Growing public awareness of pet illness and death linked to chicken jerky treats from China is resulting in a defacto consumer boycott of these products even though the FDA has yet to take action. So far, over 3,600 dogs and 10 cats have reportedly become ill after eating jerky treats, says an article in supermarket news, and nearly 600 pets have died. Symptoms include depression, decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes bloody) and increased thirst and urination, which may occur hours to days after eating the treats. Diagnostic testing demonstrates kidney disease, which may feature an abnormal urine glucose (Fanconi Syndrome). According to an article in the New York Times (November 5th, 2013), about 60% of cases nationwide result in gastroenteritis, 30% in kidney disease, and the rest may show seizures or skin irritations. Any breed of dog can be affected; for cats to be affected is rare. The FDA has been investigating the illness since 2007. According to a recent article in DVM 360magazine, no cause of the illness has been found in spite of extensive testing for bacteria, antibiotic, metals, poisons, pesticides and fungal toxins. The FDA has been unable to order a recall due to the inability to find evidence of specific contamination or adulteration, but advises that chicken jerky should be fed only occasionally and in small quantities. If symptoms follow, the FDA advises to consult your veterinarian.
That is one option, or you can join the increasing number of pet owners who have just said “NO” to jerky treats from China.