Mars Petcare supports regulation of Australian pet food

The dog and cat food company recalled ADVANCE Dermocare dry dog food products after numerous dogs were affected by megaesophagus.

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Photo by p a w e l,
Photo by p a w e l,

On June 20, the Australian senate voted to hold an inquiry into the pet food industry, reported the Australian Broadcasting Company. Mars Petcare officially stated their support for pet food regulation in Australia. The dog and cat food company’s support for federal oversight come after Mars Petcare Australia voluntarily recalled ADVANCE Dermocare dry dog food products from the Australian pet food market after numerous dogs were affected by megaesophagus.

Starting in December in Victoria, nine police dogs, including one who was euthanized, were affected by megaoesophagus, an enlargement of the esophagus, reported SBS News. One common factor among the dogs was the ADVANCE Dermocare dry dog food.

As of June 6, the number of cases had climbed higher than 100. Since the outbreak of the disease, a petition has received more than 41,000 signatures calling for regulation of Australia’s pet food industry. Currently, pet food companies are expected to self-regulate.

Despite the growing number of cases, Melbourne University and Mars Petcare have not determined a causal link between the dog food and the life-threatening illness.

Megaesophagus in dogs

Megaesophagus is characterized by generalized enlargement of the muscular tube leading from the throat to the stomach, the esophagus, according to Pet MD. The enlargement is associated with decreased or lack of movement by the esophagus, which reduces the animals ability to move food and liquids into the stomach.

Symptoms of megaesophagus include:

  • Regurgitation
  • Aspiration pneumonia
  • Vomiting
  • Cough
  • Nasal discharge
  • Increased respiratory noises
  • Weight loss
  • Extreme hunger or lack of appetite
  • Excessive drooling
  • Bad breath
  • Poor growth

Dogs are more prone to megaesophagus than cats. Certain dog breeds suffer from the condition more frequently. For example, Wire-haired Fox Terriers and Miniature Schnauzers may be born with the problem. German Shepherds, Dachshunds, Great Danes, Irish Setters, Labrador Retrievers, Pugs and Chinese Shar-peis may be more prone to acquiring the disease.

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