Analysis of a Survey Database of Pet Food Induced Poisoning in North America.
Following the outbreak of pet food-induced nephrotoxicity in March 2007, a voluntary online survey of all AAVLD-accredited laboratories, commercial laboratories, and veterinary clinics across North America was conducted. There was no information on toxicity of melamine or factors affecting the disease outcome following exposure to melamine in pets. Data were collected from affected pets to learn about the disease outcome and the affected pet population. The web-based electronic survey used the online tool, SurveyMonkey™. Data were collected between April 5 and October 31, 2007. Four hundred fifty-one cases of 586 reported cases met the criteria for inclusion in the study. Most reported cases were from California, Texas, Michigan, Florida, and Ontario. Of the 451 cases, 424 were reported as affected. Of these, 278 cases (65.6%) were cats and 146 (34.4%) were dogs. A total of 278 pets (171 cats and 107 dogs) were reported to have died (a ratio of 1.6:1). However, within species, there was a higher percentage of deceased dogs (73.3%) than cats (61.5%). Of the affected pet population, older male cats with preexisting disease conditions were more likely to be deceased. Analysis of the pets in this large database of naturally affected pets yielded interesting findings. It showed that more cats than dogs were affected and also that preexisting renal diseases and old age predicted the most severe outcome (death or euthanasia) than any other factors.