Monday, May 21, 2007

Pet Food Paranoia

Both of my dogs are low-maintenance. They go to the vet twice a year. They eat once a day. They get a bath two or three times a month.

When they feel poorly, it's fairly easy to see and the level of their discomfort is readily apparent. Until recently if they were feeling poorly I would keep watch on them for 48-hours and if they were not improving it was off to the vet for a quick check-up... until recently.

My younger boy, an 8-year old rescue pup, terrier mix, stopped eating. His nose was cold and wet, and his temperature seemed OK, so I went into 48-hour watch mode. Then he threw up. He had grass in the bile. The grass was from the lawn. I had seen this syndrome before. Eating grass induced upset stomach. A day later he would be fine. The next day he refused to eat again. I was getting worried. My worry was significantly greater than normal and growing much faster than normal.

In all other aspects my pup was fine. He acted in his normal terrier fashion. He ran and played and wanted to snuggle as usual. So I watched him outdoors and stopped him from eating grass. I also closely watched his brother, a 12-year old Border Collie who ate the same food from the same bag. He was fine.

The next day he started eating again. Only have a bowl of food at first and no cookies. A half a bowl the next day, with cookies. Then he was back to himself again.

Under normal circumstances I would have simply been thinking it was a case of the doggie flu or an upset stomach. It's happened with him before. This time he was under my microscope. I was waiting for a belated recall on his brand of dog food. I even checked our brand's website for a press release, just in case it appeared there before it hit the news cycle.

My little guy's fine again and his brother never showed any difficulty, but it was not my normal 48-hour puppy watch. I was scared. I was worried about the dog food they were eating and I had never felt that way before.

When spinach became suspect due to e-coli I didn't worry. My spinach intake is much less than it probably should be. I was interested in the reports of the pet food recall, but checked our brand's website at the beginning and saw no problems.

I truly thought that I had not been personally impacted by the pet food recall. I was wrong. I have been affected and that is really scary.

Have you been affected by the pet food recall? Share your thoughts in a comment to this post. Just click the "Comment" link below.