clinical syndrome in cats associated with vascular and neuronal damage. J.M. Smucker Company has voluntarily recalled several of its cat food products after discovering that these contain potentially low levels of thiamine, also known as Vitamin B1.
Importance Of Thiamine In Cats
Thiamine is an essential nutrient for cats, the water-soluble vitamin is needed for their normal carbohydrate metabolism. Those that are fed on diet low in thiamine for several weeks are at risk of developing a clinical syndrome associated with vascular and neuronal damage.
Potential Effects Of Low Thiamine Level In Cat Food
In a statement, J.M. Smucker said that the low thiamine level in the recalled cat food products can have significant effect on the health of the cats over time.
Deficiency of this nutrient is known to cause salivation, decreased appetite and gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, which tend to precede neurological problems characterized by falling and seizures, wobbly walking, circling, dilated pupils, seizures and bending towards the floor, also known as ventriflexion.
Canned Special Kitty, 9Lives and EverPet Recalled For Low Levels Of Thiamine
The company's quality assurance team discovered the issue while reviewing production records at the manufacturing facility. The possibly low levels of thiamine prompted the company to pull out from the shelves Canned Special Kitty, 9Lives and EverPet's cat food . The affected products were distributed to retail customers from Dec. 20 late last year through Jan. 3, 2017.
Included in the recalled products were 9Lives Seafood Poultry Variety Pack, with UPC code 7910053377, lot number 6307803, 24 units per case, 5.5 oz selling unit size, and UPC code on case 7910053377; Special Kitty Beef and Liver Dinner, 8113112120, 6355803, 12, 13 oz, 8113112120; and Special Kitty Super Supper, 8113179041, 6355803, 12, 13 oz, 7910079041. The complete list of the products that were voluntarily recalled can be viewed on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website.
Stop Feeding Recalled Cat Food Products To Pets
The company advised consumers who bought the cans of affected cat food products to stop feeding them to their pet cats. Those whose cats already display symptoms associated with thiamine deficiency are urged to contact their veterinarian immediately.
No illness associated with low levels of vitamin B1 in the cat food products has yet been reported but the products were recalled out of an abundance of caution.
"Consumers who have cans of cat food covered by the recall should stop feeding it to their cats and call the company at 1-800-828-9980 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, or contact the company at email@example.com," reads the release on the recall.
Treatment For Thiamine Deficiency
Thiamine deficiency is often reversible if it is treated promptly. Treatment may include placing the cat on a nutritionally balanced diet, administering thiamine injections and cutting down or even eliminating raw fish from the animal's diet.
Raw fish contains the enzyme thiaminase, which destroys thiamine. Cooking the fish destroys the enzyme.
"Cats are... different from us and from dogs," said Louise Murray, of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in New York. "When it comes to nutrition, they are very inflexible, and owners must realize that."