Recall on Wellness Cat Food

veterinary news

Canned Wellness foodA recall has been announced on lots of Wellness canned cat food. The following lots are recalled:

Wellness Canned Cat (all flavors and sizes) with best by dates from 14APR 13 through 30SEP13;

Wellness Canned Cat Chicken & Herring (all sizes) with best by date of 10NOV13 and 17NOV13.

The reason that these foods are being recalled is because of a lack of thiamine, otherwise known as vitamin B1.

Symptoms of lack of thiamine?

When a cat is fed a food lacking in thiamine, after three weeks we can start to see the following symptoms:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Excessive salivation
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Ventroflexion (the head is bent down towards the floor)
  • Ataxia (wobbliness)
  • Circling
  • Falling
  • Head tilt
  • Seizures

Usually, the gastrointestinal symptoms will be present before we see neurological symptoms.

Treatment of low thiamine levels.

If your cat has any of these symptoms and has been on one of the affected lots of Wellness food, it is best to visit your veterinarian.  Mild cases can be treated by simply feeding a food with proper thiamine levels.  However, if a cat has gone several days without eating they are at risk for fatty liver, which is very serious.

Your vet may decide to treat your cat with vitamin B injections.  In severe cases, the cat may need to be hospitalized and placed on IV fluids.

It is important to note that the official recall from Wellness states that most of their canned cat foods were not affected.

Was your cat affected by Wellness food?  If so, please let us know by leaving a comment below:

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8 Responses to "Recall on Wellness Cat Food"

  1. Jenn says:

    My cat was affected by the thiamine deficient food. He has lost 1lb in 3 months and is losing his hair. His behavior has also altered considerably. I’ve completely lost all trust in manufactured pet food and am beside myself as what I should do. How can I be sure that a pet food manufacturer is taking adequate measures to make certain that each can of food is giving peoples pets the nutrition they need?

    I was recommended 3 months ago by my veterinarian to feed my cat canned food to increase his water consumption. I chose Wellness cat food because is was a grain free formula due to an allergy. I so regret my choice. My cat relies on me to take care of him and I let him down. I plan on calling Wellness and insisting that they refund for all the product my cat ate as well as the unopened cans. I am also going to ask them what they are going to do for my cat and I. We relied on them. We trusted them. How they are going to gain that back I don’t know.

  2. DrMarie says:

    Oh, I am sorry that your cat is going through this.

    I understand your frustration with how difficult it is to know what to feed your cat. It looks like any of the companies, whether good or bad can have troubles with their manufacturing. Because making your own cat’s food is difficult (it is really hard to balance nutrients properly) I still do advise giving commercial foods.

    Has your vet confirmed that your cat’s symptoms were due to thiamine deficiency? If so, then I would definitely recommend contacting Wellness. Any reputable food company would not only give you a refund but would also pay for the vet bills that you incurred because of this problem.

    I really hope your little one is better soon!

  3. Patti says:

    My 17 year old cat was affected. She was on wellness since oct she loved the food did well. The first signs she started to turn her nose up at the food, then started vomiting, losing weight (down to 3 lbs) , diarrhea. We did a lot of tests and were treating her symptoms (including force feeding her by syringe) and about 3 weeks ago she started with the neurologic parts. She had the head tilted into her chest, pupils dilated unresponsive to the light, and wobbly gait, Thankfully I saw the recall and showed it to our vet she started our cat on thiamine supplements and is starting to make a comeback. Shes eating on her own, neurologic signs are almost all gone, and we are working on her gaining weight. I’m so glad we saw the recall or I’m positive we would of lost her.

  4. DrMarie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing Patti. I am pleased to hear that your little one is recovering.
    Are you planning on pursuing the makers of Wellness for some compensation for your vet bills? I’d be interested in knowing how they deal with this.

    1. Patti says:

      We have contacted the company. They said they would reimburse us all of our food we still have and any empty cans we still still have with coupons. They also said they’ll cut a check for any medical bills we have. We are actually going to take the cans back to the pet store because they’ll give us an instore credit. (after the medical bills are settled little worried about getting rid of all the evidence)

      We just had a check up today with her vet and they did say wellness contacted them this morning for copies of any medical receipts and records pertaining to the thiamine deficiency. So I’m hoping to hear from them in a few days. Our vet said its definitely a thiamine deficiency and is happy with our kitties recovery process. She’s only gained a half a pound in a week but at least the weight is continueing to go up, with her appetite, and all neurologic signs are finally gone. So she still has a ways to go with her weight but we are greatful she’s still with us and getting stronger and better every day.

      1. DrMarie says:

        This is good news all around! I’m glad that Wellness is going to reimburse you for the vet bills. This is the right thing to do. And I’m also very pleased that your little one is improving!

  5. Patti says:

    Just an update on our kitty. She had another recheck including bloodwork being redone. Physically she looks great up to 5 lbs and very frisky againg for a 17 year old.

    Our bloodwork shocked us and our vet because it says other wise. We are now waiting on results for heavy metal poisoning,( several owners had cans tested and found high levels of zinc.) we are also taking her to an emergency clinic tomorrow for an ultrasound (by board certified vet) aparently her liver was damaged worse then we thought from the thiamine deficiency. We had bloodwork done 2 weeks prior to feeding wellness for the first time (last fall) and it was normal.

    As far as reimbursment they said we qualify and will be compinsated on several occations but yet have seen anything not even a coupon for food. So its been very frustrating, and scary because we are not sure what our cats outcome will be.

    1. DrMarie says:

      Oh my…this sounds very serious! Thank you for updating us and please keep informing us about whether Wellness makes good on their promise to help.

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