she came into my home and was health, on 12/31/11 I seen the FDA warning flash on AOL about the treats I grab my bag called the vet and dropped the bag and warning off to the vet and on 1/ 3/12 the vet called and said he believed I was right it all fit, on that call I told the vet about the puppy and I had given her some treats before I seen the warning and that night I filed a claim with Waggin Train and told them about the puppy, on 1/5 I came home to a sick puppy the next day the vet ran test and her kidney were worse then Chansey, she was rushed to the animal hospital and stayed 5 days and today she’s still recovering, between the two I have over $4000.00 in bills on 1/9 the claims for Waggin Train told me they could offer me something but it would be no where what we had in bills and as for the pug because she was 10 her value was down and last week since the FDA can’t find it the company is taking all offers for everyone off the table, they feel if they pay people off they’ll admitting guilt and they won’t do that. The FDA can’t make the companies do a recall because it’s only dog food but if it was people food they would. I emailed everyone and the Senator was the first of two who stepped up to help the families. If it was one dog I would say I didn’t know but I had the two who were different breeds, ages and ate different foods, the only thing in common was the treats and because the news ran stories more victims from the Cleveland area seen the story and now they think that’s what happen to their pets.
First of all, Waggin Train and one other China made treats were the only treats I fed my dogs.
On Dec. 16, 2010, my older (15yrs.) dachshund, Shellbie, started getting sick. She had severe diarrhea, vomitting, and urination. Most of this was inside the house. Being fairly active for 15 yrs.old, we thought maybe she had eaten something bad out in the yard, etc. This went on for about 3 hrs. and when it came time for bed, I put her in her bed and covered her up. After about 5 minutes, she was out of the bed throwing up. I put her back in bed and after about 10 min., I heard something like a thrashing sound. I turned on the light and she was shaking violently, after a few seconds, it would stop, then start up again. She apparently was having really bad seizures, something that she never had before. We decided to get ready and take her to the emergency vet, which is about an hour away. Before we could get her there, she passed away in her mommie’s arms. It was really sad and we could not figure out what caused all of this.
On Nov. 16, 2011. My 1 yr. old dachshund (Annie) got severly sick with diarrhea, vomitting, frequent urination, lethargy, constant staring, confusion, and she just wouldn’t leave my side. After trying to make her as comfortable as possible, we went to sleep, although I didn’t get much sleep. I just kept waking up to make sure she was alive…scary. In the morning she seemed fine..playing, eating, etc. We figured she too ate something bad. She was fine for about 2 weeks, then she got sick again..same symptoms. In the morning, I took her to the vet and after a thorough checkup and complete blood work up, the test results showed that her liver enzymes were elevated. The vet put her on a restricted diet and meds for the diarrhea and nausea. She still is recovering, having the liver enzymes checked routinely. On her last visit, the numbers came down some, but still on the high side.
A few days later, I read an article on the MSN newspage re: the FDA warning about the chicken jerky treats killing and making dogs ill. Upon reading this and comparing symptoms of what my dogs had, I came to the conclusion that these treats were the cause of the problems I was having with my dogs.
I immediately went to Waggin Train’s FB page and started to read the posts of other dog parents. It was then I knew that these treats were the cause. I stopped feeding the treats and all treats made in China. Since then, Annie has been doing pretty good, except for the liver enzymes. She goes in next week to be tested again. Hopefully the numbers have declined again.
After Annie’s visit to the vet yesterday (2/23/12), her liver recheck was not good. Her enzyme levels are creeping back up again and the vet is concerned. She put Annie on medication and she is to have bloodwork done in a month. If the numbers aren’t better, then it’s off to see a specialist in Pittsburgh. I started feeling better when her numbers starting coming down. Now I am ever so upset and worried again.
Over the last few months of 2011, our 9 year-old Sampson was becoming lethargic, less active, eating less and urinating a lot. This was so unusual for this very active and healthy fox terrier. I really started thinking that something might be wrong during the holidays. I took him to the veterinarian in mid-December, and he was diagnosed with an infection of his anal sacs, and he took antibiotics for the prescribed time. At his re-check it was not completely healed so he was going to take different antibiotics.
However, within a few days, he lost his appetite completely and did not even want to go for his walks! I took him to the vet again on 01/05/2012 – I thought maybe he had a toothache because he was now just nosing his food away.
In fact, he never ate again.
The doc said his teeth were fine, and he took blood tests. They revealed shocking levels of phosphorous and creatinine, and other levels that indicated imminent kidney failure. He first tried to treat him for Addison’s Disease, with no results. For the next 8 days, he had IV fluids all day, and then I took him home at night. His blood work never improved enough for him to be out of the woods. He threw up often, bile, then mucus and blood clots. The last time that he vomited when there was anything in it (on 01/05/2012); there were hard pieces of partially digested material. I saved those pieces to show to the vet, and we thought they seemed like plastic, and he said that wouldn’t be the cause.
By Monday morning, the levels moved slightly in the right direction. That was the last good news – they never got any better. He still had zero food, and now, no water at all. On Tuesday morning, we watched our local Fox 8 News. They showed The Thaxton family from nearby talking about how their dog had died, and they held up the bag of (death) treats that they were blaming. The very SAME treats that we gave Sampson!! And, the very SAME symptoms! After learning about the danger of Chicken Jerky treats from China, specifically Waggin’ Train, I realized that that is what the pieces were in his vomit! Those are the exact treats that I had been giving him for months; in fact it was one of the few things he wanted to eat (when he was still eating).
I printed research take to our vet and told him about the vast amount of evidence supporting my suspicions. Although he was very interested, he was not confident to say that they were definitely the toxin that made Sam sick, but simply said the cause was most certainly acute renal failure from some kind of poisoning. He is also agreeable to submitting any reports needed. He later gave me the complete records, including blood work.
I contacted Candace Thaxton, the pet parent I had seen on the news, and she pointed me to the FaceBook group. She brought me into this group of amazing advocates for pets. I begged for help, but there was none to be had. I called Waggin Train. They asked questions, and if I had the bag. I didn’t know at that time (I later found out that I do). They said there was a warning printed on the back ABOUT HOW MANY TREATS ARE RECOMMENDED! Really? Really? I knew I’d better hang up. I had higher priorities – I was still hoping to save his life, and I knew they would not help.
Every day, he got weaker, He was so sad, depressed, and so sick. The last few days, he kept trying to find a place to hide. He hardly responded to us – as if he didn’t know us. He was in pain, his tail tucked under, his ears flattened and oh, the look in his eyes; so trusting, so yearning, so confused. It was agonizing.
By Thursday evening I knew we had to make a decision. So, Friday the 13th, 2011 was the day. I thought maybe he could make it through the weekend, but after his IV fluids all day, with no improvement, the family went to the vet’s office to say goodbye. Hehad suffered enough. He died in my arms. I’m so sorry Sampson, so sorry.
Charlie was the love & light of our lives from September 02, 1998 (the day we rescued him) until Sunday, January 29th, 2012 when he died in our arms at home after a week of being very sick & hospitalization. Here’s his story:
On September 2, 1998, we found wandering in our neighborhood a very neglected & abused young Beagle. He was in such bad shape that we barely recognized him as a puppy. He was suffering from Mange, had no hair (his entire body was covered in nothing but scab), was starved almost to death with shoulder, hip & rib bones sticking out & his tummy blowing out like a balloon, then collapsing on his pitiful ribs with every breath he took. We brought him home & made a bed for him in a box with food & water, which he would not touch, then cried a sleepless night with him as he turned in circles, crying like a baby in pain.
We took him to a local vet the 1st thing the following morning. The entire vet staff was shocked when they saw him & questioned us over & over about where he came from, where we found him, being suspicious that we had owned him & allowed him to get in to the condition he was in through neglect. It took some tears & persuasion on our part before they finally believed us. The vet estimated him to be about 6-8 weeks of age & began testing & treating him for Mange, worms & an intestinal parasite, Coxidia, which he told us would have killed him within another day or two had we not found him & brought him in when we did.
Months of treatments & love began to get the dog, who we would name Charles Everett Craig, Charlie for short, to a healthy, happy state. Shortly in to this care, Charlie began losing his baby teeth & then our vet realized he was actually around 6-8 months, instead of weeks old. That is how underdeveloped he was to start with. The vet eventually told us on a routine visit one day months later that he was absolutely amazed at how Charlie had come such a long way & confided in us that he & the other doctors on the staff had originally believed his chances for pulling through & surviving the condition he was in when we first found him looked grim. But Charlie was a tough little cookie!
Charlie grew up to be the most wonderful dog you could ever be lucky enough to know in your lifetime. We grew to love him so much that our entire world revolved around him. He was absolutely adorable cute, had such a sweet temperament, exceedingly smart, faithful & very loyal to us, and full of love, as we were to him, too.
We were always concerned that Charlie had such a rough start & worried what health issues may arise during his life stemming from the neglect he had endured as a puppy. His immune system had been seriously compromised & we knew it. Like many dogs, he would occasionally get an upset tummy, eat grass, then throw up. Then he would be fine again. Amazingly, the years went by & Charlie never developed any further serious issues until we he developed a Grade 2 Mast Cell tumor inside his back left thigh, which was diagnosed March 6, 2007. Dr. Scott Gables (then with Animal Care Center in Mt. Juliet, TN, but partnered with Dr. Nicole Harris & opened their own practice, VetMed Animal Health in Mt Juliet several years ago) surgically removed the tumor & set up a 6 months protocol of Chemotherapy, which Charlie completed the following September. Charlie was also diagnosed with Pancreatitis about a week after his cancer diagnosis that March after eating a piece of shrimp & getting very sick. We were very careful with his diet after that & made sure he didn’t get in to anything he shouldn’t have. At that point, we began seriously researching healthy foods & changed from Science Diet (which we had previously believed to be good quality food until educating ourselves to know better) to Blue Buffalo. Charlie recovered from the Pancreatitis attack, kicked the cancer against all odds & once again showed how tough a little doggie he was. He regained his health & strength & again was a happy & energetic dog. He was a 5 year cancer survivor when kidney failure took him from us on January 29, 2012.
Charlie was fed Canyon Creek Ranch duck tenders as a treat the last several months of his life. He would get one & sometimes 2 narrow strips with dinner in the evenings. We thought it was healthy, made in the USA jerky. Then, we started noticing a few months ago that he was having occasional bouts of a “gurgly” sounding gut, eating grass & throwing up, also passing smelly gas. Considering his history of Pancreatitis, we believed it to be related & so did our vet, but we couldn’t figure out why it would be flaring up again. We started giving him Prilosec when it would happen & it seemed to help. He would usually return to normal & seemingly felt well, but then it would turn around days or a week later & occur again. The frequency of these bouts seemed to gradually increase. We did notice he seemed to be consuming a lot more water than in the past, too.
On Saturday, January 21, 2012, Charlie began throwing up during the middle of the night, on the bed, on the floor, etc. He had never gotten sick in the house before. He had a pet door & could go in & out of the house in to our fenced back yard as he desired, so for him to not be able to control it, we felt he was really very sick. The vomiting continued on & off through most of the following day (Sunday) & he would not eat, but continued drinking a lot of water. We considered taking him to an emergency vet, since our vet’s office is closed on Sundays. We gave him Prilosec. Finally, I cooked him chicken & rice with broth (which always seemed to work when he would get an upset tummy) & he ate that evening & held it down. He seemed to fell better afterward & slept good that night. He still seemed okay on Monday except that he wouldn’t eat his breakfast. Over the last several months, he went from eating twice daily to only wanting to eat in the evenings on some days. We thought he was just getting older & less active & didn’t need to eat as much any more. We also didn’t notice any weight loss. Looking back, we now feel guilty that we brushed off symptoms as normal aging, his historically volatile tummy, etc when we should have recognized something more was going on. Anyway, he ate Monday evening, seemed okay & slept well. He always slept in bed with us.
Early Tuesday (the following morning), Charlie seemed to be in distress shortly after he got out of bed. He would lie down, then jump up & go in circles, doing some whimpering. He tried to get under my legs when I was sitting & was whimpering. After recalling the weekend vomiting event & seeing his distress that morning, we got panicked realizing this wasn’t just something that was a typical upset tummy episode & rushed him to the vet. We believed he was having a bad Pancreatitis attack. After waiting for test results, we were hit with devastating news we were not prepared for. Charlie’s Pancreatitis was flared up pretty badly, but the worse news was that his kidney values were off the chart, indicating kidney failure. Dr. Gables got him on IV fluids to flush the kidneys for the day. We took him home at 6:30 that evening with instructions to return him 1st thing Wednesday morning for another round of fluids. He seemed to feel better after the fluids therapy. My husband went to the store & brought Charlie a New York Strip steak, then cut up half of it in small bites & cooked it for him & Charlie ate very well & loved it.
We returned him early Wednesday morning for fluids & picked him up again at 6:30 on Wednesday evening for the night. He was to be returned Thursday morning for more fluids in the AM, then to have his kidney values tested again to see if there was improvement. He again ate well on the other half of the steak Wednesday night, but awakened us at 3 AM getting sick, then began crying in pain like we had never heard him do before. We called VetMed’s emergency number & left a message. Dr. Harris was on call that night & returned our call about 15 minutes later. She told us the kidneys were not the source of the pain, the Pancreas was. We had Charlie’s RX pain meds on hand & she told us to give him one & have him in the office at 7 AM, when they opened so she could check him. The pain meds seemed to work & he calmed down & was resting when we took him in at 7:00. She was Charlie’s vet that day as it was Dr. Gables’ day off. She Xrayed & discovered the edge of Charlie’s Pancreas was crystallized & that his kidneys were very tiny. She suggested 48 straight, uninterrupted hours of fluids for a better shot at getting the Pancreas under control & the kidneys thoroughly flushed before testing values again. We agreed.
Charlie stayed at the vet hospital on fluids until Saturday morning, when he received the final testing. The news was not good. He only had 25% kidney function & his values had barely improved at all. We were prepared this time because we knew the damage looked bad & that it would take nothing short of a miracle for improvement, which we had prayed & prayed for. We had already grieved for him all week & went through the tormented discussions of letting him go, whether to go ahead & have him put to sleep, whether to bury or cremate, etc. We knew two things for sure. We did not want him to suffer any more than he had already & we didn’t want his last days & hours spent alone in the hospital cage without his family, whom he loved so much.
When we arrived on Saturday, Dr. Gables compassionately broke the news there would be no recovery. Before we even had to ask, he told us he knew how much we loved Charlie & suggested we take him home for the weekend to love, pamper & say our goodbyes before returning him Monday morning for our final act of love. He assured us he would not be suffering with proper meds & sent us home with strong pain & anti-convulsant medications to control the pain & vomiting so he could rest comfortably. They brought Charlie in to us & put him in my arms. I told him “Baby, mama & daddy are taking you home”. He looked at me with such relief & love in his eyes. We left with the understanding there was no guarantee Charlie would survive the weekend, but if he did, we would bring him in on Monday morning to have him put to sleep.
We arrived home with Charlie that Saturday afternoon, January 28th & I carried him to his doggie bed in front of the fireplace hearth, which was surrounded by all his favorite toys. Charlie adored his toys & “blankies”. He got up & walked to the kitchen & drank a lot of water, then walked back to his bed & layed back down. We spent the entire afternoon & evening taking turns lying on the floor by his doggie bed & loving, kissing & talking to him. He listened to every word with his eyes wide open & looking into our eyes. I told him to rest, it was okay, he was at home with mama & daddy & it was okay for him to just let go when he was ready, he didn’t have to fight it any more, that we would be there & it would be all right, we’d see him again some day soon in Heaven. I clipped a swatch of hair from the side of his neck, which was the longest hair I could find on him that afternoon, tied it with a little blue ribbon & placed it in a trinket box that holds 6 of his baby teeth that we saved over 13 years ago. He had several visitors that evening to come & say their goodbyes to Charlie & we could see the spark in his eyes with each one as he always loved people & everyone that met him always loved Charlie. I fed him some special prescription food mixed with water that evening with a syringe the vet had sent. We took him to bed Saturday night expecting a long & sleepless night, but Charlie slept like a baby all night long. My husband got him up at 3 AM & carried him out to see if he needed to go to the bathroom & Charlie did peepee for what would be the final time.
Sunday morning, we could tell he was weaker since coming off the fluids the morning before & he no longer felt like walking or standing up for that matter. I gave him some water with the syringe which he drank thirstily like a bottle a few times until he no longer seemed to want it. Again, we never left Charlie’s side & would take turns picking him up, holding him in our arms & kissing & loving on him.
One of Charlie’s favorite things to do was to go outside & sun himself, which he had been unable to do for a week. Fortunately, Sunday was a beautiful & sunny day, but chilly that morning. By early afternoon, Charlie had another visitor & it had warmed up nicely, so we set his bed up on the lawn with warm blankets & he enjoyed lying in the sunshine while we sat with him for about 30 minutes or so. We took him back in & set his doogie bed up on the middle of our sofa, where we could easily sit on each side of his bed & love on him. It was almost like he had his last moment in the sun & he was ready to go because very shortly after bringing him back in, his breathing became labored & while we held, loved & comforted him, Charlie passed away at 3:20 PM.
We gave him a private funeral service that Sunday night. I’m a florist & somehow fought my way through my grief to make a huge bouquet of roses in a funeral stand that we put by a table we set up in front of the hearth, where we had him laid in his bed. We lit candles, each of us said our eulogies & Charlie laid in state that evening & into the next morning as we spent our last moments grieving & dreading letting his body go.
On Monday, January 30, 2012, we prepared Charlie’s favorite blanket, “Bear Blankie”, which had a stuffed animal bear head attached to the corner & that he loved to drag around, attached his oldest favorite toy, a beanie hound dog that long ago lost it’s beaded eyes & floppy ears to a puppy that liked to chew & a card in which we both wrote personal messages along with a combined swatch of hair we cut from each other’s heads, tied in a ribbon & placed inside the card. We wanted a part of us & some of his favorite things to be with him for cremation.
We have a permanent memorial set up in our bedroom consisting of Charlie’s personalized cremation urn draped with a “blankie” & one of our favorite framed photos of him, surrounded by a gang of some of his favorite toys.
A couple weeks after Charlie’s death, we discussed someday rescuing another dog, but didn’t know when we would be ready. It has been such a heartbreaking time for us. Throughout my grief, I have still felt compelled to look at pets needing homes at the local animal shelters, rescue sites & on Craigslist pet postings. Even though my heart didn’t feel ready yet, I so missed the love of a doggie & our house felt so empty without Charlie. I know he can never be replaced & we will always have a deep love in that special place in our hearts reserved only for him. Still, I couldn’t stop looking & yearning for that sweet doggie love that fills your life with so much love & light.
Much to our surprise, I looked at the Craigslist pet section this past Monday (February 20, 2012), saw a post for a Beagle (no photo) needing to be rehomed, called to inquire & one hour later we were driving the 35 minutes trip to meet an almost 6 month old male Beagle coming from a home that he was adopted in to about 3 months ago. The couple are divorcing & he needed a new home so he wouldn’t spend hours upon hours stuck in a crate. We brought him home late Monday afternoon. His name is Tucker & he really is such a sweetie.
Monday evening, I gave Tucker a couple of Charlie’s favorite treats from canisters they were still stored in. We always dumped treats from the package in to the canisters & threw the packaging out. The treats were a Pedigree Marrobone & a Canyon Creek Ranch duck tender. Later, while he was snuggling with me on the sofa, I began hearing & feeling a familiar gurgling sound coming from Tucker’s tummy. I mentioned to my husband it was strange that his tummy was doing the same thing that Charlie’s had.
The next day, I thought about it & wondered if it was one of the treats that caused the tummy gurgle. I decided to give Tucker a Marrobone treat early in the day to see how he reacted. He ate it & was totally fine. That evening, I gave him a duck tender. Not much later, the same gurgling started & he was restless during the night, stretching out & groaning, tummy still gurgling.
Wednesday morning, I told my husband I was now suspicious of the Canyon Creek Ranch duck tenders & was going to look them up online. I did so & it only took moments before I was wailing in horror & disbelief as I ready story after story of pets either fighting for their lives or deceased after eating Waggin’ Train & Canyon Creek Ranch jerky treats. As I screamed in horror & began squalling my eyes out, my husband ran in to my office to find out what was wrong. I told him to just sit down & read. We both were shaken to the core. We experienced overwhelming grief, shock, guilt & anger that we may have discovered the cause of Charlie’s kidney failure & that we were likely feeding poison to our beloved baby, which probably caused his death. Now, we had also fed it to our new fur baby! We couldn’t believe with all the animal parents out there experiencing this horror, that something has not been done to outlaw the sales of the made in China garbage that people in the USA are unwittingly poisoning their babies with.
I contacted our vet’s office right away & told them of our suspicions that the duck tenders may have been responsible for Charlie’s kidney failure & death. They told me to keep an eye on Tucker & bring him in if he starts vomiting or showing worse signs of distress. I have been carefully watching him. Today is Sunday, February 26th & last night his tummy was once again gurgling & he was restless & occasionally groaning during the night. He also has allergies & has been scratching & biting himself since we brought him home on Monday. I spoke with his former owner yesterday who told me Tucker had the allergies since they adopted him as a younger puppy. He has been eating Pedigree Puppy food & the former owner sent a new bag of it with him as well as a bag of treats, ALL made in China. Guess what brand one bag of the treats were?…Waggin Train jerky roll ups of some type! Only one had been fed & the former owner told me has now told me it was the 1st bag of that brand he had ever purchased. So, Tucker had one Waggin’ Train jerky roll up & 2 Canyon Creek Ranch duck tenders, all in one week. He may have to be taken to the vet tomorrow for testing if the tummy doesn’t settle down. He is eating really good, his poop looks good & he’s not vomiting, so that’s all good signs. Still worried about the gurgling & discomfort he seems to be experiencing. I don’t know if the discomfort if from the tummy or allergies or both. We’re beginning the switchover today from the Pedigree Puppy to Merrick foods, which seem to be one of the highest quality organic foods available, based on my research on all of this the past few days.
I spoke to VetMed about getting some of Charlie’s hair that I clipped tested for Arsenic because after all the research I’ve just done, it seems like many people are suspicious that Arsenic just might be the culprit in the made in China food & treats, specifically in chicken & duck. If the info is correct, the USDA has not tested these suspicious foods for Arsenic, although they have tested for many other things & haven’t been able to find the offending culprit yet. Ironically, Arsenic shows up foremost in hair & nails, so that special little swatch of Charlie’s hair that I clipped with tears streaming down my face on the day before his passing may end up telling us the whole story. The vet’s office is supposed to call me tomorrow to let me know about sending it to the lab for testing.
One last thing, I angrily dumped the duck strips in the garbage on Wednesday, but thought better of it & went back to retrieve them & placed them in a baggie so they can also be tested.
We understand Charlie was a senior dog & had already lived a little past the average life span of Beagles, but have a nagging gut feeling that he would still be with us living out a few more years of his beautiful little life had it not been for the destruction of his kidneys & pancreas by what we are convinced was caused by senseless negligence & greed. We hope to get the proof we need soon & if it can save other beloved pets, Charlie will have passed along a legacy as special as he was & his loss will not be totally in vain.
R.I.P. Charles Everett Craig. As I told you many times in your precious life, you are (unfortunately, now were) the best darn Beagle in the whole wide world!!! Mama & Daddy will always love you. We miss you so much, our Beagle Angel!
Bella was a healthy 2 year old dog up until the night of November 13, 2011 when she developed vomiting, diarrhea and quivering. She could not keep any food or water down and would vomit it up right away. After two days of trying to eat, she then refused all food and kept trying to drink but could not keep water down either. Her owner brought her to her vet on the morning of November 17, where she was immediately put on IV fluids and blood work was taken.
The blood work was received on November 18 and the results showed that she had kidney failure, cause unknown, anemia, cause unknown and her white blood count was over 50,000, indicating infection, again cause unknown.
Bella was given Waggin Train chicken jerky treats from Saturday November 12 through Sunday November 13, and the vomiting started during that night. Later on that night at around 10:00pm, Bella took a turn for the worse and started to bleed internally. The vet suspected poisoning however Bella was never left unattended and her home was pet and baby proofed.
On Monday November 21, Bella passed. She never responded to treatment. The vet could not determine what caused her kidney failure, anemia, high white blood cell count, internal bleeding or the cause of her death since she was a healthy two year old up until that point. Since she did not get into anything that could have poisoned her, the chicken jerky (which is already under investigation by the FDA) is a likely cause of death for she was never left unsupervised to even be able to get into anything that could have poisoned her.
Bella’s owners stayed within the guidelines of how many treats she should have a day and she was only given four between November 12 and 13. Her owner claims however, that “if I wanted to give her the whole bag that should not have mattered; if they were safe, death would not have been the end result. When one overindulges they do not drop dead, this is an ignorant & absurd remark on Nestle’s part stating that many of the deaths were a result of overfeeding!”
As for Bella, her owner has filed a complaint with the FDA but to date has not heard a thing from them. Waggin Train has sent her claim to Sedgwick CMS but so far, Waggin Train, Nestle/Purina Corp. & Sedgwick are refusing any accountability and are hiding behind the technicality that the FDA cannot find the link; they are blaming the pet owners.
“The last week of Bella’s life was nothing but misery and pain.” says her owner. “Separated from her family, she died all alone, in a cage, despite the fact that she had a family who loved her; she meant the world to me and my family.
On February 2, 2012, Nestle publicly denied all claims and all courtesy offers have been removed from the table because the FDA had not found a definitive link in the past two months.
In the meantime, Waggin Train is utilizing damage control to throw consumers off their trail. Their website states:
“On Nov. 18, 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an update about chicken jerky treats for dogs. The FDA continues to advise dog owners that chicken jerky products should not be substituted for a balanced diet and are intended to be fed occasionally in small quantities.
The FDA has been unable to determine a definitive cause of reported dog illnesses or a direct link to chicken jerky products. The FDA has been quite clear about this. Extensive FDA testing found no contaminants and no definitive cause for the reported illnesses among dogs. In addition, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) previously has reported that any association between dog illnesses and chicken jerky may be the result of dogs (primarily small dogs) consuming treats in excess of normal or recommended levels.”
Tazzy, Shady, and Chaos
In December I bought Waggin Train PBJ as a Christmas treat for my dogs. They are peanut butter biscuits wrapped with a small piece of chicken jerky. I had never bought these treats, or any kind of jerky before. A few days before Christmas, I opened the bag. I read the feeding directions, and followed them. I didn’t feed the treats every day; the dogs didn’t have very many at all.
January 5th Tazzy, my 6 month old Corgi, threw up bile in the morning but ate breakfast. I thought she was OK and I left for work. I came home to vomit and diarrhea puddles, and she was quiet so I thought the worst was past.
At 2 am Tazzy started puking again, and the diarrhea started again. It was one or the other, every 20 to 30 minutes for the next 7 or 8 hours. She was at the vet first thing that morning, put on IV fluids and antibiotics, and anti-nausea medication. She was dehydrated. Her PCV was 72. We had just weighed her the day before and this time she weighed in at two pounds lighter – she was only 18 pounds to start with.
She vomited again that afternoon, which is very unusual with the medication she was given, so the vet suspected a blockage and started barium xrays. She had no blockage. The vet suspected antifreeze poisoning, but there’s no antifreeze here that she can get into. The vet said if she continues to vomit, she would suggest exploratory surgery.
I was holding Tazzy, and heard splashing on the floor. Her bowels had let go, but it was liquid, like urine and a huge amount. There was some white gunk in the puddle, and the vet tech said it looked like she was shedding her intestinal lining. But she’d tested negative for Parvo. They wanted to keep her on the IV and monitor her. When I left the office, I was not sure I would see Tazzy alive again.
She improved overnight, and I was able to bring her home the next afternoon. She’s continued improving, but for at least 3 weeks she slept almost all the time.
Just after Tazzy came home, my two labs, Shady (10 yrs) and Chaos (5 yrs), also started to have diarrhea. They also started sleeping more and didn’t have much energy. The low energy and loose stools lasted for over six weeks.
My almost 3 year old perfectly healthy male neutered mini American Eskimo dog became severely lethargic after eating Canyon Creek Ranch Chicken Yam Good jerky treats. Purchased last Saturday at Petsmart on 9th street in St. Pete, Florida (lot no. P1ca4766b) and fed daily until he got sick. Took him to vet on Thursday his urine glucose was 1000 and his WBC was elevated. Vet was wholly confused why he was exhibiting Fanconi syndrome symptoms because to her it was a hereditary disease in Basenjis. I found the info online about these “treats” causing Fanconi symptoms and she had me call poison control. Retested Saturday, WBC now normal but urine glucose still 1000 and now chloride levels elevated and urine becoming more dilute. Bleeding and infection coming from his prepuce. He was also drinking and eating excessively. Vet says wait a month and recheck but admittedly has no idea what to do. I understand this might be deleted cause off topic, but I’m trying to save my dog and was wondering if there are any resources about what to do when dogs get Fanconi symptoms from these treats. My babydog Cloud and I would certainly appreciate. Especially if anyone knows of a vet in Florida who’s treated their pet for this.
Sarge was given ONE SMALL treat at around 10:00 P.M. He woke my wife up at 3:00 A.M. to go outside and vomit, and again at 6:00 A.M.. We fed him a small amount of food Saturday, November 19, 2011 around noon, since he had been sick. Very soon after, vomiting again. Around 5:00 P.M. normal feeding time, same result, more vomiting. Sunday, Nov. 20, we gave him boiled chicken breast with rice in chicken broth, vet recommended and one of his favorite foods. Immediate vomiting followed.
Sarge was taken to our Vet the next day, where he was given IV fluids and meds for his stomach. He still would not eat. We offered steak, chicken, turkey, all his favorites, but he would walk away.
At that point we took him to the emergency animal clinic where my niece works as a Tech. More IV fluids, more stomach meds, and brought meds home, antibiotics, IVs, stomach meds. My niece came by every day to give his meds. I had to dissolve most meds and use a syringe to make sure he got them, he would not swallow anything. He did eat 1.5 tablespoons of turkey breast on the eighth day he was sick. Blood work showed liver enzymes were too high to read, as were his pancreatic enzymes. Fibrin was high and so was his white blood count.
On Monday, Nov. 28, we took him for a sonogram to check the internal organs. Fluid was discovered in his abdomen and drawn off. Analysis told us nothing. He was left in Critical Care.
November 30, we returned to discuss true cut biopsies, as the fluid would contaminate the needle biopsies. When we arrived, the surgeon told us that he probably could not survive the surgery, and that he had improved overnight. They recommended an infusion of albumen to stop the leak into his abdomen. Expensive, but I agreed. We were told that he improved very slightly after the infusion.
December 1st, at 9:00 A.M. I received a call from a doctor at the clinic. They had nowhere else to go except the biopsies. We drove there. Sarge’s vitals had worsened overnight. He had gained four pounds of fluid overnight, all in his abdomen. The albumen infusion and the IV fluids for hydration leaked from his organs into the abdomen. I was given three choices: The surgery, during which he would probably die, do nothing and he would die a slow, possibly painful death, or end it.
Sarge was brought in to an exam room so we could see him. He was glad to see us, but was too weak to be excited. I petted him, and hugged him, and felt his front legs, they were trembling from weakness. Even in a sitting position, he was not strong enough to support himself. My wife put him in a lying position, and he was trying to hold up his head. This usual ball of friendly energy had no strength at all. I could not punish Sarge any more.
I nodded to the Doctor and she gave him Propofol so he would be asleep. Our hands never left him. His final thoughts were happy, we were with him and that was all he ever really wanted, someone to love him. The final nod to the Doctor, it was soon finished. I can still feel Sarge’s fur, his skin as life left him. This has been difficult to type, hard to see through tears. Sarge was a medium size dog, but he sure left a super size empty in this house, in our lives, and mostly in our hearts.
The irony begins with his name. Mortimer Brewster was named after Cary Grant’s character in “Arsenic and Old Lace.”
Brewster became my best friend the moment I took his five pound furry white body into my arms, April 4th 2011. October 29th 2011, Brewster had his first chew stick. He was elated! I gave him another the following day. On Halloween, Brewster began limping, wasn’t eating or drinking or urinating. He visited the vet’s assistant who did an xray, gave him a shot and milk of magnesia as she believed his limping was due to bladder or stomach enlargement possibly from something swallowed. Nothing showed on the xray. We waited the advised 48 hours and watched my six pound long haired Chihuahua become lifeless as we listened to three screaming sounds before rushing back with the bag of treats explaining that this was the only thing different from routine. The “head vet” looked at the treats, checked the office files for FDA warnings and asked question after question on the chew sticks. His result was that Brewster had shut his body down to die with an unknown cause. He stated my baby would only last hours and could suffer further or he could euthanize and do a free autopsy so he, the vet, and I could know why. He opened the stomach and found nothing foreign but said the organs were enlarged and severe bruising lined his abdomen much like an animal who’s been run over by a car. Obviosuly puzzled, the doctor explained that there would be exterior bruising and broken bones which would have shown in the xray had this been the case.
The vet raised his voice and I quote, “This was a completely senseless way for an animal to die. A few weeks later, another victim in his office had to be euthanized and the receptionist called me with the warning released from the FDA. From there, we found our cause.
My wife’s Service Dog Chelsea, a 6 1/2 year old Chesapeake Bay retriever, had been eating the Waggin Train chicken treats for over a year. About 4 months ago, she started having bloody diarrhea and rear paralysis. She developed a severe infection and her organs were drastically affected. After one week in the hospital, she came home blind. She developed growths on her kidneys (you can see and feel them through the skin on the kidneys – rock hard). The Vet said her kidneys shut down and now have 10-15% function. She had dangerous levels of glucose in her urine. Subsequently, she developed diabetes and needs insulin twice a day. The Vet said all tests (previous before illness and subsequent) were considered “normal” and the contributing factor to her abrupt and sudden illness (within 4 days) had to be something she ate. My other dog, 2 1/2 yr old Lab, did not eat any of the chicken treats and was healthy. I gave Bailey (the Lab) the leftover treats. She too started showing the exact symptoms Chelsea had. I discontinued feeding her the treats. She rebounded.
Riley was a completely healthy nine year old Lhasa Apso. His owner found Waggin Train treats on sale on ‘Black Friday’ at PetSmart and thought it was her lucky day and grabbed four bags of them as a Christmas gift for her three dogs. She began feeding them immediately then heard about a recall on Waggin Train chicken jerky treats. She checked the bags and they were labeled Canyon Creek Ranch but thought it was better safe than sorry and called the phone number on the bag. She was told there were a few isolated cases of over feeding and pets not being provided other nutrition for a well balanced diet that caused a few dogs to become sick. She was not informed about symptoms she should watch for or that dogs had reportedly died. She believed their explanation and continued feeding the treats to her dogs but made sure to monitor how much. She gave them each 1/3 of a strip at bed time, two to three times a week.
Riley began having accidents in the house and his owner noticed how much water he was drinking. On February 7 2012, Riley was given two chicken strips. Riley wet the bed in his sleep that evening. His owner gave Riley an extra treat out of sympathy for what he must be going through. On February 14, Riley couldn’t get up and was rushed to the vet where he was diagnosed with kidney and liver failure. Riley died at the vet’s the next day.
There are 26 consumer complaints since November 2011 regarding Waggin Train treats on the Consumer Affairs website.
If you think your dog has been affected by tainted food, regardless of the brand, please contact us and we will post your story here.