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Pet Food Safety
On June 20, 2012

Aflatoxicosis from commercial diet in 50 dogs

The mortality rate was 68%, suggesting that dogs with aflatoxicosis have poor prognosis.

Aflatoxins, produced by Aspergillus spp., are toxic contaminants of stored grain. This study describes 50 dogs presented with foodborne aflatoxicosis.

Common clinical signs included lethargy (78%), vomiting (76%), anorexia (74%), icterus (66%), depression (66%), melena (60%), haematuria (36%) and diarrhea (36%). Common laboratory abnormalities included increased activities of aspartate aminotransferase (86%), alkaline phosphatase (84%) and alanine aminotransferase (79%), hypoantithrombinaemia (86%), prolonged prothrombin (PT, 82%) and activated partial thromboplastin times (aPTT, 80%), hyperbilirubinaemia (73%), hypocholesterolaemia (60%) hypoalbuminemia (47%) and thrombocytopenia (42%).

Non-survivors had longer PT and aPTT and lower antithrombin at presentation compared to survivors. Hyperbilirubinaemia (>56.6 μmol/L) and albumin concentration <32.5 g/L at presentation were risk factors for mortality. Common complications included disseminated intravascular coagulation (58%), hepatic encephalopathy (35%) and acute kidney injury (4%). The mortality rate was 68%, suggesting that dogs with aflatoxicosis have poor prognosis.

Source : Y. Bruchim et al., 2012. Accidental fatal aflatoxicosis due to contaminated commercial diet in 50 dogs. Res Vet Sci 93: 279-287. doi: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2011.07.024

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