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October 20th, 2006, 11:06 AM
Families Urge FDA To Investigate Greenies
Wayne Havrelly
KIRO 7 Consumer Investigator

There are new developments in a story our Consumer Investigators have been following for months.

We were the first to break the story of the potentially deadly pet treat called "Greenies," and the results of our investigation have now been widely reported across the county.

KIRO 7 Eyewitness News Consumer Investigator Wayne Havrelly has the latest on what he's uncovered.

Greenies is one of the best-selling pet products in the country, but as we've reported, this treat can kill dogs by getting stuck in their esophagus or intestines.

Local families whose dogs have died are now banding together, calling on the federal government to take action.

It was a cool November day last fall when we met Roberta Wyde of Mercer Island , and Odin, the family's purebred Old English Sheepdog.

Odin had just returned from another visit to the vet, still suffering after an undigested piece of Greenie had completely blocked his intestine.

"They couldn't tell what it was," Wyde said. "They were able to push it through the entire intestine, and when it came out, they still didn't know what it was. When they rinsed it off, they saw it was bright green, clay-like material. And I said, 'Greenie.'"

As a result of what happened to their dog, the Wydes have now filed a citizen petition to the federal government to have Greenies thoroughly investigated.

That's because despite several operations and thousands of dollars in treatment, Odin never recovered.

The Wydes decided to end his -- and their -- misery.

The Wydes aren't the only ones suffering the loss of a beloved family member. We have confirmed that across the country, more than a dozen dogs have died as a direct result of eating Greenies.

"It's sad," said Molly John son of Mill Creek. "He has been a huge part of our family."

Johnson says she lost " Norman ," her treasured Yorkshire Terrier, after a chunk of Greenie blocked his esophagus and the vet couldn't extract it in time.

"The worst part is that he suffered for three or four days before he died," John son said. "And he didn't have to."

In a written statement to us, the company says that "though injurious incidents are rare, more often than not the pet was not fed according to our feeding directions."

But according to both the Wydes and Molly John son, they followed package directions to the letter.

The company claims the product is "100 percent edible" and "85 percent digestible," a claim Issaquah veterinarian Jayne Jensen disputes.

"That was not 85 percent digestible," Jensen said. "That was not digestible."

The Wydes' citizen petition requests a full investigation into Greenies by the FDA and calls on the agency to pull the product off the shelves across the country if the company refuses to do so.

Molly John son included a statement of support with the Wyde's petition.

"I don't want other families to go through what I had to go through," John son said.

Earlier this year, the FDA promised it would look into the many allegations against Greenies, but so far it has not committed to a formal investigation.

We'll let you know if this local citizen's petition will spur the government to act.

Copyright 2006 by

October 20th, 2006, 12:56 PM
Johnson says she lost " Norman ," her treasured Yorkshire Terrier, after a chunk of Greenie blocked his esophagus and the vet couldn't extract it in time.

"The worst part is that he suffered for three or four days before he died," John son said. "And he didn't have to."
Why three or four days?!

Even without greenies around, everybody should be aware of the signs of an obstruction and bring their dogs to the vet accordingly. Waiting for things to pass is what kills them.

October 20th, 2006, 07:09 PM
I agree. There are a lot of other things besides Greenies that can cause an intestinal blockage. Only give your dogs something to chew on under supervision. And, take away whatever he/she is chewing on when it gets small enought for him/her to swallow.

October 20th, 2006, 09:04 PM
Sophie swallowed one whole. It was bigger that suggested and she still managed to get it down. Sophie was a Shih Tzu. She barfed it up 3 days later and it was still hard and whole. I called the company and raised holy hell with them. Their suggestion...Would you like some samples for your cat?:shrug:

October 21st, 2006, 03:00 PM
Yeah that is exactly what you wanted right? Since it was so bad for your dog, why not try to make your cats sick too?:frustrated:

November 1st, 2006, 11:34 AM
Apparently Greenies are now being made with a new 'highly digestible' formula - just got a flyer in the mail about it this week. Not as crunchy, either, supposedly.

November 1st, 2006, 05:01 PM
My Eskie loves Greenies. He has had 3. The first he ate daintly at age 5 months. The second the next day he ate considerably faster. The 3rd was gone in a flash - and that was the end of Greenies. Certainly he is a Hoover and it is enough of a challenge to have have him end up with a blockage, without adding Greenies. ONLY good news is that the Greenie didn't turn him into Cujo as did the "smoked bone". As far as helping with teeth, I have my doubts. Cost wise, if I fed my guy a Greenie a day it would cost the same as a once a year cleaning by the vet - and frankly, the risk of being put under for the procedure would seem less than the risk of my little angel choking to death or requiring blockage surgery.

November 8th, 2006, 05:10 PM
Is it just the Greenies brand ones that are bad? I have a bag of similar product from Costco (not sure the brand, as I don't have it in front of me), but I've never had any problems with it. I've never bought a Greenies-brand chew for Cube, though I did give him a sample-pack of the little chunks they make (for cats, I think). The Costco ones don't seem to break off in chunks, and they certainly all come out the other end just fine--perfectly normal, though green, poos.

Am I risking Cube's life for a chlorophyll-flavoured treat?