Wednesday, April 04, 2007

More dog food recalls

(CBS/AP) For owner Elizabeth Krottinger, it’s been a difficult week: All five of her dogs have been sickened.
"I’ve just been one big stress ball," she told CBS News.
Menu Foods, a Canadian company based out side Toronto that produces pet food, said Saturday it was recalling dog food sold throughout North America under 50 brands and cat food sold under 40 brands including Iams, Nutro and Eukanuba. The food was distributed by major retailers such as WalMart, Kroger and Safeway.
An unknown number of cats and dogs had suffered kidney failure and about 10 died after eating the affected pet food, the company said.
Two other companies Nestle Purina PetCare Co. and Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc. said Saturday that as a precaution they were voluntarily recalling some products made by Menu Foods.
Many stores that sold the affected brands frantically pulled packages off shelves.
Silviene Grzybowski’s cat, Smokey, hadn’t been eating for days.
"The vet told us to buy her her favorite food, but I’m going to call the vet right now," Grzybowski said.
"Acute renal (kidney) failure is a serious disease, and if not caught quickly will be fatal, says CBS News The Early Show veterinarian Dr. Debbye Turner. "Watch out for a change in urination (usually less urine output), vomiting, diarrhea, depression, listlessness, loss of appetite.
"If you fed your pet one of these brands and you see any signs, take them to the veterinarian right away. You can treat acute renal failure, but it has to be caught early," Turner adds.
Ron Finegold of Boynton Beach, Fla., said he noticed about a week or so ago that his family’s three–year–old cat — who was regularly fed a variety of Iams cat food — had stopped eating and did not appear well. He quickly took the animal to the veterinarian, who determined she was in renal failure.
He said he heard about the recall on the radio Friday night. He checked his trash, and found out he had given the cat some of the affected food.
"That’s when I realized (the illness) had to be related," Finegold said. "She won’t be eating that stuff anymore."
A complete list of the recalled products along with product codes, descriptions and production dates was available from the Menu Foods Web site. The company also designated a phone number that pet owners can call for information (866) 8952708.
Menu Foods’ chief executive and president Paul Henderson told the Associated Press on Friday that the company was still trying to figure out what happened.
He said that the company had received an undisclosed number of owner complaints that dogs and cats were vomiting and suffering kidney failure after eating its products. He estimated that the recall would cost the company, which is mostly owned by the Menu Foods Income Fund, an estimated $26 million to $34 million.
The recall involves all the cuts and gravy wet–style dog and cat food produced at Menu’s Emporia, Kan., facility between Dec. 3, 2006, and March 6, 2007, reports Turner. "What makes this recall so scary is it involves so many brands: 50 dog foods and 40 cat foods." The company said it makes pet food for 17 of the top 20 North American retailers. It is also a contract manufacturer for the top–branded pet food companies, including Procter & Gamble Co.
Sarah Tuite, a company spokeswoman, has said the recalled products were made using wheat gluten purchased from a new supplier, which has since been dropped for another source. Wheat gluten is a source of protein.
Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman Julie Zawisza said it is still too early to determine what could have affected the food. Zawisza added that even if wheat gluten is the source "it doesn’t necessarily mean the wheat gluten per se. It could be another substance associated with the wheat gluten."
The recall covers the company’s cuts and gravy style food, which consists of chunks of meat in gravy, sold in cans and small foil pouches from Dec. 3 to March 6.
"We think dry food is just fine, it’s safe. If your pet is used to a wet food, you can soak it in chicken broth and they should eat it," advises Turner.
In Omaha, Neb., Susan Balvanz said she sometimes feeds her five cats packets of sliced meat and gravy sold by Nutro Products, one of the brands affected.
"I’ve done so much research on pet food. It didn’t surprise me but it scared me all the same," said Balvanz.
She said her nine–year–old cat, Boots, was especially fond of the food but seemed to have lost its appetite in the last few days.
At the Missouri Valley Veterinary Clinic in Bismarck, N.D., veterinarian Jacob Carlson has been referring worried pet owners to the Menu Foods Web site.
"We’ve had a lot of calls," Carlson said, although none of his patients were sick.
Recalled brandsCat Food
Americas Choice, Preferred Pets
Authority
Best Choice
Companion
Compliments
Demoulas Market Basket
Eukanuba
Fine Feline Cat
Food Lion
Foodtown
Giant Companion
Hannaford
Hill Country Fare
Hy–Vee
Iams
Laura Lynn
Li’l Red
Loving Meals
Meijer’s Main Choice
Nutriplan
Nutro Max Gourmet Classics
Nutro Natural Choice
Paws
Pet Pride
Presidents Choice
Price Chopper
Priority
Save–A–Lot
Schnucks
Science Diet Feline Savory Cuts Cans
Sophistacat
Special Kitty Canada
Special Kitty US
Springfield Prize
Sprout
Total Pet
Wegmans
Western Family
White Rose
Winn Dixie
Dog Food
Americas Choice, Preferred Pets
Authority
Award
Best Choice
Big Bet
Big Red
Bloom
Bruiser
Cadillac
Companion
Demoulas Market Basket
Eukanuba
Food Lion
Giant Companion
Great Choice
Hannaford
Hill Country Fare
Hy–Vee
Iams
Laura Lynn
Loving Meals
Meijers Main Choice
Mighty Dog Pouch
Mixables
Nutriplan
Nutro Max
Nutro Natural Choice
Nutro Ultra
Nutro
Ol’Roy Canada
Ol’Roy US
Paws
Pet Essentials
Pet Pride – Good n Meaty
Presidents Choice
Price Chopper
Priority
Publix
Roche Bros
Save–A–Lot
Schnucks
Shep Dog
Springsfield Prize
Sprout
Stater Bros
Total Pet
Western Family
White Rose
Winn Dixie
Your Pet

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