The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has broadened a recall of Sportmix pet foods following reports of dozens of additional canine deaths.
Last week, the agency recalled certain lots of Sportmix pet food after finding that the pet food contained high levels of aflatoxin, which is toxic to pets. The agency said 28 dogs had died in connection to the product, and eight others became ill.
On Tuesday, the FDA issued an updated advisory saying that 70 dogs have died and over 80 others have gotten sick after consuming Sportmix pet food.
Sportmix products, which are manufactured by Midwestern Pet Foods, were recalled on December 30. The manufacturer has now expanded the recall to include additional products that contain corn and were made in the same manufacturing facility.
The affected products have an expiration date on or before July 9, 2022 and have "05" in the date or lot code.
Products contain high levels of aflatoxin
Aflatoxin is a toxin produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus. It can grow on corn and other grains used to make pet food and potentially cause pets to die or become ill when consumed in high levels.
FDA officials said symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning include sluggishness, loss 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,” according to the agency.
The FDA recommends that owners of pets who have eaten the products involved in the recall contact their veterinarian even if they’re not showing symptoms, but especially if they are showing symptoms.
“Pet owners should stop feeding their pets the recalled products listed below and consult their veterinarian, especially if the pet is showing signs of illness,” the FDA said in December. “The pet owner should remove the food and make sure no other animals have access to the recalled product.”