Savannah man questions Burt’s Bees pet product after death of puppies

South Carolina News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – District 6 Alderman Tony Thomas is garnering lots of attention on social media after implying a brand of shampoo may be to blame for the sudden deaths of his puppies.

In a FaceBook post, Thomas says he gave six of his puppies a bath with a Burt’s Bees Brand of Shampoo before taking them to the veterinarian. 

He claims in his post just 30 minutes after the bath and arriving at the vet’s office, one of the puppies became lethargic. Two of the animals recovered but the other four did not survive.

News 3 spoke with a local veterinarian who says this isn’t the first issue she’s heard regarding certain pet products.

“I had several cases with a similar experience. It was a Burt’s Bees product, not to say that Burt’s Bees is in anyway responsible, but it was a Burt’s Bees product that was used on their cats. They sprayed this on their cats thinking it would be an odorless, waterless shampoo and slowly the same thing happened,” said Dr. Rachel Grossman, an Associate Veterinarian with Savannah Animal Care.

Dr. Grossman says the issue could stem from product regulations.

“The issue at large is that natural products aren’t regulated the same way things are by the FDA. So it’s really important to have that regulation because it keeps our animals safe. . . . and of course people are buying these products because they love their animals and want the best for their animals, but unfortunately what can happen is some of these toxic products make their way to the manufacturers and into pet products,” said Dr. Grossman.

In the case Dr. Grossman oversaw, she says an autopsy was later performed.

“They found that the entire GI track was ulcerated, the kidneys and multiple organs were shutting down. So they think a toxicity occurred. The cats had been grooming themselves and grooming each other and ingesting this shampoo,” said Dr. Grossman.

Dr. Grossman says puppies can also be vulnerable.

“Puppies aren’t fully developed yet. They are still growing and things like that so it makes them susceptible to things like toxicities,” said Dr. Grossman.

Dr. Grossman did not make claims about any one product but she encourages pet owners to consult their vet before using any new products on their pets.

News 3 reached out to Alderman Thomas but he says he will not make a statement until an autopsy is performed. A man claiming to be the manufacturer of the product has commented on Thomas’ post claiming the product is safe and his accusations are impossible.

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