In “Why Upgrading Your Pet’s Diet is More Important Now than Ever” (healthy pets on mercola.com, 23 Nov 2012), Dr. Karen Becker writes:
For U.S. farmers in the Corn Belt, the summer of 2012 will be remembered as one of the hottest and driest on record. In addition to lower crop yields, conditions were ideal for the growth of two types of molds that infiltrate corn plants — Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus.
These molds produce metabolites called aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are potent mycotoxins that cause acute lethal illness and cancer in animals and humans. In fact, aflatoxins are among the most carcinogenic substances on the planet. Aflatoxins poison the liver, and their carcinogenic properties can lead to tumor formation.
Aflatoxicosis is primarily a disease of the liver. Clinical signs of a problem with the liver include gastrointestinal dysfunction, reproductive issues, anemia and jaundice.
Certain types of aflatoxins are associated with the development of cancer in animals. If your pet becomes ill from food contaminated with aflatoxins, you’ll see one or more of these symptoms:
• Severe, persistent vomiting combined with bloody diarrhea
• Loss of appetite
• Fever and sluggishness
• Discolored urine
• Jaundice (yellow whites of the eyes, gums, belly)
If you suspect your pet has ingested aflatoxins, even if he’s showing no symptoms of illness, get him to your vet or an emergency animal clinic as soon as possible. Bring your pet’s food with you if possible.
A good start is to transition your pet away from all dry food. Make the move to a high quality canned food. Better yet … consider making some of your pet’s meals at home with recipes like those in my cookbook, Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats.”
© Copyright 1997-2012 Dr. Joseph Mercola.https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/11/23/aflatoxin.aspx?e_cid=20121123_PetsNL_art_1