Dog owners and veterinarians are reporting that animals have been troubled with a range of symptoms within hours or days of eating chicken jerky, including life threatening problems such as kidney failure and Fanconi syndrome, a condition marked by low blood sugar.
Though the illnesses seem to be tied to chicken jerky products manufactured in China, the source of the problem remains a mystery, said Siobhan DeLancey, an FDA spokeswoman. Despite extensive chemical and microbiological testing, the agency has not identified problems with a specific contaminant, or a specific brand or type of treat she stated.
“We’re still digging through the reports to see if we can discern a common thread that’s more specific than just chicken jerky,” DeLancey said.
The latest warning was the agency’s 3rd alert regarding chicken jerky treats, with previous cautions issued in 2007 and 2008. In 2007, 156 reports of dog illnesses tied to chicken jerky were logged, but the number fell sharply, to just 41 in 2008, according to FDA records.
Because the agency has not identified any particular products as the culprit, no recalls have been issued.
In the meantime, FDA officials are warning pet owners to avoid chicken jerky treats imported from China. They’re also urging owners to seek medical care if dogs develop symptoms including decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, increased water consumption and increased urination. Stop feeding the treats to the animal and seek veterinary care, especially if symptoms are severe, or persist for more than a day, officials say.
If your pet has any of these symptoms please call a Bregman Vet Group hospital immediately. View a full list of our locations HERE.