March 23, 2007
Health officials say they've found the contaminant in a massive amount of pet food that was recalled earlier this week.
They say rat poison is what killed 15 pets and caused countless more to become very sick.
The poison is called aminopterin, and it's used sometimes as a rodenticide--kind of like an insecticide, but for rodents.
Health officials say it was on the wheat gluten used in the dog food, and they claim it was cause of the kidney failure seen in so many pets around the country that ate the food.
They are not sure how it got there.
There are some veterinarians both around the country and here in Augusta who say that may not be the main cause of illness. They say kidney failure is not the expected response to this chemical, but that it actually causes massive internal bleeding.
Basically, they think there may another contaminant to find in the food.
Right now, there are at least three lawsuits against Menu Foods, the company that manufactured the food.
Click here for the full list of recalled pet foods.
CNN is reporting that Menu Foods did announce today that it will cover expenses of pets who became ill or died as a result of the eating the tainted food.