Pet Food Recall May Have Local Ties

By: Jummy Olabanji Email
By: Jummy Olabanji Email

March 19, 2007

A nation-wide recall of over 60 million cans of animal food recall has pet owners double checking their cupboards.

It hasn't been proven for sure yet, but we do know of at least one cat in our area who ate pet food that was on this list.

A Charlottesville family got a new kitten named Pumpkin back in October and she was recently put to sleep due to irreparable kidney damage.

“We were feeding her the packaged wet food, she really liked it, she would eat three or four packages a day,” said R. Lee Richards, Pumpkins owner.

But only a few months after the family brought pumpkin home, they noticed a difference in her behavior.

“In February, just all of a sudden she began to sleep all the time, vomit a lot, and drink a lot of water,” said Richards.

Richard’s Veterinarian, Dr. Charles Wood said, “A dog or cat in kidney failure will typically be drinking excessive amount of water.”

Kidney failure was the diagnosis for the majority of animals who are linked to deaths from the recalled pet food and kidney failure was also the reason that the Richard’s cat Pumpkin was put to sleep.

“When I noticed the articles in the paper this weekend, out of the list of product recalls there was one that was her favorite,” said Richards.

Dr. Wood was Pumpkin’s vet and says other than drinking a lot of water, there are other signs to be on the look out for.

Wood said, “As it they get more and more advanced into kidney failure, then they will stop eating, they'll have vomiting, and become depressed.”

Another local Veterinarian, Dr. John Andersen, said “If they've had a toxin that has caused kidney failure and we can intervene with some therapy early on, a lot of those animals can be brought back to normal or pretty close to normal, it's the animals whose kidneys have really been so injured that they are just totally shutting down a lot of times those animals we aren't able to save.”

Richards said, “If we can get the word out to people, so that they can at least know what to look for, maybe if it should happen and you catch it soon enough the kidneys are not going to be damaged.”

Vets said that a good method to use is one ounce per pound per day when it comes to water intake.

So, if your cat or dog is drinking more than that, it might be a good idea to call your vet and set up blood and urine tests, just to be safe.

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