Thursday, March 22, 2007

Gauging My Vet's Advice

Ever since I heard the news about the product recall on Friday night, I have been worried that Arthur and Beowulf will become ill. As I mentioned, I fed them Nutro Natural Choice packet food on a regular basis.

That last time they ate Nutro was last Thursday or Wednesday. They have shown no signs of being ill in any way. However, if all Nutro was contaminated for months (perhaps as far back as December), then they were eating contaminated food for months.

My fiancee Liz called our vet on Tuesday and asked if we should take them in for tests. The vet told her not to bother bringing the boys in for a checkup unless they started to show symptoms. They seem fine. OTOH, do you think this food could have long-term negative effects?

Most sources I've read claim that if your pet is ill, he will become ill within a very short period of time after eating the contaminated food. But just now I read an article on ABCnews.com where a leading vet said something a little different.

According to ABC, veterinarian Cathy Langston, of New York's Animal Medical Center said "I'm worried that there are more deaths to come from chronic renal failure over the next several months. It's not over."

Is it "not over" because people with this contaminated food in their pantries will continue feeding it and unknowingly poisoning their pets or because people like me will get an unpleasant surprise several months from now?

I also consulted an online friend who is a vet and told me that I should go with my vet's advice. What do you all think? Am I reading too much into the ABC News quote?

7 comments:

brad said...

I think you should have their urine checked. Vets are now saying there could be chronic cases as well as acute. Better safe than sorry.

Riley & Tiki said...

We are taking our three to the vet tomorrow to be checked. They act fine, but Nutro was their main food. The 2 cats shared 2 pouches a day and the dog had 1 can. They all ate dry Nutro too. I dug several pouches and cans out of the trash with the bad dates. My Vincent died a year ago on 3/24/06 because of kidney failure. It was terrible (much worse than cancer) and I hope not to have this happen to the other three.

RTM

Radcliff, Allie, Luna & Ozzie said...

If you are concerned, it couldn't hurt to take the Arthur & Beowulf in for a kidney panel or even full on physical.

As far as that vet on ABC, she may well only have meant that there are many more cats and dogs out there that are sick and aren't going to make it. If she really does know of 200 sick animals, guessing there are five times that many across the country is reasonable. It also means 1000-1500 cats and dogs being poisoned by Menu Foods.

PS: I just saw this, if you really want something to obsess over.

Anonymous said...

I would strongly suggest getting your kids checked. A simple test of kidney function isn't too costly and the peace of mind is well worth it. The problem with kidney failure is that once the cats show signs, it may be too late to help them. With this recall, there are suggestions that they don't know the long term effects and that cats that seem fine now may have problems in the future. My two girls were eating Fancy Feast, which is not a recalled food, but because some foods from the company have been recalled, we had them checked them anyway. I am taking no chances with this. Luckily my girls are fine and our little boy, who was on a different food, is also fine.

Of course, I did switch everyone over to Wellness, which is something I am now reconsidering- considering that menu foods delayed releasing the information about the danger, I am not comfortable feeding my kids anything made by them. They have shown they are not trust worthy and care more about the dollar than our pets. I am considering making my own food at home-

Please, do get your cats checked. It is a simple blood test and you can even call around for the best price. I was quoted between $100 per cat and $30 per cat. Since it does not matter who takes the blood, I felt comfortable using the cheaper option (I normally do not phone shop for vet care- my cats have a regular vet who is costly but wonderful)

Janet Tobiassen DVM said...

I agree with anonymous -- a simple blood and urine test will yield a lot of information and a hopefully a huge piece of mind! Veterinary experts are now saying that while the initial focus was on acute kidney damage/failure, they are now expecting that there are animals that may experience subclinical chronic failure. Once signs are seen (weight loss, drinking and urinating frequently, etc.) is very difficult to reverse.

From the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine press release:
"It might in fact be prudent and proactive for veterinarians to consider examining pets and performing screening blood work even in asymptomatic pets that have consumed the recalled food to assure pet health."

Also:
Tainted pet food can injure over time Newsday

I truly hope the boys are just fine! It is good to have a baseline and a little piece of mind. :)

Thanks for all of the news and food facts presented in New Cat City. Have a great weekend.

Riley & Tiki said...

Our 3 tested out okay. I'm glad we had them tested. It wasn't too traumatic, and now we have peace of mind.

RTM

Avram said...

We made an appointment for Tuesday afternoon to get the boys checked. We'll see what happens.