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Hill’s facing class-action lawsuit over excessive vitamin D levels

Canine consumption of excessive amounts of vitamin D is potentially fatal

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A lawsuit has been filed against Hill’s Pet Nutrition for selling dog food containing too much vitamin D.

San Francisco-based law firm Schubert Jonckheer & Kolbe is filing a class-action lawsuit against the company for wrongfully advertising that its dog food contains precisely balanced nutrition and meets quality control standards after a recall of some of its canned dog food was issued.

The lawsuit was filed on Feb. 12 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. It seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief to prevent Hill’s from selling pet food with dangerous levels of vitamin D.

Canine consumption of excessive amounts of vitamin D is potentially fatal and can lead to serious health issues, including vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, excessive drooling, weight loss, and joint issues.

The law firm is encouraging consumers who purchased the recalled dog food to contact its office to learn more about their legal rights. For a list of Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s recalled products, click here.

26 thoughts on “Hill’s facing class-action lawsuit over excessive vitamin D levels

  1. Maybe we should file class action lawsuits the next time there is a lettuce recall due to E. coli, or if my gas is not actually 92 octane. I can see filing a lawsuit if your pet was harmed, but filing a lawsuit “for wrongfully advertising that its dog food contains precisely balanced” is insane. Maybe the money spent a lawsuit could be used for more surveillance and quality control.

    1. If you need a vet’s prescription to purchase this “special” and expensive dog food and find it is no different from any other, cheaper, dog food, wouldn’t you feel cheated? And if you read the ingredients, it’s mostly just chemicals.

  2. I don’t understand why everyone wants to file a lawsuit. If your dog was harmed I understand but Hill’s has been upfront and willing to do what is necessary for your pet. The one that is going to benefit from this lawsuit is the lawyers. We didn’t jump on the lettuce recall so why on Hill’s? My dog was effected but Hill’s took care of it all. I was not happy but I understand things happen, it’s the follow up that counts.

    1. I contacted Hill’s via their website and they never responded. I have 4 dogs, the two seniors (both rescues but ~ 12 yrs and 9) ate the recalled food and became inappetent. It took weeks to get their appetite back after become aware of the recall and stopped feeding it. One of my dogs is still PU/PD and the other has elevated BUN levels. Further testing is still pending. My two dogs that didn’t consume Hill’s are fine (one of those is 9 and the other is ~ 6). I’m not a big on suing for everything under the sun, but do to lack of follow up, poor communication compared to other recalls of which I am aware, I do feel that that Hills was NOT upfront, nor responsible. I’m glad your dog is doing well. What follow up did you have for your dog from Hills?

      1. Contact your veterinary clinic where all the testing was done or food was purchased. They received forms to help owners receive compensation.

  3. We unfortunately live in a litigious world. It is a shame that dogs experienced illness and death and owners lost their pets due to an error. Yet filing a lawsuit make same lawyers receive the reputation they have as being ambulance chasing opportunists.
    Do we file lawsuits against every company that makes grain free foods that are deficient in taurine that caused DCM in cats in the late 80s and large breed dogs in this century?
    Do we file lawsuits against the owners for feeding grain free diets to their pets that do not have a grain sensitivity?
    I hope not and likely will recommend a client seek veterinary cere elsewhere if they are contributing to this litigious situation.

  4. I agree… wondering why there are not class action lawsuits for the other 6 pet food companies that have had the same problem since November 2018… likely this was the same source… Why not a class action suit for the supplier of faulty labeled Vitamin D additive?? The answer probably revolves around the size of the company. Trying to remember if there was a class action suit back in 2007 when there was the melamine issue…?

  5. If you were to take “consumption of excessive amounts of _________ is potentially fatal and can lead to serious health issues” how much do you think would be left in our grocery stores and drug stores. The other thing is, it depends on “when” it is consumed. One year a certain thing is bad for you and the very next year the same folks are telling you those very things are now ok. For those of you that do not know, pet food labeling is one of the least regulated things you could imagine. Most every pet food label you find in a grocery type store is false in one way or another. Example, if it state on the label that it is for all stages of life, it is a puppy food and by definition, it does not meet the proper needs of a senior pet. So to file a lawsuit over wrongfully advertising is totally and completely asinine. If you open that can of worms every single pet food manufacturer should be sued.

  6. Our dog was prescribed the KD Food item, and after (2) days of him eating it, all the symptoms appeared and our dog would not eat again. His kidney function numbers rose rapidly and we were advise it was “kidney disease” and fearing impending seizures, he was put down. Now we learn that the food was the cause. Excessive litigation? I think not. Imagine of your doctor, pharmacy or hospital did this to you or a human family member?

    1. Unfortunately sometimes the symptoms of kidney disease strongly mimic the symptoms of Vitamin D toxicity. The food would of had to be consumed over longer than 2 days.

      1. Based upon the extremely high levels of Vitamin D found in the food, such response could be almost immediate. As well within a week the kidney function numbers went from CREA 2 to CREA 5.7 and BUN from 86 to >130. The food doesn’t need to be consumed long term; all that is necessary is an “overdose” of Vit D which can occur from a single can of food when the contents meet and or exceed toxic levels.

        1. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/vitamin-d-poisoning-in-dogs

          “Vitamin D poisoning causes a variety of clinical signs. The initial clinical signs, occur anywhere from 8 to 48 hours after ingestion. These initial signs include depression, weakness, and appetite loss. Vomiting, increased drinking and urination, constipation, and dehydration typically follow these signs. In severe and advanced cases, dark, tar-like stools and breathing difficulty may be seen, indicating bleeding in the gut and lungs respectively. Other signs include a slow heart rate, abnormal heart rhythm, and mineralization of the soft tissues around the body.”

        2. “Vitamin D poisoning causes a variety of clinical signs. The initial clinical signs, occur anywhere from 8 to 48 hours after ingestion. These initial signs include depression, weakness, and appetite loss. Vomiting, increased drinking and urination, constipation, and dehydration typically follow these signs. In severe and advanced cases, dark, tar-like stools and breathing difficulty may be seen, indicating bleeding in the gut and lungs respectively. Other signs include a slow heart rate, abnormal heart rhythm, and mineralization of the soft tissues around the body.”

        3. I am a reporter and wondered if you’d be willing to talk to me about your experience with your dog? My number is 785-633-6606. Thanks.

  7. Because Hills knew of this issue for nearly a year and ignored it…now nearly 1,000 dog have died from their shady business practices. Customers have been complaining since early 2018.

    This is what happens when the bottom line means more than integrity.

  8. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/vitamin-d-poisoning-in-dogs

    “Vitamin D poisoning causes a variety of clinical signs. The initial clinical signs, occur anywhere from 8 to 48 hours after ingestion. These initial signs include depression, weakness, and appetite loss. Vomiting, increased drinking and urination, constipation, and dehydration typically follow these signs. In severe and advanced cases, dark, tar-like stools and breathing difficulty may be seen, indicating bleeding in the gut and lungs respectively. Other signs include a slow heart rate, abnormal heart rhythm, and mineralization of the soft tissues around the body.”

  9. I am pretty sure my dogs z/d had the vitamin d overdose but I don’t have the cans because my vet kept assuring I didn’t have it and my dog has been sick ever since vomiting and drulling a lot.

  10. If your pet died, its bad parenting, not Hills! Dog vomiting, not eating? Get the damn dog to the vet! Don’t wait for it to die and then cry about it! It’s not like one meal would’ve killed your dog. Poisoning over a long period people! Hills did the responsible thing by warning consumers, but USA mentality – wait for the damage to be done then sue!

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