Chicken Jerky Treats from China – Dangerous

English: Source: FDA-OCI

FDA – Chicken Jerky Dog Treats

This alert by the FDA as been circulating on blogs for awhile now, but there many dog parents that have not yet heard about the chicken jerky scare that has made many dogs sick and could be the cause of some deaths.

We feel it is important to get the word out to as many dog parents as possible and help spread awareness across the Net, mainly because the FDA has done little other than putting out an alert… to-date they have not issued any re-calls and dogs continue to get sick and even die. This is what the FDA has to say about the issue on their site:

November 18, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is again cautioning consumers that chicken jerky products for dogs (also sold as chicken tenders, strips or treats) may be associated with illness in dogs. In the last 12 months, FDA has seen an increase in the number of complaints it received of dog illnesses associated with consumption of chicken jerky products imported from China. These complaints have been reported to FDA by dog owners and veterinarians.

FDA issued a cautionary warning regarding chicken jerky products to consumers in September 2007 and a Preliminary Animal Health Notification in December of 2008. After seeing the number of complaints received drop off during the latter part of 2009 and most of 2010, the FDA is once again seeing the number of complaints rise to the levels of concern that prompted release of our earlier warnings.

Chicken jerky products should not be substituted for a balanced diet and are intended to be fed occasionally in small quantities.

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; increased water consumption and/or increased urination. If the dog shows any of these signs, stop feeding the chicken jerky product. Owners should consult their veterinarian if signs are severe or persist for more than 24 hours. Blood tests may indicate kidney failure (increased urea nitrogen and creatinine). Urine tests may indicate Fanconi syndrome (increased glucose). Although most dogs appear to recover, some reports to the FDA have involved dogs that have died.

FDA, in addition to several animal health diagnostic laboratories in the U.S., is working to determine why these products are associated with illness in dogs. FDA’s Veterinary Laboratory Response Network (VLRN) is now available to support these animal health diagnostic laboratories. To date, scientists have not been able to determine a definitive cause for the reported illnesses. FDA continues extensive chemical and microbial testing but has not identified a contaminant.

The FDA continues to actively investigate the problem and its origin. Many of the illnesses reported may be the result of causes other than eating chicken jerky. Veterinarians and consumers alike should report cases of animal illness associated with pet foods to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in their state or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

Since this warning was posted on their site, there has been a spike in reported incidence, but still no re-call.  Members of Congress have even sent letters to the FDA demanding they pull these products from the shelves to protect dogs across America… this has not happened as of today.

This is what Waggin Train has posted on their site: http://www.waggintrainbrand.com/product_jerkeytenders.html

The FDA continues to advise dog owners that chicken jerky products should not be substituted for a balanced diet, and are intended to be fed occasionally in small quantities.  The FDA has previously reported that any association between dog illnesses and chicken jerky may be the result of dogs (primarily small dogs) consuming treats in excess of normal or recommended levels.

Consumers are encouraged to read and follow the feeding guidelines found on Waggin’ Train packages.

So it’s our fault that their products are making our dogs sick… we don’t know how to feed our dogs according to Waggin Train.  This is a cop-out and it looks like the industry and the FDA are not going to correct this problem so…

We as responsible dog parents must spread the word and demand that manufacturers stop using China as a source of ingredients for their pet food formulas.    This has been going on for five years now, and it is obvious that the Chinese are not going to correct this problem on their end.

This means we need to correct it as consumers… in the case of Chicken Jerky treats, if the FDA can not track down and issue a re-call then solution is simple! Our dogs do not need Chicken Jerky treats of any brand. They can sit on the shelves of the stores collecting dust and let the companies that make these treats lose orders do to the lack of sales… they can take them back and eat them themselves if they believe they are safe!

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