Dog owners know that their loyal pets not only love, but deserve a well-earned treat once in a while. But these treats are supposed to bring enjoyment to your dog, not illness.
If you give your dog chicken jerky treats, don’t skip this article!
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has once again issued a warning about chicken jerky treats for dogs. While they do not name any specific brands, they have determined that chicken jerky imported from China has caused many dogs to become ill.
The dry chicken jerky may come in the form of treats, strips or tenders. According to the FDA, there has been a sharp increase of reports that dogs are falling sick after eating these chicken jerky treats.
The first time complaints started to flood in was back in September 2007 but the number of reports started to subside by the end of 2009. However, as of November 2011, complaints from pet owners and veterinarians are on the rise again.
The ‘Chicken Jerky’ Mystery
After extensive testing, the FDA, as well as many animal health laboratories, has not been able to find what the contaminant in the chicken jerky seems to be. But, they’re giving it their all. Test results are pending for:
- and other chemicals and toxins.
Nutritional testing has also been done to access the levels of:
- fatty acids,
- vitamin D excess,
- glycerol concentrations,
- crude fiber,
- and protein.
The FDA will continue to collect samples and test the jerky to determine the cause of illness in so many dogs.
While chicken jerky treat manufacturers can issue a voluntary recall on their own, at this time the FDA has not determined a specific contaminate in the treats and therefore has no evidence supporting a mandatory recall to be issued. Since regulations require evidence of issuing a FDA mandated recall, the FDA can take no action at this time.
What You Can Do
If you plan on giving your dog chicken jerky treats, only give it in small amounts. Be especially careful with little dogs. Remember, a dog’s diet should be composed of a well-formulated dog food. Treats should be used sparingly – not as a main food source.
Pay close attention to your dog for a few days after they eat the jerky treats. Look out for symptoms such as:
- Diarrhea (sometimes bloody)
- Change in appetite
- Change in activity
- Increased water consumption
- Increase in urination frequency
If you notice any of these symptoms, do not feed your dog any more chicken jerky. Call your veterinarian if the problem persists after 24 hours of the first symptom appearing.
It is believed that these chicken jerky treats can increase the amounts of urea nitrogen, creatine and glucose, which can cause kidney failure, Fanconi syndrome and even death. Though, most dogs make a full recovery.
If your dog has exhibited any of these symptoms, keep any remaining chicken jerky from the package in the case that the FDA requests it for testing.
In the meantime, consumers and veterinarians are encouraged to report to the FDA all cases of illness caused by any pet food, including chicken jerky, by going to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.