Several pet food products from a popular dog food brand have been recalled after a number of recorded dog death and illnesses link the dog food brand, the FDA announced.

The Food and Drug Administration has recalled some pet foods from Sportmix after at least 28 dogs died and eight others fell ill from products with high levels of toxic mold.

The agency warned pet owners and animal specialists that certain varieties of the brand’s pet food “may contain potentially fatal levels of aflatoxin.”

“FDA is aware of at least 28 deaths and eight illnesses in dogs that ate the recalled product,” officials said. “This is an ongoing investigation. Case counts and the scope of this pending recall may expand as new information becomes available.”

Aflatoxin is a mold that can grow on corn and other grains used in pet foods, the agency said. Symptoms from aflatoxin poisoning include sluggishness, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and vomiting, the agency said.

 

Officials said multiple product samples at Midwestern Pet Food were tested by the Missouri Department of Agriculture and found to contain very high levels of aflatoxin.

Pets experiencing aflatoxin poisoning may have the following symptoms:

  • sluggishness
  • loss of appetite
  • vomiting
  • jaundice, a yellowish tint to the eyes or gums due to liver damage
  • diarrhea

In severe cases, this toxicity can be fatal officials said. Pets can also suffer liver damage but not show any symptoms.

From AWM:

Fortunately, pet owners are not at risk of the toxin from handling the food alone. However, experts did suggest that pet owners should start washing their hands after handling pet food just in case future batches include some other type of dangerous toxin.

The jury is still out as to whether Sportmix needs to recall more types of pet food. The list of foods affected in this incident could grow if the FDA and the Missouri Department of Agriculture identify more problematic foods that could cause harm to pets.

According to AWM, some pet owners have turned to social media to launch a discussion as to whether this pet food led to their animal’s sudden death.

“I was getting my dog this dog food, and she passes away,” wrote one Facebook user.

Another said that her Rottweiler “passed away three weeks ago just out of nowhere. He was a very healthy dog.”

“This happened with Purina Beneful at one time as well. They paid on a class action suit and tried to keep it as hush as possible. Really sad because it isn’t something you should have to worry about, but it happens too often not to.”

One user suggested making dog food from scratch at home to avoid these problems.“It’s really easy to make your own dog food and very much worth it. My dog lived until he was 19.”

Sources: AWM, DailyMail

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