FDA issues health warning to veterinarians, pet owners about chicken jerky products from China

FDA issues health warning to veterinarians, pet owners about chicken jerky products from China

Nov 21, 2011
By dvm360.com staff
Rockville, Md. — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to veterinarians and pet owners about chicken jerky products imported from China, after seeing an increase in dog illnesses over the last 12 months.

The illnesses, attributed to consumption of chicken jerky products from China—also sold as chicken tenders, strips or treats—were reported to FDA by both veterinarians and pet owners.

FDA first issued a cautionary warning about chicken jerky products in September 2007, and again in December 2008. Complaints dropped off in late 2009 and for most of 2010, FDA says, but the agency is once again seeing a rise in cases.

The agency is advising consumers who feed their dogs chicken-jerky products to watch for these clinical signs:

* decreased appetite,

* decreased activity,

* vomiting,

* diarrhea (sometimes with blood),

* increased water consumption,

* and/or increased urination.

If the dog shows any of these signs, FDA says pet owners should stop feeding the chicken-jerky product. Pet owners should also consult their veterinarian if signs are severe or persist for more than 24 hours, FDA says.

Blood tests may indicate kidney failure (increased urea nitrogen and creatinine). Urine tests may indicate Fanconi syndrome (increased glucose). Although most dogs appear to recover, some adverse event reports have involved mortality.

FDA says it is working with several animal health diagnostic laboratories to determine why the products are causing illness. Despite extensive chemical and microbial testing, FDA adds it has not been able to identify a contaminant yet.

FDA is also asking veterinarians to report cases of animal illness associated with pet foods to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in their state or Click here.