Complaints on social networks claim that Purina food makes pets sick: the company denies everything

In recent weeks, complaints have circulated on social media that Purina brand food has made several pets sick, which has caused fear among dog and cat owners.

However, Purina strongly denies that there are any problems with its products.

“Pet owners are understandably still spooked by the Internet rumor that there is a problem with Purina foods. This rumor is false. “We are saddened to see the confusion and fear it has caused,” the company said in a statement on its website on Monday.

The claims were amplified in a Facebook group for pet owners, called Saving Pets One Pet @ A Time, at the beginning of December. The group’s administrator, Kelly Bone, wrote in a post that she had received multiple reports of dogs or cats becoming suddenly ill or dying after eating Purina Pro Plan, a food formula that comes in wet and dry varieties.

“I started noticing that there were quite a few sick pets in my group,” Bone said. “When I contacted owners to ask what they ate, when they were last vaccinated, when they took flea and tick medication, etc., the common denominator was Purina.”

Bone said he has received 969 reports of dogs or cats becoming ill after eating Purina foods, including 234 deaths. Symptoms have included lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle weakness, seizures, rapid weight loss, and rectal bleeding.

The theory has also had space on TikTok, where various users warned about Purina products, citing Facebook conversations.

Purina explained that its quality assurance team investigated the rumor and “did not find any data or trends that indicated a problem.”

“There are no health or safety issues with our products, so can continue to be fed with confidence”, the company specified in its statement.

These twists and turns have left some pet owners searching for answers, like James Diehl, a resident of Long Island, New York.

According to Diehl, one of her dogs, Carly, suddenly lost her appetite in September. The next month, the 14-year-old Rottweiler was lethargic and had diarrhea, she added. Diehl said doctors discovered a blood clot in her heart, but they did not believe it had caused the gastrointestinal symptoms. Carly died in November.

The following month, Diehl’s dog Petri lost his appetite and was lethargic, he said. The 17-year-old dachshund died two days before Christmas.

Diehl still has two other dogs, an 8-year-old dachshund named Bear and Graham, a Rottweiler. Bear developed similar symptoms in December, the man said, and was in critical care. Diehl added that he still has trouble eating at home.

Diehl’s wife, Irene Nunes-Diehl, added that the three older dogs consumed Purina products their entire lives. Carly and Petri had been eating Purina Pro Plan wet food when they developed symptoms, while Bear had been feeding Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets NeuroCare. Graham, however, was adopted from a shelter last month and has not received Purina foods, nor has he had any health problems.

Diehl said his veterinarian couldn’t explain why the other dogs got sick. However, a friend told the couple about the rumors about Purina and Now both attribute illnesses to food.

“It’s the only explanation I can think of,” Diehl said. “I mean, God, to lose two dogs in a month and almost say goodbye to a third, there has to be some correlation. But try it? Don’t know. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to prove it.”

Purina spokeswoman Lorie Westhoff said Nunes-Diehl filed a complaint with the company on Monday and they contacted her. Purina plans to request more information, including veterinary records, Westhoff added.

In addition, he also specified that the Facebook group has not given the company details about the complaints it received.

For example, Westhoff noted, Purina “spoke to one person in this group who had shared their story and was unwilling to provide us with veterinary records or food samples.” and he did not allow us to contact his veterinarian.”

“Without more information, we simply cannot investigate despite being more than willing to do so,” he said.

Westhoff further suggested that two people who helped spread the allegations have promoted brands that compete with Purina in the past. One of them is Rachel Fusaro, creator of TikTok, who has more than 276,000 followers on the platform and posted videos about Purina that have since been taken down. Fusaro’s Instagram has shared several paid advertisements, and according to her Amazon page, she may earn commissions on purchases of certain dog food brands. The woman did not respond to a request for comment.

Westoff also named Dr. Judy Morgan, a veterinarian who partners with a certain dog food brand and is a moderator for the same group. Morgan warned earlier this month on YouTube and Instagram about Purina products

“There seems to be clear benefits for them in promoting this rumor,” Westhoff said.

However, Morgan told NBC News that he hasn’t benefited from his warnings to pet owners. She recommends multiple dog food brands on her social media accounts and on her e-commerce site, she explained, adding that she is paying to have Purina foods tested in an independent laboratory.

“I’m not trying to make money from this. “I am spending my own money to solve this problem.”he indicated.

Additionally, he stated that he became concerned about Purina pet food after reading reports on the Facebook group, as well as customer reviews on sites like Chewy and Amazon.

Purina has not recalled any products from the market, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not requested or ordered it to do so. The FDA commented that pet owners and veterinarians can report illnesses through an online form.

“Although specific comments cannot be made at this time about these diseases, generally speaking, when the FDA becomes aware of pet diseases, we evaluate them and determine what actions can be taken, if necessary,” stated a spokesperson for the agency.

Kenneth Simpson, a professor of small animal medicine at Cornell University, explained that he had not heard from colleagues or pet owners about problems related to Purina products.

“In my experience, the vast majority of commercial pet food producers “They are ethical and consider the safety of the diet their top priority.”said Simpson, who serves on Purina’s scientific advisory board. “If a pet food manufacturer becomes aware of a problem after manufacturing, when a food is on the market, it will recall it.”

Early last year, Purina voluntarily recalled a dog product, Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EL Elemental, due to potentially high levels of vitamin D. This nutrient is essential for dogs, but in excessive amounts it can be toxic. .

This recall has no known relationship to the illnesses that have recently been reported on social media.