A California dog owner whose English bulldog died in January has filed a lawsuit against Nestle Purina PetCare Co [NESNP.UL], alleging his dog and thousands of others have been sickened by pet food that contains harmful toxins.

The suit, filed in federal court in San Francisco, claims that all three of Frank Lucido’s dogs became ill in January after eating from a bag of Purina Beneful dog food. One of the dogs died and a post-mortem veterinary examination revealed signs of internal bleeding in the dog’s stomach and lesions on his liver, the lawsuit claims.

Lucido claims his two other dogs, a German shepherd and a Labrador, remain ill. The dogs were healthy until Lucido bought Beneful dog food for the first time, the suit claims.beneful-pet-foods_7650

The lawsuit, filed in California, claims that more than 3,000 complaints from “similarly situated” dog owners have been made against Beneful over the last four years.

The suit claims that toxins found in Beneful, specifically propylene glycol and mycotoxins, are to blame for poisoning the dogs.

Mycotoxins are produced by mold found in the grains used in Beneful. They pose a health risk to dogs, and the reported symptoms are consistent with those of mycotoxin poisoning, the lawsuit claims.

Propylene glycol is “an FDA-approved food additive that is also in human foods like salad dressing and cake mix,” according to Purina. But the chemical is also found in antifreeze, and has caused some concerns in the past.

17813480aThe suit asks the court to expand the case to include other dog owners whose dogs were sickened or died and pay them unspecified damages and restitution.

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