In 2007, three different pet foods were withdrawn from the market in four months. The scandal was extensively covered in all the media, but to get the last word on what happened, Health24 spoke to the professionals.
This image will tell you what's in dog food:
Image: Courtesy Die Burger.
China the culprit?
Early in March 2007 in the US, an "outbreak" of acute renal disease was seen in pets eating predominantly wet food containing wheat gluten sourced in China. Soon thereafter, pets fed food containing rice protein developed kidney failure – the rice protein was also sourced in China.
At this stage there is no simple treatment for renal disease caused by the melamine-containing crystals found in the bladder.
Pets that have been diagnosed with melamine-associated renal disease are treated with intravenous fluid infusions and diuretics in an attempt to flush the offending material out of the kidney.
This treatment is given over a few days during which the animals are hospitalised.
It is not known at this stage if there will be lasting damage in the kidneys of those pets that recover from this illness.