Number one selling dog treat in US causing kidney failure, death

Makers of Waggin’ Train dog treats Nestle Purina continue to deny today any problem with their treats despite hundreds of reports of complaints  to the FDA. They insist that their strict quality control of the chicken jerky manufactured in China prevents any problems with possible adulteration of their product. Further, Nestle-Purina states if the FDA can’t find the contaminant then they do not have to take the product off the market or take any responsibility for the illness and death of pets associated with their dog close up

There are two glaring problems with Nestle-Purina’s argument;  one, if the FDA doesn’t know what the contaminant is yet – how does Nestle-Purina know?  The contaminant can only be identified by first determining what the contaminant is before they can test for it. If the FDA and the University toxicology laboratories that work with the FDA have been unable to discover what the contaminant is since the problem was first recognized in 2007, how is Nestle-Purina able to? If Nestle-Purina knows something the FDA doesn’t know, then it is their duty to inform the FDA. Nestle-Purina cannot unequivocally assure the product’s safety until they can first show that the product has tested negative for the (as yet unknown) contaminant.  bw close up dog eyes

Second, based on the first argument it would be prudent for Nestle-Purina to issue a precautionary recall of their product until such time the contaminant is discovered.  True, Nestle-Purina is not by law required to do so, but as a manufacturer who is genuinely concerned for the health and safety of the pets consuming their product, it is their ethical and moral duty to do so.  Further, if the Wal-Mart, the largest retailer on the globe, would take a proactive stance out of an abundance of caution and remove the product until such time the manufacturer can prove the product is indeed safe, surely other retailers would follow suit. funny-dog-pictures-the-proud-the-strong-the-flat-faced

I am reminded of the recent Enfamil baby formula scare, when a child was suspected of dying as a result of ingesting the product. The manufacturer of Enfamil and the retailers who carried the product immediately withdrew the product from the market as a precaution before determining what, if anything, was wrong with the product. Mercifully, it turned out there was nothing wrong with the product after all, but that did not prevent these corporations from doing the right nose dog

Doing the right thing is not determined by what is the legal thing to do or the economically profitable thing to do – it is based entirely on the moral fabric that civilized society is based on.  A corrupt society is not be concerned with morals or ethics and is only concerned with what benefits the individuals of that society, and not by not what benefits society as a whole. dog sitting on park bench

A consumers basic right, legally and morally, is to expect that products brought to the marketplace are safe. Without that assurance, consumer trust and the economics of an entire society are compromised. Indeed, if one takes a long view of the consequences of eroded consumer confidence – any first year student of economics will tell you that without it, the future stability and financial success of corporate America is on very shaky ground.  That reason alone should inspire Nestle-Purina to do the right thing, if, after all, it affects their bottom line. And that, is what they would call a good howl bw

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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 (21) Write a comment

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  2. My 2.5 year old goldendoodle starting receiving these treats last month and now is in complete kidney failure. Nothing can be done to help her. I not sure if this is the case but it sure doesn’t seem like a coincident. Now another dog who also received one treat while visiting is going in for testing as she has started to be lethargic and have stomach issues.


  3. My Braxton (Cavalier King Charles) was buried also. My sister in law bought this toxic treats as Sams Club South Point Ohio on May 5th 2012. He passed away May 9th. If Purina would have pulled this or FDA had made them pull these. Braxton would still be here with us.


    • I am so sorry for your loss. Did you and your vet report this to the FDA? Do you still have a sample of the treat? The FDA may want to test it. What was your dogs diagnosis? Did the vet think it had anything to do with the treats? Just now Deana that we are working very hard to put an end to this.


  4. Pingback: State of denial: pet food industry veterinarian downplays toxic treats role in poisoning dogs « Poisoned Pets

  5. Pingback: Canadian vets report of life-threatening dog illness linked to imported treats from US and China « Poisoned Pets

  6. I am furious. My dog Max ate these jerky treats, ended up with kidney failure of which I spent thousands of dollars in tests, treatments, subcutaneous every other day fluid flushings all to lose him a week before Christmas all to learn I was the one poisoning him! Now I have a new puppy who unknowingly I am feeding chicken jerky treats from China to! I just found out about all of these warnings literally yesterday when someone posted something on facebook. I would have had NO IDEA and probably killed my new dog too. If anyone knows who to report this to or how to file class action suit or something please let me know.


    • Daina, I am so so sorry for your loss. To my knowledge there are no class action suits to date. Please be sure to go to the FDA’s website and report the loss of yoru pet to them. Also ask your veteranarian report it to the FDA as well. I received a call from Sedgwick last week informing me my claim against WagginTrain aka Nestle Purina had been denied as well. Please be sure to take your puppy to your veternarian and have him thoroughly checked out. I must also advise you to be sure they check your puppy’s liver enzymes as that is where my pet suffered the most damage and its an issue that not alot of pet owners are aware of. It is sad this poison we are feeding our “babies” is killing them and we have no way to fight than to get on the internet and make our voices heard. Again I am sorry for your loss and I truly hope that your puppy doesnt suffer. This is not your fault…the fault lies with our government who is doing nothing to help us, to the pet food/treat companies who care more about the all mighty dollar than the lives damaged and destroyed by this poison…


      • Good comment! Good advice! Thanks Maria. There will not be a class action until they find the contaminant. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t attorney’s lining up just waiting to get their claws in those manufacturers, because there are. And you all will be the first to know when that ball gets rolling!


  7. Please tell us all how we can get active and make some noise about this. I am furious and ready for action. What the heck is wrong with
    our gov’t. I am only one person but I will take action and if each “one” of us does the same maybe we can make a difference. Tell me how to get this going and who all to contact….



  8. My heart breaks for those who have suffered an illness and or a loss of their pet. We too have struggled since feeding our dogs Waggin Train Chik’n Biscuits. 4 days after my first purchase of these treats my 3 year old toy rat terrier Bandit collapsed. He had been vomiting and had bloody diarrhea. By the time I got him to the vet he was in organ failure. We struggled for days whether to keep on treating him or letting him go. Thank God for giving us the wisdom to stay strong for Bandit. After a month of medical treatments costing well over $4,000 he is finally healing. Both Bandit and our other 8 year old rat terrier Kali suffered from liver damage due to being fed these treats. Bandit will require medical care for the rest of his life. I too have struggled with the guilt that it was I who purchased these treats and fed them to my beloved pets. It’s something that will haunt me for the rest of their lives. I wish the FDA would do something about these treats and I wish that stores would stop selling these products to unknowing pet owners. I have bone cancer so my memory is bad and I don’t remember ever hearing about the dangerous chicken jerky coming from China. How many other pet parents have to suffer the loss of their beloved pets before something is done. I am so sorry for your loss. Please don’t blame yourself.. blame the companies that purchase chicken jerky from China and use it in their products and hide that fact on the packaging. Blame the companies that sell it on the store shelves and most of all the FDA who is supposed to be there to protect us…God Bless


  9. My Lhasa mix BJ died yesterday. He had a Waggin Train chicken jerky from a new bag Wednesday, seemed “off” Thursday, started to vomit Firday, saw the vet for tests Saturday AM. He was dead Sunday AM, just on hour after the vet got the blood test results. All of his organs were shutting down, he died before they could even start an IV. Wednesday he was on active 2 yr old dog with no health problems, Sunday dead. The vets suspects the treats but has no proof. That’s the problem she said. She will cooperate with the FDA is asked to supply results. She’s tired of hearing about the deaths too. Waggin Train said to file a claim. WHY?? money will not bring my pet back.


    • OMG Terie. I am so sorry. I cannot begin to express the depth of my sorrow and anger I feel everytime I hear of this tragedy happening again. It makes me sick and sad. File a claim only because they need to know how many pets they have killed. It is totally not about the money. Doubtful anyone would see a penny anyway. It will also “help” your case with the FDA, the more “proof” the better. Someday, when the toxin is discovered, as it will be eventually, there will be a class action lawsuit against WT and the rest of them – that will RUIN them. Not financially, but it will send them, and industry a message, that they CANNOT get away with murder. I would also make the effort to offer the sample to the FDA for testing. The spotlight is on them now, the FDA has to act. The more consumers complain – my hope is that – they will act accordingly. My deepest sympathy, Terie. Mollie


  10. It is just so frustrating that animal lives are not as valuable as people’s in the eyes of this company! If there was an outbreak causing human deaths, I suspect they would have treated the issue as more pressing. Either way, I hope people in the USA become more aware of the risks involved in this product and boycott it!
    Keep up the great work with educating the public!


    • I hate Nestle-Purina. What else can I say. Their history of abusing basic human rights – such as allowing women to breast feed – is utterly appalling. They, as many other companies do, put profits before people, pets and the planet. That is what I call the real bottom line.


  11. Pingback: Consumers desperate for answers clutch at straws to stop jerky treats from poisoning more dogs « Poisoned Pets

  12. We just buried our beloved German Shepard of 12 years 01/15/12 to a Chicken Jerky Treat made by Waggin Train aka Purina Mills. We received the bag if treats in a bag if Purina Dog Food purchased  locally at Walmart in Hammond, Louisiana. The company is aware that these treats are killing our pets but they sit back and have done nothing about pulling their China made treats. When I called to complain a d find out their side of the story, they sent me and others to their Settlement Dept. 
    All chicken jerky treats that are made in China and/or the ingredients are coming from China are poisoning our dogs causing illness & death in many healthy dogs after they have consumed these treats even while staying within the guidelines. The FDA knows there is a link but it is undetermined as to what that link may be. At the slightest doubt these products should have been recalled or at the very least a warning label put on all packaging. We are seeking the removal of these products from all store shelves or warning labels put on all packaging. No animal should ever have to die due to treats.
    As of 1/3/12 the FDA has reported that the number of reports flooding in of sick and dying dogs has now reached into the hundreds since Nov. 2011, this is in addition to the 70 that was in its original warning on 11/18/11.

    What I am asking of you is to help me make the public aware and perhaps forcing someone from theses companies to show interest and help us.  Myself and several others across the USA has joined forces and we are trying to get others aware on Facebook. 

    Reports surfaced yesterday that in the past two weeks over 400 new cases of animals being poisoned after eating treats manufactured in China have been received by the FDA, strengthening demands from pet owners that a recall be placed into effect.


    • Rhonda, your story, like so many others, is the reason I do what I do. I have written many articles on the problem with the jerky treats. I am an active member of the Facebook group Animal Parents Against Pet Treats Made in China. I post frequently on both my Facebook profile and pages, Twitter.

      We all want this product removed from the market ASAP. We need someone (with deep pockets) who is willing to spend the money it takes to test these treats for a contaminant at Cornell’s Toxicology Department. A single test is relatively inexpensive but the cost per hour to conduct the tests can run from $500-$800 and up. And there is no assurance one will ever be found.

      The main problem is the contaminant is not one of the commonly known contaminates – so it could be anything. That kind of testing can cost thousands and thousands of dollars. The kind of money that should not have to be spent by a consumer. But until then, we wait and see what the labs come up with and meanwhile more dogs will die unless Nestle-Purina does the right thing and issues a precautionary recall. Which seems unlikely, as the law, as it is written, does not require them to do so.

      Please check out the other articles I have written on the subject.

      You have my deepest sympathy Rhonda and I want you to know I am doing everything in my power to bring this to the attention of the public.



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