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Contaminated Cat Food

Cianciolo, R. E., K. Bischoff, et al. (2008). “Clinicopathologic, histologic, and toxicologic findings in 70 cats inadvertently exposed to pet food contaminated with melamine and cyanuric acid.” J Amer Vet Med Assoc 233(5): 729-737.

In early 2007, reports of renal failure in cats and dogs fed a variety of commercial pet foods led to an investigation that revealed melamine and cyanuric acid both in the suspect foods and in the imported wheat gluten used in the manufacture of those foods. The discovery led to the largest cat and dog food recall in US history. This case series represents 70 cats from a single cattery inadvertently fed contaminated food. Clinical signs were identified in 43 cats and included inappetence, vomiting, polyuria, polydipsia, and lethargy. Azotemia was found in 38/68 cats tested 7-11 days after consumption of the contaminated food. One cat died and 13 were euthanized. Histologic examination of kidney samples from 13 cats revealed intratubular crystalluria, tubular necrosis with regeneration, and subcapsular perivascular inflammation. Toxicologic analyses revealed melamine and cyanuric acid in samples of cat food, vomitus, urine, and kidneys. Further evaluation of the survivors will allow assessment of any long-term effects associated with exposure to these 2 toxins.
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Related articles:
Dobson, R. L., S. Motlagh, et al. (2008). “Identification and Characterization of Toxicity of Contaminants in Pet Food Leading to an Outbreak of Renal Toxicity in Cats and Dogs.” Toxicol Sci.
>> PubMed Abstract