Pentobarbital in Gravy Train dog food led to lawsuit

WJLA reported that a laboratory found pentobarbital in Gravy Train dog food.

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(edwardolive | BigStockPhoto)
(edwardolive | BigStockPhoto)

A Washington D.C. ABC-affiliate news station, WJLA, reported that a laboratory they contracted, Ellipse Analytics, found pentobarbital in Gravy Train dog food, a brand produced by J.M. Smucker under Big Heart Pet Brands. WJLA’s report led to a class action lawsuit against Big Heart Pet Brands filed in a United States District Court in California. In Missouri, one woman believes Gravy Train may have contributed to her dog’s death, reported KMOV, a St. Louis, Missouri, USA-based CBS affiliate.

WJLA found pentobarbital in dog food

WJLA contracted a laboratory to test 62 samples of wet dog food from two dozen brands for the presence of pentobarbital. Out of 15 cans of Gravy Train, 60 percent of the samples tested positive for pentobarbital, although not at lethal levels.

Ellipse Analytics is the same laboratory that works with the Clean Label Project, a pet food rating system.

Class action lawsuit against Big Heart Pet Brands

According to court documents, the class action lawsuit seeks to compel Big Heart Brands to “disclose its pet food sold throughout the United States is adulterated and contains  pentobarbital…” The lawsuit also aims to make Big Heart refund the purchase of that pet food to consumers.

WJLA’s report led to a class action lawsuit against Big Heart Pet Brands filed in a United States District Court in California.

Effects of pentobarbital in dog food

A woman in Fenton, Missouri, USA believes that allegedly pentobarbital-contaminated Gravy Train dog food may have been responsible for her dog’s illness and death, reported KMOV. She stated that in October 2017, her Miniature Schnauzer became ill after eating Gravy Train and other Big Heart products. The dog passed away two months later.

Last February, pentobarbital-contaminated dog food was in the news. One Pug is known to have died after eating pentobarbital-tainted Evanger’s Hunk of Beef dog food, and four other dogs were sickened. 

Pentobarbital, a barbiturate, is used to euthanize animals and as a human sedative and anticonvulsant, as well as in human executions and physician-assisted suicides. Oral exposure to pentobarbital can cause drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, nausea, nystagmus (eyes moving back and forth in a jerky manner), inability to stand, coma and death.

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