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Petag's Esbilac puppy milk contains heavy metal copper and less nutrition than promised

by Animal Advocates.

Link to updating blog about this issue. blog

UPDATE: 06/01/11: Here is a photo of one of the squirrels that was fed Petag Esbilac by the finder. He almost died from a few illnesses. The vet said it was metabolic most likely caused by the bad formula he was fed by the finder. Bald baby squirrel thanks to Petag's Esbilac formula

UPDATE: 04/21/11: This is actually old news. It seems Petag has had problems with their products in the past. In 1995 their Esbilac formula gave babies gas then they died. This is from bat rehabbers. Alert: Do not use Esbilac They gave the same excuse, "we just changed the formula to butterfat." They used this same excuse for the 2009 poisoning 14 years later. This company has no shame.

UPDATE: 03/21/11: I just filed an online report with the FDA. I really like the online report. The information is accurate because you get to type it in yourself. The last report I did over the phone was riddled with errors. I also couldn't attach files or links. You can load up images and pdf files or links. You also can save a copy of the report. Here is a copy of the report.

UPDATE: 03/21/11: I just picked up two baby squirrels. The person was feeding them Esbilac. They are thin, have diarrhea and smell funny. He gave me the can of Esbilac. The color is very yellow, it's clumpy and it smells funny. Here is a photo of it compared to a good can of Just Born. Esbilac vs Just Born. For reference here is a can of Esbilac with proper coloring and texture next to this bad can. Good color, bad color. For comparison here is a can of properly colored, textured Esbilac next to the can of Just Born. Esbilac is lighter. Good Esbilac vs good Just Born".The rancid Esbilac is from Lot HG279OE exp 10/2012. I'm going to report this to the FDA. I will also forward eWildagain's report findings to the FDA and follow up on my last info act request. I can't believe they are still doing this to animals!

UPDATE: 02/08/11: From eWildagain. More problems with the formula. Unidentified objects found in Petag's Multimilk. Peroxide level is 115. Anything above ten is considered rancid.Petag responded that the clumps could be undissolved minerals. They admit they still have problems. I'm so glad I stopped using and recommending all their products.

UPDATE: 08/15/10: They wrote this news 8/4/10 yet released it today. PetAg Initiates Comprehensive Pet Nutrition and Safety Eduction Program The FDA forced them to change their labels because they were violating the truth in labeling act. The FDA forced them to exchange the bad formula. Petag of course turns this around to make people think they are changing the labels just to help consumers. They are exchanging the formula just because they are nice. Soon I will have the final FDA documents about Petag.

UPDATE: 08/10/10: Petag updates their page on their formulas Notice they state the density, color, mixing have changed. These were the problems everyone noticed in the rancid batches. Density, color and mixing were different than before. Also note they say they changed their label. The FDA forced them to change their labels because they did not match the true ingredients in the formulas. Soon I will post the letters the FDA sent to Petag to force them to do these things. I'm still shocked that this company has the nerve to say "our products are perfectly fine."

UPDATE: 08/10/10: Petag releases a press release about storing their formula. Perhaps the FDA forced them to do this. Notice they said they reformulated their formula. Obviously it means something was wrong with the last reformulation. Also notice that they have no problem releasing a press release about reformulating formula. They could have easily released a press release informing consumers about their rancid and overheated formulas, but they did not. In fact they never even recalled it. They let consumers buy it and give it to their animals. The rancid and overheated batches are still out there on store shelves. I'm still getting reports of dying animals. How do they sleep at night knowing they killed and are still killing all these baby animals?

UPDATE: 07/10/10: Petag the company was forced by the FDA to remove their false note stating the FDA was not investigating them. Petag was also forced by the FDA to post the FDA's warning on their website.

UPDATE: 07/01/10: Article about the FDA warning about pet milk replacers.

UPDATE: 07/01/10: The FDA releases a warning about pet milk replacers. They emailed it to me directly few minutes ago. FDA warns about pet milk replacers It basically says puppy and kitten milk replacers should only be given to puppies and kittens. You should not give it to any other species. You should not mix anything else with the formula. Fat in formula can become rancid if exposed to excessive heat at any time. Casein can clump together if exposed to excess heat. If a formula does not smell, look or mix properly, do not use it even if it's not expired. Contact the manufacturer. If an animal becomes sick or fails to thrive, stop using the formula and contact your vet. If you have problems with a formula, report it to the FDA. It sounds to me like the FDA realizes that Petag's formulas were overheated which caused the fat to become rancid. Overheating also caused the casein to clump which is why it was difficult to mix. The FDA can't force Petag to recall the product. At least they are warning the public about the problems with the formula.

UPDATE: 06/07/10: Someone just forwarded to me an email from eWildAgain. The person asked if they still recommend Esbilac and KMR and what formulas are they personally using. Shirley Casey stated she does not recommend any product. She didn't say what formula she herself uses. This is pretty interesting after she filed a report with the FDA stating Esbilac and KMR has been killing babies. I do know in the past she recommended Esbilac and KMR. Heck, so did I. My recommendations may even be in a few manuals floating around.

"Shirley Casey to ***

Thank you for your interest in powdered milk replacement products. Wildlife rehabilitators consider many factors in selecting milk replacers, including nutritional composition, ingredients, storage, shelf life, cost, performance, and more. We recognize that people will have many different opinions, preferences and experiences that will influence their personal decisions about milk replacers, formulas - as well as other rehabilitation practices.

As we have explained to many rehabilitators for years, we do not recommend a particular manufacturer, product, or even recipe. Rather we encourage rehabilitators to collect information, make their own informed decisions, evaluate results, and adjust practices if and as needed. Some rehabilitators have reported positive results with formulas prepared with Esbilac®, KMR®, Fox Valley Animal Nutrition products (e.g., 33/40), and more as adjusted for species, animal age and health, and so forth. The selection and use of milk replacers really is a personal decision and preference.

Further information and updates will continue to be posted on Thank you again for your interest. WildAgain Wildlife Rehabilitation"

I went through their website and they did recommend Petag products for squirrels. "Juvenile squirrels that are still nursing require effective squirrel milk replacers (e.g., Esbilac and Multimilk, and Zoologic; manufactured by PetAg, Hampshire, IL)." She didn't list any other brands. At least this shows she doesn't want to recommend them any more. Someone else told me she now uses Fox Valley.

UPDATE: 06/03/2010: In my FOIA request I asked for other complaints about the product. It seems eWildAgain a wildlife rehabilitation facility which specializes in squirrels filed a complaint to the FDA February 9, 2010. Shirley Case stated the formula gave baby squirrels diarrhea and other problems then they died. The FDA stated in their report "FDA action indicated." The FDA is still investigating this report. I will do another FOIA request to get a copy of the final report. Here is eWildAgain's complaint.

UPDATE: 06/02/2010: I did a FOIA request to get a copy of all complaints about the formula. There were nine complaints made to the FDA. The formula killed kittens, puppies, lions, tigers, jaguars and wildlife. I don't see my complaint in there. Complaints about formula made to FDAThe complaints were basically "diarrhea," "abdominal swelling," "GI distress, "death." The complaints were from March 2009 to February 2010 in regard to KMR, Esbilac and Zoologic.

There were 20 complaints made to Petag. Complaints about formula made to PetagThe complaints were basically "smells bad," "smells rancid," "puppies with diarrhea," "kitten death," "off color and odor," "puppies lost weight," "bacteria found in product." The complaints were from June 2009 to November 2009.

UPDATE: 06/02/2010: 23 baby tigers die. Oklahoma state lab says Petag's KMR formula most likely killed the babies. FDA is investigating.

UPDATE: 05/30/2010: Price comparison chart of various puppy and kitten milk replacement formulas. Petag formulas cost well over 60% more than the leading brand.

UPDATE: 05/28/10: FDA finds salmonella in Petag's rawhide for dog bones. The company still sells it to consumers anyway.

UPDATE: 05/27/10: The FDA responds to my FOIA request. I receive copies of the FDAs investigations into not only problems with the formula but with salmonella infected rawhide for dog bones. I will post the documents within a few days. Lots to read here.

UPDATE: 04/12/10: Petag states they are changing how they make Esbilac Petag changes manufacturing process for Esbilac

UPDATE: 03/16/10: The 13what article is back online. They decided not to let Petag bully them.

UPDATE: 03/15/10: Another article on the rancid formula Petco, PetSmart sell rancid Petag formula

UPDATE: 03/15/10: The news station pulled the article and video about the rancid formula. The company threatened to sue them. They also threatened to sue another writer who wrote an article. I saved a copy of the article here KMR is rancid

UPDATE: 03/12/10: A news station does an article on KMR. It's still killing kittens. KMR kills kittens

UPDATE: 03/07/10: eWildAgain updates their information on Esbilac. There are problems with the formula. They show photos of afflicted wildlife. eWildAgain report on Esbilac being bad

UPDATE: 02/11/10: Someone started a petition asking Petag not to sell tainted formula Stop selling Petag's tainted formulas I did not start the petition. Someone sent it to me to warn me about the product. I wish Petag had warned me last year.

UPDATE: 02/10/10: I sent Petag a cease and desist letter. They sent an email to all consumers, distributors and stores stating there is no investigation, the FDA said my complaint was "spurious" and there is nothing wrong with their formulas. They even said the FDA approved of their letter. I spoke with the FDA. They hadn't even seen it and do not approved. They never said those things. The COO of the company admitted that her own formula was bad and should not be used. Something is very wrong for a company to make such huge lies.

UPDATE: 02/08/2010: ACTUAL FDA INVESTIGATION REPORT!!! Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 The FDA redacted some "confidential" information. This is what the FDA gave me. I deleted my phone number.

UPDATE: 02/05/2010: Petag lies and says there is no FDA investigation. Read big lie here. I saved a copy as I know they will edit it or delete it. They also lie and say the FDA told them the complaint was "spurious." There was an FDA investigation which was completed January 29, 2010. See links above. The result was "manufacturer" was "responsible." They never said it was "spurious." What's odd is the company claims they make their own products but this report states they are made somewhere else in Kansas. Petag doesn't want people to know who makes their products? Menu Foods has a plant in Kansas. I wouldn't put it past Petag to use that plant that was involved in the huge recall and class action lawsuit.

UPDATE: 02/08/2010: I uploaded my FOIA request here and their response here.The report said the manufacturer was responsible for the problem with the formula.

UPDATE: 02/02/2010: FDA finds Petag responsible in tainted infant formula

UPDATE: 01/29/10: I just received the FDA Complaint #98535. The FDA stated that the manufacturer Petag is the responsible party for the problem with the formula. Oddly enough Petag told the FDA that their manufacturer is in Kansas. Their website says they manufacture it themselves in Illinois. Co-owner George Gill is the one who made the statements to the FDA. He stated they had no other complaints about their products except mine. I have copies of other complaints made to the company. I even sent them to the FDA. If this company will lie to consumers, distributors, and the FDA, they can never be trusted. I will never use or recommend their products ever again. There is no way to tell what's in the product without spending $600 and running your own tests.

UPDATE: 01/15/10: I sent in a Freedom of Information Act request in October 4, 2009 which the FDA confirmed. File number is 2009-8723. The original investigator referred it to the CVM Department and the Chicago District office. The Chicago District office has not yet completed the investigation because they are running behind. I will post it here when I receive it.

UPDATE: 12/29/2009: Petag announces they have just changed how they manufacture KMR. I hope this means that KMR won't be rancid and fatal any more. KMR manufacturing changed

UPDATE: 12/29/09: eWildagain updates their report on problems with KMR and Esbilac. They've been covering this since the beginning.

UPDATE: 12/28/2009: Audio interview with CEO of PetSense pet stores on link below. This company checked out the product, found that it was rancid and pulled it from all 31 of their pet stores. They told Petag to give them new formula that is not rancid. This is the same interviewer from the below interview. She said that she felt the COO of Petag Darlene Frudakis was doing "corporate ballet" in her last interview. Darlene was dancing around the questions not answering them. She was upset that companies such as Tylenol recalled their product when they found someone had tampered with it. Why didn't Petag? My opinion is that Darlene does not care about animals, only money.

UPDATE: 12/17/2009: Audio interview with COO & President of Petag Darlene Frudakis by Sunny Aris of 575 Magazine. Darlene is not honest in this interview. She states she has not heard of any kittens dying because of the formula. She said she had no complaints, untrue. Petag states they told pet stores to remove their KMR. Untrue. The pet stores removed it on their own when they realized it was rancid. Consumers told the stores it was rancid. Interviewer thinks it wasn't Petag's fault. Bull. They changed KMR and Esbilac processing again to deal with the problem. Expiration 5/11 is the bad lot. Rancid corn oil. COO stated the "formula can only give them diarrhea. It won't kill them." Interviewer said "diarrhea can kill a kitten." "As of this morning, the pet store checked all powdered KMR and it was rancid." She's in New Mexico. Interviewer asked "how will you notify the consumer that the bad product is still on shelves?" COO "we'll get back to you on that." COO Darlene Frudakis lies to interviewer on tape

UPDATE: 10/21/09: Today Petag posted a new notice on their website. The notice states that their KMR and Esbilac have no preservatives. They must be stored in a cool, dry place. They test their product before it leaves the plant. It could be exposed to high temperatures in transit and go bad. If it smells, looks bad, don't use it and call them. 10/21/09 update One, the label states the products have copper sulphate which is a preservative. Two, if their product is that perishable, they should use temperature controlled trucks.

UPDATE: 10/16/09: They have since deleted this news item from their website. I saved a copy as a pdf file. Click hereThey also now state that Esbilac is not meant for wildlifeThey also deleted this notice. Here is a jpg image of their original main page which shows both notices. Original Page.

UPDATE: 10/07/09: Since our investigation into Esbilac the company admits on their website that their KMR formula is bad and should not be used. Do not use KMR!

UPDATE: 10/07/09: Petag admits KMR formula is bad. Check out the comments.

UPDATE: 09/27/09: Petag's Esbilac formula contains heavy metal copper. Check out the comments.

Sunday Sep 27th, 2009 12:49 PM

Independent lab tests of Petag's Esbilac puppy milk have revealed it contains twice the maximum allowed of heavy metal copper as per government standards, 20 ppm vs 10 ppm max. Results also revealed that the contents are 17.6% fiber while the label states it has "0% crude fiber." A report was filed against Petag with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration on 9/15/2009.

Over the last few months wildlife rehabilitators across the nation have been complaining about problems with "new" Esbilac. Raccoon, skunk, opossum, squirrel, bear and bunny babies were getting severe diarrhea and dying.

Various organizations contacted Petag headquarters and complained about the problems over many months. They were told by Judy Polanowski that Petag merely changed their manufacturing process to "spray drying." The product was now supposedly more "digestible." Petag refused to refund unopened bags of Esbilac stating there is nothing wrong with the product.

9/10/2009 Animal Advocates sent a sterile sample of Esbilac straight from the Petag factory to an independent lab in California. September 24 they received the results which showed the contaminant heavy metal copper and large amounts of fiber. These results were forwarded to the FDA.

The significant lab results are as follows:

Protein 24.8% Fat 31.5% Fiber 17.6% Heavy metal copper 2x Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL)

Petag's label states a "guaranteed analysis" as follows:

Crude Protein min 33.0% Crude Fat min 40.0% Crude Fiber max 0.0%

The actual protein and fat in Esbilac is less than the minimum guaranteed by the Petag label. The fiber is far greater than the maximum guaranteed. The lab has stated that even though the product contains 17.6% fiber, there is no fiber source listed in any of the ingredients on the label. Copper poisoning is fatal causing diarrhea and organ failure. Excess fiber causes diarrhea, dehydration and emaciation. The dead babies looked like they were starved to death even though they were fed the recommended amount of Petag's Esbilac formula.

Melamine was tested but only to the 2.5 ppm level and found to have less than 2.5 ppm. The maximum allowed for infant liquid formula is 1.0 ppm. A new melamine test has been ordered to test to the 1.0 level as the original test equipment was not capable of going to 1.0.

The FDA regulates pet foods and treats. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) requires that pet foods, like human foods, be safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances, and be truthfully labeled.

Animal Advocates Animal Advocates rehabilitates ill, injured and orphaned wildlife for release back to the wild. They are licensed by the California Department of Fish & Game and are located in Los Angeles, California.

Petag As per their website Petag produces the number one selling puppy milk Esbilac and the number one selling kitten milk KMR in the world. Their manufacturing plant has been located in Hampshire, Illinois for over 50 years. 800-323-6878

Supposed comment from Petag and others here.

New article about problems with KMR killing kittens and Petag admitting their KMR formula is bad and should not be used. Click to learn more about the founder of Animal Advocates

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