In 2021, the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency has counselled cat ownes not to feed specific cat food products produced by Fold Hill Foods after receiving around 130 reports of cats having a rare blood illness called pancytopenia. In August 2021 therefore, the agency has undertaken an investigation of cat food causing feline pancytopenia but could not discover a link.
Fold Hill Foods has recalled ist dry cat food products after discovering a higher concentration of toxic trichothecene T-2/HT-2 mycotoxins than recommended by the European Commission.
The Royal Veterinary College has now analyzed the outbreak of pancytopenia that has killed over 350 cats in the UK. The research team has examined 544 dietary histories of cats which suffered severe panytopenia. The results have shown, that 500 cats were fed with one of the three brands whose cat food was recalled in June 2021.
Due to a lack of data, researchers could not definitetly confirm the correlation between the cat food and the panytopenia cases but though they assume that those cat foods have caused several cases.
“The diets associated with the pancytopenia outbreak in cats in the United Kingdom all contained potatoes flakes which, in this scenario, are thought to have been the likely source of mycotoxin,” Royal Veterinary College researchers wrote.
“However, similarities in clinical presentation and clinicopathological findings, in particular bone marrow examination findings compared to other species and reported studies in cats, as well as exclusion of other previously documented causes, make a causative link likely and veterinarians should consider dietary derived mycotoxin induced marrow toxicosis as a possible underlying cause in cats presenting with pancytopenia…
“The trichothecene mycotoxin diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS) was detectable in all recalled diet samples but not in any of control samples,” they wrote.