If you watch the news recently, you've seen the epidemic health crisis plaguing this nation's cats and dogs in the early part of 2007: poisoned petfood that's making pets ill.
Shortly after eating the tainted food, the animals have started suffering. These pets are having serious problems, including vomiting, lethargy, kidney failure and death for some animals. Though few animals have died (a couple dozen) the issue has affected many dog and cat lovers.
At first, people believed that the problem was a substance in rat poison in the food supply, namely the chemical aminopterin. Aminopterin is used for chemotherapy. While New York officials stated this, the FDA never confirmed the matter.
Currently, the general consensus is that a food distributor's product included toxins. The dangerous chemical in the wheat gluten, melamine, is used in pesticides, as well as for plastics.
Wheat gluten is the protein part of starches like those found in flour. It resembles gelatin, and is good for food in that it adapts to the flavor and texture of the food it's in. It's used to add volume to products, and may imitate meat by taking on the texture and flavor as well. It can also add elasticity and chewiness to products, as well as act as a binder, filler, and thickener.
Melamine has been used for plastics for years, and is also a pesticide in Asia, which may explain how it made its way into the wheat gluten originally.
So far, both cats and dogs are affected by the tainted food. However, more cats are having life-threatening issues than dogs. Theories for this include that cats tend to eat more for their weight than dogs, that cats require more protein than dogs in their diet (which means more gluten eaten), and that cats are probably more sensitive to the chemical causing the illness.
Although the product recall has affected some dry pet food, most of the items involved in the recall has involved wet varieties of pet food.
All together, the recall has involved about 100 brands or more of wet dog or cat food, and a manufacturer has recalculated approximately sixty million items of food, totaling millions of dollars in losses.
If you note a problem with your pet, it is very important to get prompt attention. The kidney damage caused by the poison is irreversible, and so immediate treatment is required to halt any damage.
So for their protection, remember to monitor your own pets. Pay attention to any change in energy or attitude, as well as water consumption and eating. Symptoms such as ignoring food, lethargy, ignoring water (or drinking more water), or infrequent urination are items to look into immediately.
Source by Dr.