It has been reported that hundreds of dogs have become ill and/or died and the one common denominator is that they all ate dog treats imported from China. The Food and Drug Administration did issue a warning to pet owners back in November, 2011, cautioning consumers that chicken jerky products for dogs imported from China (also sold as chicken tenders, strips or treats) may be causing illness in dogs since the FDA has seen an increase in the number of complaints it received from dog owners and veterinarians of dog illnesses associated with these products.
Because their tests to determine the source of the problem were inconclusive, the FDA did not require pet treat manufacturers to recall their products, and none of them have done so voluntarily. But failure to identify the contaminant does not mean the food is not contaminated. The treats are causing kidney failure and Fanconi syndrome, with some cases resulting in death; others, in chronic kidney disease. Pets who have eaten tainted treats may exhibit the follow symptoms:
- Decreased appetite
- Decreased activity
- Increased water consumption
- Increased urination
It is suggested that pet owners avoid all jerky treats unless they are certain they were made in the USA. The list of pet treats made in China include such brands as:
- Waggin Train
- Canyon Creek Ranch
- Booda Bones – Aspen Pet
- Milo’s Kitchen
- American Kennel Club
- Ever Pet ($$ General)
- Home Pet 360
- Walgreen’s new brand – Simple
The second concern involves Diamond Pet Foods, the company behind the current massive recall of dry dog food due to Salmonella contamination that has sickened at least 16 people. The mid-April outbreak of human Salmonella Infantis infection was traced to contaminated pet food manufactured at Diamond Pet Foods plant in Gaston, S.C.
In that instance inspectors found damaged equipment and unsanitary conditions at that location including surfaces encrusted with food residues and failure to provide hand washing and hand sanitizing facilities. They also noted Diamond was using cardboard and duct tape on some of its equipment and that there were damaged paddles on the conveyor.
If you are worried about what your pet has been eating you can log onto
http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/newpetfoodrecalls/ and enter the pet food you are concerned about to see if it has been recalled.