Dog food is withdrawn over concerns about euthanasia drug

On New Year's Eve 2016 Nikki Mael gave her pet pug Talulah and three other dogs a can of wet dog food

The company is pulling back several varieties of wet canned Gravy Train, Kibbles "N Bits, Skippy and Ol" Roy brands.

Shipments of a handful of major dog food brands are being frozen as samples have tested positive for a drug commonly used to euthanize animals. It reported on February 8 that 60 percent of the 15 Gravy Train cans tested contained trace amounts of pentobarbital, a euthanasia drug. The brand is part of Big Heart Brands, owned by The J.M. Smucker Co., which is now recalling Gravy Train as well as several of its other dog food brands.

Talulah would eventually die. A postmortem exam revealed that the cause of death was food poisoning
Talulah would eventually die. A postmortem exam revealed that the cause of death was food poisoning

Though the low levels were not thought to be lethal to pets, the drug is still not permitted. "We will continue to work closely with our suppliers and veterinarians to ensure the ingredients used in our products meet or exceed regulatory safety standards and our high-quality standards", said Barry Dunaway, President, Pet Food and Pet Snacks. Kibbles 'N Bits has initiated a voluntary removal of the affected shipments from shelves. The company said they had an internal investigation ongoing.

Smuckers says it's actively investigating how the drug got into its supply chain. "They're exhausted of being anxious and this needs to change", said Susan Thixton, who's been researching and writing about the pet food industry for years. In the statements on their websites, the company said they "do not use 3D or 4D meat such as dead, dying, disabled, or diseased animals". The amount of the drug found in the tested food would not necessarily be enough to cause harm to an animal, but its mere presence is more than enough to warrant a full investigation.

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