FDA reports sick dogs in US from Chicken Jerky Treats
From the FDA website: http://www.fda.gov/cvm/CVM_Updates/ComplaintsChicJerky.htm
Preliminary Animal Health Notification
December 19, 2008
FDA Continues To Receive Complaints about Chicken Jerky Products for Dogs and Cautions Consumers
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to caution consumers of a potential association between the development of illness in dogs and the consumption of chicken jerky products also described as chicken tenders, strips or treats. FDA continues to receive complaints of dogs experiencing illness that their owners or veterinarians associate with consumption of chicken jerky products. The chicken jerky products are imported to the U.S. from China. FDA issued a cautionary warning to consumers in September 2007.
Australian news organizations report the University of Sydney is also investigating an association between illness in dogs and the consumption of chicken jerky in Australia. At least one firm in Australia has recalled their chicken jerky product and the recall notification stated the chicken jerky product was manufactured in China.
FDA believes the continued trend of consumer complaints coupled with the information obtained from Australia warrants an additional reminder and animal health notification.
Chicken jerky products should not be substituted for a balanced diet and are intended to be
used occasionally and in small quantities. Owners of small dogs must be especially careful to limit the amount of these products.
FDA, in addition to several veterinary diagnostic laboratories in the U.S, is working to determine why these products are associated with illness in dogs. To date, scientists have not been able to determine a definitive cause for the reported illnesses. FDA has conducted extensive chemical and microbial testing but has not identified any contaminant.
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 which may occur within hours to days of feeding the product: decreased appetite, although some may continue to consume the treats to the exclusion of other foods; decreased activity; vomiting; diarrhea, sometimes with blood; and 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.
The FDA continues to actively investigate the problem. 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 http://www.fda.gov/opacom/backgrounders/complain.html in their state.
From Australian News… http://leeton.yourguide.com.au/news/local/news/general/dogs-treated-after-pet-food-contamination/1390254.aspx
THE likely cause of some discomfort in dogs has been removed from the market, but owners are being advised to continue to exercise caution.
The Chinese-sourced KraMar Supa Naturals Chicken Breast Strips have been recalled after several cases of pet illness associated with the product.
Leeton veterinarian Brian Munro said two Leeton dogs have been treated for suspect cases of Fanconi syndrome-like symptoms in the past couple of weeks.
“We had a locum vet at the time and she had come across the problem in Sydney,” he said.
“When she did tests it indicated these dogs were affected as well,” he said.
Dr Munro said the dogs showed signs of diabetes with increased thirst and urination, but blood tests revealed normal blood sugar levels, mimicking Fanconi syndrome
“We don’t know what is in the product that is the problem,” he said.
“It is sourced in China so no one really knows. On the outside label it says no preservatives. Whether it is a bacteria in the meat or contaminated antibiotic that has come from the chicken.”
Dr Munro said it is difficult to be certain of the link between the product and the illness, but it is not the first warning sign.
“It was in the US market 12 months ago with the same sorts of problems so why it was allowed into Australia I don’t know,” he said.
Dr Munro said pet owners should avoid feeding their animals chicken sourced from China and animals showing signs of gut intestinal problems or excessive urination and thirst should be examined.