Fewer Pets Are Becoming Ill From Recalled Foods And Most Are Recovering

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Pet Food

Over the last several weeks Banfield has provided the U.S. Food and Drug Administration with medical information collected from its centralized medical records database of Pets that may have been affected by the Menu Foods recall.

The database shows that out of 237,844 dogs and cats examined at Banfield during the last three weeks, six Pets -- five cats and one dog --(0.003 percent) have died as a result of eating a recalled food.

"The total number of Pets that we have seen which have actually become ill or have died as a result of eating tainted food is low," says Will Novak, DVM, chief medical officer for Banfield. "However, every single one is a tragedy to their owners and to our team members who tend to love every Pet they care for."

In the last three weeks, Banfield doctors have examined 1,605 Pets with a history of eating a recalled food, which is less than 1 percent of the Pets examined in all of its hospitals. Very few of these Pets are ill. The Pets that have become sick are recovering with treatment.

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Banfield, which has more than 615 hospitals nationwide, is collecting extra medical information on all its patients that may have ingested the recalled foods and reporting the data and findings on a regular basis to the FDA. In addition to treating the ill patients, Banfield doctors are also performing extensive diagnostics including thorough blood testing and urinalysis on potentially affected Pets. This also includes autopsies on Pets suspected to have died as a result of the Pet food tragedy despite valiant efforts to save them. The autopsies are performed only with the consent of the Pet owners, who are seeking answers as to why their Pets became ill and died.

Banfield's Pet electronic medical records are linked by a centralized computer system. This allows Banfield to rapidly collect a large amount of Pet medical data, which is then analyzed for disease trends at its main campus in Portland, Ore.

The good news is that as a result of very high vigilance and concern, Banfield doctors are treating fewer and fewer cases every day. Currently, most of the patients receiving treatment are getting well because their owners have stopped feeding them the recalled diets and Pets have received prompt veterinary care.

"It is important to us, as we know it is for the FDA, to provide Pet owners and the veterinary community as well as the general public with the most accurate information from this data," says Scott Campbell, DVM, Banfield CEO. "It is our goal to help the FDA better understand the extent of this problem so it can promptly address this issue and put in place processes and a surveillance system to help prevent a similar situation in the future."

Banfield and the FDA are continuing to perform thorough analyses of all the medical data as it is collected on affected Pets regarding the Pet food recall.

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