Accidental fatal aflatoxicosis due to contaminated commercial diet in 50 dogs

Y. Bruchim*, G. Segev, U. Sela, T. Bdolah-Abram, A. Salomon, I. Aroch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Aflatoxins, produced by Aspergillus spp., are toxic contaminants of stored grain. This study describes 50 dogs presented with foodborne aflatoxicosis. Common clinical signs included lethargy (78%), vomiting (76%), anorexia (74%), icterus (66%), depression (66%), melena (60%), haematuria (36%) and diarrhoea (36%). Common laboratory abnormalities included increased activities of aspartate aminotransferase (86%), alkaline phosphatase (84%) and alanine aminotransferase (79%), hypoantithrombinaemia (86%), prolonged prothrombin (PT, 82%) and activated partial thromboplastin times (aPTT, 80%), hyperbilirubinaemia (73%), hypocholesterolaemia (60%) hypoalbuminemia (47%) and thrombocytopenia (42%). Non-survivors had longer PT and aPTT and lower antithrombin (P< 0.001) at presentation compared to survivors (23.8. s vs.10.5; 37.9 vs.17.6s and 5% vs. 54%, respectively). Hyperbilirubinaemia (>56.6 μmol/L) and albumin concentration <32.5. g/L at presentation were risk factors for mortality (P< 0.0001). Common complications included disseminated intravascular coagulation (58%), hepatic encephalopathy (35%) and acute kidney injury (4%). The mortality rate was 68%, suggesting that dogs with aflatoxicosis have poor prognosis.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)279-287
Number of pages9
JournalResearch in Veterinary Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Aflatoxin
  • Canine
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation
  • Intoxication
  • Liver failure


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