Aflatoxin Found In Pet Food

Toxic Levels of Aflatoxin Found in Pet Food

Aflatoxin found in pet food has initiated a recent recall of many dog and cat foods.

The FDA has alerted pet owners and vets that many brands of pet food manufactured by Sunshine Mills may contain unsafe levels of aflatoxin. Many dog and some cat foods have recently been recalled due to high levels of aflatoxin in the pet food. It is important that you check your animal’s food to make sure it is not on the recall list as aflatoxin can cause severe health issues and can even be fatal in some circumstances.

What You Need To Know

First, you need to know  the signs and symptoms you might see in your pet if they are being poisoned by their food. Additionally, you need to know what brands are recalled and make sure your brand is not on that list. Keep track of new brands that might be added by utilizing the FDA link below.

Most Common Symptoms Of Aflatoxin Poisoning In Pets

Pets experiencing aflatoxin poisoning may have symptoms such as sluggishness, decreased or lack of appetite, vomiting, jaundice (yellowish tint to the eyes or gums due to liver damage), and/or diarrhea. In severe cases, this toxicity can be fatal. In some cases, pets may suffer liver damage but not show any symptoms. If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms contact your vet immediately. If your brand of pet food is listed below, stop feeding it to your pet.

Aflatoxins Are Made By Molds

Aflatoxins are a mycotoxin (mold toxin) made by the mold Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus parasiticus and to a lesser amount, Aspergillus nominus. Aflatoxins, if present in sufficient amounts, may cause acute or chronic toxicity and are known to be carcinogenic.

Mycotoxins are very small and you do not see them. Usually, you do not actually see the mold on the animal food either. In this case aflatoxin is what has been found in the pet food.

The Many Possible Effects of Aflatoxins

Aflatoxins are known to be hepatotoxic (liver toxins), teratogenic (causes malformations of an embryo or fetus), mutagenic or genotoxic (causes mutations in genetic material), carcinogenic (cause cancer), nephrotoxicity (kidney damage) and immunotoxic (harm the immune system). They also have been shown to cause reproductive damage, inhibit pancreatic enzymes, decrease bile salts, clotting factor synthesis, decrease glucose metabolilsm as well as the creation of fatty acids and phopholipids. Afltoxins have also been shown in animals to decrease bile acids and bile production. Additionally, aflotoxins have been found to effect some nutrients. They lower A and D as well as zinc, selenium and iron.

Even at low levels aflatoxin have been shown to have devastating effects.

In humans and many animals it appears the liver is the organ that appears to take the hardest hit by aflatoxins. This has been quite evident in exposure to humans in India where it has become a huge issue due to more extensive exposure to contaminated food, ultimately causing liver cancer and death in some cases. The liver is the organ that seems to be most affected in animals also.

Aflatoxin Found in These Pet Foods

Sunshine Mills has announced a recall of 12 total lots from six of the firm’s pet food products.

The list of recalled dry pet food products announced by Sunshine Mills on September 2  and then on September 8th they added a long list of dog and cat foods to the shorter list originally released. I will provide the both the September 2 and 8th  lists here and you can check the FDA’s website on this matter in case future brands are added.

The list of recalled dry pet food products announced by Sunshine Mills on September 2 is:

  • Family Pet Meaty Cuts Beef, Chicken & Cheese Premium Dog Food 4 lb. UPC 3225120694
    • Lot Code TD3 4/APRIL/2020
    • Lot Code TD1 5/APRIL/2020
  • Family Pet Meaty Cuts Beef, Chicken & Cheese Premium Dog Food 14 lb. UPC 3225118078
    • Lot Code TB1 4/APRIL/2020
    • Lot Code TB2 4/APRIL/2020
    • Lot Code TB3 3/APRIL/2020
  • Family Pet Meaty Cuts Beef, Chicken & Cheese Premium Dog Food 28 lb. UPC 3225120694
    • Lot Code TB3 3/APRIL/2020
  • Heartland Farms Grilled Favorites Beef Chicken & Cheese Flavor Dog Food 14 lb. UPC 7015514299
    • Lot Code TB1 4/APRIL/2020
    • Lot Code TB2 4/APRIL/2020
  • Heartland Farms Grilled Favorites Beef Chicken & Cheese Flavor Dog Food 31 lb. UPC 7015514301
    • Lot Code TA2 4/APRIL/2020
    • Lot Code TA3 4/APRIL/2020
  • Paws Happy Life Butcher’s Choice Dog Food 16 lb. UPC 3680035763
    • Lot Code TA1 4/APRIL/2020
    • Lot Code TA2 4/APRIL/2020

On October 8, 2020, Sunshine Mills expanded the recall to include the following products:

  • Champ Mini Chunk Dog Food Beef and Chicken Flavor, 12 lb. bags, UPC 7328315416
    • Lot Code TC2 3/APRIL/2020
  • Field Trial Complete Nutrition Premium Dog Food, 16 lb. bags, UPC 7015514530
    • Lot Code TC2 4/APRIL/2020
  • Good Dog Brand Dog Food Hi-Energy Formula, 50 lb. bags, UPC 5216624165
    • Lot Code TA1 5/APRIL/2020
  • Hunter’s Special Dog Food Hi Energy Formula, 50 lb. bags, UPC 7015510145
    • Lot Code TA1 5/APRIL/2020
    • Lot Code TA2 5/APRIL/2020
    • Lot Code TA3 5/APRIL/2020
  • Hunter’s Special Dog Food Maintenance Formula, 50 lb. bags, UPC 7015510135
    • Lot Code TB3 4/APRIL/2020
    • Lot Code TB1 5/APRIL/2020
  • Hunter’s Special Farm & Ranch Recipe Super Chunks Dog Food, 50 lb. bags, UPC 70155 10182
    • Lot Code TC2 5/APRIL/2020
    • Lot Code TC3 5/APRIL/2020
  • Old Glory Hearty Beef & Chicken Flavor Dog Food, 4 lb. bags, UPC 7015514339
    • Lot Code TE3 3/APRIL/2020
    • Lot Code TE2 4/APRIL/2020
  • Old Glory Hearty Beef & Chicken Flavor Dog Food, 12.75 lb. bags, UPC 7015514298
    • Lot Code TA3 3/APRIL/2020
    • Lot Code TB1 3/APRIL/2020
    • Lot Code TC1 3/APRIL/2020
    • Lot Code TC2 3/APRIL/2020
    • Lot Code TC3 3/APRIL/2020
    • Lot Code TA1 4/APRIL/2020
    • Lot Code TC1 4/APRIL/2020
    • Lot Code TA2 4/APRIL/2020
    • Lot Code TB2 4/APRIL/2020
    • Lot Code TC2 4/APRIL/2020
  • Paws Happy Life Nutritionally Complete Dog Food, 17 lb. bags, UPC 3680042561
    • Lot Code TC2 4/APRIL/2020
  • Pet Expert Always Fit Formula, 50 lb. bags, UPC 5208887976
    • Lot Code TC2 5/APRIL/2020
  • Principle Super Premium Natural Dog Food Breeder Pack, 40 lb. bags, UPC 580179 586032
    • Lot Code TA3 4/APRIL/2020
    • Lot Code TA1 5/APRIL/2020
  • Retriever Bites & Bones Adult Complete Nutrition Savory Chicken Flavor, 52 lb. bags, UPC 4939422642
    • Lot Code TC3 4/APRIL/2020
    • Lot Code TC1 5/APRIL/2020
  • River Bend Dog Food Basic Nutrition, 40 lb. bags, No UPC
    • Lot Code TC1 5/APRIL/2020
  • River Bend Dog Food Basic Nutrition, 50 lb. bags, No UPC
    • Lot Code TC1 5/APRIL/2020
  • River Bend Dog Food Select, 50 lb. bags, No UPC
    • Lot Code TB3 4/APRIL/2020
  • Sportsman’s Pride Maintenance Adult Formula Dog Food, 20 lb. bags, UPC 7015510082
    • Lot Code TB1 5/APRIL/2020
  • Sportsman’s Pride Maintenance Adult Formula Dog Food, 50 lb. bags, UPC 7015510110
    • Lot Code TB1 5/APRIL/2020
  • Sprout Bites & Bones, 50 lb. bags, UPC 7015505091
    • Lot Code TC2 4/APRIL/2020
  • Sprout Hi-Protein (cat food), 20 lb. bags, UPC 70155505120
    • Lot Code TI2 4/APRIL/2020
    • Lot Code TI3 4/APRIL/2020
  • Sprout Hi-Protein (cat food), 40 lb. bags, UPC 7015505119
    • Lot Code TI3 4/APRIL/2020
  • Thrifty Adult Dog Food, 12 lb. bags, UPC 7015513096
    • Lot Code TI1 3/APRIL/2020
    • Lot Code TI2 3/APRIL/2020
    • Lot Code TI3 3/APRIL/2020
    • Lot Code TA2 4/APRIL/2020
  • Sprout Maintenance, 40 lb. bags, UPC 7015505096
    • Lot Code TB1 5/APRIL/2020
  • Sprout Puppy, 20 lb. bags, UPC 7015505095
    • Lot Code TA3 4/APRIL/2020
    • Lot Code TA1 5/APRIL/2020
  • Top Runner Premium Dog Food, 50 lb. bags, UPC 3540650070
    • Lot Code TB1 3/APRIL/2020
  • Whiskers & Tails Adult Recipe Complete Dog Food, 17 lb. bags, UPC 2114003022
    • Lot Code TC2 4/APRIL/2020

 

Mycotoxins In Pet Food

Aflatoxin in pet food is not a new issue. Mycotoxins in pet food, farm animal food and human food are a constant issue. Several reports of high levels of mycotoxins in pet foods have been reported over the years. Aflatoxins are hazardous to both us and our pets. Most people do not realize just how much of an issue this can be and how little is done to monitor it as well as the issue with lack of available testing and lack of scientific knowledge to even identify all mycotoxins as well as their metabolites.

Where To Learn More About Aflatoxins

If you want to know more about aflatoxins in regard to what foods to be cautious about, the health effects, acute toxicity, chronic toxicity, antioxidants used to protect from aflatoxin damage and how aflatoxins are removed from the body, check out this article called "Aflatoxins - A Common Food Mycotoxin."