Study Shows Combo Of Melamine And Cyanuric Acid Leads To Acute Kidney Failure In Cats

A University of California, Davis pilot study found that the combination of melamine and cyanuric acid can be deadly when eaten by cats.

The study, led by veterinary toxicologist Birgit Puschner and colleagues at the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, found that cats that were fed pet food spiked with both melamine and cyanuric acid quickly experienced acute kidney failure. Cats that received food that only had melamine or only had cyanuric acid showed no ill symptoms.

Puschner and colleagues found that the cats that received both melamine and cyanuric acid developed fan-shaped crystals in their urinary tracts. Such crystals were not normally observed in healthy cats.

The three cats that were fed pet food with both melamine and cyanuric acid became sick within 12 hours, began to vomit, lose their appetite, and showed signs of kidney failure.

After the exposed cats died, it was found that their tissues had the same kind of kidney damage detected in animal necropsies during the pet food recalls.

“The results of this study demonstrate that a single oral exposure of cats to melamine and cyanuric acid can result in acute kidney failure,” said Puschner. “The study also provides information that will help veterinarians better diagnose the causes of kidney failure in cats. The data will make pet food ultimately safer because now we know what to look for.”

Scientists suspected that both melamine and cyanuric acid played a role in the illnesses of animals that ate the recalled pet food; however, there was no information on the toxicity of the two chemicals in combination.

The research team suggests that, in order to provide more extensive data for a risk assessment of contaminated food, further studies are needed to determine the lowest dose of melamine and cyanuric acid that can cause kidney failure in cats.

Source: UC Davis, Sacramento Bee

(Thanks menusux)

39 Responses to “Study Shows Combo Of Melamine And Cyanuric Acid Leads To Acute Kidney Failure In Cats”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Next step is figuring out how much is acceptable in food “in the name of science.”. Yeah. Like it’s not heartbreaking enough that you already have all those tissue samples and lab tests from the ones that proved the point in the first place.

  2. Sharon says:

    None of this crap is acceptable for animals or people. Any government or business that says otherwise are worshiping the dollar at the expense of life. It’s just like lead paint on children’s toys. They talk about what’s acceptable while our children are poisoned.

  3. catmom5 says:

    I can save the researchers a lot of time and money and I can save the test animals from the suffering and death by saying ZERO AMOUNT OF TOXIC CHEMICALS IS THE ALLOWABLE LEVEL IN ANY FOOD ~ FOR HUMANS OR ANIMALS!!! End of discussion!

  4. Donna says:

    Using cats or any animal in experimental poisoning is wrong. We as a nation are able to put a man on the moon, create weapons usings microbes. We do not need to test on live animals. Computer fed information would have given the same results, with out makings any animal suffer. Kidney failure is a slow shut down of the body. Is is not right to induce suffering. Vet’s that take part of these horrific experiments, are breaking their oath they sign to be vet’s. When do we, as a nation quit being so barbaric ?

  5. Ruth says:

    They need more testing…….what a bunch of morons……..they already know whats killing pets. Why do they need to kill more cats? They should test it on themselves and see if it hurts…..IMO…..
    There has already been enough deaths due to toxic pet food. They don’t have to keep testing cats to see whats the lowest dosage of the two mixed together. Sound like the PFI wants to know how much toxic crap they can keep adding to food so consumers won’t detect what’s added.

  6. Pam says:

    I am outraged that UC Davis is still doing research on animals. It is simply unacceptable and inhumane to experiment, torture and kill animals for research. It’s just scientific curiosity and getting “published” for some professors/researchers. And, they are using public money–it’s a public University.

  7. Nora and Rufus says:

    OH! NO SHT SHERLOCK! AND HOW DARE THOSE IDIOTIC SADISTS POISON LAB CATS ON PURPOSE. This is an already KNOWN FACT. Hope all the humans burn for the pain they have inflicted in labs on innocent animals.

  8. Janine says:

    This is unbelieveable. Was this news about the toxic combination of chemicals supposed to be new? Why in the world was poisoning 3 more innocent cats necessary??? It is very angering that the tens of thousands of pet parents who had the proof, nobody listened to. Now three poor cats in some antiquated research facility died and it becomes fact? Stop the “research”. Let’s work on a solution.

  9. Denise says:

    Has anyone sent that news report to PETA?

    this is disgusting that cats are being subjected to these horrific experiments.

    people need to organize and protest their outrage at the notion of testing to determine what level of poisons are acceptable.

  10. kathy says:

    Why do they need to kill more cats to prove what was known already? Why do they even need to prove it? Yes, they should try eating it themselves.
    We don’t even need that information. We already know that NO amount of any kind of toxic or otherwise chemical is acceptable in our pets’ food, or ours!!
    Anyone have an email address for UCD? I feel particularly nasty this morning—I’d like to give them a piece of my mind!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Here you go:

    Person doing the study along with some colleagues:

    Birgit Puschner, California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory, (530) 752-6322,

    You may want to clue this person in that it wasn’t “POSSIBLY thousands” of pets. It was in the tens of thousands!

  12. Pukanuba says:

    My own personal opinion? They need to PROVE that it was melamine/cyanuric acid that caused the crystals to form & killed all those animals TO TAKE OUR ATTENTION AWAY FROM THE APAP THAT EXPERTOX HAS BEEN FINDING IN PET FOODS. And yes, I meant to yell…….

    I also agree that it was unnecessary to kill any more animals when we already know that it was toxins (period) that killed & sickened all those animals……toxins that never should have been in any food……but I think they needed to prove that melamine/ca alone could have done the job…….so we will forget about pursuing the APAP theory. Sorry, guys, we’re on a roll……we’re not going to stop until we know what you were putting into our pets’ food & why. Get used to it.

    How much do I trust any of these people…..whether it be UCD, FDA, PFI or USDA…..less than zero. No matter what they come up with, it’s BS in my eyes.

  13. kathy says:

    Thanks Anonymous. After more thought I realize that this study will open the way for pet slop manufacturers to add all the cyanuric acid they want to, just as they were even before China added melamine.

  14. kathy says:

    Thanks Anonymous. After more thought I realize that this study will open the way for pet slop manufacturers to add all the cyanuric acid they want to, just as they were even before China added melamine.
    Pukanuba, you are right about the smokescreen, they have learned this fine art from our wonderful government. And this will probably turn into another one, better keep our eyes on the White House while we work on this. Our once great nation has developed a culture of “don’t think, just go to work. You need more money to buy more toxic crap so only the extremely rich can survive”

  15. Ann H says:

    Great, now what will they do to the poor animals to answer the reason for the liver damage found in the other poor animals that died?

    Why can’t they accept the deaths were not from negilence of the pet owners, or the age of the pets or from being outside and being poisoned and use the necropsies from the thousands of already dead pets?

    Basically all they proved was that the pet owners were right, their pets were dead and it was/is the food.

    What was wrong with the study the vets were doing on the bodies of our beloved pets?

    Rocket science.

  16. shibadiva says:

    No kidding, U of Cal? Gee, didn’t you believe U of Guelph’s findings way back at the beginning? Or did you just have some spare cats sitting around with nothing else to do but try out your poison?

    When will you discover the acetominophen (and who knows what else)?

  17. Don Earl says:

    Unfortunately, UC Davis uses a very poor grade of science in its work on the pet food recall.

    Disclosed in the study is the fact UCD didn’t quantify cyanuric acid in any pet food sample it tested. UCD ran levels for melamine, but not for cyanuric acid. For CA, it was positive or negative at a threshold of 10 parts per million.

    Melamine naturally contains trace amounts of cyanuric acid, typically less than 2%. As far as I know, the FDA has never publicly stated the amounts of cyanuric acid associated with the recalled gluten, but its comments are consistent with only trace amounts. So, where did all the cyanuric acid come from? And, why did UCD pick a 50/50 ratio for its study, without any scientific basis for doing so?

    In the lowest dose of the melamine and cyanuric acid combo used in the study, the dose was at 1000 ppm for each substance. Why use 1000 ppm for cyanuric acid if the actual food only contained 10 ppm cyanuric acid?

    Also, the study does not indicate any effort to identify the composition of the resulting crystals found at necropsy. What kind of half baked science is that?

    Not to mention the study describes fan shaped crystals, rather than the bicycle wheel shaped crystals found by the Canadian university.

    At the end of the day, all the study proves is that it’s possible to be gainfully employed by a major university for those too incompetent to work in the private sector.

  18. janet says:

    instead of the death penalty, they should let the criminals choose between death or becoming lab humans

  19. Carol says:

    What does not make sense to me is the fact that my two cats were made ill with ARF from recalled food (and still have unopened ones that tested positive for melamine and acetaminophen) and my two pups ate up all the leftovers for a few weeks (before the recall announced) and they had no kidney trouble–Harry had a renal panel as he was having chemo at the… did the dogs get sick and die… one is saying anything about all the pups that passed from the food!! and Until the studies come from an independent lab I will choose to put as much credibility in the results as I now do with the whole PFI/FDA. Not that they are saying anything anymore!

  20. Anonymous says:

    So, UCD finds it necessary to murder 3 more cats after thousands of sick and dead pets have already proved this. Are dogs next on their list to murder? This truly makes me sick.

    I think we would all like to know if UCD spiked the food or did they simply purchase it from their local grocery store?

    Please share the brand you used Mr. Rocket Scientist! Are you sure there wasn’t even just a little bit of acetaminophen in the crap you forced those kitties to eat? Oh I forgot, you are not capable of finding acetaminophen. Is that going to take another 8 months for you to find? How many more will you kill with that study?

    Get ready for this all. Next they will place ALL BLAME & FAULT on the person who fed the food. You should not have fed Brand X with Y! Brand X only has Melamine & Brand Y only has Cyanuric Acid. According to UCD one alone is not harmful so the company who only had one of the substances should not be held accountable YOU ARE!!.

    The pet food companies should be required (never happen) or at least find it in their little pea-brain hearts to list that their product contains only one of the toxins but not both since Mr. Rocket Scientist said one is ok.

    It should be clearly stated on the label (not hidden). Mela-Feasts / Cyanauric Naturals Beef would be a good start. Any left overs of CA foods can simply be tossed in the pool.

  21. purringfur says:

    I hope everyone here knows what a PILOT study is.

    …Usually done on a smaller scale (population) to determine if a larger study is needed and to also help (re)formulate research questions/avenues to pursue - to see if your methodology, controls, treatments, and assessments match the questions/hypotheses you set — like a run-through before the “real” research study begins.

    There’s more to come, folks. Read the last paragraph of the article above that “suggests” a need for additional research. Future studies will determine the lowest amount possible of melamine and cyanuric acid combined before acute kidney failure occurs.

    Can you believe it? This junk should not be in food to begin with, and there is NO NEED FOR FURTHER TESTING ON PETS AND KILLING THEM!

    I wonder if someone there needs to add a line to the publications or research sections of their vita for a promotion in rank?

  22. Anonymous says:

    And the thing is, it’s not the researchers that are to blame. I can no more find it in my heart to dislike them as I can vets and others that employ the same end result. It’s their job. In this case, MF had already done tests of their food. They have all the samples they need to figure out how much or how little it takes to kill or injure. All the vets treating, once they knew what they were dealing with, have lab results and most have access to tissue samples.

    There’s a point when science is replaced by a business. In this case theer’s very little justification for such redundancy and suffering.

  23. toni says:

    YET ANOTHER UNNECESSARY ANIMAL TEST. BTW—UC Davis has a history of poor treatment of research subjects.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Six research monkeys die from severe dehydration due to a heater malfunction in their holding room, campus officials say.
    A UC Davis medical research building was shut down Monday after six research monkeys were found dead from severe dehydration due to a heater malfunction in their holding room over the weekend, campus officials said.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Press Releases

    Watchdog organization calls UC Davis report on charges of animal cruelty a ‘whitewash,’ launches independent investigation into lab’s brain experiments

  26. Anonymous says:

    I have yet to see Melamine & CA listed on the labels.

    Pet food labeling is regulated at two levels. The FDA regulations require proper identification of the product, net quantity statement, name and place of business of the manufacturer or distributor, and a proper listing of all the ingredients in order from most to least, based on weight.

  27. mittens says:

    Carol- cats have a unique renal system that is very different from a dogs- it is no surprise that a dog might not get ill from eating something that triggered renal failure in a feline. feline kidney functioning is very different and we saw in the recall that cats were more likely to be effected.

    from the beginning of the recall one of the major problems was that NO studies had been done on cats and dogs to see how melamine in particular might harm them. that is not an excuse and it does not absolve the pfi of blame- it is merely a fact. here someone associated with the pfi is finailly ADMITING these 2 things together cause death which is part of the proof needed for any of these lawsuits and all everyone does is wail and moan. you may personally ‘ feel’ your pet died from fancy feast or whatever but proving it in a court is quite another thing. of course the food killed them- it HAS to be proved how. i have mixed feelings about animal experimentation but most everything you stuff in your maw or most every medicine you have ever taken was stuffed down some cat, rat, dog or apes mouth before killing them. it’s standard procedure( which never in my mind excuses sloppy or excessively cruel treatment or neglect.)-none of this crap can be laid at the pet food industy’s door to be definatively, legally mandated to be removed from their products until there is conclusive scientific proof they can’t even squirm away from.

    chemicals break down in the body- they change-it’s not a man made conspiracy. it is biological functioning. most every story i have heard coming from an owner of a sick by food pet has involved baffled vets and confused autopsies-once chemicals break down there is often no trace of them. that trace is the proof need to met legal standards for pin pointing cause of death. seeing how melamine was never disapproved for use in animal feed it’s presence does not represent anything actionable by law. it also can’t be proved it was purposely placed in there to specifically cause harm( this would be the ‘ human errror’ portion of the pet food industry’s glowing approval/defence of it’s self in all of this)- which whether we like it or not lessens the perceived damages caused to you in the loss of your pet. intent makes the difference.

    of course the pain killer is quite a different story- we know it’s fatal to cats in particular. the real question is- i mean we pretty much assumed it was the melamine and acid causing problems but there was no previous tests ever done to prove it- exactly HOW did this winning combo get in the food. that’s something i believe only the manufacturer can answer and somehow i get the feeling they do know exactly how and why and aren’t saying. it needs to be water boarded out of them because it just might be the crux of just how legally reponsible they could be found to be . from the amount of spin they continue to do i’d say it speaks to their intent and how very long they may have known that their food was deadly. i think it’s clear menu foods ‘ tested’ it’s food on animals and saw them drop like flies. did they know why?

  28. The Lioness says:

    “Using cats or any animal in experimental poisoning is wrong. We as a nation are able to put a man on the moon, create weapons usings microbes. We do not need to test on live animals. Computer fed information would have given the same results, with out makings any animal suffer. Kidney failure is a slow shut down of the body. Is is not right to induce suffering. Vet’s that take part of these horrific experiments, are breaking their oath they sign to be vet’s. When do we, as a nation quit being so barbaric ?”

    Thank you, Donna! I couldn’t even read the whole article. Why do they spend money on this torture? It’s such BS!

    I think some people just like to torture animals, frankly.

    ~The Lioness

  29. Geff says:

    GOD THIS PISSES ME OFF. Let’s feed kitty known poisons & watch him/her die a slow painful death. These B*st*rds masquerading as researchers are worse then Nazi’s.

    Our entire planet is so F’d up. I don’t know whether to scream or cry.

  30. furmom says:

    Why do we need to research melamine or cyanuric acid or any combination, since they aren’t foods, shouldn’t be in food, and no manufacturer would ever put them in again, right? On the other hand if some manufacturer was still planning on using these toxic chemicals this research might be relevant. Why is it so difficult for these people to figure out that they need to just put real food in pet food products and PRESTO, no prob.

  31. MaineMom says:

    UCD used to be a top notch vet school before the PFI bought them. It’s only been a few months since Hills gave them a big grant for nutrition research and training. I agree with Geff - I don’t know whether to scream or cry - so I’m doing both!

  32. Sharon says:

    Universities used to be independent and worthy contributors to our society. They have all sold out to corporate America and I can’t help but believe our government has made that both necessary and possible. I absolutely hate this administration and the dumbed down American public that accepts a country that is worse than third world.

  33. health food » Blog Archive » Study Shows Combo Of Melamine And Cyanuric Acid Leads To Acute Kidney Failure In Cats says:

    […] Read the rest of this great post here […]

  34. health information » Blog Archive » Study Shows Combo Of Melamine And Cyanuric Acid Leads To Acute Kidney Failure In Cats says:

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  35. Lynne says:

    There is so much of this kind of “research” going on and in places you would not imagine. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine reveals this about the March of Dimes:

    The March of Dimes has funded a series of controversial experiments, including brain damaging and freezing newborn ferrets, injecting pregnant animals with cocaine, nicotine, and alcohol, tethering pregnant monkeys to cages by monitoring cables running through the mothers’ uteruses and into their fetuses’ bodies, sewing shut the eyelids of newborn kittens, subjecting pregnant sheep to severe dehydration, and deliberately injuring the lungs of newborn lambs. These are just a few of the March of Dimes’ ineffective, unethical experiments on animals that do not help mothers or babies – the most significant advances in understanding the causes of birth defects have come from human-based research.

    I know most here care about animals a great deal. Humane Seal has a good list of charities that do and do not test on animals.

  36. Judy says:

    Lynne I would never give any money to the March of Dimes they are well know for nasty animal testing.

    Is this one of the labs that is doing the testing on the pet food?

    Yes lets kill some more cats plenty of them to go around. Doesn’t matter that their death is painfull as long as the University can make some money on it.

    Another bunch of crap maybe they should have used the neocropsy reports on the pets that were already dead from the bad food. Oh wait wouldn’t get any money for research that way.

    It’s all about the money, I don’t think anyone cares about safe food or toys whether it is for people or animals.

    Reading this made me sick to my stomach.

  37. Sandi K says:

    Im sick also, I just dont have any words for how sad this is. Another poor unwanted animal Im assuming that was taken from a shelter somewhere for this? Was this test truly necessary, I think not. What did it achieve? Nothing that wasnt already known. And do we really need to know how much is fatal, how bout all of it no matter what?! Then whats next, more testing to find out what length of exposure will kill them? This is so sad. We lost a kitty to this and it wasnt a pretty sight to watch when she died. I would have gladly saved one of these poor kitties from this testing death if I had known and had the ability to take them away from UCD. Please stop UCD, what is the point of this and how many more have to die because of these toxins?

  38. Teresa in Colorado says:

    Melamine, cyanuric acid, rat poison, glutens, corn, wheat… How about putting some MEAT in our pet’s foods???

  39. Teresa in Colorado says:

    And yes, as a holistic vegetarian who does animal rescue, I am horrified that anyone needed to poison cats AGAIN, intentionally, to prove what tens of thousands of us knew all along. A University in Canada was able to prove it just by creating crystals from the two chemicals, melamine and cyanuric acid. They matched it to the crystals found in victimized cats. No need, scientists, to have done it using living creatures.

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