The FDA has No Idea Why Jerky Treats Are Killing Hundreds of Dogs

600 dogs and 10 cats have died after eating the treats.

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Federal animal health officials announced Tuesday that Chinese jerky treats have caused a mysterious illness outbreak in more than 3,600 dogs (and ten cats) and the death of about 600 pets.

About 500 dogs and nine cats died from the Chinese treats as of January.

But in spite of running more than 1,000 tests and visiting multiple manufacturers, the FDA still isn’t sure what it is in the chicken, duck, and sweet potato jerky that is making the animals sick. “To date, testing for contaminants in jerky treats has not revealed a cause for the illnesses,” said deputy director for the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine Martine Hartogensis.

Nestle Purina PetCare Co. and Milo’s Kitchen withdrew some of its popular dog treats in January after New York state agricultural official found potential antibiotics contamination. Maybe stick to making your own dog treats for now.

[NBC]

67 comments
CathleenPouliot-Fields
CathleenPouliot-Fields

My family lost our rescued fur baby of 16 years on January 12, 2014 very ill..she went down hill very quickly within a month. I know most of you will say, she was old but up until this point, she was still running, playing eating very, very well then bam!! Then our Shih Tsu started having the exact same symptoms!! So, we got on the ball and checked on a few things. Parvo, no. Then we checked for poisonous things outside/inside, no. Then the next common denominator, their drinking water...again a NO! My fur baby's favorite food was Beneful's lamb and rice dinner and their favorite treats were either Purina's Waggin' Train chicken jerky treats or Milo's Kitchen chicken jerky treats. After reading the symptoms of this "toxic" jerky treats, my dog had most of them!! I am SO mad and shaking with grief right now!!! CAN WE GET A CLASS ACTION LAW SUIT GOING?? Just to think I may have contributed to my beautiful fur baby's death makes me sick to my stomach!! Can we do ANYTHING about this???

ElaineMcFadden
ElaineMcFadden

NEVER GIVE YOUR DOG CHICKEN TREATS FROM CHINA! They give arsenic and antibiotics to chickens like in USA, but may use higher levels. Only way to keep chickens alive in the horrific condition they are raised. If not on package remember that all barcodes that start at 690 - 695 are all MADE IN CHINA. 471 is Made in Taiwan.  If your dog gets sick from these treats or something else use Nutramin powder (for dogs) or Terramin tablets (on Amazon). IONIC negative minerals that can bind with something like toxic arsenic (positive charge) and remove from the body. Chickens in both USA and China are given arsenic and antibiotics daily. In China they may give higher doses. Dr. Al Plechner has been vet for 50+ yrs. His #1 recommendation for healing your pets is calcium montmorillonite minerals which is exactly the ingredient in Nutramin and Terramin. 57 pure minerals with highest purity rating for internal/external use. Can push tablet down their throat or mix powder in something like organic chicken broth and use turkey baster to get down throat. Only a little at a time and aim for the side. My dog gets sick when people in yard, he gets worked up and bites ferm. Training not to, but he has not eaten or done anything for over day. Just used the minerals and all better day 2. If will eat can wrap powder in shredded cheese (works for my dog).  Add to food daily to protect them, teeth too. More info http://www.IonChargedMinerals.com. Also can use Gut Cleanse and Fiber Plus Three in dog food.  See"Three Step Regeneration" tab. Also Dr. Plechner here: http://www.smarthealthtalk.com/dr-al-plechner-top-veterinarian.html

ReneeBrillant
ReneeBrillant

As a Veterinary Technician, I'm always saddened to see owners attempting to save a few dollars for their pet family members.  This has been going on for quite a few years now.  Glad to see that MORE people are becoming aware.

namvet45
namvet45

I am a co-founder of the group Is BENEFUL by PURINA Killing or Sickening Our Dogs? Post Your Story!   and we currently have 1200 members whose dogs have died or sickened. The common thread with jerky treats? Chinese manufactured Propylene Glycol, Glycerin or Sorbitol. Jerky Treats can contain up to 18%. Beneful contains 1%. 

PROPYLENE GLYCOL, SORBITOL, GLYCERIN FOUND IN BENEFUL AND JERKY TREATS COULD BE KILLING DOGS IF IT IS DERIVED FROM JATROPHA

The Jatropha plant is used extensively in China to produce Oils, Biodiesel, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Sorbitol and Proteins. This highly toxic, non-food shrub is also grown in India and parts of Africa. Three seeds from this plant can kill an adult. Symptoms include vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Haemorrhagic gastroenteritis is generally diagnosed, and the kidneys and liver can both fail. Death can occur quickly.

The FDA wants the industry to watch for glycerin from Jatropha
The FDA has issued new guidance about ingredients made from Jatropha curcas, a plant that has become popular in making biodiesel. The glycerin extracted in that process may contain toxins but which conventional testing may not find. Jatropha plants may contain phorbol esters, which could be toxic "both acute and chronic, to exposed humans and animals."

The agency says it has not discovered any problems yet but is trying to get out in front of the issue with the new rules. The plant has become popular in biodiesel production, the FDA says, because its seeds contain high levels of oil, the drought-resistant plant grows well in tropical and semi-tropical climates and it is relatively cheap to grow.

The FDA is STILL TRYING TO DEVELOP A TEST FOR THE PRESENCE OF JATROPHA because of the jerky treat issue, and InPharm says it welcomes any assistance in that effort from the industry.

Read more: FDA wants industry to watch for glycerin from Jatropha - FiercePharma Manufacturing http://www.fiercepharmamanufacturing.com/story/fda-wants-industry-watch-glycerin-jatropha/2012-07-10#ixzz2iYgZocBN 

FDA Notification to Industry: Products using oils, glycerin, or protein that were derived from the Jatropha plant may have toxic effects

Read more: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForIndustry/IndustryNoticesandGuidanceDocuments/UCM310867.pdf

Deadly Chinese Dog Treats – Could This Be the Cause? Dog Food Advisor

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-news/chinese-dog-treats-glycerin/

THE BOTTOM LINE

Until the FDA or the industry has positively identified the cause the death of these unfortunate — and innocent — animals, why expose your pet to these avoidable risks?

Avoid feeding potentially deadly jerky treats. Don’t buy them. Or if you already have, take them back to the store you got them from. 

Avoid ANY pet food containing Propylene Glycol, Sorbitol or Glycerin!

REPORT any adverse reaction to your State Dept of Agriculture:

and to the state/regional FDA!

RobinSalvatoPierre
RobinSalvatoPierre

I am cofounder of a group that has many pet parents of victims of jerky treats in it. It is a place to learn and share information about this deadly problem. We have collected a lot of information on these products and brands, advice for victims, and all of the latest FDA reports.
 If your pet has been a victim, or you know of one, please visit our Facebook Group ANIMAL PARENTS AGAINST PET TREATS MADE IN CHINA:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/342467355771185/
If you are not on Facebook, you can email us at safe4pups@gmail.com

Charliex10T
Charliex10T

Comments for Charliex10T. 

Please send to blueskyx3@yahoo.com

Charliex10T
Charliex10T

My dog is having breathing problems after my neighbor has been feeding him treats and my dog also goes through the motions of vomiting but nothing comes up. I took him to the vet and the vet said my dog's lung are full. I have been giving my dog medication. After hearing stores about dog treats I am wonder if that's what happened to my dog he is still living. I wonder if any other dog who ate the bad treat has any symptoms my dog has.  

cindyb
cindyb

Today my precious tiny yorkie died because she ate chicken wrap sweet potato treat made from China.  Her kidneys failed all because of eating this.....how can pet stores continue to keep these treats on their shelves.   I hope this does not happen to another animal.  I wish everyone would stop shopping at any pet store that does not take every single treat made in china off their shelves.  No one should have to suffer a loss like this.  

ElaineMcFadden
ElaineMcFadden

We started reporting this story over a year and a half ago on Smart Health Talk Radio Show. The numbers are in the thousands for all of the dogs that have died from chicken treats from China. Gov't finally admitted last month arsenic in our chickens and Maryland banned from their state almost immediately. Arsenic given because chickens kept in horrific conditions and arsenic keeps them alive along with daily antibiotics. Worse conditions in China. Not always on package. First three digits of UPC bar code tells country of origin. 690 - 695 are all MADE IN CHINA. 471 is Made in Taiwan. NEVER FEED YOUR PET ANY TREATS/FOOD FROM CHINA. NEVER. One story where dog died but owners did not tie to chicken treats as thought age reason, until new puppy brought in house and fed left over treats and got immediately sick. Buy organic treats instead. Recommendation for a low cost way to protect your dog from poisons, infections and harmful contaminants that can be in foods give them Nutramin 15 million year old minerals that are IONIC and can detox and kill bacteria, fungus, viruses, and parasites. Add to food and 57 minerals keep them healthy and strong while cleaning teeth. Can use on skin for itching and wound healing. Such a fine powder (one micron in size), the ionic charge will bind with damaged cells, relieve itching quickly, add a protective layer, and speed healing. Calcium Montmorillonite is only found a few places on the planet and one of the most powerful healers. Find Nutramin on Amazon about 5 cents a day.

skgarriott
skgarriott

What about Aflatoxin?  It's a toxin produced by mold in corn which a cheap ingredient in a lot of dog food. http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-industry-exposed/grains-in-dog-food-2/ That'a what my state's vet thinks killed him and has sent samples off to be tested. We're waiting for the results. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=grain-handlers-wary-of-toxin-linger

My greyhound became very sick 2 hours after eating Beneful Healthy Weight dog food and died 10 days later. The news is all this about dog treats from China but there is so many things wrong with the food and treats we feed our pets. The FDA should have protected the animals that have gotten sick and died. 

lacnunga
lacnunga

PROPYLENE GLYCOL, SORBITOL, GLYCERIN FOUND IN BENEFUL AND JERKY TREATS COULD BE KILLING DOGS IF IT IS DERIVED FROM JATROPHA

The Jatropha plant is used extensively in China to produce Oils, Biodiesel, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Sorbitol and Proteins. This highly toxic, non-food shrub is also grown in India and parts of Africa. Three seeds from this plant can kill an adult. Symptoms include vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Haemorrhagic gastroenteritis is generally diagnosed, and the kidneys and liver can both fail. Death can occur quickly.

The FDA has issued new guidance about ingredients made from Jatropha curcas, a plant that has become popular in making biodiesel. The glycerin extracted in that process may contain toxins but which conventional testing may not find. Jatropha plants may contain phorbol esters, which could be toxic "both acute and chronic, to exposed humans and animals."

The agency is trying to get out in front of the issue with the new rules. The plant has become popular in biodiesel production, the FDA says, because its seeds contain high levels of oil, the drought-resistant plant grows well in tropical and semi-tropical climates and it is relatively cheap to grow.

The FDA is STILL TRYING TO DEVELOP A TEST FOR THE PRESENCE OF JATROPHA because of the jerky treat issue, and InPharm says it welcomes any assistance in that effort from the industry.


Read more: FDA wants industry to watch for glycerin from Jatropha - FiercePharma Manufacturing http://www.fiercepharmamanufacturing.com/story/fda-wants-industry-watch-glycerin-jatropha/2012-07-10#ixzz2iYgZocBN 

FDA Notification to Industry: Products using oils, glycerin, or protein that were derived from the Jatropha plant may have toxic effects

Read more: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForIndustry/IndustryNoticesandGuidanceDocuments/UCM310867.pdf

Deadly Chinese Dog Treats – Could This Be the Cause? Dog Food Advisor

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-news/chinese-dog-treats-glycerin/

THE BOTTOM LINE

Until the FDA or the industry has positively identified the cause the death of these unfortunate — and innocent — animals, why expose your pet to these avoidable risks?

Avoid feeding potentially deadly jerky treats. Don’t buy them. Or if you already have, take them back to the store you got them from. 

Avoid ANY pet food containing Propylene Glycol, Sorbitol or Glycerin!  Most treats and Purina's BENEFUL for starters!

REPORT any adverse reaction to your State Dept of Agriculture and to the state/regional FDA!

JOIN THIS FB GROUP: Is BENEFUL by PURINA Killing or Sickening our Dogs? 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/533765719991738/

MarcusJamesOrio
MarcusJamesOrio

My dog is under the impression that Ice Cubes are treats. Lol.

CaitrinElizabethCrowell
CaitrinElizabethCrowell

I'm sticking with healthy and homemade treats from now on. I can't trust these big corporations anymore. You never actually know what exactly you're feeding to your pet, unless your making it yourself!

Cleverdog
Cleverdog

Have the treats been checked for grapes, raisins or grapeseed oil? These can cause the same symptoms as the jerky treats cause, even kidey failure and death! From ASPCA website: Grapes and raisins have recently been associated with the development of kidney failure in dogs. At this time, the exact cause of the kidney failure isn’t clear, nor is it clear why some dogs can eat these fruits without harm, while others develop life-threatening problems after eating even a few grapes or raisins. Some dogs eat these fruits and experience no ill effects—but then eat them later on and become very ill. Until the cause of the toxicosis is better identified, the safest course of action is to avoid feeding grapes or raisins to your dog. Dogs experiencing grape or raisin toxicosis usually develop vomiting, lethargy or diarrhea within 12 hours of ingestion. As signs progress, dogs become increasingly lethargic and dehydrated, refuse to eat and may show a transient increase in urination followed by decreased or absent urination in later stages. Death due to kidney failure may occur within three to four days, or long-term kidney disease may persist in dogs who survive the acute intoxication. Successful treatment requires prompt veterinary treatment to maintain good urine flow.

DebraKuzma
DebraKuzma

Maybe we'd all better start feeding our pets a Kelp supplement, which is supposed to help them eliminate toxins, as it looks as though our govt isn't interested in helping them stay alive and healthy. I know I'm going to start giving my pets one...

solidgold
solidgold

I used to give my yorkie those treats and she developed kidney problems and the vet said it was most likely caused by the jerky treats.

WillyBarnes
WillyBarnes

Why does the US and Canada continue to let China poison our children and animals with unsafe food products and toxic toys that are sold at major store chains. This is totally unacceptable for our countries to be putting our population at risk and should be ILLEGAL! Again it's about the almighty dollar. Nobody else could get away with making and selling toxic, deadly food and toys. Am I wrong?

JulieWalker
JulieWalker

Well, basically in a nut shell it is our own fault for being careless. We should be taking the time in understanding what should and should not be given to our pets. We should also be reading labels and NOT supporting anyone other than the US when possible. Even tho we are stuck with Obahma, we should stay with US. I feed treats alot, 5 danes and 5 shepherds, and what I do not make myself, I feed Orijen and Wellness Core feed and their products.Google and you will save money on your feed bill with treats you make, and you will feel better, and so will your pet. Also will keep you from a possible vet bill. Those are NOT getting any cheaper. Also taking time to make your own treats is a stress reliever, and something you can enjoy.

arvay
arvay

I cook for my dog. Treats only from valid manufacturers like Wellness. Taking these steps will prevent tragedy. 

ToniMcgee
ToniMcgee

My dog had a seizure after eating those sweet potato and duck treats I bought from Costco.  Never again.

AnnaRoins
AnnaRoins

What I want to know is 1. what is the company name from China that sells them and 2. what are the symptoms and 3. do the symptoms last a long time after digestion of the jerky?

Jammy
Jammy

I've been feeding my dogs these jerky treats for 10 years and none of them have ever gotten sick!!!! And I admit I've tasted a few of chicken jerky treats myself and never got sick either.

 I believe what's happening is what happens with humans. Some humans can die from eating peanuts, does not mean they are poisonous just means they are allergic. So some dogs are allergic to these treats so don't feed them!!!!! But I will continue to feed them to my dogs because they love them and never got sick from them!


Petlover01
Petlover01

Who feeds this kind of garbage to their loved one which is supposed to be their pets to begin with? What you should be asking yourself when feeding your animals, is, would you eat it?

ChasL
ChasL

I'm sure it's emotionally satisfying to blame China, but what are the facts? FDA can't pin point any contamination. Google "canine bloat salty" and educate yourselves on why there are feeding instruction and warning about overfeeding on the packages.

Pet treats are salty and not meant to replace proper meal. Overfeeding salty treats will cause your dog to drink too much water which can lead to canine blaot.

Carrieapp
Carrieapp

My 4 year old pomchi, Kojo, ate the Waggin Train dog treats (Chicken Jerky) for about a year. I started seeing changes in him---sluggish, upset stomach, just not him self. I took him to the vet and they did a blood test and he had elevated liver enzymes. I asked the vet about his treats and he suggested I stop using them for a week and bring him back for another round of tests. A week later we took blood and Kojo was perfect! The only change was the Waggin Train treats. This was about a year ago and Kojo is back to normal, but who knows how bad he'd be now if I didn't get him tested. I started reading about the Waggin Train treats about 8 months ago and freaked out. Every chance I get to relay my story I do because I don't want anyone to lose their pets. I only give my him food made in the US and have found a treat--"Full Moon" from Walmart that he absolutely loves! 

42maxam24
42maxam24

Let's not forget China just bought? -or is buying Smithfield food? All our bacon is going to be coming from China now? -Wonderful huh?

glennra3
glennra3

Never EVER put anything made in China in your mouth or in the mouths of your children or pets.

ThomasHall
ThomasHall

Notice that there a number of toxic cheap Chinese imports like sheetrock and cheap, often counterfeit and poisonous Chinese drug components that are allowed under the Republican Medicare prescription drug giveaway to the drug makers and insurers. Yet, notice that drug price negotiation that would benefit consumers or the import of cheaper drugs from Canada where they pay one half the US drug price are not allowed.

Kristie66
Kristie66

@skgarriott Beneful has been linked to some deaths of dogs.  One bag was found to have contents like Antifreeze in it.  My dog died and it was not too long after I stopped feeding him beneful when I read about what happened to the other dogs.  Kidney failure and possible cancer was the diagnosis but what killed him was Kidney Failure.  Very sudden.

DougLacy
DougLacy

@lacnunga But there has been no clinical evidence or even rational information that links the treats to the illnesses. The suspicions the pet owners have is just a small sampling of many many more cases of the same but where the pet owners did not express an idea about the cause to feed the FDA's agenda to present a facade of actaully doing something. The FDA doesn't care.  Most pets on an FDA mainstay diet are on the brink of their demise because the FDA requires chemicals such as benzene, carbolic acid, citronella and acetone to mark the materials (denaturing) as intended for animals and the FDA allows euthanized animals to be made into pet food - (FOODS PETS DIE FOR -ANN MARTIN)   1997 NY Times story by Sandra Blakeslee quotes Chuck Ellis, spokesman for LA's sanitation department. "LA sends 200 tons of euthanized cats & dogs to West Coast Rendering in LA, every month" to be made into animal food. The FDA's official position states clearly that our food protection law does not apply to animals. See FDA policy page titled (Diverted Unfit Foods for Animal Use) Google. I will be doing a 3 minute oral presentation at the FDA Animal Food rule meeting on November 20 to ask the FDA to allow animal foods that seek to match or exceed human grade manufacturing practices to be manufactured under the same quality standards and existing regulation infrastructure as human foods and those foods that seek this standard be regulated by ONLY the human food division of the FDA.  This will seed a standard that people can recognize and trust without forcing any radical changes.  They will not want to allow this so it will require people to get behind this idea and demand that the one isle in our grocery store that is forcibly required to have a lower quality and lower safety standard, be given the opportunity to improve.

colinlewdie
colinlewdie

@WillyBarnes The question is why do Americans and Canadians continue to buy "Made in China" food products knowing that these products have poisoned and harmed our children and animals. Why do we continue to feed our loved ones these poisons? We should stop buying any products that is "Made in China". When the demand stops, the supply will naturally end.

Mom
Mom

@JulieWalker  "Even though we are stuck with Obahma [sic]??"  How do you reason this?   Those who feel like Obama is the problem are usually those who advocate for 'less government.' 'Less government' = less regulations = made in China type products.  If you want 'made in the U.S.A. quality, you need regulations to ensure safety.  If you don't want those kinds of regulations here, then you better get used to the same kinds of products that China sells.  

solidgold
solidgold

@AnnaRoins  My yorkie developed kidney problems and the vet says most likely from those jerky treats!

cindyb
cindyb

@Jammy   be prepared for the dog to eat just one more of those jerky treats and it might happen to your animal.  My dogs ate chicken wrap sweet potato treats for 6 years and then the last container was contaminated and within two weeks of eating those treats my little dog developed kidney failure and died in two weeks...

Mom
Mom

@Jammy Or...  just maybe....  you've been a lucky one that didn't buy contaminated treats for your dog?  

One might also note that the dogs who died did not suffer from typical 'allergic' symptoms.  

Also, one might consider the opinions of the trained veterinarians and scientist when trying to solve this mystery over your anecdotal hypothesis.  

ChasL
ChasL

@42maxam24 What an ignorant comment. The Chinese company bought Smighfield so they can keep more of the profit from importing US pork to China.

blackiethecat
blackiethecat

@ThomasHall

"poisonous Chinese drug components that are allowed under the Republican Medicare prescription drug" What a moron you are.

cindyb
cindyb

@Kristie66 @skgarriott   Today my precious tiny yorkie was put to sleep because of kidney failure and most likely cause was eating a couple chicken wrap sweet potato  treats from China.  She got sick very fast after eating those treats and suffered for two weeks with kidney failure  before we let her go.   I am sorry for everyones loss of a pet for this reason. 

crash_love
crash_love

@Mom

Ignorance really is bliss, huh? First of all, less government does not mean less regulation, ESPECIALLY when it comes to the FDA. Do me a favor and watch the documentary "Food, Inc." if you want to see how much "regulating" our government is even doing right now. The entire system is corrupt and NOTHING you hear on the news is ever the whole story. I am an avid hunter and fisherman solely BECAUSE of the fact that nearly all of the store-bought food available to us is from facilities that abuse the animals and do not keep up with their so-called regulations. Why do you think there are so many cases of E. coli across the nation each year? Because the cattle that we eat are on a strict CORN ONLY diet that they cannot even properly digest! No store bought food is ever 100% safe, you need to kill it or grow it yourself if you want to be sure.

Furthermore, if you are one of those who is all for MORE government, you are SEVERELY misguided. I don't care what party you belong to, more government is never a good thing for a nation. That is the first step to an entire country turning into a dictatorship. Take a government class or do some research online before making such ignorant comments.

crash_love
crash_love

@Mom

You sound like a prudish know-it-all. Jammy was just putting the possibility of an allergic reaction out there, that's all. If you disagree with her opinion, then disagree kindly. Being snobby in a reply isn't going to change her choice of continuing to feed her dogs the treats. Heck, if anything it's going to encourage her to do so!


Oh, also- these "trained" veterinarians you speak of are also brain washed during vet school into thinking that "Science Diet" is good for dogs. They are offered tremendous amounts of money to promote the food within their practices when, in reality, it is one of the WORST foods you can feed your pets due to the corn content, lack of protein, etc. Shouldn't they also be advocating the nation to reject these dog foods as well? Blue Buffalo is the way to go.