Detection of Aflatoxin – A Third Recall of Dog Food

The detection of aflatoxin has resulted in a third recall of dog food over the last few weeks.  The companies involved included Proctor & Gamble (manufacturer of Iams pet food), Cargil Animal Nutrition, and Advanced Animal Nutrition. 

Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring by-product from the growth of Aspergillus flavus.  It can be lethal to pets if consumed.  This fungus is most commonly in the form of mold on grains, mostly wheat and corn.

Many pet food companies buy corn in the fall when prices are the cheapest.  Corn is then stored and used throughout the year.  Therefore there is a high propensity for the aflatoxin problem.

Corn and wheat are used as protein in pet food, even though it is considered a very poor source of protein.  It is also difficult to digest by dogs and cats.

To find out why companies continue to use corn and wheat in pet food, that company must be contacted.  Probably the most likely reason for including these ingredients is to reduce the cost of the company’s products.  Therefore, the company increases its profit margin.  These companies don’t seem to have the best interest of the pet’s health in mind.

A few companies do not use any form of corn or wheat in their pet food.

I have bought healthy dog food, treats, and supplements from the same company for over 7 years.  It’s products have never been recalled.  They do not contain any corn, wheat, or soy which are all known allergens.  They do not contain any by-products or any less than optimal ingredients.

My two dogs have been eating the products for over 7 years.  They are extremely healthy.

A recent article discusses the detection of aflatoxin in dog food.  It is entitled “Three Separate Companies Recall Dog Food Due to Potentially Deadly Aflatoxin Contamination.”

Here is a quote:

Procter & Gamble Company, Cargill Animal Nutrition, and Advanced Animal Nutrition announced three separate voluntary recalls of their respective dry dog foods after discovering levels of aflatoxin that were above the FDA’s acceptable limit. Aflatoxin is a potentially lethal compound produced by fungi that usually grow on whole grains, seeds, spices, and nuts. Aflatoxins cause cancer, acute necrosis, and cirrhosis of the liver in animals, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Signs of aflatoxin poisoning in dogs include lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, orange-colored urine, and jaundice (a yellowing of the eyes, gums and nonpigmented skin). Severely affected dogs produce a blood-tinged vomit and bloody or blackened stools, according to Cornell University veterinarians who dealt with the widespread 2006 aflatoxin poisoning caused by tainted dog food. Approximately 100 dogs are believed to have died as a result of that contamination.

Advanced Animal Nutrition recalled certain packages of its Dog Power brand, and Cargill’s recall affects two of its regional brands, River Run and Marksman. Tainted products from Procter & Gamble’s Iams brand were recalled and removed from shelves.

The complete article can be read here.

Most of the major pet food manufacturers had some of their products recalled in 2007.  I am not sure why pet owners even consider buying from those companies.

What are your thoughts on the subject of the dectection of aflatoxin in dog food?  I certainly hope that there are no further cases of this dog food poisoning.  Thanks for your input.

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