Objective—To document clinicopathologic, histologic, and toxicologic findings in cats inadvertently exposed to pet food contaminated with melamine and cyanuric acid.
Animals—70 cats from a single cattery inadvertently fed contaminated food that was the subject of a March 2007 recall.
Procedures—Clinical signs, clinicopathologic and histopathologic findings, and results of toxicologic analyses were recorded
Results—Clinical signs were identified in 43 cats and included inappetence, vomiting, polyuria, polydipsia, and lethargy. Azotemia was documented in 38 of the 68 cats for which serum biochemical analyses were performed 7 to 11 days after consumption of the contaminated food. One cat died, and 13 were euthanized. Histologic examination of kidney specimens from 13 cats revealed intratubular crystalluria, tubular necrosis with regeneration, and subcapsular perivascular inflammation characterized by perivascular fibroplasia or fibrosis and inflammation with intravascular fibrin thrombi. Toxicologic analyses revealed melamine and cyanuric acid in samples of cat food, vomitus, urine, and kidneys.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In cats unintentionally fed pet food contaminated with melamine and cyanuric acid, the most consistent clinical and pathologic abnormalities were associated with the urinary tract, specifically tubular necrosis and crystalluria.