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Chicken Jerky Products May Be Associated With Dog Illness

By Kimberly Porter    November 22, 2011 at 03:35PM / (3) comments

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has continued to caution dog owners about the potential danger in chicken jerky products imported from China. Sold as chicken jerky, tenders, strips, or treats, the FDA first warned consumers about them in September 2007.

A Preliminary Animal Health Notification was then announced in December 2008. The number of complaints about these products then tapered off for 2009 and most of 2010. As of recently though, the FDA has seen an increase in the number of complaints, received from dog owners and veterinarians, about dog illnesses that may be associated with the consumption of these chicken jerky products.

Chicken jerky products are meant for dogs in small quantities, on occasion, not to be a substitution for a balanced diet.

While there have been no recalls on these products, the FDA is advising consumers that choose to fed chicken jerky to their dogs to be on the lookout for the following signs: decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea, increased water consumption, and increased urination. The signs may occur within hours to days of the dog consuming chicken jerky products. If your dog begins to exhibit these signs, stop feeding them the chicken jerky and consult your veterinarian if the signs or severe or last longer than 24 hours.

Medical problems associated with chicken jerky consumption include kidney failure (increased urea nitrogen and creatine), as well as Fanconi syndrome (increased glucose). Most dogs appear to have recovered, but some reports to the FDA have involved dogs that have died.

The FDA is actively investigating the problem and its origin. They are working with several animal health diagnostic laboratories in the U.S. to determine why these products are associated with illness in dogs. To date, there has not been a definitive cause for the reported illnesses determined. The illnesses reported may be the result of causes other than consuming 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 www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

Image: Tan Wei Ming / via Shutterstock

Source: FDA

Comments  3

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  • American Chicken Jerky
    12/15/2011 08:25am

    I just worked a craft show over Thanksgiving weekend. I had flyers about the recent 2011 FDA warning about Chinese chicken treats and was giving them out and educating anyone I could stop who answered "yes" to the question, "do you have a dog or cat?"

    A groomer I spoke with that weekend told me that she had a client whose dog just passed away from Chinese chicken. I can only imagine how devastated that family must be...

    If you’re looking for a REAL 'American Made' chicken treat, we started making our own Chicken Jerky after we ran across the FDA warning of 2008 about Chinese chicken treats making dogs sick or killing them. It turned into a cottage business and we now sell our TriPom Chews online and in 20 stores in the New England area. Our products are the only 'Maine Made', 'American Made', chicken jerky produced from whole, restaurant-quality chicken breasts containing NO Additives and NO Preservatives. We had to make them super wholesome as our 3 Pomeranians (our babies) taste test every batch for quality.

    We offer a healthy, SAFE alternative treat to ones that are making dogs sick or killing them. There are so many brands implicated in making pets ill that Pet Parents are looking for an 'American Made' treat they can trust. We're just trying to get the word out...

  • FDA Tests China Jerky
    03/07/2012 04:14pm

    An FDA document leaked this week from a confidential source within the US Congress details the chronological timeline of tests that the agency has performed on chicken jerky treats since 2007 – tests which many pet owners say have ignored some of the most potentially lethal substances possibly responsible for the rash of pet illnesses and deaths.

    Read the report at: www.TriPomChews.net/fda-tests-jerky-treats

  • Its the chemicals
    04/14/2012 09:41am

    Chicken is not the culprit, its the allowed and illegal chemicals in the chicken jerky. I stopped feeding my dogs Chinese food products a long time ago and started my own pet treat business. Bobby Crockers LLC.
    I do not use any chemicals or toxins in my treats, only natural and organic ingredients.
    What amazes me is the allowed use of propylene glycol in the pet food, that is antifreeze :(