The US Food and Drug Administration has received about 900 reports from dog owners and veterinarians in recent months about severe illnesses and even deaths linked to chicken jerky pet treats from China.
“No specific products have been named or recalled because a definitive cause has not been determined,” said FDA spokesperson Tamara Ward.
Dried chicken jerky products intended for dogs may also be sold as tenders or strips. Owners have reported their dogs have experienced decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and increased water consumption and urination. Some dogs have developed kidney failure, leading to a few reported deaths.
First alerted to the problem in 2007, the FDA said on its website that it has been continually testing these treats for toxic metals, salmonella, and other toxic chemicals.
The brands most often named in recent reports to the FDA, according to MSNBC, include Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch brands produced by Nestle Purina PetCare Co., and Milo’s Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats, produced by Del Monte Corp. All get their chicken products from Nanjing, China.
Keith Schopp, a spokesperson for Purina, said “We have dedicated quality control inspectors in China.” None of their tests, he added, have turned up suspect contaminants. Milo’s Kitchen did not respond to my request for comment.