Study Showed Thiamine Deficiency In 12 Out Of 9o Foods
Thiamine is an essential nutrient necessary for carbohydrate metabolism, muscle concentration, and never conduction. Thiamine is only stored in the body in very small quantities, and cats depend on their diet to provide a steady source of this vitamin. Thiamine is naturally found in meat, especially muscle and organ meats, as well as nuts, legumes, and brewers yeast. After two to four weeks of a thiamine deficient diet, cats may exhibit signs of thiamine deficiency, which can include increased salivation, loss of appetite and sometimes vomiting. Advanced signs of thiamine deficiency include dilated pupils, a slow heart rate, aggression, and neurological symptoms such as a rigid neck or head.
Benefits Of Taurine And Thiamine For Cats
While cats are notoriously self-sufficient and low-maintenance pets, their delicate digestive systems still need to be treated with utmost care. Thats why a healthy cat food is essential to a felines well-being. Specifically, the ingredients Taurine and Thiamine are absolutely crucial for the proper function of feline organs deficiencies can lead to serious health issues, even death. Heres why:
Rvc Clinicians Identify Source Of Recent Spate Of Thiamine
Thiamine deficiency is usually rare and can be life-threatening if not recognised. The RVC has recently diagnosed an increasing number of cats with clinical thiamine deficiency, suspected to be a result of exposure to a thiamine-deficient commercial dry cat food.
The diagnosis of this condition in three cats was confirmed based on a combination of typical clinical signs associated with this condition, classic changes in the brain documented on MRI scans and rapid clinical response to thiamine administration. Our investigation found a common denominator in that each cat was being fed the same commercial cat food.
We contacted the producer of the cat food , and investigations by the company have confirmed deficient levels of thiamine in four products within their AVA range. As a result the company initiated a voluntary food recall that was announced on Feb 28, 2017 – Voluntary Recall of Indoor, Senior, Mature AVA Dry Cat Food Varieties.
Early recognition of this condition is important and we would advise anyone who is concerned about their cat being affected to seek veterinary attention. All three cats treated at our hospital survived, but one patient has persistent neurological abnormalities six months after initial diagnosis..
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Although Thiamine Deficiency Can Be Deadly In Cats No One Has Found A Solution To The Problem Of Thiamine Loss During High Temperature Processing
Cat food container size and shape arent the solution to thiamine loss during processing, pet food researchers concluded. Although initial experimental results suggested smaller containers might retain more of the essential vitamin, further analysis disproved the correlation. Instead, time and temperature seemed to be the main factors influencing thiamine loss
Treatment For Thiamine Deficiency
Thiamine deficiency is often reversible if it is treated promptly. Treatment may include placing the cat on a nutritionally balanced diet, administering thiamine injections and cutting down or even eliminating raw fish from the animal’s diet.
Raw fish contains the enzyme thiaminase, which destroys thiamine. Cooking the fish destroys the enzyme.
“Cats are… different from us and from dogs,” said Louise Murray, of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in New York. “When it comes to nutrition, they are very inflexible, and owners must realize that.”
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The Were All About Cats Standardrating Wellness On What Matters
Weve rated Wellness on six key criteria for quality. Heres how it rates in each of these six crucial areas.
- Recall History 4/10
Overall Score: 6.9/10
In total, we give Wellness cat food a 41 out of 60 rating or a B- grade.
As part of our review process, weve submitted samples to an independent lab. You can see the full report here.
In addition to performing our own qualitative analysis of the brand, we submitted a sample of Wellness CORE Turkey & Chicken Recipes for analysis at an ISO 17025 certified food testing and analysis lab. We bought the product at full retail price, and the entire testing process was funded by All About Cats without direct input or influence from the cat food company.
Analytical testing in a food chemistry lab gives us the products exact macronutrient and micronutrient content, painting a clear picture of what youre putting in your cats bowl.
Remember that, when it comes to nutrient content, the cat food label only gives us a guaranteed analysis, which is a set of minimum and maximum valuesnot a description of whats in the food. In reality, the foods nutrient content may be substantially different from what you see on the label.
In addition to the following review of the brand, we hope the information in this lab report empowers you to take a scientific, data-driven approach to deciding whether or not this brand is the right choice for your cat.
Thiamine Deficiency In Cats Causes
Deficiency can arise from several factors including the following:-
- Homemade or commercial diets that dont contain adequate amounts including only meat diets.
- The use of sulfur dioxide as a preservative for fresh meat cat food as it blocks vitamin B1 absorption. In fact, some products marketed as fresh pet meat, mince, or processed ones may have such preservatives.
- Being water-soluble, excessive urination means that it will be excreted away.
- It may occur after extensive surgical resection of jejunum and ileum, notes PetMD.com
- Any diseases or conditions that cause nutrient absorption or assimilation problems
- Prolonged starvation due to poor appetite
- Thiamine destruction during food processing including cooking often results in inadequate amounts including cooking food in water and some canned foods.
- Thiaminase in some raw fish such as herrings, carp, catfish, cod, etc., destroys vitamin B1
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Thiamine Reference Range In Dogs And Cats
Little is known about blood thiamine status in dogs and cats. Thus, more research is required to determine an accurate reference range for thiamine in both species.
A small study that compared whole blood thiamine status in one thiamine-deficient dog and six control dogs reported lower thiamine status in the thiamine-deficient animal compared to controls, with control dogs having a mean blood thiamine concentration of 95 µg/L . However, diets were not nutritionally balanced, and small sample sizes mean that results cannot be generalized to the canine population. Another study determined whole blood thiamine concentrations in 25 dogs and 29 cats and also used microbial methods, and found a median blood thiamine concentration of 72 µg/L in dogs, and a median of 48 µg/L in cats . However, there were methodological concerns in this study. Dogs and cats in this study included growing animals, adults, and senior animals. In addition, how the animals health status was determined was not clarified and dietary intake was not assessed. Both of the above studies used protozoal methods to assess thiamine status by measuring metabolically active forms of vitamins, and while the authors of the second study stated that the method had been validated in humans and rats, it was not validated in dogs and cats and is not a method that is used with any regularity.
Is Royal Canin Good Cat Food
Looking at the ingredients, Royal Canin is a below average cat food that includes questionable fillers, artificial colors & flavors, and animal by-products. The carbohydrates are below average while the protein levels are above other dry cat foods on the market today.
When looking at the dry food ingredients there are some fillers within the first 5 ingredients, which offer a cat little to nothing nutritionally. In addition to that there many low-quality grains, low animal protein content, inclusion of wheat, by-products, and meals too high on list.
While the canned or wet food recipes are better than the dry food, they are not great. When compared to other wet and canned cat food brands the protein is a bit lower. Also, there are by-products, vegetable oil, wheat, corn and other fillers high on the ingredient list of most recipes.
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Thiamine Deficiency In Cats
Thiamine A Deficiency in Cats
Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is an essential vitamin for cats, which means it must be part of their diet in order for your cat to maintain optimal health. The brain and other high energy organs require thiamine for proper function because it is used for carbohydrate metabolism. If a cat does not get enough thiamine in their diet, you will first notice a lack of appetite, weight loss and GI upset. As symptoms progress, cats will experience neurological symptoms such as neuromuscular weakness, unequal pupil sizes and decreased light response by the pupils. Extreme cases can lead to heart problems.
Over the past 5 years, there have been several major recalls of commercial pet food due to insufficient thiamine content. Thiamine is sensitive to heat and water soluble so it is not a very stable vitamin when exposed to high heat from food manufacturing processes. Certain drugs like diuretics that cause increased fluid loss can deplete a cats thiamine. Some cats simply have a higher demand for thiamine due to poor nutrient absorption in their intestines. All of the factors can potentially lead to thiamine deficiencies in your cat.
Stop Feeding Recalled Cat Food Products To Pets
The company advised consumers who bought the cans of affected cat food products to stop feeding them to their pet cats. Those whose cats already display symptoms associated with thiamine deficiency are urged to contact their veterinarian immediately.
No illness associated with low levels of vitamin B1 in the cat food products has yet been reported but the products were recalled out of an abundance of caution.
“Consumers who have cans of cat food covered by the recall should stop feeding it to their cats and call the company at 1-800-828-9980 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, or contact the company at firstname.lastname@example.org,” reads the release on the recall.
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Do Canned Cat Foods Contain Enough Thiamine
Thiamine is an essential nutrient necessary for carbohydrate metabolism, muscle contraction, and nerve conduction. Very little thiamine is stored in the body and cats depend on a steady dietary source of the vitamin. Thiamine is naturally found in many food sources such as whole grain cereals, nuts, legumes, brewers yeast, and meat products, in particular in the skeletal muscle, liver, heart, and kidneys. Improper food storage and processing, consumption of uncooked fish that contain the enzyme thiaminase, and consumption of diets with sulfur dioxide or sulfite meat preservatives can lead to insufficient dietary thiamine. After two to four weeks of a thiamine deficient diet, cats exhibit salivation, anorexia , and sometimes vomiting. If the deficiency is not corrected, then dilated pupils, bradycardia , aggression, and progressive neurological symptoms such as ataxia , rigid head and neck ventroflexion, twitching, loss of righting reflexes, seizures, coma, and death will ensue. Rigid head and neck ventroflexion is the most common clinical sign in cats presented to veterinarians.
Why Did Thiamine Deficiency Make The News
Thiamine is a delicate vitamin. It is destroyed in heat. When the meat used for kibble is rendered at over 230 degrees, it degrades thiamine.
Kibble is cooked several times so if you can imagine by the time kibble is cooked theres hardly any thiamine left.
And that is why kibble companies must add the thiamine back, but in a synthetic form.
AAFCO states because processing may destroy up to 90% of the thiamin in the diet, allowance should be made to ensure the minimum nutrient level is met after processing
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Cat Foods And Thiamine
Researchers at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University recently analyzed 90 canned foods from 45 brands to determine if commercial canned cat foods meet the thiamine requirements set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials . This study was prompted by six recalls of thiamine-deficient cat food in the past five years.
Thiamine is an essential nutrient needed for carbohydrate metabolism, muscle contraction and nerve conduction. Because very small amounts of thiamine are stored in the body, cats depend on a steady dietary source of this vitamin. Thiamine is found naturally in food sources such as whole grain cereals, nuts, legumes, brewers yeast and meat products.
According to the study which was published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 12 of the 90 analyzed foods did not meet the minimum thiamine requirements set by AAFCO. Although the names of the foods were not disclosed, the research indicated that pate-style food had lower thiamine levels than non-pate foods, and that food manufactured by smaller companies had lower thiamine levels than those made by large ones.
After two to four weeks of a thiamine deficient diet, cats can exhibit salivation, anorexia and sometimes vomiting, which can progress to neurological signs such as difficulty walking, blindness and seizures.
Top 15 Thiamine Foods
What foods contain thiamine? Here is a list of the top thiamine-rich foods to include in your diet:
Other thiamine foods include spinach, eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes, potatoes, sesame seeds, rice bran, wheat germ, oats, barley, dairy products like yogurt or cheese, oranges, and organ meats.
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Why Is The Recall Necessary
Cats, especially those that are kept indoor all the time, need to have a certain amount of thiamine for normal neurological functioning. Without the proper amount of thiamine they may have lesions appear in their brain, resulting in some of the above mentioned symptoms. However, this condition is not permanent as a study by the National Institute of Health showed that cats with lesions who are given increased doses of thiamine are able to recover within a 2 to 3 week period.
Cats get the majority of their thiamine from their canned cat food, and require three times as much thiamine than a dog to remain healthy. One mistake many cat owners make is to feed their cat a diet too high in carbohydrates, i.e. dry cereal, for food which can also result in the thiamine deficiency. But even owners who feed their cat canned food can see the above symptoms occur because the number of incidents involving canned cat food being recalled for a lack of thiamine have increased over recent years.
It Starts Off With Thiamine
Thiamine is a vitamin is a water-soluble vitamin, and an essential dietary nutrient in dogs and cats.
Thiamine helps your dogs body break down food and turn it into energy. It also keeps the nervous system healthy.
How often do dogs need it? Daily
Most common source? Food sources include pork, beef, liver, beef liver, fish and seafood. In kibble, thiamenase is added as a synthetic form because it is impacted by heat.
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Signs And Symptoms Of A Deficiency
If not detected early, vitamin B1 deficiency can be life-threatening. If this pet is on a diet deficient of this vitamin, signs might begin showing after 30-40 days but progress very fast. Some of the things that may signal a deficiency include the following:
- The first symptoms often noted after about two weeks include vomiting and other gastrointestinal problems and excessive drooling. Also, reduced appetite and weight loss may be noted in some cats.
- Secondly, this pet may have vestibular and neurological problems which according to Open Farm include but not limited to incoordination, circling, head tilt, dilated pupils, stupor, seizures, and arching of the head, neck, and spine backward.
- Finally, ventriflexion characterized by your feline friend curving towards the floor or curling his or her neck as well as poor growth and coprophagy.
If left untreated, the condition can be fatal and your feline friend may end up with semi-coma, persistent vocalization, opisthotonus, and death, states Bsava.com.
Three Final Things To Remember When Putting It All Together
Theres a lot of data out there, and it can be very confusing when you read it in parts and pieces.
So heres a little summary for you to remember:
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Other Warnings For Cat Owners
Since thiamine is no critical to a cats health, there are several types of foods that actually counteract the effect of thiamine or completely destroy the essential nutrient. Owners who feed their cats significant amounts of raw fish need to be cautious as the raw fish contains thiaminase, a substance that actually destroys the thiamin in the cats body. A second culprit is feeding your cat foods that contain sulfites. Sulfites neutralize the beneficial effects of thiamine and also result in thiamine deficiency.
Beware of fad diets that have become popular at times when people are watching animal shows that advertise a specific kind of diet. Of recent vintage is an all vegan cat food that resulted in owners being cautioned to avoid such diets because they have the potential to harm the cat. There are responsible companies that have sold vegan cat food for years, but ensure the necessary amounts of thiamine have been added to ensure the safety of the cat. Be sure to check the ingredient label on the package before feeding it to your cat.
Why there has been an increase in the release of thiamine deficient cat food is somewhat of a mystery. Quality checks are a normal part of every food approved by the Food and Drug Administration who also oversees the quality of many pet foods. This consumer alert was prompted by the FDA, who you can contact for any further information.