Pet food recalled after death of 28 dogs, FDA says

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns pet owners and veterinarians to avoid certain Sportmix pet food products after dozens of dogs became ill and died after ingesting the products.

Midwestern Pet Foods Inc. recalled four different amounts of dry cat and dog food on Wednesday after an investigation revealed that some of the products contained potentially deadly levels of aflatoxin.

The molded product, which can cause illness and death in pets at high levels, could still be on store shelves, online or in pet homes, the agency said in a statement.


Midwestern Pet Food began the recall after the FDA received reports that at least 28 dogs had died and eight others had fallen ill after consuming the recalled Sportmix pet food.

After testing several samples, the Missouri Department of Agriculture has discovered very high levels of the toxin, which can occur even if the form is not visible, the FDA said.


Pets poisoned by the toxin may look sluggish and lose their appetite. They may also experience vomiting, jaundice (yellow tint in the eyes or gums due to liver damage) and / or diarrhea, the FDA said. In some cases, pets may also suffer from liver damage without first showing symptoms.

Unlike humans, according to the FDA, pets are “very susceptible” to aflatoxin poisoning because they generally eat the same food.

“If a pet’s food contains aflatoxin, the toxin can accumulate in the pet’s system as they continue to eat the same food,” the FDA said.

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Midwestern Pet Foods is appealing to pet owners to dispose of the products safely and to wash and disinfect pet bowls and areas where food is stored. The company also encourages retailers to contact customers who have purchased the products in question.

Pet owners should also consult their veterinarians about any problems, especially if their pet is showing symptoms, the FDA said.

To date, the FDA says there is no evidence that handling food poses any risk to pet owners, although they are encouraged to wash their hands afterwards.

The investigation into the case continues and the agency plans to carry out follow-up activities at the manufacturing facility. The agency will update the public when more information is available.

Midwestern Pet Foods did not comment further than the recall notice.