The Latest on Jerky Treats From China

October 28, 2013 in Aerowood Animal Hospital

We have received a progress report from the FDA regarding the Chinese jerky treat complaints. As of September 24, 2013, the FDA has received more than 3,000 complaints of illness related to consumption of chicken, duck, or sweet potato jerky treats, nearly all of which are imported from China. The reports involve more than 3600 dogs, 10 cats and include more than 580 deaths. The agency encourages pet owners to consult with their veterinarian prior to feeding treats and if they notice symptoms in their pets. The rate of complaints associated with jerky pet treats dropped sharply after several well-known brands were removed from the market in January 2013, when a study conducted by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Marketing (NYSDAM) detected low levels of antibiotic residues in those products.

The FDA believes that the drop in complaints is linked to a decrease in the availability of jerky pet treats rather than the low levels of antibiotics found in January, which the FDA believes are unlikely to be the cause of the illnesses. However, the FDA is performing an evaluation to determine the possibility for low levels of the antibiotics to cause illness in dogs when fed over a length of time. This process involves review of the scientific literature, as well as any adverse event reports and consumer complaints sent to the FDA in connection with dogs and sulfonamide drugs, and may take many months to complete. In the meantime, they state that their investigation continues to evaluate all potential causes for illness from the jerky pet treats. The FDA also continues to work with the manufacturers and distributors of the treats and China’s Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine to investigate potential sources of contamination or causes of illness in pets.

Chicken Jerky FDA Update

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