Short Takes

November 2008 Issue

Short Takes: 11/08

Updates after the melamine scare; interesting statistics on veterinary visits.

A recent report in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association provided encouraging reassurance that lessons were learned from the tragic melamine contamination of pet food in 2007. Several of the investigators in the study "Clinicopathologic, histologic, and toxicologic findings in 70 cats inadvertently exposed to pet food contaminated with melamine and cyanuric acid" (JAVMA Vol. 233, No. 5) were from Cornell, where the New York State Animal Health Diagnostic Center did some of the groundwork that led to the largest recall of cat and dog food in U.S. history. The 70 cats in this study were not privately owned, nor were they laboratory cats that were deliberately fed suspect food to see if they’d get sick. Rather, they were 70 animals (from a licensed commercial cattery) that happened to be engaged in scientific diet-preference studies when the melamine contamination problem hit the national news. It was their good luck, however, to be where expert veterinary medical care was immediately at hand.

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