On Monday January 14th, Lauren brought Chesney, her 6-year-old male neutered pug, to work for an examination. Lauren, who works as a licensed veterinary technician at D’Adamo Veterinary Hospital in Livonia, Michigan, was extremely concerned for Chesney, as he had had “the saddest ever” grand mal seizure the day prior. Lauren feeds Purina Beneful ™ diet to her two dogs, and just recently had seen some reports on social media suggesting that there may be something wrong with the food, possibly causing seizures as well as a host of other health problems. One such article, written by Lisa Taylor, appears right here on Examiner.com, in which Ms. Taylor expresses her fears that her own pet may have become ill from eating Purina Beneful™
However, Dr. Michelle Adzigian, the veterinarian who examined Chesney, cautioned Lauren not to jump to conclusions that a possibly contaminated or toxic pet food could have caused Chesney’s seizures. After doing some online research, Dr. Adzigian was only able to find a handful of essentially inflammatory articles that failed to reference any specific case studies nor documented any particular flavors, varieties or manufacture dates of Purina Beneful™ products.
“On what authority are these writers making their claims against Beneful?” asked Adzigian. “Are they veterinarians? Health inspectors? I see ’20 years of writing experience’ in one author’s self-written bio… I do not believe this qualifies her to make serious allegations regarding clinical causes of symptoms in veterinary patients.”
Additionally, Adzigian suggested that the listed symptoms being attributed to the Beneful diet – vomiting, diarrhea, liver and kidney problems and seizures – are so common in dogs and cats and have so many differential diagnoses that documenting a specific diet as having been their cause would be extremely difficult even for a veterinary professional. She advised Lauren not to worry and to only change Chesney’s diet if it would help her own peace of mind.
Incidentally, in Chesney’s case, this seizure was his second – the first having occurred when he was on an entirely different, vegan pet diet.
Concerned pet owners can read some consumer reports on Purina Beneful™ here. At the time of this writing, I have not yet had a response to an email on the subject from Purina corporate.