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Dog food recalled because it could contain drug that's used in euthanasia

One dog died, four got sick.

Dog food that's been sold in Minnesota and elsewhere is being recalled because it could contain pentobarbital – a drug that's used to euthanize animals, including dogs.

Illinois-based Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food is voluntarily recalling some of its Hunk of Beef Au Jus dog food out of an "abundance" of caution after one dog died and four dogs got sick, a statement on the company's website says.

Evanger's says the food the dogs ate had pentobarbital in it, which is a sedative and can be used as an anti-seizure medicine, but it's most commonly used to euthanize dogs, cats, horses and other animals that aren't going to be eaten, the Consumerist explains.

Only one lot (lot number 1816E06HB13) of 12-ounce cans of Hunk of Beef was found to have the drug in it, but the company is recalling all its Hunk of Beef products that were manufactured the same week as the affected product, the FDA's website says.

Those lot numbers start with 1816E03HB, 1816E04HB, 1816E06HB, 1816E07HB, and 1816E13HB, and have an expiration date of June 2020, the FDA says.

None of the recalled products remain in stores, but people may have already bought them. If you have, the FDA says you should return it to where you bought it for a full refund.

Evanger's is looking into how the pentobarbital got into the dog food, but currently the company believes its beef supplier is to blame. In a statement on its website, Evanger's said:

"We feel that we have been let down by our supplier, and in reference to the possible presence of pentobarbital, we have let down our customers. Despite having a relationship for 40 years with the supplier of this specific beef, who also services many other pet food companies, we have terminated our relationship with them and will no longer purchase their beef for use in our Hunk of Beef product. As Hunk of Beef is a very unique product, requiring very specific cuts of meat, this supplier’s meat was used in no other products."

Side effects for animals who eat pentobarbital include drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, nausea and possibly death, the FDA says.

Anyone with questions regarding the recall should contact Evanger's at 1-847-537-0102.

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