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