The U.S. Food and Drug Administration continues to investigate chicken, duck, or sweet potato jerky treats, nearly all of which are imported from China. The FDA reports the treats have sickened more than 5,600 dogs, 24 cats, and three people. Also, more than 1,000 dogs have died.
From the complaints, the FDA has been able to breakdown symptoms:
- Approximately 60 percent of the cases report gastrointestinal/liver disease
- 30 percent kidney or urinary disease
- The remaining 10 percent of complaints including various other signs such as neurologic, dermatologic, and immunologic symptoms
- About 15 percent of the kidney or urinary cases also tested positive for Fanconi syndrome, a rare kidney disease that has been associated with this investigation
The FDA has been studying this issue since 2007, but still hasn't been able to identify a specific reason pets are getting sick. They've now asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for help.
The FDA offers this advice when it comes to your pet:
- Signs that may occur within hours to days of feeding the jerky treat products are decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea, increased water consumption and/or increased urination.
- Severe cases are diagnosed with pancreatitis, gastrointestinal bleeding, and kidney failure or the resemblance of a rare kidney related illness called Fanconi syndrome.
- If your pet has experienced signs of illness, please report it to FDA.
Unfortunately, the sicknesses are isolated to one particular brand or manufacturer. However, a common link appears to be that they are mostly imported from China.
Links to consumer complaints filed with the FDA:
- February 2013-September 2013 Jerky Complaints
- 2012-January 2013 Jerky Complaints
- 2011 Jerky Complaints
- 2010 Jerky Complaints
- Pet Jerky Consumer Complaints Received by ORA District Consumer Complaint Coordinators (January 1, 2007 - July 2, 2012)