Dec. 2, 2009 -- The FDA says two popular cat foods that were voluntarily recalled by its manufacturer have the potential to produce a vitamin deficiency in felines that could make them sick and could even prove fatal.
The FDA, in a company news release posted on its web site, says Diamond Pet Foods' Premium Edge Finicky Adult Cat and its Premium Edge Hairball can cause thiamine deficiency, and that thiamine is essential for cats.
The recall was first announced Sept. 23, but the news release is providing additional information on the potential effects of thiamine deficiency.
Symptoms of thiamine deficiency can be gastrointestinal or neurological, according to the news release. Cats may show decreased appetite and salivation, may vomit, and may lose weight in initial stages.
Neurologic signs that may develop include ventroflexion of the neck -- which means that the head is bent toward the floor -- wobbly walking, circling, and falling.
Such problems may result in death if the cats aren't treated. Pet owners should contact their veterinarians if their animals have displayed symptoms.
The recalled products were distributed in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
The affected date codes were: RAF0501A22X 18 pounds (BB28NOV10), RAF0501A2X 6 pounds (BB28NOV10), RAF0802B12X 18 pounds (BB30FEB11), RAH0501A22X 18 pounds (BB28NOV10), and RAH0501A2X 6 pounds, (BB28NOV10, BB30NOV10, BB08DEC10).
Twenty-one cases of thiamine deficiency in cats have been reported and confirmed by Diamond. Reports so far have been limited to the Pennsylvania and New York areas.
Diamond tested the product and found the foods to be deficient in thiamine.
The news release says no other complaints have been reported on any other product made by Diamond, based in Meta, Mo. Consumers who bought the affected lots are urged to return the foods to the place they purchased it for a full refund.
Consumers with questions about the recall can contact the company at 800-977-8797, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time.