Aflatoxins and Pet Food

Filed under Dr. Dym's Vet Blog
Aflatoxins are toxins produced by certain strains of mold on grains such as peanuts, soybeans and corn, as well as other cereals.  Aflatoxin production may occur during pet food storage when high temperatures and moisture allow for mold growth.

Recently and in the past few weeks, there have been 3 pet food recalls by the companies Proctor and Gamble, Cargill, and most recently Advanced Animal Nutrition.

Aflatoxins are toxins produced by certain strains of mold on grains.

The latter recall involves the Dog Power Advanced maintenance formula, the Hunters Formula, and the  Dog Power High Pro Performance Formula.

Symptoms of aflatoxin exposure include lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting and/or diarrhea.  With progressive liver failure, yellowing of the eyes and/or urine may occur as well. While there have been no reported clinical cases of pets affected at this point, any pets who have consumed these foods and exhibit any of these symptoms should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Ringworm Treatment for Pets

Filed under Dr. Dym's Vet Blog

Ringworm is a fungus that is quite common in many home and outdoor environments.  Many pets can be exposed and infected with ringworm and show very little symptoms. For these types of pets, they are known as carriers.  Infection usually occurs when a pet comes into contact with hairs from an infected animal or a carrier animal, and sometimes from the environment, particularly when a pet’s immune system is stressed.

Symptoms of ringworm can vary and include the classic round areas of hair loss on the body, to non-specific skin symptoms of skin crusting or sores.  In cats, lesions often occur around the face and ears, and can often affect multiple cats in a particular home, cattery or kennel.   While many try and diagnose ringworm by appearance and/or see if the affected areas fluoresce under a special lamp known as a Woods Lamp, ringworm can only truly be diagnosed by fungal culture of the hairs, and/or a skin biopsy.

Ringworm that occurs in only focal areas can be treated with topical antifungal treatments such as Miconazole or Tresaderm.  Topical Clotrimazole can also be affective. In pets with more serious widespread infection, clipping of the hair may be needed as well as prescription oral antifungal medications such as Ketoconazole. Treatment in these cases can take several weeks to months, and all pets in the home should be treated, as well as the environment treated with an antifungal product.