FDA seeks veterinarians’ help in reported jerky pet treat illnesses

Heads up! We encourage you to check your email inbox for an important letter from the United States Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine. The FDA is seeking veterinarians’ help in investigating the cause of reported pet illnesses associated with jerky pet treat products, most of which come from China. The FDA reports that as of Sept. 24, 2013, it received approximately 3,000 reports of illness involving more than 3,600 dogs and 10 cats, and that more than 580 deaths have been reported. 

To date, the FDA hasn’t been able to characterize or resolve the issues associated with the pet illnesses, and the AVMA is supportive of the agency’s efforts to improve the knowledge and understanding of the situation for the good of both animal and public health. 

The FDA is reaching out to veterinarians asking for your assistance in their ongoing investigation in three ways: 

More information and specific updates and reports on the jerky pet treat issue can be found on the FDA CVM’s website. Please check back on the AVMA@Work blog for updates.

5 thoughts on “FDA seeks veterinarians’ help in reported jerky pet treat illnesses

  1. Dr. Berry, 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. Thanks to you all for sharing your comments. Dr. Berry, I wanted to let you know that we have a voice mail in to FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) to describe the nature of your comment and to inquire what the best mechanism would be for FDA CVM to receive the details you shared in your 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. There is a company called Jiangxi Sanda King Dnarmsa Biological Engineer Co. Ltd. that makes a supplement they call “organic” called Spirulina Powder. It is used in laying chicken feed, shrimp feed, and cat food. Maximum amounts of the following toxins are in this feed supplement: Arsenic .5ppm, Lead 2.0ppm, and Mercury .05ppm. They say it turns the chickens skin yellow, increases the yellow color in the egg itself, increases time laying egg, and increases the number of eggs layed. It is my belief that laying hens aren’t typically utilized in a lot of human products, maybe things like chicken noodle soup? However, they could potentially wind up being used for pet food treats like the chicken Jerky strips. I don’t recall the average life span of a laying hen, but even at 1 year look at what toxins could be deposited within the skin, fat, and muscle utilized in maybe a jerky treat? I understand Dr.Goodman’s irritation! I don’t believe we have treated a companion animal with this toxicity. However, I am concerned and googled a lot of information, I won’t bore you with what you can read yourself but I wonder if FDA is even aware of this supplement? Hope this info, is helpful to someone who is studying this problem.

  4. Why the sudden urgency on the part of the FDA? My first case of Fanconi-like syndrome caused by these Chinese treats was more than 4 years ago. The wheat gluten fiasco was prior to that.

  5. When are people going to learn not to buy food items from China! for themselves and their animals.
    I tell my clients every day!!!