Thousands of pets at risk as food linked to killer disease

‘Thousands’ of cats could have contracted a killer disease linked to an urgently recalled pet food, a vet has said on ITV’s This Morning.

A number of hypoallergenic cat food products have been urgently recalled by suppliers following fears that they could cause a serious illness to cats that eat them after vets reported a spike in cases of severe feline pancytopenia, which can be fatal.

The disease causes a very rare condition where cats’ blood cells rapidly decrease.

The products, manufactured by Fold Hill Foods, are sold by a multiple retailers, including Sainsbury’s, Amazon and Pets at Home.

Speaking to Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on This Morning, veterinarian doctor Scott Miller said pancytopenia is a “severe and life threatening” condition and was usually seen “very rarely”.

However, there have been 270 cases in the past week – but there could be many more cases that have not yet been collated, because the vets don’t have a joined up service like the NHS, said Dr Scott.

He said: “I’m really worried about this. I think we’re reporting just the tip of iceberg – the numbers could spiral into thousands”.

He urged cat owners who were worried to contact their vets, because it “could be matter of life death”

However, Dr Scott had some reassuring news for dog owners, saying that “at this stage” the issue does not affect canines.

The PDSA says that symptoms of pancytopenia “tend to start vague and mild, before quickly becoming serious and potentially life threatening”.

Symptoms include:

  • Low energy/weakness
  • Not eating
  • Pale gums
  • Bleeding from the gums, nose, eyes, mouth anus or vagina
  • Blood in the poo or pee
  • Blood in the vomit
  • Unexplained bruising
  • Repeated or severe infections
  • Fever
  • Collapse

The Chartered Institute of Trading Standard said: “Old Hill Foods is taking the precautionary action of recalling several hypoallergenic cat food products because of safety concerns.

“This product recall information notice has been updated to include all best-before dates for Applaws products with the site code GB218E5009.

“This is not due to the identification of further safety concerns, but is a voluntary action by the manufacturer to make things easier for consumers to understand which products have been affected.

“There is concern on the safety of the products listed. There has been an increase in cases of pancytopenia in cats and there is a possible link to the cat food products listed. Pancytopenia is a very rare condition wherein the number of blood cells (red, white and platelets) rapidly decreases, causing serious illness.

“Fold Hill Foods is recalling the above products. Point of sale notices will be displayed in all retail stores that are selling these products. These notices explain to customers why the products are being recalled and tell them what to do if they have bought the product. Please see the attached notices.

Full list of recalled products

Product details
Applaws Cat Dry Chicken
Pack sizes: 400 g, 2 kg and 7.5 kg
Batch codes: N/A
Best-before dates: all date codes

Applaws Cat Dry Chicken and Salmon
Pack sizes: 400 g, 2 kg and 7.5 kg
Batch codes: N/A
Best-before dates: all date codes

AVA Adult Fish
Pack sizes: 2 kg
Batch codes: all batch codes
Best-before dates: all date codes

AVA Adult Mature Chicken 7+
Pack sizes: 2 kg and 4 kg
Batch codes: all batch codes
Best-before dates: all date codes

AVA Senior Chicken 12+
Pack sizes: 2 kg
Batch codes: all batch codes
Best-before dates: all date codes

AVA Sensitive Skin and Stomach
Pack sizes: 1.5 kg
Batch codes: all batch codes
Best-before dates: all date codes

AVA Weight Management
Pack sizes: 1.5 kg
Batch codes: all batch codes
Best-before dates: all date codes

AVA Hairball
Pack sizes: 1.5 kg
Batch codes: all batch codes
Best-before dates: all date codes

AVA Oral Care
Pack sizes: 1.5 kg
Batch codes: all batch codes
Best-before dates: all date codes

AVA British Shorthair
Pack sizes: 1.5 kg
Batch codes: all batch codes
Best-before dates: all date codes

AVA Persian
Pack sizes: 1.5 kg
Batch codes: all batch codes
Best-before dates: all date codes

AVA Maine Coon
Pack sizes: 1.5 kg
Batch codes: all batch codes
Best-before dates: all date codes

Applaws Kitten Dry Chicken
Pack sizes: 400 g, 2 kg and 7.5 kg
Batch codes: N/A
Best-before dates: all date codes

by Sainsbury’s Hypoallergenic Recipe complete dry cat food with Salmon 1+ Years
Pack sizes: 800 g
Batch codes: all batch codes
Best-before dates: all date codes

by Sainsbury’s Hypoallergenic Recipe complete dry cat food with Chicken 1+ Years
Pack sizes: 800 g
Batch codes: all batch codes
Best-before dates: all date codes

Applaws Cat Dry Chicken and Lamb
Pack sizes: 400 g, 2 kg and 7.5 kg
Batch codes: N/A
Best-before dates: all date codes

Applaws Cat Dry Chicken and Duck
Pack sizes: 400 g, 2 kg and 7.5 kg
Batch codes: N/A
Best-before dates: all date codes

Applaws Cat Dry Ocean Fish
Pack sizes: 350 g, 1.8 kg and 6 kg
Batch codes: N/A
Best-before dates: all date codes

Applaws Cat Dry Senior Chicken
Pack sizes: 400 g, 2 kg and 7.5 kg
Batch codes: N/A
Best-before dates: all date codes
AVA Kitten Chicken
Pack sizes: 300 g and 2 kg
Batch codes: all batch codes
Best-before dates: all date codes

AVA Adult Chicken
Pack sizes: 300 g, 2 kg and 4 kg
Batch codes: all batch codes
Best-before dates: all date codes

Hull Live – What’s On