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Advice to Pet Owners after Nationwide Food Recall

By: Courtesy of AVMA

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The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), in response to a national pet food recall, offers the following information and advice to concerned pet owners:

Menu Foods, Inc., a Canadian private-label pet food manufacturer based in Streetsville, Ontario, has issued a recall on all its "cuts and gravy" style dog and cat food products produced at its facility in Emporia, Kansas, between December 3, 2006, and March 6, 2007. This recall includes 90 brands across the entire manufacturing spectrum. A complete list of affected foods including date and product information codes is available through the AVMA Web site at: http://www.avma.org/aa/menufoodsrecall/070318.asp

If you have any of the products identified on these lists, immediately stop feeding them to your pet.

If you suspect that your pet has been affected by a recalled food, do the following three steps to help your veterinarian with your pet's diagnosis:

  • Retain food samples for analysis.
  • Document product name, type of product and manufacturing information.
    - Retain all packaging.
    - Identify date codes or production lot numbers.
    - Retain purchase receipts.

  • Document product consumption.
    - Dates products or products were fed.
    - Consumption and palatability history.
    - Time of onset of clinical signs.
    - Detailed dietary history (ie, all products fed and feeding methods).

    Although the exact cause is not currently known, animals that have become ill after consuming these products have shown signs of acute kidney failure.

    Dr. Sandra Willis, DVM, a board certified diplomate and communications chair with the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) and member of the AVMA Council on Communications, advises that signs of kidney failure include loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, changes in water consumption and also changes in urination. Anybody who has a pet that exhibits these signs should take the animal to a veterinarian.

    "Owners shouldn't panic, because there can be a wide variety of reasons a pet might exhibit these symptoms," Dr. Willis explained. "But it's always prudent that, when a pet is exhibiting any signs of illness, the pet owner should contact their veterinarian immediately."

    A veterinarian may call for a urinalysis and blood work, and might also perform additional tests, such as an x-ray or ultrasound, to rule out other possible problems such as bladder and kidney stones. If it has been determined that the cat or dog has been affected by consumption of the recalled pet food, a veterinarian could decided to treat the illness with medications and/or intravenous fluids.

    "If the kidney disease is severe, such as the animal is not urinating at all, the veterinarian can refer or consult with a specialist from the ACVIM for more specialized care," Dr. Willis explained.

    Owners of pets affected by the recalled pet foods who wish to report the incident should contact the FDA, by going to the FDA Web site at http://www.fda.gov/opacom/backgrounders/complain.html

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