Veterinarian says dog food may not be to blame in pet deaths - WNEM TV 5

Veterinarian says dog food may not be to blame in pet deaths

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A class action lawsuit against Purina is getting the attention of pet owners in Mid-Michigan but a veterinarian says the company may not be to blame. 

Dr. Randall Carpenter says there may not be enough evidence of anything harmful in the food.

"The jury is still out and I don't think we should all rush to judgement," says Carpenter. "Let's let the scientists do their work and really determine whether there is a link. I seriously question whether there is or not."

Many people who fed their dogs Purina Beneful say they watched their pets become violently ill. For one local couple, it was much worse. 

“It was just devastating to open the door and him not being there,” says Terry Hawkins. 

A familiar face no longer greets Peggy and Terry Hawkins of Otisville. Their two year old Cocker Spaniel / Jack Russell mix named Shadow was the light of their lives.

When the happy go-lucky pup suddenly became violently ill nearly two years ago, Peggy rushed him to the vet."They couldn't find nothing wrong and he seemed to be ok so we brought him home," says Peggy.

But Shadow got worse and after a seizure his stomach began to swell."They did the surgery and it was like the next day we had to put him down finally, there was nothing we could do.

"Shadow was gone and making matters worse was the vet bill totaling more than $800. Peggy says she was left with more questions than answers-- could it have been the dog food she was feeding Shadow that made him so sick?

Peggy fed him Purina Beneful because “it has the little kibbles in it and that's what he liked." 

And now that food is the subject of a class action lawsuit. Three thousand online complaints claiming all eight types of Purina's Beneful dry dog food have sickened or killed dogs across the country -- symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, seizures and even liver failure. The lawsuit also claims the Beneful dog food contains several toxins -- one found in anti-freeze, the other formed from fungus found in grains.

Purina responded to our questions -- denying the claims -- stating that the lawsuit is baseless and that the company follows strict quality guidelines -- and says consumers can continue feeding their pets Beneful with total confidence.

The lawsuit asks Purina to pay damages to the thousands filed under the suit and forfeit any profits earned from the Beneful brand.According to these court documents, Purina has until April 2nd to respond to the complaint.

You can submit your information to the law firm by emailing the answers to the questions below to:

Your address:
Name, breed and age of dog:
Product used and where bought:
Length of use:
Symptoms that arose:
Treatment and any testing and results:
Any poison testing (such as Mycotoxin/propylene glycol), if so, what was found:
Estimate of costs to treat/records available?:
Health Outcome: 
Autopsy done, if applicable:
Do you still have the food?  (If so, please retain in a safe place)
Any additional notes or info you would like to share:

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