This is a potentially harmful ingredient added to some brands of dog food. It can cause a wide range of harmful side effects from liver damage, shedding, renal damage, mutation of cells, death to cells, allergies, hemolytic anemia, even death.
On March 29, 1963 the FDA held a press release announcing that it was banning Menadione from all human foods and food supplements. However, it is showing up in our foods that we are feeding our dogs.
After having lost one dog and having several others experience everything from glucose in the urine, increase thirst/urination, increased shedding, hives and rashes, lethargy, refusal to eat, anemia, vomiting, and as I mentioned, death. I switched to a brand that does not contain menadione and all problems immediately cleared up.
The problem seems to be that owners and veterinarians alike are not making the food connection since the effects of menadione can be different in different dogs and over different periods of time. I equate it to a person who has been able to take penicillin their whole life then suddenly develops a problem with it. Or how one person may have a severe allergy to bee stings that could even cause death, where the next person may only develop a slight swelling and discomfort. Either way, it is simply not worth the risk to the ones that we love and are supposed to protect.
If you are feeding a commercial dog food, please check the ingredients. If Menadione, Vit. K Activity, or Vit. K Supplement, as it is sometimes hidden as, is on the list of ingredients, I would recommend that you switch to a brand that does not contain this potentially harmful ingredient.
I am an advocate for raw food diets for reasons such as this, however, there are many good brands of dog food on the market today that do not contain Menadione such as Canidae, Innova Evo, Wellness, and more.
Dr. Ian Billinghurst has several books on the BARF diet if you are interested in finding out how to feed raw foods.