Brief communication: Retrospective study of melamine/cyanuric acid-induced renal failure in dogs in Korea between 2003 and 2004

Ji Young Yhee, C. A. Brown, C. H. Yu, J. H. Kim, R. Poppenga, J. H. Sur

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36 Scopus citations


In early 2007, American pet food ingredients leading to nephrotoxic renal failure of dogs and cats raised serious concerns about the safety of pet foods. Major pet food companies recalled more than 1,000 commercial pet foods in consideration of pet safety. A similar pet food-associated outbreak of nephrotoxic renal failure occurred in Asia, in late 2003 and 2004, resulting in a similar extensive pet food recall. At that time, contamination of ingredients with a nephrotoxin-producing fungus at a pet food production facility was suspected. However, toxicologic evidence to substantiate a mycotoxicosis was lacking. Moreover, the renal lesions were not typical of those reported with fungal nephrotoxins. During 2003 and 2004, 14 dogs were presented to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital of Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea, with renal failure and distinctive renal pathologic findings. Grossly, the kidneys were greenish in color with greenish uroliths in the renal pelvis or bladder. Histologically, characteristic crystals with pinwheel radiating striations were present in distal tubular segments. Toxicologic analysis identified melamine, cyanuric acid, and ammelide in deparaffinized formalin-fixed kidney samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-354
Number of pages7
JournalVeterinary pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2009



  • Asia
  • Cyanuric acid
  • Dogs
  • Food contamination
  • Kidney disease
  • Melamine

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