The US Food and Drug Administration said that after eating dog food that contained high levels of aflatoxin, at least 28 dogs died and another eight became sick.
The FDA is investigating these reports and warning pet owners and veterinarians that certain Sportmix brand pet foods “may contain potentially fatal aflatoxins.”
The FDA says that aflatoxins are produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus. This mold can grow on corn and other grains used in pet food. At a high level, it can be fatal to pets.
On Wednesday, Midwest Pet Food Inc., which produces Sportmix brand pet food, announced the recall of nine pet foods. The list of recalled products can be found on the FDA website.
The FDA and the Missouri Department of Agriculture are working with manufacturers to determine whether other products contain high levels of aflatoxin.
Dr. Amber McCoig, deputy director of the FDA̵
People should stop feeding these foods to their pets and contact their veterinarian.
The FDA says that symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning in pets may include sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice (a sign of liver damage) and/or diarrhea. If your pet has symptoms, please contact your veterinarian immediately.
The FDA says that pets are particularly vulnerable to aflatoxin poisoning because they usually eat the same food every day. If food contains aflatoxin, the toxin will accumulate in the body over time.
However, it is believed that pet owners will not be threatened by handling pet food.
Follow NBC HEALTH on Twitter and Facebook.