A pet food company is recalling some of its canned beef after one dog died and three others dogs belonging to a Washington woman became sick after eating the beef.

Out of what it’s calling an “abundance of caution,” Evanger’s Pet Food is voluntarily recalling five lots of its Hunk of Beef products after four pugs belonging to a woman in Washougal, Washington were fed the beef, became ill and began “acting strangely” minutes later.

Dogs were 'falling over'

Nikki Mael told KATU-TV in Portland, Oregon that her dogs were “falling over” within 15 minutes after she fed them the Hunk of Beef dog meals on New Year’s Eve.

“So I grabbed them all and took them to the emergency vet,” she told the station. “And when I got there they were just limp. They weren’t moving or anything.”

One of the dogs, named Tatula, passed away. The three other dogs survived and have since returned home with Mael.

Pentobarbital in the beef made dogs sick

The Federal Drug Administration says a contaminant called Pentobarbital, a barbiturate used to treat tension and anxiety in humans, was found in the beef. The FDA says Pentobarbital can cause a range of problems in dogs including drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, or nausea.

It can, as in the case of Tatula, cause death as well.

Officials at Evanger’s are blaming the company that supplied the beef for the contamination, saying they’ve terminated their relationship with the supplier, a company they’ve done business with for 40 years. The beef supplier has not been identified, either by Evanger’s or the FDA.

Illinois-based Evanger’s says some 100,000 cans of Hunk of Beef have been consumed by pets since the four dogs in Washington became sick, with no other dogs reported as becoming ill. The recall does not affect any other of its pet food products.

“Although only one household in the country reported illness, out of the five lots that are being recalled, we feel it is the right thing to do,” Evanger’s said in a statement announcing the voluntary recall.

“This is our first recall in the 82 years that we have been in business,” the statement said.

The Hunk of Beef products being recalled begins with lot numbers that start with 1816E03HB, 1816E04HB, 1816E06HB, 1816E07HB, and 1816E13HB, and have an expiration date of June 2020. Anybody with the canned beef with those lot numbers should return it to the store where they bought it and get a full refund.