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FDA Issues Warning on Jerky Dog Treats, Ask Veterinarians for Help

The FDA issued their first caution to consumers regarding chicken, duck, and sweet potato jerky treats imported from China in September of 2007. We have all heard the news reports and complaints of the Chinese chicken jerky treats – also referred to as strips, tenders, chunks, etc. But, six years later, the treats are still being imported and dogs are still getting sick and dying. Most current estimates are that nearly 600 dogs have died, with thousands more showing signs of severe illness, as a result of eating the imported treats.

Yet, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to issue a recall.

Why?

Because researchers, scientists, and veterinarians can’t find anything wrong with them.

According to the Food and Drug Administration:

There is nothing preventing a company from conducting a voluntary recall. It is important to understand that unless a contaminant is detected and we have evidence that a product is adulterated, we are limited in what regulatory actions we can take. The regulations don’t allow for products to be removed based on complaints alone. This is an ongoing investigation and FDA will notify the public if a recall is initiated. Currently, FDA continues to urge pet owners to use caution with regard to chicken jerky products.

In their new Fact Sheet, the FDA urges consumers to take caution with feeding their dogs these treats.

FDA is advising consumers who choose to feed their dogs chicken jerky products to watch their dogs closely for any or all of the following signs that may occur within hours to days of feeding the products:

  • decreased appetite;
  • decreased activity;
  • vomiting;
  • diarrhea, sometimes with blood or mucus
  • increased water consumption
  • increased urination
  • Severe cases are diagnosed with pancreatitis, gastrointestinal
    bleeding, and kidney failure or the resemblance of a rare kidney

    related illness called Fanconi syndrome.

Additionally, the FDA is seeking help from dog owners and veterinarians in their continued efforts to pinpoint the exact cause of dog illnesses and death, so that a recall can be issued.

Consumers that continue to feed the treats, despite repeated warnings, are urged to save some treats in their original packaging for at least 60 days from the time of feeding, in case the dog becomes ill and samples are required for testing. Veterinarians have also been asked to report any findings to the FDA, including sending health records and urine samples of suspected cases.

Consumer complaints regarding the treats have dropped dramatically in recent months, due mostly to the massive recall of the most popular brands of chicken jerky after an antibiotic residue contaminant was found. The FDA does not believe that antibiotic residue is the cause for the illnesses, however, and are continuing their investigations. The drop in complaints was more likely a result of recalls by Nestle Purina PetCare Co.’s Waggin Train and Canyon Creek Ranch treats, plus Del Monte Corp.’s Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers home-style dog treats which simply resulted in fewer treats being available to consumers.
You can help FDA’s investigation by reporting your own complaints through the Safety Reporting Portal (www.safetyreporting.hhs.gov) or your local FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator (www.fda.gov/Safety/ReportaProblem/ConsumerComplaintCoordinators/default.htm).
Remember, the FDA has not issued a recall, despite these concerns. Any chicken, duck, or sweet potato jerky-style treats that are imported from China being sold in stores today may still be harmful to your pet.
If your dog simply cannot live without his jerky treats, look for brands that are sourced and made in the USA.

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. fawn vocci

    Dec 4, 2014 at 11:41 am

    could never give chicken jerky , only duck with no problems . dogs had stools with mucus in them. only difference I could see with the jerky was glycerin in chicken. if the glycerin is made with jatropha oil that makes sense . very poisonous plant.

  2. Laura Dehnke

    Mar 24, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Our Local Menards is selling Cadet brand chicken jerky treats, by IMS Pet Industries Inc. Made in China. Our pure breed Beagle seemed fine the first week on these but now starting the second week she is vomiting many times a day and we have traced it back to these treats. We had no idea these jerky treats had been in the news for making dogs ill. We figured if they were on the for sale rack they were fine. She throws up large yellow piles of chicken shreds. She has become lethargic and is drinking lots of water. She also has diarrhea. I am taking her to the vet today but was told that just the blood tests would run $225. This is money we do not have and I feel that Menards is responsible for having this recalled product on their shelves.

  3. Scott Watkins

    Feb 23, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Nestle Purina is at it again . I just walked out of Wal-Mart and there shelves are stocked up with Waggon Train chicken treats. Do they love making dogs sick ? I had 3 dogs with Fanconi Syndrome for eating this crap. All with liver failer . Unreal and this aint over yet !!!

  4. Jeanine Brown

    Nov 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Thanksgiving evening 2012, I had a 6 mo old Yorkie that simply ad a complete grand-mall like siezure.
    She was immediately taken to the ER where she spent the next 31/2 days on fluids, antibiotics & force fed baby food. when I picked her up, she was literally a rag doll.
    She couldn’t even hold her head up let alone try to stand or even sit w/o being propped w/ pillows st
    strategically placed around her. The ER hadn’t much hope that she would survive.
    Her liver they felt was shutting down all enzymes the same as what everyone else has said.
    I fed her baby food w/some coconut oil in it also to help her bowels, it also has great antibiotic properties. I didi this every 2-3hrs, whenever she woke, the babyfood I should add also had fruit for her bloodsugar, fruit or sweet potatoes, or starches would help.
    She got well enough to walk & play but still has seizures 1-3x daily.
    She takes phenobarbitol, denamarin & an antibiotic to help digest any protiens & cannot have any animal protien.
    This all from chicken & sweet potato treats from Costco. She is a full 24/7 dog that will not let me out of her site. She is so sweet when she is doing well tho, has a prance like a show horse & hops, runs like a bunny. Just tooo cute.
    I hope this helps someone.

  5. Scott Watkins

    Oct 26, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    I am a pet owner with 4 chihuahua’s. One day, 3 of my dogs fell deathly ill. While I was waiting for the Vet to complete tests on my dogs, I was racking my brain on what all three dogs had in common. Why not all 4 dogs? The only thing that we came up with was Purina treats that all three male dogs ate and the female didnt. She is the only one of the dogs that refused to eat the treats, she only eats vegtables and fruits. I desperately called Nestle / Purina to ask what it was that was making all of my dogs sick. All they would say is ” Here is the phone # for our insurance company maybe they can help?” This is where the hell began – everyday was a fight for their life. Let me explain what the symptoms were: They refused to eat, drank obsessively, lethargic, throwing up, excessive urination. When the tests began to come back, it showed that they all had kidney issues, low blood sugar, high glucose in their urine, liver enemyes high, UTI infections. They were rapidly getting worse and the vet did not know what to do to save them. When the vet started research – it came back as FANCONI SYNDROME! Within one week, two of the dogs had lost almost half of their body weight. It was then that they did not give us much hope that the dogs would survive. They would try, but there were no guarantees. So the treatment began – force feeding them a special canned dog food, anti biotics, denamiran, and pushing bags of fluid into their bodies intravenously because they had gotten to weak to drink on their own. 8 weeks of treatment, FDA involvement and diagnosis, Purina blowing me off as well as Sedgewick, their insurance company and $8000 later, my dogs began to get better. They are survivors of FANCONI SYNDROME! They are beginning to gain back their weight and eat on their own. Most dog owners are unaware until it is too late. If your dogs show any of the above symptoms, get your vet to treat them with what is outlined in this post

    • Kathy Watkins

      Oct 26, 2013 at 1:20 pm

      By the way – on the above post: the FDA was contacted by our vet and they in turn contacted us. They sent a kit to collect urine and the freeze and one day air it back to them for a 3 of the dogs. A scientist from the FDA called us about 3 weeks later. Their findings were that all three dogs had Fanconi Syndrome. Purina’s response: we don’t take everything the FDA says as gospel. REALLY? So a guy sitting behind a desk at Purina knows more than a scientist from the FDA? Hummmmmmm….. WE NEED A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT!

      • Amy and Dave McCualsky

        Dec 7, 2013 at 3:51 pm

        Anyone interested in a class action lawsuit against these companies that make POISONOUS dog food and/or treats that come thru China and make our beloved dogs sick and/or die, please contact us…our lab mix Barney died eight months ago after eating dry dog food that had come thru China…we are outraged as is our veterinarian…Our Bishon Frise has survived; he always ate more human food and now exclusively chicken, rice, viennas, hot dogs…drinks a LOT of water though. Thank you.

      • Scott Watkins

        Feb 23, 2014 at 11:10 am

        Just walked out of Wal-Mart and they have Waggin Train chicken on the shelves again!!! Unreal this is POISON

  6. Don Cook

    Oct 25, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Yesterday, 24 Oct 13, I left a reply on this subject at Fox News. This is not new and has been going on for a long time. I had a prize beagle killed by unregulated food and treats that had been processed thru China, as a product of the U.S.A. Less than a year ago my Lab nearly died after eating chicken treats bought at Walmart which were made in China. We notified in writing the FDA, Walmart headquarters, and our Vet. Absolutely no response from the FDA or Walmart. Walmart kept selling this stuff for a long time. It’s sold under several brand names. They only care about making money and not the health of animals or human. The same thing applies to the FDA. They are as useless as every other government agency. They don’t care enough to do anything. My lab will not eat anything other than Blue Buffalo, local grown beef, or deer meat that I take while hunting. Nothing is safe anymore and China owns this country so no action will ever be taken to stop this.

  7. PROPYLENE GLYCOL, SORBITOL, GLYCERIN FOUND IN BENEFUL AND JERKY TREATS COULD BE KILLING DOGS IF IT IS DERIVED FROM JATROPHA AND THE FDA **KNOWS** THIS!

    The Jatropha plant is used extensively in China to produce Oils, Biodiesel, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Sorbitol and Proteins. This highly toxic, non-food shrub is also grown in India and parts of Africa. Three seeds from this plant can kill an adult. Symptoms include vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Haemorrhagic gastroenteritis is generally diagnosed, and the kidneys and liver can both fail. Death can occur quickly.

    The FDA wants the industry to watch for glycerin from Jatropha
    The FDA has issued new guidance about ingredients made from Jatropha curcas, a plant that has become popular in making biodiesel. The glycerin extracted in that process may contain toxins but which conventional testing may not find. Jatropha plants may contain phorbol esters, which could be toxic “both acute and chronic, to exposed humans and animals.”

    The agency says it has not discovered any problems yet but is trying to get out in front of the issue with the new rules. The plant has become popular in biodiesel production, the FDA says, because its seeds contain high levels of oil, the drought-resistant plant grows well in tropical and semi-tropical climates and it is relatively cheap to grow.

    The FDA is STILL TRYING TO DEVELOP A TEST FOR THE PRESENCE OF JATROPHA because of the jerky treat issue, and InPharm says it welcomes any assistance in that effort from the industry.

    Read more: FDA wants industry to watch for glycerin from Jatropha – FiercePharma Manufacturing http://www.fiercepharmamanufacturing.com/story/fda-wants-industry-watch-glycerin-jatropha/2012-07-10#ixzz2iYgZocBN

    FDA Notification to Industry: Products using oils, glycerin, or protein that were derived from the Jatropha plant may have toxic effects

    Read more: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForIndustry/IndustryNoticesandGuidanceDocuments/UCM310867.pdf

    Deadly Chinese Dog Treats – Could This Be the Cause? Dog Food Advisor

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-news/chinese-dog-treats-glycerin/

    THE BOTTOM LINE

    Until the FDA or the industry has positively identified the cause the death of these unfortunate — and innocent — animals, why expose your pet to these avoidable risks?

    Avoid feeding potentially deadly jerky treats. Don’t buy them. Or if you already have, take them back to the store you got them from.

    Avoid ANY pet food containing Propylene Glycol, Sorbitol or Glycerin!

    REPORT any adverse reaction to your State Dept of Agriculture:

    and to the state/regional FDA!

    Finally, help us in the fight against Purina’s BENEFUL which owners claim is also killing their fur-kids! https://www.facebook.com/groups/533765719991738/

  8. Dale

    Oct 24, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    It was chicken jerky that our Cairn Terrier mix had a terrible reaction to a couple of years ago, and required an emergency visit to a veterinary hospital.
    He didn’t exhibit any of the symptoms that have been listed though.
    He had what amounted to a severe allergic reaction. He acted like he wanted to crawl out of his skin, had very red eyes, gums, swollen face.
    We racked our brains trying to figure out what was causing it. What was new to his environment.
    Then it dawned on us we had bought those treats days earlier. Stopped feeding them to him and the next day he was much improved. By day two, he was back to his old self.
    Since then we don’t buy any treats other than the name brand treats that have been around for for decades such as Milk Bone, Liva-Snaps, etc.

  9. chris

    Oct 24, 2013 at 11:43 am

    I purchase liver – chicken, beef – or other organ meat and slice it and dehydrate it. You can get a dehydrator from an outdoors or sporting goods store for about $35. Run it for 24 hours and they stay in a sealed jar for weeks – if they lasted that long in my house. They are cheaper than store bought and I know exactly what goes into them. You could also do apple or carrot slices or sliced cheese.

  10. Amber hale

    Oct 24, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Tanya please contact me on FB? Amber hale Lufkin TX My Oz had 51 stones . Ate purina one and the treats if purina supports tell jerky treats what kinda chicken is in their food?!?! I think it’s the preservative ..also on fb is animal parents agains pet treats made in China. . Where all the victims have a place to go and share their story please check it out

  11. Rob

    Oct 24, 2013 at 6:44 am

    There was a problem with waggin train chicken jerky. Google showed no problems with duck. My dog has eaten duck jerky since she was a pup. And did you know the FDA doesn’t even check human food? The FDA does nothing but spend your money. Defund all of these government agencies.

  12. Tanya Clark

    Oct 23, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    These “treats” caused a deathly problem with our beloved Chihuahua Bear Bear. It ultimately killed him. He developed a rare type of Kidney/bladder stones… that after multiple severe and very expensive surgeries to clean him out and fix the problem, we had to put him at rest this September. He suffered more than I can tell you. He was only JUST 8yr old!!!! After only 8months of going through a total of 6 procedures, one so major that he technically wasn’t able to pee like a boy any longer as it was all “rerouted”!!!!… he was still passing stones (though he was on expensive prescription food for urinary to dissolve stones… and NEVER had another chicken or other china product)he ended up completely blocked AGAIN… and was in so much pain… I couldn’t put him through that any longer… and I can’t tell you how bad I still feel today without him!!! I brought him into this world and helped him take his first breath… He was in my arms when he went to Heaven. It’s not fair that companies do not care for an innocent animal that does nothing but love us!!!! SOMEONE has to speak for them!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Amber hale

      Oct 24, 2013 at 7:56 am

      Tanya the SAME identical problem in my 6 yr old . I would really like to tall to you if at all possible I got his stones tested

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