An amazing story how a veterinarian with the support from consumers found the cause of pet illness and death – despite all odds against them.
Below is a TEDx talk from veterinarian Ilze Matīse‑VanHoutana. It’s fifteen minutes long, but well worth your time.
From the YouTube write up on the video: “As a veterinary pathologist and researcher, Ilze never expected to find herself at the centre of a scandal. It’s not a typically scandalous job, after all. But what began as a professional investigation triggered by an outbreak of a deadly dog disease, developed into a tangled mess of vested interests and politics. Ilze is a Latvian veterinarian who has returned to her home country after 14 years in the US. In the US, she found her passion for veterinary pathology and trained in this field, receiving a PhD and becoming a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. Throughout her career, she has been influenced by people that she admired for their integrity in research and diagnostic work. Veterinary pathology has opened opportunities for Ilze to assist owners of animals, as well as medical researchers using animals to study human diseases. In recent years, Ilze was drawn into the investigation of an outbreak of a previously rare disease which was affecting dogs in Latvia. This investigation has been under the microscope from the media, state institutions and politicians because it has touched on a sensitive subject, our beloved pets. This is the first time in her life that her research has been so politically charged, with her scientific credibility under challenge. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx“
The brand of dog food was “DoGo” – more information here: http://eng.lsm.lv/article/society/health/toxic-substance-found-in-dog-food.a247068/
The ingredient found in the dog food to cause the illness was “urea”. Merriam Webster dictionary defines urea as: “a soluble weakly basic nitrogenous compound CO(NH2)2 that is the chief solid component of mammalian urine and an end product of protein decomposition, is synthesized from carbon dioxide and ammonia, and is used especially in synthesis (as of resins and plastics) and in fertilizers and animal rations.”
Urea is a legally defined feed ingredient listed in the AAFCO Official Publication (book of pet food/animal feed ingredient definitions). This ingredient would be considered a legal ingredient in any feed (there are no species limitations per AAFCO) including cat feed and dog feed.
Why was urea in a pet food? Because it analyzes as protein and because regulatory authorities allow it.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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