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Fredericton vet says pet food recall was too late

April 3rd, 2007, 06:20 PM
Fredericton vet says pet food recall was too late
Last Updated: Tuesday, April 3, 2007 | 4:20 PM AT
CBC News

A veterinarian in Fredericton says warnings about tainted pet food didn't come soon enough, because pets were dying long before recalls were ordered.

A growing list of companies have recalled their food after it was learned that it included contaminated wheat gluten.

Dr. Susan Malone says her phone started ringing as soon as news of the tainted pet food scandal broke. While many of them came from pet owners who were just concerned for their pets' health, she also heard from people who had lost pets in the last few months. She says they wanted to know if the deaths were connected to the contaminated food.

"The circumstances surrounding the deaths were questionable," Malone said. "We didn't now at the time about the food. At this point, there's no way to know if that was a possibility, but in hindsight, it looks like that may have been the case."

The repercussions from the recall are still being felt around New Brunswick.

Another Fredericton veterinarian, Dr. Shannon Monteith, says she's still treating a two-year-old cat brought in the same day the recall was announced, in the first stages of kidney failure.

"We fitted him with IV fluids and treated in him ICU for about a week," Monteith said. "He's home now, and it's just a matter of time and luck to see if he's going to bounce back and recover from this."

Both veterinarians are calling for new regulations governing how pet food is manufactured, to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again. They say governments need to closely monitor how pet food is being made, and what's going into it.