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Hero Dog Owner

heathpack

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Here's a great story, starts off sad:

A young dog comes in to the ER at our practice, diagnosis is renal failure and the dog dies. The ER doctor is suspicious that the dog got into a poison and tells the owner to check the house and see if she can find anything.

Owner calls back to say she found a partially chewed cold pack from her kids lunch, but the pack is labelled "non toxic". Any way that could be it?

ER doc does not know, calls poison control, no the ingredients in these packs are not toxic.

Lady can't really let this go, dog really seemed to have been poisoned and this is the only possible culprit. She calls the company who made the cold packs, just wants to get an ingredient list for the packs. Just to reassure herself.

Cold pack manufacturer is very evasive, won't give her the ingredient list. Doesn't seem right to her, so she finds a company that can perform a toxicologic analysis and she pays them to analyze the pack. The analysis shows the packs contain ethylene glycol- ie ANTIFREEZE. Highly toxic to dogs. And humans. Causes (usually) irreversible renal failure, especially if it is not known that there was exposure to this chemical. She has been putting these into her kids' lunches every day.

She bought the packs at Costco, so she contacts Costco. They hire their own analysis and confirm the presence of ethylene glycol. End result: National recall of these packs, saving countless children from exposure to this poison.

We have since tested the cold packs that we send home with patients in our practice. Our are indeed non-toxic, so don't be paranoid that all cold packs are poisonous, most are actually non- toxic.

She doesn't even intend to sue the company who made the packs, it was more that they seemed shady to her and she really wanted closure as to what happened to her dog. So sad the dog lost his life over this. But I really tip my hat to this lady for following through on her instincts.

H
 

BevL

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Wow, my hat is definitely off to her. She must be one determined lady.
 

wackymother

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And to Costco, for doing the independent testing rather than brushing her off.

Great work all around. But it's distressing that the company was lying about the ingredients rather than complying with the law. Do you know the brand of ice packs?
 

Passepartout

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I read another account of people who's dog died mysteriously. It had regularly slept in the garage and the people's car had developed a coolant leak. The dog lapped up the sweet liquid and was poisoned by the anti-freeze. This was the first I had heard of a dog with a sweet tooth- as mine turns her nose up at anything except meaty/savory- but it can happen.

I'm gratified that the cause was found in the above mystery and that Costco removed the cold-packs from their inventory.

Who'd-a-thought- anti-freeze in ice-packs? It doesn't make sense to me.

Jim
 

SueDonJ

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Wow, good on Costco for taking the initiative. And good on your practice for independently testing the products you're using!

It's understandable the woman doesn't want to be seen as a sue-happy opportunist, but this is a perfect example of when it could be a good thing to file a suit. If that's what it takes to get a toxicity warning on the product then there's no shame in pursuing it. And if a suit asking for only that warning wouldn't garner enough attention from the manufacturer or legal system, then she could ask for monetary damages and donate any money won to her favorite animal rights group. She has a cause worth championing, IMO.
 

PigsDad

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Who'd-a-thought- anti-freeze in ice-packs? It doesn't make sense to me.
Actually, it does make a lot of sense. Anti-freeze would not prevent the ice pack from getting cold, it would just prevent it from becoming solid. Seems like a good idea, so the pack could be molded around a knee, ankle, etc.

But definitely not for school lunches...

Kurt
 

Elan

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Reminiscent of this previous story where diethylene glycol was used as sweetener in cough syrup:

In the Panamanian medicine case, Taixing made a product consisting of 15 percent diethylene glycol and other substances, which it sold under the product name “TD glycerin.” TD stands for ’ti dai,’ or ’substitute’ in Chinese, but the substance was not a substitute for glycerin, a more expensive sweetener commonly used in drugs.

Li, the quality official, said according to material gathered by Spanish investigators, CNSC clearly informed the Spanish purchaser, Rasfer, that the shipment was “not for use in food or medicine” — a claim Rasfer denies.

“That is not true,” said Susi Criado, a spokeswoman for Rasfer. “We ordered pure glycerin, 99.5 percent, and they sent us a product that said, ’glycerin 99.5 percent’ ... nowhere did it (say) anything about diethylene glycol or anything else.”

Criado said the company did not test the shipment because it was an importer and “we can’t manipulate the products.”

The substance eventually ended up in Panamanian cough syrup and other medicines that killed at least 94 people. The deaths were first reported last October, with the link to China emerging in May.
 

heathpack

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Follow-Up with the Specific Recall Info

Here is the link to the ice pack recall: http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/2012/01/cryofreeze-gel-pack-recall/

Cryofreeze™ Gel Pack Recall
In conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), California Innovations has announced a voluntary recall of the Cryofreeze™ gel pack that was included with the High Performance Expandable Lunch Box that was sold at Costco between May and November of 2007. This item was also sold by Leon Korol between July and September, 2008 and by Cost U Less between March and September, 2008. The affected gel pack was sold with lunch bags bearing the code 1-61731-99-57. You can find this code printed on one of the two white labels that are sewn under the white fastener inside the main compartment.

This recall has been initiated because the gel packs were distributed with incorrect labeling stating that their contents are non-toxic. If you still have these gel packs, please discontinue using them immediately and dispose of them according to federal, state and/or local regulations. It is recommended that you contact your waste disposal authority for their instructions. For handling instructions, please see Handling of the Cryofreeze™ Gel Pack below.

A health hazard could occur if the gel packs are damaged, allowing the interior gel to leak out and be ingested/swallowed by children/adults or pets. Diethylene glycol and trace amounts of ethylene glycol have now been detected in the gel. Diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol are used in antifreeze and as solvents, and are health hazards if swallowed in sufficient quantities relative to body weight.

The Cryofreeze™ gel pack that is being recalled can be identified by its clear transparent outer wrapping with blue liquid gel inside measuring 6in x 4in (15.24cm x 10.16 cm). White lettering is printed on the transparent wrapping. The lunch boxes and the aluminum bottles are not included in this recall.



You may return your lunch box to Costco for a full refund or, for a cash refund for the gel pack only, please see instructions below or contact California Innovations Customer Service at 1-800-722-2545.

If you have questions: contact your physician or local poison control center or please call California Innovations at 1-800-722-2545 between 9 AM and 5 PM, ET, Monday through Friday or email us atci-recall@ca-innovations.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this has caused and want to assure you that we remain 100% committed to your safety.

Sincerely,

California Innovations

Handling of the Cryofreeze™ Gel Pack
The contents of the Gel Pack are protected by a laminated layer consisting of polyethylene and nylon. Unless the outer layer is intentionally, accidentally or otherwise damaged, punctured, cut open or ripped, exposure to the contents of the Gel Pack is not possible.

If the Gel Pack is leaking, please handle it carefully and avoid contact with your skin. Wash your hands as necessary. Put the Gel Pack in a sealed plastic bag and please contact your local waste disposal service for instructions on the disposal of the Gel Pack according to federal, state and/or local regulations.

Cryofreeze™ Gel Pack Refund Instructions
California Innovations is offering a $5.00 cash refund for anyone in possession of the recalled gel pack. To receive this cash refund, please do the following:

1.If you purchased this item from Costco and are aware of this recall because of the letter you recently received from them, please place the gel pack on the lower left hand corner of the letter and take a digital photo. The photo must show the entire letter with the gel pack in position. Please email this toci-recall@ca-innovations.comci-recall@ca-innovations.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
2.If you purchased this item from a retailer other than Costco, please place the gel pack on the lower left hand corner of an 8.5” x 11” piece of paper and take a digital photo. Please email this toci-recall@ca-innovations.comci-recall@ca-innovations.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
3.The following information should be included along with the digital photo of the ice pack per the above 2 points:
◦First name
◦Last name
◦Address
◦Zip code
◦Telephone # (+area code)
◦Where purchased
◦Email address
4.If you do not have access to the internet to email a photo or do not have a digital camera, please contact us at 1-800-722-2545.
5.It is strongly recommended that you contact your local waste disposal authority for instructions on how to dispose of your gel pack.
California Innovations will process your claim and promptly mail your refund.

http://www.californiainnovations.com/cryofreeze-gel-pack-voluntary-recall
 

Sandy VDH

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I am reading this then checking out my ice pack that is in my lunch bag. Surprise, surprise it is Cryo freeze.

However my number is not 1-61731-99-57 but rather 1-81737 -99 -00.

Does that make a difference. Did they change the cyro freeze packages in this different style number? Perhaps, as my pack is not clear like the one in the recall.
 
Last edited:

heathpack

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I am reading this then checking out my ice pack that is in my lunch bag. Surprise, surprise it is Cryo freeze.

However my number is not 1-61731-99-57 but rather 1-81737 -99 -00.

Does that make a difference. Did they change the cyro freeze packages in this different style number? Perhaps, as my pack is not clear like the one in the recall.
I'm not sure. I would probably dispose of anything with this brand name personally.

BTW, the outer plastic for the pack is clear. The gel is blue.

H
 

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To clarify....

I just stumbled across the posts about the gel pack and wanted to weigh in as It sounds like this was about me and our dog. The basic information is correct. Our dog chewed on a gel pack and suffered fatal renal failure. I contacted the company and while initially skeptical of my claim that I believed something was toxic in their product. They (California Innovations, not Costco) asked if they could get a sample of it and test it (I also had it tested independently.) Once the results determined there was an issue. They were extremely proactive in getting a voluntary recall in place and working with Costco to contact consumers who had purchased the product. Our family was deeply saddned about the death of our pet, and we just did not want this to happen to another pet or heaven forbid, a child.
 

falmouth3

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Thank you for taking action and not letting go of it. I'm sorry about the loss of your pet.
 
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