FDA recalls pet food after at least 28 dogs die

Silver Spring, Florida - The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recalled multiple pet food products after several dog deaths and illnesses were reported.

Are the dog's eyes yellow? A veterinarian examines the pet (stock image).
Are the dog's eyes yellow? A veterinarian examines the pet (stock image).  © kzenon/123RF

At least 28 dogs reportedly died and eight others have become sick after eating Sport Mix varieties from produced by Midwestern Pet Food Inc.

The causes of death are "potentially fatal levels of aflatoxin" within the products, the FDA announced from their headquarters in Silver Spring.

Aflatoxin is a harmful substance produced by the mold Aspergillus Flavus, which grows on corn and other grains. At high levels, the toxin can cause sickness and potentially death in pets. It can appear in the food without any mold visible to the eye.

Symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, loss of interest in food, and yellowing of the eyes, gums, or skin. However, the FDA noted it's possible that the animals could suffer liver damage without showing any symptoms.

Is any other food affected?

The mold can be found in dry dog food (stock image).
The mold can be found in dry dog food (stock image).  © Peer Grimm/dpa

The agency is advising anyone who suspects that their canine companion has eaten toxic food to contact their vet immediately and to report suspected cases to the FDA through its complaint portal.

Midwest Pet Food, Inc. announced a recall of nine total lots of Sportmix pet food products.

The codes for pet food found to be toxic are as follows:

  • 50# Sportmix Energy Plus Lots Exp 03/02/22/05/L2, 03/02/22/05/L3, 03/03/22/05/L2
  • 44# Sportmix Energy Plus Lots 03/02/22/05/L3
  • 50# Sportmix Premium High Energy Lots 03/03/22/05/L3
  • 44# Sportmix Premium High Energy Lots 03/03/22/05/L3
  • 31# Sportmix Original Cat Lots 03/03/22/05/L3
  • 15# Sportmix Original Cat Lots 03/03/22/05/L2, 03/03/22/05/L3

The FDA and the Missouri Department of Agriculture are now investigating whether other products by the company also contain aflatoxin, and will notify the public as soon as new information is available.

The toxicity of Aspergillus flavus has been known for a long time, as some theorists assume ancient Egyptians have deliberately placed the mold on tombs to kill enemies.

Stories of "The mummy's curse" or "King Tut's curse" have been circulating around for a long time, telling of mysterious deaths after the opening of ancient pharaoh's tombs in Egypt. However, most scientists write them off as myths.

Cover photo: kzenon/123RF

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