Recalled: Thiamine deficiency in some of Diamond’s Premium Edge cat foods causing serious illness

October 2, 2009 at 11:45 pm Leave a comment

PremEdgeCollagePremium Edge, a line manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods, is withdrawing (one of the words du jour that pet food companies use to avoid the word “recall”) its Premium Edge Finicky Adult Cat and Premium Edge Hairball formulas due to a dangerous thiamine deficiency in the foods.

One of my readers wrote me about this yesterday, but I couldn’t find anything about it on the company’s web site. I phoned them, but they didn’t return the call.

So I tried again today, and was directed to this new online statement:

Diamond Pet Foods has withdrawn from distribution the following date codes of Premium Edge Finicky Adult Cat and Premium Edge Hairball cat: RAF0501A22X 18lb., RAF0501A2X 6 lb., RAH0501A22X 18 lb., RAH0501A2X 6lb. The calls from pet owners or veterinarians regarding this issue have been centered in the Rochester, NY area. All retail outlets shipped the above lots were contacted, asking them to pull the product from the store shelves. The retailers were also asked to contact their customers via email or telephone requesting them to check the date code of the food. However, if you or anyone you know has these date codes of Premium Edge cat food, please return them to your retailer.

Symptoms displayed by an affected cat will be neurological in nature. Any cats fed these date codes that display these symptoms should be immediately taken to a veterinarian.

Product testing proved no contaminants were discovered in the cat food; however the cat foods were deficient in thiamine. Diamond tracked the vitamin premix lot number that was utilized in these particular cat foods and have performed testing on another lot of Premium Edge cat food that used the same vitamin premix, and it was not deficient in thiamine. No other neurological signs have been reported on any other product manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods.

The affected cats were quite ill, mostly with neurological symptoms. The first sign was a lack of interest in eating, followed by symptoms including muscular weakness, vomiting, lethargy,rigid posture, circling, increased respiratory rate, lack of recognition of their owners, dilated pupils, and seizures.

Fortunately the cats have responded to thiamine supplementation and hospitalization, and my reader reported that Diamond is footing the bills for treatment.

This is just one more example of companies not getting it. Don’t hope these things won’t leak out; they will.  The minute a product problem is suspected, be open about it. Stop trying to call it something other than a recall when you pull your product off store shelves, and if animals are getting sick, blast it all over the PR channels, and make sure veterinarians are aware of the problem.

Otherwise, these endless small stories, buried on corporate web sites and dragged into the light of day by grieving pet owners, will turn into nothing but death by a thousand tiny cuts for the pet food industry, eroding consumer confidence and damaging companies’ reputations beyond repair.

http://www.petconnection.com/blog/2009/10/…

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