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Does the melamine in poisoned dog food cause liver problems?

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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Our question this week was:

I found this site when I was trying to get information about liver disorders in dogs. After eating contaminated food, one of my dogs developed a urinary problem and the other was diagnosed with liver cancer. She died three days after the diagnosis. The vet has assured me that the melamine poison only affects the kidneys. A medical doctor told me later that liver cancer doesn't progress that quickly. Jolie was a 10-year-old dog in great health. I just want to know that her death wasn't connected to the food she had eaten.

Joanne Lobeski Snyder - Shasta, California


Answer

Hi – thanks for your email Joanne. I'm very sorry to hear about Jolie. It is hard to loose a special friend. This pet food recall has many pet owners second-guessing if their pet was affected by the recall when they become sick for any reason. From all the data and information released to date, the effect of the recalled pet food was on the kidneys, not the liver.

As far as the liver cancer, pets are different than people. Liver cancer can progress slowly but dogs are very good at hiding their illness. Many times when they finally show us symptoms, it can be very late in the disease.

An article that might be helpful to you is Pet Food Recall Update.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra




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