Healthy Pets View Cart Healthy Pets Facebook Healthy Pets Twitter
Open the Accessibility Menu
go to top icon

Aflatoxin In Pet Food

What is Aflatoxin?

Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring toxic chemical by-product from the growth of the fungus Aspergillus flavus on corn and other crops. It can cause severe liver damage in pets, which can lead to fatality. Dog food made with affected crops can transmit Aflatoxin to your pets. If your pet shows any of these symptoms below, contact your veterinarian immediately.


  • Sluggishness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Jaundice (yellow whites of the eyes, gums, belly)
  • Severe, persistent vomiting combined with bloody diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Discolored urine

How Can My Pet get Poisoned?

The brand names Diamond, Country Value and Professional have been reported with Aflatoxin. Diamond Pet foods have most recently been contaminated. Reports have shown that at least 100 dogs nationwide have died as a result of eating contaminated Diamond Pet Foods. Most pet owners who have lost their dog to Aflatoxin were completely unaware that their dog was poisoned, which is why it is important that pet owners are informed of the situation.

Cocoa, a 9-year-old chow, suffered liver damage from tainted pet food. Cocoa must now be force-fed with a syringe six times a day since suffering permanent liver damage after eating contaminated dog food. Stewart, a 19-year-old nursing student at the University of South Carolina has to constantly take care of her. Stewart's other dog, a 2-year-old pit bull named Chulo, died last month just hours after being diagnosed with liver failure. It was only then that the family learned of the recall.

What's Being Done?

Diamond has recalled 19 varieties of dog and cat food after tests showed high levels of aflatoxin. The company recalled products manufactured at its Gaston, S.C., plant from around September to November 2005. Diamond narrowed down the exposure to food produced on Oct. 11 based on testing.

According to Diamond, the 23 states that have been affected are: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Vermont, and Virginia.

The FDA said it is continuing to investigate the situation and is working closely with the state feed regulatory agencies in the affected states. Some of the products included in the recall were exported to at least 29 countries in the European Union. The FDA said those countries have been notified.

According to Diamond, any unused portions of recalled pet food should be returned to the retailer where it was purchased for a refund or replacement. According to press reports, Diamond has also offered to compensate pet guardians who can confirm that their pet died or became ill as a result of eating the contaminated food.

What You Should Do

Aflatoxin poisoning can be cured, but only if it's caught early. Since dogs can take several days to three weeks to exhibit serious signs of illness, all animals that consumed recalled food should be examined by a veterinarian as early as possible. Physical exams and blood tests are necessary to determine if dogs have been poisoned or not. Owners also should take cats that might have eaten contaminated dog food to a vet.