It’ll astound you what they can put in pet food. This could have been about cats. Pet food manufacturers can put urea in pet food. Urea is a major component of urine (piss, aka pee). It is waste produced by the body. Urea is an authorised pet food ingredient per AAFCO Official Publication. This is the US book of pet food/animal feed ingredient definitions.
So to recap, urea can legally be used in pet food in America. And the same goes for Latvia where it was used in a dog food called DoGo.
This dog food was toxic and it caused the deaths of many dogs through starvation because they developed megaesophagus. This is a widening of the throat which prevents food passing into the stomach because it does not drive the food down. Dogs can starve to death unless they are fed in an upright position as if standing on their hind legs. The nerves were damaged by the urea causing the oesophagus to enlarge, become flabby.
A brave Latvian veterinarian, Ilze Matīse‑VanHoutana, battled the manufacturers of DoGo and the politicians who defended the manufacturers. This was a toxic partnership between bent politicians and bent manufacturers defending a poisonous but legal pet food product. Have we heard that before? YES.
This brave veterinarian’s research exposed the cause of the serious illness megaesophagus in dogs in Latvia. The number of dogs contracting this condition had exploded and she linked this particular dog food and its ingredient urea to the disease. It took three studies and a lot of effort including crowdfunding as the government pulled the plug on funding research. The Latvian government were willing to let many dogs die and hundreds become very ill because they received monies from the manufacturer.
Although the manufacturers and their politician friends defended the dog food and indeed the manufacturer threatened to sue the vet and the dog owners, at the end of the day the consumers stopped buying the food as the information about it leaked out in the press and social media.
Pet owners won the day. Ultimately they dictated what happened and they forced change and damaged the manufacturer. Be vigilant about pet food. Don’t trust pet food manufacturers and politicians and agencies working for government. Our cats are at risk from many sources and sometimes the threats are endorsed by government. It is shocking.
If you have the time please watch this video. It is a presentation by Ilze Matīse‑VanHoutana in English. It sheds light on the unethical behavior of pet food manufacturers and politicians. It concerns Latvia but don’t think it does not happen at home.
Source: Sandy, Susan Thixton Pet Food Safety Advocate and eng.lsm.lv (picture – modified)