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The following news articles contain information for pet owners regarding food and product recalls, research and other developments related to veterinary medicine. The newest articles are at the top and older articles will be below.

The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) issued a voluntary recall on July 25, 2010 of two specific lots of its therapeutic renal dry cat food in North America due to a possible salmonella health risk. As a further precaution, P&G is voluntarily expanding its recall to include additional veterinary formulas and some specialized Eukanuba dry pet food.

These products are made in a single, specialized facility. In cooperation with FDA, P&G determined that some products made at this facility have the potential for salmonella contamination. No salmonella-related illnesses have been confirmed. As a precautionary measure, P&G is suspending operations at this facility and recalling all dry pet food products manufactured at this plant, which include:

Iams Veterinary Dry Formulas
Eukanuba Naturally Wild
Eukanuba Pure
Eukanuba Custom Care Sensitive Skin

All dry food bag sizes and varieties of the above listed brands with "Best By" dates of 01Jul10 – 01Dec11 including all UPC codes are affected.

No canned food, biscuits/treats or supplements, including ProstoraMax are affected by this announcement.

Concerned pet owners may be directed to call P&G toll-free at 877-340-8823.

We apologize for any inconvenience this situation may cause you and want to assure you that P&G Pet Care is taking all the necessary steps to ensure our product quality meets your expectations.

Posted: Monday, February 8, 2010, 2:28 p.m., EST

A federal judge has sentenced the owners of a Las Vegas-based ingredients broker to three years probation for distributing a tainted ingredient to pet food companies that led to the mass pet food recall in 2007.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John Maughmer ordered the probation for Stephen and Sally Miller, owners of ChemNutra Inc., on Feb. 5. In addition, the judge fined the Millers and ChemNutra a total of $35,000. The court ruled that no further restitution would be imposed in light of a federal class action lawsuit in New Jersey that calls for a $24 million settlement.

ChemNutra and the Millers are alleged to have imported more than 800 metric tons of melamine-tainted wheat gluten from China between Nov. 6, 2006 and Feb. 21, 2007. The gluten was sold to various pet food manufacturers, according to an indictment filed in February 2008 in Missouri.

Two Chinese companies — Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. and Suzhou Textiles, Silk, Light Industrial Products Arts and Crafts I/E Co. — were also indicted. The indictment alleges Xuzhou intentionally added the melamine to make the wheat gluten’s protein level appear higher. Suzhou Textiles, an export broker, is alleged to have mislabeled the tainted product with an incorrect product code not subject to food inspections in China.

Thousands of cats and dogs reportedly became sick or died after eating the tainted food. The case resulted in the recall of more than 150 brands of dog and cat food across the U.S.

ChemNutra and the Millers each pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges in June 2009. They were originally charged with 26 misdemeanor charges and one felony charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

In a statement released Feb. 5, former ChemNutra CEO Stephen Miller said his company was caught up in a fraud conducted by “an unscrupulous Chinese manufacturer” and that “there was never any criminal knowledge or intent on our part.” Attorney Robert Becerra, who represented Sally Miller and ChemNutra, said the real problem lies with the lack of quality control of certain food products made in China. “Prosecuting the importer who is without knowledge does not solve this very serious issue,” Becerra said in the same statement. “Only better awareness, together with stringent due diligence and better inspection procedures, can prevent reoccurrence of this tragedy.”

Business activities of ChemNutra Inc. have ceased in the wake of the events that gave rise to the case, and the Millers now own a new import company, according to court documents.

Posted: Wednesday, June 3, 2009, 4:48 p.m., EDT

Canine cutaneous mast cell tumor.The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Pfizer Animal Health’s Palladia (toceranib phosphate), the first drug developed specifically for the treatment of cancer in dogs. All cancer drugs now used in veterinary medicine originally were developed for use in humans and are not approved for animals.

The prescription drug is approved to treat canine cutaneous mast cell tumors, a type of cancer responsible for about 20 percent of cases of canine skin tumors, according to the FDA.

The New York company said it plans to introduce the product to boarded specialists within weeks to expand the body of clinical experience with the therapy. The drug will be available for purchase in early 2010.

Palladia is an oral therapy indicated to treat Patnaik grade II or III recurrent cutaneous mast cell tumors with or without regional lymph node involvement. The drug belongs to the tyrosine kinase inhibitor class of compounds and works by blocking the activity of key receptors important for the development of blood vessels that supply tumors, as well as receptors critical for tumor survival, according to Pfizer Animal Health.

The most common side effects associated with Palladia are diarrhea, decrease or loss of appetite, lameness, weight loss and blood in stool.

November Marks Month to Educate Pet Owners and Contribute to Research

BREA, Calif., Oct. 30, 2008/PRNewswire/ -- Once a guaranteed death sentence for pets, cancer is claiming fewer four-legged victims these days thanks to sophisticated treatments and the willingness of pet owners to pursue those treatments. Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), the nation's oldest and largest pet health insurer, will seek to raise national awareness about the disease this November with its fourth annual National Pet Cancer Awareness Month. VPI launched Pet Cancer Awareness Month in November 2005 to educate pet owners on the prevalence and management of cancer in pets and raise funds for research through the sale of Pet Cancer Awareness dog collars.

"Cancer is the leading cause of disease-related death in pets," said Dr. Carol McConnell, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. "Even though nearly one in four pets will be diagnosed with cancer, few pet owners know how commonly it occurs and what treatment options exist. It only adds to the shock of the diagnosis when pet owners are unprepared for the costs. Our goal for Pet Cancer Awareness Month is to educate and empower pet owners so they can make optimal health care decisions for their pets."

Click here for the entire Pet Cancer Awareness article.

Franklin, Tennessee (September 12, 2008)

Today, Mars Petcare US announced a voluntary recall of products manufactured at its Everson, Pennsylvania facility. The pet food is being voluntarily recalled because of potential contamination with Salmonella serotype Schwarzengrund. This voluntary recall only affects the United States.

Salmonella can cause serious infections in dogs and cats, and, if there is cross contamination caused by handling of the pet food, in people as well, especially children, the aged, and people with compromised immune systems.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Animals can be carriers with no visible symptoms and can potentially infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian. Click here for the entire posting and recalled food list.

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