Aaron O’Toole poses for a picture with his parent's dog Stan, 9 that has megaesophagus, an extremely rare and incurable illness that may have been caused by a popular brand of dog food. Picture: Matt Loxton/AAP
Aaron O’Toole poses for a picture with his parent's dog Stan, 9 that has megaesophagus, an extremely rare and incurable illness that may have been caused by a popular brand of dog food. Picture: Matt Loxton/AAP

Urgent recall of deadly dog food

PET owners are being urged to return a dog food product after a number of Victoria Police canines fell ill, including one who was euthanased.

Mars Petcare Australia has voluntarily recalled Advance Dermocare dry food, after learning a number of dogs have been affected by megaesophagus, a condition not usually linked to food.

Nine police dog squad members, including one who was euthanased, have been struck down by the condition - an enlargement of the oesophagus. On Sunday, the Herald Sun reported at least two more pet dogs had died after eating the food.

The company has run hundreds of tests on Advance Dermocare and has not found a link to the condition. "Regardless, we are voluntarily recalling these products as a precaution while we work to get to the bottom of the issue as soon as we can," a spokesperson said in a statement on Saturday.

The condition first emerged in the force in December and several possible causes have already been ruled out.

Investigators are looking at a number of "common factors". "One of them does include the food that we're feeding the dogs," squad Inspector Jon Woodyatt told 3AW Radio on Friday.

People who have bought Advance Dermocare dry dog food in 3kg, 8kg and 15kg bags are being asked to return them to the place of purchase for a refund. No other Advance products are affected by the recall.

 

Advance Dermocare dry dog food is being recalled.
Advance Dermocare dry dog food is being recalled.

MARS PETCARE STATEMENT

"Mars Petcare Australia is voluntarily recalling Advance Dermocare dry dog food products in 3kg, 8kg and 15kg bags. We advise dog owners who have purchased this product to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. These bags will have been purchased from speciality retailers and veterinarians. No other Advance products or varieties are affected by the recall.

"The health and wellbeing of Australian pets is our number one priority, so we were deeply concerned to learn that a number of dogs have been affected by megaoesophagus - a condition that is generally not associated with food.

"We have now run hundreds of tests on Advance Dermocare and have not found a link between the condition and our product. Regardless, we are voluntarily recalling these products as a precaution while we work to get to the bottom of the issue as soon as we can. We will continue to provide information to University of Melbourne to enable further testing, and consult with the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA).

"We understand Australian pet owners may be worried. Concerned pet owners should contact their veterinarian, or our Consumer Care team on 1800 640 111."



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