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Pet food recall: Blue Buffalo dog food

by Therese on October 8, 2010

in Dogs, Pet Food Recall

Blue Buffalo dog food recallBlue Buffalo has been under scrutiny lately due to dogs becoming ill after eating some of their food. As a result, they are now recalling specific lots of their the following Blue Buffalo dog foods: Wilderness Chicken-Dog, Basics Salmon-Dog and Large Breed Adult Dog products. It’s been discovered to be due to an increased amount of Vitamin D in the food.

At Blue Buffalo, nothing is more important than the health and well being of our dogs and cats, so it’s consistent with this guiding principle that we are voluntarily recalling specific production runs of our Wilderness Chicken-Dog, Basics Salmon-Dog and Large Breed Adult Dog products, as we have reason to believe that the products from these runs may contain a higher level of Vitamin D than is called for in our product specifications.

We came to this conclusion after discovering that our ingredient supplier had made a scheduling error and produced a Vitamin D supplement immediately prior to preparing the ingredients for the BLUE products that are in question. We believe that some of the Vitamin D supplement may have been carried over into our products, resulting in more Vitamin D than is called for in our formulas.

While the potential of increased Vitamin D presents no serious health risk, and any negative reaction to these products has been confined to a very small segment of the canine population who appear to be sensitive to higher levels of Vitamin D, we have a zero tolerance for any product that does not meet our specifications. I think you’ll agree that our decision to withdraw these specific products is simply the right thing to do.

From a next steps standpoint, all products with the specific manufacturing dates in question will be removed from retailer’s shelves. If you have any products with the codes shown below you should stop feeding them immediately.You may call Blue Buffalo at 1-877-523-9114 to arrange for return of the product and reimbursement.

These are the ONLY code dates being recalled:

  • BLUE Wilderness Chicken (Dog)
    Bag sizes:  4.5 lb., 11 lb., 24lb.    
    Best Used By Dates:  JUL1211B, JUL1311B, JUL2611Z, JUL2711Z, JUL2811Z
  • BLUE Basics Salmon (Dog)
    Bag sizes:  11 lb., 24 lb.
    Best Used By Dates:  AUG2111B, AUG2211B
  • BLUE Large Breed Adult Chicken
    Bag size:  30 lb.
    Best Used By Dates:  SEP 22 11 P, SEP 23 11 P, OCT 26 11 P

This Vitamin D issue does not effect any other code dates of these products or any other Blue Buffalo dog or cat foods. In addition, new bags of Wilderness Chicken, Basics Salmon and Large Breed Adult Chicken will be available on the shelves so you can continue to feed BLUE with complete confidence.

If your dog has shown any adverse reaction to the recalled products, have him checked by your veterinarian. Typical symptoms might include excessive water intake and/or excessive urination, and in some cases vomiting. Blue Buffalo will reimburse any veterinary or testing expenses related to illness caused by these products.

Earlier today the Michigan State University website published this about the vitamin D problems in the

A team of researchers at Michigan State University has discovered a group of illnesses reported in dogs across the country is linked to a specific brand of dog food from the Blue Buffalo Co.

Veterinarians from across the country recently began sending samples from dogs with elevated levels of calcium in their blood to MSU’s Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health, director Carole Bolin said. The sick dogs had increased thirst and urination, and some of them also suffered weight loss, loss of appetite and signs of kidney damage.

Endocrinologists with the Diagnostic Center, a service unit of the College of Veterinary Medicine, soon noticed the pattern and found a common factor: All 16 dogs whose samples were tested had very high levels of vitamin D in their blood and were fed a diet of Blue Buffalo’s Wilderness Chicken Recipe.

[...]

It is routine for veterinarians across the country to contact the center for specialized testing to explore the causes of clinical conditions. In this specific case, all the dogs were found to have very high levels of vitamin D in their serum, a quite unusual finding. Endocrinologist Kent Refsal picked up on the pattern of cases and began to investigate.

The affected dogs ranged in age from 8 months to 8 years. There were three mixed-breed dogs and 13 purebred dogs. The samples originated from eight states: Michigan, Texas, Colorado, Wisconsin, California, Illinois, North Dakota and Utah. In addition to the testing, there was either a brief written history and/or communication with the referring veterinarian to discuss the possible sources of excess vitamin D.

Here’s the rest from MSU: MSU researchers link pet food, dog illnesses nationwide.

Update: The phone number listed above is no longer in service. Here is the number they list on their website as of June, 2011: 800-919-2833.

PLEASE NOTE: PetsitUSA IS NOT associated with Blue Buffalo or any other pet food company.
A number of people have emailed PetsitUSA asking for reimbursement for veterinary bills due to their pets’ illnesses after eating Blue Buffalo. If you have problems with Blue Buffalo food, or any other brand, and wish to file a claim or ask to be reimbursed for veterinary bills, please contact the pet food company directly.

{ 467 comments… read them below or add one }

Leeann Ivey December 23, 2013 at 12:16 pm

My husband wanted to give our cat the best in nutrition so he started him on Blue Buffalo. Not long after he started giving our cat BB he became sick with diarrhea and a week later we noticed blood in his stool. I immediately changed his food and his tummy issues have cleared up. I contacted BB customer service to let them know what happened and the response was when we switched his food we should have slowly transitioned him to BB, but if it continued we could take the rest of the bag back to the store and get a full refund or exchange for another food. Unfortunately, I had poured his bag of BB into the plastic food bin that we put his food in to store it and there was no way to get a refund or exchange. I’m just glad that we found out what was making our cat sick and were able to fix the issue before he became any sicker.

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Sherry December 25, 2013 at 12:25 pm

for that exact reason I keep my empty bag on hand. Plus in the event of a recall u need to know the bag numbers to see if your bag is part of the recall.
When I buy a new bag… I dump my food in the bin and throw away the old bag and fold up the new one next to the food.

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Alan Ginsberg December 23, 2013 at 1:30 pm

I use the wilderness red meat, duck, bison is any of this good involved in the reca

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Bill January 27, 2014 at 8:25 am

I would consider the normal version of BB, the wilderness has about 32% protein ..to much protein for most dogs unless they are working dogs or outside wither dogs dogs, while their other versions are about 24% protein.

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HBobbie December 23, 2013 at 1:47 pm

This is more a question than comment. I feed my pups Blue Life Protection . . . Natural Fish and Sweet Potato. My question relates to a seizure. One of my kids does a great deal of extreme ‘shaking’ at times lasting 1 to 2-3 minutes, is extremely thirsty but doesn’t seem to have any other symptoms. Am I describing tremors or seizures? She has extreme allergies, but they are to scents and fragrances.

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Anthony Colorado December 24, 2013 at 3:42 am

You realize this food is for dogs and cats, its not designed for children. Maybe try cheerios.

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Krista December 25, 2013 at 12:45 am

This is a question best for your veterinarian. Any neurological abnormalities such as a suspected seizure should be communicated to your dogs primary doctor. It can range from a possie seizure to being systematic of another issue. If the proem persists into the holiday contact your local emergency vet care clinic. Hope this helps.

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Bill December 25, 2013 at 12:08 pm

I have a dog that has seizures. I have moved my dog to a wheat free one protein food, just to track what protein my dog is receiving. I would suggest trying your dog on bison; it tends to show a lower level of allergies than chicken, turkey and fish. Then take care of the treats as well, many people forget about the treats and still give products the dog is having problems with than blaming it on the dogs food. Her seizures have been decreased.

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Pam Reed December 27, 2013 at 6:29 pm

That sounds more like epilepsy than any thing else. Seizures would be a part of that. Get the baby to your vet.

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Sharon January 29, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Pam seizures are not epilepsy…..heart worm prevention caused seizures in my aussie…can not take generic….pet food causes seizures..most are junk with good marketing. I have male cat with recuring uti….its the food and the vet keeps squeezing my wallet…

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KayleighT December 30, 2013 at 2:37 am

This is EXTREMELY scary, we switched my dog to the BB Wilderness Chicken Recipe and she has been having the same thing! EXACT SAME. She’s had unexplained drops in her phosphorous levels and she has not gotten into anything specified to cause this! My dog does not have allergies but she has had those exact seizures ever since I put her on this food! I am now pretty convinced that this food is doing this to her.

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Janice M March 26, 2014 at 9:54 am

My cairn terrier had a seizure almost 3 weeks ago. He also had low phosphorus levels and the vet thought it was a mistake with the test. I had been feeding him BB Freedom. I threw the food away the same day we took him to the emergency vet for treatment. I was told that it probably was not epilepsy (he is 11 years old) but could possibly be a brain tumor or a one time thing due to an unknown cause. I started cooking food for him and he is much better. I will have to wait several months to rule out brain tumor but I am almost positive that it was due to the food.

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Janice M April 15, 2014 at 6:29 pm

UPDATE: I had a complete blood work done after ceasing the BB Freedom dog food. His phosphorus levels are now normal (surprise,surprise) His calcium levels were also off and are now normal. It was definitely the food. No doubt about it.

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Andrew December 23, 2013 at 1:50 pm

I have a 1 year old pitbull. I have been feeding her Blue Buffalo since we got her as a pup. I started out with the chicken mix and rice mix. She had really bad gas to the point it was causing her pains and she would be up all night crying even after countless timea out to potty. I went back to Pet’s Mart and asked them what the problem was and it was narrawed down to the amount of protein intake. They recommended we switch to the lamb mix and did so, now as of yesterday dec 22, 2013, shes a year old and healthy as a horse, we took her to the vet a week ago and she weighed a very healthy 75 lbs. Not to bulky but lean and trim like a pitbull should look. I have no complaints with the brand of food, yet anyways and will continue to feed her the brand. This link has been very insightful. Will continue to follow updates. Thanks.

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dr rose December 24, 2013 at 10:32 am

My standard poodle had a severe gas problem also. Vet said he was allergic to chicken and had me put him on a salmon based dog food. I’m been feeding Nature’s Domain. Problem solved.

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linda December 23, 2013 at 5:15 pm

dec ember 23rd, 2013 Just heard today about Wilderness and was given a case of wet dog food a few days ago…..is the wet canned food terrible also? I don’t want to keep feeding it to my senior dogs….3 dogs and they are almost 12 years old. they love it tho!

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Christina December 24, 2013 at 12:33 am

These recalls are from 2010-2011. Check the article date at the top. Should have no issues being that the expiry was for pet food distributed the same year.

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jenna December 24, 2013 at 2:08 am

This was from 3 years ago. The food is fine now.

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chris December 27, 2013 at 10:35 am

The food is not fine. I am dealing with my pit / Retriever mix having symptoms of vitamin d toxicity from my big bag of blue wilderness. Drinking water constantly, waking my fiancé and myself up every 3-5 hours to pee, lack of appetite for anything else she used to love to eat. The calcium levels in her blood are abnormally high. This recall should be ongling. We have it, another relative has it in their 10 lbs lap dog, another person has their pit in the same situation but with a lot of diarrhea and vomiting. I wouldn’t wish this on any pet.

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rick December 24, 2013 at 11:04 am

Linda the food is not terrible. Remember 99.999 percent of feed back is going to be negative. I have 4 dogs of varying ages. This food has been wonderful for them. I will mention that for older dogs especially less active older dogs, Lower protein diets are better. Lamb, or chicken proteins are probably the better choice.

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Bill December 25, 2013 at 12:25 pm

From what I know about wet dog food, like Blue, is there is little difference between wet and dry except for moisture content. I know blue is a great food. The only concern I have about wet food is it tends to coat the teeth more providing less of a cleaning action causing tarter build up. Dry kibble seems to scrape the teeth reducing the build-up. So brushing your dogs teeth is even more important when using wet food.

Wilderness is a high protein food and in my opinion is more for working dogs or dogs that spent a large part of their day and night outside. Hi protein can also be harder on older dog’s internal organs having to process protein levels about 32% from the normal 24%- 28%

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Lisa December 25, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Most of us started complaining on this site due to the recall back in 2010/2011 that claimed the lives of our babies. However, we have all learned from various people on this site that blue buffalo uses ingredients from China, and they don’t manufacture their own food. They sub-contract it out to other manufacturers who make numerous other things… vitamin d supplements being one of many. This is how the cross contamination happened (this came straight from BB). Since BB has not changed their ingredients or the way their food is manufactured, I still stand by the fact that their food isn’t safe to give our babies. This isn’t just about whether or not one of their recipes has been recalled… it’s about the lack of quality ingredients and the way it’s manufactured that’s the problem.

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tom December 23, 2013 at 6:54 pm

Ost those dates are from 2011? Mine is dec 18 14 L..is this an old post also is the puppy one bad for this date i have

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Me December 23, 2013 at 7:51 pm

The date on this is 2010.

Please read responsibly…

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Ann December 23, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Am I the only one that noticed the date on this article???? 2010 date!

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Phyllis December 23, 2013 at 11:10 pm

So I would hope you have now fired this particular “ingredient” supplier. Maybe you need to post your own quality control people at those locations. There are way too many pet food recalls lately that result in the deaths of our beloved pets. Maybe we really should start making our own food. My 10 yrs old cat is on Blue Buffalo now I am worried…………

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Amie December 23, 2013 at 11:41 pm

If you check the publish date this particular food was recalled in 2010. As far as I know there are no current recalls of blue buffalo.

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Ron December 23, 2013 at 11:46 pm

This article appears to be over 3 years old as it was written October 8, 2010. The expiration dates of the suspect products is listed as late months in 2011.
THIS IS OLD NEWS IT APPEARS…

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Elianna December 24, 2013 at 12:06 am

To everyone who is suddenly reading this article… LOOK AT THE DATE. This is from October of 2010.

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Lola Wuchtbrumme December 24, 2013 at 1:53 am

I am confused – above article is from 2010, why are we talking about this now?

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Debbie Kent December 24, 2013 at 3:12 am

I sure hope my purebred lhasa apso 4yr old 5lb little girl will be fine! She has been the picture ofhealth and we are ppraying she stays that way! You food is very expensive but we felt she was worth it, and we know she absolutely is!

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Nate Green December 24, 2013 at 9:01 am

Did anyone not notice that this story was from 2010?

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Don G December 24, 2013 at 9:56 am

This article is from 2010. Contact BB customer service if you have questions. If your animal is not energetic or a couch potato you need to feed your animal a lower protein and fat diet. Get the answers from reputable sources before you believe everything you hear and see on the Internet.

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Sherrie December 24, 2013 at 10:28 am

This is why I feed raw and I make it myself.

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Lex December 24, 2013 at 11:28 am

This article is from 2010, the recalls area are 2011… Is there a reason to believe blue is still having issues? My dog does not seem to be doing well with this food either :-/

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B December 24, 2013 at 11:35 am

This article is from 2010.

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Lovemypups December 24, 2013 at 11:46 am

While this is a good forum to ask questions and give advice, please realize this article was written over three years ago! BB has figured out the issue highlighted above.

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cathy December 24, 2013 at 1:47 pm

This recall is from 2010- why is everyone concerned now?

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Christina December 24, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Yes would LOVE to know if Blue is willing to pay my 300.00 vet bill as MY dog Eddie had these adverse effects after eating this CRAP.

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Ash December 24, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Anyone else bother to notice that this article is over three years old?

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r payne December 24, 2013 at 10:47 pm

This article was written in 2010. I don’t believe BB has had any recall recently. My Bichon has been on BB for sensitive dogs since the summer. She’ll continue to be on it.

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Kate December 24, 2013 at 10:56 pm

This article is dated 2010 for anyone who commented in 2013. Just FYI.

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Jessica December 26, 2013 at 2:29 pm

We all noted that our pets are still sick and dying even in 2013…Blue Buffalo is the WORST!!!

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Jessica December 26, 2013 at 2:53 pm

BB hasn’t figured anything out and they don’t care about continued risk to our dogs and cats. Both my dogs died within minutes of each other after one week on this CRAP and when I called BB to ask them where the food was made they refused to even tell us where it was manufactured, much less anything else.

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catherine December 27, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Please note the date on that article – it’s from 2010!!!! The site dogfoodadvisor. com, usually keeps a current list of food recalls – check there first when you hear of one before panicking and throwing out your expensive food!! I too had already shared this before realizing that it was from 2 years ago! Don’t want to hurt a good companies rep on faulty info.

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Joey December 27, 2013 at 10:19 pm

If your dog starts drinking a lot of water and gets shaky I suggest you get them to the vet ASAP! This is a sign of kidney failure which BB caused in my girlfriends 3 year old dog Charlie. Also had a friend lose their dog due to the same causes from BB.

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Janle December 28, 2013 at 1:06 am

Did any of you people ever look as to when this recall really was????
Say 2010????? Dah

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liz December 28, 2013 at 1:41 am

Interesting that no one noticed that this article was from 2010…!!!! Might want to check your facts and dates before you all get so excited! Just thinking out loud.

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Kim December 28, 2013 at 11:07 am

I run a kennel with dogs of various ages. Sadly, I trusted BB food manufactured in China. This was a learning experience for me to find out BB was affecting each dog adversely. Over the years before 2010 until now, I have dealt with the aftermath of what was advertised “safe, nutritious” food over the TV – has done to not 1 or 2 dogs but to my kennel of many. One by one, I see it everyday and deal with having to give SubQ Fluids by needle on a schedule. It sickens me. I read the FDA website among others to check recalls everyday and I have a local vet that also keeps on top of it, too. I also keep in touch with an emergency 24/7 vet clinic and they know all about it. Kidney failure, one after another – massive drinking, attempting to keep water bowls from going empty, excessive elimination, lack of appetite from failing kidneys, the medication and the special kidney diet. I have yet another dog going into failure now that I sit with for 30 minutes to 40 minutes with needle, tubing and fluid that had BB – another in kidney failure. The vision is horrible and yet, this is something I have sadly had to get used to because of a poor decision on my part. The people that come to this site and report what they have gone through, have GONE THROUGH IT! They aren’t people that just started feeding their dog BB. They have a history with it as I have. Are they excited, upset, etc?…… YES. Like me, they have lost a part of their family – as I have also, lost and are losing one after another. The ones that come to this website and question, fight, etc…. are either connected with BB or ones that will sooner or later be enlightened by those of us that have had to learn the hard way over years. There are none so blind as those who will not see. Try sitting with a dog for 30-40 minutes while the fluids drip into a kidney failure body that ate BB over the years – you might learn something. For this one, they give her 3-6 months until her kidneys are completely done and no subq fluids will help. Maybe you might understand why we want to warn others.

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Kim December 28, 2013 at 11:36 am

In May 2012, I searched to find out what on earth was happening to the dogs in my kennel and that’s when I read this website. The symptoms people were reporting in their pets matched what I was seeing here in my own dogs. There are over 4oo posts here from people that happened upon this website.

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Kim December 28, 2013 at 11:51 am

Chris reported on December 27, 2013 at 10:35 am which makes it current. He is experiencing exactly what the rest of us that sought answers are going through after feeding BB. The posts about these symptoms go on and on until now.

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Kim December 28, 2013 at 12:23 pm

A recall didn’t bring me here – numerous health issues in my kennel did.
After testing their water to check out okay, the animal hospital asked what I was feeding my dogs.

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Beth January 4, 2014 at 6:12 pm

my dog is experiencing hair loss across the body, loss of muscle mass and lethargy. He has been on BB salmon basics for about 6 months. Have any of you seen this kind of symptom? He was a beautiful show dog. I couldn’t show him now. He had some allergies which is why I switched to this food. I will call them now, but would like to know if anyone gas seen this.

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Lisa January 6, 2014 at 4:54 pm

My dog developed allergies while on BB. The hair loss could be related to the allergies, which is caused by inflammation in the entire digestive system. I would stop feeding your dog BB ASAP! Start feeding him brown rice and chicken for a week. Then start adding in some wholesome veggies. Never feed potatoes, or eggs when your baby has the symptoms your describing. You need to heal his gut. If you heal it and get the inflammation down, the allergies will go away. It’ll take some time, but it can be done.

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Peggy Gurney January 22, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Beth, we just switched to Blue from Beneful, and just today finished the first bag of Basics Salmon! My Jack Russell has been vomiting occasionally and experiencing lethargy and occasional low-grade fever. He is a shedder anyway, so I haven’t noticed any additional hair loss.

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Macy January 10, 2014 at 11:07 pm

I have a Boston Terrier with one kidney. I have been feeding him BB for a period of 10 months. After reading post, I stopped feeding him BB.
This might be the reason he has allergies. lately vomits after eating.

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Peggy Gurney January 22, 2014 at 11:03 pm

We are brand new customers of Blue. Our very first bag is Basics Salmon, which my dogs are finishing up now. Both of them have not been feeling up to par, but it is my Jack Russell terrier who has been vomiting occasionally. He has never vomited on any other dog food.

We thought we were buying a better product! I will not purchase another Blue product again.

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Kim January 26, 2014 at 11:48 pm

Darby Shaw went to the rainbow bridge tonight around 8:30 pm. She had numerous health issues that were brought on by feeding her BB – such as kidney disease. We started this battle a couple of years ago to save her from the effects of feeding her BB. This weekend was one of the worse and we made the kindest decision to relieve her of her pain. Although our hearts are very heavy here, she is no longer suffering and is at peace. She will remain in our hearts forever. Our little Darby Shaw (named after the female lead in movie The Pelican Brief). This has been a very painful lesson to learn.

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Lisa February 4, 2014 at 2:36 pm

So so sorry Kim!!!

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Kim February 4, 2014 at 4:16 pm

Thank you for your compassion and support during our grieving.

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cathy January 29, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Amazed how everyone generalizes BB. Wilderness is high in protein, very hard on their kidneys and not great for allergies. Basics is lower in protein, and made for dogs with allergies. Why would you feed your dog a high protein dog food if you know your dog has kidney problems? People put insecticides(flea treatment) directly on their pets and then when the pet gets sick, they blame the dog food.

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Kim January 30, 2014 at 2:44 am

My Darby never had any allergies. Her health issues came after a history of feeding Blue BASIC. She acquired kidney disease verified by a blood panel. After diagnosis, required a prescription kidney diet the rest of her life.
She wasn’t the first, nor is she the last. I have others with same problem: one – different breed, male, younger – same problem – same food history. Excessive thirst, frequent elimination, vomiting which is the same for other ones that ate it. We quit all Blue products. My other dogs that never touched it are doing well and have normal blood panels. Anyone can point out the Blue fed dogs from the other ones at our kennels. Obvious, Cathy is associated with that company.

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Lisa February 4, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Kim, let me start by saying how sorry I am for your loss of your sweet Darby. Maybe her and Bristol and Maggie are all playing together on that rainbow bridge! :)

Cathy, for those of us who have lost our pets to kidney failure due to feeding BB… How dare you get on this site and put blame on us for “feeding our dogs a high protein food if you know your dog has kidney problems”. Our dogs didn’t have kidney problems until we fed them BB!!! I, also have blood panels to prove it!

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Carlos January 30, 2014 at 3:39 pm

my cat had the same similar symptoms of diarrhea when she tried Blue Buffalo a long time ago. my vet said that there might be something in the food that doesn’t agree with her. needless to say I stop feeding it to her immediately, and all her symptoms went away. at that point I went to all natural like tiki cat and not only has she been happy she has never had any other issues. please support your local holistic pet food center.

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cathy February 2, 2014 at 5:19 pm

No Kim, I have no association what so ever with Blue Buffalo. I have two rescues that were medicated with allegy issues and now are on zero meds and thankfully zero health issues. But I am sick of ignorant people getting on the band wagon. Yes your dogs had problems, my dogs have done wonderfully on basics. I did not bash Wellness because my dogs had issues with it, grow up.

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