Dog owner's warning over pet food

A DOG owner has warned others to be aware of potentially dangerous bags of pet food being sold at car boot sales in Suffolk.

MID SUFFOLK: A dog owner has warned others to be aware of potentially dangerous bags of pet food being sold at car boot sales in Suffolk.

Christine Smylie picked up six bags of the Chappi dry dog food from the boot sale at Needham Lake, Needham Market, in November and December.

She opened the first bag, which was branded similarly to the popular Chappie range, and fed some to her 11-year-old golden retriever, Shadow.

However, within hours Shadow was desperately ill and required a string of expensive visits to the vets over the following 10 days.

Ms Smylie, who lives in Ipswich, said: “It was very, very hard and it looked like dried meat, but the five other bags I opened yesterday and the same hard, dried meat was not in any of them. The packaging and the writing was the same; but the content of the bags was quite different. I suspect it must have been some sort of problem.”

She said that after eating the food from the suspect bag, which had Romanian writing on it, on December 6, Shadow acted as if she were hallucinating, could not sit or lie down, and had a raised blood sugar level.

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The visits to the vet over the following days cost Ms Smylie about �1,000. Thankfully Shadow has now recovered but Ms Smylie warned others to be vigilant.

She added: “It concerns me greatly that I purchased this in good faith. It's the pain that she went through. I would not want any other dog to suffer a quarter of what my dog has been through.

“I think what I have learned is it's a case of 'buyer beware' - stick to brand names from reputable traders.”

Tristram Singh, a fair trading officer from Suffolk County Council Trading Standards, said an investigation was ongoing but as Ms Smylie had thrown out the rest of the bag, it would be difficult to reach any conclusion as to what caused the illness.

He said: “We always suggest keeping the packaging and the food. The packaging has batch coding which allows us to work with the manufacturer to trace the product back to a date and time it was made.

“This makes it much easier to determine what has gone wrong and how, and to help the manufacturer put in systems to stop it happening again.”

Has your pet had food which has caused it any illnesses? If so write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

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