The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Monday it was expanding its recall of Sportsmix pet food after 70 dogs reportedly died.
More than 80 additional dogs became sick after consuming the food.
The FDA warned that high levels of aflatoxin, a mold that grows on grains, in the food were responsible for the deaths and illnesses.
The recall covers several varieties of dry Sportsmix pet food for dogs and cats that contain corn. It is unknown how many cats have been affected by the moldy food.
“As of January 11, 2021, FDA is aware of more than 70 pets that have died and more than 80 pets that are sick after eating Sportmix pet food. Not all of these cases have been officially confirmed as aflatoxin poisoning through laboratory testing or veterinary record review. This count is approximate and may not reflect the total number of pets affected,” the FDA posted.
Sportsmix is produced by Midwestern Pet Foods, an Oklahoma company. The FDA said the food was distributed to online and brick-and-mortar retailers nationwide.
Pets poisoned by aflatoxin can display a number of symptoms including sluggishness, jaundice (itself a symptom of liver damage), loss of appetite, vomiting or diarrhea, according to the FDA.
The FDA suggested that pet owners contact their veterinarian if their dog or cat has eaten the tainted food, even if the animal is not showing symptoms. Pet owners should also wash their hands immediately after handling the pet food.