Merrick Recalls Treats Due To Thyroid Hormone Concerns

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
Merrick Pet Care has issued a voluntary recall of beef dog treats because of concerns the treats may contain elevated levels of a thyroid hormone.

Merrick Pet Care has launched the voluntary recall because they’re concerned some of the treats may have elevated levels of a beef thyroid hormone that is naturally occurring. The products were distributed in the United States in brick and mortar stores as well as online, and there was a small distribution of the treats in Canada as well.

The thyroid of concern most likely came from laryngeal tissue (animal gullets) that had still had remnants of the thyroid glands. The USDA prohibits the use of any part of thyroid glands and laryngeal muscle tissue in human food, but gullets are allowed to be used in pet foods and treats.

Related: FDA Alert: Pet Foods and Treats May Contain Hormones That Trigger Hyperthyroidism

Unfortunately, not completely removing the thyroid glands from the gullets may cause the treats to have elevated levels of thyroid hormones in the products, and in turn, can cause symptoms in dogs who consume the treats. Dogs who have taken in high levels of beef thyroid hormones may experience increased thirst and urination, weight loss, restlessness and increased heart rates. Over time, exposure to the elevated thyroid levels may cause symptoms to become more severe, and can include vomiting, diarrhea and labored breathing.

The company decided to launch the recall after notification that a dog was adversely affected after it ate one of Merrick’s Backcountry Great Plains Real Beef Jerky treats. Once they dog stopped consuming the treats, the dog was fully recovered.

Dogs that consume high levels of beef thyroid hormone may experience symptoms such as increased thirst and urination, weight loss, restlessness and increased heart rate. Exposure to the hormone over an extended period of time may cause an increase in the severity of the symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, and rapid or labored breathing.

Related: What is Hypothyroidism in Dogs?

Merrick has listed affected lots, and advises consumers to contact them at 800-664-7387 if they have treats from the affected lots. Because treats are not intended to be used for nutrition, the impact is most likely minimal, but they advise consumers to contact their vets if their pets experience any of the symptoms.

The affected products, lot numbers and ‘best by dates’ are as follows:

  • Castor & Pollux Good Buddy Prime Patties Real Beef Recipe 4 oz.; Lot# 780872510806 with dates 5/1/2017 – 9/1/2019
  • Castor & Pollux Good Buddy Sausage Cuts Real Beef Recipe 5 oz.; Lot# 780872510745 with dates 5/1/2017 – 9/1/2019
  • Merrick Backcountry Great Plains Real Beef Jerky 4.5 oz.; Lot# 022808786160 with dates 5/1/2019 – 9/1/2019
  • Merrick Backcountry Great Plains Real Beef Sausage Cuts 5 oz.; Lot# 022808786047 with 5/1/2017 – 9/1/2019
  • Merrick Backcountry Great Plains Real Steak Patties 4 oz.; Lot# 022808786078 with dates 5/1/2017 – 9/1/2019
Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

More by Lori Ennis