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More dog food recalled for possibly toxic levels of vitamin D

More Hill's dog food recalled over vitamin D toxicity concerns
  • Hill's Pet Nutrition is adding Science Diet and Prescription Diet varieties to its product recall
  • These brands may also have toxic levels of vitamin D as other products did in a previous recall
  • Hill's says consumers should stop feeding the food to their dogs and return it for a refund

Hill's Pet Nutrition is expanding on its nationwide recall of canned dog food with potentially toxic levels of vitamin D. It took the action after saying it had received "a limited number of complaints of pet illnesses" related to additional products. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued its own alert to pet owners and veterinarians about the expanded recall of 85 total lots of 33 varieties of canned dog food made by Hill's after "receiving complaints that dogs eating the food experienced vitamin D toxicity."

Vitamin D is a nutrient that helps dogs regulate the balance and retention of calcium and phosphorus, but it also can cause serious health problems in dogs when too much is consumed, the FDA said. Unlike water-soluble vitamins, where excess nutrients get excreted, vitamin D gets stored in fat tissue and the liver, and excessive levels can cause kidney failure and death.

The expansion came after the FDA requested Hill's test samples that were not part of the original recall, the agency said Thursday in its statement. Hill's conducted that testing, which led to the expanded recall. 

8 brands of dog food recalled

The expansion is the result of the same vitamin premix received from a U.S. supplier that caused its prior recall at the end of January, said Hill's, a unit of Colgate-Palmolive. Hill's initial recall involved 675,000 cases -- or 13.5 million cans -- and led to an unknown number of pet illnesses and deaths. 

"We believe that hundreds, if not thousands, of pets have died or become seriously ill as a result of eating Hill's foods with toxic levels of vitamin D," emailed Nyran Rose Rasche, a Chicago-based attorney with Cafferty Clobes Meriwether & Sprengel, which filed a class action against Hill's last month.

Caitlin Gibson, a features reporter at the Washington Post, in early February tweeted that her dog had died after consuming prescription food from Hill's and had displayed symptoms of vitamin D poisoning.

The products now being added to the recall included eight types of Science Diet and Prescription Diet canned food, as well as more units of the products recalled earlier. Here's the complete list.

"Our review determined that there were additional products affected by that vitamin premix, and it is for that reason that we are expanding the recall. Hill's has received a limited number of complaints of pet illness related to some of these products," the company said in its statement. 

Consumers in the U.S. who purchased the recalled products should stop feeding it to their pets and throw it away, or return unopened cans for a refund. More information can be found on Hill's website or by calling (800) 445-5777.

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