It seems to be a bad month for pet food and treats! The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just issued a recall of Iams brand ProActive Health Smart dry puppy food due to unacceptable levels of the toxin Aflatoxin.
The affected bags of food were shipped to retailers in several states in the Eastern United States, including Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Maine, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia. Retailers have all been notified, and affected bags have been removed from their shelves. The affected bags have a use-by or expiration date of Feb. 5 or Feb. 6, 2013.
The good news in this situation is that there have been no reports of illness. No other dry or canned foods (dog or cat) are affected in this recall.
The FDA has more information on the specific lots of food that were recalled. You can find all of the information here: www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm282506.htm
If you discover that you have an affected bag, stop feeding your dog the food immediately and throw the rest of the bag away. Like I said, there have been no reports of illness at this time.
Aflatoxin toxicity is uncommon, but is caused by contamination of food by naturally occurring Aspergillus flavus, Penicillium species and other fungi. These fungi can grow on crops that are then used in the production of dog food. Signs of illness include lethargy, reluctance to eat, vomiting, bloody diarrhea and jaundice (yellowing of the whites of the eyes, skin and gums).
Aflatoxin toxicity can lead to liver failure and death within a few days, so if you have been feeding your pet food from one of the affected bags and notice any signs of illness, contact your veterinarian right away.