Diamond Pet Foods is voluntarily recalling many of its products produced at its Gaston, South Carolina facility. Tests have shown high levels of a toxic chemical known as Aflatoxin, which comes from a fungus that affects corn and other crops.
Diamond, Country Value, and Professional dog food brands have been linked to at least 100 dog deaths in recent weeks.
"A lot of breeders use it. It's a good product, but they've had a problem with their manufacturing," said Dr. Daniel Newell of Till-Newell Animal Hospital.
The Aflatoxin affects the liver and causes a number of symptoms. Warning signs include: loss of appetite, yellowing of the eyes, gums or on the belly, and fever.
"Early signs would be not eating and vomiting. You will see a yellowing of the eyes and the mucus membranes of their mouth. That sort of thing," Newell said.
Recalled products include Diamond, Country Value, and Professional Dog and Cat Foods. Recalled products can be identified by the Date Code and the "Best By" date. A Capital "G" will be in the 11th or 12th position of the date code on 18 to 55 pound bags and in the 9th position on smaller bags. The "Best Buy" dates are between March 1, 2007, and June 10, 2007.
"Take them to a vet immediately," Newell advised. "It can be fatal depending on how much or how long the animal has been eating the food."
For more information on the recall, go to www.diamondpet.com or call the Customer Information Center at 1-866-214-6945.