By Gina Spadafori
March 21, 2007
As of 6 p.m. last night, more than 600 people had reported a pet illness or death into the Pet Connection database. Of those, 241 pet deaths were reported.
Yes, the number surprised us. Shocked us, is a better word. What to make of it?
To be sure, there are limitations to self-reported data. We asked everyone who reported the loss of a pet to check the food they bought against the recall list and provide a veterinary reference, and most did both. But we recognize that a solid count would require cross-checking of those references and post-mortem results. The latter is not possible in many cases, since the pets died well before the recall was announced.
Most of the deaths were cats, and the geographic spread was wide. Truly, as Dr. Becker has said, this is a tragedy felt from Manhattan to Mayberry.
Still, we believe that the number of pet deaths reported to us suggests if nothing else that the official death count will go higher, perhaps much higher, than the dozen or so confirmed deaths the government has announced, a figure that mostly includes the animals who died in a feeding trial.
Our database remains open, for now. We expect in the days to come the FDA’s numbers will also increase.
Last night, we sent the numbers out to the media.
Update: We’ve also added a page to our site with what pet-lovers need to know about kidney failure.
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