Pet Connection has now received reports of over 1,000 pets presumed to have been killed by eating tainted food. Their latest post is here.
The AVMA has posted data collected by New York’s Animal Medical Center, which reviewed all blood chemistries performed at AMC between 17 and 20 March. Of the chemistries performed during this period (on animals seen for all reasons, not just because of recall-related concerns), 5 percent “have been determined to have food-related acute renal failure.” AMC also describes the symptoms they have been seeing:
All pets had at least one clinical sign of acute renal failure: 75% had anorexia, 50% had polyuria and polydipsia, 50% had vomiting and 50% lethargy. The course of the disease before presentation to AMC ranged from 1 to 60 days. Mean creatinine was 7 mg/dl with a range of 2.1-14.8 mg/dl. Mean BUN was 110 mg/dl with a range of 33-210 mg/dl. Three pets were diagnosed on an out-patient basis. Nine animals were hospitalized of which 3 (2 dogs, 1 cat) died or were euthanized despite treatment. Six were discharged from the hospital. Four of these were discharged with persistent azotemia. Our follow-up time is short and the long-term prognosis is unknown.
The information in this release should be of considerable use to veterinarians across the country.
NPR’s Talk of the Nation included a segment on Thursday that touched on the pet food recall. Host Neal Conan introduced the food recall as a “scare,” as if the situation was all under control. (He was called on it in the program’s blog.) Catmanager wasn’t too impressed with guest Steve Dale. When asked by a caller if anything was going to be done for owners who lost pets, he said yes and mentioned the Yahoo class action lawsuit group and then started talking about how polycystic kidney disease was a genetic disease and totally unrelated to acute kidney failure. Okay. What did that have to do with anything? Catmanager wishes NPR had asked a veterinarian to be on the show. Dale did make a good point about the dithering between Menu Foods and the FDA over who should be keeping the “official” database of complaints. Without naming any particular Web sites, Dale criticized those that had “sprung up” and were trying to collect information too. In his post on the NPR blog he writes that “Sadly, some of the information out there has been sensationalized.”
In a post warning that the news will get worse, the Pet Industry Weekly blog makes an excellent point regarding a story in the San Francisco Chronicle that said the FDA is not asking veterinarians to report suspected cases of recall-related deaths:
This is a mistake. In the lightly regulated industry of pet food manufacturing, official documentation of the toll of this pet disaster will help craft the regulations and legislation that will inevitably follow. The last pet disaster – hurricane Katrina – resulted in new federal and state laws incorporating pets into disaster planning.
Torontovet speculates on the possibility of aspergillus being the contaminant in the Menu Foods recall.
Here’s a video of a 36-year-old cat, or so the owner claims. Catmanager has his doubts, though.
The latest issue of Journal of Veterinary Medicine Series A (Vol. 54, Issue 3, April 2007) is now available online.
A new veterinary association is being founded to “to serve the discipline of aquatic veterinary medicine in enhancing aquatic animal health and welfare, public health, and seafood safety in support of the veterinary profession, aquatic animal industries and other stakeholders.” Veterinarians interested in becoming charter members of the Aquatic Veterinary Association are invited here.