Monday, January 17, 2011

Jerky Treats Causing Fanconi Syndrome in Dogs

The American Veterinary Medical Association recently posted a Media Alert warning veterinarians that multiple brands of jerky treats manufactured in China have been making dogs sick.

No cats have been reported to be affected. A contaminant has yet to be identified. At this time there is no list of specific brands affected and there is no recall in effect, so these products are still being sold to consumers.

Presenting Signs and Laboratory Findings
The dogs appear to be developing an acquired Fanconi's syndrome which appears to be transient. Small dogs with a history of ingesting jerky treats (mostly chicken jerky) are typically affected. Clinical signs include vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy.

Physical examination findings have been unremarkable. In addition to mildly elevated liver enzymes, the most common blood abnormalities include severe decrease in Potassium, called hypokalemia, along with acidosis and glucose (sugar) in the urine and granular casts on urinalysis. Elevated kidney enzymes; Blood Urea Nitrogen and Creatinine may or may not be consistently found.

Testing Recommendations
For dogs with apparent Fanconi's syndrome, we recommend a CBC, chemistry panel including electrolytes, urinalysis and urine culture. Blood gas nalysis, if available, is ideal. Additional testing for other causes of acute kidney damage including Leptospirosis blood testing is also recommended. Kidney x-rays, and Fanconi screens on urine may be warranted in some cases.

This veterinarian is seeing dogs with apparent acute liver failure problems associated with canine treats made by Delmonte.

For more information, veterinarian, Dr. Carol Osborne can be reached at 1-866-372-2765.

To learn about other pet food recalls, visit the FDA Pet Food Recall Product List web page at:


mvi said...

Photo to paintingMy husband was devastated after his dog passed away. We love our dog so much that we got an oil portrait canvas made from one his photos.


My three small housedogs have been getting Waggin'Train chicken jerky strips for years and now the MinPin has PU/PD. I learn that these strips are now made in China but when I first started buying them they were healthy treats from N Carolina. I cannot afford to take her to vet for labwork etc. but will try to follow as much of Fanconi Protocol as I can myself and see if she can have normal life span. The other two dogs have diarrhea/vomiting occasionally and lethargy but we thought it was just from something they ate from g'children.

Jo Ann said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your three little dogs and sincerely hope everything turns out OK, health wise.

As a Pet Nutrition Specialist, I have always tried to educate consumers on the importance of reading ingredients for pet food
and treats.
Chemical preservatives and FDA dyes can cause problem, especially if you're feeding these things on a daily basis. Even our own government has warned us of the health risks involved with too much human consumption. However, these same chemicals and dyes are still being used in pet foods. If it isn't good for us ... it can't be all that good for our beloved pets either, and especially if you're feeding it day after day.

Please remember that the FDA doesn't have the same set of standards for pet food as it does for humans. Although, lately, you have to wonder who dropped the ball as it seems that human food has had as many recalls as the pet food industry.

When selecting a pet food, find a company who goes above and beyond just meeting the standard AAFCO requirements. Do your homework on these companies. Do they really know where their nutrition sources are coming from or do they just buy ingredients on the open market coming in from foreign countries?
Ask yourself if our own food, which is regulated by a much higher standard, is often contaminated with salmonella and other toxic poisons ... what's in your dog and cat food?

Now, yes, we definitely have an economic crises going on right now, and GOOD, QUALITY pet food is expensive. However, I guarantee that it's a whole lot less expensive to buy food you can trust rather than pay the Vet bill for a complete blood work up and possibly having to buy a prescription diet for the rest of the animals life.

So ... once again, PLEASE read what you feed. All those pretty color kibble on the front of the bag dose not mean it contains lots of fruit and veggies. Turn that bag over, read it and weep as you're most likely going to find FDA dyes all over the place.
Marketing is a powerful tool and these companies pay big bucks to get their product noticed. The prettier and more colorful the packaging, the more likely the consumer will purchase ... and very few bother to actually read ingredient panels. However, that's the only place where the government makes them tell you the truth.

TriPom Chews said...

I just worked a craft show over Thanksgiving weekend selling our TriPom Chews. I had flyers about the recent 2011 FDA warning about Chinese chicken treats and was giving them out and educating anyone I could stop who answered "yes" to the question, "do you have a dog or cat?"

A groomer I spoke with that weekend told me that she had a client whose dog just passed away from Chinese chicken. My dogs are my children, truly. I can only imagine how devastating that was for that family...

If you’re looking for a REAL 'American Made' chicken treat, we started making our own Chicken Jerky after we ran across the FDA warning of 2008 about Chinese chicken treats making dogs sick or killing them. It turned into a cottage business and we now sell our TriPom Chews in 20 stores in the New England area. Our products are the only 'Maine Made', 'American Made', chicken jerky produced from whole, restaurant-quality chicken breasts containing NO Additives and NO Preservatives. We had to make them super wholesome as our 3 Pomeranians (our babies) taste test every batch for quality!