Food Guidelines

USA-Made Jerky-Style Dog Treats Also Tied to Illness in Dogs

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Chickenjerky2It has been widely known that jerky-style, particularly chicken, duck, and sweet potato, dog treats made in, imported from, or using ingredients from China have been linked to the illness and death of thousands of dogs in the United States.

However, new information from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the Veterinary Information Network are confirming that the same illnesses are continuing to occur, even in dogs that have only been fed jerky-style treats made entirely in the United States with US-sourced ingredients.

A news release from the Veterinary Information Network explains:

A U.S. Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman confirmed Friday that the agency is “aware of complaints related to ‘USA’ made products.” Siobhan DeLancey of the FDA’s Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine said: “We have found some of these products may contain ingredients from outside of the U.S. FDA continues its investigation into these, as well as other, jerky treats potentially linked to illnesses.”

Dr. Urs Giger, director of the Metabolic Genetics Screening Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, said his laboratory has diagnosed recent cases of acquired Fanconi disease in dogs that ate treats that ostensibly were not made in China or with ingredients from China.

Since 2007, the FDA has been receiving complaints of illness in pets, predominantly dogs, that ate jerky treats. The phenomenon became commonly understood as a Chinese-chicken-jerky-treat problem because most of the products were chicken-based and made in China. Until recently, virtually all chicken jerky for pets was imported from China.

The FDA confirmed that they continue to receive complaints about these treats and are actively investigating a link between jerky treats and illnesses in dogs. Despite several years of investigation, the FDA has yet to discover a contaminant or ingredient in these treats that would explain the thousands of reported illnesses.

Until a contaminant is found, a mandatory recall cannot be initiated and the treats will remain on store shelves.

For many years, the jerky-related illnesses appeared to only affect American dogs. However, cases of jerky-associated acquired Fanconi disease – impaired kidney function and glucose in urine – are now appearing in European dogs as well.

For now, the FDA continues to warn pet parents of the risks of feeding jerky style treats, including recommending they either not be fed at all, or they be fed exactly according to the instructions on the bag only after discussing each individual dog’s health history with a veterinarian.

The same symptoms and illnesses reported in commercially produced jerky treats have not been found in homemade treats. So, if your dog simply can’t live without his chicken jerky, it is recommended you make it yourself at home.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. I call the 1-800 number and ask where their ingredients are sourced from. Just because it says made in usa doesn’t mean they didn’t get the stuff they make it from china, paraguay, brazil etc. I am extremely particular about what I feed my dogs, with that being said they get noting with wheat, soy, corn grain and gluten free. If you look at the ingredients usually the fist couple things listed are what its mostly made of. It cost more but for me its worth it.

  2. Avatar Of Monyda Ho

    Monyda Ho

    says:

    How about Full Moon Kitchen-Crafted Natural Dog Treats Chicken Jerky 100% USA made, Human Grade Ingredients??

  3. No, it is not a joke.

  4. Avatar Of Deanna

    Deanna

    says:

    recent information has come to light that the definition of chicken meat is allowed to include the baby chicks that that cannot sell (they grind them up whole and alive) as well as the hens who are older and can no longer lay eggs. The older hens are also completely ground up. This is a definition used for pet foods. It doesn’t not apply to beef or other meats. So our pets are eating fecal matter and feathers and other things that normally would be discarded. Not sure if this same explanation applies to the meat used in these treats. I would suggest anyone who wants to feed these treats buy a machine that dries fruits, vegetables and meat and do their own from chicken they purchase. Although given the conditions that farmed chickens live in I’m not sure that is a whole lot better.

  5. Avatar Of Jorge

    Jorge

    says:

    Do these also applies to ” Gravy Train” Jerky strips beef flavor?

  6. Avatar Of Jeri

    Jeri

    says:

    Can you tell us if it’s an added ingredient or what? I’ve got US made buffalo jerky – that is clearly thin-sliced meat that has been dried. Other than making our own, is there any way to know if it’s safe?

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