If you’re a pet owner, you may treat your pet like you would treat a child.  You’d do anything to make sure it’s healthy.

But what if a drug used to treat your pet was recalled for products liability reasons and no one knew about it?

On September 4, 2009, two veterinary drugs made by Teva Animal Health, Inc., a division of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, were recalled by the FDA, but in the latest details of the recall, few vets or pet owners knew about it until the end of December.  The deaths of five cats led the Food and Drug Administration to issue recall notices on December 22 and December 29, but information about what products are involved and over what period of time they were manufactured isn’t clear.

Ketamine, a powerful anesthetic, was recalled by Teva Animal Health Inc. and the FDA last December, but new reports suggest the defective drug had been used on pets as early as 2006. (SOURCE: www.justice.gov)

The defective products recalled involve two injectable veterinary drugs commonly used: butorphanol, an opioid used to control pain and ketamine, an anesthetic.  Our San Diego personal injury lawyers know there are dangerous drugs sometimes given to humans, but dogs and cats go through more procedures — some at young ages — than humans, so the number of potentially affected animals is astronomical.

Compounding matters further is the fact that even though Teva Animal Health, Inc. was the country’s largest generic animal drug manufacturer, virtually no one in the veterinary community heard of Teva until July 31 — which is when the FDA shut Teva down citing multiple violations of good manufacturing practices at its facility in St. Joseph, Mo.

The next piece of news regarding Teva didn’t come until December 22, when the FDA announced the company recalled injectable ketamine after five cats undergoing treatment died.  On December 29, Teva announced the recall extended to ketamine manufactured by Teva but sold under big name pharmaceutical companies.

An employee at the Rose Canyon Animal Hospital in San Diego, Ca  said that only some lots of the drug were recalled and that the hospital she works for checked their supply and any lots they had that were on the list of recalled lot numbers were disposed of.

There is some discrepancy in how far back the recall extended.  The American Veterinary Medical Association suggested on their website that the recalled ketamine was distributed to vets as early as 2006.

If that’s true, then the defective drugs have been on shelves and in use for at least three years, and our firm’s personal injury attorneys in San Diego  — along with the veterinary community — believe that is unacceptable.  Drugs for pets need to be regulated in the same ways that drugs for humans are.  All lives are important whether you have two legs or four.

Please contact us for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney — we speak both English and Spanish — at (800) 655-6585.  Click here and you may also submit your case for a Free Review.  No fee if no recovery.