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West Kendall Animal Hospital Reports 600 U.S. pet deaths associated with Chinese jerky treats; cause is still elusive

October 24, 2013

West Kendall Animal Hospital reports that according to DVM 360, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced this week that it has received a total of approximately 3,000 reports of pet illness possibly related to the consumption of jerky treats, including 580 deaths.

The FDA has issued several warnings about jerky products imported from China since it first received reports of pet illness in 2007. However, despite ongoing efforts to identify a cause of illness, testing has been inconclusive. 60 percent of the reports involve gastrointestinal illness (with or without elevated liver enzymes) and about 30 percent relate to kidney or urinary signs. The remaining 10 percent of cases involve a variety of other signs, including convulsions, tremors, hives and skin irritation. About 135 of the case reports involving kidney and urinary signs were diagnosed as Fanconi syndrome, a kidney disease in which the proximal tubule doesn’t work properly and some nutrients are lost into the urine instead of being reabsorbed.

A class action lawsuit that began with Chicago-area dog owner Dennis Adkins—who claimed his 9-year-old Pomeranian died as   a result of eating Nestlé Purina’s Waggin’ Train Yam Good dog treats—is expanding. The federal suit added seven pet owners   from across the country and may join with another lawsuit filed in federal court by a Connecticut family in June. The suit  also expands its targets, naming not just Waggin’ Train LLC, a manufacturer of the product; Nestlé Purina Petcare Co., the corporation that owns Waggin’ Train LLC; and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the distributor, but also Target and Costco as defendants.

The FDA has also developed a fact sheet for concerned pet owners. Officials continue to caution pet owners that reports of illness from jerky treats are not limited to chicken products but also duck and sweet potato jerky products and jerky-wrapped rawhide treats. Consumers should also be aware that while reports seem to be linked to jerky treats sourced from China, manufacturers are not required to list the country of origin for each ingredient used in their products. Source DVM 360

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From → Product Recalls

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