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Wet Summer Leads to Aflatoxin Recalls of Dog Food

Posted: Feb. 9, 2012, 12:05 p.m. EST


Dog food recall

A wet weather pattern in the Midwest and Central United States contributed to a rash of recalls by dog food manufacturers due to aflatoxin levels above the acceptable limit.

Cargill Animal Health, Procter and Gamble, Advanced Animal NutritionO’Neal’s Feeders Supply and Petrus Feed and Seed Stores each recalled several lots of dry dog food during a six-day span after testing revealed aflatoxin levels above the acceptable limit, as established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The recalls were voluntary, and no adverse events related to the recalls were reported.

Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring byproduct of certain fungi that can grow in corn. High doses of aflatoxins result in severe hepatocellular necrosis, and prolonged low dosages result in reduced growth rate and liver enlargement. Signs of ingestion include vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea and possibly jaundice if left untreated for an extended period of time.

Wet conditions can cause corn to become stressed, creating an ideal environment for fungi containing aflatoxin to grow, according to Tina Wismer, DVM, medical director of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal’s Animal Poison Control Center. Because fungi containing aflatoxins grow inside the corn kernels, they are difficult to detect before the corn is processed into food, and pockets of infected food can leave production facilities undetected.

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