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Wysong not happy about response to recent recall

by Therese on October 15, 2009

in Pet Food Recall, Pet Health

Earlier this week I posted a Wysong pet food recall. They have now revised their recall notice and are not happy about some of the comments they’ve seen in response to the way they announced the recall.

We ask that you please consider the following before giving credence to allegations and committing to an opinion. Also consider that Wysong has led the pet food industry in almost every natural and healthy food innovation for the past thirty years. This has resulted in wonderful health to tens of thousands of pets through multiple generations.

As will be seen below, the primary complaint seems to be about the speed with which we gave notice. At first report of potential mold in our products, Wysong launched an internal investigation. Batch records were re-examined, numerous bags of product opened and scrutinized, product samples were acquired from customers, and testing in-house and out-of-house conducted

Once Wysong ascertained that there was mold presence and the potential for mold (based on moisture tests) in certain batches we alerted our distributors, who were the primary recipients of these batches of product. Distributors were instructed to dispose of the product, as well as pull product from stores that had already received the product. Product from these problematic batches that remained in-house was disposed of.

Additionally, Wysong immediately contacted stores that received recalled product from us directly, and asked them to remove the products from store shelves.

Much of the criticism regarding the recall has centered on us purportedly not publicizing the recall enough, or that we are attempting to downplay or hide the recall. What is missed here is that we keep thorough records pertaining to who receives what products. Accordingly, when we determined a recall was necessary we put our focus into alerting those that actually received the products, and not those that had no reasonable chance of acquiring the affected products. Also, consider that Wysong is a small family business, not on the scale of most pet food companies that sell products far and wide with no knowledge of who purchases. Such companies would need to do a more generally publicized recall.

In their updated recall info, they’ve responded to a number of comments they’ve seen online. Go take a look.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol October 15, 2009 at 11:14 am

Wysong—get your recall info linked to your home page—not “buried” on dry dog food page—to me it is belittling a bad situation—It is a big deal how you handle a problem not that a problem exists—most petowners are aware there is no way to be perfect but when problems happen you need to get the word out fast–please look back to 2007 and learn from that—too many cats and dogs died while PFC’s did a “doublecheck” to make sure the food was bad…..No excuse to me except profit more important than the pets and owners you want to use your products..


Carol October 15, 2009 at 11:17 am

ps Wysong—Tweets from your company might be a good start! Lots of info gets moved fast there !


Sam October 15, 2009 at 11:40 am

Seeing how Wysong is busy reading blog comments, etc, maybe they will answer a few more questions:
1: Out of concern for petowners, why isnt your recall announcement posted on your front website page. See, it does appear you are trying to hide it when you can easily put it on your front page. Also, why not put out a press release to reach as many petowners as possible. As proven recently with a Diamond recall, you have no idea where you food ends up once it leaves your facility and the stores sell it. Did you notify all those who do mail order too? What about the people that pay for food in cash, can the stores really track down everyone they sell it too? And is it soley the stores responsiblity to be left notifying the consumer. Why take the chance that even one pet might be harmed by eating this food because there will be at least one person that does not hear of this or get notified.

2. When did you learn your moisture checking device was malfunctiong? Did you learn of that back in the summer or did you only learn of when it you had reports from petowners of the mold in your food? And if you only learned of it recently, how do you know the mold was only limited to June and July batches?

3. You still havent answered why it took you a week or more after you notified retailers to put out a statement (which by coincidence was only done after pet blogs contacted you with questions)? Seems to me at the point you notified the retailers, you could have also done something to notify petowners, what was the point of waiting after you contacted retailers?

4. If you test finished product, how did this food problem escape your testing? Granted, the mold might not have formed until later but dont you check for moisture content?

5. Wysong has a twitter account that you use for selling your product, why not use that same account to notify people of your dog food recall?

As a petowner who buys pet food, I see recall after recall where it is so obvious the company is limiting their effort in getting word out in as many places about their food recall, why is that? You market your food through so many different venues, why cant you use those same venues to notify customers of food problems. See, I think you could do more if you really wanted to.


Kim October 15, 2009 at 4:52 pm

Very well said, Sam.

Wysong, consider this – to anyone who feeds your product, the idea that there is a potential for their pet to have eaten mold (I don’t need to go into the details of the dangers present) is just as infuriating as the fact that you have been haphazard in releasing the recall information.

Tweets, facebook releases and information postings on your website and in store should have been issued IMMEDIATELY. Your failure to react with swift and determined responses shows a lazy attitude towards the safety and wellbeing of our dogs – your CUSTOMERS.

I do not currently feed wysong, but you have reassured that I most definitely never will.


notasdumbaswysong October 18, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Wysong acted like jerks during the 2007 recalls too.
The attitude was rude and offensive then and has not improved.
First, because of the crappy attitude in 2007 I would never buy their product and now they have transgressed against pet owners yet again .
I don’t think Wysong really wants to stay in business.
Gee, why would anyone, ever, want to buy a product from these fools?

Does Wysong belong to the PFI?


Pam January 11, 2010 at 12:35 pm

We have fed Wysong for almost 12 years, we own Boston Terrier’s and have a rescued Boxer. We buy or bought I should say, our dog food through our Vet, who in turn get’s his from a distirbuter.

We have always bought our food by the case, we were unaware of any recall, but on the first case I noticed a white substance that would not scrap off with my fingernail (I am a RN of over 23years and Mold came immediately to my mind, but these are vac. sealed bags, so I called our vet and he had us bring the entire case back, I recorded the lot number before taking it back, second case, same white stuff and our dogs (we free feed for the most part), so the process was repeated, lot number recorded and new case obtained, again the whilte stuff, but also saw green pitted areas on the nuggets of food, this sent me running to the phone, my vet inforned me that he had fed his own dogs and boarder dogs the food and all was well, that maybe we had just gotten a run of older food he had stored, but gladly replaced the case of dog food.

The last case, the bag I pulled out looked like it should have and so I fed our Annie(boston terrier) and our Boxer that food and poured the rest into our food container. The second bag opened to feed KC (boston Terrier) his dinner he was worried about not getting his dinner, he was such a clown and started going through his full majic sack pulling out all of his tricks and as aways the life
of the party, he was ;the perfect little theif, if you laid it down and it had a bit of bright and and shiney to it, well it was no longer yours, but he never harned any of the items he took and would often just show it off and then give it back to you.

So finally this last case looked great and our vet even looked at it before we left (we live 45 min from our vet) he said it looked fine, we asked him if he had heard anything from Wysong about problems with the food or anything else? And he said No.

So we took that case home and I opened the first sack the rest of the way open, and I fed the dogs one at a time. KC was last, I filled his dish,set it down on the floor and then I poured the rest of the food into our container, which I had cleaned out with a 1 part bleach to 10 parts water solution to sterilize and had let it dry for several days.

As I poured the remaining food into the container, some of it kind of stuck to the bottom of the bag, I put my hand in and felt this wet mess, I pulled my hand out and the mess out and it was green slimey dog food.

I just panicked, I turned around and KC was finishing his last bit. I grabbed him up and cleaned out his mouth and he had several pieces of this green stuff in his mouth. So I called Wysong and told then this entire story, a woman named Kelly told me that they were issueing a voluntary recall on a few lot numbers of dry foold, I asked her what they where and why were they being recalled, she gave me the lot numbers and we bought and brought back everyohe except the senior, we don’t feed that.

She said that they were recalling it due to high moisture content and reported health problems. I asked her what were the health problems and she said she did not know but not to worry AND I SAID I just accidently fed my dog food from one of your bags and it was from one of the recalled batches and the bottom 1/8 of the bag was wet slimey dog food. And she said that they would pay for the dog food and to bring it back to our vet, well my husband was already on the way and I hung hp and Called our Vet and told him what happened and that my husband was on the way to his clinic with the case and the slimey stuff we had put into a baggie.

That night KC was a Little bloated, but I rubbed his sides and his tummy and helped him get the gas out and then he felt better,but he was very tired and we all went to bed early that night

The next day my husband and I had to run an errand, that took us about an hour. All the dogs were stil asleep when we snuck out, and when we came back, KC was at the foot of our bed in a grand mal seizure (I am a Registered Nurse over 23years) he had lost all control of his bladder and bowel function and we both scopped him up and ran for the nearest vet which was 11miles away,,we were there ih 8, they knew we were coming, so they were ready for us.

The vet could not get the seizures to stop, no matter how much she gave him, he would sort of slow for just a second and then start right back up. We were there with him until they were ready to close and the vet told us to go home, she would stay with KC and we could call at anytime.

We called around 3 and he was the same, then at 7 her partner, who I have known since he was 6 years old called, and I will not ever forget the saddhess in his voice, We are a small community,
the town he grew up in has about 500 people, (we live in the same community still) the community he practices in has about 10,000 people.

He told me that desite all of their efforts KC was now seizuring badly and they could stop or slow them, he told us that KC’s nervous system was totally shot and he was brain dead, and it was time to let him go.

My husband took the phone and told Matt to put him down immediately, as he could not stand the thought of KC suffering one more momment.

So Wysong droppped the ball and we lost our baby, I am not done with this yet, when I called them back to tell them what happened, Kelly told me that if I would fax them the bil for his care and they would also pay for his cremation.

Well to date they have not sent a dime and there is a mold that has been isolated from this food
It starts with an M

If you live in Colorado I know of a law firm there that practices only for animals, if anyone would like their info, just email me and I will give you the link to their website.

Sorry for the poor typihg I broke the space bar off my lap top last night,, and you never realize how nuch you need that little bar until you don’t have it anymore. So please forgive me. Oh and Kelly is now out on maturnaty leave and so I got this girl named Vickie and she told me that there had been two nore lots that have been contaninated. But if you notice there are no new lots listed anywhere and she would tell me what the lots are.


Poco January 11, 2010 at 6:54 pm

That is a very tragic and frightening story! The possibility of mold should always result in an emergency, well-communicated recall.



Pam February 1, 2010 at 9:22 pm

I am the RN of 23 years that wrote the above account of losing our Boston Terrier KC after he ate moldy Wysong dog food. I would like to now continue for any pet owner out there that would still need more information on the contaminated food situation from Wysong.

As above you will read of the loss of our little man KC. KC died (we had him put to sleep) on the morning of October 23, 2009. The lot number of the case this bag of food came from was :090706, as I stated in the account above, the bottom 1/8th of the bag contained the slimey green mold that has now been tested in an independent lab and has been determened to be the lethal mold called: Mycotoxin.
Before I go any further though, let me tell you that Wysong claims that during the production of their food, prevention of growth of any kind of toxic and non-toxic mold is done by heat, drying of the food and or a freezing process.

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) data base on toxic and non-toxic molds in foods produced for humans and animals that “Mycotoxins can appear in the food chain as a result of fungal infection of crops, either by being eaten directly by humans, or by being used as livestock and pet feed”.

“Mycotoxins greatly resist decomposition or being broken down in digestion, so they remain in the food chain in meat, vegetable and dairy products. Even temperature treatments, such as cooking and freezing, do not destroy mycotoxins”

So it is my assumption that Wysong can not prevent this mold from continued growth by heat or by freezing the food..

The CDC further states that, “Mycotoxin causes the following symptoms within 12 to 24 hours of ingestion. The amount of time between ingestion of the mold and appearance of symptoms is based on the amount of food containing the toxic mold consumed, weight of (in our case I will speak of animal ingestion as human ingestion did not occur of course as this is concerning dog food, but the symtoms are the same) anyway, symptoms are based on the weight of the pet that consumed the food, amount consumed, amount of mold present.

Mycotoxin feeds upon itself, rapidly growing thousands of microscopic colonies in a short span of time. So the symptoms are as follows and are usually in the following order, the pet may experience all or some of the symptoms listed.
Thick yellow discharge from one or both eyes
Liver failure
Neurological damage (severe)
Severe febrile (high body temperature) seizures
Septic Shock
Spleenic failure (resulting in internal bleeding)

CDC website 2010 http://www.cdc.com

Of the above our KC experienced :
3.Severe Neurological Damage
4.Severe Febrile Seizures (his temperature was 105 rectally)
He had Grand Mal Seizure Activity which included, loss of bowel function, loss of bladder function, large amounts of white frothy mucous from his mouth and nose, KC seizured like this for hours, despite all the anti-seizure drugs the Vet was giving him, we were cooling him down with tepid water in attempts to get his temperature down, at one point it did get to 102 if I remember right, IV’s were used in attempts to bring it downk.

We had him to the vet within 10 minutes after the start of his severe seizureing, he was kept there over night, the vet stayed with him most of the night, basically he just continued to go down hill and by the morning his neurological system was shot, he was brain dead although alive, KC was no longer there, at 7:00 am our Vet called us and informed us that there was no hope, our little man had no hope of being KC ever again, he was truly suffering and we had no choice but to end his suffering.
So of course I am sure there are more symtoms this lethal mold can cause, but the final one I will end here with was

As an RN I have seen many terrible accident victims in my career, I have seen things that no one should ever have to see. But as a care giver, I am trained to work with a team of my peers, we practice over and over doing drills for training purposes, we run mock codes, we keep our certifications current, all to save as many lives as we can, time is not always on our side, sometimes we win, but we have what is called the “Golden Hour” during this time, this Golden Hour, we either succeed or we fail. It is never easy, it is certainly not something any of us enjoy, but we do save lives.

But what do I do when it is our little guy who we have had since he was a baby, a perfectly healthy little Boston Terrier, who had never hurt anyone, we had put our faith in this company for 11 years, we believed we were feeding our dogs the best food available to us and in the end, we lose our dog because this company failed to notify anyone there was a problem.

When I called Wysong back after KC had died, I spoke with a woman named Vickie, she actually had the nerve to tell me that it was MY FAULT that my dog died because I DID NOT GO TO THEIR WEB SITE TO SEE THE VOLUNTARY RECALL that was placed there.

What if I had a patient come into our emergency room with a severe reaction to a drug that had been recalled by the FDA, a recall had been placed on this drug, we lose the patient, would I or any of my peers or a physician ever go to one of the family members of this patient and say the same to them that this woman said to me? Would we ever place blame on a family member or friend, tell them it is their fault, they are responsible for the death of their child, their sister, their brother, father, mother, Aunt, Uncle, Friend or Foe? Because they did not go to a web site, watch a TV notification, read a newpaper announcement… ABSOLUTLEY NOT.

Not only would this be incredibly unethical to even begin to consider ever making such a statement, it is incredibly stupid to try and place blame where it would never ever belong. Every day we see a recall on a television on a drug that has been recalled, we hear it on the radio, we read of it in the newspaper, our pharmacies notify patients and their doctors, the FDA notifies all physicians, hospitals and drug production facilities, but to place blame on a member of a patients family? God no.

It would be the end of your career for one thing, but to me the trauma one would cause by doing something so unthinkable I just can’t even imagine. But this is what she told me, no it was not a human family member that we lost and she blamed me for his death,but it was the same as if she had blamed me for the death of one of my own four children. IT IS THE SAME. PETS ARE NOT PROPERTY, THEY ARE FAMILY.

Wysong claims to be the “thinking person’s pet food” yet, why were they not the thinking ones?

To this day, our vet where we bought Wysong through has still never heard one word about any problem with the dog food produced by Wysong. Yet the company has claimed over and over that as soon as they noticed a problem they notified every distributer, every store, every client that has it drop shipped to their home, every vet that has it drop shipped to them, so after buying our food from the same vet for 11 years, how is it that he still has not heard one word about this problem, the only way he found out about the problem was when I noticed the white mold, returned the case, he thought it might have been an older case, but yet I was concerned as my dogs would smell it and walk away, so I did not feed it, we returned it, but due to habit as a nurse you tend to write down everything, just as you would chart on your patients, I just made a note of the lot number of the first case, then the second case, then the third case (that was the one that had the green slime and green pitted mold) which ended up being the Mycotoxin.

They claim they are a small family owned company, therefor they don’t have the resourses to make the contacts that major pet food production companies have to make appropriate contacts when a problem is found.

To me, this is not a plausable excuse in any form in my opinion, having worked in large hospitals and in small hospitals and in very, very small hospitals, I have a lot of experience in how quickly you can get a problem solved, and trust me, you can get a problem solved and taken care of a lot more faster in a smaller facility then you can in a larger one, simply because there are less hoops you have to jump through.

If I have a patient in pain and there is no more pain medication in their drawer and I am working in a 1000 bed hospital, and I call the pharmacy and ask that they send me XYZ medication for patient # 123 it usually takes at least 2 hours to get the medication up to the floor, you can’t leave your other patients to go to the pharmacy to get the medication, so you just do what you can to make your patient as comfortable as possible until the pharmacy gets the medication up to you, yes it is frustrating to you as the nurse, to the patient and to the patient’s family and support system, but if I am working in a facility of 200 beds and my patient needs pain medication, the pharmacy is often right down the hallway from where we are and I have it in less the 1/2 hour, or I can send another nurse to get it for me, or I can have another nurse watch my patients long enough I can go get it, or the pharmacist can lock the pharmacy door and run it to me.

So that is total crap that because they are a small company they don’t have the resourses to make the appropriate contact nor the time to do so. All of their excuses keep coming over and over and in my opinion they just keep trying to bury this thing and for one I am not going let it get buried, and I hope that there are many more pet owners out there that will choose to fight also, as that is the only way it is going to get stopped, and it is not only Wysong, it is happening with multiple pet food companies.

Now for the rest of our story.

Our youngest son is in college three states away, while he is in college we have his beautiful German Short Hair named Guinness. On October 29th my husband came running to me as I was changing clothes in our closet at aprox. 9:00 am with Guinness in his arms, she was totally stretched out straight like a board, she was having a seizure.

BUT unlike the seizure that KC had, her seizure was what we call a petit-mal, meaning, she did not lose control of her bowel or bladder, she did not shake violently, she was just tremoring and straight as a board, the seizure lasted 45 seconds, and it was 1/2 hour before she knew her surroundings, after the 1/2 hour her right leg had a tremor for 2 hours, I hung over her and watched her like a hawk, she was sleepy and tired, but by the evening she was ok.

But at 10:00 that night, her tummy became bloated and I could hear it just tinkling and tinkling, not growling, but a high pitch tinkle, again, I rubbed her tummy and she started to pass small amounts of gas that was so foul it made you sick to your stomach, then at 11:00 pm she vomited a moderate amount of dark green fluid with flecks of bits of what looked like kibble, (we were no longer feeding wysong of course as I was making their food), but I had given her some homemade treats earlier that day, (not treats from Wysong, ones I had made myself, please make a mental note of that, I just think the mold had tried grow enough colonies but due to other variations in Guinness, read below) the vomit smelled like a dead animal, I did not allow her to eat that night, allowed her a small amount of water only.

She is all of 2 years old, perfectly healthy vibrant young spayed dog. And then it hit me. KC weighed 18 lb. Guinness weighs 48 lb. And as I had done tons of reading about this terrible mold called Mycotoxin I realized what had happened, she had been exposed to it also, but due to her difference in size and weight, she did not go on to develop the severe toxic effects of this mold.

So, in the end, this food almost took my son’s dog that he left in our care, what would we have told him? How could we ever, ever explained to this young man, off getting his hard earned education that his beloved dog died due to a human error from a company that could so easily been prevented?

Thank God it did not kill her and we did not end up with another one of God’s sweet creatures suffering like our little man KC did.

And finally I want to say, that we our Boxer that we rescued, our little Boston Annie who is 8 lb. and we also provided our other son and his fiance Wysong dog food for his English Bulldog Bronx and her Black pug Eddie. So in the end, this “voluntary recall” that this company did not think it necessary enough to notify anyone of could have killed our Annie, Kissy (Boxer), Guinness, Bronx, and Eddie. It did get our little KC and for that we will never forgive nor shall we forget.

Should we say in the end we were lucky? Yes, I guess so, but over the years, I have recommended Wysong to many of our friends and many of my co-workers, now I can only worry, who still feeds Wysong, was anyone else affected that I recommended this food to?

There have been so many I can’t even recall, I have called all that I can remember, but we can’t all remember every conversation we have in a day, in a week, in a month or over the years, I just pray to God, that none of the pets of friends, co-workers or friends of them that they might have referred to this food have had to suffer through what we and what KC has had to suffer through.

Has Wysong reimbursed us as promised? No, not yet, am I going to stop until they do? No I won’t and will we ever trust this company again, NO.

Sorry this is and has been so long,but if my research and information helps one person, one pet, gets someone else to write their own account, please let’s fight this together.

And please, go to http://www.consumeraffairs.com web site (if the info is not right there, insert in their site search box, Wysong pet food complaints) where you will read an account of Julie who raises champion dobies in Hawaii and her story of losing their precious Scarlet, there you will also read Wysongs statement and see more of their completely false statements, and there is a link you can click on that will lead you to the next consumer affairs page where you can leave your own experience with this food and you will be contacted by a class action attorney immediately.

I am not putting the above info there in any attempt to solicit anyone to gain any financial gain nor do I even care about the class action suit that is going to become, I am glad though that it has come to the attention of consumer affairs, it is not about the money, it is the principle between right and wrong at this point.

Yes, we have a large vet bill, and there are many many more pet owners that have large vet bills also. Can we afford these types of bills in this ecomomy? No, can anyone, should anyone? No. Now if KC had been hurt in an accident, or had an infection from a cut or anything else, money would be no object in our attempt to make sure he was treated and made whole again, but this is an entirely different situation.

Yes, a tragic, preventable situation that should never ever have happened, let’s put a stop to it once and for all.

KC’s mom


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