Tuesday, December 4, 2007

300 Pets May Have Died From Contaminated Pet Food Due To Lethal Combination Of Contaminants

A survey, commissioned by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians and designed and implemented by Michigan State University toxicologists, has found that more than 300 dogs and cats may have died earlier this year as a result of eating contaminated pet food.

In addition, the survey also determined that the cause of death may have been related to two food contaminants which, separately, are relatively harmless, but together can be deadly.

On March 30, the Food and Drug Administration announced that the pet food in question had been contaminated with a substance called melamine. It was later determined that other contaminants – cyanuric acid, ammelide and ammeline – were also in the food. However, the focus was placed on melamine and cyanuric acid.

“Separately, those two compounds are pretty harmless,” said Wilson Rumbeiha, an associate professor in MSU’s Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. “But when combined, they form crystals which can block the kidneys.

“And, unfortunately, these crystals don’t dissolve easily. They go away slowly, if at all, so there is the potential for chronic toxicity.”

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