Dog Food Poisoned

From CNN

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (AP) -- Caring for her ailing 9-year-old chow has taken over Shanika Stewart's life.

Cocoa must be force-fed with a syringe six times a day since suffering permanent liver damage after eating contaminated dog food.

"I haven't had any time to do anything but take care of her," said Stewart, a 19-year-old nursing student at the University of South Carolina.

"She's the No. 1 priority ... I get maybe four hours of sleep before she wakes me up."

Through relocations from Army bases in Georgia, Oklahoma, Washington and now South Carolina, Cocoa has been a constant companion for Stewart, whose father is serving in Iraq.

When her own daughter died last year, Stewart said Cocoa helped her through her grief. "It was like she understood," Stewart said. "She was my best friend."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that at least 76 dogs nationwide are believed to have died as a result of eating contaminated Diamond Pet Foods.....

The company has recalled 19 varieties of dog and cat food because tests showed high levels of aflatoxin, a naturally occurring toxic chemical that comes from a fungus found on corn and other grains that causes severe liver damage in animals.

The company recalled products manufactured at its Gaston, South Carolina, plant from around September to November 2005. Based on sample testing, Diamond has narrowed down the exposure to food produced on October 11, Brinkmann said Thursday.

To read more....


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