I own and feed a great many animals besides my cats and dogs. Because of this ~ and a natural distrust of the fda to actually 'care' about the people and animals they are responsible for, I pay attention to 'feed' news. This is worth passing along, particularly for anyone with birds, but also for those who feed their cats and/or dogs food that contains corn.
Aflatoxicosis is the poisoning that results from ingesting aflatoxins. Two forms of aflatoxicosis have been identified: the first is acute severe intoxication, which results in direct liver damage and subsequent illness or death, and the second is chronic subsymptomatic exposure. A review of the literature across all species provides clear evidence that the dose and duration of exposure to aflatoxin clearly have a major effect on the toxicology and may cause a range of consequences: 1) large doses lead to acute illness and death, usually through liver cirrhosis; 2) chronic sublethal doses have nutritional and immunologic consequences; and 3) all doses have a cumulative effect on the risk of cancer. This review focuses on the nutritional and immunologic consequences.
The symptoms of severe aflatoxicosis include hemorrhagic necrosis of the liver, bile duct proliferation, edema, and lethargy. Animal studies have found 2 orders of magnitude difference in the median lethal dose for AFB1.Susceptible species such as rabbits and ducks have a low (0.3 mg/kg) median lethal dose, whereas chickens (18 mg/kg) and rats have greater tolerance. Adult humans usually have a high tolerance of aflatoxin, and, in the reported acute poisonings, it is usually the children who die (15).
For humans, aflatoxin is predominantly perceived as an agent promoting liver cancers, although lung cancer is also a risk among workers handling contaminated grain (20).<<