Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dog Seizures Caused By Purina Products

Recently, my otherwise healthy dog was exhibiting some terrible seizure-like symptoms. After researching incessantly online, I have concluded that the direct cause was the Purina brand, Beneful, dog food.

I feel obliged to post this with such a blunt web title because during my research online I found other people's posts to be incredibly helpful, and I want to add to the testimonies online so that others can avoid this particularly stressful experience.

While seizures or seizure-like symptoms in canines can be caused by many things, I want to focus on dog food being a cause of a seizure and/or neurological reaction that caused "seizure-like" behavior.

Story and Symptoms:

I have a very, very healthy Italian Greyhound that is less than 1.5 years old. For the past 6 months she has been eating Innova dog food (dry and wet food combination). In the past few weeks, I had noticed that she was getting a little sick of her food, which has happened in the past - and thought I might try a new food. She has never had trouble switching to other foods in the past, and has never had any strange issues with her stomach.

I gave her half a cup of Purina Beneful on a Tuesday night. Later that evening, she threw up. We immediately switched her back to her regular food. Starting on Wednesday morning, she began to be shaky and off-balance, and seemed to be a little dizzy. While the Italian Greyhound breed is generally timid and shaky - this was an abnormal amount of shaking. She was bumping into things and wobbling as she turned corners.

I brought her to the Vet on Thursday morning. He was not much help. He said she looked fine, and said that the change in food is probably why she wasn't feeling great, which I already knew. He was not concerned about the shaking, and honestly seemed to not believe me.

The shaking seemed to be getting worse, and on Saturday morning my dog had some kind of a seizure. She was shaking uncontrollably and turned on her side. She became stiff with all of her arms and legs out during this seizure-like behavior, as well. I took her to the animal hospital where they did blood work and, again, found nothing.

The most important thing I came across during my research was this video on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_MR-XGho9U

This was exactly what my dog looked like during her "seizure", however it didn't last as long. For my dog, it maybe lasted 10-15 seconds. However, I read online that some seizures can last 5-10 minutes.

In any event, I read each comment under this video and found that one woman had the exact same thing happen to her Italian Greyhound when she switched to Beneful or any other Purina brand dog food.

She and I chatted online, and I learned that her dog was also a very healthy Italian Greyound - however she noticed that her dog exhibited these same "seizure-like" symptoms when she switched to Purina Beneful. When her Vet put her IG on a prescription diet food (Canine ID), she never had another seizure again.

After I brought my IG to the animal hospital on Saturday, they also gave me prescription diet food (Hill's Prescription Diet Canine W/D). Since then my IG seems to be doing a lot better.

It seems that the unnatural ingredients in Purina Beneful, such as the artificial dyes, can really do a number on a dog's neurological system, as well as to their stomachs.

I am saying with 100% honesty that my dog has always been healthy and happy until this change in dog food to Purina Beneful.

If I have any more information on this, I will be sure to post - however, I felt it necessary to let others know in case they are experiencing something similar.

Feel free to post comments!

22 comments:

  1. I just got back from our new Vet with our Beagle, Otis. He has had "epilepsy" since he's been about 1.5 years old and is 10.5 now. We went in for an ear hematoma and came out with new knowledge about his diet. The Vet said that there have been several cases where perfectly healthy dogs switch to eating Beneful and have horrible seizures shortly thereafter sue to the red dye in the food.

    We switched to Beneful after the first year. Our old vet never made mention of anything relating to diet causing the seizures and instead went straight to putting him on phenobarbital. I pray that we haven't been poisoning him, but the writing seems to be on the wall. We are definitely getting rid of the Beneful in our house.

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  2. My French bull dog has been having seizures My brother the owner said theres nothing he can do about it. I told him after reading this article to check into his food. He is only 5 years old. Thank you for posting it

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  3. In 2007, my 7 year old German Shepherd mix began to have seizures. Because I pieced the connection between seizures and Beneful only in 2009, I don't remember when we exactly put him on Beneful. But I do know that previous to that, he was eating Pedigree and was fine.

    2007 was a difficult year for us because he developed a slipped disk (which again, we couldn't figure out) until he lost sensation in his feet and we rushed him to the hospital. Fortunately, he recovered and months later developed seizures. At the time, the hospital said that may have been muscle atrophy since he was confined for so long after the surgery.

    Our regular vet ran metabolic tests and since nothing could be found, prescribed Phenobarbital, thinking it was epilepsy. From 2007 to 2009, we gave our dog the medication, but seizures continued on a monthly, and at times biweekly or weekly basis (that we could see at least. He is an outdoor dog, so we really don't know how frequently they occurred).

    When the frequency of the seizures increased, I became really alarmed, thinking that perhaps there was a tumor. I contacted an alternative medicine/holistic person to see if an herbal supplement would help treat the tumor. She asked me what I fed my dog. When I told her it was Beneful, she asked if I knew about the bad press regarding Beneful...

    It was frightening what came up on the web, and I felt terrible for not knowing which ingredients, like corn and wheat, were harmful to dogs. I also didn't know that animal digest is listed under Beneful's ingredients or that owners should stay away from dog food that is color dyed.

    The woman provided me with http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/ and I spent hours researching and comparing ingredients. Eventually, I picked Wellness Super 5 Mix which is rated with 5 stars on the website. Since the switch in December 2009, my shepherd has been seizure free. I've wanted to share my success story for a while now, but didn't want to jinx myself and my dog's recovery. I also wanted to confirm that the seizures stopped. But I feel that enough time has passed that confirms it was Beneful that caused the seizures.

    I feel awful for having given him phenobarbital for two years straight. I'll never forget how the vet told us something like "it might be harmful to his liver but at least he was 7 years old and not younger." I didn't see how we were lucky. It seemed like an extremely hurtful thing to say.

    I have since told the vet that my dog's seizures have stopped when I switched the food. He seemed surprised. I don't think the majority of the vets out there know how to treat our pets without first running to prescribe medication. They seem very old-school and light years behind the information on the internet.

    I'm glad I found this blog and can contribute my own experience. Hope your pets stay healthy.

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  4. We have a three year old Bicon freez who has been having siezures within minutes of meal time. He has been on Beneful for about a year, after reading these post and watching the videos I am convinced that the cause is the Beneful dog food.

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  5. I think my cat's seizures were inked to purina too! Something must be done about this!!

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  6. My dog Abbie (mix--pekinesse/pug) started seizures in Dec 2012, shortly after changing food to Beneful dog food. Vet was unable to determine cause after bloodwork; although I refused to put her on phenobarbital because of possible side effects, we did use another med to help relax her after she had a seizure; (that too was more than I wanted to use)... she was eating Beneful (my other 2 dogs eat it also) so I did not connect the dots until recently...
    In late July when I purchased a new bag of Beneful, I switched from one type of Beneful to another ---called HEALTHY RADIANCE to get a more complete & balanced nutrution meal,(it had salmon, omega 3's, rice, vitamin rich vegy's---good for them-right?/wrong)...
    Shortly after switching flavors--Abbie began to have more frequent seizures; and last week she had CLUSTER Seizures (more then 50 in 2.5 days) after researching seizures, and natural diets online--(Abbie is overweight/thought she might be diabetic) so I decided to put her on a Natural Food diet that I would make myself.
    Along with her new homemade dog food diet--I added a high-cal vitamin to the mix, and put her on Rescue pet (which helps calm down dogs that experience seizures)... soon as I did so--We began to see immediate results... THANK THE LORD; because:
    My VET was No help at all, he wanted to run the same tests as last time; at a cost of over $250 and to medicate her with phenobarbital. And My Husband wanted me to put her down (out of her misery)...which was a solution I was unwilling to settle for.

    After switching her to a diet of Hamburger, white rice, and Eggs (shells included blended) all baked together like a meat loaf; adding the high cal vitamin, and keeping her on rescue pet---the seizures slowed, and stopped...
    That is until the end of the week; when to stretch the food out I began to add a little of the dry dog food back into abbie's feeding schedule.
    I served her lunch and dinner mixed with the Beneful, and the Homemade Food, and she began once again to act strange... and she had a few mini seizures; so I have completely stopped serving her the Beneful.

    The next day, it dawned on me that she started having seizues right after I switched to the Purina Brand Dog Food in December...

    Sadly, it has taken me 7 months to make the connection. And I told my son, I was going to check out the ingredients list to see if there could be a connection (I did have a gentlemen at our local pet store tell me) he once had a dog allergic to Red food Dye, and I know several People who also have problems with that product (thought it had been removed from products by the FDA) but low and behold its in this dog food...
    Cant say thats what it is, but I was concerned about some of the ingredients listed after I read them today... what the heck is ANIMAL DIGEST, ??? not to mention all the preservatives, and other ingredients that dont sound natural...(OR HEALTHY)

    I can say at this point Abbie has not seizured since I completely took her off the Purina Beneful food brand, and after looking online and finding this page---I can tell you this, the remaining amount of dog food will be tossed out, as I dont consider it safe for consumption for any of my dogs.

    Sadly, the almighty $ is what it comes down too---; I would like to know where to file an offical complaint, ...or how to become part of a CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT Against the makers of PURINA Beneful, because this cost me money, for the vet visits, as well as time off work, not to mention the agony of watching and feeling helpless to stop my pet from suffering from seizures..., and I know without a shadow of a doubt that the Beneful Brand dog food is what triggered and caused my dog to seizure and suffer...

    please feel free to send me
    comments/questions/
    Deborah Cobb
    575-442-1263
    cobbletts@zianet.com

    THIS Company should pay; and as Blabla put down... Something MUST be done about this!!!!

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  7. .. that should say after purchasing new food late in June, she started having seizures more often... and last week she started having cluster seizures.
    She started at about 1:30 AM Wed morning, had them all day wed, and thursday. She was having an average of 2-5 seizures an hour.(I lost count around that time from exhaustion) Needless to say it was quiet frightening. After switching diets, adding vitamins to her homemade food, and giving her the rescue pet, she slowly went down to 2-3 hr, then 1 every 55 minutes, then 1 every 1hr 15 mins, and was excited when she went 2.5 hrs, and then 4-6 hrs on friday. Finally friday night she had her last major seizure around 8:30.
    So on Saturday, I added Beneful back into her diet (thinking it would stretch out the home made food, making it last longer, concerned about cost) ... Soon as I added Beneful back into her diet, she began to act weird again,.. she was already slow, unable to process and follow commands, although she acknowledged her name she was so sluggish, hardly moving, would not walk across the door threshold to go outside without being coaxed, would not do all her normal tricks, and she was extremely clingly...hardly leaving my side.. Honestly I wasnt sure she would ever return to her oldself... Sunday Abbie experienced a couple more seizures, these were minor compared to what she had experienced on Wed, Thur & Fri..
    It dawned on me, that there might be a allergic reaction to something in the food (based on what the man at the pet store had said) so I did not give her anymore of the beneful, and I can say she hasnt had a seizure since.

    Today, I finally was able to research the ingredient list for Beneful dog food, and Low and behold red 40 food dye, along with Blue 2, Yellow 5 & 6, and something called Animal digest is in this food--not to mention all the preservatives and other chemicals I have no idea what are...are on the list)

    SO, I decided to Google dogs eating Beneful dog food having seizures... Guess what! Sure enough--I found this site, and after reading the testamonies here---I am sure there are a lot more out there like my Abbie's story.... and I really do think we should join together to bring Media attention to this situation (sounds like a class action law suit to me)...and I am not one for them usually--but our beloved animals have suffered enough, so have we as their caretakers--financially, and emotionally... and I am sure PURINA is AWARE that the food they are making Millions of dollars off of is causing severe seizure reactions in pets around the world...and I want to see the suffering stop... I cant imagine anyone else going through what I went through with my dog Abbie...
    We all thought we would lose her, and at one point I was thinking it might be necessary to put her to sleep---thank God, I listened to my heart, and sought a natural cure remedy (diet) for Abbie...
    because she is doing better, she has not had a seizure since sunday (july 15)... I am concerned she may have hearing, vision, and health problems down the line related to the quantity of seizures she experienced last week..., but for now---I am just thankful that I know the source of the problem...and my dogs will NEVER EVER EVER AGAIN EAT PURINA DOG FOOD... shame because that was a name I grew up with and I believed I could trust to provide my pet with a well balanced, healthy nutritional diet... (I TRUSTED PURINA) I wont ever trust them again!!!
    Care to join me in seeking legal council... please feel free to call me; 575-442-1263, we need to petition, and complain about this to the FDA, or whowever has control over what companies can put in our dog food... they should be prevented from causing further pain and suffering...

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  8. We have a dog that was having seizures as well. After we got another dog and he began to have them too (the vet found nothing wrong) we switched their food. Not one seizure since!!! We still feed them Purina though. We tried Iams but they didn't like it.

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    1. Iams, Eukanuba, Innova and Evo are all owned by proctor and gamble and test on animals! Iams and Purina are not good dog food. Go to a grain free diet.

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  9. In around 3/4 of reports I have read so far, going back to 2007, seizures seem to be a feature. My own take is that it is due to the severe Magnesium deficiency that this "food" induces.. just based on my knowledge about food content. I asked Beneful SEVERAL times to get me the Magnesium levels on their FB site.. also for Omega 3/Omega 6 ratios and Vitamin D levels. They procrastinated for two days then BANNED me from posting.. no-one EVER got back to me! I believe that our pets would do better eating sawdust and soil than Benefullofpoison!

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  10. My lab had horrible seizures for a year & so did my Pom. It sporadically began, for both of them. The vet said that my Pom was having them due to anxiety & the lab was due to epilepsy, with no findings on lab tests.

    They wanted to start my lab on epilepsy medicine, but we refused because he was so young & wanted to see if we could get them under control.

    Fortunately enough, our lab had a yeast infection on his groin & in his ears, which the vet said was due to a food allergy! We switched him to a grain free duck diet by Natural Choice, which hour Po meats too & they have both been seizure free ever since the change, which was over a year ago.

    Pleas Note- Both dogs had at least 1 seizure a month, both having cluster seizures.

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    1. I have had my Black lab on beneful since she was about 6 months old, she is now little over 2 years old and about a year ago she had cluster seizures. we had to get her on meds because they were so bad she would be off for a week afterwords.

      The vet told us she had epilepsy, with out having blood work. We got another puppy, a boxer he just reached 8 months old and he has been on beneful as well, I opened a new bag of dog food and poured them both a bowl. the boxer barely ate two bites and stubbled to the couch and had a seizure.

      We are worried that maybe the neighbor could be poisning them, but nothing was found or any liquids. They are both inside majority of the day. I am starting to think it is the dog food. After reading so many posts about dogs having seizures when feeding them beneful. I feel that is the next step of removing them from there dog food. Is this brand notorious for hurting dogs? If you have any input or you feel that it is the food let me know.

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  11. My 3yo mastiff died this morning, after his first bowl of beneful! He did seizures after seizures until he died, we could do nothing to save him!

    They killed my rex!

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  12. I completely agree that Purina Beneful can cause seizures. I have a half chihuahua half dachshund that has always been healthy. A few years ago I switched his food to Purina Beneful. He soon started having seizures and he had them frequently. Usually at least once a week. I spent a lot of money on tests at the vet. The vet couldn't come up with any answers and every test came back normal. I was getting desperate and saw an ad in a magazine for a local holistic dog food store. The ad said to come in and speak w/ them if your dog suffers from a chronic condition and one of the conditions they listed was seizures. I went in and spoke with the store owner who gave me 5 samples of different dog foods that are all natural and holistic. No wheat, gluten, dyes, anything.. After I picked the sample my dog seemed to like best I switched him to a completely holistic diet. It has been over a year and he hasn't had one single seizure!!!

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  13. I had my perfectly healthy 2 yr old lab/rott/pit mix have 4 grand mal seizures today. Got back from emergency vet hospital and decided to look up this food that someone gave us last week. I'm so upset that I gave my baby something that made her sick. They should quit selling this food.

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  14. Please join our FB group.. Is Beneful by Purina Killing and/or Sickening our Dogs? https://www.facebook.com/groups/533765719991738/

    So is it the GMO Corn? GROUND YELLOW CORN, 1 Star - Indicates feed-grade source of protein/filler, not "whole" GROUND. Can have much higher levels of Aflatoxins than allowed for corn for human consumption. Is it the GMO Soy? SOY FLOUR 1 Star - Cheap source of protein, filler, can cause bloat/death in dogs. GMOThe GMO Sugar? SUGAR, 1 Star - leads to diabetes, hyperactivity, addiction to food (sugar rush), obesity.. maybe the GMO Canola? Is it the Propylene Glycol/Sorbitol/Glycerin? PROPYLENE GLYCOL, 1 Star - contains 1% by raw ingredient weight. Adds sweetness to food, used in antifreeze! Has one third of the toxicity as regular antifreeze, Ethylene Glycol. Some preservative action, possible carcinogen. Chinese manufactured PG, Sorbitol and Glycerin can be contaminated with killer Diethylene Glycol, rather than food grade which has caused organ failure and death in humans and animals. Maybe it's the colours?
    RED 40, 1 Star - Artificial color, carcinogenic
    YELLOW 5, 1 Star - yellow 5 "Tartrazine" is derived from coal tar and is the number one allergy-causing dye. Allergies to yellow 5 can range from mild indigestion to asthma to severe depression. It is estimated that 360,000 Americans have bad reactions to ingesting yellow 5. yellow 5 is a common dye and is in candy, cereal, and many other processed foods. It has been banned in several European countries. A variety of immunologic responses have been attributed to tartrazine ingestion by humans, including anxiety, migraine, clinical depression, blurred vision, itching, general weakness, heatwaves, feeling of suffocation, purple skin patches, and sleep disturbance
    YELLOW 6, 1 star - Sunset Yellow, Artificial color, potentially carcinogenic. In studies Yellow 6 has been linked to kidney and adrenal gland tumors
    BLUE 2 , 1 Star - Carcinogenic, artificial color OR the Animal Digest.. ANIMAL DIGEST, 1 Star – Used as flavor enhancer. Animal digest is a cooked-down broth used for flavour, rendered by chemical and/or enzymatic processes. It is only found in the very lowest quality pet food. Its presence indicates a very poor quality product. Run away from ALL pet foods containing this ingredient! Animal Digest is made from unspecified parts of unspecified animals. The origin of the animals is definitely suspect, as it never named. If the manufacturers wanted you to know what the source was, they’d name it. So what DOES it consist of? I hope you've got a stromg stomach for thiss.. here we go! Ingredients that end up in the rendering vats include ground up carcasses often come from “4-D animals” (Dead, Diseased, Disabled, or Dying prior to slaughter), all internal parts void of healthy meat. ANY kind of animal can be used including zoo animals, cats, dogs, goats, pigs, skunks, horses, rats, snakes, raccoons, possums, deer, foxes, miscellaneous road kill, animals euthanized at shelters and veterinarian clinics, restaurant and supermarket refuse.. including the plastic trays and packaging.. and so on. then we have the ANIMAL FAT preserved with mixed tocopherols, 1 Star Non-descriptive fat from rendering can be anything rancid or 4-D (dead, dying, disabled, diseased). Can include Roadkill, Euthanised pets, Zoo animals..


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  15. I gave my 10yo chihuahua wet beneful yesterday as a treat (usually he only gets Natural Balance line) and he had several seizures last night. This food is crap. I'm returning it today so the store knows.

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  16. HUNDREDS of us have lost pets due to the very SAME symptoms after feeding them Beneful. Think about it.....what a coincidence. And while our hearts break and we know we will never be the same, the company continues to deny it and put that poison on the shelves. \

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  17. I just made the connection between my dogs seizures and Beneful today. My Jack Russell had never had seizures until he was two years old, around the time I switched dog foods. He has had seizures about every three to four months for several years. About six months ago, I decided to try Rachel Ray dog food when my Mom told me she read an article that said Beneful was crap. During that time he did not have any seizures. This past weekend, I bought a small bag of Beneful in a pinch because I didn't want to go to Petsmart. Within a day, Noodle was having a seizure and had another two days later. Looking back, I'm convinced it's the dog food.

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  18. My dog just had a seizure. My healthy dog, I'm wandering here what caused it. She started twitching and showing muscle constrict. After the seizure, she threw up and the contents were purina beneful chop blend she had eaten many hours earlier. I googled "beneful causing seizure" and boom I find you and I truly believe it's the food. It was only her second day eating the food. I was given a sample to try, it had a coupon for a buy one get one free 3pk beneful chop blend. Gave her 2 small cans on a 2 day span. She is a small dog, a chiweenie. She's healthy, joyful. I couldn't believe my eyes, I thought she was going to die on me. We've got to do something about this.

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  19. When I adopted my dog about 9 years ago she was on Beneful so I kept her on it. I let her sleep in bed with me the first night and she was really good except there was a little turd in the bed. It happened again the next night. I thought it was really strange. She was otherwise a remarkably well behaved dog. Needless to say she became a floor sleeping dog (it's better for my allergies anyway). It didn't occur to me at the time that she was having seizures, but a year or two later she had one when I was awake. I took her to the vet and they diagnosed her with epilepsy. I started doing research online and read that Beneful might be the cause. I promptly switched her food and she hasn't had a seizure since. I don't have proof that the food was the cause, but the food was the cause.

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  20. OMG! My dog has starting shaking ever since I started feeding him Beneful a week ago. I thought maybe it was some sort of new separation anxiety! Now I know that it's the food. Unbelievable. No more Beneful!

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