Food Guidelines

Guest Post: “Purina’s Beneful Poisoned My Dogs”

by Caroline Ashford

This week I spoke with a man who alleges that his dog nearly died from the food he was feeding. He told me the story of what happened to him, and provided two videos; one that shows his dog while being fed Purina’s Beneful dry dog food, and another video taken after they stopped feeding this product. Video links are at the end of this article.

Xena and BiggyMike Felician and his wife own a 4.5 year old Westy/Maltese mix named Xena, and a 2.5 year old Minpin/Chihuahua mix named Biggy. He fondly calls them his babies. He said that he and his wife have baby-proofed their home so there is nothing in the environment that would be harmful for their dogs to get into.

Mike was laid off work. His wife is disabled and they were struggling financially. At the end of January 2014 he purchased a 15-pound bag of Purina Beneful Incredibites to replace the more expensive food he had been feeding because he needed to save money, and the cover of the dog food bag showed what looked like healthy food with pictures of rice, beef and fresh vegetables.

When his little Xena became sick, he thought it might be a virus because every time she ate she would throw up. He also noticed that Biggy was drinking much larger amounts of water than normal.

Within a week, Xena began to have seizures. After her first seizure, she was unable to walk normally and she was unable to hold her head normally. Mike researched seizures in dogs on the web.  Most of the posts indicted that seizures were not anything to be overly concerned with because dogs get them all of the time but seem to be OK afterwards.

Xena continued to have seizures. Her back legs would fall out from under her and she began refusing to eat the Purina Beneful. Biggy began to show similar symptoms. He was throwing up and beginning to urinate in the house, which was unusual for him.

Mike and his wife were sure that the dogs had contracted a virus and both were ill. After the seizures increased to multiple times a day, Mike contacted the VCA veterinarians. The veterinarian suggested a number of expensive tests but unfortunately Mike wasn’t in the financial position to be able to afford $2000 tests per dog. So the vet suggested phenobarbital, which is a medicine that controls seizures but does require consistent monitoring to avoid liver toxicity. When they brought Xena home from the vet, Biggy began having seizures as well.

Trying to figure out what could be causing this in both their dogs Mike and his wife reviewed the situation. The dogs were different breeds and genders. Their vet indicated that it had to be an internal problem so the only thing they had in common was the food.

Mike emailed the vet to let them know what was happening and he asked if seizures can be contagious for any reason and if it might be the food. Mike was assured that seizures were not contagious although he received no response on the food issue, so Mike looked for a second opinion for his dog. The new vet explained that without having the $2,000 to run tests and start treatment the best they could do was make the dog comfortable and wait out her final days.

Mike did more research in an attempt to find some way to save his “baby” when he stumbled up on this Facebook group  Is BENEFUL by Purina KILLING or SICKENING Our Dogs? Post Your Story!  which listed countless dogs whose owners had reported similar scenarios. The dog owners in this group all believe that Purina’s Beneful was the cause of their pets’ illnesses and deaths. Owners of surviving dogs allege that their animals survived after Purina’s Beneful was removed from their diets, although it appears from the posts that many others may not have been so lucky.

In earlier reports where pet parents alleged that the food was causing sickness and death, Purina has suggested that dogs were sick before eating Beneful.  However, in Mike’s particular case, his vet said that his dog was completely healthy prior to this instance.

The FDA has collected Beneful samples from owners after reports were filed. However, more than one owner has stated that they have had no return calls regarding results.

Veterinarians do seem unusually quiet or at minimum vague on this subject. Perhaps it is because Purina sponsors and subsidizes so many veterinary training programs?

The aforementioned Facebook site opens to an image of a large quantity of blood passed by a dog on a bathroom floor, that died shortly after he starting eating Beneful, and is dedicated to helping people who have had to deal with what they believe are the after-effects of Purina’s Beneful. Mike found a suggested treatment for his dogs. He followed the directions closely and within a few days both of his dogs were better.  No more vomiting, head-bobbing or falling down, and no more seizures.  The dogs were acting like the playful puppies he was used to before buying Beneful. Below are the BEFORE VIDEO and the AFTER VIDEO and here is what Mike did that made his dogs better:

1. He removed Purina’s Beneful from their diet.

2. He changed to a diet without the ingredients that he discovered could be linked to health problems. He chose a grain-free, high-meat, low-carbohydrate diet with no Propylene Glycol, Glycerin or Sorbitol, no Corn, no Wheat, no Soy, no Byproducts, no Animal Fat, no Animal digest, no artificial colorings, or any other non-essential additives, as recommended by members of the Facebook group.

3. He gave Milk Thistle herb and Turmeric root twice daily, also recommended by members of the Facebook group he had found, gleaning further information from the 82+ information files that had been written and posted, covering anything from lists of grain- and potato-free cat and dog foods, to natural flea, worm and tick control.

Mike said “I just want to get the word out. My main interest is just letting people know my story” and he went on to say “I just want to spread the word to prevent other dogs from going through this”.

Mike’s dogs are now fully recovered. And, he says that they will never eat Purina’s Beneful again.  In the first instance, as his dogs started to improve once off the Beneful, Michael contacted the company through the Beneful Facebook page, which he perceived as being the front door for consumers. They responded with repeated reassurances that Beneful was safe to feed.

Purina was contacted for comments on Michael’s two videos, and this was the response of Keith Schopp, Vice-President Corporate Pubic Relations, Nestle Purina PetCare Company:

“Thanks again for contacting us and  we appreciate any efforts you are making to ensure the accuracy of your story. As we have previously responded, we don’t have any indication that this consumer has contacted us about any potential issues. So, we can’t speculate about the videos. However, we do encourage any consumer with a question about one of our products to contact us directly so we may work with them to understand their situation.  We can tell you that Beneful® is a high quality, nutritious food that millions and millions of dogs enjoy and thrive on every day.  Thanks. Keith.”

Here are Xena and Biggy while being fed a diet of Beneful Incredibites:

And, here are Xena and Biggy after discontinuing Beneful and supplementing their new, premium food with Milk Thistle and Turmeric:

 

Please visit the Facebook group  Is BENEFUL by Purina KILLING or SICKENING Our Dogs? Post Your Story!.

74 Comments

74 Comments

  1. Beth

    Feb 25, 2015 at 11:53 pm

    I was feeding my cat Purina naturals for several months and her stomach always looked bloated, almost like she was pregnant. Then about a week and a half ago she began to vomit every time she ate and would drink larger than normal amounts of water among othere problems. I decide to try another brand of cat food and her vomiting stopped immediately! She’s back to normal now, thankfully!

  2. R. Stone

    Feb 19, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Purina foods, all varieties, are made from dead pets from vet clinics, the diseased livestock that auctions can’t sell for human consumption, and moldy, toxic grains.

    I witnessed Purina feed experiments in university (Agriculture major). They routinely poison many animals to death to determine how much cheap toxin they can introduce to any batch of food. The cheaper the ingredients, the larger the profit.

    The lab experiments determine how much rotten, moldy and chemical soaked meat/grain they can allow in food before it will kill animals outright, soon enough that liability can be traced back to Purina. Same procedure and rationale as testing consumer products on animals. They’re all toxic; the corporations just want to avoid the big lawsuits. Healthy ingredients don’t need to be tested.

    In other words, Purina and other companies KNOW their products cause cancer, kidney disease, etc. They experiment to create a timeline that makes it very hard to prove your pet didn’t get sick from other causes. If your dog gets sick the same week you start using Purina, you may have a lawsuit. If it takes two years, you’re probably out of luck.

    As a vet tech, I let the rendering man in the back door of the clinic weekly to take our deceased pets to the plant. They were full of chemicals. We didn’t even remove their flea collars. That’s what Purina food has been made from, for decades: your dead pets. I also rehabbed Purina test Beagles, the wretched souls who survived the testing and whom we begged them not to euthanize.

    I would feed animals homemade meals before using Purina and other grocery store brands.

    Check out http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com for dog food ratings.

  3. Caroline Snyder in West Virginia

    Feb 18, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    YES!! February 2015 – Nestle Purina Petcare Company was hit with a class action lawsuit alleging that its Beneful dog food includes toxic substances which are capable of killing dogs.

    According to the Beneful class action lawsuit filed in a California federal court by plaintiff Frank Lucido on Feb. 5, Beneful is responsible for making thousands of dogs either seriously ill or causing them to die, which happened to one of his own dogs.

    Lucido owned three dogs — a German Shepherd, an English Bulldog and a Labrador. He bought a bag of Beneful for the first time in late December 2014 or early January 2015 and each dog began eating Beneful exclusively, the Beneful class action lawsuit explains.

    On Jan. 15, the German Shepherd began to lose a large amount of hair and began giving off a unusual odor, which concerned Lucido and his wife, who first started to notice the symptoms. Two days later the German Shepherd became “violently ill.”

    After being examined by a veterinarian, it was determined that the German Shepherd was suffering from internal bleeding in the dog’s stomach and the liver was also malfunctioning, which the veterinarian said was “consistent with poisoning.”

    On Jan. 23, Lucido’s wife found the English Bulldog dead in their yard. “Post-mortem veterinary examination revealed signs of internal bleeding in the dog’s stomach and lesions on his liver, much like [the German Shepherd],” the class action lawsuit claims.

    The Labrador also became ill and is being tested for similar problems.

    Lucido claims that he and his wife “have suffered economic losses including the purchase price of Beneful and veterinary and related medical expenses” as result of the damage Beneful has done to their dogs.

    According to the Beneful class action lawsuit, there have been more than 3,000 complaints posted by dog owners on the internet “about dogs becoming ill, in many cases very seriously ill, and/or dying after eating Beneful.

    “The dogs show consistent symptoms, including stomach and related internal bleeding, liver malfunction or failure, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, weight loss, seizures, bloating, and kidney failure,” the Beneful toxic dog food class action lawsuit alleges.

    Lucido gives several examples of these complaints by other dog owners.

    According to Lucido, Beneful is advertised as a healthful and nutritional dog food, but his experience and others has been the opposite.

    Beneful dog foods allegedly include propylene glycol, which is “an automotive component that is a known animal toxin and is poisonous to cats and dogs.”

    In addition, the Beneful class action lawsuit alleges that the dog food includes mycotoxins, which are “a group of toxins produced by fungus that occurs in grains, which are a principle ingredient in Beneful.”

    The class action lawsuit cites the Association for Truth In Pet Food, which tested “Beneful Original and found that it contained dangerous levels of mycotoxins.”

    Lucido is looking to represent two classes — a nationwide class and a California subclass for dog owners “who purchased Beneful dog food in the past four years and who incurred any out of pocket costs due to illness, injury or death of their dog resulting from the ingestion of Beneful.”

    The Beneful toxic dog food class action lawsuit is charging Nestle Purina with breach of implied warranty, breach of express warranty, negligence, negligent misrepresentation, strict products liability, violating California’s consumer legal remedies act, violating California’s Unfair Competition Law, and violating California’s False Advertising Law.

    The plaintiff is represented by Jeffrey B. Cereghino of Ram, Olson, Cereghino & Kopcyzynski, by John Yanchunis of Morgan & Morgan Complex Litigation Group, by Karl Molineux of Merrill, Nomura & Molineux, and by Donna F. Solen of Kimbrell Kimbrell & Solen LLC.

    The Beneful Toxic Dog Food Class Action Lawsuit is Frank Lucido v. Nesltle Purina Petcare Company, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
    http://topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/lawsuit-news/49385-purina-beneful-dog-food-kills-dogs-class-action-says/

  4. Richard Mackenzie

    Feb 16, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    omg if only my wife and i had seen this page we could hav saved our babie jake.we had startd feeding him beneful dry dog food in november of 2014.jake died in my arms at 7:25 pm january/15 2015 .

    • Caroline Snyder in West Virginia

      Feb 24, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      Richard, PLEASE pick up the phone and do this now! The BENEFUL Class Action lawsuit attorneys told us that ANYONE in the US who has had ANY issue with Nestle-Purina’s Beneful causing illness or death is highly encouraged to phone the team handling the Class Action Lawsuit at: 877-667-4265 or 407-452-6990 They will conduct a phone interview no matter where you are. So CALL – participation will not cost you a dime!

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