The attached press release was sent out by the Department of Public Health this afternoon. The number of reports continues to climb. We now are investigating 25 cases of dogs or cats developing renal failure recently, with 12 being confirmed to have eaten pet food lots that were in the recall. Four dogs and 2 cats were reported to have died or had to be euthanized due to the severity of their illness.
Please continue to report suspected local cases to Los Angeles County Veterinary Public Health by faxing completed Animal Disease/Death Report forms to fax# 562-401-7088 or calling our office at 562-401-7088. Veterinarians, please let us know if it is ok to contact the animal owners to gather more information and whether we can provide your information and/or the owners information to the FDA.
Additional updates will be sent out as our investigation progresses. Thank you for assistance in this situation.
Karen Ehnert, DVM, MPVM
County of Los Angeles
Veterinary Public Health and Rabies Control
For Immediate Release:
March 21, 2007
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reports at least 9 cases of cats and dogs with kidney failure after eating recalled product. Pet owners should check to see if they use any of the Menu Food labels
LOS ANGELES – In response to a local health alert sent by Veterinary Public Health to area veterinarians, public health officials have confirmed at least 9 cases of kidney failure among both dogs and cats. Officials also expect the number of animals affected to increase.
In light of this fact and the voluntary recall of “cuts and gravy” style dog and cat food, by the pet foods manufacturer, Menu Foods, health officials are advising pet owners to discontinue use of any food product manufactured by Menu Foods and to contact their veterinarian immediately if their pet becomes sick after eating an affected product.
“Our Environmental Health Department conducted a telephone survey of 219 area pet stores and most of the affected products have been removed from store shelves in all but two stores. However, we are still concerned that the products are on the shelves in the larger retail and grocer chains in which pet food may only be a small portion of their inventory,” said Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, director of public health and health officer.
Pet owners can visit http://www.menufoods.com/recall or call 1-866-985-2708 for a complete list of dog and cat food affected. No dry food is at risk. Animals that may become sick from eating an affected Menu Foods product may experience symptoms of kidney failure. These symptoms include poor appetite, tiredness and increased water consumption, and urination. Symptoms progressed to anorexia, vomiting, and decreased or absent urination. If a pet is experiencing any of these symptoms, their pet owner should immediately take them to their veterinarian. “Five of the nine animals reported to LA County have died or had to be euthanized. We will continue to investigate other cases that are reported to us to determine whether an affected Menu Foods product caused an animal’s sickness or death,” said Fielding.
A local health alert was sent out to area veterinarians to raise awareness of the situation and to encourage reporting of sick or dead animals to the health department. Veterinary Public Health will continue to track local cases and investigate causes of sickness or death. Pet owners can also report a suspected case to Veterinary Public Health directly by either filling a disease report online http://lapublichealth.org/vet/disintro.htm or by calling (562) 401-7088.
The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, DPH overseas environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Public Health comprises more than 4,000 employees and an annual budget exceeding $700 million.
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