Monday, May 25, 2015

Did Carefresh Odor Control Bedding with Baking Soda kill my guinea pig?

Did Carefresh Odor Control Bedding with Baking Soda kill my guinea pig? Our precious guinea pig Ruby died last week. We recently switched her bedding to Carefresh Odor Control Bedding with Baking Soda. I came across this article today, and am blogging about it for awareness. It's hard to find any information online about this product.
We Miss You Ruby - best guinea pig ever!
Original article source: http://www.mercurynews.com/animal-life/ci_27672411/baking-soda-makes-guinea-pig-ill Baking soda makes guinea pig ill

By Joan Morris jmorris@bayareanewsgroup.com 

POSTED: 03/09/2015 12:00:00 PM PDT0 COMMENTS| UPDATED: 3 MONTHS AGO 

DEAR JOAN: 
I hope you can help get the word out that baking soda used in bedding almost killed our guinea pig, Shelbi. We adopted Shelbi when she was 3 weeks old, and in May she will be 6 years old. We have always used Carefresh bedding, but about two months ago, we started using Carefresh with baking soda added to it. On Tuesday of last week Shelbi was hardly eating and did not act like her usual self. We took her to Dr. Tanner at Parkway Veterinary Hospital in Dublin. Dr. Tanner X-rayed Shelbi and found a huge mass of gas on one side of her body and two others on the other side. She aspirated the larger mass and told us we should see a change within 24 hours. Her compassion and concern for our little piggy was incredible, and we were so thankful we found her. 


Unfortunately, Shelbi was not improving, and we decided to bring her in the next day to have her put to sleep. We couldn't just let her starve to death and suffer. I called to make the appointment, and as it would be a few hours until we could bring her in, I thought I would try to give her some veggies just in case she would eat. I always put her veggies in a little pan, and when she eats, sometimes pieces fall out onto her bedding and she eats it. That's when it hit me -- I remembered the new baking soda formula and thought that might be what was causing the gas. I called the company that makes Carefresh and they said they would overnight me Carefresh without baking soda, and that they were getting complaints about it. I called Dr. Tanner and asked if there was a chance she could recover if we got rid of that bedding and got Shelbi to eat. She said to get a supplement called Critical Care and feed that to Shelbi in a syringe. I also found a store that sells Carefresh without the baking soda. The next morning Shelbi ate some veggies and her hay. We are still giving her the supplement along with her regular food just to help put on her lost weight. She is playing with her toys and best of all she whistles when she hears her food being prepared. We are so thankful she pulled through because she is a special part of our family. Felicia and Tony Scranton Livermore 

DEAR FELICIA AND TONY: I am so happy that Shelbi is doing well, and I hope that other pig owners will be on the alert. In a follow-up email, Felicia and Tony say Carefresh is returning to the old formula and will reimburse the couple for the vet bills. I haven't been able to confirm the formula change, but if you use litter with baking soda, you may want to change to be safe. 

This article above was posted on Carefresh's Facebook page and they responded:

5/12/15 Carefresh: ...We stopped making the bakingsoda formula in January, so you should see the new bags on the shelves pretty soon. The new bags look nearly identical but you can see on the package that the Odor Stop icon no longer says baking soda. In the meantime pls visit our webpage to find locations or sources of the new or original carefresh bedding. Thanks Again, Ted

Another post on Carefresh's page:
Just a note here to say how pleased I am with Carefresh's attention to consumer complaints. I had a concern with one of the company's products (a new "odor-stop" bedding formula with baking soda that turned out to be not safe for guinea pigs) and not only did the CEO respond quickly and personally to my email, but the company solved the problem -by discontinuing the product in question! Excellent move :-)- and moreover reimbursed me for the bedding bag I had concerns about. Kudos and thanks for listening to your customers, Carefresh- really. I have always been pleased with the old fashioned formula of Carefresh recycled paper bedding, and my guinea pigs love wallowing in it : I hope you keep it simple and safe always.

If your pet has died from the new Carefresh formula, please contact me.

Some reviews from Amazon - there's hundreds like this review:
ByDanielleon April 17, 2015
If you truly care about your animals please DO NOT use this product. This product has been making animals seriously sick, and in some instances has resulted in death. I dont want other pet owners to go through the same hear ache as we have.


ByKferrarion April 13, 2015
Not satisfied at all. I wanted to leave a personal message but couldn't find where to do it. This actually after one day of having it in my hamsters cage , smells up that room and the hallway hat leads into my kitchen. It is so disgusting. I would never buy this again and would want others against it. I would like my money back and they could have my almost full bag of this stuff.

ByKSon April 9, 2015
I used this product for years for rabbits, and it worked great. But one of the latest batches I received had a very strong bleach/ammonia-esque smell--it reeked. We couldn't even keep the open bag in the house. I couldn't imagine subjecting a poor pet to the fumes from that bag. There's another reviewer here who had the same issue. I haven't contacted the company yet, but we plan to soon. I hope this was just a bad batch of something; otherwise, I'll have to try switching to another brand like oxbow and seeing if that's any good.

ByHeatherB in TXon February 25, 2015
I have been using Carefresh Naturals for many years. About 6 weeks ago, we got a shipment that was a different color and I didn't think anything of it until my Guinea Pigs started sneezing and having trouble breathing! Well it happened again, couldn't figure out why they were sneezing and having trouble breathing again and was on the verge of taking them to the vet when I noticed the cage bedding was gray and not brown. My teenage son didn't pay any attention when he changed their cages and used the new formula again! Horrible!! Sending them back!!

ByK. White "Momster"on February 11, 2015
HORRIBLE smell! Smells like formaldehyde! I purchased this from Amazon last year and it was fine, but when I ordered more, it was clearly a different batch. The smell from the unopened bags permeated my whole room, and was overpowering. I don't want to think of what it would be like for my pets when opened, and right under their noses. Absolutely AWFUL! I sent it back, and won't be purchasing any more from Amazon until their quality control gets it together.
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ByLaurie A Dankerton February 11, 2015
Smells like a horribly strong chemical smell. I wouldn't put any pet in a cage with this bedding in it

ByAmazon Customeron February 10, 2015

My daughter's hamsters died! She had two hamsters in separate cages and both of them died on the same day - the day after she cleaned their cages using a fresh bag of this product. It was horrible! We've used this before and it's been fine, but there had to have been something wrong with this "new and improved" batch. Manufacturer, please check into this before someone else's beloved pets die!

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