If you’ve been feeding your dog Optima dry dog food, stop immediately and get your pet checked out by a veterinarian. At least 20 dogs in four cities had died from aflatoxin poisoning after eating the contaminated dog food. Chinese representatives for Optima (优格狗粮 or you1 ge2 gou3 liang2 in Chinese) claim the dog food, imported from Australia, became contaminated with the naturally occurring toxin at a custom’s location in Guangzhou due to increased government regulations during the Olympics. Aflatoxin, a toxic and carcinogenic substance that causes liver failure in animals, thrived in the hot and humid summer weather in Guangzhou, tainting the dog food. Symptoms of liver failure include lack of appetite, excessive drinking of water, yellow/orange urine and jaundice in the skin, eyes and gums. The International Center for Veterinary Services in Beijing urge pet-owners to only purchase only legally registered pet foods at reputable retailers: Major global brands of reputable pet foods in China are: Prescription diets: Royal Canin Veterinary Diets for dogs and cats (only one brand of prescription diet is legally registered in China and is available only at legally registered animal hospitals) Premium brands Royal Canin dry dog and cat foods (manufactured by Mars Corporation) Purina Pro-Plan dry dog and cat foods (manufactured by Nestle Corporation) Purina Fancy Feast canned cat food (manufactured by Nestle Corporation) Supermarket brands Purina Dog Chow and Cat Chow dry foods (manufactured by Nestle Corporation) Purina Friskies dry cat food (manufactured by Nestle Corporation) Whiskas dry and canned cat foods (manufactured by Mars Corporation) Pedigree dry and canned dog foods (manufactured by Mars Corporation) Cesar canned dog food (manufactured by Mars Corporation) Photo by klynslis published under the Creative Commons Attribution License.