It looks like they’ve finally pinned down the reason the petfood contaminant melamine is causing renal failure in dogs and cats who ate the contaminated petfood products. Unfortunately this will bring no relief or solace to the thousands of sick, dying and dead dogs and cats or their owners!

From the Sun News Canada

New Focus for Pet Food Probe – TORONTO – 4/28/07 – A chemical process that occurs between two compounds, one used to make plastics and another employed in pool chlorination, may explain how North American pets were affected, some fatally, by recalled pet food products, researchers suggest.

Cyanuric acid, which was found in urine samples from animals that died, and melamine, a compound identified in the gluten found in the recalled pet food, react with one another to form crystals that may block kidney function, researchers at the University of Guelph said yesterday.

“You wouldn’t normally expect to find those compounds in pet food, and hence nobody was really looking for it,” said John Melichercik, director of analytical services for laboratory services at Guelph.

“It’s just another piece of the puzzle along the way in this particular pet food issue.”

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Federal testing of some recalled pet foods, and the wheat gluten used in their production, turned up the chemical melamine, commonly used to make kitchenware and other plastics.

Further testing done at the University of Guelph and a number of U.S labs found that cyanuric acid, a metabolic byproduct of melamine, was also found in the urine and tissue samples of affected animals.

Last week, a chemist at the Agriculture and Food Laboratory in Guelph decided to test the reaction between the two compounds in a setting similar to that of an animal’s kidney.

“Our research had taken a number of turns, and so we decided to take a look at the two substances implicated by the FDA,” said Melichercik.

The experiment resulted in the formation of a precipitate in a crystal-like form. Analysis of the crystal determined that it had a chemical fingerprint matching that of crystals found in the urine and tissues of animals that died of renal failure.

(For the full story Click here)

Thanks to the Pet Connection and their readers for being this to our attention. Found this story in one of their reader’s comments!

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