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Dogs keep dying: Many owners unaware of toxic dog food

profile should assess the liver enzyme ALT to detect damage to the liver, serum cholesterol, total bilirubin concentration and the activity of the anticoagulant proteins antithrombin III (ATIII) and protein C. The coagulation protein tests, which have been adapted for dogs by Cornell researchers, have high value in detecting affected dogs but require collection of a special blood sample (citrated plasma sample) and an assessment by Cornell's Animal Health Diagnostic Center.

Any dog suspected of aflatoxin poisoning should also have a liver specimen sent to Cornell to definitively confirm the pathologic changes in the liver unique for aflatoxin toxicity, such as fatty degeneration of individual cells.

"Even if dogs show no signs of illness, if they have eaten the affected food, they should have blood tests submitted to detect liver injury," Center stressed. "Dogs that show positive results on any of the above tests should be prescribed liver protectants for two months." For more details, veterinarians should check the Cornell Vet College Web site.

Owners also should take cats that might have eaten contaminated dog food to a vet. Two cats that may have eaten the tainted dog food have died, but no cause of death was determined.


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Source:Cornell University News Service


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