Your Guide To Aflatoxin Poisoning – by Dr. Desmond
What Is Aflatoxin Poisoning? – Written by Dr. Desmond
Aflatoxin poisoning or Aflatoxicosis is a sudden or long-term illness in animals which occurs from ingestion of contaminated foods from moulds.
How does it present?
Aflatoxins cause severe liver damage that results in liver failure. The dog shows signs like weakness, inappetence, bloody diarrhoea with strong rusty nail smell, yellowing of eyes and gums and sudden death.
Can it be treated?
There is no specific treatment. The mainstays of treatment are supportive treatment, fluid therapy, to control bleeding, vitamin K1, antiemetics and gastrointestinal protectants. While aflatoxicosis is fatal in most patients with severe signs of intoxication, some dogs may recover slowly with long-term care.
How do you prevent Aflatoxin poisoning?
1. Avoid food with corn and corn products.
2. Store your food in airtight containers to regulate moisture content.
3. Buy food from reputable sources and check for expiry dates, any break in the bag and storage condition on supply store.
4. Buy what you can consume in a short time.
5. If feeding maize meal, buy just enough for 5-7 days. Store in a dry airtight container and do not remove the dispensing tin from the airtight container.
6. Handle food with dry hands or container as only one drop of water can trigger the growth of mould.
7. Take your dogs for regular vet check-ups to detect any early symptoms before the liver fails.
8. Call your vet immediately when you suspect your dog has eaten mouldy food or bread.
9. Empty food from the bag slowly so that you can see all pellets. If you see any white or abnormal discolouration do not feed it to your dogs. Inform the supplier for testing.
10. Dispose of any leftovers and avoid spilling food on the ground while feeding.
Dr. Desmond Tutu – B.V.M. – Veterinarian
If there is anything you would like to know, leave a comment and Dr. Desmond will get back to you!