Saturday, September 12, 2009

Merci, Rocky, Ludo & Pet Tabs

We were all sad yesterday, remembering the 9-11-01 terrorist attacks in the United States. It had to be hard for the families and friends of those who lost their lives.

And Rocky's human mom lost her only sibling - a sister who has been on life support for a few days. We hope her nephew was able to make it home in time to say good-bye to him mother. If you haven't already, please stop by and leave a word of comfort. This is a very hard time for her.

Don't forget to stop at Ludo von Doggy's to vote for a non-trick (as opposed to doing a trick) dog. Voting is in the sidebar. Check out the entries and if you are so inclined, you can vote for our Sam -- #17. A chance to pose not doing a trick makes for some stffl competition. :)

And don't forget to vote for Merci again today. Thank you.

We forgot to set this to post early this morning. Since we received a warning email about Pet Tabs, we're going to paste it here in its entirety, as the author requests. (We had a comment here about refusing to take Pet Tabs when Jan bought them for us, but this morning we googled the product, saw the bottle label, and realized we were wrong about the brand we refused to take. Evidently, they are palatable. There are a number of products on the market that have high levels of something -- Vitamin D is one we remember reading about recently. If you consider the number of product warnings and recalls the FDC puts out for humans, it stands to reason the same is true of pet food.)

by Robert Jay Russell, Ph.D., Coton de Tulear Club of America President,

(607) 693-2828

August 5, 2009


I cannot emphasize enough the extreme danger these multivitamins represent. Quixotically, they are not being recalled, and the FDA has taken no notice of the results of testing published by

This from the ConsumerLab's paid subscription web site: Pet-Tabs Complete Daily for Dogs was contaminated with 6.45 mcg of lead per tablet. This is several times higher than the amount of lead (1.41 mcg) found to be in this product in 2007. Contaminations levels for dogs are not well defined, but FDA notes that children should not be exposed to more than 6 mcg of lead per day and, as noted above, California requires warning labels on supplements for human use that contain over 0.5 mcg of lead per day.

Dr. Russell continues: Pet-Tabs are perhaps the most widely sold dog and cat vitamin supplement. We've used them (albeit not for many years). Pet-Tabs are sold by PetsMart, Doctors Foster and Smith, and virtually every pet shop, and on-line pet store in the nation. Pet-Tabs are made by the giant Pfizer Pharmaceutical Corporation, one of America 's leading opponents of health care reform and industry inspection and regulation.

Pet-Tabs are sold under another corporate name: "Virbac" <<>> ConsumerLab tests mostly human products. Sadly, this report and the previous years' report confirming lead contamination in Pfizer/Virbac Pet-Tab supplements calls into serious question the safety and efficacy of these giant corporations' entire product lines.

ConsumerLab tests mostly human products. There is no other information (such as why or how this supposed animal health care product has been laced with toxic levels of lead for years).

LEAD POISONING Lead can be absorbed through the skin or, in the case of these supplements, ingested and absorbed. Clinical signs can be gastrointestinal and/or neurological. Many dogs or cats who are chronically ill, have upset stomachs, anorexia (food avoiders), blood disorders, kidney disorders (degeneration of the glomeruli and tubules), immunological problems, reproductive problems, or are suffering abnormal behavioral signs could have suffered chronic, catastrophic lead poisoning through supplements.

Before this revelation of supplement poisoning, the most common known cause of lead poisoning in people and dogs was contact with lead based paint or old car batteries. Other common causes of lead poisoning include ingestion of lead shot (fatal to many wild birds and sometimes served up in food that is hunted) and handling lead painted toys and ceramic ware. During the past 6,000 years humans have mined and redistributed lead on the planet to the extent that each of us has approximately 1,000 times the lead in our system (as measured in our bones) than prehistoric North American Indians.

Puppies absorb lead more readily than adults and are at greatest immediate risk for signs of lead poisoning, but lead poisoning can prove debilitating, even fatal for mature pets as well.

If your dog suffers from the diffuse signs of lead poisoning or if your dog or cat have been exposed to Pet-Tabs, the CTCA recommends you have its blood tested for lead concentration. Children in the household should also be tested should your pet prove contaminated.

CTCA RECOMMENDATIONS I would avoid all vitamin and mineral supplement products sold under labels by either Pfizer or Virbac. These include labels such as "Pet-Tinic," and "Lixotinic," and "Liqui-Tinic," which are generally sold for large animals.

Save any bottles of these products in a sealed Zip Loc bag. Label the bag well, stating "DO NOT USE - POISON!" You may need a sample of this product should your dog or cat become symptomatic. You will need to save the original packaging and product should Pfizer/Virbac be subject to a Class Action suit.

REFERENCES FOR VETS Veterinarians normally do not first associate gastrointestinal, immunological or even neurological signs with lead poisoning. Given America 's current largely untested, unregulated food, supplement, and pharmaceutical supply, perhaps they should.

Should your vet need additional information about lead toxicity, its diagnosis and treatment, I suggest the following available, up-to-date references:

Michael E. Peterson, Patricia A. Talcott (editors), "Small Animal Toxicology, Second Edition," Saunders Elsevier, St. Louis , MO. 2006

Ramesh G. Gupta (editor) "Veterinary Toxicology: Basic and Clinical Principles," Academic Press, New York , NY . 2007.

WHAT VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS ARE SAFE? That question is analogous to asking: "what food is safe?" It's a crap shoot to be sure. ConsumerLab tested only three pet supplements; one was "Halo Purely for Pets VitaGlo Daily Greens." It did not contain lead, but it contained less than half its advertised vitamins. "21st Century Pet Nutrition Pet Chews Plus" was "approved" since it did not contain lead and its ingredients were as labeled.

Our veterinarian believes that one-half a Centrum Senior (human vitamin) is safe and effective for a dog the size of a Coton de Tulear. But without widespread government tests of our food, drug and supplement supply, who knows?

We have been using ProPet 8-in-one Vitamin supplements without problems, but chronic, gradual poisoning is not something we'd necessarily see. As noted: it is a gamble. And one that no one in this country should have to take.

NOTE: you have permission to cross post this article. If you do so, please leave the article intact.

Copyright 2009 Dr. R. J. Russell & the CTCA


  1. Gee, that's scary stuff about those vitamins. We're happy that none of your kitties or woofies would take them. Sad to think about how many others out there could be, though.

    Purrs and hugs,
    The Kitty Krew

  2. Very scary about the Pet Tabs! Good thing Jan trusted your instincts!
    Good luck in the contests!
    Tail wags,

  3. It is very disturbing that the manufacturers would put such a dangerous ingredient in a supplement that is supposed to improve the health of a pet. Thank you for calling our attention to this. You woofies were very smart to refuse to take them.

    We voted too.

  4. Thanks for the update guys. That is scary as most of those brands are sold by vets!

  5. What a furry full post!

    Tank woo fur sharing all woo did...

    PeeEssWoo: Mom says she thinks her nephew made it bakhk in time due to what Rokhky's mom posted on FB.

  6. Thanks for sharing. Rocky's Auntie was a year younger than our Mom! Scary!

  7. Having lost Whiskers to the petfood recall of 2007 I am paranoid about feeding the cats and Fenris, it's heartbreaking to know that our pets still aren't safe from poisoned food and vitamins.

  8. I've heard about the Pet Tabs -- fortunately we don't use them!

  9. I voted for you..Good luck.. I popped accross to see your friens, such sad news. Makes you count your blessings.
    Thanks for the info on the vitamins..

    Hugs GJ x

  10. that is some bad stuff.. Sure glad you guys wouldn't eat them..
    Thanks for sharing mom..

    Big Sloppy Kisses
    Gus, Louie and Callie

  11. Glad we don't get them here but it is good to spread the word. If it doesn't smell good, good idea not to eat it either.

    woos, the OP Pack

  12. Oh Bast! Fank goodness da woofies knew dat da stuff wasnt so gud. Shame on da company fer doin that and keepin em on shelves to sell.

  13. Hi, friends!
    Thanks for telling us about those Pet-Tabs.
    My mom saw them the other day and was wondering if there were good! Hmmm...
    Kisses and hugs

  14. Dear Jan's Funny Farm,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog to ask about my pet human. She is feeling better. She doesn't want me to say anything on my blog yet, because there are lots of family who read it. But the doctor said it's good news. Something about a blurpy thing on the way.

    More later!


  15. Thank you for sharing the info. How awful about the Pet Tabs! Nobody here has ever had them!

    We voted for Merci!

  16. Jan, thank you.
    You always bring such important things to light!

  17. Yikes!! Thank you for the info on the Pet Tabs!!

  18. It is good that you pups had the sense not to eat those tablets! I have been voting for Merci.

    Huffle Mawson

  19. Mom Barb here. I just read the entire Warning about Pet Tabs, including the part about it containing lead "for years".

    Before Gandalf, Grayson and Whitey I had dogs for about 35 years. They all took Pet Tabs every day. All my dogs lived very healthy lives to ripe old ages. Of course, that was more than 5 years ago, but I find it hard to believe this Warning is completely accurate. Of course, many things have changed over the years. Who knows what is actually safe any more.

  20. It is ridiculousy ironic that pet supplements are contaminated. We really don't understand what's going on. The best thing is to stay away from all supplements. We would discourage everyone from giving supplements for humans to your pet though. Many an ingredient that is good for humans is toxic for your pet. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Jan!
    Purrs, Siena & Chilli

  21. I voted for you in the competition, Merci!! sorry to hear about those bad pet -tabs.

  22. So glad to get the information about the Pet Tabs. Thanks for commenting on it. Sure hope that new Party Mix by Friskies is O.K. Us cats love it.



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