VCA Alexandria Animal Hospital
By Rena Allen, DVM
Published: October 25, 2013

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You may be concerned about recent reports of jerky-treats from China causing illness in pets. This is an issue that the FDA has been investigating for several years. The recent increase in media attention is the result of the FDA issuing a consumer fact sheet and contacting licensed US veterinarians this month asking for their help with the FDA investigation by reporting any suspected cases to the FDA. Since 2007, the FDA has received reports concerning jerky-treat related pet illnesses for 3600 dogs and 10 cats. 580 of those pets died. So far, despite extensive testing by the FDA and inspections of Chinese manufacturing facilities, the cause for the symptoms has not been found. However the FDA is encouraging pet owners be cautious about feeding jerky treats. If a pet owner does choose to feed jerky treats, the FDA recommends that the pet owner be vigilant for signs of illness such as vomiting/diarrhea or lethargy, urinating more or drinking more water. If any signs of illness occur, the FDA recommends that the pet owner stop feeding the jerky treats immediately and seek veterinary treatment for the affected pet. Veterinarians and pet owners are encouraged to report any cases to the FDA. Please don’t hesitate to call our hospital if you have any questions or concerns. For additional information, follow these links: links to the FDA website and FDA's October 2013 consumer fact sheet with information about the jerky treat issue:

link FDA's pet food recall site:


Rena Allen, DVM Medical Director VCA-Alexandria Animal Hospital


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:


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Emergency Care


VCA Alexandria Animal Hospital is here for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can count on our critical care team to be here when you need them the most.

Your pet's health deserves the finest care. Each member of our team strives for the advancement of veterinary medicine. When you bring your pet to us, you can be certain you will receive the dedication and compassion that makes our hospital stand out in patient care. 

Please call us at 703-823-3601 immediately if you believe your pet is experiencing an emergency.

Find out what might constitute an Emergencyor read more about our Services.