Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pet Food Politics

Marion Nestle has written what sounds like a fascinating book about last year's pet food contamination. The book, Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine, reveals how the crisis that caused so much illness in pets should be a warning siren for the global food supply. The complex interconnections of our food supply means that we are in no way isolated, and the problems that seemed like just a cat and dog issue could easily effect us. In fact, Nestle mentions that some of the tainted pet food from last year did make its way into the human food supply, being fed to farm animals destined for human consumption.

This could be the 21st Century's version of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. Even now we read stories about baby formula contaminated with the same substance, melamine, tainting that product. Here at the clinic, one of our suppliers has discontinued a diet based on rabbit because the only consistent supplier with enough quantities is China, and they cannot verify the quality of the meat. We'll be reading it here at the clinic, just to find out more about how globalization changes everything, even your cat.

You can hear Marion Nestle interviewed on the radio program Here and Now at this link:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pet Food Recall

Mars Petcare has issued a recall for its brands listed below.

Paws & Claws
Natural Cat Food
Members Mark
Red Flannel
Country Acres
Special Kitty
Buju & Ziggie
Pet Pride
PMI Nutrition
Doggy Bag

The food is being voluntarily recalled for possible contamination with salmonella. Not all products are being recalled. If you have any food, please go to the Mars Petcare website:
There you will find information about lot numbers and specific products that are covered.

From the looks of things, it appears to be a precautionary measure, with the company saying that as of now, there has been no direct link to any illness. Everyone's just trying to be on the safe side.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Animals can be carriers with no visible symptoms and can potentially infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact us or another veterinarian.