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search, you #$%@! noob
9,995 Posts
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (Jan. 9) - Caring for her ailing 9-year-old chow has taken over Shanika Stewart's life.

Cocoa must be force-fed with a syringe six times a day since suffering permanent liver damage after eating contaminated dog food.

"I haven't had any time to do anything but take care of her," said Stewart, a 19-year-old nursing student at the University of South Carolina. "She's the No. 1 priority. ... I get maybe four hours of sleep before she wakes me up."

Through relocations from Army bases in Georgia, Oklahoma, Washington and now South Carolina, Cocoa has been a constant companion for Stewart, whose father is serving in Iraq.

When her own daughter died last year, Stewart said Cocoa helped her through her grief. "It was like she understood," Stewart said. "She was my best friend."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that at least 76 dogs nationwide are believed to have died as a result of eating contaminated Diamond Pet Foods.

According to the company, the pet food was distributed to stores in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia and West Virginia.

Diamond officials say they are doing what they can to help affected pet owners.

"It's going to take some time to take care of all these customers, and we're going to do it," said the company's chief operating officer, Mark Brinkmann.

The company has recalled 19 varieties of dog and cat food because tests showed high levels of aflatoxin, a naturally occurring toxic chemical that comes from a fungus found on corn and other grains that causes severe liver damage in animals.

The company recalled products manufactured at its Gaston, S.C., plant from around September to November 2005. Based on sample testing, Diamond has narrowed down the exposure to food produced on Oct. 11, Brinkmann said Thursday.

The FDA and the South Carolina Department of Agriculture have launched investigations.

Stewart's other dog, a 2-year-old pit bull named Chulo, died last month just hours after being diagnosed with liver failure. It was only then that the family learned of the recall.

Stewart initially thought Cocoa had refused to eat because she was depressed about losing Chulo. After the recall, the family vet confirmed aflatoxin poisoning in Cocoa, Stewart said.

Steve Shrum, president of the South Carolina Association of Veterinarians, said vets around the state were confused when puppies began showing signs of liver problems usually seen in older dogs.

"It takes such a small amount, and there's pretty much nothing you can do with the process that will inactivate that toxin once it gets in the food supply," he said.

Diamond has promised to reimburse pet owners for vet bills and other costs associated with the aflatoxin poisoning, which officials now believe may include pets in Europe and other areas outside the country where the food is distributed.

The company set up a call center staffed with veterinarians. The call volume peaked at about 2,000 calls a day last week, Brinkmann said.

Stewart says she has not spoken with anyone at the company despite several calls. The family has filled out an online form explaining their situation.

"You don't get anybody to talk to and tell your story," she said. "It's like they're not concerned. To me, it's like they're saying, 'Oh well, we'll get to it when we get to it."'

Brinkmann was sympathetic.

"We're going as fast as we can," he said. "I grieve with her, and I'm going to do everything I can to make sure we can do right by her."

694 Posts
Holy crap. That's what I feed my dogs. Even the breeder that I got my amstaff from recomended them. I am glad to see that my state wasn't on the list, but it's still scary.

2,442 Posts
Those poor animals, I can't imagine what I'd do. And the Freaking company "we're getting to them as fast as we can", what a load of B.S. I'd have so many lawsuits up their asses right now.

Building gold from crap
2,253 Posts
back when i first got my dog i noticed she had horid breath, and runny craps, did some searching online and found a rating of dog foods actually a few.

big names like purina pro one,whichi was actually giving my dog had 3 know carigens in it. WTF!!

i found nutro and natural choice ( same brand )to be one highest rated foods, there were actually 3 brands, but nutro is the only one carried in the local stores here.

huge change in her breath, now it just smells like dog ass and her craps are firm. fortunatly dogs give you good input on the food quality that way

really sucks about all those dogs though

Dead Horse
5,931 Posts
yea, im in sc, and the pet store i used to work for i went in there the other day, and normally we had a lot of diamond dog food, they said it was all recalled cause it made dogs sick. we sold alot more of diamond than any other brand.

Surrounded by Assholes
2,879 Posts
The company is obviously cutting corners in making its feed. Chances are they are buying inferior corn and other commodities, and not testing them for vomitoxins and aflatoxins. It only takes 5ppm of Vomitoxin for example to be lethal for a pig. Some dog foods also contain blood meal, fish meal and other animal by-products such as tallow for protein and energy. If they are not stored correctly, or if the systemn is not flushed after every load the feed can be contaminated.

If you ever wonder why a bag a dog food can cost $50.00 theres one reason. Its quality food. You really get what you pay for. Kibbles & Bits is crappy food. "Beneful" or "One" is quality food. If anyone here is from the northeast I recommend buying "Canine Plus" or "Wholesome Blend". I switched our dog over from "Alpo" to Wholesome Blend and it made a world of difference.

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