Veterinarians report they've been able to confirm that 224 cats and dogs died earlier this year as the result of contaminated pet food, according to a Reuters report.

A major recall began last March after ingredients imported from China were found to have contaminated some pet food. Canadian manufacturer Menu Foods Income Fund recalled some 60 million packages of pet food.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration received 17,000 complaints of related pet deaths, but confirmed just 16.

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A survey posted on the Internet, and publicized by the American Veterinary Medical Association, attracted 500 responses, 348 cases of pet sickness — 236 cats and 112 dogs — met the criteria for kidney failure caused by the contamination, a team of researchers at Michigan State University found.

Researchers believe the deaths may have been caused by mixing two compounds — melamine and cyanuric acid.