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Renal Failure Associated with Tainted Pet Food

Brown, C. A., K. S. Jeong, et al. (2007). “Outbreaks of renal failure associated with melamine and cyanuric acid in dogs and cats in 2004 and 2007.” J Vet Diagn Invest 19(5): 525-31.

Contaminated pet food caused the death or illness of an unknown number of cats and dogs, most recently in 2007. Initial reports of the cause were confusing and contradictory, but over time, the toxicity was traced to food adulterated with melamine and cyanuric acid. This study from the University of Georgia evaluated histopathologic, toxicologic, and clinicopathologic changes in 16 animals (6 dogs and 10 cats) affected in outbreaks of pet food-associated renal failure in 2004 and 2007. All affected animals had evidence of uremia with anorexia, vomiting, lethargy, polyuria, azotemia and hyperphosphatemia. All animals either died or were euthanized due to severe renal failure. Lesions were found in the distal tubules of the kidneys of all animals at necropsy. Unique crystals were found in the distal tubules or collecting ducts of the kidneys in all animals. Renal tissue from all animals contained melamine and cyanuric acid. This study provides further evidence that melamine and cyanuric acid causes renal failure in cats and dogs.
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Related articles:
Puschner, B., R. H. Poppenga, et al. (2007). “Assessment of melamine and cyanuric acid toxicity in cats.” J Vet Diagn Invest 19(6): 616-24.
>> PubMed abstract