February 18, 2013

A Warning for Pet Owners

Feeling a little sad this morning.  It was at 8:00 (just three minutes from now) on Presidents' Day last year that I held my beloved poodle, Scooby, in my arms as he took his final breaths.  He was only 10 years old, not really that old, and healthy until the previous Thursday.

That Thursday evening I knew he didn't feel well.  He was lethargic and just, well, off.  By Friday morning he was stumbling around bumping into walls and something was obviously very wrong.  A frantic call to the vet (and a bit of yelling and crying) got them to squeeze him in during the afternoon.  I couldn't take off work so Megan and her boyfriend took him.  The vet gave him an antibiotic and something for motion sickness.  We were to give him the antibiotics all weekend and if he wasn't better by Monday bring him in for further testing to look for kidney failure or tumors.

We never made it that far.  I spent the weekend holding him, petting him and letting him know he was loved as I watched him slip further and further away.  His body was shutting down and he was in horrible pain...especially Sunday night when he took to thrashing uncontrollably.  The vet didn't give us pain pills to give him and because it was the weekend we didn't have the option of having him put to sleep to end his suffering.  That is a regret I will always carry....of his trusting brown eyes looking at me in pain and not being able to help him.

Anyway, I bring this up today because last night I was watching the news and they had a story on about a woman who just recently lost her dog.  The details are nearly identical.  She was on the news because she had given her dog chicken jerky treats.  Those have been in the news.  Most are made in China and while the experts can't identify what is in them, something in them causes kidney failure in some dogs.

I didn't feed Scooby chicken jerky, but I do use treats with my dogs.  I had already decided what happened to Scooby was related to something in his food or treats and it has made me very particular about what I feed my dogs.  The story on the news last night just solidified my resolve.  The advice of the vets they talked to?  

AVOID ALL TREATS.  DO NOT GIVE ANY STORE-BOUGHT, PACKAGED TREATS TO YOUR DOGS WHETHER THEY ARE MADE IN CHINA OR NOT.

My dogs will not be getting any more treats or rawhide bones (their favorite distraction).  And the woman in the story who lost her dog?  She has filed a class action suit, not for the money but to get the pet food/treat manufacturers to act responsibly.  They have known there was a problem for some time.  Why are the products still on the market?  I wish her luck.  No dog should have to suffer and no family should have to lose a cherished pet this way.

4 comments:

Wendy S. said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Scooby, Stacy! I know how much you love your pets and how much they are your children just as much as your human one's are. Really scary about the whole "treat" situation. I don't have a dog but I'll be sure to tell my friends who have one in their life to be cautious and stop giving them. Sending you lots and lots of hugs.

Merlesworld said...

Thank for the warning I often buy treats for my part time dog who belongs to my daughter and visits every week for a couple of days, I will stick to pigs ears.
Sorry to hear about you dog Scooby.
Merle......

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I do like to give my Skye treats but I have been buying only USA products for about a year now. No dog should have to die before their time. I am so sorry. ((HUGS))

Teri said...

It is so hard to lose a beloved pet. We lost our big dog on New Year's Eve 2010, and I still miss him fiercely. Thanks for spreading the message that may save countless furry friends. So sorry for the loss of your sweet Scooby...

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