A recall of dog food contaminated with a barbiturate has prompted some caution, but no apparent harm, among animal lovers in the Inland Northwest.
Several brands of dog food made by J.M. Smucker, including Gravy Train, Kibbles ’n Bits, Ol’ Roy, and Skippy, may be contaminated with pentobarbital, an anti-seizure and sedative drug.
The FDA posted an alert about the recall Feb. 16 after J.M. Smucker began a voluntary recall.
Spokane County Regional Animal Protective Services sent out an email to staff asking them to dispose of any products impacted, director Nancy Hill said.
“We have scoured through our donated food that we give out in our shelter. If we have anything that’s recalled, we’re tossing it,” she said.
Brian Hunter, a veterinarian at Hunter Veterinary Clinic and past president of the Inland Northwest Veterinary Medical Association, said he hasn’t heard of any local cases.
FDA tests of contaminated food showed phenobarbital levels are low and “unlikely to pose a health risk to pets.”
“If you’ve already fed it and your pet is fine, I’d just move on,” said Raelynn Farnsworth, director of the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine’s community practice service.
Hunter said a pet who eats food contaminated with the drug might stagger or be lethargic.
“Anytime you have those signs in any animal, regardless of cause, it would be indications to see your veterinarian,” he said.
Pets are more likely to get sick from ingesting chemicals around the home, like cleaners and fertilizer, Farnsworth said.