Product Alerts

  Grapes and Raisins Poisoning

  Hartz Rabbit Food Possible Hazard

 Swiffer Wet Jet Potentially Deadly

  Counterfeit Products Could Harm Your Pet

  Teflon Can Be Dangerous

Nylabone Dog Chew Toy

Hartz Cat Flea Poison

Febreze Is Dangerous

Petcurean Dog Food Recall

I welcome any comments or information on potentially dangerous products.
Please email me with details.

Nylabone Dog Chew Toy

(Note Bene: The product in the article below was, I believe, about the plastic Nylabone. Even so, I do not recommend the rubber chews which have the little rubber "nubs" on them. The nubs can be chewed off and swallowed. Rubber is not digestible. Rubber chew toys should be solid, hard rubber with no easily gnawed off parts, and should be replaced about every 6 months or so - depending on how much they are chewed. It is unwise to let an animal play with or chew ANY product without supervising the activity. D.B.

Special Report on Nylabone aired by KHOU TV Houston, Texas, November 15, 2001

This product is apparently killing hundreds of dogs every year.

We all love to pamper our pets, but could your present be a killer? Some pet owners say yes and it's something your dog could be chewing on right now.

It's that time again, time to take the puppies for a walk. And Denise Allen doesn't mind, Alaska is like her child and so is Timber. Allen said, "He was the one I wanted. He chose me. He sat in my lap looked at me and said I'm going home with you." For five years Timber was a show dog, a therapy dog and the perfect companion. That is he was until a massive intestinal infection forced his owners to euthanize him. "I told him it was time to go night night," Allen remembered, "It was kinda one of those things where the dog told me it was time, it was ok. It was time. I just petted him and he died." The surgery that tried to save Timber instead found what made him sick, a piece of synthetic dog bone an inch thick lodged inside him, it slowly tore him apart.

Denise Allen said it was a piece of a Plaque Attacker made by Nylabone, there are several versions. It's one of the biggest selling pet products in the world specifically marketed to clean dogs' teeth. It is also marketed to be safe. The product even carries the ASPCA seal of approval and millions have sold since 1996. Dr. Craig Felton treated Timber and in a letter he said, "The spikes on the dental exerciser fragment definitely contributed to the object wedging and probably were responsible for lacerating the intestinal lining in several locations." It led to massive internal infection and death. Initially, Nylabone told Allen the product that likely killed Timber wasn't theirs. There's only one problem with that, Allen said, "Bless him, if he was going to eat a piece of this bone. It actually has the "o" and the "n" and the "e" and the little registered mark that is on the products."

Allen sued Nylabone because she said no where on the package does the company suggest there is any risk. Allen's Attorney, Debra Corcoran said, "Everything is geared to assure the pet owner that the product is safe, reliable. And because you are using a Nylabone product you don't have to worry about your dog suffering from death or near death." The company settled the day the case was set for trial. Still Denise Allen keeps Timber's ashes on her mantle, five years later. Allen said, "I'd didn't know there were other dogs. I didn't know there was a problem."

Shirley and Harvey Hannah know all about the problem. Shirley remembered, "There was blood down in the corner where he had tried to go hide because when a dog is sick they will generally find a dark place to go." Four years later and miles away in Seminole, Texas, the Hannah's lost their poodle, Rambo. "What really got me was when the vet told me that he had screamed and then died," Harvey said. Their vet found two pieces of what appeared to be Nylabone stuck in Rambo's stomach and intestine. Veterinarian, Dr. Ivan Muennink explained: "When it hung up the intestine keeps moving and so it kind of knotted up over it like and accordion."

The process severely damaged Rambo's intestinal tissue after being undetected for six months. Veterinarians say that's big part of the problem, the symptoms mimic any number of non-fatal intestinal problems and the product does not appear on x-rays. Timber had the same problem; the piece of the rubber bone inside of him did not show up on x-rays.

But what angers these dog owners is it appears Nylabone made a decision to make the products so they would not appear on x-rays. In a court deposition the company's own customer service supervisor said, "Any kind of additive that would make it radio-opaque would be far more detrimental if a dog ingests a piece." Veterinarians disagree, besides it would also lead to detection of pieces in sick dogs.

Harvey Hannah knows what he wants: "Take it off the market, or at least change your packaging and put on warning labels." The company claims that Nylabone is safe, it also says it has no form letter to handle complaints. But a letter to a Virginia woman in 1994 said, "It is most unusual for a Nylabone to break off in such large pieces."

Another letter from the company in 1998 called a dogs illness: "[A]....Tragic, isolated, incident," and added, "It is very unusual for a dog to bite off large pieces of this product." From a letter to a Wisconsin woman in 2000: "What Bach experienced was very unusual and we thank you for bringing this to our attention." And other letters blame the animals themselves: "He is too aggressive a chewer," and "Sophia was too aggressive a chewer." Most of the communications from the company end the same way: "While we do not feel Nylabone Products was negligent in any way, in the spirit of cooperation we are...."

In fact there are so many complaints that the company has an internal form it uses to keep track of all of them. 11 News found cases all over the country, 33 in all in 17 states, from Florida to Michigan to Texas, plus Canada and even in Germany. Dogs from tiny to huge, old to young.

Attorney Debbie Corcoran said she has at least a 120 more, more than 150 cases since 1994 in nearly all 50 states. Corcoran wonders how many more there are. Cases where dogs mysteriously died and the owners could not afford or chose not to have surgery that might have found something. Corcoran said, "It's coldhearted or evidently they aren't animal lovers. I don't know. They're selling animal products but they are not protecting the animals." There are millions of Nylabone products; Plaque attackers sold every year.

Denise Allen said, "If it's millions does that mean that ten thousand dogs dying is acceptable? 20 thousand. I don't know." For the Hannah's Rambo was enough, for Denise Allen Timber was enough. One too many. Debra Corcoran is preparing to file a class action lawsuit against the company right here in Texas. That should happen in the next few weeks.

Neither Nylabone nor its parent company T.F.H. Publications would appear on camera for this story. The company did send 11 News a written statement that said: "Dog chews should be chosen with the same care as children's toys. Owners must take responsibility to examine their dogs chew toys on a regular basis to monitor the product's suitability. Nylabone products have been and continue to be manufactured to high standards."

ADDENDUM: I have since heard from several people who have had problems with this product. The first is an excerpt from one of the emails which was a CC to me but the original was emailed to the Nylabone manufacturer: D.B.

From Julie: I have been compelled to write you as I found out the brother to our dachshund died.  This dachshund obtained his Championship and was the breeders pride and .
Just recently Champion Mr. Harley died after chewing off a piece of the Nylabone and swallowed it and it lacerated his intestines. 
My heart is broken for this man as he had given to us our precious WaPony as a compassionate gift. I believe it would be in your (Nylabone) best interest to contact him with some condolences.  You have no idea how much it costs to put the dog through showing and breeding to obtain a Champion and then lose him for something that could have been prevented.

From Jessica, Jan, 2005: My dog has been throwing up little pieces of nylabone for a couple of days and she is now walking odd too.  I do not know if these two problems are related to each other, so I wanted to check if these have been seen together in other dogs. 


Nota Bene: It is possible that even the so-called "edible" Nylabone products present a danger to dogs. Read the excerpts from the emails below: D.B.

From Andrea, March 28th, 2005: My 10 month old Dachshund just had to have a piece of an edible flavored Nylabone surgically removed from his small intestine.  The piece was about an inch in diameter.  Luckily his vomiting was caught quickly, and no damage was done to his intestines since it was caught so early on.  Just wanted to let you know that even the veterinarian recommended products can pose serious health risks as well.

From Jean-Marie, April 25, 2005:

Hello,  Two weeks ago, my beloved English Bulldog, Ziggy died from nylabone becoming lodged in his intestine.  The bone perforated the intestine and required major surgery.  My little man, only 9 months old, could not survive the recovery process and died after the vets attempted a second surgery.  Please help me...I am trying to figure out how I can hold Nylabone accountable and assure that this product does not hurt any more dogs!!!! Thank you.

From Melissa, September 1, 2005
I have a 10 week old boxer mix I got from the shelter . She is very small and when I got her I got her a 3 pack of puppy Nylabones which she hadn't really shown a lot of interest in.
Although to night while she was laying by me while I was watching TV she was chewing on one and I didn't realize she could chew the ends off like she did. When she left and I got the bone it had not ends on it so I wanted to know what I would look for if it were to cause problems.
I gave her some Petromalt which a cat guy told me when my cat ate plastic that it would move rocks so I will give her that for at least a week a couple of times a day in the hopes that IF there is a big enough piece that she chewed off that could cause problems it will just move on out with the Petromalt.
Since I read on your site that they aren't picked up on exray I just wanted to know if there are any symtoms that I should be alert about.
I also needed to know what I can get her to chew on.  I thought the Nylabones were the safest bone I would give her as I have heard raw hide are bad and also heard pig ears aren't good either so what is left for her to chew on?

From Janet, September 10, 2005
I gave my Jack Russell Terrier a turkey and rice flavored bone by Nylabone it was labled Healthy Edibles. He broke off a hunk and it got lodged in his intestin. He began to vomit and could not keep food or water down. I got him inot the vet and he tried several things to help him.(at the time I didn't know he broke the piece off) I had to take my dog to a special clinic in Bedford Heights Ohio and they did a number of tests and they did surgery and found the hunk lodged in the intestine and were able to remove it successfully and thank goe my dog will recover. I had given him this brand only it was ham and cheese or just cheese flavor and they break up easily.  The turkey and rice is a lot firmer and breaks into laarge pieces. I think  there should be an alert on the package. Since this happened to my dog another dog owner in my condo complex also had the same bone get stuck in his dog an American Water Spaniel. a much larger dog than mine. thank you for listening.

From Allyson, November 26, 2005
We had an incident occur about a month ago where our 5 1/2 month old golden had to have surgery due to a blockage in his intestine.  Sure turned out to be a piece of edible nylabone!
I would love to know how to connect with others who had this same problem.  Do you have any information that you could pass on? Thanks!

From Rea, November 29, 2005
My name is Rea, I'm living in Reno NV, I have 11monthes yrs old dachshund, couple nights ago she started to vomiting and constant throwing up, so I took her to Vet next morning let her to gets check up what's went wrong but Doc checked and said maybe she ate something wrong..he checked her temperature and temp was normal so we just gave her little pepto and wait one more day... that day was one day before the Thanksgiving day and she seems fine after.. so just feed her little bit of food and thanksgiving night she started to throwing up again, next morning I took her to the Vet again and they need to give her surgery to removed the foreign body from her and so.... they day I picked her up from the vet they gave me thigns found from her body IT WAS NYLABONE! I was so mad and so disappointed.... I hope people out there who cares about their pet...which that who works for that company should stop making IT!!  I'm keeping that objects(NYLABONE) with me for the evidence..PEOPLE OUT THERE BE CAREFUL.... 

From the Woods family, December 6, 2005
This past Friday, December 2nd 2005, our dog Pelly had to have major gasto-intestinal surgery as the result of a Nylabone product. Our dog was playing with a dinosaur shaped Nylabone, and he bit off the head and swallowed it. The piece was far too large to be passed, and surgery resulted. There were many problems for us. First, we did not "see" our dog swallow this piece. We thought he did, but didn't have proof. So we took him to the vet, where they did several xrays - none of which showed any product in his stomach. We agonized over a decision whether to have surgery or not - as we would have felt terrible if there was nothing in his stomach. However, luckily for Pelly, we decided to go ahead with the surgery. As it turns out, there were several pieces of Nylabone stuck in his stomach, that would have caused major complications, and possibly even death.  This past Monday I contacted Nylabone. I have sent them all of the documentation they have requested. They now would like us to send them the Nylabone which was extracted from his stomach so they can 'prove' that it is their product. At this point we are not sure what we will do, if it is worth following up with a lawyer, or what.
I just wanted to tell you all about our story, so that perhaps we can deter future pet owners from purchasing products that could potentially harm their dogs.
Sincerely, The Woods family

From Kris, December 6, 2005
Hello everyone, I usually don't write an email and make to all however, this is hard enough to write with out having to write it many times.
This morning very early we lost one of our beloved little Doxies. Most of you know how close we are to our dogs, it's been a tough two weeks.
 Our younger little guy Junner got very sick two weeks ago and we took him to our local vet here. We all determined he had some sort of flu, he was very dehydrated, was throwing up, and wasn't eating. So two days in the hospital on IV and it looked like he was doing better so we brought him home. He got worse again, was not eating and drinking very little water, and throwing up again, so the vets decided he needed an x-ray, thinking he might have a blockage. They were unsure, so they sent it to Washington State University radiology department, and sure enough there were two items, one in his stomach and one blocking his intestine. They looked like a chew toy of some sort.
 They did surgery to find not only was his stomach perforated with a large piece of NylaBone. But the small intestine was also ripped and more than 6 inches had to be removed. The little guy had been in a lot of pain for such a long time. The vets did their best and my hat goes off to Winthrop Vet Services. We wouldn’t have had him for as long as we did if they hadn’t helped him. However, it was too much and he couldn’t heal. He passed away at home early this morning. It’s been truly difficult to deal with but I am glad he isn’t in any more pain.
WARNING: Do not buy Nyla Bones of any kind for your pets. Even the ones the company says are safe, and they dissolve, they do not, and if you have a veracious chewer then your pet could be in for the same fate as Junner.
The nylabones in question were the ones for small breeds and suppose to dissolve in their system, Not so.
 We have emailed Petco and Petsmart and NylaBone companies and sent our photos of the remains taken out of Junners tummy. We hope they take them off the market or at least put in a warning.

From Susan, January 15, 2006 - February 12, 2006
Nylabone and Greenies!  Don't buy them!
Recently, I purchased both for my adult dog and my two new puppies.  The adult dog consumed, what I thought was a greenie, but turned out to by a Green Nylabone for tooth care.  He became very ill within 24 hours.  The two puppies only licked their nylabones and within 24 hours, had severe diarrhea.  We realized right away what the common denominator was and removed them from the house!  Within 3 days the puppies had lost 3 weeks worth of their weight.  The vet informed us we barely made it in time.  She fortunately gave us prescriptions for all three dogs, which took 3-4 more days to begin working.  Fluids were given intravenously, antibiotics were prescribed and prescription food was given.  It is not 10 days and they are finally feeling better! 
My next door neighbor has three Newfoundlands.  Each ate a greenie and each got diarrhea!   Coincidental....I think not!
I would recommend none of these products be on the shelves!

I'm grateful for the info on nylaqbone! both my yorkie and silkie have
thrown up little pieces that look like crystals from small flavored
nylabones. I knew they came from the nylabone because they were clear
and rubbery. How dare the nylabone people say this is safe! Dogs really
do have delicate intestinal tracts and can't assimilate these chunks. I
assumed, because companies like petsmart sell them, that any pieces
would be pasedt through w/ out problems-these "bones" are not like
fiber! I'm saddened to read peoples' beloved pets have died as a result!
I just hope I caught this in time to save my own!
You can add me to your website. I gave these same types of bones to family members for their dog as Chrismas presents. I called them all this morning and told them why they needed to throw them away. At this point I know of only one my brothers' dogs that did not care for them. I actually needed to go to Petsmart today and informed them of the problem. I don't know if they'll do anything, but I plan on alerting the company through their web site.
The whole reason for buying nylabones was to avoid rawhides that are manufactured in China or Argentina. I know they use chemicals like formaldehyde or worse. I only buy CET chews from my vet, but they like to chew other shapes, and thought nylabones a great solution. My assumption was that  they would be tiny pieces easily passed through their systems. Unlike baby products, we can't consume these thing ourselves to see if they are safe. I'm very careful about the dog food, vaccinations, heartworm med, and flea product. I know their systems can not take high doses of chemicals w/ out producing internal organ damage (liver and kidney are the hardest hit).
Thanks for being out there! Having the important info. helped my babies!
We had originally thought we gave the dogs greenies until at closer look realized they were the Nylabones that looked like greenies.  I wrote to Greenies....then found out what I really had.  However, in the meantime, several friends told me horror stories about the actual Greenies....hence...I would not endorse either product. Feel free to use my information!




Hartz Advanced Care Plus Cat Flea Poison

Special report aired by KHOU TV, Houston, Texas, May 13, 2002.

This product is killing cats.

There is no doubt that many pet owners love to pamper their animals. But could you be putting you pet in peril by trying to help keep them comfortable? For months, 11 News has been looking into a product that is pushed by the largest pet product company in America. It's a product that may be in your home right now.

Spring is the time of year that fleas and ticks start to pester our pets and people look for ways to protect them. One of the hottest products is also one of the newest. And some say it's potentially dangerous, even deadly.

Kiser and Stryker are two important feline members of the Hiatt family.

Brian Hiatt likes to think he looks out for his animals and takes good care of them, "They're very special, they are a part of our lives," Brian says.

That's why he decided, two weeks ago, to get them set up for spring with an anti-flea treatment. But not long after he applied the product, Hiatt says Stryker started acting strange.

"It looked like the cat was almost drunk. If it tried to walk, it was really unstable, and then it would just drop and fall, and fall on his side. And all throughout his muscles, through his side, and his back, would just sit there and convulse," says Brian.

Then Kiser began to exhibit the same symptoms. Hiatt says he was worried for his cats' lives. He rushed both Stryker and Keiser to Dr. Cindy McCauley's emergency clinic in Sugar Land

In the animal hospital, they received anti-seizure drugs and were cleaned with dishwashing soap. But even hours later, the cats still exhibited muscle tremors.

Brian says he applied Hartz Advanced Care Plus to both of his cats. Tens of millions doses of the product have been sold nationwide. The active ingredients are Phenothrin and S-Methoprene; they're both pesticides.

Dr. McCaully's report shows the Hiatt's cats had a reaction to flea meds, acute Phenothrin toxicity.

According to vets consulted by 11 News, what happened to Keiser and Stryker is not an isolated incident. Dr. Angela Rose saw enough cats come through her Arkansas office that she started to videotape them.

She taped two-year-old Punkin, who's owner says she applied Hartz Advanced Care Plus to her pet in July of last year. Hours later, the vet reported extreme muscle tremors, and grand mal seizures. Dr. Rose says the cat suffered a toxic reaction to a topical synthetic pyrethrin.

"If you look at all of the flea and tick products, there is always that very small possibility that they may have an adverse event associated with them," says Dr. Albert Ahn, Chief Scientific Officer for the Hartz Mountain Corporation.

New Jersey- based Hartz Mountain is the world's largest manufacturer of pet products and the maker of Advanced Care Plus.

"We have done a whole battery of tests and each time we do we get the same result. That these are safe products," says Dr. Ahn. "These are effective products."

But the Environmental Protection Agency reports some of Hartz's testing is unacceptable.

That's not the only finding of the EPA's staff review of the Advanced Care Plus product line for cats in 2001. The report continues to say, "It is recommended that the product be re-evaluated for its safety in cats," because "a margin of safety has not been established in the studies."

The EPA reports include 35 cat deaths and 64 life-threatening episodes that may be associated with the product. In addition, the company reported thousands of minor incidents.

The EPA stresses that in many cases it did not have sufficient information for cause of death.

The vast majority of the complaints registered with the EPA about the Advanced Care product actually came from the Hartz Mountain Company itself. Calls came in to its customer service center and were then forwarded to the federal agency.

Dr. Bill Plaff thinks he may know why some cats get sick. For much of his 25-year career at Texas A&M, Plaff studied the family of pesticides used in the Hartz products. He says it's the mixture of S-Methoprene and Phenothrin that is causing trouble. He compares the reaction to the kind patients would have when taking two different medications together.

Dr. Plaff said, "Often when you take a combination, one drug interferes with the metabolism of the other, so the combination is much more toxic than you would expect it to be alone."

Dr. Plaff says the mixture of Phenothrin and S-Methoprene increases the toxicity by 10 times. Dr. Ahn from the Hartz says he's never heard of anything like that.

"The data that we have supports that this is a safe and effective product. The data that we have that we shared with the EPA," says Dr. Ahn.

Reminded that the EPA found the Hartz testing unacceptable, Dr. Ahn says, "Well, again, as I said, this is a matter of discussion."

After watching his cats suffer, discussion is not enough for Brian Hiatt. "I'd have to believe they understand what is going on with their product and what the chances are."

While, the product label meets federal regulations, Hiatt and his vet say pet owners should be warned about these incidents.

"No mention anywhere that this product could cause reactions to the central nervous system or potentially kill your pet," says Dr. McCaully.

Hiatt says, "There's no indication of anything that severe even in a small percentage of cases."

It goes no further than saying that some animals may be sensitive to flea and tick products. According to Dr. Ahn, "That is correct." But It doesn't mention that animals may suffer muscle tremors and full body seizures and potentially die. "Well..." says Dr. Ahn, "we are always looking for ways to improve our products."

Hartz is adamant that the EPA's findings are simply preliminary and are open to discussion. But 11 News has learned that in addition to the product review, the EPA is also conducting an investigation into the specific Advanced Care Products for cats.

A spokesperson for Hartz told 11 News that they are unaware of any additional EPA investigation and "are confident in the safety and efficacy of our product."

In the meantime the product is still registered with the EPA and on store shelves.

Nota Bene: There have also been reports about another Hartz product - HARTZ FLEA SPRAY - killing KITTENS. There is no adequate warning on the label against putting this product on young cats. It should be used ONLY on ADULT cats.

Addendum: I have also been advised by more than one source that flea treatments of all kinds can be hazardous to both dogs and cats under certain circumstances - particularly to animals who are old, or very young, or in poor health. ALL animals should be carefully monitored for at least a couple of hours after being treated. If any suspicious symptoms (such as seizures, excessive drooling, unsteady gait, diarrhea, lassitude, etc.) occur within even up to two weeks after treatment, notify your veterinarian IMMEDIATELY!

Here is an email I received in June of 2004, indicating there is still possibly a problem with this product, even when used on an adult cat:

I recently had used the Hartz Advanced Care Flea & Tick Drops on my cat.  She is fairly young, just a few months over 1 year.  I have used the product twice (two months).  The first time, I noticed that my cat, Ginger, began racing throughout the house and was extremely restless for at least one day.  She would meow constantly and would not play in her usual manner.  Then after day two Ginger went back to normal.  I was puzzled but thought that since she if fairly new to me ( 6 months in my home) this must be a side of her that I did not know.  But then when I used the product the second month, again, the same actions happened but it was a little worse.  The first month I thought I didn't put the product high enough on the back of her neck.  So the second month I placed the product higher.  Then she began rubbing her ears constantly and shaking her head.  I had some ear mite medication and applied that.  The ear problem went away, but she was still hyperactive and her breathing was extremely rapid.  Luckily, after the second day that I had applied this flea and tick product, she was again back to normal. 
Needles to say, I won't be using this product ever again.

The following is correspondence I received in July, 2004, from a lady whose two cats were very badly sickened after she used Advanced Care on them:
I have two 2-year-old cats in good health, and we applied the Advanced Care
Flea & Tick Drops Plus right between their shoulder blades, as instructed.
Instantly, our cats behaved in a disturbed manner. Though Hartz says that
putting it between the shoulder blades will prevent licking, our cats were so
desperate to get it off that they were constantly licking themselves as far as
they could reach. Eventually they were able to reach (probably assisting each
other) and spread the liquid, which is more like a grease that sticks to the
hair of the cat instead of absorbing into the skin. Within one day or less our
cats couldn't walk straight and they began to shake their limbs out constantly,
like their legs were falling asleep. They were twitching and shaking their
heads violently back and forth. Their eyes were very dilated. One of our cats
threw up four times that same day. We decided to wash it off that night, but it
is so greasy it is hard to get off and takes several washings. It was so scary
and also didn't seem to have any effect on fleas at all. Our cats weren't old,
aging, decrepit or anything. Normal, young, healthy cats who were having
nervous system reactions. 
Thanks for bringing these issues to light.
After I wrote Adrienne back and asked to use her email, she replied:
I am just so glad that your website has all of that information. PetCo and asked an associate about the best flea control, she automatically said, "Don't use Hartz." And she said it does bad things to animals and caught herself right before telling us it may kill them. I know she has to be careful what she says because they still sell it (I don't know why). That's when I started looking online and saw your site. Thank you so much for having it there! 
I hope my cats are better too. Thank you for your concern. We worry every day
that it has caused nerve damage so we monitor our cats closely. They seem to be
nearly normal, I will say it probably took 4-5 days for the effects of the
Hartz to completely wear off.
I followed the instructions to the T, honestly. Square in the middle of their
shoulder blades. I think it may have been causing them pain because they were
completely obsessed with trying to lick it off. On the other hand, I just got
Frontline and they don't even bother with it... they don't even notice, and
it's not smelly or greasy like Hartz. Frontline is so worth the price you pay,
which is small compared to the potential damage you might cause your pets with
Hartz. They are so happy and flealess.
You can definitely use my letter, I would be honored. People need to know that
it's not just old or sick cats that can get sick from this "medicine." I don't
care if they want to write me or you about this, this is the honest truth.
Thanks for your concern! Sorry if I typed too much. I feel so bad for all the
other "parents" who have had this happen to their animals.
Again…… better safe than sorry when deciding whether to use a potentially harmful product. D.B.

A letter from CE in June, 2005:

I used the Hartz flea medication on one of my outside cats and am convinced that this is what started making his fur fall.  He developed a rash on his body and looks like he's got a severe heat rash.  I have been treating it with antibiotics and hope it will eventually clear.  He did not start experiencing problems until after I administered the Hartz flea medication for cats.  That stuff is bad and should be taken off the market.  I'm glad I'm not the only one experiencing problems.  Thanks for you web site.  CE in Corpus Christi.

NEW REPORT, MAY, 2005 - Hartz 3 in 1 Product

Flea Medication Suspected In Cat's Death
Pesticide Is Main Ingredient
POSTED: 1:54 pm CDT May 17, 2005
UPDATED: 11:54 am CDT May 18, 2005
HOUSTON -- A product designed to protect pets led to the death of a Houston family's cat, the family told Local 2 Tuesday.
Family Says Flea, Tick Drops Killed Cat

Sandra Hineman said Shadow, her 16-month-old cat, had a violent reaction to the over-the-counter product, Hartz Advanced Care Flea & Tick Drops.
"He lost bowel movement. He wet all over his self," Hineman said. "I wish I'd never seen it."
"Are you convinced it killed your cat?" Local 2's Kym Alvarado-Booth asked.
"Yes, oh yes. I'm convinced it killed my cat," Hineman said.
She said she used three drops of the Hartz product, which cost $4.33.
"After a couple of hours -- after that started, he foamed at the mouth. I said to myself, 'What have I done?'" Hineman said.
Because of his suffering, Hineman decided to have Shadow euthanized at a Conroe veterinarian clinic.
His angel-adorned gravesite is in the family's front yard.
Hineman joined others on a number of Internet Web sites boycotting Hartz products and a Hartz victims' cyber-quilt.
When Local 2 contacted Hartz Mountain Corporation about the Conroe case, spokesman John Mullane said that Hartz offered to pay for all vet bills and to arrange a necropsy.
Hartz does not believe its product is to blame for Shadow's death, yet Hartz agreed that phenothrin, its main ingredient, is a pesticide that can cause adverse reaction in pets.
Dr. Ben Tharp, a veterinarian with Voss Road Animal Hospital, said that Hartz products contain a strong insecticide.

"They cause a very quick knock down. It's the same product that's in your wasp sprays," Tharp said. "I've seen some cats die."
He said adverse reactions are very rare and always in cats because they groom more than dogs.
"I always call (Hartz) and tell them," Tharp said.
The vet said that Hartz is always interested in adverse reaction reports.
Hineman found out too late how far Hartz will go with an affected pet.
"I found out that Hartz would've paid to try and save him," she said.
Now the Hineman family worries how to get rid of fleas for their other cats.
"I'm afraid to give them anything but a bath," she said.
Tharp recommends topicals marketed under the names Frontline and Advantage.
They are more expensive, averaging $65 for a 6-month supply, and they are not available over-the-counter.
Hartz said its products are affordable and safe if pet owners follow all the directions on the package.
As aired on Houston NBC affiliate, Channel 2, May 17, 2005
For more details see


Febreze is Dangerous to Pets

This is a subject about which I have personal knowledge and experience. I cannot tolerate Febreze myself. I have multiple chemical sensitivities and I tried it first outside on a towel to see if I could stand it. When I realized how bad it was, I tried washing the towel and it took four washings to get rid of it. I think there are many chemicals which are more harmful than many people realize but if they are not supersensitive the way I am, they may not notice until it is too late. And of course, animals, especially birds and cats are even more sensitive than people to these things.
When I first received the information posted below, I sent out an email to everyone I knew online. I got back many corroborations from people who had close calls and even deadly results when using this product around their animals. Some people's animals died, while others were very sick.
Perhaps some can use this product without harm. As for myself, when it comes to keeping my animals safe - I prefer to be safe than sorry. If anyone wants to see some of the other emails I received in reply to this, please email me. DB
Text of Article

Febreze is Dangerous to Pets

Friends, I have absolutely no idea if this is true.  However, there are
so many products that are injurious to our pets that all synthetics are
suspect as far as I'm concerned.  Anyway, if you are using, or are
considering using, this product, and you have pets, please check it out
before you proceed.  If you have any information or first-hand
experience, please let me know. Thanks.
Febreze Is Dangerous to Pets!  
There have been multiple instances of dogs and birds who have died or
became very ill after being exposed to Febreze, a deodorizer/air
Febreze contains zinc chloride, which is very dangerous for animals.  
Please do not use Febreze anywhere near your pets! If you have used it
near your pets or on their bedding, clean the bedding/area thoroughly
to remove the Febreze, and move the animals away from the area.
Please pass this information on to other pet owners/caretakers, before
more animals are injured or killed, and find a safer method of odor
Febreze: This product is marketed as something that
removes odors without covering them up. However, there is a strong
smell to it, but worse than that, Febreze contains zinc chloride. Many
birds have already been killed after this product was used in any
proximity to them whatsoever, and some dogs have also died. Other dogs
have become ill without dying. This product is marketed as safe around
animals, and people have sprayed their dogs' bedding to remove the
doggy smell, only to discover later on that their dog became deathly
ill from it. There is one dog who lost most of her hair after being
accidentally sprayed with some Febreze, though this particular incident
also had a second factor involved (diet change).The Febreze bottle, as
of December, 1998, has a picture on the back of a dog, which leads some
people to believe it's safe to use in their bedding.
Please pass this on to your pet-loving friends.

Important! Please read the following excerpts from some of the emails I have personally received about this product. Some of the writers are known to me personally and I have every reason to believe what they say. Please don't bother writing me unless you have read this entire article and these comments first. D.B.

...I have been wondering what might be causing a rash on my arms and now I wonder if it might not be exposure to that quilt as I cover with it at night?... sister's dog has been hospitalized and no one knew what caused it.  He comes home
tomorrow.....and she told me she had just sprayed all her carpeting with
Febreze right before the dog got sick....

...On Febreze, my short experience with it told me to dump it and i did. The cat and dogs hate it, and we even had an experience with using Febreze in a blanket then using that blanket on one of the horses and she did not like whatever she smelled, she turned and snorted several times then crow hopped till the blanket flew off, she was removed from the  stall where the blanket was and she was fine. My friend in WI used Febreze in her living room and her to prize lil dogs hated it and acted weird. That is our experience. Anone who values their/others pets, toss it out....

...I have Lupus, and animals.  I'm on my third bottle.  For the last six weeks, my face has been swollen and my eyes almost swollen shut.  Last week, it got so bad (I went into shock), I had to be rushed to the emergency room.  The doctors do not know, what is causing this.  They asked me, if I had been using or exposed to something new.  I didn't mention Febreze, because, I didn't know it was important.  My Mastiff, went lame, after, I sprayed his mat with it. I air dryed it.  He was diagonoised as having  amune acquired vasculitis.  The blood vessels to his rear legs closed off.  This too, did not acure until after, I began using Febreze.  Did Febreze cause all of this, I don't know.  However, I have deep sixed it all.... we have 4family dogs (in various homes) who are sick and they all use that product.
I can't remember the offensive ingredient and my nephew wants to show it to
his veterinarian....

...A client of my husband's had a beautiful pet parrot. He was young and
healthy. Last week, the client decided to do some extra cleaning on the
parrot's cage for odor control. She used Febreze. Less than 24 hours later,
her precious pet was dead. Although she had removed him from the cage while
using the Febreze, the fumes lingered there and caused respiratory arrest
due to acute lung inflammation. She knows this is what happened because she
took the parrot's body to her veterinarian for a post mortem exam, and the
veterinarian felt that exposure to Febreze is what killed this previously
healthy bird....

...Diana thanks for this I have many friends with dogs that have developed
cancerous tumors and one just replied to me that she uses Febreeze.  I have
thought of trying it but I now know better.  My Tasha is too important to
me.  Thanks again...


Petcurean Dog Food Recall

Numerous dogs have died that were eating this dog food.  They are
developing severe liver disease.  The symptoms described in the
recall are wrong - but at least people should be warned about this recall.

Recall - letter from the company
Peter Kojalo
510 704-7777 ext. 12

From Pet Food Express Stores
Consumers Asked To Return Product To Store

Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada - October 22, 2003 - Canadian
dog-and-cat food marketer Petcurean Pet Nutrition, Inc. today
announced an immediate voluntary recall of all Go! Natural pet food
manufactured in Texas, which is sold in the Bay Area at Pet Food
Express stores.

Recalled product comes in four, eight, 12 and 30-pound bags, with the
recall in effect for all lot codes. Removal of recalled product from
store shelves has been completed today. Pet Food Express anticipates
on-shelf availability of replacement Go! Natural product manufactured
in Canada by Monday, October 27.

Petcurean voluntarily initiated the recall after investigating the
possibility that product manufactured in Texas could be related to
the illness of dogs and cats in approximately 13 reported cases, of
which six animals passed away. Symptoms to look for, although not
conclusively identified with recalled product, include rashes,
vomiting and liver dysfunction. Following reports to date, it appears
that only a fraction of a percent of animals ingesting recalled
product is impacted.

Petcurean initiated extensive independent testing of ingredients and
production operations for Texas-manufactured product this month,
after receiving reports of symptoms. No evidence has resulted to date
and testing will continue.

Consumers, veterinarians, pet agencies and breeders who have
questions concerning recalled product are asked to call Michele Dixon
at Petcurean toll free, 866-864-6112, extension 104, or to contact
the company at

Petcurean asks consumers to return recalled product to any Pet Food
Express Store for reimbursement or product replacement and coupons
for free new product. The company regrets any inconvenience and hopes
to act as a resource and assist consumers during the recall.

Recalled product results from limited production in Texas that
occurred between June and September of this year. Petcurean is
exploring the possibility that one batch of production is responsible
for the recall. This batch is the equivalent of approximately 53 30-
pound bags of pet food. Production of Go! Natural at the Texas
facility was suspended. Future production will be handled in Canada,
with all other Petcurean products.

No Petcurean product manufactured in Canada is impacted by the

Based in Abbotsford, British Columbia in Canada, Petcurean was
founded in 1999 and is privately owned. The company distributes
product in greater San Diego, Sacramento and the Bay Area, as well as
metropolitan Seattle and Denver.


Teflon Can Be Dangerous

Bird Owners Beware
One consumer warning DuPont  issues about Teflon fumes involves birds. The fumes from overheated Teflon pans can be lethal to them.

Shelby Greenman told 20/20 that her pet cockatoo keeled over in its cage down the hall from the kitchen after all the water boiled out of a Teflon pan.

"I didn't smell anything, I didn't see any smoke," she said. "As soon as they inhale it, it's over. There's nothing they can do to help them."

Bird owner groups say thousands of birds have been killed by Teflon fumes. DuPont says this occurs because birds have small and sensitive lungs.

This information was part of an ABC 20/20 report on 11/14/03.

Warning: Any sensitive individual - human or animal - should stay out of poorly ventilated rooms when Teflon is being used. NEVER overheat Teflon. Cook at moderate or low heat when using Teflon.


Counterfeit Products Could Harm Your Pet

March 12, 2004  
By Joe Furia

SEATTLE - Look out for bootleg pesticides that could threaten the health of your pet.

The government is ordering pet stores across the country to stop selling pet pesticides that have been smuggled into the U.S. under two popular brand names - Frontline and Advantage.

The very product designed to protect dogs and cats from fleas and ticks could be doing more harm than good.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, "The boxes look the same between the counterfeit product and the EPA registered product." It can be difficult for consumers or even retailers to tell the counterfeit products from the real deal.

Frontline and Advantage are two of the most popular pesticides sold to help control fleas and ticks on family pets.

But, the EPA now tells us pet stores across the country, including some here in Western Washington, have been selling counterfeit products....many unknowingly.

"We initially thought that this was maybe just a small part, but now we're finding out that this is an enormous part of the market," EPA spokesman Bill Dunbar told KOMO 4 News.

Up to 90 percent of all sales in the U.S. of these products are counterfeit according to the EPA.

They're getting those numbers from the companies that make Frontline and Advantage.

One local pet store owner, who did not want to be identified, was found to have some of the bootleg product in his store last month. He says he had no idea.

"We're assuming who we're buying it from is doing what needs to be done," he said, "most of us (retailers) were ordering the product from a company and they were shipping it to us and we assumed that it was a legal product and that they were getting it in rightful channels."

The EPA worries that the counterfeit products could make family pets sick.

The counterfeits have the same active ingredient as the EPA approved products, but the size of the doses could be different....even dangerous.

"Potentially you could be giving a dog dose to your cat," the EPA's Bill Dunbar said, " and that could create real health problems.

Another concern for the EPA involves kids.

The counterfeits are not child proof. What they are packaged in is not the same packaging that's required here.

The EPA says consumers can check Advantage or Frontline packaging to make sure they're getting the "real deal." If there are any foreign words or markings on the package - there's a good chance it may be a bootleg and should not be used on any family pets.


Swiffer Wet Jet Potentially Deadly

Elsewhere on this website, I recommend the Swiffer Duster as a very efficient cleaning tool. However, there is another product by the same manufacturer called Swiffer Wet Jet. The manufacturer of Swiffer Wet Jet denies there is any danger from this product. I am aware of and have visited the Urban Legends sites which have posted the manufacturers' claims and thus labeled reports on adverse reactions as hoaxes. The main reason, apparently, that these reports have been posted as hoaxes, is due to denials from the manufacturer. One must remember, however, that the manufacturer claims are self-serving. I personally prefer to err on the side of caution and therefore I recommend AGAINST using the Wet Jet at all. Here is a link to a material safety data sheet on the ingredient in question.

According to reports I have seen, this product is for cleaning floors and comes pre-filled with a cleaning agent which is potentially deadly to animals. One of the ingredients in the cleaning fluid is chemically very similar to antifreeze - a known poison. When the Wet Jet is used, animals walk on the floor and then clean their feet by licking them, thus ingesting the chemical. Fatal liver failure can result from this. Also, the fumes can be toxic to the point of being deadly to birds and other small creatures. Perhaps not all animals would be affected in the short term but I wouldn't want to gamble with my own pets' health.

The following is a personal account emailed to me which shows just how deadly this product might be. The email was signed with a name on it but I have chosen not to include it here. I do not know of a certainty if the report is completely accurate but I believe it is worth reading and considering if one is concerned about the safety of animals.


From a Pennsylvania rescue list:
I recently had a neighbor who had to have their 5-year old German
Shepherd dog put down due to liver failure. The dog was completely
healthy until a few weeks ago, so they had a necropsy done to see what
the cause was. The liver levels were unbelievable, as if the dog had
ingested poison of some kind. The dog is kept inside, and when he's
outside, someone's with him, so the idea of him getting into something
unknown was hard to believe. My neighbor started going through all the
items in the house. When he got to the Swiffer Wetjet, he noticed, in
very tiny print, a warning which stated "may be harmful to small
children and animals." He called the company to ask what the contents
of the cleaning agent are and was astounded to find out that antifreeze
is one of the ingredients. (actually he was told it's a compound which
is one molecule away from antifreeze).
Therefore, just by the dog walking on the floor cleaned with the
solution, then licking it's own paws, and the dog eating from its
dishes which were kept on the kitchen floor cleaned with this product,
it ingested enough of the solution to destroy its liver.
Soon after his dog's death, his housekeepers' two cats also died of
liver failure. They both used the Swiffer Wetjet for quick cleanups on
their floors. Necropsies weren't done on the cats, so they couldn't
file a lawsuit, but he asked that we spread the word to as many people
as possible so they don't lose their animals.

Addendum: I have received a several more emails from people who have had adverse experiences with the Wet Jet. Below are excerpts of some of them. Although the senders graciously consented that I could use their names, I have chosen not to do so here. But I include the excerpts as further anecdotal reports. is a note from someone about the SWIFFER. Also, my niece responded as well, with the same problem as this lady here.
In any case, Hoax or not, it's good to know, that someone is watching out for our beloved critters.
If it's just a's better than the other way around.
I also feel, that all these chemicals can't be all  t h a t  good for animals and small children.

I am nearly positive this is true!!  When I was getting ready to sell my house a couple of years ago, I bought a Swiffer WetJet, because it was important to have the house perfect daily, and I used it every evening for a quick touch-up.  I had a 16 year old dog, who was the light of my life.  Suddenly he got sick, and the vet said he was so old that he was having a vascular breakdown. He had been the picture of health up until then.  I had to have him put down about a week after he started getting sick.  After I received this first letter, I went to a veterinary site, and checked the symptoms of liver break down, they were the same as Nikki had.  I am suddenly certain that I killed my dog by using the Swiffer.  Until I got this warning, I had no clue.  If Nikki had been a younger dog, the vet would have run some more tests.  Now, I am convinced that the daily use of this Swiffer in areas where I kept and fed the dog led to this.  I know that I will never use it again. Luckily, I have no animals now.

..........I was wondering if you had anymore info on the Swiffer issue?  My seven year old perfectly healthy cat, just became really sick with a very rare liver condition that the vet is not sure how he could have acquired.  He lives indoors.  The vet said he will have to be put to sleep soon. 


..........I am writing to you about the swiffer wet jet and our own pet.  we have a labrador retriever of eXCELLENT breeding that is JUST a year old in february. 
i have  have recently been using the wet jet to clean up muddy foot prints on our kitchen floor neat the back door where the dogs enter our home, and where they eat.  suddenly our labrador began to have very violent seizures for no appearant reason.  we had her worked up for epilepsy with no luck.  she has NO signs of the disease.  we had blood work ran that was within NORMAL limits, but the sgot cpk were at the high end of normal three days after the seizures.  I have since ran out of the jet solution and have not gotten around to getting more but we have not had another seizure since.  I just today found out about this issue while spending the day  with my sister that told me of the incidents.  she has been having them nearly daily for a week, and none since...  I cant help but think there may be some corilation between the two.  if you come p with more information I would appreciate your letting me know. 


..........well cassie has not had another seizire that I am aware of since I stopped this.
My sister is the one that told me about the swiffer, what she had heard, which is what caused me to start looking up the information. 
You certainly may use my letter.... I appreciate it.  if anyone has any questions I will be Glad to answer them also.   thanks much for taking the time to write back and to post all this information on your web site.  It may have saved our cassie, as there is no permanent damage to her liver or kidneys at this time so we caught it early enough it seems.  thank god.  Thanks again and PLEASE keep me posted



Hartz Wholesome Select Pet Rabbit Diet Food May Be Hazardous to Your Rabbit

Below is an email I received from someone warning me of her tragic experience with this product in August, 2004. I do not have any other information on this particular product but there are many excellent articles on the web about proper rabbit diets. They all emphasize the importance of plenty of fiber. Three website where you can learn more are:
If anyone else has had an experience they would like to share, please email me.
Meanwhile an IMPORTANT NOTE: No matter what your rabbit eats in the way of pellet food, it still needs roughage and fiber. Regardless of what the label says. Good hay is the best source and it is critical to a rabbit's health and survival. Hay is safe, reliable, and inexpensive. You can buy small bundles of hay at produce stores, tractor supply stores, and many pet stores. Please provide your rabbit with plenty of fresh hay and fresh water at all times. DB

"I am writing you to WARN YOU of Hartz Wholesome Select Pet Rabbit Diet Food. It killed my precious two month old rabbit Mandi Belle. My bunny breeder warned me of a certain Hartz food that did not have any salt in it so when I looked on the ingredients label and found the Wholesome Select Pet Rabbit Diet had salt, I bought it.
    What killed my precious bouncing bun was not a lack of salt, it was a lack of fiber. I had intrusted my sweet little bunny's life to Hartz because it stated clearly on the front of the container, " Complete Nutrition, 100%, Alimentation Complete." Also on the feeding instructions it stated, "Feed your pet rabbit as much of this formula as it will eat daily. No supplemental vitamins, minerals, or protein is needed with this product. For variety, you may wish to offer your rabbit Hartz treats and treat sticks. It is important that fresh drinking water be available at all times."
    The day before she died she was being her usual playful self. I left around noon and went to PetsMart to get her a few things and then I went to my Nanny's house to visit for a while.I returned home around 11pm. Usually when I approach her cage she is bouncing and happy to see me, but last night was a different story. I walked over to Mandi Belle's cage and kneeled down to see her and she just laid there. This was very unusual for her. I thought she must be real sleepy and waited a few moments for her to wake up. She still didn't wake up so I went to pick her up and hold her. When I picked her up she had a dirty diarrhea bottom. I have read that if this happens to your bunny it is very serious and dangerous.
   As soon as I saw that I put her back down and called the Animal Emergency Center. I asked them what I should do considering I did not have enough money to bring her to the emergency center ( I am a broke college student) . They told me to take up her food, give her plenty of water and take her to the vet in the morning, this sounded like a lack of fiber in her diet and can be very serious. I tried to console my buddy by talking to her and telling her I would take her to the vet in the morning.
   I woke up at 7:12 am and went to check on Mandi. I found her laying on her side with her eyes open. I opened her cage to pet her and to my absolute horror she was stiff. My precious bunny died!!!!! I called my bunny breeder to ask what happened and she told me it was a lack of fiber, just as the emergency vet said. Please, please warn everyone about Hartz. They have already claimed too many sweet animals lives, stop them before they claim another!"

Update: Below are excerpts of emails from other readers, which I have received. In my opinion they add to the evidence that this product might be hazardous. D.B.

January, 2005 "I read your article about the bunny Mandi. I've been depressed for days trying to figure out what happened to my rabbit. My rabbit was a healthy 5 year old using Hartz food. I heard a commotion in the cage went over to find my rabbit rolling around and having seizures and then died out of no where." Michelle

May, 2010 "I read your story online and wanted to share mine.  My mother had a dwarf rabbit that she had for many years.  It was very old and sick and passed away after what seemed like respiratory problems.  Since my mom had a full bag of Hartz leftover, she gave me the bag.  I usually gave my rabbit some off brand of rabbit food. I also had a dwarf.  He was very healthy and happy and did not have any problems.  It was a warm spring day and upon coming home from errands, I decided I would move my rabbit cage outside so he could enjoy the sunshine.  When I went to the cage, he was dead.  He had been eating that food for about two weeks, and that is about the length of time that my mom's rabbit had been eating it too.  I'm very sad to read that other rabbits had died from this food.  I loved my bunny very much and I'm really sad that he's gone." Misty



Grapes and Raisins Poisoning
The following is not about a brand name product, but I wanted to share this information as a warning against feeding your dog grapes or raisins. The ASPCA has an animal poison hotline you can call 24hrs. a day at (888) 426-4435. There is a consultation fee. D.B.

The Wrath of Grapes by Charlotte Means, D.V.M.
Magoo was a big, playful Labrador retriever who often got himself into
some sticky situations. Usually, his escapades were harmless. But one day,
he managed to snag a box of raisins from the pantry and ended up eating an
entire pound of the sweet treats. Other than being exasperated by Magoo's
behavior, his guardians didn't think much about it. They knew that lots of
people shared grapes with their dogs and often used raisins as training
rewards. So it hardly seemed the kind of emergency that required a call to
the veterinarian. In fact, if Magoo's parents had called the ASPCA's Animal
Poison Control Center (APCC) just a few years ago, they would have been
told not to worry about it.
Through the Grapevine
Enter the APCC AnToxTM database, a computerized system that contains
nearly 500,000 animal-related medical conditions and that enables veterinarians to quickly identify toxicsubstance
exposures, recognize clinical signs and administer proper treatment. By tracking cases in this
registry, similarities in animal medical conditions nationwide can be logged and syndromes can be
Around 1989, the APCC began noticing a trend in dogs who had eaten grapes or raisins: Nearly all
developed acute renal (kidney) failure. As more cases were reported, enough data was generated in the
database to help veterinarians identify and treat dogs at risk. In all of the cases, the ingredients for
potential acute renal failure were the same. Whether the ingested grapes were purchased fresh from
grocery stores or grown in private yards didn't seem to matter, nor did the brand eaten. And the ingested
amounts varied considerably, from over a pound of grapes to as little as a single serving of raisins. The
cases weren't from any specific region, but instead came from across the United States.
The database showed that dogs who ate the grapes and raisins typically vomited within a few hours of
ingestion. Most of the time, partially digested grapes and raisins could be seen in the vomit, fecal
material, or both. At this point, some dogs would stop eating (anorexia), and develop diarrhea. The dogs
often became quiet and lethargic, and showed signs of abdominal pain. These clinical signs lasted for
several days -- sometimes even weeks.
When medical care was sought, blood chemistry panels showed consistent patterns. Hypercalcemia
(elevated blood calcium levels) was frequently present, as well as elevated levels of blood urea nitrogen,
creatinine and phosphorous (substances that reflect kidney function). These chemistries began to increase
anywhere from 24 hours to several days after the dogs ate the fruit. As the kidney damage developed, the
dogs would produce little urine. When they could no longer produce urine, death occurred. In some
cases, dogs who received timely veterinary care still had to be euthanized.
Why did the fruit cause the dogs to become ill? No one knows. Suspect grapes and raisins have been
screened for various pesticides, heavy metals (such as zinc or lead), and mycotoxins (fungal
contaminants) and so far, all results have come back negative. In the cases where the grapes were grown
in private yards, owners confirmed that no insecticides, fertilizers or antifungals had been used on the
"Raisin" the Success Rate
Even though the exact cause of the renal failure is unknown, dogs who ingest grapes and raisins can be
treated successfully to prevent its development. The first line of defense is decontamination. Inducing
vomiting in recent ingestions and administering activated charcoal helps prevent absorption of potential
toxins. Dogs should be hospitalized and placed on intravenous fluids for a minimum of 48 hours. A
veterinarian should monitor blood chemistry daily for at least three days following the ingestion. If all
blood work is normal after three days, it's unlikely that kidney failure will occur. If a dog shows evidence
of renal failure, fluids must be continued, and other medications should be used to stimulate urine
production. Some dogs may need peritoneal dialysis, a process where the peritoneum (the membranes
surrounding the abdominal organs) is used to filter waste products that are normally filtered by the
Thanks in part to the AnTox database, grape or raisin ingestion can be easily identified and treated.
Today, a dog can make a complete recovery from this potentially fatal condition.
Dr. Means is a veterinary toxicologist at the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center in Urbana, Illinois.
Reprinted from ASPCA Animal Watch, Summer 2002, Volume 22, Number 2, with permission from The American Society
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 424 East 92nd Street, New York, NY 10128-6804.
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is the only animal poison control
center in North America. Established in 1978, at the University of Illinois College of
Veterinary Medicine. The Center is the only facility of its kind. Located in Urbana,
Illinois, the specially trained staff provides assistance to pet owners and specific diagnostic and treatment recommendations to veterinarians. In 2001, the Center handled over 65,000 cases.



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