Cat Kidney Failure Cases Rise 30 Percent

The increase coincides with the tainted pet food recall, a pet hospital chain says.

The Banfield veterinary hospital chain says it has seen a 30 percent increase in kidney failure in cats during the three months that contaminated pet food manufactured by Menu Foods has been on the market.

Those results were reported by Banfield April 9, based upon an analysis of records collected from more than 615 of the chain’s veterinary clinics.

Banfield says its clinics saw about one million dogs and cats during the three months when the more than 100 brands of now-recalled contaminated pet foods were sold. The hospital saw 284 extra cases of kidney failure in cats during that period, or roughly a 30 percent increase.

It was not clear, however, whether all — or any — of the cats ate the contaminated food.

In the three weeks since the first pet food was recalled, Banfield said, its vets examined 1,605 cats and dogs reported to have eaten the recalled food and that six of those animals — five cats and one dog — have died.

Banfield’s analysis suggests that out of every 10,000 cats and dogs seen in Banfield clinics, three developed kidney failure during the time when the contaminated pet foods were on the market. The pet foods were contaminated with melamine, a chemical used to make plastic kitchenware, countertops, fertilizers and flame retardants.

On March 16, Toronto-based Menu Foods recalled 60 million cans and pouches of its “cuts and gravy” style foods that were manufactured between Nov. 8, 2006 and March 6, 2007 and sold under 95 different brand names.

At least six pet food companies have recalled products made with imported Chinese wheat gluten tainted with the chemical. The recall involved about 1 percent of the overall U.S. pet food supply.

For more CatChannel articles on the pet food recall, click here.

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