Pentobarbital is most commonly used as a sedative, anesthetic or to euthanize animals, it said.
"Pets that eat pet food containing pentobarbital can experience drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, nausea, nystagmus (eyes moving back and forth in a jerky manner) and inability to stand. Consuming high levels of pentobarbital can cause coma and death," it said.
The FDA said its preliminary evaluation of the testing results of Gravy Train samples indicated the low levels found were unlikely to pose a health risk to pets.
"However, any detection of pentobarbital in pet food is a violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act—simply put, pentobarbital should not be in pet food," it said.
The J.M. Smucker Company said it had initiated a voluntary recall of specific shipments of Gravy Train, Kibbles 'N Bits, Ol' Roy and Skippy canned dog food after pentobarbital was found.
"The Company has identified the root cause to be a single supplier and a single, minor ingredient, used at one manufacturing facility," it said in a statement.
It said it took the issue "very seriously" and was "extremely disappointed" at the contamination.
"Above all, we are a company that loves pets and understand the responsibility we have in providing high quality food for the pets our consumers love."
Customers who purchased the product could call with any concerns or for a refund or replacement product, the company said.
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