Local vets and stores dealing with pet food recall

Undated_Local veterinarians and pet store owners are looking out for you and your pets. As we all know by now, animals around the country are becoming sick and even dying from pet food sold in huge chains.  But local stores are ahead of the game.  They have pulled the contaminated food from shelves before we even knew there was a problem.

The FDA has reported one in six animals died in tests of dog and cat food manufactured by Menu Foods.  But from what we've been able to find out, none from here.

Many frantic pet parents have been calling and scheduling appointments at local veterinarian offices.

Lawton veterinarian Dr. Larry Chambers said many products sold every day at stores have been contaminated.

"Anything that comes in a can that has anything associated with gravy or a pouch that you open up that has a gravy type is the suspect part," said Dr. Chambers.  He also said people need to watch what their pets are eating.

The Federal Government is investigating Menu Foods.  It's focusing on wheat gluten as the likely source of contamination.  The item is commonly used as filler.

The signs of infection include vomiting, constipation, dehydration and a generally sick appearance.  The recall now covers over 50 brands of dog food and 40 brands of cat food, including Iams, Nutro and Eukanuba.

Co-owner of Fins and Critters pet store in Lawton, Linda McCutcheon, is glad such effort is being put forth in getting this problem solved.

"But until they figure out what is wrong, it needs to be pulled and really looked into," said McCutcheon.

She saw postings on the internet about the contaminated food, so they immediately pulled the food off the shelves-- even before it was made public.

As for local cases, Dr. Chambers said he hasn't heard of any in the area involving the contamination.   "There hasn't been any reported that I know of in Lawton.  But if it does happen, if you do fit these symptoms, you should contact your local or your home vet," said Dr. Chambers.

Even though the recall has been limited to food distributed from December 3, 2006 to March 6, 2007, you should be sure to watch your pets carefully for any signs of infection and dispose of any foods with the possibility of contamination.

A complete list of the recalled products along with product codes, descriptions and production dates is available at www.menufoods.com or call (866) 463-6738.