May 08,2007 00:00
NEW YORK - Cats' urinary tract system apparently made them more susceptible to contaminated petfood than other animals, a New York veterinarian said.
USA Today said veterinary hospitals report cats that have become sick or died after eating the tainted food outnumber dogs.
"The majority of our cases are cats," Louise Murray, director of medicine for Bergh Memorial veterinary hospital in New York, told USA Today. Because cats evolved in the North African desert, they don't drink as much water as other animals, including humans, leaving their kidneys less able to distill contaminants, Murray said.
Researchers told USA Today that they believe the petfood was contaminated with the chemicals melamine and cyanuric acid that combined to form life-threatening crystals in the pets' kidneys.
Animals were still dying, even though the initial recall was in mid-March. Some stores still were selling recalled food, and some pet owners weren't aware of new round of recalls announced late last week, Murray said.
"Every time you think it's over and start to relax, then, boom! Somebody went to the store and bought (tainted) food that was still on the shelves," she said.
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