First, Tanya’s Feline CRF Information Centre (which is not a blog but a Web site devoted to providing information on feline chronic renal failure) has created an FAQ that among other things explains the differences between CRF and acute renal failure, which is the illness associated with the recalled foods. (Thanks to Tanya for sharing this link.)
Itchmo!seattle has started an online petition. Catmanager isn’t willing to take a position on this just yet, but I do strongly agree with the idea that “all pet foods include the name of the manufacturer, not just the brand under which it is sold.”
Animal shelters are being hit hard by the food recall notes the Pet Connection Blog: “The Colorado Humane Society, for instance, had to throw away 98 percent of its wet cat and dog food.”
Howl911 has information about a new class action lawsuit filed by a Wisconsin law firm.
An NYU marketing professor offers his thoughts on the “illusion of security” that the food recall has “shattered for buyers of expensive pet-foods.”
Radio host Tracie Hotchner (Cat Chat and Dog Talk) writes an interminable explanation of why she’s only now writing about the recall. Seems she didn’t really believe it:
As of Monday morning March 19th, the big picture was still very sketchy. Phil Padrid is a doctor closely connected to the national veterinary community, and despite press reports of 10 – even 20 – animals having died, Dr. Padrid said that to his knowledge only two young cats were confirmed to have died from eating the affected food. No dogs at all had been killed – there were reports of dead dogs, but no confirmation. As the day wore on, this apparently bona fide fact was never reported – nor has it ever been corroborated.
This confirmed my own suspicions about the vague nature of the press reports. If there were 20 deaths, where were these dead animals? If there were 10 deaths, where were their grieving and outraged owners and family members? Where were the photos of these pets?
Catmanager agrees that a cautious approach is necessary when assessing breaking news, but so much of this post just seems absurd (the FDA reported 14 deaths in this press release issued on Saturday; at one point Hotchner says that wheat gluten is only “technically” a source of protein) that it undermines Hotchner’s valid point that we do need to refrain from making snap judgments, vilifying the companies involved (though I stand by my earlier criticisms), and generally panicking.
The PetsitUSA.com Blog has a list of “safe” foods, by which they mean companies that have issued statements claiming not to be affected by the recall. Catmanager urges anyone considering switching to a new food to do some research and consult with a veterinarian if necessary. My wife’s veterinary practice recommends against feeding cats a number of the foods on the list. If you’re considering switching, do your research, use some common sense (have you ever seen a house cat catch a tuna? a cow? eat an ear of corn?), and consult with a veterinarian who has some knowledge of animal nutrition (surprisingly, not all vet schools cover small animal nutrition in depth).
For those wondering if genetically modified crops might be responsible for whatever is wrong with the wheat germ that is suspected of being the source of the recall, the Mostly Dogs blog offers some thoughts. (Basically, it’s unlikely.)
Several blogs (such as this one) are implying that Royal Canin is somehow implicated in the current recall because of the class action lawsuit filed against them in Canada today. For the record: The lawsuit is over a problem that occurred last summer. Royal Canin fixed the problem, and according to their Web site none of their foods are implicated in the current recall. Royal Canin foods are safe as far as we know.
An English vet asks “Who’s Guilty,” but she’s not writing about Menu Foods. Rather she’s addressing the issue of pet obesity. On her list: owners, food bowl manufacturers (hmm, that one seems like a stretch to catmanager; my cats don’t even have a food bowl), and pet food companies
that write rubbish on the side of their packs like Whiskers ”cats will regulate what they eat and can be offered as much food as they can consume.”
She gets no argument here. My wife (the vet in the family) argues that even the prescription weight loss diets overstate the amount of food cats and dogs need.