Dog food poisoned by melamine has killed around 1500 dogs in China.
The raccoon dogs – a breed native to east Asia that is raised for its fur – were fed a product that contained melamine and developed kidney stones, Zhang Wenkui, a veterinary professor at Shenyang Agriculture University, said Monday. All of the dogs died on farms in just one village.
“First, we found melamine in the dogs’ feed, and second, I found that 25 per cent of the stones in the dogs’ kidneys were made up of melamine,” said Zhang, who determined that the animals died of kidney failure after performing a necropsy – an animal autopsy – on about a dozen dogs.
Tens of thousands of Chinese children have become ill and at least four have died after drinking milk contaminated by melamine.
Six people who either sold melamine or added it to the milk have been arrested.
Authorities say middlemen apparently added melamine to milk they collected from farmers to sell to large dairy companies. The suppliers are accused of watering down the milk and then adding the nitrogen-rich chemical to make the milk seem higher in protein when tested. Protein tests often simply measure nitrogen levels.
As of Wednesday, a total of 46,717 children had been treated and discharged from hospitals, the health ministry said. Milk powder contaminated with melamine has been blamed for the deaths of four infants.
There have not been any more reports of deaths, the ministry said, adding that all the deaths occurred between May to August, which was before the public knew milk products were tainted.
Macdoctor points out that many chidlren will have permanent kidney damage because of the melamine poisoning.
That creates an enormous health burden for the future. Some of these children will eventually need kidney transplants, many will have regular kidney problems and many will require dialysis in 40 – 50 years time.