Dr. Levitan’s Response and a Statement From Purina
Reports of Beneful dog food as suspected of severe illness and death in dogs.
Over the past several weeks there have been multiple reports of sudden illness in dogs that the owners feel may be related to the ingestion of Beneful dog food, a Purina product. At this time, there is no confirmation of a direct relationship between the food and the illnesses. Reported symptoms are extremely variable in each case. Some owners have reported the onset of weakness and lethargy, some have had decreased appetite and thirst. In a few instances the have been reports of pale gums and in one instance, a seizure. In each case the outcomes have varied as well. There has been no information from any veterinarians that have treated these patients, therefore, conclusions are impossible to make at this time.
Before anyone creates widespread panic, I think it is important to realize that millions of pets around this country eat Beneful dog food and have had no problems. The symptoms being described here are symptoms that could occur for many varied reasons, and therefore, I think the correlation between the consumption of Beneful and the symptoms is very weak.
Purina shares the concerns of their consumers, however, and has not taken this concern lightly. Product excellence and quality control are key issues to Purina. This official statement was issued yesterday:
We truly appreciate the opportunity to provide a statement.
First and foremost, Nestlé Purina stands behind the quality of our pet foods, which are completely safe. The safety and efficacy of our products are top priorities, and consumers can feed our products to their dogs and cats with total confidence.
We are aware of the postings found on doggybling.com and encourage consumers to contact us directly whenever they have a question or concern related to the quality of our products. Please know that we take matters of this nature very seriously, and talking directly with consumers allows us to obtain all information necessary to properly research the matter. Consumers with questions or comments about our Beneful products can call 1-888-BENEFUL Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST.
It is my belief that based on the information provided at this time, there is no cause for panic. I ask that who have their pets on Beneful write into doggybling.com with reports of happy, healthy pets eating the food as well.
An official meeting is taking place today at Purina to further address this issue. I will be certain to report on it as soon as I hear from them this evening.
As Doggybling.com stands behind responsible journalism and sound veterinary medical advice, we promise to continue to follow this and report accordingly.
Diane Levitan, VMD
Diplomate American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
The Center for Specialized Veterinary Care
609-5 Cantiague Rock Road
Westbury, New York 11590
516-420-0000 ext. 203
February 2007 My comments:
It is a bit too early to tell one way or another yet, if the food is an issue or not yet….. they say they are looking into it…….and it’s logical that they would be…….
I thought that the remark about *writing into the doggybling.com with reports of happy, healthy pets eating the food as well, was a bit absurd and untimely, under the circumstances!
What would that have to do with the issue at hand…… If there is even a chance that there are some bad bags of food out there…………then it seems their concentration should be on that possibility that there *may be* an issue. So, why on earth would they encourage more purchases until they knew.
IMO- If anything, they should be telling everyone to *check the food carefully*, for any signs of mold, before feeding it to your pet rather than indicating and asking others to indicate that the food is fine, so go buy some……see all these people have dogs and they are fine! That certainly reeks of $$ before a possible issue with some of the food.
Regardless, if it is true or is not true, I have to say, for me, that the statement they issued, does nothing for me to ensure my confidence that they really are all that concerned or even care…….about a *possible* outbreak of bad food verses their pocket book. But why should that surprise me! DUH!