Thursday, May 6, 2010


Pill Pockets are probably extending the life of the cute Shih tzu that roams the house. Well, she doesn't roam that much anymore as she is over 14 years old. I actually received her as partial payment on a video editing job back in 1996.

I wish back then the internet had been less in its infancy as it would have made it easier to research what shit tzu's need for maximum health. For Instance, I did not know about the reduced tear output that some shih tzu's experience later in life. Yes libraries existed back then but she had a vet and the vet never really said anything.

Now she is over 14 years old, doesn't see very well, can't hear, and has an enlarged heart. I have recently heard her let out a blood curdling yelp as she was about to pass on, on four different occasions, twice in one night. She was able to be revived with tender loving care. I had been concerned that the lasik she was on was making her skin turn red so I was trying to figure the perfect dosage that would help her but minimize the reaction.

Unbeknownst to me, when their hearts enlarge and they go into what is known as congestive heart failure the fluid build up near their lungs and drop these furry friends pretty quickly. I twice had her in my arms in the middle of the night holding her and trying to soothe her over as she came back from the brink of death.

The howl she let out twice that same night let me know something was wrong, the urine and feces I found in her bed let me know that she was ever so close to succumbing. That was a week ago and now I follow the lasik regimen very closely, 1/2 pill twice a day. (this is based on her size and weight, your elderly dog's dosage may be different). I also give her Enalapril once a day as well, all per the vet's instructions.
Giving her three pill medications a day would be IMPOSSIBLE if not for PILL POCKETS. She LOVES PILL POCKETS, and would probably eat half a bag of the beef pill pockets if I offered them to her.
I had almost run out of Pill Pockets when I went to the Pet Store to buy some more, however, I found myself confused by the following packaging.
Click on image to Enlarge.

As you can see from the picture above, the duck version has the very dark image on the package, and the beef version has the lighter image on the package, and that is backwards!

The LABELING is correct on the Pill Pocket packages, but the PICTURES are incorrect. I kept reading Duck on the package, would avoid it, and then would see the darker image below, and think it was the beef. I would then read that it was Duck, put it back, and look for the word beef, find it, but then see that the image was much too light to be a beef Pill Pocket, and I would put it back, confused in a feedback loop caused by the wrong pictures on the wrong packages.

I can tell you with one hundred percent certainty that the images on the Pill Pockets as of May 01, 2010 in the Pet Smart that I went into in Woodland Hills CA was WRONG. Eventually someone from the store helped me, buy the wrong one! I bought based on the image because I knew the beef version was the darker image, and so I inadvertently bought the duck pill pockets.

The first time I fed the Duck Pill Pocket to the dog I got lucky, she grudgingly took it. She actually threw up an hour or two later, not a lot, but enough to make me wonder if the pill had an affect. I was not sure if she threw up because of the Pill Pocket or not.

The next morning, she absolutely would not eat the duck version of the Pill Pocket, even when I mixed it with food she normally eats. Since she requires her Lasik every 12 hours, I suddenly had no spare time to go to the store and exchange the duck pill pocket for the beef pill pocket.

What if I did not live relatively close to a store that had Pill Pockets? What if for me it had been a 20 mile drive in a rural setting? What if somebody else did what I had done and gone by the picture on the package as their guide and had bought the wrong pill pocket as a result? If the person lived far enough away from the pet store, they would probably have to bring the dog with them and feed their dog the medication as soon as they made the exchange.

Because the dog loves the beef pill pockets so much, one might be inclined to not think keeping the receipt is that important since the dog is doing to eat each and every one of them. Ha! What a mistake that would have been. The packaging image maybe wrong but the store won't exchange the product without a receipt, meanwhile there is a dog who could die if I dilly dally too much, from something that wasn't really my mistake.

For now, the shih tzu lives. It's a day by day thing, and she still has her cute moments where sits up and looks all regal, and she still has her appetite, and she absolutely loves her beef pill pockets, with or without pills, it does not matter to her, but it sure does matter to me.

I mentioned to Pet Smart what had happened, and was told the manager would tell their buyer and so on, however, shouldn't any corporation that takes an interest in who is talking about their product see my article in just as a quick of a fashion and react accordingly?

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Anonymous said...

I have been using Duck Pill Pockets for my cat's daily Blood pressure medication. I bought a new packet - gave her one and she wouldn't have anything to do with it. Prior to this she would love to eat them. I noticed they were not only a different color BUT THEY SMELLED LIKE POISON! Lot number 202A1kAN v1 14:00


Alessandro Machi said...

Hi Maggie, I appreciate your comment. This article is now 1 year, 8 months old, yet it is very interesting that you noticed a change with the new package.

Anyone else have anything to report? I apologize for the very light blue coloring where it says to leave a comment, I can't seem to find the setting that darkens the color so it would be more visible.

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