Advance Dermocare is a high-end pet food manufacturer and is under investigation for over 70 dogs falling sick. The dog food manufacturer offers to replace euthanized dogs after several death cases. The manufacturer also offers to reimburse the owners’ vet bills.
The exact cause of the illness is not yet determined and the connection to the pet food is being investigated. Advance Dermocare voluntary recalled the food after a number of dogs contracted megaesophagus after eating their food.
The condition causes the oesophagus to enlarge and lose the ability to move food to the stomach. If dogs survive, they must be fed upright.
“With documentation, we will reimburse any ongoing vet bills for the treatment of megaesophagus in dogs which consumed Advance Dermocare produced from July 2017,” the company posted on Facebook.
“We do believe that there is an association between the food and megaesophagus but we do have to go through several steps to prove it convincingly,” Melbourne University vet Dr. Caroline Mansfield said.
Dermocare is a variety of Advance dog food, made by Mars Petcare — part of the multi-billion-dollar global Mars food and confectionery business.
“Despite no root cause being identified, we have commenced the process of contacting pet owners to provide support, including offering to reimburse vet bills,” Mars Petcare said.
Melbourne University became involved after Victoria Police asked for help.
Nine of the Police’s dogs contracted megaesophagus and were being fed Advance Dermocare and one had to be euthanized.
“They were regurgitating and they had also had some episodes of pneumonia,” Dr. Mansfield said.
“One of them was so severely affected that the quality of life was not considered appropriate or ethical to continue.”
The turning point in the investigation came when Melbourne University asked vets to come forward with cases of ill dogs, and they did.
Advance Dermocare has recalled the food after that.
“Most of the testing has never been done in dog food before, so we actually have to validate the tests in that particular food,” Dr. Mansfield said.
Dr. Mansfield joined the voices of the owners if affected dogs in calling for a shakeup of the pet food industry.
“If something like this can happen with such a particular product, I think it’s really important that we try to identify what that causative link is so that we can prevent potentially other conditions occurring with other diets or other food,” she said.
“I do believe there needs to be tighter regulation of the pet food industry.”
“I think Australia is well overdue for having pet food regulation and there is a quality control.”