15 June 2010

The pet food debacle

In 2007, three different pet foods were withdrawn from the market in four months - Health24 spoke to the professionals to get the last word on what happened.

In 2007, three different pet foods were withdrawn from the market in four months.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.


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Lifestyle »

E-cigarettes: Here are five things to know

E-cigarettes have become hugely popular in the past decade, but a rash of vaping-linked deaths and illnesses in the US is feeding caution about a product that's already banned in some places.

Allergy »

Ditch the itch: Researchers find new drug to fight hives

A new drug works by targeting an immune system antibody called immunoglobulin E, which is responsible for the allergic reaction that causes hives.