Pet Food recalls

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 6, 2007

Local retailers, veterinarians, pet owners react

By Deborah Goodwin

The Selma Times-Journal

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Pet owners have flooded veterinary offices with calls and retail stores have been pulling products from their shelves in the wake of pet food recalls.

On March 20, Menu Foods Income Fund of Canada recalled nearly 100 brands of &8220;cuts and gravy&8221; style pet foods, including popular labels distributed by plants in New Jersey and Kansas and sold by Wal-mart and Winn-Dixie stores. On Thursday, a recall of dog biscuits made by Sunshine Mills Inc. of Red Bay, Ala., had retailers pulling even more products off the shelves.

According to reports, the contaminate melamine has been detected in wheat gluten, a protein source, which is used to thicken pet food gravy. Long-term ingestion of melamine can cause kidney failure.

According to Thomas, brochures pertaining to the recall are available in the pet food aisles.

The recall covers &8220;cuts and gravy&8221;-style products made between Nov. 8, 2006, and March 6, Menu Foods said.

Many local pet owners have expressed concern that their pets have ingested contaminated food and have turned to local veterinarians for answers.

As of Wednesday, Wood said no animals have tested positive for kidney failure &8220;that I’ve tested.&8221;

Although an animal cannot be diagnosed by looking at it, according to Wood, there are some telltale signs that something is wrong, such as vomiting, loss of appetite for two or more days and long-term weight loss.

Kidney failure detection requires a blood test. According to Wood, even if an animal has kidney damage, it does not mean the animal has kidney failure. Wood said in order for failure to occur, the animal would &8220; have to lose about 75 percent of the kidney’s ability.&8221;

If the animal’s test reveals damage, Wood suggests monitoring the kidneys over time.

Sunshine Mills said no dog illnesses or deaths have been reported in connection with the recalled biscuits, which contain one percent or less wheat gluten by weight.

According to reports, the wheat gluten imports are coming from China. Last week, the FDA blocked wheat gluten imports from Xuzhou Anying Biologic

Technology Development Co. in the eastern city of Xuzhou saying they contained melamine. Xuzhou Anying said it’s investigating the claims.

Menu Foods has posted a press release on its Web site,, along with an extensive list of recalled products and UPC codes.

Sunshine Mills said it would post a complete list of the recalled dog biscuits on its Web site,

The Associated Press contributed to this report.