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Contaminated US pet food linked to deaths of more than 70 dogs

Some pet owners in the US have lost their animal companions after a range of tainted pet food products have been linked to the deaths of more than 70 dogs.

A Staffordshire terrier dog (file). Source: istock.com

The Sportmix pet food products have also sickened 80 other dogs.

The producers of Sportmix, Midwestern Pet Food, is recalling all pet foods manufactured in their Oklahoma plant as it investigates potentially fatal levels of aflatoxins in its product.

CBS News reports the Missouri Department of Agriculture tested multiple product samples and found high levels of aflatoxins, which are toxins produced by mold that can cause death and illness in pets, according to the FDA.

The toxins can be present even if there is no visible mold.

Aflatoxin poisoning can cause sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice and diarrhea in pets. 

"We continue a thorough review of our facilities and practices in full cooperation with FDA," Midwestern Pet Food said in a statement. "Until recently, throughout our long history, we've never had a product recall."