URGENT: NATURAL BALANCE Pet Food Problems

Well, this isn't how I imagined my first post here, but this is urgent:

No official recall or notification from Natural Balance yet, but please alert your friends and neighbors:

NATURAL BALANCE Pet Food Problems
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/pets/natural_balance.html

Dog and Cat food, wet and dry.

Something is definitely going on, and i am appalled at Natural Balance for not saying anything yet.

I feed my cats the Duck & Green Pea, have been on the loyalty program for many years as NB is one of the primary brands I use, and am very worried since I have noticed some changes with my babies these past weeks. :(((((

Just found out this information, will be calling my vets when they open to run some bloodwork/panels.

Please cross-post, forward, re-distribute!

And hi, ive been a lurker for about a year, but first things first! Please spread the word about this!

I sat and read through the last 2 mos of posts. You have a few people, out of probably a million customers, who have an issue, and they are posting more than once. The older ones not unusual as many just changed brands. Some dogs react. I'd really be careful about advising people to not use a food based on a few complaint posts. I agree there definitely seems to be an issue with the cat food as most the complaints are about smell/color issues. But I think common sense should be warned– if it looks or smells odd, or your dog suddenly refuses to eat a new bag-- TAKE IT BACK TO THE STORE FOR A REFUND or call the company. Don't keep feeding it. And get your vet to file a complaint if your pet gets sick.

First person had older dog, called the Dog FOOD CO, not one WORD about what the vet thought caused it.

The SECOND person fed a food they THOUGHT MIGHT BE BAD. It could have been, they thought it off, wth did they feed it? They were probably right, should have INSISTED the company send for a sample of it and pursue the complaint, not keep forcing the poor cat to eat it.

Third person, no vet check, kept feeding the food even when the cats let her know it was NOT OKAY. (note these 2 cat foods, not dogs and while I agree, sounds definitely like the food, I really wonder about the owners also!)

Third one has tapeworms and pancreatitis. I really am not going to go look, but I can almost bet you the food change was from much lower fat to the Ultra much higher, hence pancreatitis.

The 4th/5th didn't say he/she bought the food, only blasted and personally attacked another poster.

Fifth poster is unreal, had issues, kept feeding it and feeding it and feeding it. WTH folks?

My point being that while it looks like a real issue with cat food, the thing is this is a handful of complaints with a company selling millions of bags. I don't know of many companies that haven't had issues, including those considered top of the line.

Good morning Deb,

Thank you for the reply and for taking time to read through that part of consumeraffairs!!

I do value your input for sure, and thanks for pointing out those things that you did.

I did read through the pages, a lot of interesting posts, some not-so bright people, but also many with valid concerns spanning back to last fall, as well – Anyway, I just wanted to clarify - I didn't advise anyone not use Natural Balance... i posted an alert based on a personal experience out of the extreme ordinary for me AND based on the recent consumer complaints, is all. I already emailed NB and if I get a reply I will post it as an update. My local vet has already seen my cats these past weeks thinking that their symptoms were related to their annual vaccinations they had recently, but some stuff just didnt add up, in his words, and I agree.

It is my sincere hope that NB does not have an issue. But if they do, I would also hope they would be quick about responding to it.. to show people hey, we are on this. I mean, in all the pet food recall scares that we have all been exposed to these past few years, there have been brands like Wellness that had to have recall, but handled it very well, and I still use them.

I have used NB for many years and it has definitely been a WELCOME product in my household, but right now I simply wanted to warn other people that may not have heard about this. Just wanted to clarify to you and anyone else that i'm not here trying to stop the presses, though I do consider this urgent news to anyone who uses the flavours/formulas mentioned and that i'm sure the people that use those ones would want to know and can make their own decision. I just know I would want to know, and i'm one of those people that does check brand websites for recall infos often, there's been no mention there.

I agree with you that people SHOULD go to their vets asap, which I did several times, and I agree with you that the poster that KEPT FEEDING the formula to their beloved pet despite making the link to the food was not using common sense.

But for the people that are using this product and having some issues and haven't linked it to the possibility there could be a bad batch, I just wanted to spread the word, you can never be too safe when it comes to the safety of your furkids.

Even if only a few people are having an issue, if those few people lose their cat or dog over it or they become terribly ill and the poor baby has to go through pain because of something that NB could have prevented by having a prompt investigation and posting results, that's still people and pets suffering.

Keeping my paws crossed that NB does address issues relating to the specific formulas mentioned throughout the consumeraffairs pages!

@DebraDownSouth:

I sat and read through the last 2 mos of posts. You have a few people, out of probably a million customers, who have an issue, and they are posting more than once. The older ones not unusual as many just changed brands. Some dogs react. I'd really be careful about advising people to not use a food based on a few complaint posts. I agree there definitely seems to be an issue with the cat food as most the complaints are about smell/color issues. But I think common sense should be warned– if it looks or smells odd, or your dog suddenly refuses to eat a new bag-- TAKE IT BACK TO THE STORE FOR A REFUND or call the company. Don't keep feeding it. And get your vet to file a complaint if your pet gets sick.

First person had older dog, called the Dog FOOD CO, not one WORD about what the vet thought caused it.

The SECOND person fed a food they THOUGHT MIGHT BE BAD. It could have been, they thought it off, wth did they feed it? They were probably right, should have INSISTED the company send for a sample of it and pursue the complaint, not keep forcing the poor cat to eat it.

Third person, no vet check, kept feeding the food even when the cats let her know it was NOT OKAY. (note these 2 cat foods, not dogs and while I agree, sounds definitely like the food, I really wonder about the owners also!)

Third one has tapeworms and pancreatitis. I really am not going to go look, but I can almost bet you the food change was from much lower fat to the Ultra much higher, hence pancreatitis.

The 4th/5th didn't say he/she bought the food, only blasted and personally attacked another poster.

Fifth poster is unreal, had issues, kept feeding it and feeding it and feeding it. WTH folks?

My point being that while it looks like a real issue with cat food, the thing is this is a handful of complaints with a company selling millions of bags. I don't know of many companies that haven't had issues, including those considered top of the line.

This site has some superb advice. I am and have been furious at the FDA for not dealing with this issue. Canada issued warnings about China several months ago (and I quit feeding ANYTHING from there).

http://news.petpardons.com/fda-warns-pets-being-poisoned-by-treats-manufacturers-refusing-recall/

QUOTED:
If your pet has eaten tainted treats, symptoms may include:

Decreased appetite
Decreased activity
Vomiting
Diarrhea
Increased water consumption
Increased urination
If your pet is sick and you have been feeding it these treats please report it to the FDA.

For now, pet owners who find the current state of this situation unacceptable are urged by animal advocacy groups to take the following actions.

Download the FDA warning here, and print some copies.
If you find products in your store that are from China or have been linked to death or sickness in pets, supply the store with the printed info sheet and ask that they verify the safety of their products.

Deb - Thanks very much for sharing this incredibly important link!

I am in contact with a feline specialist here in Texas who has asked me to forward him ANYTHING possibly related to/suspected food problems with symptoms such as lethargy, bloody & foamy urine, numerous vomiting/can't keep ANY food down and dehydration. I will forward this to him as well, i know there are some chicken-jerky treats made for cats as well.

"The FDA is aware of the connection and is investigating, but so far they haven?t been able to pinpoint the contaminant.

?FDA, in addition to several animal health diagnostic laboratories in the U.S., is working to determine why these products are associated with illness in dogs. FDA?s Veterinary Laboratory Response Network (VLRN) is now available to support these animal health diagnostic laboratories. To date, scientists have not been able to determine a definitive cause for the reported illnesses. FDA continues extensive chemical and microbial testing but has not identified a contaminant.?

Because tests by the FDA are inconclusive, pet treat manufacturers are not required by law to recall their products, and none of them have volunteered to do so. But given that the tests have not pinpointed the contaminant does not mean it is not contaminated. The FDA issued a warning to pet owners in November, 2011 in regards to this issue.

The question many are asking is how many dogs will have to die before the products are recalled? It is already estimated that the dead and dying are numbered at more than 500. This number does not count all of the cases that have not made the connection yet between a pet?s illness and the treats. The treats are causing kidney failure and Fanconi syndrome, with some cases resulting in death; others, in chronic kidney disease."

This is just terrible!

Addendum: Just to clarify, the link is regaurding Chicken Jerky Products (www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm048029.htm), NOT Natural Balance, but as Deb says, if your pet is sick and you have been feeding it these treats please report it to the FDA, and obviously also go see a vet asap.

Hope we can get to the bottom of these recent issues with our pet's foods!

The word "Made in China" doesn't appear on any human or dog/cat food that comes into our house. I even question things that say don't say they are "Made in China" but say something like "Distributed by So and So company, anyplace". I need to know the maker of the food is getting the ingredients from North America and that the food is manufactured and packaged in North America. More recently I am not buying other products Made in China (e.g. drinking glasses, plates, coffee cups, food containers, etc.) but this can be way more difficult. 😞

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