Have you been affected by the pet food recall? Has it changed the way you feed your pets?
Personally, I seem to have missed the bullet on this one,
(Knock on wood.)
Luckily, my old cat, The Hen, had gotten picky, and we'd done a lot of food switching right before all this hit, mostly trying to eliminate so much grain.
But label reading is the rule of the day, and constantly re-checking the lists, because new brands are popping up with recalls every day.
And if I read one more article stating that the FDA has only confirmed 16 pet deaths I may just scream.
(Are you listening New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, USA Today?)
The lazy asshat reporting is driving me nuts, though now that it's definitely getting into the human food stream maybe they'll stop being so dismissive.
The FDA confirms the death of that handful of animals, because those were the cats (mostly) and dogs who died in supervised test conditions when Menu Foods began to investigate reports of deaths from customers.
Those are the only confirmed deaths, because the FDA isn't going out checking for pet deaths at all.
There are no official numbers anywhere.
At pet connection they are compiling a list (petconnection.com — a wonderful resource).
I quote their most recent update:
Update 4/30, 7:45 p.m.. PT: 4,583 pets (2,334 cats
and 2,249 dogs) have been reported as deceased to our PetConnection
database. Total number of affected pets reported: 14,228. These are
self-reported numbers, and should be in no way be considered confirmed
or "official." But if even a fraction could be confirmed, they show
deaths far exceeding the FDA's count of "17 or 18" pets, most of whom
died in a manufacturers feeding trial.
The FDA itself is now suggesting higher numbers. In an alert posted to the FDA's Web site on April 27 (but one we couldn't find until April 30), the FDA says:
As of April 26, 2007, FDA had
received over 17,000 consumer complaints relating to this
outbreak, and those complaints included reports of approximately
1950 deaths of cats and 2200 deaths of dogs.
Other sources also support higher numbers, including state numbers from the Oregon State Public Health Veterinarian (45 dead, April 18) and the Michigan State Veterinary Association
(52 dead, April 16), as well as a sampling of all U.S. and Canadian
veterinarians from the independent Veterinary Information Network.
(4/10: our post or the Sacramento Bee story; need a log-in?).
The Veterinary Information Network sets a range for probable deaths at
2,000 to 7,000, based on survey of VIN member veterinarians. VIN puts
the cost of veterinary care for these animals at between $2 million and
Which is to say, there isn't an actual official tally anywhere.