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Tainted food may have hurt 39,000 pets


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Heba E. Husseyn
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« on: April 09, 2007, 10:39:46 pm »

By Andrew Bridges

WASHINGTON - Pet food contaminated with an industrial chemical may have sickened or killed 39,000 cats and dogs nationwide, based on an extrapolation from data released Monday by one of the nation's largest chains of veterinary hospitals.

Banfield, The Pet Hospital, said an analysis of its database, compiled from records collected by its more than 615 veterinary hospitals, suggests that three out of every 10,000 cats and dogs that ate the pet food contaminated with melamine developed kidney failure. There are an estimated 60 million dogs and 70 million cats in the United States, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

The hospital chain saw 1 million dogs and cats during the three months when the more than 100 brands of now-recalled contaminated pet food were sold. It saw 284 extra cases of kidney failure among cats during that period, or a roughly 30 percent increase, when compared with background rates.

"It has meaning, when you see a peak like that. We see so many pets here, and it coincided with the recall period," said veterinarian Hugh Lewis, who oversees the mining of Banfield's database to do clinical studies. The chain continues to share its data with the Food and Drug Administration.

FDA officials previously have said the database compiled by the huge veterinary practice would probably provide the most authoritative picture of the harm done by the tainted cat and dog food.

From its findings, Banfield officials calculated an incidence rate of .03 percent for pets, although there was no discernible uptick among dogs. That suggests the contamination was overwhelming toxic to cats, Lewis said. That is in line with what other experts have said previously.

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.

Measuring the tainted food's impact on animal health has proved an elusive goal. Previous estimates have ranged from the FDA's admittedly low tally of roughly 16 confirmed deaths to the more than 3,000 unconfirmed cases logged by one Web site.




Source :  Yahoo News, April 9' 07

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Zainab_M
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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2007, 02:03:56 am »

Ooh! what a cute puppy hart

This pet tainted food incident was appaling and scary. I don't know how such a thing could happen.  Those pet food ingredients imported from China should be banned permanently.  It must have been so shattering for those pet owners to lose their pets in such a way.  Many pets have died, and just as many are still sick.  Some are enduring such agony that they might have to be put down.  Really really sad.  A lot of pet owners are now giving home cooked food to their pets.
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