Why did FDA issue a cautionary update in November 2011?
In 2011, FDA saw an increase in the number of complaints it received of dog illnesses associated with consumption of chicken jerky products imported from China.
FDA previously issued a cautionary warning regarding chicken jerky products to consumers in September 2007 and a Preliminary Animal Health Notification in December of 2008. The number of complaints being received dropped off during the latter part of 2009 and most of 2010. However in 2011, FDA once again started seeing the number of complaints rise to the levels of concern that prompted release of our earlier warnings.
Since the issuance of the CVM Update on November 18, 2011, the agency has received numerous additional complaints regarding chicken jerky products.
What are the products involved?
The cautionary update specifically refers to chicken jerky products that are imported from China. These dried chicken jerky products, intended for dogs, may also be sold as tenders, strips or treats.
What are the signs of illness that are being reported?
The signs that may be associated with chicken jerky products include decreased appetite; decreased activity; vomiting; diarrhea, sometimes with blood; increased water consumption and/or increased urination. These signs may occur within hours to days of feeding the products.
Laboratory tests may indicate kidney problems, including Fanconi-like syndrome. Although many dogs appear to recover, some reports to the FDA have involved dogs that have died.
FDA continues to investigate the problem and its origin. Some of the illnesses reported may be the result of causes other than eating chicken jerky.
More info from the FDA.