[NAFEX] gluten/off topic: cat deaths

road's end farm organic101 at linkny.com
Sun Apr 29 11:52:13 EDT 2007

On Apr 29, 2007, at 11:21 AM, Lucky.PIttman at murraystate.edu wrote:

> It's highly likely that no one will ever ascertain WHAT was in these 
> recalled pet foods that caused the small numbers of pet deaths.

While the official death toll may still be stuck at "small numbers", at 
least one major veterinary chain has reported kidney failure in cats 
during the time in question as showing a jump to 30% over the expected 

This would indicate a *lot* of dead and severely ill cats. (Kidney 
failure in old cats is fairly common, so the background level would not 
be insignificant.) The official number takes a long time to update, 
partly because they have to test a lot of carcasses.

> melamine - it's essentially non-toxic at the low parts-per-million 
> levels that were
> detected in some pet food samples.
> LD50 for melamine in mice/rats is on the order of 1-2gm/kg body weight.

Cats might be unusually sensitive to melamine; they react differently 
from most mammals to a number of things. If I have this right, part of 
the problem in determining whether the melamine actually caused the 
problem or not is that nobody ever tested this for toxicity in cats; as 
nobody expected it to end up in cat food.

Of course, this possibility doesn't prove that it was the melamine that 
caused the problem. But it's risky to make assumptions between species.

Finger Lakes NY; zone 5 mostly
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