Poisoned By Iams

I adopted a beautiful, loving, intelligent cat back in October of 2008 when I was in college. His name was Louie, and he was an orange and white tabby with an attitude and a huge vocabulary. One thing a lot of people that haven't been blessed with a pet fail to understand is that losing them is as painful as losing a child.

At some point between the end of November 2010 I estimate, and the beginning of January 2011, something he ate caused him to stop eating. Louie was the type of cat who ate his kibble and nothing else. Wasn't curious about what mysterious objects tasted like, didn't have access to plants that he probably wouldn't nibble on anyway, and he was strictly indoors. I couldn't even tempt him with turkey at Thanksgiving, he just wouldn't have it. And he ate small portions over the course of a day. My other cat, whom I adopted mid-December 2010 and who is still alive and healthy, eats like a pig. She would eat whatever he didn't eat and it would be gone in a second. She would eat ANYTHING. Well, I fed him IAMS Proactive Health for the last two years of his life. At some point around Christmas of that year I sent my boyfriend to get a new bag of food at the store, but they had pulled the IAMS from the shelves. At the time I didn't know it had been recalled, so I thought nothing of it and told him to go Meow Mix instead, because the new cat was used to eating it. Louie, however, wouldn't touch it. He wouldn't eat anything at that point. And that's when I noticed he had lost a bit of weight. All that fur on him and I didn't notice how bad it was before then. I took him to the vet and they ran blood tests. He had kidney and liver disease, dehydration, and by chance they found a heart murmur. It was a nightmare, I was so scared I was going to lose him. He wouldn't eat so I had to feed him with syringes full of special wet food, mixed with medication that had to be ground up. He wouldn't drink water so I had to give him subcutaneous fluids, which didn't make him very happy but he let me do it. The vet's last ditch effort was to insert a feeding tube because he developed a food aversion and would puke up the food/medication mixture. 24 hours after the surgery I rushed him back to the vet because he was in a lot of distress, breathing heavily, crying all night. He hadn't gotten any better since that initial blood test, none of the medications had helped, nothing we did helped. When he went into complete organ failure it was time to put him down. I never knew the kind of pain of watching someone die until I had to look into his eyes and hold him as he took his last breath. I really never thought it would happen like this.

It's been over a year now and I'm still grieving, which probably won't change. I miss him so much it eats me up inside. Sometimes I roll over in bed expecting him to be curled up next to me on my pillow, and it shatters me when I realize he's not there. I can't spend too long looking at pictures of him cause it still hurts, and I hate crying so much sometimes. He was only six years old when he died, and I only had him in my life for three years. Am I selfish for thinking that's not enough? I feel like I was robbed of what should have been a decade long relationship that was unfairly cut short because I was too stupid to see how deceitful companies like IAMS are about the quality of their food. It kills me even more to read the endless stories from people who have experienced the same thing with their pets, and how I wish I had seen it sooner.
geekyraven geekyraven
22-25, F
2 Responses May 15, 2012

Pet foods are always an issue - we buy what we think is the best (and often far from the cheapest) only to find, eventually, that it's utter rubbish. My Border Collie was having top quality food which turned out to be making him neurotic because of the high protein content.<br />
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But talking cats, my Siamese, Leo was just 18 months old when we realised that something was not right. You never see an overweight Siamese but Leo seemed to be getting thinner which, for an adult Siamese, didn't make sense. He was hardly eating, not drinking vast amounts and we knew something was wrong.<br />
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The vet agreed that, whilst on the surface everything seemed okay he was too thin. They did blood tests and rang back a few days later. They wanted to take him in for a day or two for some more tests. We agreed, of course.<br />
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I took him in the morning, he seemed lethargic but was okay. Later that evening the vet rang. "I've run some tests and taken a scan, I know we hadn't agreed the cost but I thought it was necessary." He told us that Leo had gone downhill very quickly, he thought it was FIP and the scan confirmed it.<br />
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No cure and a cat in pain - the solution was simple (but far from painless). Leo is at peace.<br />
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The breeder said, when I contacted her, that she had used a different stud cat (normally used her own and I thought that she had that time) but she had no knowledge of any problem ... they say its in the genes.<br />
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I understand your pain but without an autopsy, try and keep a open mind

I know this painful loss and after all this time it still tears me up. Now I am so careful of the food I buy my dogs (I couldn't bear to have another cat); it costs more, but they are so healthy and why shouldn't they have better food than what's available in the stores?