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By Rena Allen, DVM
Published: October 25, 2013

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:

http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm371413.htm

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/NewsEvents/Newsroom/FactSheets/UCM371715.pdf

link FDA's pet food recall site:

http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/RecallsWithdrawals/default.htm

 

Rena Allen, DVM Medical Director VCA-Alexandria Animal Hospital

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