Feline pancytopenia deaths linked to pet food recall reaches at least 335

I feel that we should remember the quiet disaster that is befalling many households at the moment. You might have read about the rare feline disease called feline pancytopenia affecting many cats in the UK. It is believed that this bone marrow disease has been caused by a range of cat food products manufactured at the same facility. 

Sushi died of pancytopenia after eating Pets at Home AVA dry cat food. She was actually euthanized at a vets. Photo: Mrs Kenny.
Sushi died of pancytopenia after eating Pets at Home AVA dry cat food. She was actually euthanized at the vets. Photo: Mrs Kenny.

But the point of this short post is to report that the Royal Veterinary College has issued a warning about the surge in cat deaths reaching 335 at the date of this post. In all 528 cats have contracted the disease. These are the cases that the college are aware of but there may be more. In fact, they say that this information probably represents only a percentage of cases because many of the sick cats may not be taken to a veterinary practice and therefore diagnosed by a veterinarian.

The information has not been verified and many UK vets are not actively reporting to the Royal Veterinary College at this time.

The investigation so far as reported by the college is that there appears to be no link with common feline infectious diseases, no link with common toxins, and no link with deficiencies or excesses in vitamins or minerals.

Investigations are still taking place including analysis by the college of cat food involved in the product recall. If you not read about this then please click on this link to go to a list of the products believed to be affected.

Associated: Fears that Pets at Home’s AVA cat food killed this cat

It is believed that feline pancytopenia in this instance has been caused by mycotoxins which are toxic compounds that are naturally produced by different types of fungi. They grow on a variety of different crops. Cat food does contain cereal to pad it out and it appears that these mycotoxins on the cereal have found their way into the commercially prepared cat food.

There has been a reduction in the number of reported cases. The peak number of cases reported occurred in mid-June of this year (2021). Seven cases were reported on July 12.

If you think your cat has been made ill by this cat food then you should of course contact your veterinarian immediately to ask for a blood test to look at the levels of red and white blood cells and platelets in your cat's blood. These blood cells decrease in number when a cat has contracted pancytopenia. Bone marrow produce these cells.

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