Pet Food Recalls, Canine Nutrition, Ingredients Analysis
CANNED TUNA & SEIZURES
Before feeding your cat or dog “tuna in
water”, check labels for soybeans
(disguised as vegetable broth) which can
May 2010 | TheDogPress.com
Nel Liquorman, Investigative Reporter
Although rarely fatal, a seizure is
frightening for both the pet and owner
and sadly, the animal may suffer
subsequent seizures if the vet is unable
to diagnose the initial cause
Like most cat owners,
from time to time I slipped a little
canned tuna fish into their diets.
Star-Kist always had the least amount of
magnesium, so it was my choice, and I
always got the chunk light in water.
An avid label reader, I knew that the brand
contained tuna, water, and salt. Then I
got two feral cats and decided that high
quality cat food would be what I would
feed them. So for more than 2 years I
stuck to my plan.
Then my big feral tom cat got a urinary
infection due to going long periods of
time before using a new corn litter. In
an effort to increase his water intake,
I decided to give him tuna in water. I
also gave the tasty treat to all three
of my cats.
The very first night, trouble surfaced.
One of my cats is eleven and has slept
right against me ever since I had
blessed her with the two five-week old
feral kittens. She woke me up in the
middle of the night making strange
movements. By the time I got the light
on, she was laying still but looked
dazed. Assuming that she just had a
strange dream, I quickly dismissed it.
A couple of days later, I gave them
another can of the Starkist tuna in
water. Within a two hours one of my cats
was having a seizure. While talking to
my vet’s office, I realized that the
seizure and the emergency had passed but
I decided to look for anything that
could have brought on the seizure. I
ruled out any environmental toxin,
because I do not use chemicals (or any
flea treatments) so it had to be
something she ingested. There was
nothing that she could get to but some
dry cat food.
Then I remembered the Starkist tuna in
water. I had a can on hand, so I checked
the label. On the front of the can it
stated plainly CHUNK LIGHT TUNA IN
WATER, as it always had. I turned it
around and read the ingredients: tuna,
water, vegetable broth, salt and it also
Contains: Fish, Soybeans
I was furious when I realized that the
source of the newly added vegetable
broth was soybeans. I did the research,
and yes it can and did cause my cat to
But, I went further, learning that the
once respected Starkist company no
longer has a USA owner but is now a
Korean company. Not only does this
explain the addition of cheap soybean
protein products, but it contributes to
a loss of jobs in America. With only
headquarters and a distributing group
here, Starkist has only 54 employees in
the states and we do not know how many
are Americans. The real Starkist company
no longer exists, well at least not for
About a month later, I decided to feed
the cats some Fancy Feast “Ocean Fish”,
which I had not fed for several months.
Within an hour of eating this food, my
eleven year old cat was laying on the
floor looking like road kill. I just
assumed she was really relaxed but when
she stood up, I realized that her back
legs were barely holding her up.
It seemed evident that she had once
again ingested something that was toxic
to her. I retrieved the can from the
garbage and read the ingredients. The
third one was vegetable oil. If this
sounds harmless enough, go to the store
(or online) and read the ingredients
label on vegetable oil. While it may
have once been a healthy blend, most are
now only soy oil! Remember, if it is
toxic to pets, the product may not be
good for us humans either.
I will never again feed my cats anything
without re-reading the label. But until
there are government regulations to
eliminate soybean products and other
unsuitable ingredients from cat and dog
foods, I know that feeding pets can
never be worry free.
Many pets are treated for unexplained
seizures. It would be expensive and hard
to trace it back to a particular
ingredient in the pet food. If the
veterinary treatment stops the seizure,
the pet just remains on what may be
unnecessary medication for the rest of
Seizures in pets can usually be
attributed to toxins. If you can rule
out any environmental toxins, accidental
exposure to a chemical, or treatment
with a flea product, that means the
toxin was probably ingested. You need to
find out more about the ingredients in
your pets food. Eliminating foods with
questionable or suspect ingredients may
save the life of your pet.
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