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04 November 2005 @ 04:39 pm
Post two. One to go.  

A while back I said that I would update y'all on the cat situation. Well, with all I do online and force feeding and medicating and rehydrating two cats three times a day, it's been a bitch to find the time.

Basically, we realized one thing had changed since the cats first got sick years ago. We shopped at Red Barn then. Then when we moved to Winnetka, we stopped. But our regular pet food place was out of the one food we can feed Skate, so we went back to Red Barn. And then all the cats started getting really sick, again. Hmmm...

Red Barn's storage area for food is not air conditioned. In Los Angeles. All through the summer... and to quote this place...

"Mycotoxins are naturally occurring fungal by-products that can cause disease and death in dogs and cats. When grains are improperly stored, mycotoxins can develop. Two common forms, both of which have been found in pet food (more commonly in dog food) are aflatoxin and vomitoxin. Although mycotoxins are found worldwide they only become toxic in temperatures above 82 degrees and over 80 percent humidity at which point they interfere with cellular function, and are extremely carcinogenic and immuno-suppressive. Aflatoxin B1 is the most toxic of the aflatoxins and is the most potent liver carcinogen known." (emphasis mine)

We have lost two cats to toxic liver diseases and have two seriously ill. Could these be connected? We certainly think so. The food we buy is not in high demand. Odds are it's kept at Red Barn for quite a while sometimes in very high temperatures. And left to sit. And sit. And this could happen with ANY dry food.

We checked the smell of the cat food in the hopper. It stank. We don't tend to smell cat food, even the dry stuff is pretty rank when it's GOOD. But we realized this stuff smelled absolutely rotten. And we had poured it from the brand new unopened bag the day before. As it was, it stank too bad to save any in case the store or manufacturer wanted to test it.

So odds are because of our carelessness (not always smelling the cat food) and Red Barn's poor storage two of our cats are dead. The only tie in between now and the last time multiple cats of ours got this disease was buying our food at Red Barn.

And this can EASILY happen to you. ANY dry food for cats OR dogs can have this problem. Make a point of buying only from places that store the food for short amounts of times in an air conditioned area. It IS a matter of life and death.


Ignore this. For my personal use later. I've got too many bookmarks, and it's related to the above link anyways.



This is just something stupid fun I got from jason_brez. Thanksgiving: The Movie. Hope no one is insulted by anything in it, it's just supposed to be stupid fun...

Current Mood: quixoticserious
Current Music: "Behind These Hazel Eyes" by Kelly Clarkson
Phoenix Anewphoenix_anew on November 5th, 2005 02:11 am (UTC)
Does the humidity really get that high around there? I guess sitting in the storage area like that it can. Jeez. Are you going to try to take any action against them? Or at least let them know that what they are doing can potentially kill people's pets, so they may want to stop?

I hope your cats turn out ok. I'm definitely going to be wary of this stuff myself, being down here in the south and everything.
Frittersfritters on November 5th, 2005 02:57 am (UTC)
Well it's not the humidity in the store, it's the humidity in the bag. And dry foods can have a lot of fat in them and get pretty musty and humid.
Frittersfritters on November 5th, 2005 03:00 am (UTC)
Oh, and I don't think we CAN take action without having some of the food tested at our own expense. We keep planning on calling the manufacturer first to let them know and THEN after speaking to them calling Red Barn, but with taking care of the cats we have so little spare time we just haven't gotten to it. Rotten of us, I know. We're working on it.

And yeah, especially in the south I can imagine it being a big big problem.
lironesslironess on November 5th, 2005 02:25 am (UTC)
The article was pretty scary. It also seems to recommend that you feed your cats only raw chunks of meat. They also need roughage. They get this from the hair, bones and digestive content of their pray. The prey supplies the digestive enzymes too. So I think some grain is good, as they don't include hair and such, but not if it is a major source of protein in the food. I give my cats half a can of wet food a day in two servings. They rarely clean the plate. I think we all have to do the best we can short of feeding our cats raw mice. But certainly they should not eat stale food that was not kept cool. The owners of Red Barn should be tarred and feathered. I'm praying for your cats. I promise to always smell my cat food from now on too, and I wish I could afford to feed them chunks of meat instead of dry. So far I have been very lucky. Although raw meat disease pathogens is a whole nother story.
Fritters: Head smashie by rainecloudfritters on November 5th, 2005 03:03 am (UTC)
What we're trying to do is smell the food, of course, and give them wet once or twice a day so they have everything more balanced... Yeah, I'm pretty angry at them, but also angry at myself. on the other hand, all the anger in the world won't bring them back, so...
lironesslironess on November 5th, 2005 03:42 am (UTC)
Hon, please don't talk as if they are already dead, unless of course they are much much worse. Don't throw that to the fates yet. I am sure that if you had any idea that it would cause a problem, you never would have shopped there. Everyone makes mistakes. You just wanted to get Skate the right food. It is not your fault. Just do the best you can, as you have been doing. I'm still praying. I also just smelled my cats food. It smells fresh, but a lot like cereal. Hummmm.....
Fritters: Cat Goes Pbtht by iconfetishfritters on November 5th, 2005 03:48 am (UTC)
No, I'm talking about the LAST two, Plunger and Stanley....
Lady Pixelladypixel on November 5th, 2005 02:51 am (UTC)
... as one of the rare, few people in the world who can say that I've actually /eaten/ dry cat food (it was more of a prank and stunt as a kid than anything else - tried to gross out the neighbor kids, one of whom started eating Milkbones in protest), I know what dry cat food's supposed to smell like. And honestly, I kinda like the smell of dry cat food.

But one has to be careful about that, yes... although I never realized to what extent one should be careful. I think I'll be more careful once I've got felines again, though. :)
Fritters: I Got Nothin' by secondversefritters on November 5th, 2005 03:34 am (UTC)
Yeah, we're giving them wet 1-2 times a day, too, to reduce the amount of dry they eat...
ancient_immie: Standard: Wesley drop swordancient_immie on November 5th, 2005 12:36 pm (UTC)
Hey put a warning on that thanksgiving day thing...I alsmost shot soda out of my nose laughing so hard.
Fritters: TT SF Giggle by shamanic_nurikofritters on November 5th, 2005 10:09 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked it. It's pretty evil, huh?
ancient_immie: Invader Zim: Gir Whee!ancient_immie on November 5th, 2005 11:31 pm (UTC)
teh ebil of this!
Be agast at the horror of this!
Look away from this!
Frittersfritters on November 6th, 2005 12:55 am (UTC)
Thoe are pretty damn ebil. I still think the other one is eviler, but those are damn funny. I may link those...
ancient_immie: SG: Atlantis Crew Comixancient_immie on November 6th, 2005 06:59 pm (UTC)
link away... there's more than just those...albinoblacksheep.com I reccomend Bees on the main page...its worse if not on the par with the Llama song.
Sonya Couchsonyacouch on November 8th, 2005 06:45 am (UTC)
Fritters: TT SF Giggle by shamanic_nurikofritters on November 8th, 2005 07:01 am (UTC)
Oh, very amusing. Char LJ. Nice.

Do you think I should post those?
Sonya Couchsonyacouch on November 8th, 2005 09:33 am (UTC)
So sue me, I forgot. How do you like the edits I made to your wonderful icons? They wouldn't fit into LJ specs, plus I tinkered some. I credited, sorta.
perlee_grace on November 5th, 2005 04:43 pm (UTC)

Aflatoxin is produced by the mold Aspergillus niger. If the food looked or smelled moldy at all, chances are it was contaminated with aflatoxin.

I'm so sorry for your cats and the pain you've had to endure. But you can't be the only ones affected by this, even if the cat food isn't in high demand. I'd be reporting Red Barn for improper food storage. And I'd be reporting the manufacturer as well, because the food should be manufactured to quality control standards.
Fritters: TT BB Cute by ellonwyefritters on November 5th, 2005 10:22 pm (UTC)
I thought it was pretty much impossible to keep any mold spores out of food. you really think the manufacturer is also to blame?
perlee_grace on November 6th, 2005 10:18 pm (UTC)
There are federal requirements for the maximum numbers of mold spores and such in a given quantity of food. At the very least the manufacturer should know because then they can inform their distributors and sellers about proper storage conditions.

This Red Barn thing may be bigger, if their cat food is stored improperly what about the rest...?
Fritters: Ed Thinking by Frittersfritters on November 6th, 2005 10:25 pm (UTC)
I think EVERYTHING is stored improperly, honestly.... I mean, the storage area isn't air conditioned. This is California. I doubt anything is supposed to be kept at that temperature. I'm half tempted to ask the local vets if they get a spate of liver disease at the end of every summer....