The American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD) has released the results of their “AAVLD survey of pet food-induced nephrotoxicity in North America, April to June 2007″.
The AAVLD survey found 347 cases that met diagnostic criteria for “pet food-induced nephrotoxicity” from April 5-June 6. There were 235 cats and 112 dogs, with 61 percent of the cats and 74 percent of the dogs having died.
Dr. Wilson Rumbeiha, associate professor at the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health, organized the results of the AAVLD survey. He said cats and small-medium sized dogs were more affected because of their small sizes.
Rumbeiha stated that if both melamine and cyanuric acid are present in pet food, they can combine to form crystals in animal bodies. He added that the prevailing theory for how cyanuric acid, ammelide, and ammeline tainted pet food is that they were co-contaminants. Incomplete reactions during melamine production could lead to the formation of these co-contaminants.
In the AAVLD survey, the cases of four cats and one dog were further studied to form a preliminary case definition. All five animals had eaten food that was recalled because of melamine contamination. The kidney or urine tests from each animal were positive for the presence of one or more of the four contaminants. The animals had high concentrations of BUN and creatinine.
The most common finding was yellow-brown crystals in the renal distal tubules and collecting ducts. Signs of chronic interstitial nephritis were also common.
Recent studies from other laboratories on both cats and pigs suggest that the combination of melamine and cyanuric acid are more toxic and fatal than either is individually.