Pet Food Recall: Extreme concern

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Our question this week was:

Dear Dr. Debra,

I received your e-mail regarding Food causing Kidney Failure in Animals and have some questions that I would like to have answered and I am hoping you can assist me.

Our angel 'Sadie' died in January from ARF. She started getting sick in December but we didn't realize the severity of the illness until it was too late. I am sure that she had at least one of the listed brands of foods causing illness.

What are the manufacturers willing to do about this matter? We were terribly upset and confused about Sadie's death especially considering she was as happy and healthy as any other feline before the illness occurred.

This may sound like an outrageous question but can any legal action be taken given the circumstances? We live in Canada (Ottawa, Ontario) so I am not sure to what extend this recall effects but if it is an International matter do we have any legal standing?

Thank you for taking the time to read my concern.

Nicole Bellefeuille

Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. I'm very sorry to hear about your cat. I'm not a lawyer but my understanding is the following:

I think it will be very difficult to prove cause and effect in some circumstances. One frustration is some pets have gotten sick, were diagnosed with kidney failure and the cans were tossed out and owner have no idea if the food was a consideration. As far as if legal action can be taken…I really don't know. I have not heard anything about what manufacturers are willing to do.

As I mentioned, one problem will be cause and effect. Proving that the renal failure was from the food will be difficult. Law claims will not cover pet related "pain and suffering". Some laws will vary state by state. If you are really interested, contact a local lawyer in your area that might be able to put you in contact with another attorney that covers this area.

I'll try to get more information about this in the days to come so stay tuned to PetPlace.com for more information.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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