Sep 15, 2012

Animal Illnesses Due to Jerky Treats

This information was retrieved from the FDA on Sept,15,2012

FDA Investigates Animal Illnesses Linked to Jerky Pet Treats

September 13, 2012
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.

What are the signs of the illnesses?

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 Fanconi’s syndrome. Typically Fanconi syndrome is found in certain breeds of dogs that are pre-disposed to hereditary Fanconi syndrome (e.g. Basenji).

There may be more cases of illness due to the increase of imports from China.

Dog and Cat Food Imports From China

New information is available here.

What can pet owners do?The FDA is reminding pet owners that jerky pet treats are not necessary for pets to have a fully balanced diet, so eliminating them will not harm pets. Commercially produced pet food, which is very safe, contains all of the nutrients that pets need.
The FDA is advising pet owners who choose to feed their pets jerky pet treat products to watch their pets closely for any or all of the following signs that may occur within hours to days of feeding the products: decreased appetite; decreased activity; vomiting; diarrhea, sometimes with blood; increased water consumption and/or increased urination. If your pet shows any of these signs, stop feeding the jerky pet treat product. Owners should consult their veterinarian if signs are severe or persist for more than 24 hours, as it is important that your pet receive prompt medical attention. Blood tests may indicate kidney failure (increased urea nitrogen and creatinine). Urine tests may indicate Fanconi syndrome (increased glucose). Although most pets appear to recover, some reports to the FDA have involved pets that have died.
In addition, pet owners may want to continue to monitor information as it is posted by the FDA. The agency has continually updated the Questions & Answers document on its web site and will add information as it becomes available.
How you can help the FDA investigation,
While your veterinarian will tend to your pet’s condition, you or your veterinarian can learn how to help the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) investigate your pet’s illness. Dr. Bernadette Dunham, director of CVM, shares how you can report a pet food illness on her blog from August 21, 2012. Cases of animal illness associated with pet foods can be reported electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal, or by calling the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators in your state.

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