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Aflatoxin Poisoning and Dry Dog Food

Aflatoxin Poisoning and Dry Dog Food

Dry dog food is the most problematic type of food affecting our pets. Dogs health are at risk due to the poisoning of their food. What are aflatoxins? How can they affect our dogs?

Aflatoxins are toxic substances found in corn when mold results in the presence of certain fungi. During drought conditions mold develops when the corn is planted. The fungi thrive and contaminate the corn. The picture above shows what an ear of corn looks like when it is infected with aflatoxin. This results in aflatoxin contamination in the corn. Aflatoxin poisoning is destructive to the liver and its ability to function.  Liver failure leads to a host of health problems.  Remember that the liver is the organ that serves as a filter to remove toxins from the body and enables the body to benefit from the nutrients that is necessary to live.  If toxins are unable to be filtered due to liver failure, the body becomes poisoned and diseased.  Aflatoxin is also known to be a carcinogen.  Not all corn products are problematic.  Usually AFTER there are reports of sick dogs, the news sometimes gets out to the public.  Ingredients for most processed commercial dog food are usually not close to the quality of ingredients for human consumption.  The dog food products containing corn products are found in kibble more commonly than other forms of food.  Not only is corn a common allergen for dogs, there is a risk for aflatoxins when a corn crop is growing in drought conditions.

According to the Cornell Animal Health Diagnostic Center (AHDC), serious symptoms may become apparent in as little as several days or as late as three weeks. They state that symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning include lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice (yellowing of eyes and gums, and skin), orange urine, blood in urine and stool, blackened stool, and death.


In the video, salmonella is mentioned.  I just wanted to point out to you that the video clarified that the PEOPLE were becoming contaminated by the salmonella NOT the dogs.  I have stated in other articles that it is a fact that salmonella is a danger to people, but not to dogs (except in very rare circumstances).  Although the video is from 2006, the problem with aflatoxin is still an issue to this day.


Lang, Susan S.. “Dogs keep dying: Too many owners remain unaware of toxic dog food | Cornell Chronicle.” Cornell University. Cornell Chronicle, 6 Jan. 2006. Web. 5 June 2014. <>. is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) veterinary treatment. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet is taking, including herbal remedies and supplements. Please do plenty of research so that you may equip yourself with the knowledge necessary to be an effective advocate for your dog’s well-being.

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