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Caution to Dog Owners About Chicken Jerky Products

"Renewed FDA Warning: Imported Pet Treats" 

 Reports of illnesses in dogs given chicken jerky treats have spiked dramatically following a November 2011 renewed government warning regarding pet snacks made in China.

 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) logged 353 reports in 2011 and over 180 reports so far this year of illnesses associated with imported chicken jerky products, also sold as chicken tenders, chicken strips or chicken treats.

 Dog owners and veterinarians are reporting that animals have been stricken with a range of symptoms within hours or days of eating chicken jerky, including serious problems such as kidney failure and Fanconi syndrome, a condition marked by low blood sugar.

Though the illnesses appear to be associated with chicken jerky products manufactured in China, the source of the problem remains a mystery. Despite extensive chemical and microbiological testing, the agency has not identified the problem with a specific contaminant -or a specific brand or type of treat. Because the agency has not identified any particular products as the culprit, no recalls have been issued.

In the meantime, FDA officials are warning pet owners to avoid chicken jerky treats imported from China. They are also urging pet owners to seek medical care if dogs develop symptoms including decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, increased water consumption, and increased urination. Stop feeding the treats to the animal and seek veterinary care, especially if symptoms are severe, or persist for more than one day.

Consumers can report suspicious illnesses to the US Food and Drug Administration on their Pet Food Complaint page at www.fda.gov.