The FDA reports that over 600 dogs and some cats have died from eating chicken jerky either sourced, manufactured, or processed in China. Many Pet Parents including myself do not feed our dog anything from China. Chicken Jerky treats have been the subject of many recalls in the past year. However since Nestle Purina PetCare withdrew Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch brand dog treats until further notice and Milo’s Kitchen, which is owned by the Del Monte Corp. of San Francisco, recalled their Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers home-style dog treats, the death rate slowed down. Both products were made in China. Sweet potato and duck jerky are also included in the suspected products. DOGSWELL a California based company whose products are available locally sources all their jerky treats from China including salmon and lamb.
The safest route for Pet Parents is DO NOT FEED YOUR PET ANYTHING FROM CHINA. The FDA doesn’t know the source of the problem with the chicken treats and have not discovered a specific toxin that’s responsible. Some scientists report it might be a toxin that has not been identified in the United States previously. Other problems with Chinese made dog treats have been with antibiotic residue in the treats. Regulation varies from country to country and while antibiotics are perfectly acceptable in China, they are banned in the United States and obviously for good reason. This time though, the cause remains a mystery. The widespread recall in 2007 involved melamine-tainted imported pet food that sickened and killed thousands of dogs and cats in the U.S. It resulted in criminal indictments of Chinese and American pet food executives. Melamine has not been detected in any of the treats this time.
Treats are an important part of my dog Sadie’s routine and most pet parents will attest that it is for their dogs too. While the FDA is saying treats are not part of their diet so just don’t give them treats, that’s not an acceptable solution. At this time, I would offer the following precautions:
1. Feed only treats made, sourced, and processed in the US.
2. Find a substitute for jerky treats that your dog enjoys.
3. Make sure the main food you feed your dog is not made, sourced, or manufactured in China.
If you notice any unusual symptoms in your dog and have fed them any of the products in question, or any jerky treat, take them to your vet immediately. Symptoms include: decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes with blood or mucus), increased water drinking, and increased urination within hours of eating the treats.
About 60 percent of cases involved gastrointestinal illness, and about 30 percent involved kidney and urinary systems. In severe cases the pet may go into kidney failure or gastrointestinal bleeding. Other reported symptoms were collapse, convulsions or skin issues. The FDA has asked vets to send in information from any suspected cases.
REMEMBER….just because a product is on the shelf of your local pet food store does NOT mean its safe. Your dog can’t read the package so you have to do it for her. Here is the link to the FDA website with information. http://www.fda.gov/animalveterinary/safetyhealth/productsafetyinformation/ucm295445.htm