March 17, 2007 -- Dog and cat owners beware: Your pet's favorite feast might be part of a major pet food recall.
Menu Foods, a top pet food manufacturer in North America, is recalling canned and pouched "cuts and gravy" meals sold under 48 dog food brands and 40 cat food brands (for a list of recalled brands visit: http://www.menufoods.com/recall).
Millions of servings of food have been sold in the United States, Canada and Mexico at big name retailers, including Wal-Mart and Safeway.
It is unclear how many pets have fallen ill, but there have been reports of kidney failure, and at least 10 pets died after consuming the recalled food.
ABC News got advice for pet owners from Dr. Ed Loebach, a medical advisor and veterinarian with Banfield Animal Hospitals.
What's the reason for this recall?
The pet food manufacturer hasn't released or found out exactly what is in the food that is causing the problems, but it does appear to be making some pets ill. Until we know what ingredient it is, veterinarians won't know what we can do to try and counter it. … Hopefully the manufacturer will find out soon.
What can dog and cat owners do to protect their pets?
If a pet owner knows their pet is on one of the foods subject to the recall, we are recommending they stop that food and switch to another food immediately. The only foods that are being affected are the canned and the foil-pouch foods. If your pet is on a canned or foil-pouch food that is on the recall list, you can either switch to a different manufacturer or a dry food.
If a pet owner suspects their pet has been exposed to a recalled food, what symptoms should they watch for?
Some of the reports have been mentioning pets showing symptoms of vomiting, lethargy and unwillingness to eat. Kidney failure is a very serious condition and can affect cats or dogs. It can develop rapidly or take place over a long period of time. Symptoms include an increased water intake, increased volumes of urination, anorexia, vomiting and lethargy. If they see any of those signs, they should take their pet to the veterinarian as soon as they can.
The big things are just to check their foods, see if it's on the recall list or not. If it's not, don't worry. If it is, switch the foods. Any pet showing symptoms needs to be checked out. If they are eating those foods, you need to tell your vet that they are eating those foods.