Animal & Veterinary

Vitamin D Toxicity in Dogs

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that helps dogs regulate the balance and retention of calcium and phosphorus. However, extremely high levels of vitamin D can cause serious health problems. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, so unlike water-soluble vitamins, when a dog – or other animal - gets too much, the excess is not rapidly excreted in his or her urine. Instead, it’s stored in fat tissue and the liver. Excessive vitamin D can lead to kidney failure and even death.


On this page:

Causes
Signs of Illness
Diagnosis
Treatment
For Dog Owners
For Veterinarians
Dog Food Products Recalled for Excessive Vitamin D


Causes

Dogs that eat pet food containing too much vitamin D can develop vitamin D toxicity. It can also occur if a dog accidentally gets into vitamin D supplements that a person in the household is taking. Another common way that dogs get vitamin D toxicity is after accidentally eating certain chemicals meant to kill rodents like rats and mice, called cholecalciferol rodenticides. Cholecalciferol is the chemical name for vitamin D3.

Signs of Illness

Dogs with excess vitamin D may vomit, have little appetite, drink and urinate more, drool excessively, and/or lose weight. Depending on the concentration of the vitamin D in the food, diet-related toxicity tends to develop more gradually over time. Cases of vitamin D rodenticide or supplement poisoning are rapid onset – showing signs of illness in a matter of hours or days.

If you suspect your dog is showing signs of vitamin D toxicity, take him or her to a veterinarian immediately.

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Diagnosis

Only a veterinarian can diagnose vitamin D toxicity. He or she will evaluate your dog’s signs, ask about what food the dog is eating and what the dog might have gotten into, and might take a blood sample to measure levels of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D or obtain urine to assess kidney function. Depending on the results of a veterinarian’s examination, he or she will determine the best course of action.

Treatment

Treatment will depend on a veterinarian’s assessment of each case, but the aim will be to remove the source of vitamin D to prevent additional exposure (e.g., stop the feeding of recalled dog food) and to flush the body of the excess vitamin D. In less acute cases of vitamin D toxicity that are caught early, the veterinarian may determine that a change of diet may help resolve the issue within weeks to months, or he or she may choose to prescribe medication. A veterinarian may also continue to monitor blood calcium and phosphorus levels until they return to a healthy baseline.

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For Dog Owners

If your dog is showing signs of vitamin D toxicity such as vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst and urination, excessive drooling and/or weight loss, contact a veterinarian immediately. Provide a full diet history to your veterinarian, including what food you (or other household members) give him and also other food or items he might have gotten into. You may find it helpful to take a picture of the pet food label, including the lot number. If your veterinarian suspects the food is the source of excess vitamin D, having the lot code helps the FDA identify exactly when the contamination occurred and what other products might also be affected. This can help prevent other dogs from getting sick. Don’t feed the products to your pets or any other animals.

Dog owners can report suspected illness to the FDA electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling your state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators. It’s most helpful if you work with your veterinarian to submit a dog’s medical records as part of the report. For an explanation of the information and level of detail that would be helpful to include in a complaint to the FDA, please see How to Report a Pet Food Complaint.

It’s also helpful if you save the food in its original package, in case it’s needed for testing. If testing is not needed, contact the company listed on the package for further instructions or throw the products away in a way that children, pets and wildlife cannot access them.

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For Veterinarians

The FDA encourages veterinarians treating vitamin D toxicity related to diet to ask clients for a detailed diet history. We also remind clinicians that vitamin D toxicity may present as hypercalcemia, hyperphosphatemia, and/or renal failure. If you suspect that the pet food is the source of the excess vitamin D, we welcome case reports, especially those confirmed through diagnostics. We ask that you not tell the pet owner to discard the leftover food, but instead to retain it in a safe place and not feed it to their pet or any other animal.

Reports to the FDA can be submitted through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling your local FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators. For submissions through the Safety Reporting Portal, when asked “Who are you?” please select, “A private citizen/business submitting a voluntary report,” on the selection screen in order to guide you through a veterinary submission. For an explanation of the information and level of detail that would be helpful to include in a complaint to the FDA, see How to Report a Pet Food Complaint.

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Dog Food Products Recalled for Excessive Vitamin D

In December 2018, the FDA notified the public about reports of vitamin D toxicity in dogs that ate dry dog food made by a common contract manufacturer and marketed under several different brand names. Then at the end of January 2019, the FDA became aware of a report of vitamin D toxicity in a dog that ate a canned Hill’s dog food. Hill’s Pet Nutrition put out a press release about the recall. On March 20, 2019, Hill’s expanded the recall to include additional lots of canned dog food. This recall did not affect cat food, dry food (kibble), or treats.

The FDA is continuing to investigate how these incidents occurred and if any other foods should be recalled. The FDA will issue public updates with any additional recall information as it becomes available.

The dry dog food products named below were made by a single contract manufacturer under multiple brand names and recalled due to excess vitamin D. The following list of products was provided to the FDA by the manufacturer. The products were distributed nationwide.

Sunshine Mills, Inc.

  • Old Glory Hearty Turkey and Cheese Flavor Dog Food
    • UPC 0-70155-14297-9 – 12.75 lb. bag
    • TC3 29 October 2018
    • TA1 30 October 2018
    • TA2 30 October 2018
    • TC1 30 October 2018
    • TC2 30 October 2018
    • TC3 30 October 2018
  • Evolve Chicken & Rice Puppy Dry Dog Food
    • UPC 0-73657-00862-0 – 14 lb. bag
    • UPC 0-73657-00863-7 – 28 lb. bag
  • Sportsman’s Pride Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food
    • UPC 0-70155-10566-0 – 40 lb. bag
    • UPC 0-70155-10564-0 – 40 lb. bag
  • Triumph Chicken & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
    • UPC 0-73657-00873-6 – 3.5 lb. bag
    • UPC 0-73657-00874-3 – 16 lb. bag
    • UPC 0-73657-00875-0 – 30 lb. bag

Ahold Delhaize

  • Nature’s Promise Chicken & Brown Rice Dog Food
    • UPC 068826718472 – 14 lb. bag
      • All lot codes
    • UPC 068826718471 – 28 lb. bag
      • All lot codes
    • UPC 068826718473 – 4 lb. bag
      • All lot codes
    • Nature’s Place Real Country Chicken and Brown Rice Dog Food
      • UPC 72543998959 – 5 lb. bag
        • All lot codes
      • UPC 72543998960 – 15 lb. bag
        • All lot codes

Kroger (12/5/18)

  • Abound Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe Dog Food
    • UPC 11110-83556 – 4 lb. bag
      • All lot codes

King Soopers (12/5/18)

  • Abound Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe Dog Food
    • UPC 11110-83556 – 4 lb. bag
      • All lot codes
    • UPC 11110-83573 – 14 lb. bag
      • All lot codes
    • UPC 11110-89076 – 24 lb. bag
      • All lot codes

ELM Pet Foods, Inc. (11/29/18)

  • ELM Chicken and Chickpea Recipe
    • UPC 0-70155-22507-8 – 3 lb. bag
      • D2 26 FEB 2019
      • TE1 30 APR 2019
      • TD1 5 SEP 2019
      • TD2 5 SEP 2019
    • UPC 0-70155-22513-9 – 28 lb. bag
      • TB3 6 APR 2019
      • TA1 2 JULY 2019
      • TI1 2 JULY 2019
    • ELM K9 Naturals Chicken Recipe
      • UPC 0-70155-22522-9 – 40 lb. bag
        • TB3 14 Sep 2019
        • TA2 22 Sep 2019
        • TB2 11 Oct 2019

ANF, Inc. (11/28/18)

  • ANF Lamb and Rice Dry Dog Food
    • UPC 9097231622 – 3 kg bag
      • Best by Nov 23 2019
    • UPC 9097203300 – 7.5 kg bag
      • Best by Nov 20 2019

Lidl (Orlando brand) (11/6/18)

  • Orlando Grain-Free Chicken & Chickpea Superfood Recipe Dog Food
    • Lidl product number 215662
      • TI1 3 Mar 2019
      • TB2 21 Mar 2019
      • TB3 21 Mar 2019
      • TA2 19 Apr 2019
      • TB1 15 May 2019
      • TB2 15 May 2019

Natural Life Pet Products (11/2/18, expanded 11/9/18)

  • Chicken & Potato Dry Dog Food
    • UPC 0-12344-08175-1 – 17.5 lb. bag
      • Best by dates range: December 4, 2019 through August 10, 2020

Nutrisca (11/2/18)

  • Chicken and Chickpea Dry Dog Food
    • UPC 8-84244-12495-7 – 4 lb. bag
    • UPC 8-84244-12795-8 – 15 lb. bag
    • UPC 8-84244-12895-5 – 28 lb. bag
      • Best by date range: February 25, 2020 through September 13, 2020

The canned dog food products named below were manufactured by Hill’s Pet Nutrition and recalled in January 2019 due to excess vitamin D. On March 20, 2019, Hill’s expanded the recall to include additional lots. No dry foods, cat foods or treats are affected. The following list of products was provided to the FDA by Hill’s. In the United States, the affected Hill’s canned dog foods were distributed through retail pet stores and veterinary clinics nationwide.

  • Hill’s Prescription Diet c/d Multicare Canine Chicken & Vegetable Stew 12.5 oz, SKU 3384
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T10
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T25
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Canine Chicken & Vegetable Stew 12.5 oz, SKU 3389
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T04
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T10
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T19
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T20
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Canine Chicken & Vegetable Stew 5.5 oz, SKU 3390
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T11
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 112020T23
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 122020T07
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Canine 5.5 oz, SKU 5403
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T17
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 112020T22
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet g/d Canine 13 oz, SKU 7006
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 112020T19
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 112020T20
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Canine 13 oz, SKU 7008
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 092020T30
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T07
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T11
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 112020T22
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 112020T23
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet j/d Canine 13 oz, SKU 7009
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 112020T20
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Canine 13 oz, SKU 7010
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T10
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T11
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d Canine 13 oz, SKU 7017
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 092020T30
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T11
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T12
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Canine 13 oz, SKU 7018
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T04
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 112020T22
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic + Mobility Canine Vegetable & Tuna Stew 12.5 oz, SKU 10086
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T05
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T26
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d Canine Vegetable & Chicken Stew 12.5 oz, SKU 10129
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T04
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T21
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Low Fat Canine Rice, Vegetable & Chicken Stew 12.5 oz, SKU 10423
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T17
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T19
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 112020T04
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet Derm Defense Canine Chicken & Vegetable Stew 12.5 oz, SKU 10509
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T05
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Small & Toy Breed Chicken & Vegetable Stew 12.5 oz, SKU 4969
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T18
  • Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Chicken & Barley Entrée 13 oz, SKU 7036
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T12
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult Chicken & Barley Entrée Dog Food 13 oz, SKU 7037
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T13
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T14
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 112020T23
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 112020T24
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult Turkey & Barley Dog Food 13 oz, SKU 7038
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T06
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult Chicken & Beef Entrée Dog Food 13 oz, SKU 7040
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T13
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult Light with Liver Dog Food 13 oz, SKU 7048
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 112020T19
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken & Barley Entrée Dog Food 13 oz, SKU 7055
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 092020T31
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T13
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Beef & Barley Entrée Dog Food 13 oz, SKU 7056
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 092020T31
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 112020T20
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 112020T24
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Turkey & Barley Entrée 13 oz, SKU 7057
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 112020T19
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Healthy Cuisine Braised Beef, Carrots & Peas Stew Dog Food 12.5 oz, SKU 10452
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T14
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T21
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Youthful Vitality Chicken & Vegetable Stew Dog Food 12.5 oz, SKU 10763
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T04
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T05
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 112020T11

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Expanded Recall List – March 2019

  • Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care with Lamb Canned Dog Food 13 oz, 12-pack, SKU 2697
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T25
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Chicken & Vegetable Entrée Dog Food 12.8 oz, 12-pack, SKU 2975
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 092020T28
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet c/d Multicare Urinary Care Chicken & Vegetable Stew Canned Dog Food, 12.5 oz, 12-pack SKU 3384
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 092020T29
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet c/d Multicare Urinary Care Chicken & Vegetable Stew Canned Dog Food, 5.5 oz, 24-pack SKU 3388
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T18
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Chicken & Vegetable Stew Canned Dog Food, 12.5 oz, 12-pack SKU 3389
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 092020T28
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T24
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T25
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Low Fat Canine Rice, Vegetable & Chicken Stew 5.5 oz, 24-pack SKU 3391
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 092020T27
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet g/d Aging Care Turkey Flavor Canned Dog Food, 13 oz, 12-pack SKU 7006
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 092020T22
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet Digestive Care with Turkey Canned Dog Food, 13 oz, 12-pack SKU 7008
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 092020T21
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet r/d Canine 12.3 oz, 12-pack SKU 7014
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 092020T21
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T27
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T28
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d Digestive/Weight/Glucose Management with Chicken Canned Dog Food, 13 oz, 12-pack SKU 7017
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T24
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T25
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 112020T09
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 112020T10
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult Chicken & Barley Entrée Canned Dog Food, 13 oz, 12-pack SKU 7037
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 092020T22
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult Beef & Barley Entrée Canned Dog Food, 13 oz, 12-pack SKU 7039
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 092020T31
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T21
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult Chicken & Beef Entrée Canned Dog Food, 13 oz, 12-pack SKU 7040
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 112020T10
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 112020T11
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Beef & Barley Entrée Canned Dog Food, 13 oz, 12-pack 7056
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T28
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d Digestive/Weight/Glucose Management Vegetable & Chicken Stew Canned Dog Food, 12.5 oz, 12-pack SKU 10129
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 112020T11
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 112020T05
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Low Fat Digestive Care Rice, Vegetable & Chicken Stew Canned Dog Food, 12.5 oz, 12-pack SKU 10423
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 092020T27
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 092020T28
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 092020T24
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Healthy Cuisine Roasted Chicken, Carrots & Spinach Stew Dog Food, 12.5 oz cans, 12-pack SKU 10449
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 092020T28
  • Hill’s Science Diet Healthy Cuisine Adult Braised Beef, Carrots & Peas Stew Canned Dog Food, 12.5 oz, 12-pack SKU 10451
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T28
  • Hill’s Science Diet Healthy Cuisine Adult 7+ Braised Beef, Carrots & Peas Stew Canned Dog Food, 12.5 oz, 12-pack SKU 10452
    • Lot Code/Date Code: 102020T28

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Page Last Updated: 03/21/2019
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