Even in your worst moments, the loneliest nights, and the toughest time, you know there's someone who'll always be there for you. They'll cheer you up, and make you laugh, making you forget all your sorrow and put a smile on your face. That's right; we're talking about your furry friend, your dog.
We love our pets for giving us undivided and unconditional love; they're truly the best companions human beings can ask for. Seeing our precious babies in pain breaks our hearts. We can't imagine the pain the families must be going through that lost their pets due to toxins found in pet food.
After 28 dogs died lost their lives because of eating pet food, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has altered pet owners' high levels of aflatoxin found in these treats. The toxin found in the food was identified in certain Sportmix pet food products manufactured by Midwestern Pet Foods. The company has since recalled its products.
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What are Aflatoxins and what are symptoms of Aflatoxin poisoning?
Aflatoxins are essentially poisonous components produced by mold found in soil and vegetation that had decayed over time. When food contaminated with these toxins is eaten by pets, it causes poisoning.
What is FDA Pet Doing to Prevent Aflatoxin Poisoning in Pets?
The FDA is currently working with the Missouri Department of Agriculture to determine whether the toxins are found in any other products made with the same kind of ingredients. While that being done, here's a list of products that shouldn't buy for your dog. FDA itself officially released this list.
Sportmix Energy Plus, 50 lb. bag
Sportmix Energy Plus, 44 lb. bag
Sportmix Premium High Energy, 50 lb. bag
Sportmix Premium High Energy, 44 lb. bag
Sportmix Original Cat, 31 lb. bag
Sportmix Original Cat, 15 lb. bag
Look for the lot code information at the back of the bag. You'll find it in a three-line code with the top line in this format: "EXP
In case you've been using one of these products, here's what you need to do.
Look for Aflatoxin Poising Symptoms
The first thing you need to do is look for symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning in your pet.
Lethargy – If your dog is uninterested in activities she usually enjoys, it can be an alarming sign. Notice if he's not up for playing or going for a walk. You can distinguish normal fatigue from lethargy if it persists for more than two days.
Loss of Appetite – Is your dog not eating? That could be a red flag.
Vomiting – While vomiting can also be caused by poor canine judgment, it can be life-threatening if he's been eating one of the recalled products.
Orange-colored Urine – Notice the color of your dog's urine, if it looks weird, then it can be the cause of concern.
Jaundice – If your dog has suddenly turned yellow, this means he might have jaundice.
Diarrhea – Diarrhea needs to be treated as soon as possible as it can be life-threatening to dogs.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, make sure you contact a veterinarian immediately. Your dog is going to need urgent care. There's one extremely important thing to remember, even if your pet isn't showing symptoms but has been eating one of the recalled products, it's important that you have them checked out. They may have suffered liver damaged.
When going to the vet's clinic, make sure you take a full diet history with you. Take a picture of the pet food label and the lot number with you just in case.
Get Rid of the Pet Food
Don't feed your pet any of the recalled products. Make sure you throw them away in a safe manner. You can contact the company for instructions about the best way to get rid of the pet food without causing harm to pets, children, or wildlife.
Once you've thrown away the product, the next step is to clean and sanitize the surfaces and things it has come in contact with. Make sure you sanitize all the pet food bowls, scoops, and storage containers. You can do that by using bleach, which can later be washed thoroughly with lots of water. Don't forget to dry them out properly.
While there's no evidence that the toxins might harm human beings in any way, you can never be too sure. After all, it's better to be safe than sorry. So, once you've cleaned everything, wash your hand with lukewarm water and soap.
If you have confirmed with a vet that your dog has aflatoxin poisoning or even if you suspect it does because of eating a certain product, report it to the FDA. You can do that through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling up the FDA'S Consumer Complaint Coordinators in your state.
What Should Retailers Do?
If you're a retailer and you have some of the recalled products in your inventory, you need to make sure that you don't sell any of these pet food products anymore. Your next step should be to contact the manufacturer and they will give you further instructions. Moreover, if you have the means to contact the shoppers who have bought the recalled products from you, FDA suggests that you get in touch with them and let them know to stop using the pet food.
Pets are highly prone to getting aflatoxin poisoning because they continuously have the same food for days and days. The toxins accumulate in their systems over time, causing harm to our furry friends. If you're going through this unfortunate time with your pet, we wish you lots of strength and hope that you and your dog come out of this stronger than ever.
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