The dog owners of the nation’s biggest dog-food company are concerned that the new vaccines are not working as well as promised.
The vaccine-related news is coming fast and furious in the dog food industry.
And the dogs’ immune systems are not responding.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration are both investigating.
One of the main reasons, according to the USDA, is that there are too many doses of the two different vaccine batches in circulation, which are supposed to be distributed through pet stores, pet-buying sites, and on grocery shelves.
“There are some dogs out there that are not getting vaccinated,” said Dr. James E. O’Connor, an infectious disease specialist and veterinarian in New Jersey.
“We have dogs that are just starting out, or are still puppies and there’s no vaccine,” he told NBC News.
“And then there are some that are being given more vaccines than they need,” said O’Connors associate professor of medicine and veterinary science at the University of New Mexico.
One of the vaccine batches, DTAP, is made by Dow Chemical Co. and contains the highly contagious hepatitis B virus.
This batch of vaccine was supposed to go to pet stores.
But the pet-food manufacturers say they’ve been given no vaccine distribution details, and that the company has not released them to the public.
So far, Dow has said that the vaccine will go to a number of pet-store stores, including Walmart, Kroger, Costco, and Target, and will go directly to the dogs.
But PetSmart has said it is not sure how many pet stores will receive it.
“It’s not just our customers,” said PetSmart spokeswoman Jennifer Davis.
“It’s the pet stores and pet-buyers.”
The FDA is also looking into the vaccine issue.
“We’re working with our regulators, FDA, to determine the scope of the response,” FDA spokesman Mark Verderosa said.
He said the agency would not release specific data until the agency had more information about the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness.
And in an email, Dow said the company had “no comment at this time.”
The Dog Food Safety Institute said the lack of vaccine distribution has hurt pet owners, who are left without any veterinary care when the dogs are sick.
“Our veterinarians and owners have been told to stop taking their dogs to veterinary appointments or appointments at other locations because the vaccines are out of stock,” said Susan M. Schmitt, president and CEO of the Dog Food Institute.
Schmitt, who has five dogs and a dog-training program in the Catskills, said she has never seen a vaccine like this before.
“When I first saw this, I thought it was some sort of joke, but I think we are now seeing the first-ever dog vaccine shortage in the United States,” Schmitt said.
“This is absolutely an issue that should concern everyone.”