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Euthenasia drug?? Could it be true for cat food?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I found this link in a thread from a dog forum I visit. It lists a variety of dog foods tested for sodium pentabarbital and whether or not they found traces of it in the dog food. I'm wondering if the same holds true for cat food??

And guess which brand is first on the list! I feed both my cats and my dog the canned & pouched variety and they like it. Now it looks like I may have to find something else they'll eat.

Why would they put this in pet food?? Has anyone heard of this?
post #2 of 15
Seems funny = peculiar.

Perhaps this pentabarbital is given in some slaughterhouses to the animals they are going to put down. But as I know they usually use electricity blows for that. Sometimes gas (koldioxide).
post #3 of 15
I read a webpage (though I can't vouch for it's factualness) that pet foods that list meat, or meat by products as an ingredient (basically they don't specify WHAT meat) may include the bodies of euthanized pets, either from vets offices or shelters and that's where the sodium pentabarbital may come from.
Again, I don't know if what I read was true, but it sure made me look at what I was feeding my animals, because pet food can be made from non-human grade meat, which read like it could include dead pets, dead and diseased animals not fit for human consumption and assorted other unappetizing things.

post #4 of 15
call the 800 number on your cat food and reguest a copy.... I beleive all pet food companies go thru this test and thus have there results...
post #5 of 15
Julia, I've seen the same thing. The meat industry is just so disgusting to me... The thing on that webpage that really bothered me was what happens when they render fat.
They don't put it in pet food... It is already in the meat they use and the cooking process doesn't do anything to get rid of it.
Glad to see that Iams isn't on the list, although I'm going to call them and ask too!

Oh, and I found this also on FDA website:
by Linda Bren

This material appeared in the May/June 2002 issue of the FDA Consumer.

The low levels of sodium pentobarbital that dogs might receive through their food are unlikely to cause any health problems, according to an FDA study.

Pentobarbital is an anesthetizing drug used for dogs and other animals, such as horses and cattle. Because it is also widely used for humane euthanasia of dogs, cats and other animals, the most likely way that pentobarbital could get into dog food would be in rendered animal products. Rendered products come from a process that converts animal tissues to feed ingredients.

During the 1990s, the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) received reports from veterinarians that pentobarbital seemed to be losing its effectiveness for anesthesia in dogs. Based on these reports, the Center decided to investigate the theory that the dogs were exposed to pentobarbital through dog food, and that this exposure was making them less responsive to pentobarbital when it was used as a drug.

CVM developed and used a sophisticated process to detect and quantify minute amounts of pentobarbital in dog food. Upon finding pentobarbital residues in some samples of dry dog food, CVM scientists conducted further tests that led them to conclude that dogs eating dry dog food are unlikely to have any adverse health effects from the low levels of pentobarbital found in the dog food samples tested.

CVM scientists also developed a test to detect dog and cat DNA in the protein of dog food. Since pentobarbital is used to euthanize dogs and cats at animal shelters, finding pentobarbital in rendered feed ingredients could suggest that pets were rendered and used in pet food. Test results indicated a complete absence of protein material that would have been derived from euthanized dogs or cats. As a result of their study, CVM scientists assume the source of the pentobarbital in dog food is cattle or horses euthanized and then rendered.

After finding that the low levels of pentobarbital that dogs might receive through food are unlikely to cause them any adverse health effects, FDA officials did not think that further research into the issue was necessary. CVM officials say they plan to publish the study findings in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

CVM's studies and a summary report of the results are available on the CVM home page.

Linda Bren is a Writer-Editor with the FDA Consumer."
post #6 of 15
I think I will Thank you...
post #7 of 15
Nutro mentions this on thier website. Go to and click on Frequently Asked Questions.

post #8 of 15
I went to Nutro's web-sight. Their frequent asked questions: They said they don't use any chemicals, but listed in their Natural Choice Indoor cat food, which I have been feeding to my cat, has BHA listed:

I don't know what to do now, I hate the idea of changing food, I thought this was one of the best. What do you think?
post #9 of 15
Originally Posted by sbd45
I went to Nutro's web-sight. Their frequent asked questions: They said they don't use any chemicals, but listed in their Natural Choice Indoor cat food, which I have been feeding to my cat, has BHA listed:

I don't know what to do now, I hate the idea of changing food, I thought this was one of the best. What do you think?
Chicken Meal, Ground Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Rice Flour, Poultry Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Sunflower Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Flaxseed Meal, Tomato Pomace, Brewers Dried Yeast, Natural Flavors, Dried Beet Pulp, Mixed Vegetable Fiber (carrots, celery, beets, parsley, lettuce, watercress and spinach), Potassium Chloride, Menhaden Fish Oil, Oat Fiber, Soy Protein Concentrate, Cranberry Powder, Choline Chloride, Taurine, DL-Methionine, Vitamin E Supplement, Dried Egg Product, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Ascorbic Acid (source of Vitamin C), L-Carnitine, Inositol, Dried Bacillus Licheniformis Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract, Lutein, Dried Chicory Root, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Niacin, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Vitamin A Supplement, Garlic Flavor, Biotin, Riboflavin Supplement (source of Vitamin B-2), Beta-Carotene, Calcium Iodate, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of Vitamin B-6), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of Vitamin B-1), Lycopene, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (source of Vitamin K activity), Folic Acid, Sodium Selenite.
Nutro supports the safe, ethical and humane treatment of all animals, including those used by our suppliers who provide our ingredients.

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein (min.) 33.00%
Crude Fat (min.) 14.00%
Crude Fiber (max.) 4.00%
Moisture (max.) 10.00%
Ash (max.) 7.25%
Linoleic Acid (min.) 4.00%
Calcium (min.) 0.90%
Phosphorus (min.) 0.80%
Magnesium (max.) 0.085%
Iron (min.) 200 mg/kg
Manganese (min.) 35 mg/kg
Zinc (min.) 250 mg/kg
Vitamin D (min.) 1,200 IU/kg
Vitamin E (min.) 250 IU/kg
Taurine (min.) 0.20%
Ascorbic Acid (min.)* 50 mg/kg
Linolenic Acid (min).* 0.80%
Beta-Carotene (min.)* 3.2 mg/kg
Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) (min.)* 0.06%
L-Carnitine (min.)* 150 mg/kg
Lutein (min.)* 50 mg/kg

*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles.

Where do you see BHA???
post #10 of 15
Healthy Central Nervous System, Good Vision & Heart Function
DHA Fortified for Healthy Central Nervous System
Fortified with Lutein & Taurine to Help Maintain Good Vision & Heart Function
Is that what you saw? DHA is Docosahexaenoic Acid, which is good for thier nervous system and brain. Pretty much all of the better cat foods have DHA added to thier food.

BHA is a chemical preservative. Totally different things.

post #11 of 15
I can't think of any reason at all why any cat food manufacturer would do that if they wanted to keep making money.

Not to mention it would never be approved for sale.
post #12 of 15
They don't put it in pet food per se, but they do put it in animals and animals=meat=pet food.

That said, it would take a lot of sodium pentobarbital, ingested orally, to cause actual harm. It is an anesthetic that is a euthanasia agent when given in substantial overdose.
post #13 of 15
I use nutro and see none in the ingredients list. I do not use the indoor one that just came out. I use natural.
post #14 of 15
I am sorry it took awhile to get back. Yes I did make the mistake. I thought it said BHA but it was DHA. I am sorry, for the mistake and I really didn't know what it was. Now that you told me, I will keep my cat on Natural Choice, she will be happy I'm sure.
post #15 of 15
What a disgusting thought about the euthanized pets.
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