October 22, 2013
– The FDA has
issued a statement warning about illnesses linked to
jerky treats that have killed 580 pets to date. The total number
of animals affected is much higher: "As of Sept. 24, 2013, over
3,600 dogs and 10 cats have reportedly become ill from eating
jerky pet treats."What exactly is causing the illnesses, which
have resulted in pancreatitis, kidney failure, a rare kidney
disorder called Fanconi syndrome, and gastrointestinal bleeding,
remains unclear."This is one of the most elusive and mysterious
outbreaks we've encountered," says Bernadette Dunham, head of the
FDA vet medicine center.
Ties to Jerky Treats and Ingredients from China
Most of the jerky treats implicated have been made in China,
sparking FDA visits to manufacturing plants in that country. But
no new recalls are currently being made. "At this point we don’t
have enough evidence to do a blanket recall within the authority
that we have," said Martine Hartogensis, a deputy director
for the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine.What we do know is
that of 22 “Priority 1” cases of animal illness listed by the FDA
late last year, 13 of them cited Waggin’ Train or Canyon Creek
Ranch jerky treats, which are produced by Nestle Purina and 3
more list Milo’s Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats.("Priority 1"
cases are those in which the animal is aged 11 or younger
and medical records that document the illness are available.)In
January of this year, both were recalled: Nestle
recalled Waggin' Train and Canyon Creek Ranch
treats and Milo's
Kitchen recalled its Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers
Home-style Dog Treats. Both recalls were due to trace
amounts of residual antibiotics found in the treats, but the FDA
says "it's unlikely that they caused the illnesses."Other jerky
treat recalls have been made throughout the year:Publix
in January, Nutri-Vet
in February, Dogswell
in July, and Joey's
Jerky in September. Most of these recalls were made due
to Salmonella contamination. The FDA
is now asking consumers and veterinarians to help by
providing any relevant information.
What Should I Do?
- Keep on the lookout for signs of illness in your pets. The
FDA says "signs that may occur within hours to days of feeding
the products are decreased appetite, decreased activity,
vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes with blood or mucus), increased
water consumption and/or increased urination."
- Contact your vet right away if you notice these or more
- The FDA is asking pet owners to hold on to unused portions of
the product in its original container for at least 60 days, in
case they request samples for testing
- Report any issues through the Safety Reporting
Portal or your
local FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator
Looking for pet treats that are sourced
and made in the US?
Bil-Jac are two companies that source ingredients and
manufacture in the US.
Own fish and poultry products are produced domestically.
Read the Consumer
Update from the FDA.
Jerky Treats Linked to 600 Pet Deaths and Ongoing Investigation
Back on the Market
A mysterious set of illnesses linked to jerky treats, many
manufactured in China, have caused nearly 600
pet deaths since 2007. Two of the treats implicated in the
illnesses and recalled in January 2013,
Waggin’ Train jerky treats for dogs and Milo’s
Kitchen Chicken Jerky Strips and Chicken Grillers Recipe
Treats for dogs, are coming back on the market.What
exactly caused the illnesses, which have resulted in
pancreatitis, kidney failure, a
rare kidney disorder called Fanconi syndrome, and
gastrointestinal bleeding, remains a troubling mystery for the
FDA, pet parents, and pet treat manufacturers.
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