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By Gary Bogue
Friday, June 8th, 2007 at 7:49 am in Pet food.

New contaminant found in more pet food
A story in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on June 5 reported that a Texas laboratory found varying levels of the pain reliever acetaminophen (found in Tylenol) in dog and cat food samples submitted by worried pet owners and pet food manufacturers. Brand names of the contaminated pet food are not yet available. Keep an eye on the ASPCA’s Pet Food Recall Resource Center (link is below) for updates on this story and hopefully some brand names.

ASPCA discusses toxicity of acetaminophen — reminds pet owners to stay alert
NEW YORK, June 6 — With reports that acetaminophen has been found in brands of cat and dog food not included on the Menu Foods recall list, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals today reminded pet parents that vigilance is the key to keeping their pets safe and healthy — coupled with a strong dose of common sense.

“Though reports of dogs and cats poisoned from the Menu Foods recall seem to have abated, this news is extremely worrying,” said Dr. Steven Hansen, a board-certified toxicologist and senior vice president with the ASPCA, who manages the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), located in its Midwest Office in Urbana, Ill.

“Our data show that if an average-sized cat ingests as little as one extra-strength acetaminophen pain-reliever caplet and is not treated in time, it can suffer fatal consequences,” continued Dr. Hansen.

“At this point, we have very little information as to the actual level and concentration of this reported contamination, so it’s extremely important to be able to recognize any potential warning signs of this kind of poisoning.” However, early information on this contamination suggests that concentration levels are not high enough to have an adverse effect on most dogs; cats are more at-risk.

** NOTE: The most common effects of acetaminophen poisoning in cats include swelling of the face and paws; depression; weakness; and difficulty in breathing. “We also see a condition called ‘cyanosis,’” said Dr. Hansen, “which is literally when their gums and tongue start turning a muddy color due to the lack of oxygen.”

Until more information is provided by the U. S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the ASPCA urges pet parents to keep an eye out for any signs of illness in their pets, and also report any changes in dietary consumption or behavior to their veterinarian immediately.

You can read this complete article on the ASPCA Website at:

The ASPCA continues to monitor the pet food recall situation, and is providing regular updates and advice for pet parents at its Pet Food Recall Resource Center at

If you are thinking about preparing home-cooked meals for your pets, the ASPCA recommends that you do so in consultation with your veterinarian.

You can also visit the “Pet Care: Nutrition Tips” page on the ASPCA’s Web site at:

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