Aflatoxins in Pet Foods Sicken and Kill Dogs

Q: My neighbor’s healthy, young dog died suddenly of liver failure. The vet thinks the cause was aflatoxins in a new bag of dog food, since the food was later recalled. How can I prevent something similar from happening to my dog? A: Aflatoxins are poisons produced by molds, particularly Aspergillus molds, that grow on grains such as corn and rice, as well as soybeans, tree nuts, peanuts, and cottonseeds. These molds flourish under warm, moist growing and storage conditions. Aflatoxins are not affected by heat, so they persist after food is processed. In December and January, Midwestern Pet Food recalled its Sportmix, Sportstrail, Nunn Better, Pro Pac, and Splash pet foods after many dogs became ill or died after eating it, and testing showed very high levels of aflatoxins in the food. In September and October, Sunshine Mills cited high aflatoxin levels when they recalled 17 brands of pet …

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