Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Pet Food Recall - Advice to Pet Owners

I'm posting parts of this Press Release by the AVMA because it includes some information about what type of treatment might be required, as well as information about being able to contact AVMA to find a specialist if necessary.

***Updated 3/23 5:04pm***

If you believe your pet has eaten any of the affected food, take them to a vet IMMEDIATELY. Don't post a question here, don't post a question on a message board, don't post a question on a Yahoo Group. Don't ask your friends, don't ask a pet food store. Take them to a vet IMMEDIATELY.

If they show the signs below but they've eaten different food, take them to a vet immediately.

AVMA Offers Advice to Pet Owners after Nationwide Food Recall

— The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), in response to a national pet food recall, offers the following information and advice to concerned pet owners:

If you suspect that your pet has been affected by a recalled food, do the following three steps to help your veterinarian with your pet's diagnosis:

  • Retain food samples for analysis.
    - Retain 4 cans or 1 kg of dry food, when possible.
    - Freeze when possible or store at room temperature in airtight bags.
  • Document product name, type of product and manufacturing information.
    - Retain all packaging.
    - Identify date codes or production lot numbers.
    - Retain purchase receipts.
  • Document product consumption.
    - Dates products or products were fed.
    - Consumption and palatability history.
    - Time of onset of clinical signs.
    - Detailed dietary history (ie, all products fed and feeding methods).

Although the exact cause is not currently known, animals that have become ill after consuming these products have shown signs of acute kidney failure.

Dr. Sandra Willis, DVM, a board certified diplomate and communications chair with the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) and member of the AVMA Council on Communications, advises that signs of kidney failure include loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, changes in water consumption and also changes in urination. Anybody who has a pet that exhibits these signs should take the animal to a veterinarian.

"Owners shouldn't panic, because there can be a wide variety of reasons a pet might exhibit these symptoms," Dr. Willis explained. "But it's always prudent that, when a pet is exhibiting any signs of illness, the pet owner should contact their veterinarian immediately."

A veterinarian may call for a urinalysis and blood work, and might also perform additional tests, such as an x-ray or ultrasound, to rule out other possible problems such as bladder and kidney stones. If it has been determined that the cat or dog has been affected by consumption of the recalled pet food, a veterinarian could decided to treat the illness with medications and/or intravenous fluids.

"If the kidney disease is severe, such as the animal is not urinating at all, the veterinarian can refer or consult with a specialist from the ACVIM for more specialized care," Dr. Willis explained.

Owners of pets affected by the recalled pet foods who wish to report the incident should contact the FDA, by going to the FDA Web site at http://www.fda.gov/opacom/backgrounders/complain.html to find the FDA complaint coordinator in their state.

Please monitor the AVMA Web site (www.avma.org) for the latest information on the recall. Consumers with questions for the manufacturer can contact Menu Foods, Inc. at 1-866-895-2708. A list of veterinary specialists can be found at the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine at www.acvim.org, or by calling 800-245-9081.

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