Monday, December 20, 2010

Kroger recalls dog food — Old Yeller and Kroger brand — because of aflatoxin. What is aflatoxin and what health risks does it pose for my pet?

Did you buy Old Yeller Chunk Dog Food? Or maybe Kroger Value Chunk Dog Food?
If so, stop feeding it to your dog. Now.
Kroger is recalling these two brands as well as two brands of cat food. Those bags at risk of making your pet sick will have expiration dates between Oct. 23 and 24, 2011.
Read the full article, Kroger recalling select pet foods in 19 states, including Michigan.

What is aflatoxin?
So here’s the deal — the recalled food might have something called aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is a fungus.
It might’ve grown on the food because it was stored too long and rodents were able to get into it, or because the food sources used in the first place were affected by the fungus.
I looked up aflatoxin this morning on the Cornell University Department of Animal Science website and found what I’m going to guess is the culprit — corn.
Which brings me to my next statement: Stop buying your pets food that contains corn. Corn gives many pets many problems, regardless of whether it’s affected by a fungus or perfectly normal. In fact, in may be a big reason why we’re seeing so many pets (like mine) develop allergies.
I recommend avoiding corn as much as possible, and that means giving up on traditional commercial diets like Purina and other popular brands. Just assume that corn = junk.
There’s some good alternatives out there. Personally, I’ll be trying a bag of Fromm pet food — a limited ingredient chicken and rice — for my allergic boy.
And if you want to avoid grains all together, you can even go with a brand like Orijen. I think Fromm has a grain-free line as well.
It’s still kibble. You can still scoop it out of the bag and into the bowl. But it is much, much healthier for your pet.

How do I know if my pet got sick from the recalled food? What are the symptoms?
The sickness caused by aflatoxin is called aflatoxicosis. According to the Cornell website, it causes liver damage and lowers immune function, making your pet more susceptible to infections.
It can be fatal.
Young pets are at the greatest risk.
In terms of symptoms, look for gastrointestinal dysfunction (I’d say this covers diarrhea, vomiting) less interest in food and jaundice (What is jaundice? It’s when the skin and whites of the eyes become more yellow in color)
Anemia can also be a result of aflatoxicosis, and some specific strands of aflatoxin are cancer-causing.

Last but not least, I have no idea when the photo above was shot, but I did notice the 50 lb. bag is marked $9.99. At $10, you weren't really expecting quality, were you?
I know times are tough. The budget in my household is no less difficult.
But really, at $10 for 50 lbs., you've got to realize you're not buying quality — not when commercial brands go on average for $30 for a 35 lb. bag and they're really not quality either.
The state of pet food in our country is disgusting. Though that's not saying the state of human food is all that much better, because it's not.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this! You make an excellent point. You can spend a little more and get at least a somewhat decent dog food. $10 for 50 pounds is LOW quality! I personally only buy all natural food, but I know times are tough for so many.