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Pet food blamed for death of 70 dogs

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By Ernie Mundell
HealthDay reporter

TUESDAY, Jan. 12, 2021 (HealthDay News) – There is an expanded nationwide recall of Sportmix pet food products underway, after links were found between a moldtoxin in food and the death of 70 dogs, with 80 other dogs sick, the US Food and Drug Administration said Monday.

The announcement follows a recall first issued Dec. 30 by Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. At the time, the company said at least 28 dogs had already died after eating Sportmix pet food. .

Tests of pet food products conducted by the Missouri Department of Agriculture revealed “very high levels of aflatoxins,” the FDA noted.

Aflatoxins are toxins produced by mold Aspergillus flavus. They can trigger very serious illnesses in pets, and these poisons can be present even if the food does not appear moldy.

On Monday, after reports of at least 70 canine deaths linked to contaminated food, the Midwest “expanded the recall to include all pet foods containing corn and manufactured at the Oklahoma plant of the company, and having an expiration date no later than July 9, 2022, “the FDA said in its release.

The agency said not all dog deaths have been confirmed to be caused by aflatoxin, but the FDA also noted that “this number is approximate and may not reflect the total number of pets. affected “.

The agency said it was conducting an ongoing investigation at the Oklahoma manufacturing plant.

In the meantime, consumers can access the FDA website for a complete list of recalled Sportmix products. If consumers find the product at home, they should “see their veterinarian, especially if the animal is showing signs of illness,” the FDA said. “The animal owner should remove the food and ensure that no other animal has access to the recalled product.”

Signs of aflatoxin disease in pets include:

  • lethargy
  • loss of appetite
  • vomiting
  • jaundice (yellowish tinge of the eyes or gums due to liver damage)
  • diarrhea

Aflatoxins can attack and damage the liver over time, potentially causing liver failure and death.


The FDA has noted that “Pets are very susceptible to aflatoxin poisoning because, unlike people who eat a varied diet, animals generally eat the same food continuously over long periods of time. If an animal’s food contains aflatoxins, the toxins could build up in the system as they continue to eat the same food. “

If you think your pet may have been sickened by aflatoxin-contaminated pet food, take the animal to a veterinarian. It’s helpful to take a photo of the pet food label, including the lot number, according to the FDA.

In addition to throwing away any unused amounts of the recalled pet food, “sanitize pet food bowls, spoons, and storage containers with bleach, then rinse well with water. and dry thoroughly, ”the FDA said.

“There is no evidence to suggest that animal owners who handle products containing aflatoxin are at risk of aflatoxin poisoning,” the agency added. “However, pet owners should always wash their hands after handling pet food.”

More information

There is more on product recalls at US Food and Drug Administration.

SOURCE: US Food and Drug Administration, press release, January 11, 2021

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