Ask the Vet Archive

Your chance to ask Dr. Mindy Cohan, VMD, our resident pet health expert, what's on your mind!

Topic: Pet Food Recall

Question from Doug in Wilmington:
My wife and I have two 1 1/2 year old Maine Coon cats. They have been on Iams dry cat food since they were kittens. With the recent pet food scare from rat poison being in the Iams wet food and foil pack food, my wife thinks that they should be on a "safer" brand of dry food (i.e. Purina One).

I tried telling her that the problem is not in the dry food ans she has nothing to worry about. Is there any way you can respond that might ease her concerns?

Answer from Dr. Mindy Cohan:
Doug, you are correct. The Iams dry food, and all dry foods, were not included in the recent pet food recall. There is no evidence to suggest that you should worry about your own cats. Iams and many other foods involved in the recall are in fact quality foods. The entire situation is very unfortunate and hopefully will result in more intense screening of the materials used in pet foods.

If a pet owner realizes that recalled food was being fed to their dog or cat, the food should be replaced immediately. The animals which have been sickened show signs of kidney failure (decreased appetite, vomiting, lethargy, increased thirst/urination). To learn which foods have been recalled and for updates, visit

The problematic substance has been recently identified as aminopterin. This cancer drug is also used as a rat poison, but it is not labeled for use in the United States. Small amounts of aminopterin have been shown to be lethal to dogs and cats. If you suspect any problems in your pet related to the food it has been consuming, contact your veterinarian immediately. Blood and urine tests can help to confirm or rule out a problem.

Posted March 26, 2007

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