Blue Buffalo has issued a voluntary recall of specific production runs of its Wilderness Chicken-Dog, Basics Salmon-Dog and Large Breed Adult Dog products. The company states that these foods may contain a higher level of Vitamin D than is called for by its product specifications. The following letter, by Blue Buffalo CEO Bill Bishop, is from the company’s website:
We came to this conclusion after discovering that our ingredient supplier had made a scheduling error and produced a Vitamin D supplement immediately prior to preparing the ingredients for the BLUE products that are in question. We believe that some of the Vitamin D supplement may have been carried over into our products, resulting in more Vitamin D than is called for in our formulas.
While the potential of increased Vitamin D presents no serious health risk, and any negative reaction to these products has been confined to a very small segment of the canine population who appear to be sensitive to higher levels of Vitamin D, we have a zero tolerance for any product that does not meet our specifications. I think you’ll agree that our decision to withdraw these specific products is simply the right thing to do.
From a next steps standpoint, all products with the specific manufacturing dates in question will be removed from retailer’s shelves. If you have any products with the codes shown below you should stop feeding them immediately.You may call Blue Buffalo at 1-877-523-9114 to arrange for return of the product and reimbursement.
These are the ONLY code dates being recalled:
Product Bag Size Best Used By Dates BLUE Wilderness Chicken (Dog) 4.5 lb., 11 lb., 24lb. JUL1211B, JUL1311B, JUL2611Z, JUL2711Z, JUL2811Z BLUE Basics Salmon (Dog) 11 lb., 24 lb. AUG2111B, AUG2211B BLUE Large Breed Adult Chicken 30 lb. SEP 22 11 P, SEP 23 11 P, OCT 26 11 P
This Vitamin D issue does not effect any other code dates of these products or any other Blue Buffalo dog or cat foods. In addition, new bags of Wilderness Chicken, Basics Salmon and Large Breed Adult Chicken will be available on the shelves so you can continue to feed BLUE with complete confidence.
If your dog has shown any adverse reaction to the recalled products, have him checked by your veterinarian. Typical symptoms might include excessive water intake and/or excessive urination, and in some cases vomiting. Blue Buffalo will reimburse any veterinary or testing expenses related to illness caused by these products.
As Blue Buffalo is a family founded and run company, I am personally very upset about this and apologize for any discomfort or inconvenience that this situation has caused you or your pet family members. Product quality and safety have been, and always will be our top priority, and we’ve taken some serious corrective action to insure that this type of human error will never happen again.
For a little background, we turned to Pet Product News, and found this very interesting and important news related to the recall:
Michigan State University issued its own media statement today on the recall saying that veterinarians from across the country had recently begun sending samples from dogs with elevated levels of calcium in their blood to MSU’s Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. The sick dogs had increased thirst and urination, and some of them also suffered weight loss, loss of appetite and signs of kidney damage, according to MSU.
Endocrinologists with the center noticed the pattern and found a common factor: all 16 dogs whose samples were tested had very high levels of vitamin D in their blood and were fed a diet of Blue Buffalo’s Wilderness Chicken Recipe.
“The only reason we were able to identify the pattern is because of the vast national resource our center has become,” said Carole Bolin, director of the diagnostic center. “Because of our nationwide reach and expertise, we were able to discover this and notify the proper authorities.”
The affected dogs ranged in age from 8 months to 8 years, according to MSU. There were three mixed-breed dogs and 13 purebred dogs. The samples originated from eight states: Michigan, Texas, Colorado, Wisconsin, California, Illinois, North Dakota and Utah.
In addition to the testing, there was either a brief written history and/or communication with the referring veterinarian to discuss the possible sources of excess vitamin D, according to MSU.
Bolin said that dogs seem to recover when the diet is changed and there have not been any reported deaths related to the diet.