Dangerous Mold Found in Dog Food, Prompting Recall of Hy-Vee Brand Dog Kibble

Iowa-based grocer Hy-Vee is recalling some of its dog food for aflatoxin contamination, a dangerous mold commonly found in corn which can be lethal to pets.

“Routine random tests conducted by the Iowa Department of Agriculture indicated higher than normal levels of aflatoxin in some samples of Hy-Vee dog food produced at a Kansas City plant operated by Pro-Pet, LLC,” the news release said.

A Lethal Toxin

Aflatoxin is a mold and can be lethal to pets if consumed in significant quantities and even at small amounts over a long period of time. Currently, about two-thirds of dogs that show symptoms after eating the tainted food die. Pets which have consumed this product and exhibit symptoms of illness including sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat, vomiting, yellowish tint to the eyes or gums, or diarrhea should be seen immediately by a veterinarian.

Aflatoxin Toxicosis

Early signs that a dog has been poisoned by aflatoxin include lethargy, loss of appetite and vomiting and, later, orange-colored urine and jaundice (a yellowing of the eyes, gums and nonpigmented skin that reflects substantial liver injury). Severely affected dogs produce a blood-tinged vomit and bloody or blackened stools.

“Since dogs can take several days to three weeks to exhibit serious signs of illness, all animals that consumed recalled lots of food should be examined by a veterinarian as early as possible,” experts at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine report, “Physical exams and blood tests are necessary to differentiate dogs that have been poisoned from those that have not. Unfortunately, the latent onset of signs may require that an individual dog be evaluated several times.”

“Even if dogs show no signs of illness, if they have eaten the affected food, they should have blood tests submitted to detect liver injury,” Center stressed. “Dogs that show positive results on any of the above tests should be prescribed liver protectants for two months.”

The Recalled Products

Hy-Vee Complete Dog – Complete Nutrition (Green Bag) – 34-lb.; UPC: 07545005647; Lot # ending with: 29812KC; “Best By” Date: 11/24/13

Hy-Vee Complete Dog – Complete Nutrition (Green Bag) – 8-lb; UPC: 07545005667; Lot # ending with: 29812KC; “Best By” Date: 11/24/13

Hy-Vee Complete Dog – Complete Nutrition (Green Bag) – 4.4-lb.; UPC: 07545005665; Lot # ending with: 29812KC; “Best By” Date: 11/24/13

Hy-Vee Complete Dog – Complete Nutrition (Green Bag) – 4.4-lb.; UPC: 07545005665; Lot # ending with: 29912KC; “Best By” Date: 11/25/13

Hy-Vee Complete Dog – Bites, Bones & Squares (Yellow Bag) – 20-lb.; UPC: 07545005680; Lot # ending with: 29312KC; “Best By” Date: 11/19/13

Hy-Vee Complete Dog – Bites, Bones & Squares (Yellow Bag) – 4.4-lb.; UPC: 07545005560; Lot # ending with: 29312KC; “Best By” Date: 11/19/13

The recalled dog food carry three different “Best By” dates and were distributed to Hy-Vee stores in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin between October 26, 2012 and January 11, 2013.

The Problem with Corn

Besides aflatoxin, corn is a crap pet food ingredient. It just is, straight up. Unless it’s fresh corn taken right off the cob, don’t feed it to your pets. Worse, corn by-products such as corn gluten meal that are diverted to the pet food industry are typically the most inferior, and therefore the cheapest, grade of corn.

Final Thoughts

It is quite possible that other brands manufactured by Pro-Pet in one of their three plants in Ohio, Kansas or Minnesota were also manufactured using aflatoxin contaminated corn. Pro-Pet, LLC manufacturers a large number of its own brands including, Pro-Plan, Country Squire, Quality Care+, Small Animal, Big Red and Lil’ Red brands. Will we see further recalls from Pro-Pet? Let’s wait and see.

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To read the complete recall announcement and to find out more, visit www.hy-vee.com.


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Mollie Morrissette

Mollie Morrissette, the author of Poisoned Pets, is an animal food safety expert and consumer advisor. Help support her work by making a donation today.

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