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FDA’s Response on Amantadine

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  1. Ann *

    I am seething with anger. So what if it is a year or more ago that this occurred? My young dog became ill a little over a year ago from eating the China chicken jerky treats and she is still requiring daily medical care and will need that for LIFE.
    FDA never made any contact with me regarding the complaint that I filed with them in Jan 2013.
    But, here is the part that made me laugh out loud:
    “Chinese authorities have also assured us that they will perform additional screening and will follow up with jerky pet treat manufacturers.”
    I bet the Chinese authorities are laughing, too.

  2. Valerie Noyes

    FDA’s answers are just crap. Just because they believe the amantadine was not relevant to the REPORTED jerky deaths and illnesses, what about people’s dogs who were undergoing treatment for something else? What if the presence of this drug had an impact on treatment a dog was receiving? What if a dog was sensitive to amantadine or it was in higher amounts in someone’s jerky? That’s been the case with all the other drugs. Varying levels of illegal drugs per individual treat. FDA is still doing their level best to protect big pet food while trying to give the appearance of reporting to the public. I am so disgusted with them.

  3. Terri Janson

    What about the arsenic in rice that I read about in dog food adviser?
    It’s coming from pesticides that were used in old cotton fields that are now flooded with water for growing rice!

    I switched right away to grain free. Soon it will become a problem as well.
    FDA (I guess have not set any standards for it yet).

  4. Peter

    Good reporting. Thanks for the update.

    Also, the information is not necessarily “dated.” Many products sit on store shelves for months… warehoused for months… some get shipped from store to store, bought as close-outs from distributors. There are many ways these products can still be not only on consumer’s shelves, but on store shelves, really. And that is not accounting for disreputable actions by retailers who may have “old” stock (please, readers, don’t go crazy on the last sentence: it does happen). Your admonition that “consumers deserve the same information that manufacturers and importers receive and in the same time frame” is precisely right.

  5. Sue

    Hi all, I am a virologist and I have some experience with amantadine. I think the FDA was wise to consider it unlikely as a cause if illness in dogs – and reading the side effects online is really not helpful (go read the side effects of any prescription drug you think of as relatively free of side effects 🙂
    I do hope that the FDA continues to try and figure out what else is in those jerky treats however.
    Amantadine is probably used illegally in China to keep chickens free of illness (amantadine is a flu drug) even though it wouldn’t likely work as a preventative, that doesn’t mean they won’t try it.

    As far as arsenic in rice, it is natural. All rice plants absorb arsenic (naturally occurring) from the soil, and it gets concentrated in the rice and hulls. Brown rice is higher in arsenic than white, and according to consumer reports, all rice in the US (even the organic ones grown in CA) have detectable levels of arsenic. Some seemingly very high. I have stopped eating brown rice and switched to white. I have also decided that only one out of the three foods I feed my dogs in rotation can have rice as an ingredient.

    1. Sandy

      Thank you Sue for your information, especially that arsenic is present in all rice.

      1. Ann *

        iSince the FDA hasn’t released any numbers on the concentration of amantadine found in the jerky treats (at least not that I am aware of and of course the figures they released on the antibiotic concentrations were wrong) I don’t see how anyone can say that amantadine at any level of concentration is not harmful to ANY pet. We also don’t know what else was present and in what concentration in addition to the amantadine which could cause increased side effects that have never been studied. And, since the FDA doesn’t know of ANYTHING harmful in the jerky treats, whatever the unidentified harmful substance is in combination with amantadine could be made much more harmful or even deadly.
        I think to just pass amantadine off as harmless and as a wise decision is surprisingly unthoughtful.

  6. Thomas N Reedy

    From my perspective as an animal rescuer & pet caregiver (not owner–don’t believe in ownership, animal or human), the solution is really quite simple… stop the treats!

  7. Tammy Baugh

    Knowing how little the FDA thinks of all of us people, how much more are they going to think of our pets? I cannot and will not put any faith whatever in them. But Thank You Susan for at least speaking for a lot of us who do love and care about our pets.

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