Since the first report on chicken jerky products for dogs in 2007, veterinarians and pet owners alike have been concerned with the potential for some of these treats to cause illness in their beloved furry friends.
While FDA continues to search for answers on what exactly is causing this association between jerky pet treat products and animal illnesses, they’ve asked for our help. If you have treated or are currently treating dogs or cats that you suspect are ill because of these treats, the FDA needs to hear from you.
As much as we wish there was a CDC for animals, there isn’t. So the FDA, together with veterinarians and pet owners, is doing its best to determine the exact cause of these illnesses. It’s important for pet owners and veterinarians to report potential cases to the FDA with as much detailed information (history – including nutritional history and concurrent illnesses; diagnostics; treat samples, lot numbers, bags; etc.) as possible so that it can respond appropriately. Encourage your clients to write down a thorough exposure history including all foods, treats, medications, etc. their pet has ingested.
Remember, treats are not necessary for pet health or nutrition. FDA has made a fact sheet (PDF) available to aid in the investigation and reporting. As veterinarians, we can all do our part by alerting pet owners to the on-going investigation and informing them of how to report complaints for these or any other FDA regulated products. For more information, visit http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/ProductSafetyInformation/ucm360951.htm and http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm371413.htm.