It's a pet owner's worst nightmare, the death of their beloved companion. It's especially hard when something as simple as their food is to blame. That nightmare has become a reality for several pet owners.

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According to WQAD, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Midwest Pet Food, Inc. issued a recall Wednesday on certain types of Sportmix pet food, as it could contain potentially fatal levels of aflatoxin. Google dictionary defines aflatoxin as "any of a class of toxic compounds that are produced by certain molds found in food, and can cause liver damage and cancer."

The FDA has been made "aware of at least 28 deaths and eight illnesses in dogs that ate the recalled product". The recalled pet food products in question have the following lot codes which can be "found on the back of the bag and will appear in a three-line code":

  • Sportmix Energy Plus, 50 lb. bag
    • Exp 03/02/22/05/L2
    • Exp 03/02/22/05/L3
    • Exp 03/03/22/05/L2
  • Sportmix Energy Plus, 44 lb. bag
    • Exp 03/02/22/05/L3
    • Sportmix Premium High Energy, 50 lb. bag
    • Exp 03/03/22/05/L3
  • Sportmix Premium High Energy, 44 lb. bag
    • Exp 03/03/22/05/L3
    • Sportmix Original Cat, 31 lb. bag
    • Exp 03/03/22/05/L3
  • Sportmix Original Cat, 15 lb. bag
    • Exp 03/03/22/05/L2
    • Exp 03/03/22/05/L3

Pet owners who may be concerned about their pets experiencing aflatoxin poisoning should look out for signs such as "sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice (yellowish tint to the eyes or gums due to liver damage), and/or diarrhea," according to the FDA. Any pet owner that thinks their pet may have been exposed to the toxin is encouraged to report it to the FDA.

The WQAD report states that there can be instances where pets may suffer liver damage without showing any symptoms, and that the FDA assures that there is no risk to the owners handling the food.

Pet owners who have purchased the recalled Sportmix product should immediately stop feeding their pets the food and consult their veterinarian.

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