Rat Poison Found In Recalled Pet Food

Saturday, March 24th 2007, 3:26 pm
By: News On 6

Rat poison has been found in recalled pet food that's blamed for the deaths of 17 dogs and cats. Menu Foods pulled 60-million cans and pouches of wet pet food off the shelves earlier this month. Scientists say they found an ingredient used in rat poison in samples of the recalled food. News On 6 anchor Omar Villafranca reports even though officials think they know the cause, veterinarians are still getting dozens of calls from worried pet owners.

Tracker's been Claudia Rice's best friend for the last six years, and she's worried.

"He used to go fishing with my husband before he got sick, and my husband used to take him on bicycle rides. He just loves to get out," she said.

Luckily, Tracker's brand of dog food is not on the recall list.

Dr. Paul Welch gets dozens of calls from frantic pet owners asking what they can do if their four-legged friend ate bad food. The answer scares pet owners.

"It's totally symptomatic treatment, which means there is no antidote for this," he said.

Dr. Welch says rat poisons made in the U.S. can cause internal bleeding in pets, but rat poisons from other parts of the world can do worse.

"The rat poisons that may be available outside the United States do cause kidney failure, they cause intestinal signs, they can cause some liver problems," said Dr. Paul Welch.

Most of the symptoms from the recall include kidney failure, leading Doctor Welch to believe the rat poison isn't American made.

The pet food recall is affecting cats more than it is dogs, and Dr. Welch says the reason is body weight.

"You've got a 10 pound versus a 40 pound animal. The other thing is that cats generally eat a higher protein diet and if this is a protein they've added to the diet, they've probably added more of it into the cat food than the dog food," he said.

Dr. Welch says dry food is the safest bet, and he never encourages pets to eat human food, but there is an exception if you’re worried about the recall.

“If you want to be super safe, dogs can get by with rice and chicken for a week or two, cats can get by with Gerber's chicken baby food for a week or two until things kind of settle down," said Dr. Welch.

For a complete list of recalled food click here.

Related Stories:

3/16/2007 Pet Food Maker Announces Huge Recall Amid Reports Of Pet Deaths

3/17/2007 Major Recall OF Pet Food Has Animal Owners Frantic

3/19/2007 Pet Food Recall

3/20/2007 Broken Arrow Dog Dies After Eating Tainted Pet Food

3/23/2007 Rodent Poison Found In Now-Recalled Pet Food Blamed For Animal Deaths