Menu Foods Recall (updated 4/12/07)
We are sure that by now you are all aware of the huge food recall in March. Here are the facts as of this time. The recall involved certain lots of “cuts and gravy” style foods manufactured under a variety of brand names. A complete list is available from www.menufoods.com/recall. An extensive screening of the foods has turned up a couple of toxins in the wheat gluten. The first one discovered was called aminopterin. This toxin is used as a rat poison in China. It is not allowed to be used for that purpose in the United States. At one time it was a chemotherapeutic agent in the US, and although it is not commonly used anymore, it is used in some research situations. The most recent toxin to be implicated is called melamine which is a chemical used in the production of plastics, glue and other products. At this time, no one is sure how these toxins got into the food and we are not even sure exactly which toxin is the culprit. But both of these toxins can cause kidney failure and cats seem to be more severely affected.
The signs of kidney failure are vomiting, loss of appetite, excessive drinking and urinating and weight loss. A blood test can determine if your pet has kidney problems. There are many causes of kidney problems in animals, so if your pet is showing these signs, we would want to do an exam, bloodwork and a urinalysis right away. If your pet did eat any of the recalled food, please let us know. If you have any concerns, these tests will let you know for sure if your pet has kidney problems. If so, we will start treatment immediately. There is not an antidote for the toxins, so the treatment involves treating for kidney failure. This includes IV fluids and medications to control nausea and vomiting. We also manage kidney disease by putting affected pets on a diet called k/d which helps to support kidney function.
There is one Hill’s prescription diet that is involved in this recall- m/d dry, which is a food used in diabetic cats. If have purchased this food from us, please return it and we will give you credit towards another food for diabetics.
Because of the recall, we realize that some of you may be leery of all pet foods in general. There is no evidence at this time that any other foods were affected. Some people have also looked into cooking homemade diets for their pets. Dogs and especially cats have some very specific dietary requirements that must be met, so if you have considered making your own food, please discuss it with your veterinarian.
If you have any questions about the food recall or your pet’s diet in general, please feel free to contact us.