Once again, an increasing number of complaints about sick dogs have been connected to chicken jerky imported from China, prompting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to issue its third advisory since 2007.
The FDA previously warned about these products (also called chicken tenders, strips or treats) in 2007 and 2008. The 2007 warning was issued after nearly 100 dogs got sick.
According to the FDA, a urine test of canines sickened by eating the treats could indicate increased glucose (Fanconi syndrome), and blood tests could show indications of kidney failure. Some dogs have died, the FDA reports, but most seem to recover.
The most recent warning states that the “FDA is advising consumers who choose to feed their dogs chicken jerky products to watch their dogs closely for any or all of the following signs that may occur within hours to days of feeding the products:
If the dog shows any of these signs, stop feeding the chicken jerky product. Owners should consult their veterinarian if signs are severe or persist for more than 24 hours.”
Brands that use chicken imported from China include Waggin Train, Canyon Creek Ranch, Smokehouse Brand, Kingdom Pets, Bestro's, Cadet and Milo’s Kitchen. China has long been under fire over food safety for both pet and human food. More than 100 brands of cat and dog food were recalled when at least 14 pets died after ingesting grain from China that was tainted with melamine, a chemical that can make products appear to have more protein.
In its warning, the FDA states that it has not conclusively connected the treats to the illnesses, but the agency will continue to investigate the situation. Veterinarians and consumers are asked to report suspected pet illnesses online at fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.
Quoted from www.breedtrust.com:
"Upon further investigation, we've found that a majority of cured and dried or dehydrated pet treats sold in the U.S., including all-natural products, are made in China.
Many consumers frequently read ingredient labels on pet food in an attempt to find quality products for their furry family members, but pet parents would be wise to also ensure that their pet's food is "made in the USA". We were shocked to find that our pet's favorite all-natural free range chicken and apple treats, made from only two ingredients with no additives or preservatives, are made in China and as a result, pose a health risk to our pet based on the FDA's announcement yesterday.
Whether you have cats, dogs or other pets, this warning is a reminder to read the labels on pet food products before purchasing them. While U.S. manufactured pet food products aren't without their problems and periodic recalls, China is renowned for manufacturing products containing chemicals that pose health risks to people and pets.
Although most dogs appear to recover from illness triggered as a result of eating chicken jerky dog treats manufactured in China, some reports to the FDA have involved dogs that have died."
Always look for what it says in small letters near the UPC code. If the chicken is from China, you'd be wise to toss it. Read labelling very carefully. Many packages read: "Made in USA" on the front, but on the back in tiny letters it clearly says "Made in China".
Check out this website listing the tons of products available from Chinese Manufactures available for purchase to then exported to the United States.
You can see what the products look like before being packaged here in the USA into the familiar packages we see in our stores. Being packaged here in the USA allows labelling to read, "Made in the USA" on the front.
More Fun Facts:
"While Googling to find out more information about Chinese jerky causing illness in pets, we came across disturbing recent reviews on Amazon.com for “Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders Dog Treats”. Out of 81 reviews, 27 reviews or 33% of them were…We’ll let you read some of them for yourself."
Dog Treat Warnings from Snopes:
June 18, 2010 – My mom bought these treats for my yorkie as a treat for him when he visits her. It looked like a shady treat to me when she gave it to him and by that night he began throwing up and had diarrhea all night. I immediately took him to the vet and he had to be put on IVs. He has no kidney damage but his illness was caused from this treat. Nothing had changed from my baby’s diet except for the introduction to this treat. My mom had also given a piece to our other dog and he became ill but not as bad as mine. I think it definitely affects smaller breeds versus larger ones. I have to take my furbaby back to the vet tomorrow for more IV fluids and make sure he doesn’t throw up. I will be writing to Waggin Trains.
If you love your pets, do research and DO NOT give them anything that comes from China. I am devastated they still sell these treats. I just hope my lil one recovers.
March 5, 2010 – I just came back from my vet and left them checks for nearly $600 in treating my dogs, one requiring an IV to replenish her fluids. These “treats” are laced with toxins. One of my dogs nearly bleed to death with the diarrhea. I’ll be giving them meds for the next 10 days. I’m about 100% certain this bag contained salmonela (from the chicken parts) and keep in mind, this toxin road over from China on a slow boat, having lot’s of time in a humid environment to grow the bacteria.
January 30, 2010 – After about 5 months of feeding my dog these treats…he has become lethargic, not eating his regular food (but will continue to eat the fillets), and has diarrhea. If you feed these to your pet…you are essentially killing him. Be a good pet owner and write to the companies who sell this poison…ask them to take it off the shelves. These are made in China. Your dog is counting on YOU to keep it safe and in good health. I thought I was giving him something he really loved…however…I hope the damage can be undone.
December 17, 2009 – I just had to put my very loved friend to sleep because of this product. I only fed him 3 pieces. PLEASE DO NOT GIVE THIS GARBAGE TO YOUR DOG! He had severe kidney and liver damage and vomited, urinated and defecated blood for 2 days. There are MANY owners who have lost their pets, or saved them only to live life with damaged organs. I plan to make it a crusade to rid the market of this poison. The product I purchased was from Costco, and the lot number is NJ 45. You may think you are buying a fantastic luxury treat for your friend (as I did), but you are actually buying a possible death sentence for your beloved pet. I kept the remainder of the bag and plan to test the heck out of it. The makers of Waggin Train better beware, if I find something that caused my dog’s death you will never sell anything again. DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT!!!!!!
September 13, 2009 – As with many that have posted, our 3 year old Chihuahua became very ill and we have determined it is due to eating these jerky treats. [...]
July 9, 2009 – Within 5 minutes of eating the chicken jerky my dog got ill. She is only 7 lbs. Vomiting, vomiting blood, lethargy, dehydration. Vet bills, nights at the emergency vet hospital, you name it. She ate nothing else in the 4 hours before of eating this. PLEASE DO NOT GIVE THIS TO YOUR DOGS. It is not worth it.
July 5, 2009 – Our dog just got out of the hospital after getting sick from these treats. 4 days on IV fluids to combat the kidney damage from the melanine toxicity caused by these treats. The American Veterinary Medical Association has a warning about chicken jerky, and to watch your dog closely if you are feeding them these, and the FDA is aware as well. PLEASE DO NOT BUY THESE.
June 13, 2009 – another sick dog, I should’ve known this.
To be honest, you can’t live without China these days. USA and China got to be working together to “save” the world. But seriously, Chinese companies need to emphasize on their quality and safety issues. Very disappointed.
You know what . I love my dogs, they love chicken jerky..but there is nowhere I can find MADE IN USA jerky!!! I am sick and tired of this. I am gonna start my own pet food company, and make my own Jerky from local farms right here in the USA.
Citation 1: American Veterinary Medical Association website
How To Read Country Of Origin In Bar Codes
Snopes.com says that the bar code method of checking the origin of a product is not reliable:
"Unfortunately, determination of product origins isn't quite as cut and dried as it's been made to sound here. The UPC-A bar code and its cousin, the European Article Number bar code, incorporate two- or three-digit country codes, but what those country codes indicate is the country or economic region where a particular bar code was assigned, not necessarily the country where the product identified by the bar code originates.
"For example, if a Mexican company imported fruit from Guatemala, then packed and shipped that fruit to the United States, the country code portion of the final products bar code would likely indicate an origin of Mexico rather than Guatemala. ... for surefire product origination identification consumers must rely upon other methods. In determining the country of origin of a product sold in the U.S., consumers should still look for "made in" labels on the packaging."