BOISE, ID — (MARKET WIRE) — March 22, 2007 — One cat dies and one survives as Pets Best Insurance pays first pet insurance claims caused by tainted pet food that has been recalled. Angela Taylor of Southern California fed tainted food from the recall list of cat food to her two cats. Some time after feeding the tainted food, she noticed that her two cats, Choco and Chunky, appeared listless, were staggering and were drinking water excessively. As the symptoms became more pronounced, she rushed both cats to an emergency veterinary hospital last week. Sadly, shortly after arrival Choco died of kidney failure. Chunky made it through initial treatments and appears likely to recover though continued visits to the veterinarian and more treatments are required.
“We love our cats and we have never experienced any medical issues in their short lives. The poisoning came on very quickly and by the time we made it to the emergency clinic, it was too late for Choco and he died. Chunky is doing okay but we are waiting for test results to see what the long-term damage may be. Our pet insurance helped during this time with very fast services and immediate payment of our claims at 100% and they waived all deducible and co-pays. They were very concerned for our family and our pets and we are very thankful to have the support as we go through continued care,” said Taylor.
Pets Best Insurance considers this unfortunate incident as Accidental Poisoning under its plans; as such, any claims from Pets Best policyholders relating to the recalled food is covered under all its plans including the accident-only plan. Pets Best insurance provides $1,500.00 per incident for accident-only and $2,500 for Pets Basic and $7,000 per incident, the industry highest limits for Pets First plans. Due to irreversible kidney damage, Choco succumbed quickly to the toxin, probably because of ingesting more of the toxin than Chunky. The cost of treating Chunky Taylor was a modest $600.00 initially, with the cost of future treatments unknown. Chunky, at least so far, is one of the lucky pets and appears to be responding to treatments. According to Pets Best Founder & President, Dr. Jack Stephens, “Pet families have been through a great deal of grief and sadness, we view this as accidental poisoning and we are providing 100% coverage and will subrogate all deductible and co-pays on behalf of our insured. This will not interfere with or reduce rights to make claims in the future; this is merely to accelerate the claims process and help pet families.”
According to the FDA, the recall involves Menu Foods produced “cuts and gravy” style dog and cat food produced between Dec. 3, 2006, and March 6, 2007, at a facility in Emporia, Kansas. According to Menu Foods website, on March 16 Menu Foods announced the precautionary recall of a portion of the dog and cat food it manufactured between December 3, 2006 and March 6, 2007.
These products are both manufactured and sold under private-label and are contract-manufactured for some national brands. There are 60 million cans or pouches of food that include 51 different brands of dog food and 40 brands of cat food. The recall includes in-house brands and leading brand pet foods sold throughout North America. The FDA so far has confirmed the deaths of at least 16 pets that had reportedly eaten the company’s “cuts and gravy” style pet food. Nationally there are over 500 cases of probable poisoning reported so far by veterinarians.
IMPORTANT THINGS FOR PET FAMILIES TO KNOW
- Kidney damage can occur slowly. Symptoms and damage may be progressive or cause acute illness if larger doses of the offending ingredient are given or if the pet is older or in poor health.
- Stop feeding any of the recalled pet foods immediately and dispose of the food, such that another animal does not have access to the food, including wild animals.
- Symptoms will depend on a host of factors, such as the amount and how long the pet was ingesting the toxin, the pet’s age, health, how quickly the toxin is removed, and how quickly treatment is initiated.
- Symptoms include lack of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, weight loss, listlessness, increased urination and drinking water excessively. Severe symptoms can include seizures, staggering or other neurological signs.
- A simple blood test is the first and best solution to determine if your pet has any kidney damage.
- If your pet is older or high amounts of the toxin where ingested, the damage can be irreversible. Acute death may be the result, or chronic kidney damage requiring long-term treatments.
- Your veterinarian can collect necessary samples and interpret your pet’s kidney function.
- To date the pet food in question is only from certain “wet” pet foods, no dry pet food is known to be involved.
Consumers can find the latest information as it unfolds at www.petsbest.com and click onto Pet Food Recall Tab. Remember to keep any proof of purchase, including store receipts and can or pouch labels.
Pets Best Insurance was founded by Dr. Jack Stephens, a veterinarian, avid pet enthusiast and seasoned insurance executive who is celebrating 25 years as the leading pioneer of pet insurance in the United States.
The Pets Best Insurance product brand includes a choice of four affordable coverage plans with a straightforward 80:20 claims reimbursement structure and NO benefit schedules. The Pets Best Insurance team is a highly skilled and professional group of pet lovers who have developed products based on innovation and insight into veterinary care. Visit Pets Best Insurance at www.petsbest.com or phone 877-PetsBest (738-7237).