North Carolina doctors say it will take 2-year-old Amy Hall several years to recover from a debilitating form of chronic salmonella that she contracted when her dogs ate contaminated dog food.
Amy’s parents say she became infected with salmonella in 2012 when she was just nine days old, after one of her dogs licked her face or hand.
Her mother Elizabeth Hall says she contracted it from dog food sold by Diamond Pet Foods in Gaston, South Carolina. Diamond issued a recall in 2012 for the dog food after dozens of dogs in more than 20 states became ill, the Charlotte Observer reports.
Now Amy is a salmonella carrier and her illness resurfaces every two to three weeks. Her family has to sterilize their Union County home on a regular basis. Amy can’t attend daycare because of the risk she poses to other children and the family hired a specialized nanny to care for her when they are at work.
“I could not risk it,” Elizabeth Hall told the Charlotte Observer. “I could not put another mother through this.”
The family is now suing Diamond Pet Foods. The family's attorney Fred DeVore says the family spent more than $70,000 on Amy’s medical care.
In February 2012, the Halls bought a dogfood brand called Apex for their dogs, a Shetland sheepdog called Bailey and a greyhound named Abby, four months before Amy was born. When the couple realized the dogs were ill, they fed them blander food and they seemed to get better. They didn’t take them to the vet and had no idea they were now carriers of Salmonella Infantis.
In April 2012, the CDC reported that the agricultural inspectors in Michigan found traces of salmonella bacteria during a routine test of a bag of Diamond food. Molecular testing reportedly linked the strain to one plaguing several area residents.
The FDA issued a health warning and on April 26, 2012, Diamond Pet Food recalled 30,000 tons of dog and cat food marketed under 17 different brands.
The Halls’ suit, accusing Diamond of negligence and willful and wanton conduct, requests a jury trial.
“When you are producing a product for consumers, which potentially exposes consumers to danger, you have to be particularly careful,” DeVore said.
“None of us asked for this,” Elizabeth Hall said. “My ultimate goal is Amy needs to be taken care of.”
Image screenshot: Charlotte Observer