German_Shepherd_dog_at_sunset

Sick dog ‘fights for its life’ after eating contaminated pet food

UPDATE: Donna’s dog, Reina, lost her fight with Lysteria and passed away on July 18, 2015. On Reina’s page Donna shared with us her sad news.

Rest in peace dear Reina

Rest in peace dear Reina

“Reina passed away this morning Reina’s body rejected the transfusions that she needed to survive while waiting for stem cells. She became very weak, unable to stand, and started to have pain. I could not let her suffer and had to say goodbye to her.

Even with an offer of cord blood potentially coming in within the next day or two, Reina’s body would have needed at least another week to engraft the stem cells. Without being able to tolerate transfusions during the engraftment, she could not survive. In Reina’s honor, her doctor will still collect the cord blood that donors have offered to send in.

A bank of stem cells will be established to help other dogs. There is currently no canine stem cell bank set up and having one will prevent others from making the desperate plea I had to do on behalf of Reina. Please contact Dr. Anne Hale by email at ahale@vecsnm.com to make a cord blood donation.

Reina was rescued from a shelter. Reina was hoping to receive stem cells from the 12 – 15 pups to be born from a mama dog helped by Bridges to Home in Albuquerque. Please consider helping them and other dogs in need through a donation or by fostering and adoption.

Thank you to all of the potential cord blood donors and to everyone who helped spread Reina’s story. Your kindness and assistance has been so appreciated.”

Reina passed away this morning Reina’s body rejected the transfusions that she needed to survive while waiting for stem cells. She became very weak, unable to stand, and started to have pain. I could not let her suffer and had to say goodbye to her.

Even with an offer of cord blood potentially coming in within the next day or two, Reina’s body would have needed at least another week to engraft the stem cells. Without being able to tolerate transfusions during the engraftment, she could not survive. In Reina’s honor, her doctor will still collect the cord blood that donors have offered to send in.

A bank of stem cells will be established to help other dogs. There is currently no canine stem cell bank set up and having one will prevent others from making the desperate plea I had to do on behalf of Reina. Please contact Dr. Anne Hale by email at ahale@vecsnm.com to make a cord blood donation.

Reina was rescued from a shelter. Reina was hoping to receive stem cells from the 12 – 15 pups to be born from a mama dog helped by Bridges to Home in Albuquerque. Please consider helping them and other dogs in need through a donation or by fostering and adoption.

Thank you to all of the potential cord blood donors and to everyone who helped spread Reina’s story. Your kindness and assistance has been so appreciated.”

A woman whose dog is fighting for its life is the reason a pet food company has recalled its Vital Essentials Frozen Beef Tripe Patties and Nibblets.

Pet parent Donna Bertko said her German Shepherd Reina ate the raw pet food back in May, which was later found to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Reina’s veterinarian, Dr. Anne Hale, of the Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center in New Mexico said the disease attacked Reina’s bone marrow.

Reina spent five days in the ER because her blood count was so low and now Reina needs a bone marrow transplant to survive. But, there’s a problem: Donna says that she needs a potential donor for Reina’s bone transplant.

Donna discovered the Vital Essentials Beef Trip Patties caused Reina’s illness when the New Mexico Dept. of Agriculture tested the food and found it was contaminated with L. monocytogenes. The Federal Food and Drug Administration also tested the product and alerted the company that the product tested positive for Listeria.

Yesterday, the company announced a recall of the affected products and issued a press release which you can download here.

Fortunately for Donna, the company is willing to pay her vet bills, that so far have reached a whopping $18,000.

The company is reviewing the case, because Listeria rarely causes illness in dogs.

Even though Listeria is a bacteria normally found in 20% of dog fecal samples, those dogs are prone to consequently developing listeriosis from contaminated food. The true incidence of listeriosis in dogs is unknown, because in the average healthy dog, infections are usually asymptomatic.

Why some people (and animals) may be vulnerable to Listeria is explained in the Oxford Journal of Clinical and Infectious Diseases, here:

“As new techniques to identify Listeria in food have been developed and food inspection in search of microbial hazards has been strengthened, Listeria has been found in a wide variety of food products unassociated with any clinical disease. Therefore, L. monocytogenes must be a common transient colonizer of the human gastrointestinal tract but with little inclination to cause invasive infection unless host factors for invasive disease are present, or the amount delivered to the intestinal tract is large enough to overwhelm local gastrointestinal preventive barriers.”

People who have the Vital Essentials Frozen Beef Tripe Patties or Nibblets in their home are encouraged to throw them out. The products were sold in WA, CA, TX, GA, IL, CO, NM, FL, PA, RI, OH and VT.

To find out more about the recall, click here.

To find out more about Listeria, visit these websites:

Source: Woman says now-recalled dog food made her dog sick with listeria (KOB-TV)

donate poisoned pets

Mollie Morrissette

Mollie Morrissette, author of Poisoned Pets, is an animal food safety expert and advisor to AAFCO. Help support her work by making a donation today.

Comments (2) Write a comment

  1. Ohh, it really saddening to read stories like this, thanks for sharing it with us, and also sharing some resources about this.

    Reply

SHARE YOUR COMMENTS WITH US. YOUR OPINION MATTERS.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.