Food Recall Question: What is the melamine and cyanuric acid interaction

Our question this week was:

Have you heard anything about melamine and cyanuric acid interaction causing the pet problems?


Hi – thanks for your email. Yes, I have heard about this. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association,

“Tests conducted on contaminated pet food and necropsies from affected animals have resulted in a new theory to explain how animals are being adversely affected by contaminated pet foods. A chemical reaction between melamine and cyanuric acid is suspected of forming crystals and blocking kidney function.

The investigation into contaminated pet food has focused on melamine contamination of ingredients imported from China, such as wheat gluten, rice protein concentrate and corn gluten (imported into South Africa). It is now believed that cyanuric acid, as well as melamine, has been found in urine samples from animals that died.

Analysis of the crystals in the kidneys of affected animals have revealed that they are approximately 70 percent cyanuric acid and 30 percent melamine, and are extremely insoluble. Furthermore, tests mixing melamine and cyanuric acid in samples of cat urine resulted in almost immediate formation of crystals that were identical to crystals found in the kidneys of affected animals.”

An article that might be helpful to you is on our is Pet Food Recall Update from Dr. Debra.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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