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I'm so glad I switched Sammie from Nutro natural choice after reading this:

By Lisa Wade McCormick
ConsumerAffairs.Com

May 22, 2007

• RECALL LIST
• Consumer Complaints
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A California pet owner is furious that Nutro Products continues to claim its dry dog foods are safe.That company’s senior dry food, she says, nearly killed her two dogs.

In another development, Menu Foods said it is phasing out ingredients from China until it is assured they're safe. Chinese ingredients have been blamed for the wave of pet poisonings across the country.

“I cannot even begin to describe the hell our pets have gone through,” Cynthia H. of West Hills, California, says of her six-year-old Pomeranian, Killer, and her nine-year-old American Eskimo-Sheltie mix, Juliet. “This has been weeks of vomiting and diarrhea and illness -- skin infections, bladder infections, not eating, lethargy -- basically, they were poisoned by this bad food.”

Cynthia says she’d just started feeding her dogs Nutro Max’s Senior Dry food around the first of this month, and chose that brand because it wasn’t included in the nationwide recall of more than 60 million containers of pet foods.

“That’s the irony of the whole thing. This food was something new that I started feeding them because of the pet food recall. I was being very careful not to give things on that recall list.”

Since March, 18 companies have recalled more than 5,600 pet food products. That action came after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed two ingredients used to make the products -- wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate -- were tainted with melamine and melamine-related compounds.

Melamine is a chemical used to make plastic and fertilizers. It is not approved for use in pet or human food.

The FDA also discovered the Chinese companies that exported those ingredients to the United States intentionally spiked the products with melamine to increase the protein content.

Thousands of dogs and cats that have eaten the contaminated pet food have suffered kidney problems or died.

In Cynthia’s case, her dogs became sick shortly after they started eating Nutro Max’s dry food. And their symptoms mirror those in pets that have eaten the tainted -- and recalled -- foods.

“Juliet got sick first,” Cynthia says, adding she bought the Nutro Max dry food in April, but didn’t start feeding it to her dogs until May. “And she has been very ill for nearly three weeks. She’s had bloody diarrhea, repeated vomiting, and her system also started shutting down, resulting in a bad bladder infection. She has also been on two different types of medications.”

Cynthia’s Pomeranian experienced similar problems.

“He has vomited and had severe diarrhea for more than a week. His system started to shut down, and he ended up with a serious skin infection. He’s still on antibiotics and is not yet well.”

Both dogs, she says, were also extremely lethargic.

“I was down at the vets office with both of them and I didn’t think they’d come back. They’ve been through hell.”

Is it possible that anything besides of the food made the dogs sick?

No way, Cynthia says.

“My dogs have been incredibly healthy dogs. They’re indoors dogs and only go outside with me supervising them. There’s nothing else they could have gotten into; there’s nothing else that could have done this to them.”

She adds: “I just know it happened because of the food.”

Her vet agrees. “She concurred with me that I should stop feeding them Nutro Max.”

Contacted FDA
To protect other dogs from getting sick, Cynthia contacted the FDA and Nutro Products with her concerns about the dry food.

“I filed a compliant with the FDA, but they’re being very unresponsive. I called the Los Angeles office in Orange County and got a call back from someone in Arizona. Apparently, Los Angeles got a lot of bad pet food and there are a massive amount of people calling the FDA office in Orange County.

“Orange County’s FDA office wanted samples of the food and they were going to send someone over to my house to pick it up,” she adds. “But they haven’t called me in three weeks. I thought there should be some urgency because this stuff is still on the shelves.”

Deaf Ears
How did Nutro Products respond?

“My concerns fell on deaf ears,” Cynthia says. “I did speak to someone in their corporate office and they kept saying that they feel their dry food is safe. They are also refusing to do anything for anyone. And I’m out $500 in vet bills.”

Cynthia isn’t the only pet owner who has contacted ConsumerAffairs.com with concerns about Nutro’s dry food.

Consider some of the similar complaints we’ve received in the past few months:

• Kevin S. of Roseville, California, wrote: “I have to put down my dog of six years today as she has the same symptoms as the other animals that have eaten contaminated foods. I realize that there has been no official recall of dry dog food, but my dog has only eaten two products in her life, Nutro Max dry dog food and Purina Beggin’ Strips. Please stop this nightmare and help keep other animals safe for this tragic event. I have spent over two thousand dollars attempting to save my dog. Today is her last day as she is being put to sleep this afternoon.”

• Bonita L. Wachs of Germantown, Wisconsin, told us: “My three-year-old Shih Tzu became very ill in the fall of 2006. She was extremely thirsty, drank excessively, lost her appetite, lost weight, had diarrhea and vomiting, was lethargic, and was very ill. She refused to eat her food, but, as many owners did, we forced her to eat the food she didn't want. She developed a high level of glucose in her urine and a urinary tract infection.

"The vet was stumped with her condition. I had asked if it could be her dry dog food -- Nutro Max. The vet said that was a good brand and did not think so. In the spring, when the pet food scare was in full force, I called the service line and reported my dog’s illness to the company. They said they had not had any problems with the dry food or Nutro treats, but would document my complaint. I switched to Purina dog food back in January, and now my dog is clear of glucose in her urine. The vet is still stumped, but happy she is well. Molly had a rough few months, and we have a few hundred dollars in vet bills. We pray there is no physical damage to her kidneys.”

• Angelique of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, told us: “My dog (only four-years-old) died within 4 days of me buying a new bag of Nutro Max dry dog food. This is not on the list of recalled foods, but this was the only major change in his diet and he was never out of my sight. He was fine on Sunday until 2 a.m. when he started having diarrhea,vomiting, lethargy, bloody diarrhea, and by the time I took him to the hospital at 1 p.m. the next day he was in shock. His system shut down and he died at around 4:30 p.m. This needs to be stopped. The company refuses to acknowledge there is a problem, but if you search on the Internet you will find many people saying the exact same thing happened to them. This food needs to be recalled now.”

No Response
ConsumerAffairs.com tried to reach Nutro Products, but the company did not return our calls.

A press release on the company’s Web site, however, states: “Nutro wishes to reassure its customers that Nutro's dry dog and cat foods are safe to feed their pets…and none of Nutro's dry pet foods are involved in the latest dry pet food recall announcements involving contaminated rice protein from China.”

The press release also states: “None of Nutro's dry dog or cat foods have been involved in any of the melamine related recalls…and an independent testing laboratory has tested the rice protein used in Nutro's dry pet foods and no melamine was detected.

“In the current environment, we want to communicate frequently with our customers about Nutro's products and reassure you that our dry dog and cat foods are safe.”

Cynthia vehemently disagrees. And she plans to continue warning other pet owners about Nutro’s dry dog food.

“This food was supposed to be safe and it isn’t…it nearly killed our two dogs.”

Menu Foods Makes a Change
In related pet food recall news, Menu Foods announced this week that it will no longer source vegetable proteins --like wheat gluten or rice protein concentrate -- from China until those ingredients are deemed safe.

“Menu is phasing out all ingredients from China until such time as Menu and its customers are convinced of their safety,” attorney David Lillehaug told ConsumerAffairs.com on Tuesday.

Menu isn’t the only pet food manufacturer taking this stance against China.

Royal Canin USA announced last week that it will no longer source vegetable proteins from that country

 

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What a shame. While I know that millions of dogs do well on Nutro I will never feed or recommend that food again. Part of being a good company is standing up for your customers when they need you. They didn't with me, they didn't with the other people who were having problems at the same time. They obviously haven't changed much in the 7 years since I quit using them.

Sad.
 

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labby said:
What a shame. While I know that millions of dogs do well on Nutro I will never feed or recommend that food again. Part of being a good company is standing up for your customers when they need you. They didn't with me, they didn't with the other people who were having problems at the same time. They obviously haven't changed much in the 7 years since I quit using them.

Sad.
Yup, I totally agree. When my dogs were vomitting (because of the canned food) and then refused to eat the dry food (after the vomitting cleared up)- I mean, they would eat one meal and then skip the next 2 or 3, not healthy- I talked to the Nutro rep in Petco and she said that I should switch them to the Lamb & Rice because they probably didn't like the taste of the Chicken! :-X?! I know my dogs better than that. Not to mention, they also had terrible coat on Nutro- but it was shiny like they "guarantee", lol!
 

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Totally valid points and horrible experiences as pet owners.

But I have to point this out, all the Nutro formulas are different. I often picked up different kinds Adult, Adult Large Breed, Natural Choice Large Breed, Ultra Large Breed, Ultra Adult, and the CORE ingredients were different!. You really have to read the labels and be aware. Like Ultra Adult had none of the wheat, rice and corn glutens but Ultra Large Breed DID! If you read one label, you may mistakenly assume the next similar variety doesn't have it either....but that's wrong.

And it's probably just a good idea that if it's dangerous in a wet version, it might be a good idea to stay away from a dry version.

I am not making excuses, and for many of us who are dog food junkies...who live and breathe labels, we probably wouldn't make that mistake....so it's very very unfortunately for the general dog owning public who just TRUST the food is good....
 

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Oh man how sad. You'd think they would at least make some effort to investigate all the reports. With that many reports in different areas of the country...well even if the company didn't believe there was anything wrong, the should investigate for the sake of the pets, their owners and the company's reputation. Those seem like pretty substantial reasons to me.

In a real sense they are selling trust. I mean we trust these companies to produce good food for our furkids. I'm gonna pass this on to my neighbor...Sparticus dad...because they feed him Nutro.
 

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Nutro isn't a great food even if it weren't making dogs sick. It is one of the "premium" foods that are really full of junk. There are so many better kibbles out there like Eagle Pack, Canidae, Innova, etc that aren't part of the recall because they wouldn't put that crap (gluten, veg protein) in their pet food.
 

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Cinnamon got chronic yeast infections in her ears on Nutro LB puppy food so I won't feed it again. Now I know it could happen on any food but to be totally unresponsive to your customers is ridicules.

I feed Nature's Variety and they address the recall on their website all the time even though the types of ingredients they use are not being recalled. No wheat products of glutens in any of their foods. It s called good customer PR.
 

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To play devils advocate....the food hasn't been proven to be contanimated either. Assumptions are being heavily skewed in this article. JMO.
 

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We were feeding both of our dogs Nutro Chicken up until two months ago, both of them just would not eat it, which was very unusual because they had been eating it fine, I don't know if anything was wrong with the food or they just didn't like it any longer. Neither of them ever got sick, they would just nibble a little then walk away. We switched to Premium Edge, chicken and vegetable, both of them are back to eating like there is no tomorrow! Only draw back I can see so far is there are several different vegetables and an egg product which produces GAS! I'm afraid those two are going to peel the paint off the walls! I am certainly not an expert on pet food, but both of ours seem to be doing well on this.
 

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Dani the point isn't that they aren't part of the recall. The point is they don't GAC about their customers. When we experienced problems years ago, it was MY fault according to them. I was doing something wrong to cause my dogs' problems. They could care less and they lied to me about their product.

That's what this is all about.
 

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My friend's Rotties were on Nutro when the recalls started. Her dogs started having weird issues (frequent urination, high protein levels in the urine, etc) but Nutro wasn't on the recall list. She asked me what she should do. I told her she was just as likely to switch to another food that would be recalled so I told her to stay put. She did for a few more weeks until all these internet complaints started popping up. I told her she might want to change at that point. Her dogs are fine now. Coincedence?

CYNLABS said:
You really have to read the labels and be aware.
The problem with that statement is that the pet food companies don't have to label changes to ingredients for 6 months. That's 6 months you could be feeding your dog something you didn't know you were feeding them. In addition, there are issues like the ones that Diamond is having where they had someone else manufacturing their canned foods and that company added something not approved by Diamond and therefore not on their label (never would have been. Not in 6 months or 6 yrs.)

As a pet owner you have to stay informed but you also have to know your pet. You know your pet better than anyone else. You will be the first one to notice something is "off" so if a company is telling you "our food is fine" but your pet is not acting "fine", change foods.
 
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I just bought 2 44 lb bags of Nutro Chicken Rice and Oatmeal. Billie does fine on it, but I am so frappin sick of hearing that food may be contaminated...I don't know what the hell to do anymore. Just about the time I think maybe it's ok, something like this comes out.Then maybe I should switch, but she's doing fine on it.

I don't want to support them because they do business with China but virtually everyone does, whether they admit it or not. And switching my dog to a new food scares me because I might switch her to one that will get recalled 6 weeks from now and I'll have to switch her AGAIN.

WTH do I do now? So Nutro sucks. I can't afford 75 bucks a bag for dog food and if I go raw I have to have a freezer just for her stuff. This is making me insane!
 

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BudGirl8 said:
I can't afford 75 bucks a bag for dog food and if I go raw I have to have a freezer just for her stuff. This is making me insane!
Contrary to popular belief, premium foods don't cost $75/bag. ;) I buy Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul at $28/bag for 35 lbs.
 

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sblab said:
Oh great :-\ we feed Ellie Nutro Natural Choice LBP Lamb & Rice...
Same here. We just switched both girls to that not long ago. I did look up the ingredients yeterday on their website due to keeping the dog food in a bin and I've already tossed the bag.

Hubby and I just had a talk about this this morning. We're not happy with the results. They guy at the store kept telling me it has less fillers, better for them, etc... well... my girls are pooping TWICE as much as they used to when they were on the Hills Science Diet and they're eating more of it.

BudGirl8 said:
I don't want to support them because they do business with China but virtually everyone does, whether they admit it or not. And switching my dog to a new food scares me because I might switch her to one that will get recalled 6 weeks from now and I'll have to switch her AGAIN.

WTH do I do now? So Nutro sucks. I can't afford 75 bucks a bag for dog food and if I go raw I have to have a freezer just for her stuff. This is making me insane!
Same here. Around here you just can't find the really good stuff that everyone's always talking about and I can't afford to order it online and have it shipped. I did find the Diamond brand out at D&B Supply, but they only have adult food. With Sarah being 3 months and Madison 7 months, I'm just not ready to switch to adult. I guess I'm just going to have to go from place to place reading bags to see what's in them. ??? :-\ The Nutro is Madison's 4th brand of dog food she's been on since we got her. And when we do switch food, I have to take twice as long otherwise it seems to really mess with her system if I do it as recommended. :(
 

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rottnlabs said:
BudGirl8 said:
I can't afford 75 bucks a bag for dog food and if I go raw I have to have a freezer just for her stuff. This is making me insane!
Contrary to popular belief, premium foods don't cost $75/bag. ;) I buy Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul at $28/bag for 35 lbs.
That's great!...but it costs twice as much here, average price for foods like Natura (including similiar foods like Chicken Soup, which I wouldn't trust right now anyway due to the cross-contamination at Diamond) here is $65 a bag!
 
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rottnlabs said:
BudGirl8 said:
I can't afford 75 bucks a bag for dog food and if I go raw I have to have a freezer just for her stuff. This is making me insane!
Contrary to popular belief, premium foods don't cost $75/bag. ;) I buy Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul at $28/bag for 35 lbs.
Thank you for the info...I'm just so frustrated with this food situation. It was hard enough to make the decision the first time and now...I feel like I'm playing Russian roulette. :-[

I'm hard pressed to trust anyone right now as well, it seems as if there is so much cross contamination going on that every other day we're going to hear about someone else. I trusted Purina so much for so many years with my horse feed, maybe I should go to ProPlan.

*shakes head* Russian roulette I tell ya.
 

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LabLady101 said:
[That's great!...but it costs twice as much here, average price for foods like Natura (including similiar foods like Chicken Soup, which I wouldn't trust right now anyway due to the cross-contamination at Diamond) here is $65 a bag!
That's great. I would think your normal cheapo brands costs twice as much too. It's called cost of living for your particular area. My point was that it isn't 10x the price of poor quality foods. It's usually a few dollars more which is easily made up for because you feed less.
 
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