FDA Continues to Caution Dog Owners About Chicken Jerky Products

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is again cautioning consumers that chicken jerky products for dogs (also sold as chicken tenders, strips or treats) may be associated with illness in dogs. In the last 12 months, FDA has seen an increase in the number of complaints it received of dog illnesses associated with consumption of chicken jerky products imported from China. These complaints have been reported to FDA by dog owners and veterinarians.

FDA issued a cautionary warning regarding chicken jerky products to consumers in September 2007 and a Preliminary Animal Health Notification in December of 2008. After seeing the number of complaints received drop off during the latter part of 2009 and most of 2010, the FDA is once again seeing the number of complaints rise to the levels of concern that prompted release of our earlier warnings.

Chicken jerky products should not be substituted for a balanced diet and are intended to be fed occasionally in small quantities.

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 that may occur within hours to days of feeding the products: decreased appetite; decreased activity; vomiting; diarrhea, sometimes with blood; 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.

FDA, in addition to several animal health diagnostic laboratories in the U.S., is working to determine why these products are associated with illness in dogs. FDA’s Veterinary Laboratory Response Network (VLRN) is now available to support these animal health diagnostic laboratories. To date, scientists have not been able to determine a definitive cause for the reported illnesses. FDA continues extensive chemical and microbial testing but has not identified a contaminant.

The FDA continues to actively investigate the problem and its origin. 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 in their state or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

0 thoughts on “FDA Continues to Caution Dog Owners About Chicken Jerky Products”

  1. My dogs have experienced diarrhea so I have limited giving it to them. Milos kitchen hasn’t bothered them but the Wagin train has.

  2. several yrs ago when humphrey bogart (remember that sweet hound) had to visit FL Veterinary Specialists to have his entire inner ear removed because of an anomaly in the inner ear (so they removed it all & sewed it. at that time, the dermatologist said they had 3 cases of sickness from the chicken treats, MADE IN CHINA. ive said it over & over again to friends, but they ignore me because “my dog(s) love them. anyway i always take my magnifier to see exactly what any food or treat contains. my rescued bassets will eat almost anything. BTW just heard about a new magical dog food: called BROTHERS. very expensive, ft lauderdale based & was told by my ex that her elderly poodle had bloody diarrhea, vomiting, extreme shedding. she knew the brothers who owned the company, talked to them, bought the food et voila! EVERYTHING CLEARED UP. its terribly expensive but i dont care. we have such little time w/them they deserve the very best. just thought id mention it since i hadnt heard about it before 2 wks ago.

    • There is one called Blue..fairly new..sort of I think a “holistic” approach to feeding dogs…supposedly made here in this country only. Pricey but hey. Not even Science Diet or Iams were immune from being contaminated that one time around. I had been feeding my Molly the Shih Tzu Purina One for sensitive digestive systems, but switched to Rachel Ray’s Noutrish recently, as the Purina one started containing long white pieces of stringy looking material..yes in the DRY food! It was disgusting for me to look at it, and to handle it..no way would I continue feeding it to my little Molly!

      Rawhide treats are not good for any animal, as it swells up inside their intestines..or it can. Mine always gets choked on it, and always got sick on it. Therefore no rawhide of any kind, and no jerky either..it’s too hard and she chokes on it too. Even the dried sweet potato disks etc have caused her to choke. Guess I ‘could” invest in a dehydrator and raise my own sweet spuds? LOL.


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