On October 8th, the Michigan State University (MSU) Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health (DCPAH) revealed that it had identified 16 cases of confirmed hypervitaminosis D (vitamin D toxicity) in dogs from 8 states (Michigan, Texas, Colorado, Wisconsin, California, Illinois, North Dakota and Utah). The DCPAH reported that further investigation of the cases revealed that all of the affected dogs were receiving the same brand of pet food – Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe. In response, Blue Buffalo has recalled certain lots of their Wilderness Chicken Dog food, Basics Salmon Dog food and Large Breed Adult Dog products.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®) has warned that increased Vitamin D can lead to hypercalcemia, a serious, if not fatal illness in dogs. Hypercalcemia is a serious illness that affects the electrolytes in the body and can disrupt normal organ function. Serious cases can result in acute renal failure and cause damage to the heart or central nervous system. In untreated cases, the condition would even lead to coma and death. "Should pet owners notice symptoms such as increased thirst, urination, stomach upset or loss of appetite, they should consult their veterinarian," said Dr. Camille DeClementi, Veterinarian and Senior Toxicologist at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.
"We have reason to believe that the products from these runs may contain a higher level of Vitamin D than is called for in our product specifications. We came to this conclusion after discovering that our ingredient supplier had made a scheduling error and produced a Vitamin D supplement immediately prior to preparing the ingredients for the BLUE products that are in question. We believe that some of the Vitamin D supplement may have been carried over into our products, resulting in more Vitamin D than is called for in our formulas," said a spokesperson for Blue Buffalo.
The recall applies to any Wilderness Chicken (Dog) 4.5 lb, 11 lb, or 24lb bags with "Best Used By" dates of JUL1211B, JUL1311B, JUL2611Z, JUL2711Z, JUL2811Z; BLUE Basics Salmon (Dog) 11 lb, or 24 lb bags with "Best Used By" dates of AUG2111B, AUG2211B; and BLUE Wilderness Chicken (Dog) 4.5 lb, 11 lb, or 24lb bags with "Best Used By" dates of JUL1211B, JUL1311B, JUL2611Z, JUL2711Z, JUL2811Z. Blue Buffalo says that no other products they produce are affected, and that new bags of the affected lines which are safe to use are already available. The company advises any pet owner who has any products with the codes above to stop feeding immediately and contact them for a refund.