Merrick Pet Care has announced a voluntary recall of certain Castor & Pollux and Merrick Backcountry dog treats after one of the products was found to contain elevated levels of beef thyroid hormone.

The problem was discovered as a result of a consumer complaint lodged with the US Food and Drug Administration.

The recall includes all of the following products with best-before dates of 5/19/2017 – 9/1/2019. Other labeling consumers can use to identify the recalled pet treats includes:

  • To view photos of all products included in this recall, including back of packages with coding, please click on the image.

    Castor & Pollux Good Buddy Prime Patties Real Beef Recipe, 4 oz. UPC 780872510806

  • Castor & Pollux Good Buddy Sausage Cuts Real Beef Recipe, 5 oz. UPC 780872510745
  • Merrick Backcountry Great Plains Real Beef Jerky, 4.5 oz. UPC 022808786160
  • Merrick Backcountry Great Plains Real Beef Sausage Cuts, 5 oz. UPC 022808786047
  • Merrick Backcountry Great Plains Real Steak Patties, 4 oz. UPC 022808786078

The recalled products were distributed in the United States through pet stores, grocery stores and online retailers. There also was some limited distribution in Canada.

The thyroid hormone likely came from animal gullets (laryngeal tissue) from which the thyroid glands had not been completely removed.

USDA prohibits thyroid glands and laryngeal muscle tissue in human food. While gullets are permitted in pet foods and pet treats, incomplete removal of the thyroid glands from the gullets can result in elevated levels of thyroid hormones in these products.

Dogs that consume high levels of beef thyroid hormone may experience symptoms such as increased thirst and urination, weight loss, restlessness and increased heart rate. Exposure to the hormone over an extended period of time may cause an increase in the severity of the symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, and rapid or labored breathing.

According to the recall notice, one dog was adversely affected after eating Merrick Backcountry Great Plains Real Beef Jerky, 4.5 oz. The dog recovered fully when its owner discontinued use of the treat.

Advice for consumers
Discontinue feeding the recalled products immediately. Contact your veterinarian if your dog is exhibiting any symptoms of excessive thyroid hormone consumption.

Contact Merrick at 800-664-7387 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CDT Mondays through Fridays or at to request a refund. Or, visit the company’s website and fill out a refund request form:

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