Pet food maker Nestle Purina now faces a class-action suit by pet owners in eight states who say the company's jerky treats killed or sickened their pets.
Yet the product remains on store shelves and NBC News reports the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is unable to pinpoint a contaminant that could be causing the problem.
The original lawsuit was filed back in April by an Illinois pet owner. Six other pet owners have now joined it and are also suing the retail stores that carry the product, Walmart, Costco and Target.
Consumers writing to ConsumerAffairs continue to report adverse results when they feed Waggin' Train treats to their pets.
“I began to notice things just weren't right with her,” Dennis, of Bellport, NY, wrote about his pug in a ConsumerAffairs post. “She had become lethargic, had loose bowel movements, and seemed to drink a lot more water than usual. When she started to not want to eat her food, I knew something was wrong. I cook everything she eats, and give her no store bought dog food, so the Wagg'n Train treats were the only thing she was given besides freshly prepared foods.”
Steve, of Franklin Park, NJ, reports he had purchased Waggin' Treats for years and that his dogs loved them. But last month, his Westie suddenly got sick after eating them and died.
“My regular vet ran several logical tests – but came up clueless as to what was causing his lethargy, lack of eating, and vomiting,” Steve wrote. “He thought it was colitis – so we tried antibiotics. That made my “Max” feel no better – even worse. He was then tested for Addison’s Disease. Nope – that was not it, as well.”
Both Steve and Dennis noted that they prepared their dog's food themselves, which might suggest the animals has particularly sensitive digestive systems. Whether that's a possible contributing factor is unknown.
Since last November the FDA has been cautioning pet owners about chicken jerky products for dogs. The FDA notes that it has seen an increase in the number of complaints about the products, but as yet it does not know why.
“FDA is advising consumers who choose to feed their dogs chicken jerky products to watch their dogs closely for any or all of the following signs that may occur within hours to days of feeding the products: decreased appetite; decreased activity; vomiting; diarrhea, sometimes with blood; increased water consumption and/or increased urination,” the FDA says on its site. “If the dog shows any of these signs, stop feeding the chicken jerky product. Owners should consult their veterinarian if signs are severe or persist for more than 24 hours.”
The FDA says the illnesses may not be associated with the jerky treats and that it continues to investigate the origin of the animals' sickness.