The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has recently been made aware of several complaints from pet owners and veterinarians that multiple brands of jerky treats manufactured in China have been making pets sick. Symptoms of illness have included vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. To our knowledge, no deaths have been reported.
The AVMA posted an alert on its Web site on September 13 to inform its members and the public about what was known. Today, the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) issued a statement saying it also has become aware of an unusual number of dogs presenting similar symptoms and abnormal test results associated with consumption of some jerky treats. The ACVIM statement is available at www.acvim.org/uploadedFiles/Jerky_Treat_Info_September_14.doc.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently testing several products to see if a contaminant can be found. So far, they have ruled out melamine, one of the chemicals that led to the massive pet food recall this spring, but have yet to identify anything that might be making pets sick.
While a list of brand/product names of affected treats is not yet available, the AVMA has learned that all complaints have involved jerky treats from China. We recommend that pet owners use their best judgment in this matter.
Suspected cases should be reported to the FDA. To find the number for the FDA district office consumer complaint coordinator in your region, visit www.fda.gov/opacom/backgrounders/complain.html.
The AVMA is monitoring the situation and will provide updated information on our Web site (www.avma.org) as soon as it becomes available. Like all information on our Web site, we will only post information that is credible and has been confirmed.