Possible Toxicity from Chicken Jerky Treats

The American Veterinary Medical Association received notice from the Canadian veterinary authorities that vets in Ontario are seeing a possible toxicity from Chicken Jerky treats manufactured in China. This is extremely similar to the food recalls and treat problems back in 2007 in the United States. Dogs are showing signs of a specific type of kidney damage after consuming these treats.

No reports have been made in the US as of this time. I wanted to notify anyone reading about the possible problems so that you can check your treats and make sure that you’re not feeding chicken jerky. There is no indication that US treats are affected, but I would prefer that everyone play it safe and NOT feed chicken jerky treats. Try to find treats manufactured somewhere other than China if you can, at least for the time being.

I’ve posted the full news bulletin from the AVMA below.

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association notified the AVMA on Wednesday 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 and investigated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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 advise U.S. veterinarians to 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. Canadian veterinarians are urged to contact CVMA Member Services to report any suspected cases.

Dogs affected with this syndrome usually have a history of vomiting, lethargy and anorexia. A review by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine of the 2007 cases stated that blood chemistry in many cases revealed hypokalemia and a mild increase in liver enzymes. Blood gas analysis indicated acidosis, and urinalysis consistently showed glucosuria and granular casts. Fanconi screens on urine were positive. At the time, the ACVIM recommended treatment consisting of supportive care, electrolyte supplementation (including liberal potassium supplementation) and blood gas monitoring.

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4 Comments

Filed under news, notices, toxicology

4 responses to “Possible Toxicity from Chicken Jerky Treats

  1. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…

    I got some Happy Hips treats for Ellie last week. Just check the bag — made in China! Is nothing sacred? Thanks for the heads-up!

  2. Lisa Woodworth

    Dr Hutchinson,

    I wanted to ask you for some advice on dog foods for Clifford and Hollie. I am interested in finding a food that is cruelty free, no animal testing. I have found some lists of foods, but wanted to see if you had a recommendation, as I want to make sure they are getting a good quality food.

  3. This is a great question! Let me get in touch with a few folks that might have some resources for us to draw from. I’ll get back to you on this as soon as I can!

  4. I hate to be a fearmonger, but the toxicities that can result from these treats are very serious. In some cases, permanent kidney damage results. I think that it’s just prudent to be aware and selective about what we share with our pets.

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