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Author Topic: Problems with Orijen in Australia  (Read 345234 times)
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alek0
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« on: November 23, 2008, 08:30:56 PM »

Just saw this on another board, haven't seen it here yet (if I mssed it, culd moderators please merge):

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/cat-deaths-linked-to-pet-food/2008/11/23/1227375062012.html

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/11/24/2427915.htm?section=justin

The most disturbing part is about developing the symptoms even 12 months later after stopping the food.

Since I use this food, I am quite upset and can't stop thinking about what could it possibly be? To cause paralysis up to 12 months after the consumption is stopped?
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alek0
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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2008, 10:02:02 PM »

Still thinking what could it possibly be. One possibility that occured to me is heavy metal poisoning since this could lead to such delayed show of symptoms, and based on description seems arsenic could fit:

http://www.lef.org/protocols/prtcl-156a.shtml#cad2

But then again how could it be contaminated by arsenic, and how could you link it conclusively to food?

Another thing which could cause lower limb paralysis (but not with such delayed onset) is a rodenticide:

"Bromethalin is a newer rodenticide first marketed in 1985.
This general-use rodenticide is available in pellets of a 0.01%
concentration. It acts as a neurotoxin causing vacuolation
and spongiosis of white matter in the central nervous system
(CNS) and consequently severe cerebral edema.3 Poisoned
animals develop ataxia, paresis, hind limb paralysis, and progressively
intensifying CNS depression. Bromethalin is an
extremely nonselective mammalian poison. Cats are one of
the most sensitive species to the toxic effects of bromethalin.
There is no known antidote or physiological antagonist other
than timely administration of emetics, control of cerebral
edema, and supportive care."

From Clinical Techniques in Small Animal Practice
Volume 21, Issue 4, November 2006, Pages 164-173

Some interesting info on secondary posioning:
http://www.animalpeoplenews.org/IMPORTANT_MATS/catPoisoning.html

Organophosphorus insecticides also seem suspect,
"Clinical, electrophysiological and histological findings in four patients accidentally poisoned with the organophosphorus insecticide Dipterex are reported. Three to five weeks after insecticide ingestion signs of a distal sensorimotor (preponderantly motor) neuropathy occurred. The patients complained of paraesthesia in the lower limbs, and two of them of very disagreeable pricking sensation in the soles of the feet, responsive to carbamazepine."

On delayed neurotoxicity of organophosphorus compounds:
http://books.google.com.hk/books?id=L4RnzNOeNM8C&pg=PA191&lpg=PA191&dq=delayed+onset+of+ataxia+organophosphorus&source=web&ots=u4WxYuBVeq&sig=A0MFkNlNlhFv0isxM7sOI6GWO4c&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=7&ct=result#PPA192,M1

Now the question is if this is the cause, how to conclusively link it to food? Since it seems to be restricted to one area, could be arsenic in water, could be pesticides, could be anything. Or it could be indeed contaminated food Sad

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petslave
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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2008, 10:12:59 PM »

A lot of people seem to be thinking it's linked to irradiation of the food on import - changes in food nutritional quality, creation of toxic chemicals, altering the plastic bags, etc.  Poco started an irradiation thread about some of the food changes that occur:

http://itchmoforums.com/off-topic-no-politics/dangers-of-food-irradiation-t6986.0.html
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Sandi K
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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2008, 10:15:54 PM »

This is strange because if its coming from Orijen in Canada, why are only pets in Australia falling ill.....or are pets in the U.S getting sick too but its not get getting diagnosed properly?  There are still so many vets that are not willing to look at pet food as a possible problem when someone brings in a sick pet.  Paralysis can be the symptom of other illnesses including FIP so it makes me wonder if pets are being diagnosed incorrectly here and if its not that, is it something the food is coming in contact with during transport just to Australia?  We have alot of Itchmo members using Orijen!  This is very scary and very worrisome.  
« Last Edit: November 23, 2008, 10:17:54 PM by Sandi K » Logged
petslave
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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2008, 10:56:08 PM »

Someone on another forum mentioned this study of the cats paralyzed in Europe in 1996, and how similar this was to what is happening in Australia now:

http://www.vetpathology.org/cgi/reprint/36/2/152.pdf

I posted this on another thread awhile back when we were discussing toxins in foods.  The contaminant in this case was salinomycin, an ionophore, found in the vitamin premix.
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alek0
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« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2008, 11:07:53 PM »

Good find, petslave!

I wish there was more information about symptoms. That article doesn;t say how soon after ingestion would symptoms occur, but it said it was similar to another toxicity study of similar compound on dogs, where "The onset of clinical signs was 6–12 hours after intake of contaminated food."

That is quite a big difference, and what is most worrying about situation in Australia is that report that symptoms develop for weeks even months after animal has been off the food.

If this is the case, we have no way of knowing how safe the food we are feeding is. But it also make me wonder how can they conclusively link it to food? And if those are indoor/outdoor cats as seems to be common in Australia, how can they conclusively link it to anything?
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petslave
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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2008, 11:14:18 PM »

I did find reference to gamma being used to produce different types of salinomycin, I think through bacteria selection, but my mind is too bleary now to make sense of them.  Maybe someone else can find and decipher that info.
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alek0
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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2008, 02:13:19 AM »

Something interesting:

http://www.dolforums.com.au/lofiversion/index.php/t152392.html

see the post by Powerlegs:
"My cat developed a numbness in his limbs, couldn't walk, was admitted to hospital on a drip, blood tests, xrays, antibiotics etc etc - nothing conclusive. This news is the closest we've come to a possible reason BUT he doesn't eat any commercial pet food. 
He is walking now but can't jump and can't purr. He is fussier with his food but seems ok and happy in himself. Such a mystery.  He gave me a fright. "

The posts I've seen from people who say their cats are affected, seem to a) be from Sydney, not even other areas of Australia b) have fed Orijen exclusively c) cats developed symptoms starting with wobbly back legs which progressed while being on the food.

I haven't been ab;e to find anything on the late onset of symptoms which wasn;t news report. I found lots of crazy stuff on various boards, like "Orijen comes from Netherlands since orijen means orange in dutch and package is orange". if I wasn't so worried about this issue, it would be funny Sad

Can anyone find anything else? Anyone contacted Champion pet foods?
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5CatMom
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2008, 03:23:31 AM »

This was posted by RUSTYcat on the pets.ca forum:

RUSTYcat writes:

I was just looking on another Australian forum where a member has posted what is stated to be Champion's "formal" announcement:

"Champion Petfoods is announcing the voluntary recall of its ORIJEN brand cat food sold in Australia. Consumers are asked to stop feeding ORIJEN cat food and return any unused portion to the place of purchase for a full refund.
Limited to Australia, this recall is based upon a number of cats within the Sydney area taking ill after consuming ORIJEN cat food. Champion Petfoods is working closely with the Australian veterinary community to conduct a comprehensive and ongoing program of laboratory tests.Although results
are unable to link ORIJEN cat food to illness in cats, we are recalling our product as a precautionary measure.
Due to the highly localized nature of incidents, the recall is issued for AUSTRALIA ONLY and research efforts are now directed toward identifying local factors unique to Australia.
ORIJEN is made with chicken, fish and egg that are passed ‘fit for human
consumption’ in Canada and processed fresh. As these meats are included FRESH,
ORIJEN products sold in Australia are required by law to undergo an irradiation
treatment prior to distribution in Australia.

The irradiation requirement is unique to Australia.

Champion Petfoods is an award-winning, family-owned pet food maker. Our mission is to produce the healthiest and safest pet foods on earth – a mandate in which our entire staff are fully and passionately engaged. We are proud of our 25 year history of making world-class pet foods.
For further information relating to ORIJEN or Champion Petfoods, please contact me
directly by telephone at 780 939.6888 or email at peter@championpetfoods.com."


http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=58511
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Carol
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« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2008, 04:04:04 AM »

http://www.physics.isu.edu/radinf/food.htm

Robert Davis posted this at Therese's blog...good link..apologies if already here...
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“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

United we stand     Divided we fall....
5CatMom
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« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2008, 04:06:21 AM »

It's starting to make the news:

http://www.foodmag.com.au/Article/Petfood-recall-prompted-by-cat-deaths/431933.aspx

5CatMom
=^..^=
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August
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« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2008, 04:26:57 AM »

I feel absolutely nauseated about this.

I've just transitioned all 4 to having this as their one and only dry food (they also eat some wet and some freeze-dried raw, but Orijen is 50% of their daily food intake).  I was so happy to have gotten them to being grain-free.

I simply don't know what to do.

Urgh, do I order some other previously eaten dry foods that they can eat (with grains  Undecided ...they won't eat enough wet and freeze-dried)?  This is just horrible.
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ANDYcat
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« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2008, 04:35:56 AM »

August-
This post, I believe may help in your decision-making.
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Carol
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« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2008, 04:41:42 AM »

I feel absolutely nauseated about this.

I've just transitioned all 4 to having this as their one and only dry food (they also eat some wet and some freeze-dried raw, but Orijen is 50% of their daily food intake).  I was so happy to have gotten them to being grain-free.

I simply don't know what to do.

Urgh, do I order some other previously eaten dry foods that they can eat (with grains  Undecided ...they won't eat enough wet and freeze-dried)?  This is just horrible.

I struggle still with the fact that I fed Smudge and angel Jess poisoned food (my food was tested) and if I had the chance to have read that a few cats were ill "possibly" due to the food and I was feeding that kind...I now know I would err on the side of caution until more info was released...even though this may be a very isolated case...we all know how info is not released as we all feel it should be...even though you want to stick with a grain-free kibble I can't help but worry that there is more to this behind the scenes that we don't know about yet...what is a red flag to me is how they have related the illnesses to the food...something stinks and it just isn't the food...HTH

 Undecided
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“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

United we stand     Divided we fall....
5CatMom
Guest
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2008, 05:10:13 AM »

August,

Same here.  We use a few commercial canned foods, plus some homemade food.  I was about to open a new bag of Orijen.

For now, believe we'll hold off on the Orijen until more is known, and increase the other foods.

(Personally, I'll never feed US made kibble ever again)

If you're able, this might be a good time to consider adding some amount of homemade to your food rotation.  You don't have to feed only homemade.

Whole Foods sells ground chicken and turkey thigh meat, and chicken hearts and livers.  You can purchase one of the supplement mixes for the vitamins/calcium (Prowl, Alnutrin).  Just chop organs, mix everything up and freeze.  Very simple, very easy, very fast!

5CatMom
=^..^=         
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