Pet Food News

Possible link between dog food, hypercalcemia reported

Reports of a possible connection between hypercalcemia and a premium petfood have been reported on the Veterinary Information Network (VIN), an online community for veterinarians.

According to an article on the community's associated site, the VIN News Service, veterinarians have mentioned in message board discussions that they have observed hypercalcemia secondary to vitamin D toxicosis in dogs eating Blue Buffalo Wilderness Diet, chicken flavor petfood. Improvements were reported once food brands were changed.

No causal relationship between the food and illnesses has yet been determined, and there is currently no Food and Drug Administration recall in effect for this brand of petfood.

Blue Buffalo representatives report that “tens of thousands of dollars” and hundreds of hours have been spent analyzing dog food, including samples from bags potentially connected to cases of dogs with hypercalcemia and vitamin D toxicity.

Richard MacLean, vice president of business affairs for Blue Buffalo, said test results thus far have shown nothing unusual about the food's formulation.

“We really do take very seriously our commitment to providing health nutrition to pets,” MacLean said. “From the moment this issue came up, we are looking to find out if this is something we can do something about.”

MacLean also said the company’s tests of its dog food have returned low to mid-level vitamin D content.

“Everything that we have suggests that it’s not our food,” he said. “We have 30,000 bags of this stuff out there and literally a dozen animals that have a common symptom. On an incident rate, that doesn’t invite the conclusion that there’s something defective about the product.”

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