The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is again cautioning consumers that chicken jerky products for dogs (also sold as chicken tenders, strips or treats) may be associated with illness in dogs. In the last 12 months, FDA has seen an increase in the number of complaints it received of dog illnesses associated with consumption of chicken jerky products imported from China. These complaints have been reported to FDA by dog owners and veterinarians.
Now, four months later, pets are still dying from these treats. And, since the FDA testing has been inconclusive, the pet food companies that sell them aren’t recalling them. Again, that’s even though many pets are dying.
Some of the brands pet owners say are causing problems are well known pet food brands Purina and Dogswell.
Pet Pardons News has an excellent post about the lack of concern by pet food companies about these pet treats.
Because tests by the FDA are inconclusive, pet treat manufacturers are not required by law to recall their products, and none of them have volunteered to do so. But given that the tests have not pinpointed the contaminant does not mean it is not contaminated. The FDA issued a warning to pet owners in November, 2011 in regards to this issue.
The question many are asking is how many dogs will have to die before the products are recalled? It is already estimated that the dead and dying are numbered at more than 500. This number does not count all of the cases that have not made the connection yet between a pet’s illness and the treats. The treats are causing kidney failure and Fanconi syndrome , with some cases resulting in death; others, in chronic kidney disease.
Four months has passed since the FDA warning yet the treats are still being sold, and pets are still dying.
When Purina began to receive calls from customers whose pets had become ill after eating their Waggin Train jerky treats, they initially discussed financial settlements, but when the FDA’s tests came back with inconclusive results, Purina took all offers off the table. Some consumers who have posted about pet’s illnesses on Purina’s and Dogswell’s websites have been banned from posting there any longer.
At a news conference today in Cleveland, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, and Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich both petitioned the FDA to step up their investigation. They both called for the Food and Drug Administration to take immediate action to put a stop to their policy that allows dangerous pet treats and pet foods to remain on the market and to put an immediate stop to its continued sale.
If your pet has eaten tainted treats, symptoms may include:
OK, so why are you still feeding this crap from China to your dogs and cats? Many of the pet food companies seem to have not learned a darn thing from the 2007 pet food recall (except, maybe how to cover their ass better). And sadly, a lot of pet owners haven’t either. Some people are getting a little too comfortable with the pet food industry and have forgotten how horrendous the massive, melamine-tainted pet food recalls were. Please don’t fall into that trap – stop feeding this poison to your pets!
Update, Feb. 10, 2012: This post originally indicated Dogswell was one of the foods the FDA is looking at. This afternoon, however, I was contacted by a Dogswell Consumer Brand Manager who stated the following, “Our products are completely safe and have not been linked with any of the recent illnesses. We agree that pet owners should be made aware of the issue, but would appreciate your article reflected accurate information regarding DOGSWELL products.”