RECALL: Aflatoxin in Advanced Animal Nutrition dog food – Now it's official

This morning the FDA released an official announcement regarding the Advanced Animal Nutrition dog food reported here on December 9, 2012. It’s for the same dog food for the same reason, so don’t get too excited.Husky snow winter
What I found odd, is that although the press release was just made a few hours ago on the FDA’s Recall, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts webpage, the press release is dated December 8, 2011. Oops. We’re missing four days somewhere. How did that happen? Hmmm.

What I find even more disturbing is that the food was manufactured, presumably sold as well as consumed, for over 10 months before the aflatoxin mold was discovered. Do you have any idea what the physical effects are of, chronic, even at low doses, aflatoxin might have on a dog (or cat)? Let’s just put it this way – it’s not good.

For the sake of repeating myself, here goes, but this time it’s not from the Associated Press or me, it’s fresh off the presses direct from the FDA:cute-puppy-pictures-pounce-husky-snow
Advanced Animal Nutrition Recalls Dog Power Dry Dog Food

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 8, 2011 Advanced Animal Nutrition today announced a voluntary recall of its dry Dog Power Dog Food– due to aflatoxin levels that were detected above the acceptable limit. The affected products were manufactured between Jan. 4, 2011, and Nov. 18, 2011. No illnesses have been reported in association with these products to date, and no other Advanced Animal Nutrition pet food products are involved in this recall. Affected products are:

  • DOG POWER ADULT MAINTENANCE FORMULA 21-12 Dog Food, 50 pound bags
  • DOG POWER HUNTERS FORMULA 27-14 Dog Food, 50 pound bags
  • DOG POWER HI-PRO PERFORMANCE FORMULA 26-18 Dog Food, 50 pound bags

The recall only applies to the above products with the following Packaging Date Codes (lot numbers):  K0004 through K1322.

The affected dry dog food products were distributed in the following states – Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana.  Retailers have already been instructed to remove the affected brands and products from store shelves.

While no adverse health effects related to these products have been reported, Advanced Animal Nutrition is implementing this recall as a precautionary measure.  Consumers are urged to return affected products – whether in opened or unopened packages – to their place of purchase for a full refund.  For more information, contact 866-648-7646.

Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring mold by-product.  Pets that have consumed any of the above recalled products 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 by a veterinarian.

Contact: Consumer 1-866-648-7646  Media: Larry Hirsch  417-280-0061Yellow_Labrador_Retriever_snow head in hole digging

As usual, the wording about what aflatoxin is and what the symptoms might be, don’t raise any red flags for the average consumer, “Mold? What’s the big deal? There’s mold on blue cheese. What? My dog is tired, so? Not wolfing down his food. Puke, the runs? So, he probably ate something he shouldn’t have. Dogs are always doing that, what else is news? Yellow eyes, what the Hell is that, anyway? Aaaw, forget it.”

If you asked the average consumer, say at Wal-Mart, what does the significance of a yellowish tint to the eyes or gums signify? How many people do you think would know what that indicates? What it indicates is, your dog is in deep shit and you better get him to the vet pronto.  Because his liver is not working properly – get it?husky snow winter sunshine
Blood normally expires at the rate of about 1% a day. Jaundice (that’s the fancy name for that yellowish tint) can be caused by too many red blood cells retiring, by the liver being overloaded or damaged, or by the inability to move processed bilirubin from the liver through the biliary tract to the gut. If there are too many red blood cells retiring for the liver to handle, yellow pigment builds up in the body. When there is enough to be visible, jaundice results.

Considering your pet probably isn’t on a carrot juice fast, pathologic jaundice is the name given when jaundice presents a health risk, either because of its degree or its cause. Jaundice arises for many reasons, including blood incompatibilities, blood diseases, genetic syndromes, hepatitis, cirrhosis, bile duct blockage, other liver diseases. And none of those things are going to be mentioned in a press release. But that’s what you have me. dog playing in snow rolling on back
Next up, a personal account of jaundice and more dirt on aflatoxin! Ooh, Goody, I can’t wait!

Advanced Animal Nutrition Recalls Dog Power Dry Dog Food
AFLATOXINS : Occurrence and Health Risks
(Cornell University, Department of Animal Science)

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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.