Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Melamine and Cyanuric Acid: A Fatal Synergy?

Our veterinary hospital just received a new press release from the AVMA regarding a possible link to the melamine tainted pet foods and , until now, mysterious causes of death and illness of cats and dogs.

It seems a new theory is evolving around the newly discovered cyanuric acid found in urine samples of animals that have died. It is believed that a chemical reaction between cyanuric acid and melamine produces a crystallization that blocks kidney function.

The crystals found in animals that have died are made up of approximately 70% cyanuric acid and 30% melamine and are "extremely insoluble". Mixing the two compounds in vitro produces an immediate crystallization identical in composition to the crystals found in affected animals. In addition, two other melamine related substances, ammelide and ammeline, may be implicated as well.

Hats off to the researchers as they laboriously make inroads into the pathological details of this tragedy.

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