Just wanted to share some information gained from the Canadian Veterinary Assoc. on harm that
can happen to dogs fed beef jerky and other treats made in China.
Form your own opinions.
- Since 2007, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has become aware of increasing numbers of illnesses in pets associated with the consumption of jerky pet treats. The majority of complaints involve chicken jerky (treats, tenders, and strips), but others include duck, sweet potato, and treats where chicken or duck jerky is wrapped around dried fruits, sweet potatoes, or yams.
- The FDA has received approximately 2,200 reports of pet illnesses which may be related to consumption of the jerky treats. The majority of the complaints involve dogs, but cats also have been affected. Over the past 18 months the reports have contained information on 360 canine deaths and one feline death. There does not appear to be a geographic pattern to the case reports. Cases have been reported from all 50 states and 6 Canadian provinces in the past 18 months.
- Although the FDA has been actively investigating the reports of illnesses, no definitive cause has been determined. The ongoing global investigation is complex, multifaceted and includes a wide variety of experts at the FDA including toxicologists, epidemiologists, veterinary researchers, forensic chemists, microbiologists, field investigators and senior agency officials.
- The majority of the cases in dogs report primarily gastrointestinal signs, including vomiting and diarrhea, sometimes with blood and/or mucus, and can involve severe signs such as pancreatitis or gastrointestinal bleeding. The next most common signs relate to kidney function, including frequent urination, increased urine, severe thirst, kidney failure and some cases resemble a rare kidney related illness called FanconiÕs syndrome.
- In June 2011, the Canadian Veterinary Medicine Association (CVMA) notified CVMA members by email that several veterinarians in Canada had reported cases of dogs with Fanconi-like symptoms that could be associated with the consumption of chicken jerky treats manufactured in China.
- The CVMA also notified the American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA), which transmitted the advisory to US veterinarians. At the time of the notification (June 17, 2011), AVMA had not received any reports from its members.
- To help us learn if there were similar cases in other areas of the country, CVMA asked veterinarians to report similar cases that they may have recently encountered involving jerky treats. (As of Aug. 31/2012, 50 incidents have been reported to the CVMA.)
- CVMA has since been keeping a registry of reported cases in the event that this information would assist with current or future investigations. CVMA continues to monitor the situation and to communicate updated information to veterinarians so that they may warn and inform their clients.
- The CVMA has been in communication with the Canadian Food Inspection agency (CFIA) and will continue to work with the CFIA (and FDA) on this matter as it is an ongoing concern.
- In Canada, pet foods are not a regulated commodity (unlike in the US through FDA). The CFIA does not have the regulatory mandate or resources to test pet foods. Nutritional content and safety of pet foods and treats is the responsibility of the manufacturer. Without a conclusive link to toxicity, CFIA will not cancel import permits for these treats
- On Friday, September 28, at 8 p.m. (E.T.), CBCÕs Marketplace will air an episode called ÒFighting for Fido.Ó The episode will discuss the apparent association between feeding Òjerky treatsÓ imported from China and illness in dogs. This national broadcast may generate inquiries from pet owners about the issue.