Serious neurological disorder caused by pet food in Australia
I don’t think I have seen such serious health issues caused by a pet food product than this one. The pet food concerned is Weruva’s Best Feline Friend (BFF). This brand of pet food is also manufactured and sold in America. However there appears to be no connection between the American version of this food and the Australian version which I presume is manufactured in Australia. So the problem is confined to Australia.
What happened is that Australian veterinarians started to report sick cats who displayed signs of neurological problems with symptoms such as strange head movements, circling while walking, difficulty with walking and wobbling. Obvious signs of neurological issues.
These serious health issues were discussed on social media and it transpired that pet owners started to asess that their cats had became seriously ill after being fed a diet of Weruva’s Best Feline Friend (BFF).
Subsequently this wet cat food was pulled from the shelves over “potential product issues” as a precaution. In addition cat owners were warned not to feed their cats with this product.
Subsequently the founders and owners of this independent pet food brand made a video and posted it on Facebook. That’s the video on this page. They are testing the food to find out what happened.
I am obliged to update this page because I have received a very important comment which I have embedded into this article directly below. It extends the discussion about this cat health problem to much wider issues. I’m grateful to the person who made the comment.
“Hi Michael, as one of the affected cat owners this is a much bigger picture than just thiamine deficiency. Symptoms are both neuro and gastro including high fever, inappetence, vomiting and diarrhea. Food is produced in Thailand from a factory that also produces human food. Note, Weruva’s Dad owns a company called Jana brands that also provide tuna to the U.S. market for the likes of Subway from a factory in Thailand – are they from the same factory, don’t know? At least 16 cats in Australia have died so far and 100s are ill including my fur baby. We still haven’t got an answer from Weruva so have no idea what we’re dealing with.”
Here is a quote from Simone Glossop:
Hi Michael, thank you so much for your interest in the weruva bff issue.. I lost one of my cats shortly before the recall to.. I was devastated to learn of so many more then my poor Loki.. I however don’t agree with the thiamine issue, in our group of effected owners we have seen a wide variety of treatments applied some with thiamine and some without some cats were still lost some are still recovering. My own Loki was treated with 4 bags of sub q vitamin b complex and additional vitamin shots just in case.. however he still declined.. some marine toxins have been raised as a potential cause with many of the symptoms fitting majority of our cats.. another issue is majority of the ill kitty’s have had fever of unknown origin including my own Loki.. we have also started to receive reports of sick cats in the US known if this is related or a coincidence but again symptoms are so similar.. weruva is being very deceptive about the whole issue including having their staff private message people with sick cats telling them to blame the recent outbreak of feline parvo in Sydney.. their tactics and responses have been nothing short of atrocious..
anyway I just wanted to pass along my thanks. Some of our members are own vets and Sydney uni are conducting post mortem tests on deceased kitty’s so I don’t think it will be long before we receive some answers.
And an update from Simone:
I guess.. we still have no definitive answers as to what it was that caused the deaths. Weruva have silenced most with their blood money which I refused. We lost many more after my message and have been really disappointed to see cans of this turn up in rescue shelters around Australia.. we are raising money for more testing but it’s costly and we still don’t know what to look for.
One possibility is that it is deficient in thiamin: vitamin B1. The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is looking into the matter in association with Weruva and the Pet Food Association of Australia.
The AVA are unable to tell us how many cats have been affected.
Thiamin deficiency normally occurs when there is an unbalanced diet containing large amounts of raw fish. In this instance if the problem is a thiamin deficiency then it is simply because this vitamin has not been added to this wet cat food. The signs of thiamin deficiency are similar to those of vestibular disorders. This accounts for the lack of balance. Sometimes there are seizures. When a cat is lifted up they “often flex their necks, dropping chin to chest”.
The cure is injections of thiamin and then ensuring that the cat is on a balanced diet. This leads to recovery but only if the cat is treated before he/she becomes comatose.
In this instance, there are reports that some cats have died because of this deficiency (if indeed it is a thiamin deficiency).