(March 26, 2007) -- A non-governmental group of veterinarians across the coutnry indicates its members have reported over 470 cases of kidney failure suspected linked to now-recalled lots of pet food made by Canada-based Menu Foods Income Fund and sold by various pet food companies in the U.S.
Dr. Paul Pion, president and co-founder of the Veterinary Information Network, a Davis, CA-based membership organization of veterinarians nationally, told LBReport.com that reports received from the group's roughly 18,000 practicing vet members indicate 471 cases of acute kidney failure to date with suspected links to the recalled pet foods.
From nearly 300 reported outcomes, there were about 100 deaths (mostly cats). Over 50 animals survived...and over 100 are still being treated. Dr. Pion indicated that a firm mortality rate shouldn't be inferred at this point since deaths vs. illnesses may change as time goes on and additional data are received.
Menu Foods, which first announced a "voluntary" recall of certain of its "cuts and gravy" pouch style pet foods March 16, lists brands and products involved at www.menufoods.com/recall.
The Veterinary Information Network's numbers were first reported at early evening Monday March 26 by latimes.com and independently followed-up by LBReport.com.
Dr. Pion told LBReport.com that he expects to post the group's membership-reported numbers sometime Tuesday March 27 on a separate website accessible to non-group members at www.veterinarypartner.com.
The number of pet illness and deaths reported by members of the veterinarian group significantly exceeds the roughly dozen illnesses and deaths "officially" reported by the FDA. The higher numbers confirmed the views of LB resident Lisa Romero, whose two Welsh corgis, Luc and Jake, died March 11...five days before Menu Foods announced its then-voluntary recall.
Ms. Romero has repeatedly expressed dismay over "official" government figures claiming a small number of pet illnesses and deaths nationally...and news that more animals might be affected left her with mixed feelings.
"I'm glad information is coming out although I'm very sad for the animals and their families. It's frightening to think that it's taken so long for information to come out," Ms. Romero said.
On March 23, L.A. County's Dept. of Health told LBReport.com that it had confirmed 25 cases of the pet food suspected kidney failure in 16 dogs, 9 cats...from which five cats and five dogs had died...and indicated that it expected those numbers would eventually grow larger.
As also previously reported by LBReport.com, at least three L.A. County pet deaths -- one cat and two dogs -- touched families in Long Beach.
Sparky (right), an 11 year-old cat, died March 18.
Photo source: Lancaster family
Luc and Jake, two Corgis, died March 11.
Photo source: Romero family
New York State's Dept. of Agriculture announced on March 23 that it had identified Aminopterin, is a rodenticide (rat killer) not authorized for use in the U.S. or Canada...which is separately listed on the web site of the Nat'l Cancer Institute as among a group of anti-cancer chemotherapy drugs.
Further as it develops.