Pet Food Linked to Death of 2 Aiken County Dogs

By: Kristen Cosby
By: Kristen Cosby

The deaths of at least 10 dogs in south Carolina are being linked to a popular brand of pet food. Two of those dogs are from Aiken County.
News 12 is on your side if you use Diamond Pet Food.

Little Scooby rests at his favorite place... among the banana trees. The chihuahua died December 20th, leaving his owners, Paula and Bobby Esposito heartbroken.

"I cried like a baby that morning he died," said Bobby Esposito. "It's like losing someone in your family. How do you replace it, you can't?"

The Esposito's now believe Scooby died because of what he ate: Diamond Pet Food.

"Any pet owner should be concerned if they know that they're feeding Diamond Pet Food, whatever variety," said Scooby's Vet Dr. Holly Woltz.

Diamond cat and dog food processed in Lexington County and dated between March and June 2007 may be contaminated with aflatoxin, which comes from a fungus.

The company says aflatoxin is a naturally occurring bi-product that grows on corn in years of drought. It can cause severe liver damage in pets.

Woltz says Scooby is the second Aiken County dog in her care to die from eating Diamond food.

"It's fast. It hits hard and fast," said Woltz.

Now the Esposito's are worried about their other three dogs. They didn't eat the same food as Scooby, but they might have gotten into it. The Espositos plan to test their other dogs blood.

The contaminated Diamond pet food has been recalled. If you own any, you can take it back to the pet store for a full refund. If your dog or cat has eaten diamond pet food, here's what you can do:
*Check for symptoms: tiredness, lack of appetite, vomiting and yellowness in the eyes.
*Second, have your pet's blood tested. You can do this even before you see symptoms.
*And finally, if symptoms are urgent take your pet to the vet immediately.

Diamond Pet Food says it is working out a plan to reimburse owners for their vet costs. They've also set up a phone number if you think your pet may be affected. You can call diamond toll free at 1-866-214-6945 or visit them online by


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