Illness Possibly Linked to Chicken Jerky Treat Consumption

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association recently notified us that several veterinarians in Canada have reported dogs with Fanconi syndrome-like disease that may be associated with the consumption of chicken jerky treats manufactured in China. This mirrors the incidents reported in the United States in 2007 that were investigated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Once we heard about the reports, we immediately informed more than 19,000 AVMA members who have opted in to receive email alerts about animal and public health issues. We consider this type of outreach a valuable member service. If you would like to receive similar notifications, we urge you to sign up for our newsletters and alerts by going to My AVMA and clicking on the “Subscribe to receive veterinary newsletters and updates” link. While you’re there, you will also see a full list of the other member newsletters and AVMA alerts that may be of interest to you.

The AVMA has not received any recent reports from U.S. veterinarians about potential toxicities from chicken jerky treats, and we cannot determine at this time whether this problem has recurred or is ongoing in the U.S., or if it is isolated to Canada. There have been no recalls of any chicken jerky treat products associated with the Canadian complaints, and we are unaware of the brand names of the products involved. We are staying on top the issue, however, and are posting updates as information emerges. 

Please remain vigilant and report to the FDA any cases of Fanconi syndrome-like disease that may be associated with the consumption of chicken jerky treats. And be sure to check our website and our blog on a regular basis to stay informed about veterinary news and what’s happening at your AVMA.

21 thoughts on “Illness Possibly Linked to Chicken Jerky Treat Consumption

  1. Olivia, we have heard back from FDA CVM staff who asked that we forward your comment to them. I am writing to let you know I have forwarded your comments on to FDA CVM staff for their consideration. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

  2. Olivia, thank you for your suggestion. I wanted to let you know that we have a voice mail in to FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) to describe your suggestion and to inquire what the best mechanism would be for FDA CVM to receive your written comment. Please stay tuned as we wait to hear back on possible ways for you (or for us) to forward your comments on to CVM.

  3. I have a 3 year old lab that went through this from eathing chicken chips made in China. She was extremely sick and after reading the reports on the FDA site, we were very lucky she didn’t die. I read another report about everything the FDA tested for and was wondering if anyone tested the bags? Could they have something that has leached into the treats? Also, I’m thining what they tested for was probably things normally found in the USA. Who knows what things we don’t know about from China that we should be looking at and testing for. I think all jerky treats should be taken off the market until we know how to prevent it. And, veterinarians should have posters up on their walls warning pet owners about these treats.

  4. We have given our dogs waggin’ train for years and they loved it. We have had dogs with decreased appetite, bloody stools, increased urination and thirst but never all dogs at the same time. We did suspect as did our vet that our neighbor may have poisoned our dogs but that was ruled our long after he died. Prior to learning about waggin’ train problems, our chihuahua had to be put down due to organ damage. Of our three remaining Italian greyhounds one is into liver failure (confirmed last week), another is beginning to show like signs but has not been tested and all three have had seizures. It is heartbreaking to feel that we are responsible for the suffering our loving pets have endured. Given the damage that Chinese products have caused American children, adults and pets, we now attempt to buy nothing from those communist @;&#*~s.

  5. I lost my little tiny a miniature yorkie from theses wagon train jerky treats.she was my baby. And because of this she’s gone.if these were pulled off shelves sooner she would be here with me and not in a urn.someone is responsible and we all should be entitled for our loss of our loving pet and family member.their not only our pet but our family.

  6. We had to put down our little “Chiquito” 10-12-2013…..He was fine..no problems what so ever. No blood on stools….had he,s appetite. One night he went into what almost appeared to be a seizure. We took him to the vet and had blood work done and found his white blood cells to be high…the vet put him on antibods and meds for he,s seizures….we later found out that he,s head would start shaking radically. For the life of me, I wish I knew the exact brand of treats we gave him but i dont know. We also have a little cocker that was given the same treats but she appears to be doing fine. This hole thing with the poisonous chicken jerky treats doesnt sit well with me because my little baby boy was doing just fine and had no problems..my hearts heavy and Im pist!!!!

  7. My dog was diagnosed with a bladder stone in August of 2010 we had been giving our dog chicken & duck jerky treats, as the ingredients were duck/chicken & seasonings, when I took Hercules to the vet for extreme vomiting & diarrhea the vet accidentally ran the ultrasound over his bladder she saw the stone. My little dog had to have surgery to remove the stone & is now on a special vet diet. I believe that the problem was due to the treats. I only learned recently that the treats were making dogs sick & causing kidney problems, I am truly thankful that the vet saw the stone, if she had not accidently found it, my dog would be dead today. I hope you can get these “killer” treats off the market to keep our pets safe.

  8. My dog has developed a huge thirst and uncontrolled urination in the last two months. She also seems to have shaky back legs and is having trouble going up and down steps. She is also sleeping a lot. I just discovered the treats I have been feeding her may be the cause. Help she’s my best friend and is going down fast!
    The treats are AKC brand and made with chicken jerky and sweet potatoes and hip and joint treats with chicken and natural chondroitin and glucosamine.

    • Hi Maureen,

      Thanks for writing. It’s best, if you haven’t already, to contact your veterinarian. If you don’t have a veterinarian currently, check out myveterinarian.com. This AVMA website can provide you with information about veterinarians in your area.

      Good luck and our best wishes.

  9. I have been feedin my pooch mainly ‘duck jerky’ and sometimes ‘chicken jerky’ for years on a daily basis, and just recently, through urinalysis testing her urine was extremely high in creatine. Her bloodwork is also high and unusual and and this is pointing to kidney failure.
    My warning signs we missed was after recent purcased certain brands from China, both duck and chicken~increased urination due to the intake of massive amounts of water. Urinary accidents helped by Propolin. She lost interest in obsessive fetching instinct. Lay around the house more and wanted to move outside when -40* and in the summer when it was in the high +30*s. A sign maybe she can’t regulate her temperature very well.
    Now I find she may suffer permanent damage. Only wish I knew sooner! She is a 13 year old black lab rescue who has spent most of life with us. We love her to death and never meant to hurt her by feeding her with love, her favorite jerky treats.

  10. We just had our dog put down due to illness. She had vomiting, weight loss and increased urine glucose levels. She loved the Wagon Train Jerky chicken and we were not aware of the problem with it until the removed them off the shelves at stores. We will miss our little dog very much and she may have lived longer if we had known sooner.

  11. Just lost my 10 yr springer. She lost her app for 3 days then vomited bile this am 4. Thought she just had a bug. 8 am realized she was jaundice very yellow gums and whites of her eyes . Went immediately to vet. Said kidney failure after blood work and X-rays we had to put her out of her pain very sad day in this home . Let’s go FDA my dog deserved better

  12. Does the chicken sickness come from just the jerky treats? I give my pet the waggin train chx wrapped bones. Are these included? They are called waggin train fiddle sticks, Hope to hear if these are also included.

  13. We had been giving these Waggin’ Train treats to our huskies for nearly a year (because they LOVED ‘em).
    We have just lost one 12yr old to massive seizures and kidney failure. Second husky developed pancreatitis
    and could not be saved with treatment. She had stopped eating altogether and we took her to the vet.; neither dog showed any early signs of health problems……..we are heartsick that this happened
    to our dogs and believe that these treats were the cause. We will NEVER give anything from China to our remaining
    dog!!!! Vets need to post warnings about these treats in their offices.

  14. I lost my best friend in May of this year to two Waggin’ Train Jerky Tenders. I had not heard about any of the warnings issued by the FDA until after my dog died. These treats are still on the store shelves while the FDA continues to investigate and the manufacturers refuse to take responsibility. In the meantime, the dangerous treats remain on store shelves putting other pets at risk.
    Help me save other dogs from Heidi’s fate. I have begun a campaign to get the dangerous treats off store shelves. Please consider joining the 65,000 supporters who have signed the petition. Thank you.
    http://www.change.org/dangerousdogtreats

  15. We stopped giving our dog these treats about three weeks ago and she has been fine until now. She just started vomiting and is lethargic and isn’t eating. We are taking her to the vet in the morning. Can this illness be the result of the chicken jerky even after this much time?

    • Donna, it’s not likely, but make sure you provide your vet with a good dietary history and include the jerky treats mention. Based on the info we’ve received, the illness usually occurs within hours to days of eating the treats. https://www.avma.org/News/Issues/recalls-alerts/Pages/Safety-Alert-on-Jerky-Treats-for-Pets.aspx

      I would encourage you to take her to the vet sooner if you can. Any pet that isn’t eating and is vomiting frequently can rapidly become very ill, and some of the things that can cause those problems can be life-threatening. The sooner you can get her to the vet, the better. I hope it’s something that can easily be treated, but I don’t recommend waiting based on what you’ve described.

  16. My shitsu barney died in may just before his second birthday of kidney failure. Three weeks before his death he was active, in love with the maltese up the street, playful and a joy to be with. He started to vomit a bit of bile once in a while especially after drinking water but then nothing for a few days but he did lose interest in his food. I tried different brands thinking this was the problem but it didn’t help. So I took him in to the vet. telling them that I felt something was very wrong with him as he was sleeping more and just wasn’t himself. The vet. couldn’t find anything irregular about him. Then a week before he died he began throwing up more, but no bloody stools or anything. They did a urine test and the next morning my vet called for me to bring him in immediately as he was in kidney failure. He stayed in hopital four days. His kidneys were flushed and antibiotics given intravenously ……….very little improvement. 75% kidney was already destroyed. After much research on the internet and consulting a specialist in Toronto he was given a death sentence from the veterinarian. He spent one evening at home and he began suffering with a great deal of pain. I have never heard such agony in an animal. In the morning I took him in to be euthanized after consulting with the vet that there was no hope for him. Now after reading about the chicken treats which I was giving him, too many I now realize, I know his suffering and his death could have been prevented. My vet did not know about the products from China and the dangers or he would have asked me about the treats I gave him. I can’t turn back the clock but I can perhaps save my new puppy because of what I have learned from Marketplace.

    Thank you for all the help you give the public to make life better and a healthier place to live.

  17. I have been giving my two dogs chicken strips for over a year. The last two months my older dog seemed to be very thirsty and sometimes urinating in the house. Now, she may have kidney problems, have to get the blood and urinalysis done. I feel horrible since I thought these were great healthy treats! I had not heard about this until watching Market Place tonight.
    AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  18. My dog walker suddenly lost her healthy 7 year-old dog to kidney failure earlier this month and she believes it had to do with chicken jerky treats. Now my dog is very ill as well! Her urine is green, and her abdomen is distended. She has no interest in food and is now also vomiting. She is in obvious distress. I am awaiting the results of her bloodwork and uninalysis. Should have them today…..very worried!

  19. My dogs have been sick for almost 2 weeks.trying to figure out why my vet has told me about the jerky treats which my labs have been eating not good i hear