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Aflatoxin poisoning claims at least 100 dogs, Cornell reports

Article

National Report — About 100 dogs perished due to aflatoxin poisoning, a naturally occurring toxic chemical byproduct from the growth of the fungus Aspergillus flavus on corn and other crops, according to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

NATIONAL REPORT — About 100 dogs perished due to aflatoxin poisoning, a naturally occurring toxic chemical byproduct from the growth of the fungus Aspergillus flavus on corn and other crops, according to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

DVM Newsbreak

There were higher amounts of the compound in this year's corn crops due to weather conditions, according to Diamond Pet Food, which discovered the agent in a product manufactured in Gaston, S.C., on Dec. 20. The discovery triggered a voluntary recall of 18 products in 23 states.

Symptoms of potential illness in dogs may be difficult to discern, but include loss of appetite, yellow whites of the eyes, yellow gums, yellow in the belly or areas where hair is very thin, severe, persistent vomiting combined with bloody diarrhea, discolored urine and fever.

"Testing of more than 2,700 finished product samples conducted by independent laboratories confirms that only Diamond Maintenance Dog and Diamond Premium Adult Dog with "best by" dates of April 3, April 4, April 5 and April 11, 2007 are potentially toxic," the company stated in a press release. "Test results for all other products have not been toxic. Additionally, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul and Premium Edge brands have been tested and are negative for aflatoxin."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration was conducting response and public awareness campaigns at presstime, stating, "FDA does not know how many animals have died or become ill as the result of the aflatoxin contamination of Diamond Pet Food. Our entire focus has been to prevent further exposure of the contaminated feed to dogs. After we are certain that we have achieved this goal, we will try to estimate the number of dogs that died or became sick. We cannot speculate on how soon we may be able to provide this estimate."

For a complete list of recalled products, visit www.diamondpetrecall.net.

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