by Robert Jay Russell, Ph.D.,
President of Coton de
Tulear Club of America - August 5, 2009. DO NOT GIVE YOUR DOG ANY PET-TABS.
THEY ARE CONTAMINATED WITH LEAD AND HAVE BEEN FOR YEARS!
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
ConsumerLab, a paid
subscriber testing service, tested Pet-Tabs Complete Daily for
Dogs in 2007 and again in 2009. They found very high levels of
lead contamination in the product: 1.41 mcg (in 2007) and 6.45
mcg (in 2009). The latter is nearly 13 times above the level
mandated as safe by the state of California.
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:
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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
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
Michael E. Peterson,
Patricia A. Talcott (editors), “Small
Animal Toxicology, Second Edition,” Saunders
Elsevier, St. Louis, MO. 2006
Ramesh G. Gupta
Toxicology: Basic and Clinical Principles,” Academic
Press, New York, NY. 2007.
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.
Pet Nutrition Pet Chews Plus” was “approved” since it did not
contain lead and its ingredients were as labeled.
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.
copyright 2009 Dr.
R. J. Russell & the CTCA
Pet-Tabs Multivitamin: Alert!
Ingredients: Wheat Germ, Kaolin, Corn Syrup, Pork Liver Meal,
Dicalcium Phosphate, Sucrose, Lactose, Safflower Oil, Gelatin,
Corn Starch, Stearic Acid, Niacinamide, Hydrolyzed Vegetable
Protein, Iron Oxide And Peptone, Magnesium Stearate, Dl-Alpha
Tocopheryl Acetate, Vitamin A Acetate, Zinc Oxide, Riboflavin,
Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Cyanocobalamin,
Manganese Sulfate, Copper Acetate Monohydrate, Vitamin D3
Supplement, Cobalt Sulfate.