Update on Molds in Pet Food

February 1, 2016

The 2015 Neogen’s report is in.  Dangerously high levels of mycotoxins have been confirmed in grains in several North American states and parts of Canada.  This information came to me via truthaboutpetfood.com and more information was found at www.wattagnet.com.

Afflatoxins, fumonisin, and DON, all forms of mycotoxins were found in grains in the following states:

Georgia – more than 100 ppb
Virginia – more than 100 ppb
North Carolina – more than 100 ppb
Kansas – more than 40 ppb
Texas – more than 40 ppb
South Carolina – more than 20 ppb

For reference, more than 20 ppb is considered too high for human food and pet food.

The reason the above information is important to and to your pets is that pet food grains might be affected by these toxins.  DON (Deoxynivalenol) has been detected in wheat all over the United States, according to Neogen’s Mycotoxin Report, Sept. 21, 2015, citing that the milling quality of wheat has been reduced due to high DON levels. An average of 3.2 mycotoxins per sample with DON being the most predominant toxin was found by Altech’s 37+ mycotoxin analysis.

DON is produced by the Fusarium graminaerum mold.  At high risk levels, DON can negatively impact animal health.  Above average rainfall through the summer in the Midwest provided the perfect environment for molds to grow.

Because we keep reading about mycotoxins in pet food and recalls involving same, we pet owners need to be aware of the dangers.  I have written before about mycotoxins in corn.  With corn stored outside in all kinds of weather, the environment is right for molds to grow.  When weather provides the constant moisture needed for molds to thrive, other grains will also be compromised.

Molds like mycotoxins can cause serious illness in dogs and cats and can even lead to death.

We need to keep a close eye on what our pets eat.  Look at the dry food you pour for your dog or cat. Be sure it is free of mold.  If you should find mold, return the package to your retailer for a refund and report the lot number on the package to your veterinarian.  Even take a sample to your vet for analysis.  He or she may report it to the Food & Drug Administration.  But know that as long as you continue to feed pet food containing grains to your pets, molds will continue to be an occasional issue.  Buy grainfree products whenever possible, and this is one problem you won’t have to worry about.




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