Check your cat food, switch for safety x

IMPORTANT: If your cat is in any distress or discomfort, please consult your own vet as your first priority.
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vanilla
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Check your cat food, switch for safety x

Post by vanilla »

Apparently this is now being linked to Ava and Applaws dried food

https://www.vettimes.co.uk/news/rvc-iss ... UklOASnfYU
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Mollycat
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Re: Check your cat food, switch for safety x

Post by Mollycat »

Would you mind giving an outline of the topic please? I don't like clicking links from (with respect) people i don't know on open forums, so if you can say what the subject is I can search for it myself. I don't like sounding so suspicious but I'm responsible for keeping myself safe online.
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Ruth B
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Re: Check your cat food, switch for safety x

Post by Ruth B »

Apparently vets are starting to see more cases of Pancytopenia, a blood disorder, in cats. They aren't sure if it is caused by a virus or by a toxin, but the way it is spreading among cats seem to indicate it is more likely to be a toxin. Symptoms seem to be bleeding from the nose and mouth, with test being need to actually diagnose it properly. The RVC is trying to gather more information on what is happening.

I did click the link partly as I had just seen something come up on my Facebook page and wondered if this had more information. It seems like the link between the food and the condition is still very tenuous but something they want to correlate quickly. Fortunately i have never fed Ava, and only occasionally Applaws wet food, however it is something to watch out for.
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Re: Check your cat food, switch for safety x

Post by Ruth B »

this was the Facebook post I saw, shared by one of the charities I follow.

⚠️ UPDATE ⚠️
Please check your food products for the establishment number GB218E5009, I found this near the product barcode. This is linking the Ava and Applaws foods that appear to be a possible cause, please do not feed your pets anything from this manufacturer at least until more is confirmed.
EDIT Sainsbury’s cat food is also being linked to this manufacturer and other confirmed cases 😢 it’s looking more and more like there is a contamination problem at the factory.
****************************
We are in a living nightmare. Our beautiful cat Sterling became very suddenly gravely ill over the last few days, he stopped eating and drinking, was lethargic and withdrawn. We took him to the vets (Pets at home in Burgess Hill) several times over the last three days, but they didn’t know what was wrong other than he had a high temperature. They tried painkillers, antibiotics, anti sickness medication but nothing worked, they took blood tests and we went back home anxiously waiting for the results. But then we found blood in his litter so we took him back to the vets again and this time they noticed that his gums were pale indicating that he was severely anaemic. This alarmed them because they were aware of reports of a ‘mysterious toxin’ causing a sudden incidence of anaemic cats across the country, and all but one of the cases so far had been fatal. I don’t know why this information hasn’t been released to the public and partly why I am writing this post so that other cat owners are aware, please look out for these symptoms and take your cat to your vet immediately if they show anything similar.
The blood tests shockingly then revealed that Sterling had a very low white blood cell count and hardly any blood platelets, so effectively no immune response or ability to clot his blood. This unknown toxin has wiped out his bone marrow of its life saving cells and he was bleeding out internally. This was beyond what our local vet was able to treat, so with the help of a very kind friend who drove me there and back, we took Sterling to the Royal vetinary college in Hatfield that has more specialist expertise two hours drive away. They were only just able to admit Sterling because they have have been inundated with so many sick cats with these symptoms. At this point we were told there was very little hope for his survival as the toxin is proving to be so lethal, and worse that it has shown to affect households, so devastatingly our other cat Shadow is also at risk of developing the same symptoms.
Sterling and Shadow are indoor cats and we treat them like our children. We are extremely careful not to have anything in the house that would be harmful to them so we could not understand how they could have been exposed to something so awful, we have tortured ourselves over and over the last few days trying to understand what could have happened. Having ruled out other causes and with information from other cases, the hospital warned us it could be something that had contaminated their food and to stop feeding it to Shadow immediately and switch to a larger brand such as Purina or Felix as there is less likelihood of contaminants in the factories where they are made. This is beyond heartbreaking that we could have unknowingly been poisoning our babies with a food product that we trusted. The food brand that we use is ‘Ava’ dry food, it is sold in store by Pets at home and was recommended to us by the vets at Pets at Home as high end and the very best diet for our cats. I must caveat that I do not have proof that this has definitely been the cause, but all signs are pointing that way and it’s been confirmed by the hospital that other cats affected were also being fed this brand. I have also since found that there was a recall of the same brand in 2017 because it was found to have caused some cats to collapse. I have been in contact with Pets at home BH this morning to pass on this information. I don’t want anyone else to have to go through this agony.
Sterling has fought so hard the last few days and the Royal Vetinary college have done everything they can to save him....but he deteriorated badly this morning and we’ve had to make the heartbreaking decision to let him go. We are now facing the possibility that we might go through the same with Shadow too.
We accept that owning pets brings both great joy and sorrow when they pass, but it was not Sterling’s time and we should have had many many more years of his amazing spirit with us. We will never forget you, our beautiful boy 🌈
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Re: Check your cat food, switch for safety x

Post by Mollycat »

Have the products been recalled? This has a familiar note to it.

I mean, if one vet hospital is "inundated" then surely it's significant news! And yet.

And yet I can't find any mention of a link with any branded food in relation to this, and i very much doubt a reputable hospital would "confirm" what all the other patients have also been eating. My gut feeling is this is yet another of those sickos surfing panic on the crest of a genuine snippet to spread panic and attack a brand. Time will tell, but the pattern and even the style are identical to many similar and false claims.

I vote clickbait.
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Re: Check your cat food, switch for safety x

Post by Ruth B »

When I saw it on Facebook, even though it was shared by a rescue I follow a lot, it took it with my normal large pinch of salt that I apply to anything I see on Facebook, when i then saw the thread on here about the same thing and from (allegedly) the RVC I did start to wonder if there was anything in it.

In the end everyone has to make their own decisions about what they see on the internet, it is a great platform for sharing information, but there are a load of bored trolls out there just wanting to cause trouble. For me the answer is easy, it seems to be linked to three brands of dried cat food, Ava, Applaws and Sainsbury's own brand, none of which i use (mine will only eat Purina One, anything else just gets thrown in the bin in the end) so I'm not that concerned. If you feed one of those brands then maybe it is time to consider changing for a while, or at the very least carefully watching your cat for anything unusual and mentioning the food and what you have read to the vet, they will know far more than we ever hear about what the RVC is saying. It certainly isn't something i would be panicking over, but it is the type of information that gets filed away at the back of my mind just in case i need it later.
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Re: Check your cat food, switch for safety x

Post by Mollycat »

The RVC are genuinely concerned about a spike in cases and looking into possible causes, that is genuine.

There's just no mention of looking at any foods and I'm pretty sure high end reputable expensive cat food manufacturers would be pulling their foods off the shelves if there was any suggestion of feline deaths linked to contamination in their factories.

The research is real, the foods connection is made up I think, even the writer says inconclusive and I simply don't believe the hospital would say oh yes they all eat the same foods. Vet hospitals simply wouldn't say that to anyone in the middle of researching the issue.
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Re: Check your cat food, switch for safety x

Post by Ruth B »

The RVC seem to think it is linked to a toxin, so the question they have to ask is what do all the cats who exhibit symptoms come into contact with, they are not going to give any answers until they have the data in. Unfortunately that leave people to speculate and try and spot links themselves, without access to the full data, which is where the scare factor comes in. It is human nature to want an answer, particularly when a beloved pet dies suddenly, it is also our nature to try and blame ourselves with a guilt trip, especially while grieving, or to blame someone else so we don't blame ourselves, hence trying to link it to a food source so they can blame the manufacturer.

Should I have shared the Facebook post here, I'm not sure, but I hope people here at least have some modicum of sense to realise it is shared from Facebook and not a scientific post. The original post made a link to the brands of cat food mentioned, so at least now people can see the RVC post doesn't make a link and it is only one on Facebook that does, and i can only hope that people have the same opinion of anything seen of Facebook that I have, large pinches of salt needed.
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Re: Check your cat food, switch for safety x

Post by Ruth B »

Latest from my Facebook feed, looks like some places are deciding to remove the food for the time being.

** UPDATE - PETS AT HOME ARE TONIGHT REMOVING ALL APPLAWS DRY AND AVA DRY FOOD FROM THEIR SHELVES **
We would like to make cat owners aware - BUT PLEASE DO NOT PANIC
We have become aware of an increase in cats within the UK falling ill with pancytopenia (symptoms below).
The Royal Veterinary College London are leading investigations into this.
So far it seems there MAY be a link to one cat food manufacturing establishment, which is used by several different brands.
We must emphasize that IF the cause, this is likely be traced back to a small number of INDIVIDUAL BATCH NUMBER/S and date of manufacturer.
However, we feel there is enough evidence at the moment along with the severity of illness caused to advise not feeding dry food with the following establishment registration number: GB218E5009.
Again- at present we do NOT know that this is the definite cause, or which individual batch numbers or dates may be effected.
We will update you as soon as we hear more from the RVC.
Temporarily use an alternative food with a different establishment number e.g Royal Canin, Hills or Purina ProPlan.
Do not throw your bag away. Do not rush to return bags or contact the manufacturers yet.
Brands manufactured at this establishment include:
Applaws
Sainsburys
AVA
Pancytopenia is reduced levels of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
Symptoms include: Lethargy. High temperature. Pale gums. Blood in the urine or faeces (faeces will usually be dark black). Small areas of bruising to the skin or gums.
If you notice any of these symptoms contact your vet immediately.
We believe there have been around 80 cases, so compared to the whole cat population a small percentage and we do not want to cause panic. However, severe pancytopenia is usually a rare condition, so this increase is concerning and warrants investigation.
If you think your cat may have been affected please ask you vet to complete this questionnaire

I've taken out the links as they didn't seem to work when I copy/pasted them, but they did from the original Facebook post, it looks as though the RVC is considering a possible link to diet as well.
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Re: Check your cat food, switch for safety x

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Re: Check your cat food, switch for safety x

Post by Mollycat »

Pets at Home voluntary precautionary recall, not manufacturer's recall. The list of things that can cause pancytopenia seems to be longer than the list of things that can't! Hopefully RVC get too the bottom of the increase in cases soon.
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Re: Check your cat food, switch for safety x

Post by Ruth B »

Its now made the BBC site.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-57486596

While it may be hard on the retailer and manufacturers having to do a recall without full evidence, it is probably better than carrying on selling it and then finding they were aware of the possible link later.

It is certainly better for any cat owner.
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Re: Check your cat food, switch for safety x

Post by Laujo »

Wilko have also voluntarily withdrawn some of their dry food.
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Re: Check your cat food, switch for safety x

Post by Angie-J »

Hello all.

This seems to be a full list of all the brands recalled and details how to get a refund if you had purchased them for your cat(s):
https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/ ... l-disease/
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