Shake Paws

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FDA warns of potential presence of thyroid hormones in pet foods and treats

by Shake Paws

Pet foods and treats that contain thyroid tissue and thyroid hormones can cause a disease that is rare in dogs

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has advised pet owners that pet food and treats made with livestock gullets – meat from the throat area – may contain thyroid tissue and thyroid hormones. Pets that eat such food or treats may develop hyperthyroidism, a disease that is rare in dogs and usually caused by thyroid cancer.

Symptoms of the disease include excessive thirst and urination, weight loss, increased appetite, restlessness, hyperactivity, an elevated heart rate, rapid and/or laboured breathing, vomiting, and diarrhea. Continued exposure to excess thyroid hormones can damage the heart and, in some cases, result in death.

The FDA issued the alert following

a recent Center for Veterinary Medicine investigation into reports of three dogs in different households that showed signs of hyperthyroidism. In these cases, extensive testing on all three dogs conducted at a reference laboratory showed elevated thyroid hormone in the blood, but ruled out thyroid cancer. Reference lab interviews with the dogs’ owners revealed that all three dogs had been fed BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe TM Red Meat Dinner Wet Food for Adult Dogs and/or Wellness 95% Beef Topper for Dogs.

The dogs in question subsequently stopped eating these foods and after a few weeks their clinical signs disappeared and their hormone levels returned to normal.

Following consultations with the FDA, both WellPet and Blue Buffalo initiated recalls of selected lots of the affected products on 17 March.

For more information, visit the FDA website.