I wanted to give you another update about the
recent pet food recall. I know many of you are scared. And there
is tons of information out there and some of it is confusing to
interpret. I've spent a lot of time on the phone trying to get you
the latest information and want to share an overview of the
information with you now.

As you know, a couple weeks ago there was a dog and cat food recall
of 60 million containers packaged under 95 brands of food. Two
additional brands - Alpo and Hills were added to the list last
The Hills recall was for the first dry food of the recall - a
prescription diet for cats called m/d.

The preliminary reports indicated that the affected foods caused
over 16 deaths and may have caused illness in hundreds of others.
Last week, the Agriculture Commissioner of New York State Patrick
Hooker released information that Aminopterin, a form of rat poison,
was found in some cat foods. Since then, it is believed that
Aminopterin did not contribute to the deaths.

On Friday, the FDA announced that melamine, a chemical used as a
fertilizer and in the production of plastics, was found in tested
samples of recalled pet food from Menu Foods. The substance was
also identified in urine and tissue samples taken from sickened
cats and from the kidney of one cat that had eaten the recalled
food. According to the FDA, "Melamine is primarily used in Asia as
a fertilizer but is not approved for that use in the United States.
It is used in plastic kitchenware in this country."

As with the Aminopterin, it is not possible to test pets for
melamine at this time. No one seems to know as to how much or if
any other compounds were found. They also are not certain if
melamine is linked to the illness in deaths of the pets eating the
recalled foods. As you can tell, there are many unanswered
questions. Reports are continuously being updated and there is
still a lot that we don't know.

They do know that the compound involved is causing kidney failure
and it seems to affect cats worse than dogs. The most common signs
of kidney failure are: vomiting, not eating, drinking more,
urinating more and/or lethargy. If your pet is eating or was eating
one of the recalled foods and is experiencing any symptoms, please
call your veterinarian immediately. We recommend testing and
treating all affected pets! If caught early, kidney failure can be
treated successfully in some pets.

For more information read about:

Kidney Failure in Dogs:

Kidney Failure in Cats:

The food recall covers several different foods - primarily those
with gravy components - with the dates of December 3rd - March 6th.
The recall does not affect all varieties of the different food -
but is now thought to affected both canned and dry formulas.

If you suspect your pet has been affected by the food - please read
these steps to help your veterinarian with your pet's diagnosis:

Advice to Pet Food Owner After National Recall:

This article gives recommendations and resources for veterinarians.
If your pet has been affected, please print both articles and take
them with you when you see your vet.

Here is also an update for veterinarians:

Pet Food Recall Updated Information for Veterinarians:

For information or an updated list, call 1-866-895-2708.

I sincerely hope that your pets are not affected.