A recent pet food recall has pet owners in Eastern Kentucky fearing the worst for their furry friends. WYMT's Heather Haley has more on how a drug found in the pet food has risked the lives of thousands of animals.
Meet Runt. Runt has to spend his weekend at the Appalachian Animal Hospital because his owners say he ate contaminated food.
"He could have died from it, so I'm glad that we did catch it in time," said Candice Collier, Runt's owner.
Pet owners have been checking their cabinets to see if they've been feeding their furry loved ones one of the nearly one hundred types of dog and cat pouches and canned food.
Dr. William Hagans says they receive a lot of phone calls every day from concerned pet owners.
"People should look for lethargy, not acting like they usually are, lying around a lot, drinking a lot of water," Dr. Hagans said.
The substance in the food was identified as Aminopterin, a cancer drug that is used to kill rats in some other countries, but is not allowed as rat poison in the U.S.
"A lot of people that's low income and they can't afford bringing their pet to the vet, so eventually the pet ends up dying," Dr. Hagans said.
The company, Menu Foods, is based in Ontario Canada and company officials say they will take responsibility for pet medical expenses incurred as a result of the tainted food. Officials say some pets that ate the recalled food suffer from kidney failure and the company has confirmed the deaths of 15 cats and one dog.
"You can see some severe long term effects with kidney disease if it takes a really long time to diagnose," Dr. Hagans said.
Dr. Hagans says the early stages of the kidney failure are usually treatable depending on the amount of contaminated food your pet has eaten. Veterinarians say if you think your dog or cat may have eaten the contaminated food, you should take them to the vet as soon as possible. For more information on the pet foods being recalled and how you can be reimbursed from the company for related veterinarian bills, log on to http://www.menufoods.com/recall.