The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that three dog food brands have voluntarily recalled some of their products due to concerns of high levels of aflatoxin in the food. Paws Happy Life, Heartland Farms, and Family Pet have recalled various sizes of dog food bags that were produced in a three-day window from April 3rd to April 5th. All three brands are manufactured by Sunshine Mills, Inc.
At this time, there is no reliable way to know if a bag of Paws Happy Life, Heartland Farms, or Family Pet dog food is part of the potentially toxic batches. Sunshine Mills, Inc. advises all consumers to discard any products they own or return them to a retailer for a refund or exchange. According to a press release from the manufacturer, retailers have been notified of the recall and instructed to stop selling the affected brands until further notice.
What Does Aflatoxin Do?
The World Health Organization (WHO) describes aflatoxin as capable of causing liver failure if it or Aspergillus flavus, a naturally occurring mold on various common crops, are consumed in large quantities. Typically, humans, dogs, cats, and other household pets are at little risk of any ailments when aflatoxin is consumed in minimal amounts. In fact, the fungus is likely on many types of dog foods in microscopic, harmless amounts.
However, the recalled dog food brands might contain amounts that could become dangerous if dogs eat moderate to large portions of each bag. While aflatoxin can cause liver damage with continued exposure, immediate symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning in animals include vomiting, convulsions, and labored breathing. If your dog is experiencing any such symptoms, consult a veterinarian immediately and secure any Paws Happy Life, Heartland Farms, or Family Pet dog food where animals and children cannot reach it.
Can You Sue If Your Pet Dies from Poisoned Food?
Liability laws can make it difficult to pursue justice and compensation after losing a beloved pet to someone else’s negligence, like a dog food manufacturer who sells unsafe products. In some cases, it is possible to recover vet bills incurred while attempting to treat a pet’s fatal injury or illness. If the deceased pet provided a valuable service, such as a Seeing Eye dog who always accompanied a blind family member, then the value of those lost services might also be recoverable through an injury claim brought to civil court.
Bringing a claim against a pet food manufacturer after losing an animal to an unsafe product can feel like an uphill legal battle. To lessen the burden placed on your shoulders during such a harrowing time, you should consult with an attorney to see if you have a valid case. There could even be a class action forming against the pet food manufacturer if enough other people have suffered a similar loss due to dangerous pet food.