Jerky treats recall: FDA seeks help in mystery deaths of 580 dogs and cats

http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Latest-News-Wires/2013/1023/Jerky-treats-recall-FDA-seeks-help-in-mystery-deaths-of-580-dogs-and-cats

Washington

The Food and Drug Administration is appealing to dog and cat owners for information as it struggles to solve a mysterious outbreak of illness and deaths among pets that ate jerky treats.

In a notice to consumers and veterinarians published Tuesday, the agency said it has linked illnesses from jerky pet treats to 3,600 dogs and 10 cats since 2007. About 580 of those pets have died.

The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine has run more than 1,200 tests, visited pet treat manufacturing plants in China and worked with researchers, state labs and foreign governments but still hasn’t determined the exact cause of the illness, the FDA statement said.

More than 1,200 jerky pet treat samples have been tested since 2011 for a variety of chemical and microbiological contaminants, from antibiotics to metals, pesticides and Salmonella. DNA testing has also been conducted, along with tests for nutritional composition.

“This is one of the most elusive and mysterious outbreaks we’ve encountered,” Bernadette Dunham, a veterinarian and head of the FDA vet medicine center, said in the statement.

Pets can suffer from a decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting and diarrhea among other symptoms within hours of eating treats sold as jerky tenders or strips made of chicken, duck, sweet potatoes or dried fruit.

Severe cases have involved kidney failure, gastrointestinal bleeding, and a rare kidney disorder, the FDA said.

Most of the jerky treats implicated have been made in China, the FDA said.

The FDA has issued previous warnings. A number of jerky pet treat products were removed from the market in January after a New York state lab reported finding evidence of up to six drugs in certain jerky pet treats made in China, the FDA said.

In January, NBC News reported that “two of the largest retailers of pet chicken jerky treats issued voluntary recalls of several popular brands after New York state agriculture officials detected unapproved antibiotics in the products.

Nestle Purina PetCare Co. recalled its popular Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch brand dog treats, and Del Monte Corp. officials recalled their Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers home-style dog treats from shelves nationwide.

In addition, two more firms have recalled their treats as well, including Publix stores, which recalled its private brand Chicken Tenders Dog Chew Treats and IMS Pet Industries Inc., which withdrew its Cadet Brand Chicken Jerky Treats sold in the U.S.

The voluntary recalls effectively remove the pet treats from store shelves nationwide.

The agency said that while the levels of the drugs discovered were very low and it was unlikely that they caused the illnesses, there was a decrease in reports of jerky-suspected illnesses after the products were removed from the market in January.

FDA believes that the number of reports may have declined simply because fewer jerky treats were available.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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About The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

The year 1895 was filled with memorable historical events: the Dreyfus Affair divided France; Booker T. Washington gave his Atlanta address; Richard Olney, United States Secretary of State, expanded the effects of the Monroe Doctrine in settling a boundary dispute between the United Kingdom and Venezuela; and Oscar Wilde was tried and convicted for "gross indecency" under Britian's recently passed law that made sex between males a criminal offense. When the news of Wilde's conviction went out over telegraphs worldwide, it threw a small Nevada town into chaos. This is the story of what happened when the lives of its citizens were impacted by the news of Oscar Wildes' imprisonment. It is chronicle of hatred and prejudice with all its unintended and devastating consequences, and how love and friendship bring strength and healing. Paulette Mahurin, the author, is a Nurse Practitioner who lives in Ojai, California with her husband Terry and their two dogs--- Max and Bella. She practices women's health in a rural clinic and writes in her spare time. All profits from her book are going to animal rescue, Santa Paula Animal Shelter, the first and only no-kill shelter in Ventura County, CA, where she lives. (see links below on Ventura County Star Article & Shelter) To find out more please go the The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap on facebook or Amazon or e-mail us at the gavatar addresses. Thank you. (photos: of Paulette, her family, and a reading at The Ojai Art Center, July 2012)
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25 Responses to Jerky treats recall: FDA seeks help in mystery deaths of 580 dogs and cats

  1. tazzielove says:

    Scary statistic. Wonder what the connection is to the product.

  2. Clowie says:

    Things like this are happening too often.

  3. seeker says:

    Thanks for the warning.

  4. natuurfreak says:

    I think it happens several times.Thanks for the warning

  5. This is epic. I had to run upstairs to tell my son-in-law because I know they give their dog, Maxwell and cat Barbie treats but am not aware what kind.

    Thanks for spreading the word, Paulette.

  6. gita4elamats says:

    This is scary. Thanks for the warning.

  7. Teepee12 says:

    Glad I don’t feed that crap to my furry kids.

  8. this reminds me of the great cat food recall a few years back–not soon enough for my Huey not to be affected. her belly has never been the same…

    back then, I believe the sustance found was: melamine? melomine? something like that…do you remember…anyway.

    I am sharing this to fb!! Great watchdogging, Paulette!!

  9. FlaHam says:

    Paulette, I feel so bad for all the families that got these treats for their pets. It is heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing it, I have a friend who uses Publix regularly I will pass this on to her. — Take care, Bill

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