Tania Carmichael believes recalled dog food killed her beloved pet dog Rocco.
Tania Carmichael believes recalled dog food killed her beloved pet dog Rocco. Contributed

Fears pet food may be linked to Coast dog's death

AN incurable, deadly disease possibly linked to dog biscuits robbed a Mooloolaba family of their pet, Rocco.

Tania Carmichael returned from a month-long holiday earlier this year to find her 14-year-old dog was "acting unusual", though he was healthy before they left.

Over the course of the next few months, Rocco deteriorated and was ultimately diagnosed with laryngeal paralysis on both sides of his throat, rendering him unable to eat or drink, before Tania made the tough decision to have him euthanased.

Rocco had been eating Advance dog biscuits for more than six months, during which time the company issued a product recall on March 24 of its Dermacare product as the University of Melbourne U-Vet reported 74 cases of unexplained megaesophagus.

They are still investigating the root cause, but believe diet may be a "significant risk factor" in these deaths.

The university recently contacted Tania via text to inform they were "keen to receive background information on cases of laryngeal paralysis or megaesophagus in dogs, which do not have an underlying diagnosis".

While the company has offered support, including reimbursing vet bills, Tania said she wasn't interested in money or a "replacement" dog.

"I would just like to now what happened," she said.

"If the ingredients aren't as safe as we think they are we should definitely know about it.

"My dog never wanted to eat those biscuits, Rocco really disliked them.

"We believed in the brand and thought it was a reputable brand and just thought he was being fussy, I would just mix in lots of leftovers, try and entice him to eat them all the time every night.

"When we went away for four weeks he basically ate the Advanced canned food."

Mooloolaba dog groomer Monique Ashmore joins Tania in giving a voice to the region's dogs, as she believes the potentially deadly food has not received enough exposure.

She said many of her customers had "no idea" the product had been recalled, and though it was off the shelves, she feared some who bulk bought may still be feeding it their dogs.

"There's still customers who don't know about it whatsoever, and we are highly densely populated area with dogs... this needs to be out there.

"My problem is it was made aware in November last year when it was first through the police training dogs down south, and nothing was made public about that until March and April this year."

She said while you could not put a "dollar value" on a family pet, more people needed to be aware the company was offering compensation.

PRODUCT RECALL

  • U-Vet at the University of Melbourne report 74 cases of unexplained megaesophagus in dogs
  • Advance issued a voluntary recall of Dermocare dry dog food in 3kg, 8kg and 15kg bags, to be returned to store for a full refund
  • If you are aware of any potential cases of megaesophagus or laryngeal paralysis contact Melbourne's U-Vet clinic via vet-hospital@unimelb.edu.au.
  • Also lodge a report via the PetFAST system: www.ava.com.au/petfast

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